My now 4th grader has pretty bad grammar.
We are doing copywork everyday, dictation twice a week and I correct the mistakes with him on anything else he writes but I see no progress and I find that he keeps making the same mistakes.
Is it just normal at this age or should I do anything else?Rachel WhiteParticipant
My opinion is that he’s at the right age to officially begin a grammar program.
Still continue with what your doing, but bring in a curriculum that will begin incrementally and strategically teaching him grammar, punctuation, and mechanics.
Thanks for your response. Any suggestions?sarah2106Participant
What do you mean by bad grammar?
Is it missed punctuation, capitalization (mechanics) or more of poorly written (thought out) sentences?
My oldest is in 5th grade and I have to say over the course of this year her mechanics have really come along as well as her sentence structure (thought out sentences). Of course room to improve, but I have seen a lot of improvement this year, so for her I think it was maturity and time for it to naturally develop.
We are using ULW and I really like the writing rubix that are included so that my DD has more direction as to what to focus on when she is writing. She can not focus on everything at once, but having those guidelines help her as she reads through what she has written.
As far as spelling, she is not a natural speller, so I do give a bit more “grace” for spelling and encourage her to ask for assistance. I am also not a natural speller so I can really relate to that struggle.sarah2106Participant
Sorry for spelling errors above. Does anyone else struggle with touch screens? LOLartParticipant
I was also wondering what you meant by bad grammar. Oral or written? In 4th grade, it was all about how they spoke. I would correct their mistakes in speaking, and they would usually write how they spoke. If it’s punctuation, that takes time.
If you want you could teach one concept and whenever he writes something, ask him to go over it and see if he’s satisfied with how well he did that thing–like periods at the ends of sentences. I would be sure not to make him feel pressured though, or he might freeze up and not know what to write.
But I have to say that it’s totally normal to keep making the same mistakes at this age. That lasts for years. The most important thing to me is to encourage my kids to say (write) what they want to say and the mechanics will come. I have teens and adult children, and the mechanics came.
Sorry, I guess I should have said spelling rather than grammar.
His grammar is not too bad, he forgets upper cases a lot but it is mostly spelling I am concerned about. And the only thing I can compare with is his two older brothers who were and still are very good spellers.
I think I’ll be looking for a spelling program before we actually start on grammar. I looked up online a little and found about 100 of them so that won’t make it easy to choose!
I do not know what UWL is!?Karen SmithModeratorWings2flyParticipant
We use copywork for grade 4. But we used Sequential Spelling for a short time and I think it helps teach them to slow down and pay better attention to spellings. We don’t use it anymore. I am seeing great improvement with copywork now.
They have a free sample on their website to try.Melanie32Participant
I used mostly CM methods with my daughter and her spelling didn’t begin to show real improvement until 6th grade or so. Hold in there and be consistent and you will see the fruit of CM methods!2Corin57Participant
On the AO website they list out their Language Arts scope & sequence, and there is a blurb there about spelling/dictation. And the biggest thing that stood out to me is: dictation WORKS. But, it is not a quick fix. It typically takes at least 1-2 years of consistent studied dictation before you start seeing results. So, I would say, give it time.
That said – one thing you could do is keep a list of the spelling mistakes you see him making consistently, and perhaps especially try to focus on those. You could also look at getting Spelling Wisdom, which is the SCM spelling/dictation program.Melanie32Participant
I listened to a podcast from the Mason Jar today in which the guest speaker was Sheila Carroll from Living Books Curriculum. She talked about how she did studied dictation with her daughter and I thought she had some really good ideas.
Let’s see if I can remember this correctly. She would have her daughter study and copy the same passage Mon-Thurs. On Friday, she would have her write it from dictation. Sheila would mark the end of any line that contained a spelling error and have her daughter figure out which word it was. Then she would have her daughter write the word correctly and then it went on the next week’s list of words to study. Just thought I’d share in case it might help!
I agree with the above poster that dictation does work but it takes a couple of years of consistent dictation to bear fruit.
Thank you for the responses and encouragement.
Melanie I like the idea of having him correct his own copywork and dictations, I’ll do that!
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