Thursday, May 13, 2010

Madsen Method - Review

English for Life - The Madsen Method is a comprehensive K-12 Language Arts curriculum. This is a multi-sensory approach that the Madsens believe is how the "founding fathers" learned. Their multi-sensory approach uses saying, hearing, writing, and teaching. This is a heavily scripted program that really teaches you how to teach. There are a total of four levels. They recommend a daily schedule (5 days a week) of 35-55 minutes. At that pace, students should be able to complete all 4 levels in 6-8 years.

I received level 1 of the curriculum to review. Level 1 sells for $299.95, but for home educators it is discounted to $219.95. That may sound like a lot, but this is a complete program covering penmanship, spelling and grammar, composition and reading. It takes about 2 years to complete. So really, divide the cost in half and then compare the price to other curricula. Also, it is non-consumable. That means you can reuse it with multiple children. Level 1 starts at the very beginning. It teaches proper body position for learning and writing. Then, it moves on to forming letters. That is just the tip of the iceberg.

What I got in the box:

  • Spiral bound directions for Sections 1-3 of Level 1

  • Spiral bound directions for Section 4

  • 3 spiral bound direction books for Section 5

  • The Madsen Method Standardized Spelling and Reading Tests

  • Spiral bound book with copyable games, coloring pages, and a comprehensive index.

  • Folder containing copyable templates for record keeping, report cards, handwriting sheets and more.

  • 4 "Listen in Library" CD's

  • One "Sounds of the English Phonograms" CD

  • One CD-Rom of the templates.

There is no question that this curriculum has been well researched and planned out. It is very well laid out and fully explained. There is no wondering what to do today or how to teach. Everything is exactly scripted, and all the parent has to do is read and follow the directions. The program is not designated for a specific grade level. It would be great for a Kindergarten student just starting out. However, it is also great for older students who may have gaps in what they've learned. Also, for those who just haven't got it yet. My high energy students are a little beyond this, and got frustrated by the tediousness of the directions. We have a very different education style in our house. If you want to read standing on your head, well, as long as you're reading. Sitting in proper position at the table just did not work here. I know for a lot of people, that is very important and this program will work great for them.

Be sure to check out The Madsen Method web page for all the detailed information on the complete program. There are also videos, samples, and other parent testimonials. You can also click here to find out what other Crewmembers thought of the program.

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