Hello! I really would like some input for those who have used CM through jr. high and high school. I thought that I followed CM methods fairly closely with my two oldest children but once they reached jr. and high school, I did not really see the fruits that I was expecting to see in their writing ability. Maybe I was not rigorous enough with the written narrations? I know that I probably did not vary them enough once they got older. They do have a deep appreciation for nature and good literature as well as being able to have good analytical discussions on materials that they have read. I am very grateful for those things. I just have this feeling that something was missing.
My 15 year old took a “formal” writing class this past year and absolutely HATED writing. She turned in her end of the year research paper 2 weeks late. She was also weak on grammar.
What can I do differently with my next children coming up?Wings2flyParticipant
I encourage you to check out Brave writer for more ideas. It is CM friendly. She encourages copywork, narration, dictation, poetry, and good literature. The Writer’s Jungle is a teachers guide. It is informal so writing can be integrated with other subjects.
We have kept up copywork or dictation daily in Jr. High. Before dictation, I assigned copywork 3 – 4 days per week. I assign some other writing daily also. This could be written narration on science or history nonfiction, or creative writing or a personal journal, travel journal or letter. My son begins 9th grade this year and has never used anything formal, except Writing Tales in 5th grade. He is very creative and his writer’s voice comes through in his writings at times. I held to daily oral narrations on just about every school reading done. This started early on, about third grade when he could read chapter books independently. We read poetry at least once per week. Daily, I read aloud or play an audio book. This is my first child, so I may not be doing everything just right. Hopefully others will chime in.
I have read and used as a reference the SCM Language Arts handbook through the years.Melanie32Participant
Hi Alicia! Be encouraged, there is still plenty of time to teach these skills. Here are some ideas:
Take off of some other subjects and do a writing intensive month. Have your high schoolers write an essayish type paper every day. Have your youngers write according to their ability and age. After this month is up, you can just have your highschoolers write an essayish paper once a week and keep your little ones writing a bit every day-nothing crazy, just a short narration or do free writing exercises. Look those up if you are unfamiliar with them. I used Hands On Essays to teach the essay format to my daughter and it was quick, easy and inexpensive.
Another option would be to start your children in grades 3-6 on daily written narrations and have your middle schoolers, and even writing phobic high schoolers, use Jump In writing curriculum from Apologia. It starts at the beginning and walks the student through every step of the writing process in a doable and interesting way. Then they can move on to the high school program-The Power In Your Hands. These two books will cover all the types of writing they will need for life and college.
You could also start the whole family on the Institute for Excellence in Writing.
We cover grammar very informally in our homeschool. It’s up to you how in depth you want to go but I woudn’t let it stress you out!
Here’s what I did with my son who is now graduated. He hated to write and I finally started him on IEW around the 6th grade or so. Once he went through the original program, I had him write across the curriculum for the remainder of his homeschool years. He wrote one paper a week, working on it each day and perfecting it and printing it out on Fridays.
With my daughter, who is now a rising 11th grader, I used written narrations through late 7th, early 8th grade. Then we skimmed through the Hands On Essays program I mentioned above and had a writing intensive month where she wrote an essay every, single day. She also used The Power In Your Hands for a few months but then chose to go back to writing across the curriculum. Now she is required to turn in one finished essay a week and she chooses to complete the whole process in one day instead of spreading it out through the week as her brother did. I plan on having her do one good research paper before graduation and we will also briefly cover the literary analysis paper.
Don’t worry! Take a deep breath. You can do this! 🙂
Thank you both very, very much! I still have 3 more kids to go so I am thankful that I have more time to learn how to improve my CM teaching methods.
Wonderful advice and encouragement from you both.
Did either of you use the Invitation to the Classics?
Really appreciate your curriculum suggestions!BeverlyJaneParticipant
My daughter will be in 12th grade this coming school year…
All the way to 6th grade, we simply did grammar study, copywork, writing letters to pen pals/relatives and creative story writing to keep things fun.
In 6th & 7th she worked on our Co-Op Newspaper with a group, to write articles and report on events! (this could be done with friends/family/neighbors too) She loved this and it kept things exciting. In 9th & 10th grades, it was time to buckle down whether she wanted to or not. She learned Formal Essays, MLA Formatting, etc without any specific curriculum. (just the internet, youtube videos and books) By 11th grade she took English at a local Christian College and passed with an A+! This completed her highschool and college credits, so she’s done now. For us, it worked to gradually/slowly increase expectations and set some “non negotiable’s” for high school 🙂
That is super encouraging to hear. I now have hope! Thank you!
Melanie, what did you mean by “write across the curriculum”?Melanie32Participant
Writing across the curriculum means that we pull my daughter’s writing assignments from her other subjects so that writing is no longer a separate subject but is integrated into history, literature, science, etc.
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