This year for part of her Language Arts Lexie is doing Shiloh with the Total Language Plus study guide. We are really enjoying the story even though I hesitated on using the book.
Shiloh is such a good story. When the main character eats some chocolate he shouldn’t have, how many books do you know where you get teaching things like, “…right this very minute Jesus is looking down with the saddest eyes on the person who ate that chocolate. The Bible says that the worst thing that can ever possibly happen to us is to be separated forever from God’s love. I hope you’ll keep that in mind.” What a great thing for your upper elementary student to read! Has any similar circumstance happened in your house where no one wanted to claim responsibility? It’s lessons like that which make Shiloh a great choice.
The hesitation with Shiloh came for me because of some of the language. We have of course like most books a “bad guy”, in this book, his name is Judd. Judd uses some words we don’t use at our house and Lexie said, “Mom, I wish he didn’t say those words.” Me too! He does use words like D*** , not a lot but probably a half dozen or so through out the book. If you were doing Shiloh as a read aloud you could just edit as you go but right now Lexie is working on reading to herself so she sees them. A year or two ago I don’t think she could have handled it but she’s okay with it now though she doesn’t like it.
What is great about the study guide is that it really helps you work through the lessons to be learned in Shiloh. The questions ask, “How does it make you feel when you hear someone say bad words? and “Have you ever seen an adult do a dishonest thing…?” There are just so many lessons in Shiloh on really great things like honestly, right and wrong, envy, unfairness, secrets and much more!
The Total Language Plus guide is also a great review (or learning) on a lot of grammar. It covers lots of things like adding suffixes, adding verb tenses, subject/verb agreement, capitalization, punctuation and more.
So far for the projects Lexie has, “taken a walk in the country (our property) in the early morning as the sun is rising…” and looked for animals. She gathers eggs from a chicken coop on a regular basis which is one of the projects from Chapter 2. I’m not sure what she’ll do for the rest of the book. The projects give her a great break from the “work” while still being able to count it as “school”. More often than not the projects are what she talks about for the next year or two, not the spelling words!
She did have some really fun spelling words so far. Lexie liked the spelling word, lickety-split so much she taped the spelling card on her bedroom door. What a fun word!
Bottom line, Shiloh is a great book with great lessons but you do need to be aware of some “bad” words and be willing to work around or through those