My youngest son, Andrew, is a struggling reader. His difficulties were at first related to his vision which was corrected with glasses. Then began the arduous task of convincing him that he really could learn to read just like his older brothers. Confidence is key to his success. We’ve tried several different programs but I was still searching for something different that would excite him. The other programs were boring to him because they are really geared to five and six year-old children, not a nine year-old. So when I looked through the components of Eclectic Foundations Language Arts program, I thought it might just be what I’ve been searching for.
I wasn’t sure what level to put Andrew in, but the website has a helpful page to help determine where to start. I decided to go with Eclectic Foundations Language Arts Eclectic Foundations Language Arts Level B since he has not done any cursive writing yet and Eclectic Foundations sent me the digital product to use for this review. They also have physical books available
Eclectic Foundations Language Arts program is super easy to use. It is set up as 36 weeks with 4 lessons each week for a total of 144 lessons. The digital version includes pdf files for the student workbook and the teacher’s guide, along with files for the phonics practice sheets and word cards. I printed out all of these and laminated the phonics practice sheets. The word cards are printed on card stock for durability.
This program uses the Revised Edition of McGuffey’s Eclectic Readers. They are available for free online or can be purchased as a physical book. I just use the digital version on my iPad. The McGuffey’s Readers are well-known in the education world. They were used in the public schools from 1836 until the 1960s. Because the reading level is quite high (the 6th reader is the equivalent of a college senior reading level!) it swiftly moves from easy to challenging but Andrew likes that the lessons are actual stories and are accompanied by illustrations so he isn’t bored with the lessons.
Eclectic Foundations is a full language arts curriculum. It includes phonics, grammar, spelling, reading comprehension, handwriting, composition, and poetry in its short daily lessons. One difference I will note is that cursive is started at the B Level and is taught alphabetically rather than by letter shape.
To give you an idea of how the program works, the picture below shows Lesson 11. The teacher’s guide is on the left, the poetry selection is in the middle (part of a longer poem), and the student worksheet is on the right. It takes us about 30 minutes to go through each lesson.
The word list on the student page is for the student to write using the laminated phonics practice pages. This picture has a few of those. Andrew uses a dry-erase marker to write with.
Also used in this program are word cards. They are colored by groups. Nouns are red, verbs are green, etc.
By far, Andrew’s favorite part of this program is making sentences using these cards, the crazier the better! In case you can’t tell, he likes cats.
So far I am really pleased with this program. Andrew is making good progress and it’s easy for me to prepare and teach. Right now Eclectic Foundations has levels A, B, and C and are expecting to release Level D this spring. Eventually they will have up through Level I which would be for high school/college.
If you would like to see what other homeschoolers think of this product check out the reviews at the Homeschool Review Crew by clicking the button below.