Spotlight on a New Favorite: English Lessons through Literature

Spotlight on a New Favorite English Lessons through Literature

Language arts can be such a difficult subject to teach. There are so many different approaches and different resources to use. After several years, we have finally found a program that seems to fit all of our needs… and that calls for some celebrating! Are you ready to see our next curriculum that we consider a new favorite?

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English Lessons Through Literature (previously called Language Lessons through Literature) is our favorite resources for teaching language arts in a way that is gentle, but thorough. Kathy Jo DeVore has put a lot of effort into creating a program that is perfect for a busy mom to use without much preparation. English Lessons Through Literature takes a Charlotte Mason type of approach to teaching language. Not only does the curriculum include reading great literature, but it also includes important learning tools such as copywork, exercises on the day’s lesson, prepared dictation, narration, picture studies, and memory work. It has everything I want for teaching language arts!

(The pictures in this post will take you through one lesson from Level 3)


Why do we love English Lessons Through Literature?

-I love the simplicity but thoroughness of English Lessons Through Literature. The kids don’t feel overwhelmed with their daily work, but they are still learning so much!

-The lessons are only 3 days a week so we still have 2 days a week to do other things for language (that is when we do Latin).

-This curriculum is open-and-go. As long as I make sure the kids have the literature book they need for their daily reading, we are set!

-We can use the iPad to read the lessons so I don’t even need to print anything out. We can do picture studies on beautiful pictures without having them printed or having to check a book out at the library.

-The kids are learning the most important language skills and soaking in great literature at the same time. Nearly every day they are reading a classic book, a beautiful poem, and a thoughtful fable from Aesop.


How do we use English Lessons Through Literature?

-Currently we use English Lessons Through Literature on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. This rhythm seems to work for us, but you can use whatever works best for your family.

-I “try” to have the kids read the chapter of the book they need for their lesson before we start school. Some days that doesn’t happen. If that is the case, I have one of the kids read while the other is working with me on a subject like math. Either way, it is only one chapter a day. I have yet to have any complaints on book choices or too much reading. 😉

-Every third day there is either a picture study or a narration to go along with the lesson. Kathy Jo recommends possibly staggering your children’s lessons so one has a picture study while the other has a narration. We haven’t done that yet, but we may if I start to feel that it is too much to have both kids doing the same type of lesson on the same day.

-A typical lesson for us (after their books are read) includes reading the lesson, reviewing memory work, reading the poem, reading the Aesop’s Fable, doing the exercises, and copying the copywork. Some days also include dictation. Kathy Jo did create a workbook if you want a printable resource for the copywork and exercises. I just have the kids use notebooks, but I have debated getting the workbooks, especially since Caspian is starting sentence diagramming.


What materials are needed?

-The books (or eBooks) for English Lessons Through Literature can be purchased either through Amazon or Lulu.

-All of the literature that goes with this curriculum are in the public domain, so no purchasing is necessary! I do try to get audio books from the library for Aurora if I can since she seems to read best following along with a book while she listens to it.

-You will either need a notebook, or you will need to purchase the workbook to go along with the level you are using.

-If you choose the eBook, you will either need something like an iPad to read it from, or a printer to print it all out if you prefer.


**If you want to “try it before you buy it”click this link to get a sample of the first 2 weeks of levels 1,2, and 3. (Levels 4 and 5 are currently under construction)**


Other products you may want to consider.

-Kathy Jo has several other language arts materials to use with your children. Currently, we are using Handwriting Lessons through Literature. It does a great job of introducing cursive through phonograms in a similar way to Writing Road to Reading.


-Next year I plan to start Moose on her reading/spelling program called Reading Lessons through Literature. Again, this is an approach to spelling similar programs like Writing Road to Reading, Logic of English, and All About Spelling. I haven’t purchased it yet, but I am sure it is just as wonderful as Language Lessons through Literature.

-We recently started using her free literature program called Pathways: Language Lessons through Literature. It is a pre-K/ Kindergarten program that does a fantastic job introducing some of the best literature to your young children (and provides a great opportunity for some cuddling!).


If you decide you want to give this curriculum a try (or maybe you already use it and love it!) there is a great Yahoo group for answering any questions you may have.

Do you have a favorite curriculum for language arts?

*You can check out my “review” of Reading Lessons through Literature here!*


7 thoughts on “Spotlight on a New Favorite: English Lessons through Literature

  1. I love this! I am definitely going to be looking into it. I like that you can view it on the ipad as well. Do you have any recommendations on teaching youngsters to read? I have a 7 year old in first grade (homeschooling of course) and I am having SUCH a hard time getting him to read! I sit and read books with him but he drifts off into the pictures. It is like he completely ignores the words! I do not want for him to fall behind with his reading but he has already began to! Any words of advice?

  2. Thank you for this post. I just stumbled upon Language Lessons through Literature today and I’m so intrigued. I can’t get the link to work for this. Can you please advise me?
    **If you want to “try it before you buy it” click this link to get a sample of the first 2 weeks of levels 1,2, and 3. (Levels 4 and 5 are currently under construction)**

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