This is our 3rd yr hsing 2nd cm. I have been pouring over cm language arts scope and sequence principles the last couple of months . Bookworm you have been instrumental in helping me understand how it all fits together. The most impacting principle I read came from a post explaining the necessity of learning to develop ideas through narration before teaching essay development and grammar. You must have something to say before you have something to format and edit. (paraphrased from Bookworm) In the past I have been guilty of noticing mechanical errors at the expense of content. This is most probably to my own lacking of ideas and consequently turning to what I know better, editing. (Notice I said better not best.) I am very excited at the prospect of leading my younger children through the development of ideas through which I expect my own mind to expand and grow. I think I understand how the process works over a period of several years, but how do I do it in only 3. What course of action should I take for my 15dd. How long do I require unstructured narrations, when do I teach essay skills and editing/grammer? What should my daily, weekly, and monthly written requirements look like this year and the next two? Last year I required narrations but not knowing what I was looking for or what to encourage I got back two or three sentence summaries of the main idea of the material read. This held true for both oral and written narrations. If given some guidance I think she would flourish in the development of worthy ideas and written expression of them. She is college bound but nothing prestigious, likely Arizona State (local) or BYU.
Thank you to all those who take the time to respond. Hopefully one day I will have the experience and can do so for others.
Bump. Anyone have advice for this inexperienced latecomer?HiddenJewelParticipant
My 10th grader is using Help for High School from Bravewriter which does a good job of bridging that gap from writing because you have something to say but working with the necessity of learning the essay format. She is my child that is quick to say that she hates writing. So it was music to my ears the day she said she really likes how Julie Bogart thinks. I am so looking forward to the progress she will make working through this program.
I bought it through Homeschool Buyers Coop for $40.
On the editing, one thing that really helped me was when we used a program that broke the editing process into two parts. The first part was Macro-editing which was all content related. Only when that was done did you move onto Micro-editing which was grammar and punctuation, etc.
Thanks. Funny you should mention Help for High School. Last summer I was interested in Writers Jungle for my younger daughter (which I never really could figure out how to implement) and went ahead and purchased Help for High School at the same time in a bundle. Today I saw it on my shelf and thought I ought to look through it. I also ordered Jensen’s Format Writing. I haven’t heard of the macro micro concept. Makes sense though. Do you know the resource? I’m not too concerned about how to teach the components of LA but over the next three years being new to cm when would it be best to introduce each of the elements. Do I start grammar this year or wait till we’ve done essays. Do I do formatted structured essays this year or just give her more specific requirements for a topic on her written narrations, such as comparing two characters, describing a setting, or relating personal past feelings or experiences with those experienced by the characters in the novel? And how many per week and what length should the written narrations or essays be? How many if any do we edit and to what extent? How do I spread out where we are now to where we need to be by graduation in a cm friendly way? What should my scope and sequence be for the next three years? No doubt it is tough to answers these questions for someone else but any bits of advice are helpful. Thanks.HiddenJewelParticipant
Grammar is a big part of the foundation that is needed to write well. So I, personally, would definitely do a grammar focus before heading into formal essay writing. (We used Analytical Grammar with good success.)
One thing I have learned is that heading into a higher concept without putting the foundation in place first only causes frustration all around. Only you know where your student is skill-wise and how soon she is ready for that formal jump. But definitely take a look at Help for High School. It is written to the student and starts really gently and develops the student into being able to write a formal essay.
I am pretty sure I learned about the macro/micro-editing concept from Classical Writing (definitely NOT a CM program although it taught us a lot of good things).BookwormParticipant
Hmm. Well, you have possibilities of some good, challenging literature for her this coming year. You are feeding her the food. I think I would take a term or two this year and focus on perhaps some written narration development. You may need to model this for her a few times, to show her what you want beyond a mere summary. Both of you read a chapter, and then each of you respond to it in writing and trade papers. Do this a few times, and then see if it makes any changes in what she does. And take a few risks in your own responses—write what you read, and your personal reaction to it, and if it reminds you of someone else, or a scripture verse . . . you are trying to show her that making connections is OK, in fact is what you want. You don’t want to be asking her questions like “What color was the carpet in the dining room?” or things like that–those questions are pointless and irritating. But “Why do you think Marianne ends up choosing the Colonel?”–that is an entirely different beast. Or “Does this chapter remind you of something in the scriptures?” “Who do you like better, Jane Eyre or Marianne or Eleanor? Why?” Nudge her a little–see if you can elicit more info, more analysis, first in discussion and then in writing. Once you get a fairly good response—-JUMP ON IT. Take it and ask her a few more questions, develop it a bit more. And then notice what errors she makes, and teach to those, and have her read it over again and find the mistakes and fix them, polish it up a little. If she’s not done any written narrations of consequence before, then maybe start out with two or three a week–do a variety of her books. Include the Mayburys, the history, the lit, etc. Then in a couple months, consider spending a couple of days polishing one of those up, and when she adapts to that, do SOME writing every day and polish one per week. Make your goal for this year something like 1) Develop the ability to describe, to analyze, to consider, to explain preference, to posit causality, orally, and then 2) to reflect these in written narrations, and then to begin some rudimentary editing. Next year, perhaps your goals will be to teach essay form and do a grammar review and learn to thoroughly edit; your third year, perhaps add in a longer research paper (since she is likely college bound) and push her to learn some reasoning skills she can apply to arguments about literature, current events, history, economics, etc. Does that make sense? Then break down goals into smaller sections depending on how she progresses. Perhaps she’ll get something more quickly than you expect, perhaps she won’t. LMK if you have questions. I’ve survived dropping off Son #1 and am ready to get busy now. LOL
Wonderful! This is very helpful. I am excited to do this with her. I hope I can model for her. It has been nearly 20 years since I have written a paper of any kind other than I journal entry. If I can’t think of questions to ask or haven’t read the book myself any suggestions on where to turn for ideas?HeidiSParticipant
Writers Jungle from Bravewriter really helped me with the modelling and the writing. Take a look at the chapter on Keen Observation, perhaps just start there. Also the communication game may seem like a waste of time but it is critical in getting used to pulling out the right words to communicate properly what you are trying to say. I chatted with Julie who wrote WJ and she suggests just taking it a chapter at a time, and also implementing freewriting. That chapter was interesting to me also. I have a few more years, my dd is entering 8th grade but I got lazy with this one and she has done no writing, barely any written narration and when she does it is often cynical or sarcastic. Yikes- this thread has inspired me to actually sit with her and write, journal, model and communicate. And WJ really did help- its my own fears and inhibitions that hold me back. My older 3 graduated kids just had a conversation last night on fb from their different corners of the world about how cool it would be to write a compilation of all their stories and poems. Music to a mothers ears, and what I did with them was very similar to what Bookworm describes above. I don’t know why I got lazy and went for workbooks with this last one, she deserves more. Good luck and thanks for the discussion!
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