Purposeful Design Language Arts
This impressive series is a full-bodied language arts program, covering ALL aspects of language arts. (Yes, really!) Phonics and spelling materials provide systematic instruction, and the grammar and writing instruction is integrated. Literature studies are both engaging and comprehensive. The series meets or exceeds national standards and was developed following the guidelines of The Fountas & Pinnell Literacy Continuum.
Program materials are bright, colorful, and engaging. Based on teacher-student interaction, teacher materials are classroom oriented, but still user-friendly for homeschools (daily lessons plans are limited to a two-page spread). The general pace of instruction is robust and challenging, but not overwhelming. All materials are written with a Christian worldview. This means that biblical principles are embedded throughout the literature, as well as in the student and teacher materials. Content is interactive, culturally relevant, and inspirational. Teaching approaches are innovative as well as spiritually motivated.
The reading program is “multimodal” providing systematic instruction in phonemic awareness and phonics rules, reading fluency, vocabulary, and reading comprehension. It has all the marks of a research-based reading program. Read-alouds coupled with discussion are built right into the lesson plans. Texts used for student reading and assessment are varied and provide opportunities for discussion and interaction. Students and Teachers talk about the texts, share thoughts, and seek to better understand the main ideas. A major emphasis of the program is to focus on developing traits that lead toward effective, literature-based writing skills.
Courses each have eleven units per year. Units each have a character quality or topical theme (i.e. courage; inventions) with an accompanying Scripture verse. There are three chapters per unit, for a total of 33 weeks of instruction. There are five daily lessons per weekly chapter.
Course components include a Teacher Edition, a Student Edition, Student Spelling Workbooks (1st and 2nd grades), Decodable Readers (K and 1st grade), Leveled Readers (1st and 2nd grades), and Teacher Resources. Blackline masters (BLMs) include – notes, handouts, spelling tests, reviews of high-frequency words, phonics, and grammar, as well as digital masters (DMs – lesson display items). These teacher resources are available as pdf downloads from the publisher’s website (access instructions included). A language arts manipulative kit is often mentioned. This kit includes common phonics manipulatives such as small & large magnetic letters, sandpaper letters, letter tiles, alpha cards and placemats, mini alpha cards, and beginning blends centers.
This series has a lot to offer. It includes solid instruction, a biblical worldview, colorful and engaging student materials, along with well-organized and user-friendly teacher resources. All in all, a language arts program that deserves serious consideration. ~ Janice