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Help with English please!


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Hi! I desperately need some help with English. This is my first year homeschooling, and trying to figure out what to do/curriculum has been a nightmare! Would really appreciate some help! We are currently doing AAS1 (which we have liked), and just doing some "general" english books (some from scholastic, some from CHC 2nd grade). I have a 6 and almost 8 yr old, they are both fantastic readers. I just feel this "general" stuff is not cutting it, I am so afraid of leaving a huge gap! Just ran into Voyages in English... would I need the whole package (student book, teacher book etc) or probably would be just fine with the student book? I've also been looking into KISS... can't beat the cost of that one! And for the amount of money we've already invested this year... free sounds great.


Is KISS sufficient enough or more like a complementary program? Is Voyages in English really worth the investment? it looks great from what I can tell...but have already purchased lots of stuff this year that "looks great" and ends up not working. It just feels like the "general" stuff we are doing are just a good practice, but there is really no solid theory. Would Voyages in English provide that? and what about writing?? is Voyages good as an entire english program (that has grammar, reading and writing) or is it only grammar? :confused:


ANY help/comment would be really appreciated!!! We are supposed to be already into week 8... and it feels that I am leaving so many gaps behind (not only in English... science, social studies, haven't even started health...)! I keep telling myself that I must be doing an ok work (the girls seem happy), and that it's just me trying to get used to such a big change. They were both in school last year, it was a great school, so I am overly paranoid that I am not teaching them enough :001_huh:

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Ok, first... relax. :) In most traditional grammar programs, the grammar is taught from the beginning each year in grades 1-5. So you could skip grammar altogether this year and jump in next year without having holes. Seriously. Writing is another matter, but there are plenty of ways you can get writing going without a curriculum. Since this is all new to you, I'd keep writing simple this year - copywork and dictation, letters to friends/relatives, things like that. Next year, your older child could do a more formal writing program and not have missed anything.


I use KISS Grammar. It is a great grammar program, and it's pretty full as far as grammar goes (though it does not teach diagramming - you'd have to add that in if you want to teach it). It does not have a writing component, so you would need to do that separately. If you want to give it a try, download the Level 1 Grade 3 workbook and answer key. Give it a try (go through it yourself first to get a feel for it). There is no first grade level, but first graders don't HAVE to do grammar anyway. In fact, when I had a first grader, I was very frustrated because all of the first and second grade grammar programs taught things that my accelerated reader with a good command of the English language already understood well. He didn't need those levels of grammar. Third grade grammar got into some topics he hadn't figured out yet, plus diagramming (in traditional programs such as First Language Lessons or Rod & Staff). I felt like the first and second grade levels were useless for him... in any program. KISS starts at 3rd grade offiicially, though he has a 2nd grade book also. I haven't used that one. I started the 3rd grade book when DS1 was halfway through 2nd grade, after he'd worked halfway through FLL3. So he had some grammar background. We plan to complete Level 1 by the end of 3rd grade.


If you want an inexpensive grammar/writing program combined, you might take a look at Rod & Staff. It's thorough and gets the job done. It's much cheaper than Voyages in English. The English program starts in grade 2, but I would wait and start it at grade 3 level (I actually use it a year ahead when I use it with DS1, but the upper levels do get more difficult).


For writing, I'd start with copywork for the 6 year old, and copywork and dictation for the 8 year old. Do oral narrations with both. I highly recommend purchasing the $2.99 audio lecture about teaching writing in the elementary years from Peace Hill Press. That will explain the oral narrations. Have your 8 year old take from dictation one sentence of the narration. The 6 year old can copy one sentence, once a week to start out. You can do narrations across curriculum - history, science, religion, literature. You don't need to have them copy/dictate every narration. Just do a little writing each day and practice those oral narrations. For example, in WWE1, day 1 is short copywork of one sentence (eg, "Pa owned a pig."), day 2 is an oral narration from a passage of literature, day 3 is another short copywork of one sentence, and day 4 is oral narration from literature plus copying one sentence from that narration. So the actual writing each day is a total of one sentence, but the oral narration might be 2-3 sentences (actually, in level 1, the child just says "one thing they remember" - it can be anything!).


Hope that helps! You will get it figured out. Give yourself some time to settle in. If your kids are reading and being read to, the language arts will sort itself out. ;)

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Hi, my dd is 8 and in Gr 3. We use BJU English and BJU Reading. I like both of them a lot and it works really well for my daughter. The English program includes grammar and writing. I bought both sets through the Homeschool Buyers Co-op, which made it a lot cheaper than anywhere else.

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