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My new reader and LA questions


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First, I know I should be happy my boy is reading. :D In two weeks he went from refusing to sound out the word "bob" to reading at a first grade level. I personally don't think he actually 'learned' it that quickly, but that he has been learning the past two years but refusing or not confident enough to demonstrate the skills. He can read first grade readers now with little to no help and has memorized the entire dolch word lists for K and 1st. He recognizes word families and is breaking up big words into smaller words to sound them out. At this rate I expect him to be fully at 2nd grade level (which is age appropriate) by Christmas. His writing is improving. He wrote "Tranquillity Base Here" and spelled it "Trenquelty" which impressed me that he remembered the 'qu' sound since we haven't reviewed it since last year.


He does have issues with writing letters backwards and transposing letters. He was tested for LDs this past summer and none were found, although that is what led to further testing that uncovered the extent of his giftedness. It is the letters I would expect an emerging reader to transpose -- mainly b, d, q, p. I am guessing this is age/skill appropriate and will work itself out with further practice?


I don't expect, although you can never know, that he will ever be enamoured of language arts. By his own admittance, he is only learning to read because DH read him some requirements for High Schoolers wanting to work for NASA that included "a love for learning" and "Study hard and get good grades." He assumed study hard meant studying books. He won't listen to mom and dad when we tell him he'll need to learn to read, but he'll listen to NASA. :lol:


My conundrum is what next? Should I spend the rest of the year just letting him continue to practice and gain confidence in reading with skill appropriate books, or do I begin a more formal language arts program once he is at grade level? Now that it's turned on, I don't want to turn it off by hitting him with too much, too soon. I use MCT with my older son, but I don't think it will appeal to my little scientist. I also don't want to spend a lot of time doing copywork at this point. He doesn't like it and honestly, he already has excellent handwriting (his fine motor skills have always been advanced). I don't think a heavily literature-based program would appeal at all and when he digs his heels in he really digs them in.


Right now we practice reading aloud, reading to self, daily journal writing (just a couple of sentences), and play reading/word work games. My question is, when do I start introducing more grammar, spelling and vocabulary, and writing work? Any advice on how I should do it or appropriate (nonreligious) curriculums and when you would implement them? If it matters, we use Miquon for math, inquiry-based projects/task cards/outside classes and clubs for science, and follow the WTM rotation for history using living books/task cards. For reading/LA I would like something that takes less planning on my part since the other subjects already require quite a bit of hands-on prep from me. If I do go with a curriculum, low-cost is preferred until I know how fast he is going to continue to move through it. I feel like we already blow the homeschool budget on math and science!


Sorry this is so long-winded!

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He sounds like my oldest ds. He's a math/engineering type of child and LA is more difficult for him. He also gets frustrated easily. He just made the jump from reading random words on a page, box, etc. to reading a whole book. He's in first grade this year and so far all we have done is handwriting, spelling, and reading games. I use spelling as a bridge to reading, using AAS. I do plan on doing copywork and eventually some simple grammar from the literature that I'm reading to him. I only pick words/sentences to copy that the child can read. Copywork is not just for practicing penmanship. It also teaches the child how a sentence is put together. They learn that each sentence begins with a capital letter, punctuation marks, etc. We are also doing narrations. In general, I plan on following SWB's recommendations to start with narrations and copywork, and to eventually move on to dictation then writing their own narrations. I just started CW-Aesop with my oldest dd this year, and she was already doing copywork and writing her own narrations.


I don't really have any other programs to recommend (unless you change your mind and want to go with WWE for writing) as I plan on doing my own thing for ds's LA. I feel it would fit him better and he would be more interested.

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He won't listen to mom and dad when we tell him he'll need to learn to read, but he'll listen to NASA. :lol:


off-topic - Endeavor is doing a flyover very soon


I have two aspiring astronauts and I just let them lose at the Junior non-fiction part of the library for them to read all the astronomy books they like.


We did not do formal grammar, spelling and writing at that age but they did pick up grammar and vocabulary unintentionally from all the science books they read.


My older boy memorised the Frys 1000 word list in kinder just because he wants to read the "harder" books.

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here's some quick thoughts (need to make dinner!):


Sonlight is great for literature that bright children enjoy -- look at their read-aloud and reader packages for some great ideas (I don't share their religious leanings, but found some treasures in the readers I bought from them).


For reading aloud, a few Sonlight Hits were Mr. Popper's Penguins; Baum's Wizard of Oz; Dr. Dolittle (and we're now reading the Voyages of Dr. Dolittle -- get all these in a modern edition, the true originals have language about Africans that is unacceptable). These are just fun.


I also like ATA's recommended reading lists as a point of departure.


Here's a link to a post by Lori D on a recent of thread of mine RE readers for this age/level that get the children enthusiastic. Most should be available at your library.


It is usual to do some continuing phonics; some grammar/copywork; some spelling; and some handwriting/copywork at this age. If you are WTM-ish.


For straight-up WTM: Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading for phonics; First Language Lessons for grammar; Writing With Ease (start with WWE1) for writing; Zaner-Bloser for handwriting. Zaner-Bloser has a free online font generator that will allow you to make copywork pages with your own text; just search for it.


Cheaper, more old-school and also more flexible and interesting (IMHO!): either OPGTR or Phonics Pathways/Reading Pathways books for phonics (your library may carry those); KISS for grammar; Modern Speller for spelling (assign the phrases and words as copywork in the AM, dictate in the PM, note trouble areas and review those frequently); handwriting either with the free Zaner-Bloser handwriting or if you are ambitious hunt around briem.net (go to Italics Project; then Teaching Aids; then explore). For writing see posts #33 and #34 by 8FillTheHeart in this thread ...


okay, dinner is gonna have to be crudites and hummus and I'm off to chop! HTH!!!

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Thank you for the replies!


I'm not opposed to copywork and I used it with my eldest, I just don't think this is the time for DS. He's just discovering the joy of words and copywork squashes it for him, so I want to hold off until he is more secure in his reading ability, if that makes sense. He enjoys free-writing in his journal so my plan is to segue that into copywork later on.


The lists of readers is very much appreciated! I am definitely going to be spending some time on my library site tonight reserving a few of these. I will also look into Reading Pathways and will see if our local homeschool bookshop has a copy of OPGTR. I'll also check out a few of the other programs mentioned here at the bookshop. Thank you all so much!

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I'm not opposed to copywork and I used it with my eldest, I just don't think this is the time for DS. He's just discovering the joy of words and copywork squashes it for him, so I want to hold off until he is more secure in his reading ability, if that makes sense. He enjoys free-writing in his journal so my plan is to segue that into copywork later on.


I found that my oldest tolerated copywork more if he picked it out himself. He also preferred writing sentences where he DOES something to the sentence, like filling in a word or fixing punctuation, etc. In his prime anti-copywork days, I used R&S English written exercises as his "copywork" to get him physically writing.


Another idea I got from 8FillTheHeart is to make up copywork sentences yourself around a topic that your child likes. She gave me an example with a Star Wars theme, and my son loved it. :lol:


As far as the letter reversals go, my son is 8 and still reverses b and d. Just the other day in his spelling, he wrote "numder"... twice. :tongue_smilie: I just had him correct it, and he recognized the issue. He often catches himself. It did really help him when I explained that /b/ makes a line with your lips, and the 'b' starts with a line. /d/ makes a circle with your lips, and the 'd' starts with a circle. He reversed a lot less after I told him that. Worked for my middle son too (visual thinker, so letter and word reversals are common for him, like "up" was read "qu" one day).

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