There are thirty-five lessons containing enough material for a school year, with lessons geared toward fifth- and sixth-graders.
“The language arts curriculum, based upon ideas from Ruth Beechick’s books, stands out above the rest as being age appropriate and practical for home educators. Literary passages from books such as [Mr. Popper’s Penguins, David Livingstone–Foe of Darkness, Strawberry Girl, The Trumpet of the Swan, and Amos Fortune: Free Man] are the foundation for study each week. Students practice taking dictation or copying according to their skill level. Using the passage as a springboard, they study and apply grammar, spelling, vocabulary, and writing skills. The method is ‘whole language’ in that all language skills are taught in relationship to one another. . . . Large-print copies of the literary passages, called Student Editing Models, are also included in the back of each book to make it easier for students to either copy or correct their work” (Cathy Duffy in Christian Home Educators’ Curriculum Manual).
Skills studied include composition skills (brainstorming, character sketch, descriptive sentence, dialogue, essay writing, friendly letter, outlines, paragraphs, similes, and topic sentences), comprehension skills (analogies, dialect, meter, predicting outcomes, sequencing, and types of speeches) grammar (parts of speech, possessive singular and possessive plural, irregular verbs), study skills (atlas, Bible references, dictionary map skills, research, spelling, thesaurus), punctuation, and more.
“Based on Ruth Beechick’s methods, as outlined in her book You Can Teach Your Child Successfully, Learning Language Arts Through Literature is a program based on excerpts from great children’s literature. . . . Each of the 45 lessons includes a literary passage and five daily learning activities designed to help your student learn thinking and writing skills. . . . Every language art is included: spelling, grammar, vocabulary, writing mechanics, penmanship, and thinking skills. . . . Grammar is taught in the context of writing, not as an isolated subject. . . . Vocabulary is developed through studying English classics and through dictation/copying exercises. Penmanship is practiced in the same way.
“Each dictation lesson also includes a writing activity designed to increase thinking skills. For example, the student might be asked to rewrite an entire passage in the past tense, or change it from third to first person. Doing this with technical correctness and literary flair will take some thought!” (Mary Pride in The Big Book of Home Learning).
“What an improvement over the standard methods of language learning! In this series, students learn from excellent literature how to be better writers and thinkers. I highly recommend it” (Dr. Ruth Beechick).