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  1. Is there some sort of rule of thumb for whether to capitalize directions, like west or West? My dd writes: "One of the reasons settlers decided to move west...." west or West? Later: "Looking for better opportunities, the moved west." west or West? By west, she's referring to the West Coast. But they are also moving west of their current location. So confusing!
  2. I'm currently using WWE and FLL, both level one for my first grader who is an advanced reader. I'm not in love with it. I find it too slow and not challenging in the least. I've thought of just skipping a level, but I'm concerned it's never going to be what I want. For second grade, I'd like: diagramming parts of speech sentences and paragraphs I feel that the Peace Hill Press curriculum is just so much copy work. SO MUCH. He doesn't mind all that much, but I want to see more improvement in his own writing, which I don't see a lot of with this curriculum, since it requires no independent writing. As for spelling, I tried Rod and Staff spelling 2, as I love their phonics book, but I didn't care for the spelling. And as for Literature, it is non-existent. We read a lot of superhero books and Ninjago. Gag, I know. Help! Can anyone recommend grammar, literature or spelling curriculums, and tell me a little about it? I am overwhelmed with the number of choices out there, and not sure which ones are worth checking out. Also, if you could, please avoid using abbreviations. I just used the only ones I know. :D
  3. I've been reading Magic Lens with my 7th grade dd, and we just hit the verb chapter. Whoa. The difficulty and complexity of this grammar instruction is beyond my understanding. I feel like how I suspect non-mathy folks feel about AOPS. I've never personally had this level of grammar instruction, particularly all those perfect forms, and I'm getting nervous about teaching it. Can a non-grammar parent survive the 3 remaining MCT levels of grammar? I need some hand-holding and reassurance. Has anyone else learned as they went through upper levels of MCT grammar? Or are all you Magic Lens teachers grammar experts and grammar lovers? Did anyone abandon Magic Lens and just continue with the vocab and academic writing?
  4. I have an 8th grader who will be going to high school next year. All of a sudden I looked up and realized that we are 1/2 way through the school year and haven't been keeping up with grammar. We do Vocab Classical Roots, she has a Literature class (outside the home) that includes writing and reading. She has finished the entire Spelling Workout series and we went all the way through First Language Lessons and the portion of Advanced Language Lessons that SWB didn't finish publishing. She also did Voyages in English 6, and some of Rod and Staff 7. The problem for me is that FLL and ALL was so comprehensive, easy to use and great, that everything we've used since has just not been great for us. I'm so bummed that there is no curriculum for kids older than 6th grade from SWB. Does anyone have any suggestions for something we could try? Looking for 8th grade level, prefer something that includes diagramming and not too repetitive--she gets grammar pretty well and a lot of what I see seems just not advanced enough for this age. Rod and Staff is OK, but kind of overkill, seems better suited for a class, and is just too much. Thanks! Kristin in NYC (dd-13, ds-11, ds-5)
  5. I've started a Pre-College English course from Saylor University and I have some questions with regard to their answers to certain tests. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Question 1 A. Grammar Practice: You are supposed to find the subject and the verb and tell if the verb is action, linking, compound and/or a verb phrase. 1. eg. At three o'clock precisely, I was at Baker Street. (I put linking which they have as the correct answer because I had no other choice, but I actually think it is a state of being verb. If it was a linking verb doesn't it have to be followed by a predicate nominative or a predicate adjective that refers to the subject?) 2. Thick clouds of smoke curled through the room. (I put clouds for the subject, but they have clouds of smoke. In reality, "of smoke" is a prepositional phrase describing the subject, isn't it? Or is one a simple subject and the other a complex subject? I'm confused. Or is smoke the actual subject?) Question 2 B. Main Idea and Supporting Sentences Quiz: I had to tell whether this is a simple, compound, complex, or compound-complex sentence. The answer says "compound-complex" but I think it is "compound". Sentence: 1. Larger birds such as parrots are good choices for families with older children, because they can be trained and they will interact with humans. Larger birds such as parrots are good choices for families with older children (independent clause) they can be trained (independent clause) they will interact with humans (independent clause) There is no dependent clause, therefore it cannot be "compound-complex", because a complex sentence needs a dependent clause. Or do I have to keep "because" with the second sentence, making it a dependent clause? Grammar experts? What do you think?
  6. So far this year grammar is the subject that just isn't getting done with DD (4th grade/age 9.5). Last year we read Sentence Family and Grammarland. We didn't do all the exercises in them, but she is at least familiar with the parts of speech (though she may possible get a few of them mixed up as to which is which). My plan for this year had been to do the grammar portion of LoE -- we are currently on our second run through Essentials with the advanced lists. But it just isn't getting done. I also bought some scholastic ebooks to practice mechanics as well as grammar ("Fun Fairy Tale Proofreading", "Fun Fairy Tale Grammar," etc)...and those are okay but I tend to forget about those too since I don't have a book staring me in the face. DD likes really likes things that teach in the form of a story, and she likes things that she can read herself and learn from. What she doesn't like is me "lecturing" her to explain the concepts (which is partly why LoE grammar isn't getting done). I wondered about MCT because of the story aspect, but I don't really "get" MCT enough to know if she would learn enough from the story aspects of them program to avoid the "lecturing" from me. Or maybe some combo of MCT (for the story), along with something she could do independently. We are doing CAP's W&R for writing (along with a few random lessons from "Write On!"), but I feel like that has few enough lessons that we could be throwing in something additional for writing/mechanics...especially since W&R doesn't seem to be teaching some aspects of writing very explicitly (no lessons on proper paragraph construction, for example).
  7. I have just bought LLB1 for my daughter who will be 10 in December. Previously we were using Getting started with Latin & a separate grammar curriculum. For those who use LL do you have a separate grammar curriculum, or do you find LL enough. I am thinking it would be super to combine the two. Thanks
  8. How would one diagram the Preamble? I'm stuck on the "in order to." What is its job? I've seen it listed as a subordinating conjunction (on the tree) and as an infinitive (below the verb).
  9. My daughter and I were diagramming the following sentence: I declined answering Mrs. Dean's question, which struck me as something heterodox. S S The answer book said it is a compound sentence, but I'm wondering how the which function as a subject pronoun? Thanks! It's from Wuthering Heights.
  10. We are finishing up our first year of homeschooling and my 11 year old daughter is struggling with writing book reports & just writing in general. She has a hard time thinking up and organizing ideas and struggles with grammar a bit. She scored "well below average" in the CAT test on language expression section. She is enrolled in 5th grade Seton and while I like the program overall for her, the English is too advanced and she's not getting it and unless I organize the book report for her. I am open to the possibility of not having her enroll in the fall and putting together my own curriculum. What curriculum can you recommend for a child struggling with writing & grammar? Thank you!
  11. I would love feedback on how these programs compare. If you have used one or any, please let me know your thoughts. We have used FLL for one year. I personally find level 1 to be great and level 3 makes me want to gnaw my arm off slowly. My dh likes them both, so he does that work and he would like to continue FLL because of the repetition, copy work, poetry, and memorization. My kids don't mind them, but I wouldn't say they look forward to them with anticipation. I do like the poems, memorization, and copy work. We haven't used WWE or IEW. What do you like or dislike? If you combine any of them, how do you do it? MCT looks so visually appealing, inspiring and simple. It's way more expensive than it should be, IMO but maybe worth it. Another post indicated the MCT program was great at explaining good writing, but not at showing how to write. Is IEW supposed to be combined with another LA program? Well, I've asked enough questions. ;)
  12. I've come across a few older threads where this program was discussed and people were planning to use it. I'm VERY tempted to give it a try next year for my rising 8th grade dd, 6th grade ds, and 3rd grade dd. Would love to find out from DGP users how the program went for them. It just looks sooooo manageable and similar to the approach found in MCT practice books plus more (especially the bottom sections where they add in punctuation/capitalization and diagram the sentence). Any feedback? Love it? Hate it? Diane
  13. Hello! I have a practical question. Many of us here have been teaching our kids how to diagram sentences (myself included). I didn't learn to diagram sentences in school, so I'm wondering how your kids use their diagramming skills (other than to do their grammar assignment)? (I'm considering leaving the diagramming groupies to join the full-time MCT groupies to simplify life) Thanks!
  14. The 'master' corrector for the communal exam has said that my dd's answer is incorrect. The directions say - "ask the question which corresponds to the underlined part of the answer". The 'answer' to which she had to 'ask' a question is: In 1950 there were 100.000 people at the World Cup Final in Brazil. So the question dd 'asked' is: How many people were at the World Cup Final in Brazil in 1950? They have taken off 1/2 point because she did not include the word "there". They say the sentence should be: How many people were there at the World Cup Final in Brazil in 1950? English can be quite elliptical, so to me the word "there" is implied. Is this correct or have I been speaking incorrectly all these years? Thank you! Joan
  15. I'm still knee deep in researching grammar programs for my dc (it feels like I've been doing this for months!), and I keep spinning in circles trying to decide which way to go. On the one hand, you have programs such as MCT and AG which appear to take (correct me if I'm wrong) a very straight forward approach to labeling parts of speech. Words are a noun, verb, adjective, preposition, etc. There seems to be less emphasis on needing to label the categories within those parts of speech (for instance, in the case of adjectives there are limiting, descriptive, etc.). In contrast, other programs such as Hake, GWG, VIE, DGP have the student learning the different types of pronouns, the different types of adjectives, etc. Do they really need to know this??? Is the approach taken by AG and MCT "enough"? I'm drawn to their approach, but that tiny voice in my head keeps questioning whether my dc would be missing something in grammar that is necessary in the end. Are my dc going to fail some standardized test in 8th or 9th grade because they couldn't pick out the indefinite pronoun in a sentence? Isn't it enough that they just recognize a word as a pronoun without having to specify which kind? I would really like to be spending more time on writing and literature for my middle school kids and not be slogging away at grammatical concepts that are not really important in the end. Would love it if someone could shed some light on this! Diane
  16. People with experience with kids with spelling issues, I need your help thinking this through... Although I need some help figuring out what spelling program to use with my daughter, I would like to get to the root of the issue of why my 11 yr old, currently in 5th grade, daughter struggles so much with spelling. Here is what I see happening: ( I am by no means a reading specialist or expert, so please forgive my feeble attempt at explaining this. Please feel free to ask any questions to clarify.) I believe she probably has issues with reading. She doesn't automatically break words into syllables or sound them out correctly. I have her read aloud to me daily and she skips small words, or guesses at the words. The other day she saw the word "psychology" and said, "What is puh-see-cho-lo-gee." We've been through AAS levels 1-3 and Megawords 1. She knows all the phonograms and phonemes, knows the rules, but doesn't apply them. She consistently mispells simple words like just-jest, little-littel, poster-poaster. She adds in letters where they aren't needed, adds syllables in her words that aren't there, like border-borader. I just get the feeling like there's something going on that keeps her from hearing the difference between al and el, bid and bed. She struggles more with the short vowel sounds (hearing it in order to spell it correctly), and more with the long vowel spelling (knowing how which way to spell the long vowel sound, like when to choose e_e, ee, ea, ey, ei). I guess I'm not too clear on the why's behind things ( I have the ABC's and All Their tricks in my wishlist), but I just do it naturally, so I'm not sure how to explain them to her. It has NOT worked to say, just memorize the words. She'll spell out words phonetically, but still incorrectly, so many times she'll have all the sounds and usually in the right order, but not choose the write way to spell those sounds. Besides this she struggles terribly with remember rules of grammar and punctuation as well. We've been doing R&S grammar and before that Intermediate Language Lessons, and before that FLL. So she has had some informal but quite a bit of formal grammar. She struggles terribly with the titles of things, the names of things like today we were reviewing what a pronoun, proper noun, possessive adjective (or noun), plural and preposition mean. We've been doing proper noun since 1st grade and she still only gets it right about half the time. SHE IS INTELLIGENT and super creative. She does well in her other subjects. She loves to read to herself, though I often wonder how much she really comprehended. She seems to get the overall picture, but maybe not all the vocab or details. But she can memorize songs incredibly easily. She memorized the complete words to several of the School House Rock songs after having listened to them only 2 or 3 times. Every single word was perfect! I've finally convinced her to write no matter how many mistakes she has in spelling, because her sentence formation is actually pretty good. She can write some very beautiful and descriptive sentences. But the other day she wrote a story that was a page and a half long, and had 47 spelling mistakes besides quite often having errors in capitalization. What I think I should do: This is up for suggestions and redirection... She hates studying grammar and spelling. She has been doing Megawords this year but I have not seen much improvement, except for in vocabulary. She does seem to enjoy it though. But she has not liked any grammar program I have done with her. This year she is doing Writing Strands 3 and it has improved her writing resiliance quite a lot--she write more quantity and is learning how to organize her writing much better. I have been sitting down with her more the last few weeks to go over her writing with her. This has been painful in the past because she hates seeing me point out mistakes. But we've been trying to make this constructive and I think we hit on something here. I know I have to continue doing this, but to take the pain out of learning this way, I thought about doing a daily paragraph editing program, like the one from Evan Moor (we wouldn't be tearing apart something she wrote). I also thought about doing MCT, starting fresh with grammar and giving her the chance to learn to love grammar and playing with words. And I have no clear direction where to go with spelling. Do I continue with Megawords and hope that through syllabication and learning the rules and maturity she'll get it. I've checked out Sequential Spelling, would she learn and grow through this method of "learning through making mistakes" and learn the patterns intuitively. It makes some sense to me. I've been hearing a lot about Phonetic Zoo as well. Demanding mastery of each word list, using auditory jingles to learn the rules...sounds promising. I just don't know where to go from here. I want to give her the ability to overcome this, but I don't know how to lead her. Please help me if you have had a struggling spelling/reader. How did you help them...
  17. I am about to being FLL Level 3 with my daughter but was also told about Fix It! by IEW....anybody think using both would be redundant?
  18. I have a hard time figuring out how Our Mother Tongue compares to other grammar curricula and what the lessons look like. Here are my random questions about it: Is it mainly appropriate for early Logic stage (5/6 th grade) or through 8th? (I read somewhere that it had 49 lessons, which makes me think it is a 1 or max 2 year scope?) Is it a workbook or a textbook or an all-in-one? What do you like about it? What about it does not appeal to you? Would it be a good 5th6th grade follow up after FLL4 and before Stewart English in 7th grade? Any input greatly appreciated...
  19. I'm sorry, I am sure this has been asked a million times but I'm not feeling well and the search function is not being friendly to me. I plan to start my oldest on MCT grammar and plan on doing the whole shebang. I'm just not sure what I need to purchase. Specifically I'm not sure which teacher's manuals are important. Any one care to chime in? Right now I am looking at: MCT Level 1 Basic Homeschool Package MCT Level 1 Complete Homeschool Package *P.S. I plan to use these materials with my youngest as well *
  20. Something like TT or VP Self paced courses.. I'm looking for something to get my 8yo (rising 3rd grader) interested in grammar if possible. ;) He loves TT and he enjoyed the sample of VP Self paced course too. So I was thinking of getting a computer based/interactive program? Is it out there?
  21. We pulled our 3rd grade DD out of public school this school year (in October). In many ways, we're still trying to figure out what works best for us, and I can't for the life of me decide on what to use for LA next year! I'll have two 1st graders and a 3rd grader. So, for Grammar this year (3rd grade), we've used Abeka Language and a little bit of FLL 3. Abeka came highly recommended to me, and I figured we would continue it next year, but now I'm not so sure. I go over things with my DD, but many pages seem like "too much" for her in independent work (she gets a lot wrong on some pages). I'm wondering if grammar needs to be something that I do WITH her the whole time? I was wanting something more independent, though, as I'll also be working with two in 1st grade next year. My DD and language: She HATES writing! Says she "likes" Abeka Language, but some pages are "too hard." We haven't done much of the writing in Abeka. Instead, we've done narrations/copywork for history (SOTW) and a little science. We're just now trying a bit of WWE2. We're using Spelling Workout, which seems to be okay, but she's not a great speller (we're in book C). As far as writing, I'm intrigued by what I hear of IEW, but our budget is pretty tight. When using the WWE books, is other writing instruction necessary? Or is that enough for writing? It seems more like reading comprehension exercises? I've looked at MCT, which seems expensive. My DD doesn't LOVE language, so I'm not sure if that would be a good fit. Or does it help to instill a love of language? If I did try that out, is it very teacher intensive? What particular books (Island) would I need to get? I hear a lot of good things about R&S, but it looks a bit boring to me? Does MCT do diagramming? Or should I maybe just do FLL3 next year, since I already have that? I don't want to overload my DDs with "workbook" stuff, but I can't seem to figure out a good combo of curriculum. Sorry for the randomness and confusion of this post. I'm confused! Ha ha! I just want to figure out what LA would be best for a child who doesn't get super excited about language, and has trouble being motivated to "do her work." She's not real big on reading yet, either, but there's improvement as we continue to work on that. At this point, some of school seems too mundane and boring for her, although I'm trying to make it fun. :) What has worked well for your kiddos who may not be very excited about language? Oh, she DOES love to learn poems, although we haven't done a lot of that yet.
  22. I am looking for ideas on what to do with an 11th grader who doesn't understand grammar much at all even after using several different programs. It doesn't seem to stick. Do you know of any remedial-type programs that aren't totally elementary in their presentation? Thank you in advance.
  23. Do you typically use FLL 1 with first grade, level 2 with second grade and so on? It seemed like that's what I've read others do. Also, would it be too much of a stretch to try to do level 4 with a fourth AND sixth grader? Should I just look for something else for the sixth grader? Thanks so much! :)
  24. I'm considering using this curriculum in the fall, and am wondering what everyone uses after this? I don't see another level after this one. What do you use for grammar at that point?
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