A couple of weeks ago I wrote about Susan Wise Bauer’s soon-to-be-published program, Writing with Skill. It looks like a superb textbook / curriculum for teaching students how to organize their writing and how to begin to apply style to it. These are essential skills I want my children to have when they begin high school. But Writing with Skill is a writing program, not a grammar one.
I had not scrolled down in Ms. Bauer’s blog, so I completely missed her post about the other program she is publishing soon. Advanced Language Lessons is the set of books that continues the Complete Writer series. The format of the early Advanced Language Lessons workbook closely resembles the first four student workbooks of that series (Writing with Ease).
One thing I love about the Writing with Ease workbooks is Ms. Bauer’s use of fine examples of writing, taken from fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. She includes samples from A Child's History of England by Charles Dickens, The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss, "Rain" by Robert Louis Stevenson, and many other wonderful works. These samples have served me not only in teaching the skills in a particular day’s lesson, but in providing recommended reading for my children. Ms. Bauer’s selections are far superior to the official lists chosen by the Language Arts committees at our public schools.
Now the trick is to get the children as excited about working with these programs as I am.