Review of LifePac Language Arts Homeschool Curriculum Kit

We have been using the Charlotte Mason method with our kids since we started homeschooling many years ago.  Due to some issues with health, moving and a new baby, however, we often feel "behind" and the gaps in teaching aren't always easy to identify.  No subject is this more evident than in English/Language Arts.  Our children tend to master good English through reading and writing, but when it comes to the mechanics of it, I wasn't sure they were hitting all the marks.

We were given the opportunity to try Alpha Omega's LifePac series of curriculum choices, and I chose to try the 4th grade Language Arts kit.  This contains everything a parent needs to provide their child with a comprehensive language arts experience, and it comes in one neatly packaged box. We got started right away this summer with my son, who is entering the 5th grade, to be sure he could master everything before we got into this fall's routine.

First, it is a workbook intensive program.  Everything is pretty much self-paced.  The child reads a selection, answers questions, and continues on in the course with lots of structure to the assessment.  The first time we went through, we referred to the recommended treatment of the material, which is provided, as it shows children how to read through once, read again for understanding, and work through the materials in a logical way to ensure they are retaining the learning.  As a Charlotte Mason "unschooler", this approach seemed very much like some of the experiences we have avoided (workbook heavy, geared toward testing, etc.) but I was surprised to see that all the order and consistency was welcomed by my son.

One other part of the program that surprised me was that this one course encompassed about 4 of our current classes.  We try to give the kids experiences in spelling, grammar/language mechanics, handwriting, and reading.  And while I wouldn't say there is enough reading to replace a good selection of classical literature, it definitely provided my son with ample practice in all the areas, plus a bit of Latin/Greek root word learning -- something we usually teach in a separate course.

For parents who have no time to prepare, want to teach their children to work independently, and need a curriculum that leaves no question as to "what they are learning" this product satisfies all the requirements.  It also takes up less space than a typical Teacher's Manual, Textbook, Test Packet, and other learning aids that come in some of the homeschool bundles on the market.  I really like the consumable workbooks, which are a nice change from me trying to photocopy everything to use again for later years.  As it is broken down into 10 learning modules, you can easily break down your school year (however short it may be) into manageable chunks and be sure you stay on track.

At $61.95 for the full kit, this is a good choice for the student who needs checks and balances and likes to mark their accomplishments throughout the year.  It could easily be used in conjunction with most any style of homeschooling.  Find out how to order at Alpha Omega's website, or see the entire LifePac inventory here

*Alpha Omega provided me with samples of this curriculum.  Opinions are my own.