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Problems with Rod & Staff English 5...


Mommy7
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My ds is 11 yo. Last year we did Shurley 3. I switched him to R&S 5 this year. We just finished Chapter 1. I think I covered it fairly slowly and thoroughly. He even did every single worksheet.

 

On the Ch. 1 Review, he REALLY struggled with finding the complete subject and complete predicate, as well as being able to tell me the main verb of the verb phrase.

 

I'm a little concerned about whether I should have done Level 4 instead. (which I own) The thing is he really loves the fact that we are doing Level 5 and wants to keep going. I have compared the table of contents for level 4 and level 5. I'm a little nervous about continuing. He struggles with confidence issues anyway, so I don't want him to think that I think he can't do it. (I am constantly trying to convince him that HE CAN DO IT!)

 

He doesn't like grammar anyway and I am concerned that it will be too difficult down the road and then I won't know what to do for next year.

 

I guess I could just review the subject and predicate thing again. I could have him do the Level 4 worksheet on subjects and predicates.

 

Any advice for me?

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You say you have R&S 4... have you used it? The reason I ask is because every level has MUCH review built in. If you stick with 5, he'll review it continuously throughout, although the material will get more difficult. Take your time though, if it takes 2 or 3 years to get through level 5, then that is fine, there is nothing wrong with that. Move at his rate and you can't go wrong.

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Have you been going over the teacher's notes and walking through all the Class Practice? I sometimes had to put things on the board for clarity when I used R&S.

 

Was he successful from day to day?

 

I'd just reteach, although I did find a descent leap from 4 to 5. Kind of an elementary to middle school leap, kwim?

 

Those are my thoughts :)

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Specialmama, no, I haven't used R&S 4 with him. We did Shurley 3 last year, but I was trying to soothe his ego (and probably mine :)) by putting him in Level 5, hoping it would work.

 

I even thought about alternating between the R&S 4 and R&S 5 books. For example, introduce it through R&S 4, then go to the same chapter in R&S 5...thereby getting MUCH practice. (I guess that could take a few years, but that's okay by me) Do you think that would be overkill, though? I don't mind doing whatever I need to in order for him to understand the material. Maybe that would soothe him a little more than dumping the Level 5 and going to Level 4. Ya think?

 

Tina, yes, we go over all the class practice...even if it takes a couple days to do a lesson. I don't teach directly from the teacher's notes though. We just go through the student text. It seemed so pointless to go through the teaching notes with him as well as the student text. He did pretty well on a day to day basis. He struggled some, though. (R&S is much more challenging than Shurley IMHO.) But, it makes no sense to me why he would have done really well diagramming the sentence skeletons and have a hard time being able to tell me the subject and predicate. I mean, the diagramming requires an understanding of that and although he missed a few helping verbs from the verb phrases a couple of times, he did very well with the diagramming part. Go figure!!!

 

One other thing I have him do is to copy the Remember boxes from the chapter onto an index card and review them during his independent work on a daily basis.

 

Rebecca...that is exactly how my son is...he just does not like this subject!!!! He groaned over Shurley, too!

 

Any other thoughts?

Edited by Mommy7
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Lesson 1 is completely review and it was rather packed. The other lessons won't be that much work all at once. It is a tough question with really no right answer.

 

I can tell you that PERSONALLY I'd rather fall back to R&S English 4 and have English be a pleasant experience than stick with something that was entirely too difficult.

 

My daughter has done R&S English since the beginning and is currently doing English 5 completely independent. I can tell you English 5 is only going to get more difficult and quickly. My daughter is at lesson 18 and diagramming complex sentences.

 

So the bottom line for me would be a matter of what I have the time to deal with. Do I drop back & hope that English 4 is less painful and makes for shorter lessons or am I willing to add in all the extras and really devote the time necessary to get through English 5. Both are doable but you have to decide what works best given your situation and your child.

 

If you are using another writing program, you can skip all the starred lessons in English 4. That will save you some time and help you get back up faster (if you feel the need to do that).

Edited by Daisy
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Mine struggled too. Since i had him starting Prima Latina this year I found it really tied in well with R&S so we used the "Verb Finder Sentence" -Can I ___? and it reinforced R&S.

 

Also, are you doing all of the work? Keep going over it, do a verbal review if you have to in addition.

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Cadam, I agree with the fact that review in both levels would definitely do it. But, will we have trouble down the road because he hasn't had Level 4?

 

I didn't know if I was jumping the gun after only having done one chapter, but I just don't want to waste time. When someone else stated that Chapter 1 was review, I was concerned! If we should work through Level 4 first, then I want to go ahead and start it, you know what I mean?

 

Any other advice? If we would have to go back and forth between the two levels, I'm thinking I would rather work systematically through Level 4, then go to 5.

 

At the beginning of the year, I had planned on doing FLL 3 with him. I had a hard time figuring out how to place him after Shurley 3. Should I do FLL 3, then go to R&S 5. Or would R&S 4 prepare him better for the 5th level?

Edited by Mommy7
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If he can diagram the sentences, I would guess that perhaps he might not know the terms for complete subject and complete predicate, but understands the concepts. When going through R&S with my dd, I made sure that she kept a notebook with all the terms in it. Also, I've found that the oral review at the beginning of the lessons are essential for remembering all the terms.

 

I'll be all :bigear: here. We are getting ready to move from Shurley 4 to R&S 5 soon. I've never used Shurley 3(always skipped from 2 to 4)--I have noticed in Shurley 4 that complete subjects and predicates are not really reviewed once they are covered once briefly at the beginning of the year. Once a week, they are mentioned on the test where the child underlines each for one sentence.

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I would probably let him try lesson 2 and maybe 3 just to see what happens. You're not really wasting time by spending a few more days there. Besides, it will give you a better grasp of what's going on with him. If you switch right now and you're not entirely sure you're doing the right thing, you'll waste more time and get frustrated. If it's obvious RS5 is not working and he continues to struggle, step back to RS4.

 

I personally feel R&S English is a solid program. I'd stay in the R&S family if you can. Use RS4 to prepare him for RS5, etc... take it slow or fast depending how fast he grasps the grammar and try not to worry. :)

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I agree. I love R&S. I'm just struggling to figure out the correct level because I know down the road it is described as being very challenging in Levels 6-8 and higher. I am concerned that he have a solid foundation before moving into more complicated material. I am thinking about next year...that he would be in Level 6, which is a little scarey.

 

We did all of *chapter* 1, not just lesson 1.

 

Thanks for the thoughts!!!

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I'm sorry Mommy7. For some reason I had it in my brain that you completed lesson 1, not chapter 1! We just finished chapter 1 too. My dd is 10yo, does not like grammar either, but she does okay with it. When we were working through the lessons, I would drill her on the main points. For example: dd would read the sentence. Then I'd ask her questions like, "What are we going to identify first? (the predicate) " "Why? (because it makes it easier to identify the subject) " "What's a predicate?" "What's a complete predicate" and so on.... I know this sounds really repetitious, but it drilled it into her head. I did this with every sentence until I felt she mastered it. Once I felt she "got it" I let her do the rest on her own. Every once in awhile, I'd stop her and "quiz" her so-to-speak. I don't know how anyone else approaches the teaching part of R&S grammar, but for me I know my dd and this works for her. I don't want her guessing KWIM? Well, I don't know if I helped or not. Michelle

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Thank you so much for all the advice! I decided to do R&S 4 with him this year. It will be much more beneficial in the long run, I think.

 

Thanks again, my dear cyber friends!!! (that's what my husband calls the hive!) :grouphug: He says, "What are you doing...(when I'm on this board)...talking to your cyber friends again?" :lol:

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Two ideas that came to mind as I read.

 

1. Maybe continue with R&S 5, but have 4 on hand in case he needs a simpler explanation of a concept.

 

2. Have him memorize things like definitions of parts of speech, definitions of parts of sentences ("a simple subject is....., a simple predicate is......, a complete subject is......, a complete predicate is......., a main verb is......), and lists of helpful things like helping verbs, linking verbs, prepositions, charts of the who/whom pronouns, etc.. Anything you find that lends itself to being defined or charted, for the sake of being able to dissect a sentence, have him memorize on flashcards every day as part of your preview of the lesson. I find this is even more efficient than memorizing "remember" boxes and the oral reviews in the TM (though those things are very helpful - memory work just makes those things that much easier).

 

hth

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