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About ellebro

  • Birthday 02/21/1973

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    Baton Rouge, LA

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  1. Does anyone know how many lessons per week this will include?
  2. I could have sworn I saw a very recent thread on here that said SWB had decided she WAS going to publish Advanced Language Lessons after all and was looking for people to help draw diagrams. But for the life of me, I can't seem to find the thread anywhere. I thought the thread was recent, but was I wrong about that? Has ALL actually been resurrected? If so, is there an estimate of when it might be published?
  3. My sixth grade son has some lingering difficulties with spelling, and I'm trying to figure out if there is a pattern in the words he misses that would suggest a particular approach or curriculum that might be good for him. (Morphemes/rules with Apples and Pears? Auditory with Phonetic Zoo? Sorting, like in Words Their Way? Or just continue with what we're doing now: Spelling Plus word lists practiced through Spelling City, combined with 10 weekly dictation sentences?) In the past we've done some SWR, mainly just memorizing the phonograms and studying rule cards. We've mainly used Spelling Plus/Spelling City/dictation sentences. So I looked at his writing and wrote down a list of the words he's misspelled lately. One thing it made me realize is that his spelling is really not that bad! He spells most words correctly, knows his phonograms, and naturally intuits spelling rules (the consistent ones, like the doubling rule or changing y to i.) Here are the words he misspelled, along with how he misspelled them: Meteor (spelled Metior) Flare (spelled flair) Crescent (spelled cressant) Waning (spelled waining) Gibbous (spelled gibous) Than instead of then Crater (spelled crator) Comets (spelled commets) Elements (spelled ellements) Australia (spelled Austrailia) Sure (spelled shure) Description (spelled discription) Familiar (spelled farmilliar) He doesn't really make any phonetic mistakes. It seems like his main problems are occasional mixed up homophones, the schwa sound, and doubling letters when he shouldn’t. Most of it I think is related to the visual memory of which phonogram to use to spell a sound when there’s no rule to say which one to use, and when to not double consonants. He has a better auditory memory than visual memory. He has a good pattern memory. What do you think? Apples and Pears to explore morphemes? Sorting to stimulate pattern memory? Phonetic Zoo for the auditory aspect? Stick with Spelling City/Spelling Plus/dictation? Or something else I haven't thought of? I don't want anything that focuses solely on phonetics like SWR or AAS since I think he has that part down pretty well. What do you think? ETA: Here are some words he spells *correctly* -- poisoning, ability, impossible, Europe, neurotoxin, understandably, deadliest, creatures, commercials, reference, personalities, protruding, character, popular.)
  4. Looks like the Seton website has a preview of Warriner's fourth course. It's for 10th graders, but it looks very similar in content to my first course book. http://www.setonbooks.com/viewone.php?ToView=P-EN10-11&Zoomin=1
  5. My ADHD son has similar issues with forgetting things unless there is constant review. I found Teaching Textbooks to be the least painful/most effective for him. There is constant review, but not too much repetition (which overwhelms him. ) There is just enough conceptual instruction for him to click with the concept, but not so much to where he might get bogged down and confused with multiple conceptual angles at once, like he did with Math Mammoth.
  6. I'm making a few changes across the board for my 4th and 6th graders. I saw very little progress with Saxon Writing or Bravewriter, so we are switching to Killgallon Sentence Composing and Warriner's English. Saxon Grammar and GWG resulted in very little retention/comprehension of grammar, so we are switching to DGP's Daily Grammar Practice. Self-chosen literature was not working, so we are switching to Mosdos Literature. They are reluctant readers and hate novels, so I think the short-story format will work better for them. These things are still working and won't change: Teaching Textbooks, Nancy Larson Science, EFTRU flashcards, Story of the World (read aloud and oral review questions.)
  7. Warriner's English Grammar and Composition does more work on sentence structure than anything else I've seen, and all the instruction (both grammar and composition) is very concise and straightforward. It progresses from sentence structure, to paragraph structure, to essay structure, including outlining. The First Course is for 7th graders, and you can find it very cheap used on Amazon (I got mine for $.01 plus shipping.) The only downside is that since it is out of print, the teacher's manuals are rare and expensive. But if you are relatively confident in your own grammar skills, it may be worth checking out.
  8. The more I look at Warriner's grammar, the more I like it. I actually really like the composition exercises too. I'm thinking I may trying using the First Course as my primary grammar and writing curriculum next year for my ds who will be in 7th grade. I'm thinking I could do the Warriner's grammar mostly orally and then use DGP for daily written grammar practice.
  9. I've looked at MCT (actually I think I ordered it once) but I really want something with diagramming. I like some things about Analytical Grammar, but in the samples I find some of their explanations confusing. I like the sentence analysis, approach, though, and I was really excited a few days ago to find (through a post on this board) Daily Grammar Practice from DGP Publishing. It has elements I've loved from other programs, all combined together into one package. Namely, sentence analysis on two levels (parts of speech as well as parts of sentence), diagramming, and sentence imitation. I was also excited to find Warriner's Grammar -- I'm pretty sure this is the textbook I used in 9th grade that really helped grammar click for me! It explains grammar concepts so clearly and understandably, much more than any other program I've looked at. I ordered a used copy from Amazon for $.01 and just got it today. For this coming semester I'm going to try a combination of DGP and Warriner's - Warriner's for the explicit instruction, and DGP for daily practice. :-)
  10. Hi, I'm looking at switching from GWG to AG with my kids, because I think the sequential, simpler format will help my kids' comprehension of the topics. (I'm not seeing great comprehension of grammar concepts with GWG.) But I haven't been able to tell from the AG website whether they teach verb tenses. I think a basic, non-esoteric knowledge of verb tenses is important - have walked, had walked, will walk, will be walking, etc... Does anyone know if AG/Jr. AG teaches verb tenses? Thanks, Ellen :-)
  11. In honor of our last official day of spring semester lessons, I am resurrecting this thread. :rolleyes: (I thought about starting a new hits/misses thread but this one seemed fairly recent...sometimes it's hard to figure out the finer points of forum etiquette!) This was our first full year of homeschooling my 9yo and 12yo, so as you can see we went through a lot of curricula (especially language arts) trying to find the ones that work for us! I learned a lot this year about what works for my kids. HITS: Teaching Textbooks Timez Attack (math facts) Story of the World 1 (text + map work, review questions) Arrow literature guides (Bravewriter - we just started these recently but I really like them so far) Spelling City, using words from Spelling Plus MISSES: Dictation sentences from Spelling Plus Dictation Resource Book (did not see any increased retention from this, plus my kids hated it) Reflex Math for math facts (little retention, time-consuming) Wordly Wise online (worked at first, but after a while lessons became tedious and I saw decreased retention) Keyboarding without Tears Typing Instructor for kids (Typing Island) Pearson Interactive Science Classical Writing Aesop Writing and Rhetoric Fable EPS Writing Skills IEW SWR (drilling phonograms and rules actually made my kids' spelling worse. Short-circuited their visual memory of the correct spelling.) Essentials in Writing Saxon Grammar Writing with Ease Writing Strands CHANGE I'M PLANNING FOR NEXT YEAR: For writing, after trying almost every program out there, I think next year we are going to try a Bravewriter approach. I just bought Writer's Jungle from the Buyer's co-op a few days ago and plan to read it this summer. The new Faltering Ownership lesson plans/writing projects look promising for both my advanced 9yo and my writing-phobic 12yo. There are several books in the Arrow literature guides that I think will fit well with our Medieval history studies. For vocabulary I'm going to try a flashcard approach this year instead of workbooks or online -- English from the Roots Up flashcards + possibly homemade Vocabulary Workshop flashcards (I've noticed my kids don't retain that much from workbooky vocab exercises, but I do like the VW word lists.) For grammar, I'm going to try Growing with Grammar again. I had used it in the past as independent work and the kids didn't like it/ showed little retention, but this time I'm going to try sitting down and doing it with them, doing much of it orally. My kids do seem to retain better that way. The lessons are straightforward so it still shouldn't take that long. For science we are going to try Nancy Larson. My kids are advanced in science concepts but I will approach it as a comprehensive review and a chance to practice concrete skills like recording data. I'm planning to go through levels 2 and 3 next year. For typing, I'm abandoning online/computer-based programs. Kids did not enjoy these and I did not see much skill building relative to the time spent. Instead I'm going to try EPS Keyboarding Skills, which is a book and teaches the keys in alphabetical order instead of QWERTY order. I have no idea if this will work or not but it's worth a try. Spelling: I am going to stick with cementing the Spelling Plus list of 1000 essential words via Spelling City. Now I just need to sell all the discarded curricula I have sitting around so I can afford to buy the ones for next year! :wacko:
  12. I gave my son a choice of grammar programs to use next semester (after letting him try out samples of Saxon, Easy Grammar, and VIE) and he chose VIE. I've ordered the books and just got them a few days ago so I've been perusing them. I'm confused, though, about the Daily Maintenance review exercises. It looks like each section is not just reviewing what the child has learned so far in the current level, but also what they would have learned in earlier levels. In the 6th grade text, for example, the first Daily Maintenance exercise has questions about verb tense and diagramming even though those topics are not covered until much later in the book. My son has covered many of these topics in earlier grades, but not thoroughly, so if I used the Daily Maintenance as-is, starting near the beginning of the year, it would require me to actually teach him new information to be able to complete the DM exercises, which seems to defeat the whole purpose of it being review. Review is very important for this particular child, so this is an element that I am very careful about. Am I interpreting this wrong or misunderstanding? Other users out there, how do you approach this issue during the first year using the program? Thanks, Ellen :-)
  13. I've been using a Science Wiz kit (DNA kit) and have been very happy with it so far. I really like the format - first it gives the science theory and information about the topic (with excellent, full color illustrations) and a list of materials to gather (most are in the kit.) Then it gives step by step illustrated instructions. Then it has a Why It Works page that touches on theory again, connecting the experiment to the big ideas. That's exactly the format I'd like to use for my 3rd - 5th graders for the rest of this year and next year too. We do science three days a week so it would work out perfectly - day 1, theory/gather materials; day 2 - experiment; day 3 lab report. The only problem is that the topics are somewhat limited so far, especially in biology/life science. The DNA kit is the only life science kit in the series. Are there any other science kits out there that have a similar format - theory with illustrations, then experiment? Do the Science in a Nutshell kits or the ASK/Little Professor kits explain the science/theory behind the experiment first, or do they only give instructions? Or are there any other kits out there that do present the scientific facts in some detail along with the experiments? Thanks! :-)
  14. Thanks everyone for giving me lots to think about! Now that I think about it, I do personally internalize great writing much more by writing it by hand than by typing. I've decided (at least for now) to forego the typing and instead ask for just one line of cursive copywork, followed by studied dictation of the entire passage (about a paragraph.) I think that perhaps dictation may be a better way than typing to internalize good writing. Thanks again! :001_smile:
  15. I'm using Classical Writing with my 3rd and 5th graders, and one of the weekly tasks is copywork. Now, my kids are solid on print handwriting (my son's is messy but probably always will be with his ADHD etc.) As for cursive, they each did it for one year because I wanted them to know the basics and be able to read cursive, but I'm not requiring mastery because we just have too many other things to get done. So my main goal with copywork at this point is for them to internalize proper usage/mechanics and the flow of good writing. I thought about having them do it in cursive just to bring back some handwriting review, but the problem is that when they are required to write in cursive, I find that they are focusing so much on the formation of the letters that they are not really engaging that much with the language itself. I've let them type their copywork instead a few times, and it does seem to free up their minds to be able to focus on the actual text of the passage. They can also type much more quantity than they can write by hand. They will type up several paragraphs without complaint, but if I asked them to hand write the same amount I would be met with moans of despair. Would I be short-changing them by allowing them to type their copywork, or is it really accomplishing what I think it is? Anyone have any thoughts on this?
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