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Language Arts: Level 8 Book Studies

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Level 8 Book Studies FAQs

Why were the Level 8 Book Studies created?

The Good and the Beautiful curriculum has no Level 8 Language Arts course. The language arts courses go from Level 7 to the high school courses. The Book Studies are designed for students who have completed The Good and the Beautiful Level 7 Language Arts course but do not want to start high school courses yet.

How are the Book Studies completed?

In these student-directed studies, the student simply reads and follows the instructions in each lesson. The parent or teacher checks the student’s work (daily or weekly) using the answer key.

How many Book Studies should be completed and in what order?

Each of the Book Studies has a different number of lessons, depending on the length of the book. Each lesson takes an average of 25–35 minutes to complete. It is recommended that a student doing Book Studies for their sole language arts instruction do 1–2 lessons per day.

The Book Studies do not go in any order. Students are encouraged to choose the Book Study they would like to complete, but they are also encouraged to choose a variety of genres, including biography.

There is not a set number of Book Studies that should be completed. These studies are a way to keep students reading good literature, learning new vocabulary, writing, and reviewing principles learned in previous levels until they are ready to move to the high school courses. New Book Studies will be released periodically.  

What is needed to complete a Book Study?

To complete a Book Study, you will need the following items:

  1. The Book Study Booklet
  2. The associated reading book
  3. The Good and the Beautiful Grammar and Writing Guide (This non-consumable guide is also used for the high school courses.)
  4. A blank (unlined) notebook for writing and drawing
  5. Art supplies specific to each Book Study

Language Arts FAQs

How do your levels compare to public school grade levels?

As we create new editions of language arts, we are aligning the instruction methods and layouts more toward grade level. We are focusing the lower levels more on reading, writing, and spelling.

Many concepts are still considered advanced but they are introduced in lessons that are easier to follow for both the child (in the self-guided levels) and the parent (in levels 3 and under). We now save some of the more complex grammar concepts for higher levels, but grammar is still covered thoroughly. Our courses have increased, rather than decreased, in how thorough and rigorous they are for children as there is more learning woven into each and every lesson. If your child is advanced, they may be able to move through the lessons more quickly. 

You can download our Language Arts Levels K-8 free. By downloading the free courses, you will be able to see exactly how concepts are introduced and taught.   

Does my child need to take the Placement Test?

Not necessarily. Most children can start on their corresponding grade level for their age if they do not need extra reading help. We suggest taking the Placement Test if you are unsure whether or not the child needs extra reading help. 

My child placed much lower than his or her corresponding grade level. What should I do?

Do not worry about starting an older child at a lower level. He or she will likely go through the courses quickly and catch up to his or her corresponding grade level without missing any important foundational principles.

My child is an advanced reader but behind in grammar and/or writing. What should I do?

We highly suggest placing your child based on the Placement Test suggestion. Please also see the placement test FAQs, found on page 4 of the placement test document, for additional suggestions for advanced readers.

Will starting my advanced reader on a lower level slow down his or her reading progress?

Even advanced readers benefit from reviewing and cementing foundational phonics principles, which will help them know how to sound out challenging words when they encounter them. Advanced readers usually go through the courses quickly until their spelling, grammar, and writing ability catches up to their reading. In the meantime, you can help your child continue to develop as a reader by doing the following activities:

  1. For children in levels K, or 1, if a child completes the Booster Cards and Books that correlate with the course book they are completing, they can simply begin the next set of Booster Cards and Books while completing the course book.
  2. Supplement with books from The Good and the Beautiful Book List that are on your child’s reading level. The book list has a separate Placement Test to assess just reading level.
  3. With your child, read books that are two to three levels higher than his or her personal reading level, switching off every paragraph or page. When reading on their own, children often skip through challenging words. Reading aloud with a parent or teacher encourages the child to sound out challenging words.
  4. Have your child listen to audiobooks (from The Good and the Beautiful Book List) that are two to three levels higher than his or her reading level.
My young child placed in a high level. Is he/she really ready for it?

If your child can pass the reading assessment for a course level higher than his or her corresponding age/grade, we do not suggest skipping to the higher level course. There are many spelling, grammar, literature, geography, and reading concepts taught in each level. There is no benefit to the child being ahead of a level and missing all that information. If you want your child to move to a higher level course more quickly, we suggest doing one-and-a-half or two lessons a day and/or doing lessons five days a week to get ahead, and skipping parts of the course the child already has mastered.

My child finished early. Do I wait until next year to start the next level?

No, you can continue straight into the next level when your child finishes.

What if my child took the placement test after finishing the course and he or she didn't pass to move on to the next level?

Note: Usually you do not need to have your child take the Placement Test after finishing each course. Simply move to the next course level.

This is not common. However, if this is the case after you followed instructions, completed the entire course book, and feel that the child made progress, move to the course for the next level. If you feel that the child did not make good progress, or if the child does not pass the placement test after finishing the NEXT course (two course books in a row), it is suggested you have the child tested for a reading or learning disability.

Will my child ever be able to catch up?

Start your child on the level for which he or she tested and be consistent each day with doing the recommended time for the course (see the “About this Course” section at the beginning of each course book). Then, do not stress! If a child does not have reading disabilities, he or she can start with the first high school course as soon as they reach fourteen years old. It is not necessary to complete Level 7 beforehand. For example, if a child completed Level 5 and just turned 14, he or she can jump to the High School 1 course. This is because our standard high school courses review the principles and rules learned in the lower levels.

Do The Good and the Beautiful Language Arts courses follow Common Core standards? How does it compare to public school?

Our curriculum does not follow Common Core standards, but it does match or exceed most national public school standards. The academic spine of our curriculum was developed by compiling national state standards and then determining which ones match Good and Beautiful moral standards and the abilities of our pilot families. We believe that children who work on The Good and the Beautiful curriculum consistently each day will find that they are far above public school standards.

Does the curriculum include doctrines specific to any certain Christian denomination?

No. The goal of The Good and the Beautiful curriculum is not to teach doctrines specific to a particular Christian sect, but to teach general principles of moral character such as honesty and kindness. The King James Version of the Bible is used when quoting Bible verses.

What educational philosophies does the Language Arts curriculum follow?

The Language Arts courses are not based on one specific educational philosophy or method. Rather, the creators of the curriculum intensely studied many different philosophies over a period of years and compiled what they felt were the best elements from several different philosophies, pulling mainly from Charlotte Mason.

How do I report a typo/error?

Please email our customer support team ([email protected]) if you find a typo in the curriculum. If you are using an edition that is older than two years, the typo has most likely been fixed and will not need to be reported.