Curriculum Reveiw: Total Language Plus – The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Grace just finished the Total Language Plus study guide for The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. If you asked what her favorite movie is, she would answer Narnia about 80% of the time. And yet, I had no qualms about assigning this study guide. And just so you know, she said the book is much better than the movie.
I wish I had remembered to take pictures of all the cool projects we did – but I am still new to the blogging thing – so I didn’t think ahead and take pictures.
My favorite project for this guide was visiting antique stores and finding wardrobes. For me, any excuse to visit an antique store is a good excuse!
Researching beaver dams, eating Turkish Delight, going ice fishing and taking a sleigh ride in the snow are some of the other ones that fit into our schedule. (I hope sledding counts as a sleigh ride – okay, I know that I am pushing the envelope on this one.)
Another cute suggestion was to research what a “wireless” was. Isn’t it funny how times have changed and the vocabulary along with it.
In my opinion, Total Language Plus is heads and tails above the competition because of the critical thinking part of the program. One of the reasons that we homeschool is to teach the children to think and discern. You don’t get that kind of practice by answering comprehension questions.
There were so many good “personally thinking” questions, that it was hard to pick just a few, but here are some:
- Would you have gotten into the Queen’s Sledge? Why?
- Do you think it is easier to forgive someone or to apologize to someone? Why?
- Were the children wise to follow the Robin? Why?
- How can something be totally good but not safe?
- What do you think Aslan talked about with Edmund?
I asked Grace to make up her own story using Greek or Roman mythical creatures or some creature of her own imagination. She turned in five notebook pages of narration and dialogue. Her story centers around a creature named Zero who wants to make friends. It made me smile to see that another of the characters was named Tebow. (We are Tebow fans in this household.)
After my children finish a study guide, I write a “dedication” of sorts in the front of the novel before giving it to them. This is what I wrote in the book for Grace.
May you always have a child-like wonder at the awesomeness of God’s plan for salvation. I love you.
Total Language Plus is a literature-inspired language arts curriculum. It includes reading, comprehension, vocabulary, spelling, critical thinking, and writing activities. I have used it for 15 years and have been a representative for the company for the last four years.