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I need grammar help PLEASE!!


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I have asked about this here on the board before but I still can't figure it out.

 

My oldest son will be an 8th grader this fall but he has only completed through grade 5 of Rod & Staff English. He used three years of First Language Lessons and has used R&S since fourth grade. I think he started from the beginning of R&S 3. He likes R&S and he likes grammar.

 

I have been so stressed out because if we continue with R&S next year he will only be in the grade 6 book. For some reason, this is just really bothering me. I normally do not get hung up on grade levels but this is just stressing me to no end. It seems like we've done R&S forever but here he is behind grade level. I thought about skipping some lessons but that makes me nervous for some reason.

 

I purchased Analytical Grammar and it just arrived. I thought it would be better to condense grammar. Then, I wouldn't have to worry about the number on the book! He will be using Writing With Skill next year, so he won't really need the writing in R&S. He does like the writing instruction in R&S though. But, I'm just not sure about AG now that I actually have it in hand. I didn't think it was possible for anything to appear duller than R&S, but it does!!

 

So, this is what I want to know... be honest :tongue_smilie:... is being behind in R&S a big deal? I mean, big enough of a deal to make a change? Because, if it's not, I think we are going to stick with it and just try to speed it up, cut out some of the review (I've always had him do everything), and see how it all pans out around the end of 10th grade.

 

Thanks! Any feedback welcome.

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Well, I would say figure out why he is behind. Is he not comprehending? Is the actual work just take too long and/or too repetitive? Is he not getting to grammar lessons enough?

 

For example we are always behind in history and latin because at the end of the day those are the subjects we drop due to running out of time or steam.

 

Once you know why he is a year behind then you'll have a better idea of how to catch up.

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He's behind because he started R&S 3 in 4th grade rather than in 3rd grade. He used First Language Lessons up until that point. I didn't want him to "miss" anything and it just seemed the best place to start him at the time. Then, the curriculum we have been using schedules R&S 5 over two years because it's just one component of a fuller LA course and it gives them time to fit these other areas of LA into their day. So, yes, the hold up has been that we just haven't gone through the material very quickly. He has no problem at all with comprehension.

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The teacher who teaches high school literature to local honor students uses R&S 7 for grammar with the high schoolers! This woman also teaches college english so I trust her opinions. We're starting R&S 6 this year with my rising 7th grader and I am fine with that since she will continue to 7 next year.

Stick with what works for your bunch:)

Paula

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He's behind because he started R&S 3 in 4th grade rather than in 3rd grade. He used First Language Lessons up until that point. I didn't want him to "miss" anything and it just seemed the best place to start him at the time. Then, the curriculum we have been using schedules R&S 5 over two years because it's just one component of a fuller LA course and it gives them time to fit these other areas of LA into their day. So, yes, the hold up has been that we just haven't gone through the material very quickly. He has no problem at all with comprehension.

Well, then put him in the 7th grade text and call it a day. That's only one year "behind," which is fine. The only reason I'd suggest 7th instead of 8th is that the writing really picks up in 7th, and he might not be ready for that yet.

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I think you're fine either way.... AG or R&S. R&S - 1 year behind or 2 years behind - either way. My scattered thoughts comparing the two options: Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems like AG goes through the "trees" quicker to get to the forest (analyzing entire sentences), whereas R&S seems to go tree by tree the entire year. Which approach appeals more to you and your ds? My ds seems to hate all grammar, but honestly I didn't think the sentences in AG were that bad. Each lesson they stayed on a particular topic. They did a good job of letting ds practice the new part of speech being learned. I really liked that he went to a new part of speech each week and added the parsing and diagramming of that part to what had previously been learned. Also, we did not do every sentence. If we did half or so and he demonstrated reasonable mastery I called it good. (I'm a bit lazy that way). I guess I'm a bit biased towards AG because it seems to work with the way I think. It's not my goal to convince you it's better, but just help you decide if you would like it or not. I like the straightforward instruction, and I like that I'm not trying to guess how much review to do because by constantly analyzing and diagramming entire sentences the review is built in.

 

HTH.

 

ETA: In the interest of full disclosure, we've only completed season 1 of AG. I hear that Season 2 gets more difficult... we may spread it out longer than the suggested completion time.

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I started my 9th grader in R&S 5 back in the day b/c he hadn't had much grammar at all. It's not so behind to just be one level back. He'll be fine.

By the time he gets to high school, he'll be doing so much writing that he'll be using the grammar instead of just learning it. Go as far as you can--even if you use all Rod and Staff, like a pp said, it only goes up to 10th grade, so you can finish it in 11th and still be fine...if you want to even go that far--it gets into rather obsure stuff in the last two books (but I think it's fun!).

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Personally, I would just do what you know you and HE likes. I would stick with the R&S because he likes it and learns from it. I wouldn't let the number on the cover bother me too much (of course it would, so I would try not to look at the cover, lol). Just my two cents. :)

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We took things very slow. I had hopes of entering R&S 5 this year, but we will be a book behind too. I opted to focus more on sentence construtction (an ongoing problem here) using diagrams and Winston Grammar for POS identification.

 

So, my opinion is that you should do what fits the child and not worry about level or grade indicators. Most of the books are way above what a mainstreamed education would consider grade appropriate anyway!

 

Remember this: If it works, don't fix it. :D

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Donna,

I'm putting my 4th grader in book 3 this year. I decided she just wasn't ready for the 4th grade book, and the 3rd grade book would have been a disaster last year. As for my oldest, I have the 7th grade book, but I'm still torn on whether to use it or not. I've been reading a lot of CM stuff (stuff *SNORT*) and many use Our Mother Tongue for Jr high and abandon grammar in High School (VP does this). I'm toying with it, and I thought I'd throw that thought out there.

 

Blessings!

Dorinda

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