What are you gals using for LA at this level? I’m just trying to look at the whole picture and decide how I should focus. I’ve been sporadic and probably too eclectic on this. We have Spelling Wisdom this year and I like it a lot. I also have Spell to Write and Read. Someone gave it to me last year and it’s all the rage around here…the very best spelling progam there is, you know. Is anyone trying to use this at all? I’ve been doing a little of it along with Spelling Wisdom. Undecided whether I should keep doing that or jsut commit to one and do it alone. I guess at this point I’m using the SW more like copywork/dictation. And the other as a little variation and extra spelling focus. I don’t know that it really goes with CM’s philosophy at all but there are parts of it I like. Any suggestions? Should I ditch it? What else are you doing for writing/grammar at this stage? How much do you assign/expect and how often for copywork, dictation, creative writing, etc….?
My middle guy is grade 3 right now, but I have his plan for next year figured out. Here it is:
Spelling/Dictation – Continue working through Spelling Wisdom 1 (3 or 4 days/week – 1 or 2 exercises)
Copywork – Usually taken from History Readings, poetry, or the Bible (4 days/week – 3-5 sentences/day)
Here is a link to my blog with a sample of a creative writing piece he just finished today. http://www.llljourney.blogspot.com/
We will just begin written narrations next year, so I’m not sure how much I will expect. I’m hoping to get a couple out of him The other writing will be 1 or 2 times/week, choosing either Write with the Best OR Story Starters.
Grammar – Finish the last half of English for the Thoughtful Child 2 (3 days/week)
I don’t know anything about SWR, but I like to keep things fairly simple. So, if I have two things that are covering the same skill, I generally pick my favorite and let the other go.
Thank you, Heather! I did check out your blog a little…and now I’m using one of your sites!! Free audiobooks – Henty no less…what a find! We just had to send two of them back from interlibrary loan that we’d just gotten hooked on. So now we’re listening. And I’m intrigued by the writing sources you mentioned above. I’m going to look at them more in depth and hopefully decide this wknd how to carry on. Thanks so much for your thoughts.
I am brand new to Charolette Mason and I need help! I have a 4th grader and a kindergardener. My son is 9 and just had his 1st review by a teacher on Wed and we need to improve on his LA and math.
Can anyone tell me where to go from here?
Hi, Lisa, and welcome. We’ll be happy to give suggestions for you. Can you give us an idea of what he has been doing in the past in LA and in what areas he needs to improve? Thanks.
i have been buying grade appropriate workbooks at Barnes and Nobles, he has been working on diagraming a sentence, he knows about verbs and adjactives, nouns. The evaluator says he needs help with vocab, helper verbs, expository/narrative, reading comp.
I really appreciate your help!
I used SWR for a number of years. I took time to train another mom to use it with her sons. After 4 yrs of using it, both the mom and I had to admit it was too much. I loved the program, and it was easy for me to use with my children; but it took so much time out of our days. Once I started using CM full time, I really had to let go of my insecuritites, and ask myself if it was necessary?
After awhile, I could see that it wasn’t. Charlotte’s approach is very wise, and I needed to leave the box to figure that out. We use copywork daily, narrations (oral, drawn and written) almost daily, and dictation when they are old enough. This is enough for me. We also did a season of grammar with my eldest during 5/6 grades. It only lasted a term each. IF I notice any of my children needing focused help in spelling, I’ll give it to them; but so far everything is progressing. That is all I can ask for.
In Christ, BridgetSonya ShaferModerator
So, Lisa, we’re talking about a couple of different areas of Language Arts: reading comprehension (which includes narratives and vocab) and English grammar (parts of speech and diagramming).
For the comprehension area, it sounds like your son would benefit from listening to you read aloud a living book and then narrating back what he heard. Once he gets comfortable with narration from listening to you read, he could transition to narrating what he read for himself. The steps would look something like this:
- You read aloud; he narrates orally. (Once he is adept at this, you can move to 2.)
- He reads for himself; he narrates orally. (Once he is adept at this, you can move to 3.)
- You or he reads; he puts his narration in writing.
You may need to start with reading short sections of the book to help him become confident in narrating. If you select a good living book that is interesting to him and contains good literary style, he will develop vocabulary and comprehension skills over time, as well as skills in retelling/narratives. And it will get easier the more he does it.
Then for the grammar area, the linking verbs, just spend a little time reviewing that part of speech.
Does that help any?
Thank you. I’m mulling it all over…I’m thinking about doing as you suggest, Bridget, with this child. I think she will do fine. I’m still trying to decide what to do with my 9th grade son on it, though. He’s at about the same level in spelling as his nine yo sister – though I don’t try to advertise that fact – and she’s not ahead. So, I’m wondering if he needs something like the SWR. BUT, with that said, I also have to say, we haven’t given anything a fair try. We just plain haven’t done much spelling over the years…we’ve always been “going to do better” at working on it. Maybe I should try just really being diligent at using each method for a few weeks – hitting it hard with both since I know he really needs the help – and see which he responds better to…then go ahead with that.KalleParticipant
This might be a fun introduction to the parts of speech. It is called Grammer-Land :http://books.google.com/books?id=iXgSAAAAIAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=grammar+land&source=bl&ots=tyFNF1lgBs&sig=2e3x5IeF_lJsRNUMa6azdir43DA&hl=en&ei=TuqnS8iXM4SmswPD3Mi6DQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CAwQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=&f=false
I was reading through it a bit yesterday. You can buy it from the Baldwin site as well: http://www.mainlesson.com/display.php?author=nesbitt&book=grammar&story=_contents
As for spelling I found this website on Heather’s page and think that it looks excellent: http://www.all-about-spelling.com/missceegeeParticipant
I must agree with Bridget in regard to SWR. I spent a couple of months learning it and 1.5 years teaching it. My daughter liked it and did very well, but as I became more comfortable w/ CM methods and had more children, I realized it took too much time – an hour to an hour and a half per day.
We now use Spelling Wisdom with word analysis like we learned with SWR. I also use some of All About Spelling for the rules that we like and make so much sense to us. I lightly use AAS with my 6 yo son, too.
Thank you for the information! I just read this to my son and he is going to find one of our living books, so we can start narrating! I thank God that I found this site and all of you wonderful people who are helping me!
Have a blessed day!
Thanks for chiming in. This is such a great sounding-board. That’s more the route I’ve been considering. Using some of SWR’s concepts but not the whoe program. Actually, I’ve never even tried (or desired) to do it all the way they propose – just my own quick version – 15-20 minutes/day probably. Do you use some of the phonogram marking methods in SWR? That’s one thing I’m thinking about doing/continuing. Also, using the lists to discover words that are yet unknown at a level easy enough not to discourage. But, that may be redundant when I’m using Spelling Wisdom.
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