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My 12 yr old son was instructed in his Queens LL to write a story about the picture study we did on Friday. That said here is what he wrote “exactly”
“once apon a time many children gathred up on top of a hill to play and make mary after church on a hot summer morning while playing tag more children arived”
Ok… so we’re talking about a 6th grader who can tell me aloud a very nice story. Can narrate very well and almost with to much description. So how do I correct it? How much do I correct? Or don’t I? I feel lost with how to handle this. thanksthowellParticipant
My first question would be, do youfeel this is his best? Is it possible that this is all he gave you because he wasn’t interested in the assignment? For example, my dd10 loves to write creative stories and can write beautiful pieces. However, she hates writing assignments that involve fatcs and alot of times she will turn in something that is full of mistakes that I know she knows how to do.LindseyDParticipant
I was going to ask the same thing as thowell…do you feel that’s his very best? Although my children are quite a bit younger than 12, the rule in our house for everything from chores to copywork is “Do it nice, or do it twice.” I know my children well enough to see when they’re really trying hard or when they’re just trying to “get it done” and move on to the next thing. If work is slipshod or not up to par, they must re-do it, as many times as it takes for me to see their best effort. I don’t expect perfection by any means, and we try to encourage our children to be graceful with themselves when they make mistakes. But, I do expect best effort, every time.
Next question: Is this normal for him, or was this a one-time occurrence? If it’s not normal, maybe he was just having an off day. Still, I would have him go back and fix his mistakes, with your help if necessary. If it is normal, then it’s clear he needs some remedial help in basic grammar skills. It would be better for you to go back and really work on some old concepts and give him some refreshing now, than to wait another 3-4 years and hope the problem corrects itself.
I was an English major in college and took all college English throughout high school. I’m one of those people who “really gets” grammar. Not saying that to boast, but grammar is not something that comes naturally to everyone. Algebra was (and still is) something that DOES NOT come naturally to me! I was heavily involved in tutoring my classmates. And although we started learning basic grammar skills such as forming a complete sentence and correct punctuation in 3rd-4th grade, there were still those students who didn’t get it as seniors. I just think that’s evidence that they needed some extra help back in 3rd grade.
Since your son is 12, I really think he could benefit from some more reviewing of older concepts in sentence structure and writing. Yes, he does need to be doing written narrations at his age, but you can easily turn a written narration into a grammar lesson, if you’ll take the time to go over the mistakes (gently) in his writing.
I wouln’t worry about diagramming a sentence at this point, just go back and ask him if he can tell you which words should be capitalized, where the periods or commas need to go, and if he can tell you that his sentence is a run-on sentence and not a complete thought. Then, one by one, have him correct each mistake. It may be time-consuming at first, but it will pay off after a few weeks, if you’re consistent.
My basic grammar rule is DON’T MOVE ON TO THE NEXT CONCEPT UNTIL THE CURRENT ONE IS MASTERED, NO MATTER HOW LONG IT TAKES. He’s only 12. He’s got another six years to learn, so start slow and basic now.
I hope that’s encouraging and helpful, Misty!
In addition to the great advice above, that it wasn’t an off day and it was the best he can do; have you done any Spelling Wisdom or other spelling with him?
My son is an excellent reader, basically taught himself, but he struggles in spelling so I have him in extra spelling “course”. In addition to copywork, he does Spelling Wisdom and Sequential Spelling. That way I’m coming from multiple sides of the spelling spectrum; word families, memory and phonics.
Whereas my dd, who was a late reader and I had to put forth more effort with her, spelling comes easily to her so only SW, no SS needed.
Try not to panic, but be thankful that you have the opportunity, via this lesson, to see an area that potentially needs extra teaching. So this can be used for his benefit.
His best? No I don’t think so. We have been doing Queens LL for grammar and they don’t do much for “sentences” other than this type of write a story thing. I am (as you might know from other posts) going to start doing a more formal grammar next year.
He is doing copywork daily, and he is very neat about it and never any errors. He studies his spelling(spelling wisdom) M-Th and we test on Fridays. And he is a good reader. So would I need to do more? This makes me wonder about my 11 yr old who is a awesome reader but his spelling is horrid, what should I be doing with him?
You would say this: 1st he needs to fix the following as per Lindsey: capitalized, where the periods or commas need to go, and if he can tell you that his sentence is a run-on sentence and not a complete thought. Then, one by one, have him correct each mistake. Ok that’s good I will start with that.
I am not a great person to be teaching grammar, actually probably the last person, but I will try hard. Another thing, what about the length of it? I mean 2 sentences or about from a 12 year old? I appreciate the comments so I can take it step by step with him.houseofchaosParticipant
I wonder if these worksheets might help you out with grammar? They are very workbook like, but are free, so maybe it’s worth a try..LindseyDParticipant
Regarding your last statement about you being the least qualified person to be teaching him grammar…I want to encourage you. You are qualified to be teaching your children, else you wouldn’t be homeschooling.
I am really looking forward to the time when we introduce algebra to our kids, because maybe I’ll learn it too! If grammar is an area where you’re weak, jump right in and learn along with your son. Then by the time your baby is his age, you’ll be a pro!
Be confident in your abilities, and recognize your areas of weakness as opportunities for personal growth, not as stumbling blocks that will hinder your children’s educations.
Anyway, just a word of encouragement for you
My son struggles too with writing. I have been wisely advised to take it one step at a time. Example being: one week just work on punctuation, the next: capitalization, etc.
You are not alone! Try to relax and be encouraged about all the little improvements as you go. 🙂
I was looking at my copy of the Critical Thinking Skills Co. and came across Editor-in-Chief and thought of you. I think it may prove useful to you; as a fun supplement to Queens (especially in software form), addressing the areas of concern without demanding a huge chunk of time from you. You had another post about what to do before starting OMT/Jump-In; perhaps this is it. It’s also not a huge amount of money either. You may have to start with a Level younger than his age indicates.
If you have the catalog, it’s on page 35-37; with the description of contents of all levels on pages 36 & 37. The software wouldn’t feel as much like “schoolwork” to them; my children really enjoy the Building Thinking Skills software.
Just a thought…
Rachel, Oh I love the idea of something totally different for a little bit like that Editor and Chief. I have the catalog and looked at it, very good. I think that might be a good thing to do before we do OMT/Jump In. So he could finish his LL, move on to that, then OMT/Jump In. After that we could either do LL HS and the AG research program somewhere in/with HS LL. Gee.. I finally feel like I might have a grasp on the up coming years with grammar that will fit all my learning styles. You guys are great!
Rachel – on that program, my question would be how far back would I want to go? I don’t want him to feel “little”, I was thinking the 4-5gr A2.
I was wondering Rachel.. sorry forgot to add. Do you know if the DVD’s are basically the same amount of work as the workbooks? So it wouldn’t take a year to complete but maybe 1/2 year? Just wondering I can call and ask also.
I don’t know for sure if it’s all the same material as the written books; I know our Building Thinking Skills is the same materials as the books. I suggest confirming with them.
I think you could easily get through it in half a year. As for which one to use; when looking at the elements of language covered, Gr. 4-5 skips some parts; assuming one already has the knowledge. I skips: dbl. negatives, modifiers, colons,hyphens, and parenthesis and is more advanced with everything else. Whereas the 3-4 covers EVERYTHING! If I was in your position, with your concerns and having only used Queen’s, I would actually use the gr. 3-4 Beg. 2, perhaps on the advanced level; I’m not overly concerned with feelings most of the time in these situations (I figure they’ll not be scarred for life and eventually get over it ); I would talk to him about it frankly, reasoning away why you had to pick this one and giving encouragement that he will get a good foundation and move quickly through it-emphasize how easy it’s going to be for him! Or, take a black permanent marker and as soon as you recieve it in the mail, mark over it.
If it’s really easy for him, then he’ll fly through it (in a half year or less) and you can use the next one. I always prefer to start lower and have them move quickly to their proper level, than to start too high and either miss something or frustrate them unnecessarily, causing future problems in that area. It’s your call, but that’s just my way. Of course, OMT will cover those areas missed later, so you do what’s best. The gr. 4-5 A2 covers those things he will come across the most right now. Have you looked at any samples? I noticed you could download a sample. Also, you could ask them about level placement, too,if you choose to call.
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