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Wings to fly, I am looking back at the great feedback you gave me last year.that was so helpful. I am wondering how your year went. Looking back over your year, do you have anything else to add, suggest or change? Thanks!MonicaParticipant
Thanks for bumping this. It’s a timely post for us – my second will be 10 in the fall and I’m anticipating more writing this year – narrations, dictations, etc.
He still struggles to write words quickly. I can see that copywork is going to need to be daily until he is more comfortable with writing.Michelle BrumgardParticipant
Yes, thank you for bumping this discussion. My 8 year just finished second grade and will be entering third. Her birthday is in November. She attended public school for k and first, so I didn’t push too much this year. We didn’t do any grammar as suggested for this stage. I did purchase Spelling Wisdom for this upcoming year. My daughter learned cursive this year due to her asking to learn it. Her penmanship needs work, so I plan to have her work through the Hymns in Prose copy work. I find this thread very helpful and encouraging. Thank you!andreamParticipant
Looking at my original post, I can see we made progress this year on what I set out to do. Math, narration, transcription. I can see she is ready to begin the transition to written narration this year at ten years old in August. I also had her doing some of her subject reading on her own last year for science and history as wings to fly mentioned. I was discussing this next years plan with her and she mentioned that she really disliked having so many books going at a time. So, this year I am thinking of letting her complete the science book and then switch to a history, then back to science for example.
I would like to hold off on formal grammar another year if I can.MonicaParticipant
Andrea, some families focus on history for one half of the year and science for the other half. Just an idea – if she finds too many books overwhelming.
I am glad you found it helpful, Andrea. I certainly do not have all of the answers, but I am glad to share our experiences. We are loving Spelling Wisdom. My son turned 11 this past spring, in grade 5. All year we did 2 passages per week. Day 1 he read aloud and we discussed meanings, grammar, punctuation, etc. (And we learned what it means to put your arms akimbo.) He did copywork this day and practiced writing words he thought he needed to study. He wrote each “spelling” word 3 to 5 times. This is done on the left side of the 2 page spread of the spiral notebook. On day 2, he studied it and let me know when he was ready and then we did dictation on the right side of the page. I used to not check for indenting the paragraph and so that has been our latest struggle for him to learn to do. I expect all correct spellings and punctuations.
Here has also been a good lesson in attentiveness and the rhythms and melodies of our language because I expect to read a part of the passage only one time and not have to repeat myself. Some days I end up repeating, but I tell him he should listen better and say it in his mind before going to write it. I tell him to listen for the music in the language and I read it normal and then again in a monotone computer voice so he can see there is a certain rhythm to our everyday language. It has taken months for him to get better at this and I try to break the phrase at a natural point and about 5 – 7 words at a time. I really found the value in this extra benefit to dictation when my mother was visiting and she did dictation for him. After several times, he began to say how much more he preferred grandma to do it with him. So I paid better attention to how she did it and she would give only about 3-4 words at a time and would repeat as many times as he wanted her to. I felt this was babying him and not helping him to grow in attentiveness. So now I am the only one who does the dictation with him. And I can see him growing in this area.
As recommended by missceegee, Christie, I held off on the BOM until 7th or 8th grade. We did start his own BOC, using the one he preferred, from Sonlight. I require one entry per week and he does not do anymore than that. The one from Sonlight I got was on Ebay and came with some “sticker” images for Ancients, so he used those most of the time. He is great at drawing and would sometimes draw an image and label it himself. I am hoping he will put more effort into it as he gets older.
For grammar, we ended up doing more Writing Tales and I have been happy with it. He seems to like the stories in it, too. He likes the games and does fine with the oral and written narrations in it. I plan to have him do their next book next year, but more of his own writting. Because this past year, I would write down his draft of the narration with creative touches and the next day he would do copywork with it. One lesson is two weeks and during that time, there is one oral narration, one written draft summary, one copywork passage, some grammar practive, dictionary, spelling practice based on words they misspelled in their written draft summary, and one final story where they can change parts of the story (creative touches), but keeping with the same storyline. Like instead of King Alfred, he used King Dad or instead of a fox, a dog is used. He had fun with that part. Near the end I found that his final was taking too long to write the copywork from what I wrote down from him the day before and we ended up using a timer for 15 minutes and then stopping.
We learned a lot using our timers this past spring. There is a thread on here about that. I ended up cutting over an hour from his day by using the timer. Math is timed at two 20 min. sessions now where it was taking over an hour at one session.
Most of the year until the last 8 weeks, he did 3 independent reading books per day. One in history (his favorite subject), one in science (we did the SCM living books on ocean animals from the grades 4-6 list and some other ocean books we have or Jeanne Bendick bio. on Ancient scientist), and one in one of the subjects of health (A Beka text), geography, or Business (Toothpaste Millionaire, Common Sense Business for Kids). He finished these books early so down to only history and science the last 8 weeks. I made a list of books to be read. So when one was finished, read the next one. I broke the list up into terms so it was not so overwhelming to see all the books for the year at once. This also helped me to see if we would be finishing all of the books or if I needed to make preferences for which ones to read. Here our timer helped again. Somedays he would finish school so late and part of the reason would be because he got caught up in the book and would read past the one or two chapters or whatever was assigned. He does well to set his timer for 20 minutes and then he can finish the chapter if he is close to the end of it, but he knows it is time to move on even if the story is in an exciting part.
For penmanship, and fluancy in writing, it seemed to me he took too long to write. So the last half of the year, I got him HWOT Can Do Cursive to practice some more and it also has some grammar and small writing assignments. I found that he was pressing too hard with his pencil. Changing to a wider, triangle pencil helped. But I plan to have him try an ink pen next year. And I started to require all written work to be done in cursive, except Spelling Wisdom, which he thought he could learn spelling better in print. I am starting to think that cursive first really is better.
I hope that helped. It is late and I feel I have just rambled on. It was nice to see you on here again. I think my dd is interested in writing your dd again.
He did well with Draw and Write Through History with one paragraph per week and he liked doing the drawings in it. We will do it again next year for middle ages. But I think that may be the only copywork. I am thinking of trying to do more Spelling Wisdom with 4 per week, spending only one day per passage. I will try it and see how it goes first. And some passages we skipped because I thought they looked too easy for him. I would test first, “spell ‘cough’ for me”. With one passage per day, we can have him read it aloud, discuss it, and have him practice writing words he thinks are challenging and then letting me know he is ready for dictation of the whole passage. Some longer passages I cut short though. It surprised him, but a good surprise! I will hold off on keyboarding still. I do not see a need for it quite yet. (I did not learn it until 9th grade.) And I also had him read any picture book of his choosing to his younger sister twice a week to practice reading aloud for elocution. And Mad Libs to practice basic grammar was a hit!
After viewing the video in the above link, I think we will do 2 – 3 Spelling Wisdom prepared dictations per week, but without copywork. Book 1 has 140 lessons and we got to lesson 95 at the end of grade 5. I would like to be about halfway through book 2 by the end of grade 6. I don’t know if we will get through all 5 books by the end of grade 12 though.
And prepared dictation starts at ten years old, so transcription copywork can be used before then.Michelle BrumgardParticipant
My daughter is entering third grade and will be 9 in November. I am planning on doing Spelling Wisdom 2 passages a week or less I see her struggle. I love the idea of pointing out grammar and using the spiral notebook. How long did it typically take for you to complete the Spelling Wisdom each day? Or, do you use a timer? My daughter started to thoroughly hate copywork last year. I need to implement the timer with it this year or is Spelling Wisdom meant to be copywork?
SW can be just copywork transcription, especially before age ten. It can be both copywork and dictation, or just prepared dictation. I think about 20 minutes. Length of passages can vary and are shorter to start out.
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