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  1. I have a 3rd grader and a 1st grader. We started out with Getty Dubay Italic and my DS was into Book D and my DS was into Book C. After repeated requests by my DS, I have switched them both to Cursive First for a more simple and traditional cursive and because we use Spell to Write and Read. Obviously, we did printing first. So far, we have followed the directions and done all the steps (saying the strokes out loud, doing it with our finger- in the air, on the card and in salt, writing it with a dry erase marker and finally writing it on paper) with the beginning strokes and letter a. However, we are all finding it boring and tedious. My DS keeps chomping at the bit to just get to the writing. He would be fine to do that- he has very neat writing and attention to detail. My DD (6) has a harder time with neatness although her motor skills are fine, so she would benefit from more, I think. The only reason I hesitate to skip any steps in the process is because I want them to know the how-to inside out, not just copy. But, at the rate we are going, we'll never finish because it's the first to get dropped when we get busy since we all find it to be drawn out. Do any of you who use Cursive First NOT do all the steps and just say the strokes and write it? How well did that work for you in the long term? Any other suggestions? I would like both of them to work thru cursive by the end of this year (and they want to also!). Help! Thanks in advance!
  2. We are using Aesop A (3rd gr), and so far I have felt like the grammar portion hasn't been rigorous enough (we used FLL1 and 2 in first and second grade), so I was going to supplement with R &S but then looked at Aesop B and realize the grammar gets more rigorous, which is good. But for the rest of this year I was wondering if I should do 1 week (grammar and writing in the same week vs one week) for each passage, then move into Aesop B whenever we finish during this school year OR continue at same pace and supplement with some R&S to beef up the grammar in Aesop A? I feel like the current 2wk per passage pace drags a little and I feel like I want a more rigorous grammar (Like what I see in Aesop B). I do have R&S English 3, so I can supplement as needed. What are your thoughts? So far my DS has done very well with the outline, first draft, final draft retelling process. I'm still doing a lot of directing during the outlining, but there has been some obvious gains in independence. I'd like to iron out my plan before break is over so I can start fresh after break with no lag time. Thank you in advance for your insights. :)
  3. Thank you everyone for your tips and perspectives. 😊 I've decided to have my 3rd grader start the Rod and Staff English 3 after the break. I'm getting the workbook and tests. I may speed up or skip anything he already shows mastery in and hopefully we can get thru most if not all of it this year. For my 1st grader I decided to just reinforce the concepts she's already learned (which is built into writing with ease), put our current grammar on hold and start with Rod and Staff 2 in the fall. 😊 Thanks again! 😊
  4. 1- have any of you started your child in Rod and Staff English 2 in first grade? I used first language lessons for 2 years with my oldest and have been doing FLL 1 with my first grader, but she is bored with the repetitive nature and slow progression. After looking at the table of contents for R&S 2 I am considering switching to it for the second half of the year. 2-my 3rd grader successfully completed FLL 1&2, and is currently using the first year of Classical Writing Aesop- which he is doing well with and we like. However, I feel like he doesn't have a very wide base of grammar knowledge, (although he has mastered all concepts learned, it just doesn't seem like a lot). I am considering starting R&S English 3 with him in Jan and just using it in place of the grammar portion of his writing curriculum (classical writing). Any thoughts or experiences? I'd appreciate any input you all might have. Thanks in advance!
  5. I'm still thinking through curriculum and scheduling for next year. I love teaching the classics and will use it again next year. I am considering using it with the 2nd grade book list (reading roadmaps) for my up and coming 1st and 3rd grader. I would do this with them 1x/week. Another thought I had was to use the methodology and teach the concepts using the literature selections that we already use for Talestry of Grace. Has anyone already done this? My only two causes for hesitation are: if I stick to reading roadmaps book lists through the years they get a comprehensive exposure to good, classic literature. I don't know if I want to give that up.; If I use the Tapestry of Grace literature, it won't have been chosen to show a certain theme or type of conflict, so I don't know how systematic the instruction (teaching the classics) would be going this route. If anyone has tried this or has any input, I would love hear it! Thanks, in advance m
  6. My kids like Stack the States and stack the countries. tHe Human Body is a good one. There is a piano app that has a monkey head for the picture that is great for beginning piano players learning the grand staff. (I can't figure out the name?!) We don't use a lot, but those are some of our favorites. 😊
  7. This may be a shot in the dark, but do any of you have a book list, or a good resource that might, for literature books and any other style books about Alaska state history? We will be doing it in two years (ds will be 4th gr and dd will be 2nd) and we are new to the state. Thanks in advance!
  8. To the original poster: A couple of thoughts based on my experience with my high achieving 7 yo and my past experience teaching a self contained GATE class (5th gr).... Spelling - my son is a natural. It was clear pretty quick that he wasn't being challenged so I gave. Diagnostic test part way through the year and adjusted his level to match. Since he is still learning specific spelling rules, I just made a schedule to incorporate the rules he missed into our regular lessons. (We use spell to write and read) When I taught math to my 5th graders, I gave each chapter test before I taught the chapter. If they earned a high enough score, they didn't have to sit in on lessons but were able to do fun and challenging math game, logic problems, brain teasers, etc. (of their choice). Also, When you review any missed answers on the 'pre test, it's usually pretty clear if they didn't know how to do the problem or if they made careless errors. Don't know if that helps or not...
  9. For example- I'm considering using the teaching the classics with my first grader and third grader next year in the same lesson time, perhaps using the 2nd grade book list. I've done the beginning with both of them (dd in k and ds in 1st and 2nd) but didn't stick with it for various reasons. They both know characters, and setting for sure. I can't seem to fit it all in. But I find literary analysis to be an essential part of language arts. So tonight I thought what if I do it with them together and just use a grade level between them for the book list? (My soon to be third grader reads at 5/6th gr level and my soon to be first grader is reading I can read books and just about ready for the beginner chapter books.) Any thoughts from those of you with more experience? Next year will be the first year to have both kids doing all the subjects and so I'm trying to streamline where I can. They already do science, history and Spanish together, but my dd will also be adding her own piano lessons to the mix. TIA
  10. Article mama, ondreeuh, and Tammy K where are you located? We just moved to the valley a couple months ago and live southwest of wasilla. It's nice to connect with fellow Alaskans. :) We didn't have smoke at our house, but wasilla is starting to get smoky and many youth sports practices were cancelled today. The last update from Alaska dispatch news reported 8500 acres...(930 pm Monday). It is devastating, with no rain in sight. :( praying for all affected. I will say, however, that it is amazing to see how many people, complete strangers even, are coming together to do whatever they can to help. Alaska May be a big state, but everywhere we have gone has a small town feel.
  11. I liked the idea if AAS and seriously considered it. But after looking at a friend's materials I decided against it. The phonics approach, the phonograms used and the rules all coordinated with the phonics program we used (teach America to read and spell) however, I didn't feel like the spelling lists were comprehensive enough. Instead, we began using Spell to Write and read this year (my son is 1st gr) and I love it. It's two books and a few little supplemental things (journal, binder, etc). My son (likes rules, early fluent reader, somewhat visual memory), also loves it. I also tested him mid year and moved him ahead based in performance. A mentor mom to me who used it with her kids usually used the program thru around 6th grade which is when her kids progressed to the end of the lists. I like the layout and the increasing difficulty of the words.
  12. That's a great idea! I may end of buying the core book. Does any one else also have some helpful insight? I was looking online tonight at the primer sample and it looks fairly easy...I'm wondering how it progresses? I figure I have three main possibilities: 1- he could do primer starting next year in 2nd grade and progress from there or 2- he could do Aesop starting in the fall for 2nd grade and progress from there or 3- we could do WWE 2 and FLL 2 next year then start with Aesop in 3rd grade. What do those of you with CW and WWE and FFL experience think (based on his skills I described in my original post)? Thanks!
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