Curriculum Review · Language Arts

Shiller Learning: A Gentle Approach to Language Arts

Disclaimer: We received this product for review purposes. As always, we are not required to write a positive review. All opinions are honest and my own. This post may contain affiliated links.

Homeschooling a preschooler is a lot different from homeschooling elementary-age kids. Yes, yes, yes, we’ve all heard it, “Preschoolers don’t need curriculum…..”. But it’s super helpful to have some guidance to lean on when beginning the journey with your littlest ones.

As every child is different, I am so glad we were given the opportunity to review Shiller Learning Language Art Kit 1.

What is Shiller Learning?

Shiller Learning is a Montessori-inspired curriculum that uses a comprehensive all-in-one (Math and LA) program with scripted lessons and multi-sensory activities to help you guide your children from abstract thinking to concrete application by focusing on their learning style.


Grade/Age: The Language Art Kit 1 is geared for children ages 3-5 years old.

Parent Involvement: It’s an absolute requirement.

Schedule/Lessons: There are 4 lesson books and about 80 lessons each. So far, each lesson was about 10 minutes long, at most. I think it took longer for me to set up than my kid’s attention to the lesson.

Each lesson has the title , the lesson objective and the material used; very helpful for planning. I would advise you to have read the lesson PRIOR to the working with your kids and have the specific letters/materials out. When I brought out all the letters, it’s was distracting to the both of us.

Shiller Learning uses the hallmark Montessori Method called the “Three Period Lesson”:

  1. This is
  2. Show Me
  3. What is?

An example would be:

  1. This Is: This is the Letter C. You would use the wooden letter ‘c’.
  2. Show Me: Find the letter C. Take a few different letters from the wooden letters set , lay them on the mat, and hopefully your child can recognize the letter ‘c’ and point to it.
  3. What is? They should be able to say its name. You will point to the letter ‘c’ and ask them what its called. IF they don’t get it, well, just repeat the lesson until they know it.

Product Format: We received the physical products with manipulatives.

Costs: The entire kit costs $250.

What’s included?

  • 4 color lesson books
  • 28 language arts song downloads that integrate with the lessons (there is a song for EVERY letter of the alphabet) (I haven’t used this feature)
  • Book of Mother Goose Rhymes (Its a black and white printout of 358 short stories – no images)
  • 22 in. x 34 in. work mat (A very helpful idea and will use the mat to contain his work/playspace)
  • 155-piece red (consonants) and blue (vowels) wooden movable alphabet in a divided wooden box with a tray lid that doubles as a tracing tray
  • grain for small hand letter writing
  • 10 pink and blue Montessori METAL insets with knobs and matching bases
  • 4 tubs of playdough (colors vary)
  • 8 large washable crayons
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

The lessons books, as stated above, is all-in-one. All the instructions are fully scripted. The images used for phonetic sounds are printed directly in the books. Personally, having the photos IN THE books doesn’t work for me. Because I have older kids, I already have picture-based phonetic manipulatives to use. A parent might what to print some pictures or grab items around the house and use those instead.

How Will We Use It?

As of April 2022, with a young 3-year-old, the length of each lesson meets his needs. Additionally, on the days we used this resource, I will make some adjustments that fit both of our personalities. For example, he is very tactile, so playdoh is in constant use, most lessons he will use play-doh. He will also use phonetic manipulatives, not included in the kit, to help with the language lesson. We might even include art projects to make it more fun for him.

Before actually observing the letter formation using grains, I didn’t understand the value. But watching my son play with the grains and copying my letters, those practices really did translate onto paper. BUT, its messy, so keep that in mind when you bring out the grains.


To me, the way the lessons are formatted, they can be manipulated and rearranged most beneficial to you. I really appreciate the guided lessons and the manipulatives that were included. The metal insets and wooden letters can definitely be used outside of this curriculum and applied to other aspects of our homeschooling journey. The crayons, playdough, and grains used throughout the lessons can easily be replaced.

With my kid, we can only do one, maaaaybe two quick, activities each lesson.

The guided lesson, which should be read BEFORE sitting with your kid, gives a helping hand to parents who may need it and for those who may need reminders on patience! If you’ve been a parent to a three-year-old, you definitely understand. A beautiful focus is the language used really demonstrates respect and calmness with your child using a softer, low-volume voice. It relaxes everyone.

Outside of just learning phonics, it also focuses on observation and listening skills using the pictures and very short stories.

It’s definitely an open-and-go curriculum if you are ok with all that is provided and use it as is.

PLEASE BE AWARE: If you are looking for a fast-moving Language Arts program, this is NOT for you. This program is intended to be used for over two years and is extremely gentle. Each week, only ONE letter is introduced and practiced. Three-letter words formation (CVC words) and/or sight words are not covered at all.

Is it worth the price?

This is a very personal question only you can answer based on your child’s needs, your goals for them, your financial situation, and your planned time and effort.

Wanna Know More?

Thank you for taking the time to read my review!

Happy Homeschooling!

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