Topic | HS Lang Arts Qustions/Advice

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  • CrystalN

    I could use a little help deciding how to proceed with my 9th grader. He is my oldest and we have been using CM methods for 5 or 6 years, though in the beginning we transitioned pretty slowly. He is still pencil phobic, does not embrace literature, hates to read and is a very poor narrator. Naturally I blamed myself for this, I assumed I was doing CM “wrong”. I am confident the methods work but I figured I must have somehow screwed it all up. Recently however I realized that my two younger students (7th and 4th) are thriving. They both narrate quite well and write stories for fun. I can even see them both mimicking the style of whatever author we are reading. So I am not sure why it is different for him, other than he is just different and will never embrace learning in the same way. So I need help with how to proceed with language arts. Currently we are using IEW and Easy Grammar. It is going ok, IEW seems to be helping him organize his ideas. When he finishes IEW/Easy Grammar I was going to proceed with ULW 3 and Beyond the Book report. He finished most of ULW2 last year. He will be in 10th grade though. I thought ULW would help cement/apply the concepts he learned in Easy Grammar, and Beyond the BR would give him more writing tools that werent so formulaic. Is 10th grade just too old for ULW and BTBR? Or would the slow steady practice be ok for a kid who really hates to write and will probably never pursue a career requiring much writing. Any ideas would be appreciated. My fear is he will never be able to put his thoughts into writing. IEW helps him rewrite other peoples thoughts, and even tell back in his own words, but so far there is no putting his own ideas on paper. In all honesty he has a hard time with any deep analysis, maybe it is just maturity, but I would like to help him if I can. I know this is long so thanks for taking the time to read it.


    A couple of thoughts that hopefully are helpful:

    My son(s) also hate deep analysis and sometimes I think it’s a guy thing, but it probably has to do with maturity, too. Honestly, I don’t push it. I figure that I can’t force maturity or interests either. Mine are also not going to have careers where they need to do such. I have discussions with them about literature, whatever they get out of it, and I’ve learned to stay far away from literature analysis curriculum. It’s just not their thing.

    If ULW and BTBR are a good fit for him, and keep him progressing, then I think it’s fine. You don’t want to pick something that’s frustrating, so I think it’s a good idea to go at his pace.

    You have a few more years to get him where he needs to be with writing, so don’t sweat it. Just keep progressing. He still has time!


    Thank you Erin your post was helpful and encouraging. I feel I am running out of time and have failed him. I keep reminding myself that it is ok for high school to be high school and not mini college. If he cannot write essays or research papers in 9th grade its o.k., he doesnt need to yet anyway right. We havent done any literature analysis at all, though I would like him to be familiar with the terms and ideas should he need that in college. We try to practice analytical thinking in areas of Theology and Worldview. Since thats really where it matters most, lots of discussions and leading him down different lines of thinking. Thanks again for your input.


    Deconstructing Penguins is a light way to introduce literary analysis.  Teaching the Classics from IEW is nice too.


    So I thought I would post an update on what I decided to do. Thank you all for your input/advice. I realized that I have plenty of resources to teach essay and research paper forms so I can probably skip Beyond the Book Report. I also realized that the IEW dvds I have cover essays. So I think my game plan will be

    Spelling Wisdom/ULW 4x a week, 2x will be grammar only to get us up to speed

    IEW sort of, progressing slowly and applying some techniques to narrations rather than doing the assigned writing

    1 written narration a week for now

    Next year Teaching the Classics for me to learn to discuss books with him.

    thanks again for your help

Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
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