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Which Language Arts? (gr. 1-2)


AsgardCA
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Edit: Ok, I'm looking at WWE, AAS & AAR. Do these overlap at all? Is it overkill? What about with the Shurley English that we've already got? I would love to get the AAR Pre-1 for DS4, too.

 

 

I've been trying to plan our second year and realized I don't have much in terms of language arts for DS. He's 6, doing grade 1-2 work, and he's been reading very well since 4, but is self-taught.

 

I've recently got Wordly Wise 3000 K for younger DS and was thinking of getting it for DS too. I've got the Shurley English 1 TM, but I'm not sure what else I need to cover everything (phonics, grammar, spelling, vocab, etc.) in language arts. Any suggestions?

 

What I've got for him so far:

Geography - (focus on Canada, then World) replaced by History Odyssey when we're done

French

Science - Start Up Science (Singapore), then R.E.A.L.

Math - finish Saxon 1, Saxon 2/Singapore/JUMP (not sure)

Arts - composer study, Music for Little Mozarts

 

Am I missing anything else?

Edited by meggeh
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I've recently got Wordly Wise 3000 K for younger DS and was thinking of getting it for DS too. I've got the Shurley English 1 TM, but I'm not sure what else I need to cover everything (phonics, grammar, spelling, vocab, etc.) in language arts. Any suggestions?

 

Since he is self taught in reading, I would make sure he is strong on his basic phonics, which can have gaps in a child who was self taught. You could go through a book like The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Reading and skipping sections that are obviously too easy for him.

 

For grammar, the Shurley English would fit that bill if you wanted to do it since you already have part of the program.

 

Would you like a workbook approach or an approach that requires more of you? All About Spelling is awesome for this.

 

For vocabulary, you could do the Wordly Wise, though my opinion is that children rarely remember vocabulary from workbooks like this. I know some children have, though. Mine just don't. :) I like to talk about vocabulary in our literature selections and then in 4th or 5th grade I want to do root word studies (prefixes, root word, suffixes, etc.)

 

Bumping for more responses!

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I agree with 3peasinapod. I would find a spelling program that is based on phonics (like AAS) to ensure he is strong in that so as he gets older he learns how to tackle multi-syllable words, etc.

 

The other things is how is his handwriting? Good? Not so great? If not, I would consider doing some sort of handwriting practice with him.

 

I, too, usually do vocab. in the context of our read- alouds and in history and science.

 

But otherwise I have not used much homeschool programs for lang. arts, but put things together, maybe someone will know of a program that might fit.:001_smile:

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Since he is self taught in reading, I would make sure he is strong on his basic phonics, which can have gaps in a child who was self taught. You could go through a book like The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Reading and skipping sections that are obviously too easy for him.

 

For grammar, the Shurley English would fit that bill if you wanted to do it since you already have part of the program.

 

Would you like a workbook approach or an approach that requires more of you? All About Spelling is awesome for this.

 

For vocabulary, you could do the Wordly Wise, though my opinion is that children rarely remember vocabulary from workbooks like this. I know some children have, though. Mine just don't. :) I like to talk about vocabulary in our literature selections and then in 4th or 5th grade I want to do root word studies (prefixes, root word, suffixes, etc.)

 

Bumping for more responses!

 

I'm really not sure what I'd like. He works well independently and I suppose that would be helpful as this is the first year that I'll have to divide my attention. AAS is the one with the letter tiles, right? I'm not sure how we'd like that. Can it be used without that?

 

I liked the thought of Wordly Wise just because I'm horrible at coming up with my own lists of vocab, but I can probably find that online. I hadn't thought of that.

 

 

I agree with 3peasinapod. I would find a spelling program that is based on phonics (like AAS) to ensure he is strong in that so as he gets older he learns how to tackle multi-syllable words, etc.

 

The other things is how is his handwriting? Good? Not so great? If not, I would consider doing some sort of handwriting practice with him.

 

I, too, usually do vocab. in the context of our read- alouds and in history and science.

 

But otherwise I have not used much homeschool programs for lang. arts, but put things together, maybe someone will know of a program that might fit.:001_smile:

 

He's fairly good at either remembering how words are spelled or at least guessing correctly. He reads chapter books himself (we're still working on more comprehension) and can read most everything he sees, rarely he gives them the wrong sort of vowel sound, though, so I think he may need to review the "silent e" but he can definitely read multi-syllable words.

 

His handwriting is pretty good. Better than my husbands, lol. We've still got most of HWT 1 left over that I was going to add in this year. I think I will tie in our vocab words to our science and history as well.

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Here are things I like for LA which may work for your child:

 

Spelling Power

Winning With Writing (Level 2 may be good)

Evan Moor's Skill Sharpener's Reading workbooks (mostly for reading comprehension, but also has some phonics and other grammar)

Critical Thinking's Language Smarts workbooks (these are pricey, but I like them very much. They incorporate grammar, phonics, and some writing review work)

 

This year I am also going to try these:

 

Memoria Press' Copywork workbooks

Vocabulary Workshop workbooks

 

You may also want to add some history. Reading narrative histories for kids is great at that age, as are historical fiction and biographies.

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Here are things I like for LA which may work for your child:

 

Spelling Power

Winning With Writing (Level 2 may be good)

Evan Moor's Skill Sharpener's Reading workbooks (mostly for reading comprehension, but also has some phonics and other grammar)

Critical Thinking's Language Smarts workbooks (these are pricey, but I like them very much. They incorporate grammar, phonics, and some writing review work)

 

This year I am also going to try these:

 

Memoria Press' Copywork workbooks

Vocabulary Workshop workbooks

 

You may also want to add some history. Reading narrative histories for kids is great at that age, as are historical fiction and biographies.

 

I will look into these, thank you. I do have some history readers and biographies lined up at the library. I wasn't sure if I should keep those for the second half of our year when we'll switch Geo to History or read them early on regardless.

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I had one like that taught herself basically to read before K. By the end of K she was reading American Girl and Magic Treehouse books and just about anything else. Mine could also write, and wrote constantly and neatly.

 

I was already using Rod and Staff for math (she did the 1st grade in K) so I looked there first. Since I had read so much about how the English is advanced in later years, I decided not to push her ahead into it a grade ahead, even though she could have handled the 2nd grade easily in 1st grade. (Later on I have been happy with this decision. L.A. stuff still comes easily to her, but the writing comprehension exercises have been right on, and too much too soon there might have been a challenge)

 

So I purchased R&S 1 reading and phonics to make sure there were no gaps. I had her skip unit 1 altogether. It was letters and sounds. She started with unit 2 which was the silent e. She had all of the phonics rules figured out, but going through phonics meant she knew why the letters sounded the way they did. And she would have never known the phonetic words like digraph and such w/out going through the program.

 

The reading in R&S 1 was simple for her of course, but we used it for comprehension and Bible. We did SOTW, so she did extra reading there in books that were higher levels, and she continued to read all of her chapter books that year that she loved.

 

The phonics work was quick easy work for her always, but I knew it was getting done, and there were no gaps. She continued on and did the 2nd grade phonics in 2nd, and we dropped the reading and went to R&S English and WTM style reading in 2nd grade.

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My kids have all been early/strong readers and seemingly natural spellers. I actually like Wordly Wise a lot in this situation. It can be handwriting practice (if you require them to write neatly and slowly, and assuming that they already know correct letter formation), obviously it is vocabulary work, can be used to study spelling patterns (you will have to explain the spelling rule behind some words), and the reading comprehension section is fantastic, in my opinion. Because it is largely independent work (rare for anything at this grade level), I think it you get a good 'bang for your buck' both in terms of cost and in terms of the subjects it can be used to cover.

 

What I consider ideal for LA coverage for grades 1-2:

grammar

writing

vocab/spelling/handwriting (combined or separately)

great read alouds and independent reading with narration

 

If you're not already sold on a grammar/writing program, take a look at Voyages in English by Loyola Press. The grade 1 and grade 2 books are work texts (grammar and writing combined in one volume per grade). They're straight-forward, cover all the essentials, are inexpensive, and they get done. I've had good results using them with my girls. I don't like this program from 3rd grade on b/c it is a hardback text (expensive and very schooly - most activities are geared toward a classroom), but I love the 1st and 2nd grade books.

 

Hope that helps!

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Here's what we're doing this year (with my 5yo who is reading well and doing 1st, and my 7yo who is reading well and working at 2nd/3rd) :

 

Reading/History/Geography - Sonlight Core B (for both), 5yo (2nd grade readers), 7yo (3rd grade readers)

 

Handwriting/Writing - 5yo still working on handwriting (thinking about starting WWE 1), 7yo practicing cursive and doing Writing Tales 1

 

Phonics/Spelling -AAS for both

 

Grammar - 7yo will be continuing Easy Grammar 3, 5yo may start Daily Grams 2. I've had success with doing Daily Grams 2 in first grade (if the kids are already reading and writing well).

 

Math - 5yo Saxon 2, 7yo Saxon 3

 

Science - BJU Science

 

Art - Mark Kistler's Online Drawing Lessons

 

Music - undecided

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I'm glad there are many options but sometimes it seems there are too many, especially for indecisive ones such as myself.
:iagree: I love it when I'm planning my younger kids because I've done it enough times that I have definite favorites. Some of my curriculum are like old friends. :) When I venture into new grades, however, it can be SO difficult. Although I have to confess I think the researching is kinda fun, too.
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Where does WWE fit in? That looks interesting, and I think DS might like it (from what I see in the sample)... But is that just writing, or other stuff mixed in? Would it be an overlap of something we're already planning to use?

 

I'm no good at classifying, obviously. :)

 

Although I have to confess I think the researching is kinda fun, too.

 

I like researching them too, but it's taking up all my free time, and I'm still lost!

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Where does WWE fit in? That looks interesting, and I think DS might like it (from what I see in the sample)... But is that just writing, or other stuff mixed in? Would it be an overlap of something we're already planning to use?
We haven't actually used WWE yet, so maybe someone else will chime in here. I would probably use it for writing only. However, I would drop doing handwriting worksheets and just count this as handwriting practice since dd already knows how to form the letters. She just needs practice perfecting them. :) It looks like there is some grammar, enough for me to drop Daily Grams 2, but I don't know if it would suffice for older kids. I'm sure we'll stick with Easy Grammar starting in 3rd grade.

 

Did you look at the samples on Amazon or Peace Hill Press? Amazon is less expensive, but Peace Hill Press has much better samples of their books.

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Did you look at the samples on Amazon or Peace Hill Press? Amazon is less expensive, but Peace Hill Press has much better samples of their books.

 

I was looking at them on Peace Hill Press. I'll have to keep looking into it, I'm still undecided. Definitely still stuck for the rest of language arts.. Still looking into all those suggestions :)

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Ok, I'm looking at WWE, AAS & AAR. Do these overlap at all? Is it overkill? What about with the Shurley English that we've already got? I would love to get the AAR Pre-1 for DS4, too.

 

I'll add this to the first post, too.

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For what it's worth, I think you've chosen some solid programs. I'm not sure how AAR and AAS work together, because we've always done Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons before AAS, with great success. I think AAR looks good, I just chose to stick with what has always worked well for us.

 

I think it's wise that you've chosen separate spelling/phonics and writing programs. Overall, I think your plan looks pretty good. I'm not sure what grade Shurley English begins, but I don't typically start formal grammar until 2nd-3rd grade.

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Ok, I'm looking at WWE, AAS & AAR. Do these overlap at all? Is it overkill? What about with the Shurley English that we've already got? I would love to get the AAR Pre-1 for DS4, too.

 

I'll add this to the first post, too.

 

WWE, AAS and AAR would be fine. I wouldn't add anything else, except for a handwriting workbook if handwriting is an issue (you can correct handwriting during copywork, too).

 

I've taught Writing with Ease 1 3x now. :thumbup1: It takes maybe 10-15 minutes at the most and you use it 4x a week. It alternates between copy work, narration exercises (asking comprehension questions after reading a passage) and narration exercise+copywork. I always have them start WWE1 in December of 1st grade (but you could start earlier). On the Peace Hill Press website, there are audio lectures on how to teach writing for sale. Those lectures were very helpful to me. If you buy WWE, I just buy the workbook. It has student pages and also day-to-day instructions on what to say/what to do (it's scripted).

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Just for clarification, are you saying the book, The Complete Writer: Writing With Ease, is not really needed? I've been trying to figure out if it's necessary. Thanks!

 

OK, I hate to link from Amazon (sorry PHP), but it's easier to see in the amazon window. Yes, I just buy the workbook.

 

This is not the workbook: http://www.amazon.com/The-Complete-Writer-Writing-Ease/dp/193333925X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1342612800&sr=8-1&keywords=writing+with+ease This hardcover - The Complete Writer - is for grades 1-4 writing - and it's a guide...you choose your own copy work/dictation/passages. I don't own this version, so if I'm wrong, someone correct me. It looks like this book would be the most cost-effective. It looks like you could use it all 4 years of writing.

 

This: http://www.amazon.com/The-Complete-Writer-Workbook-Writing/dp/1933339268/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1342612800&sr=8-2&keywords=writing+with+ease is the workbook itself. You don't have to buy The Complete Writer to use the workbook. You can click on that *CLICK TO LOOK INSIDE* and you can see the Table of Contents and the first pages of the teacher's section. There are 36 Weeks of writing in the workbook. The first half is the teacher's guide and the last half of the book is the student pages.

 

Someone correct me if I'm wrong here!

 

Here's her audio lectures:

 

http://www.welltrainedmind.com/store/audio-products/audio-lectures.html

 

They are awesome. I've bought and listened to a number of them. They helped a lot. Also, if you're not aware, SWB has a YouTube channel with some question/answer stuff on there.

 

Edited to say: here's her YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/peacehillpress?feature=results_main

Edited by starrbuck12
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I started Shurley English Level 1 when my oldest was in first grade. It does an excellent job of teaching all the parts of speech through sentence parsing. The jingles help you to remember everything being learned (the noun jingle). There is also a writing component that we don't exactly follow. I use Write Source because it's more creative minded. For LA we also use AAS, ETC, Zaner-Bloser Cursive, Wordly Wise 3000, and lots of reading with comprehension and narration.

My 6yo has not started Shurley English yet or the cursive, but does all the rest listed above and I add in HWT, HOP 1, and OPGTR.

Edited by Kathleen.
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I started Shurley English Level 1 when my oldest was in first grade. It does an excellent job of teaching all the parts of speech through sentence parsing. The jingles help you to remember everything being learned (the noun jingle). There is also a writing component that we don't exactly follow. I use Write Source because it's more creative minded. For LA we also use AAS, ETC, Zaner-Bloser Cursive, and lots of reading with comprehension and narration.

My 6yo has not started Shurley English yet or the cursive, but does all the rest listed above and I add in HWT, HOP 1, and OPGTR.

 

I haven't gone through the whole Shurley English 1 book yet, but this is why I was going to include it. We were learning a bit about different parts of speech last year so I figured it would review and continue that. I wasn't sure if that's included in any of the other curriculum I was inquiring about. Maybe I'll just add a bit here and there.

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WWE, AAS and AAR would be fine. I wouldn't add anything else, except for a handwriting workbook if handwriting is an issue (you can correct handwriting during copywork, too).

 

I've taught Writing with Ease 1 3x now. :thumbup1: It takes maybe 10-15 minutes at the most and you use it 4x a week. It alternates between copy work, narration exercises (asking comprehension questions after reading a passage) and narration exercise+copywork. I always have them start WWE1 in December of 1st grade (but you could start earlier). On the Peace Hill Press website, there are audio lectures on how to teach writing for sale. Those lectures were very helpful to me. If you buy WWE, I just buy the workbook. It has student pages and also day-to-day instructions on what to say/what to do (it's scripted).

 

I was going to finish up our HWT book from last year and see how we are from there. Thank you for letting me know how WWE works. I was looking at the sample pages, and see there's a reading selection list. Then there are sample passages from those books, so are the books only used for those passages? Or are there more exercises for the rest of the book?

 

Maybe I need to take another look at it to make some sense of it. I think some of these curriculum are meshing together in my mind.

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