First Language Lessons for the Well Trained Mind
by Jessie Wise
Picture this: You curl up on the couch with your 6-year-old, a soft afghan covering you both. You each have a couple of cookies to nibble. The two of you are engaged in a conversation about (of all things) direct quotes. Your child giggles uncontrollably as together you read the story of the Little Red Hen. Your cozy conversation segues into a discussion about titles of resect and how they are punctuated. You smile at your daughter and stroke her hair, then ask her a tough question: Does she remember the definition of an adjective? She excitedly spouts off the definition. You praise her, kiss the end of her nose, then continue on with the next part of the lesson. This deliciously cozy, yet classicly thorough approach to language arts is perfect for building not only solid educational foundations, but educational delight as well.
First Language Lessons for the Well Trained Mind, written by Jessie Wise (co-author of The Well Trained Mind), is essentially a day-by-day, word-for-word, activity-by-activity script for the parents. It contains everything you need: Memory work, stories, copy and dictation work, narration, and grammar. It even contains reminders to praise and encourage your child! As Jessie (author) says, "We can grow children who exceed the average by exposing them to above-average content - as long as that content is taught patinetly, frequently, consistently, and is reviewed often." And, I might add,..."in an environment where the child feels loved." I applaud this series and its approach to language arts for children.