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skeleton battles (diagramming woes)


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How important is it that a 9yo be able to draw a skeleton?


Dragon prefers FLL to CGE as FLL3 has the skeletons already in place. He had a very discouraging day with CGE and kept trying to draw the same skeleton for every sentence even if it just needed a simple subject-verb skeleton.


He's been exceptionally challenging lately and I *know* he can do the work. He shows off all the time in practical application but balks at written work.


He even typed out the opening sequence from Batman Arkham Asylum from memory!! (He wants to write some fan fiction based on it.) He has lots of mechanics errors in the document but that's another story.


I don't think I could take another session like yesterday of him crying and me screaming in frustration.


Our troubles extend similarly to math. I know he can do it.

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I think part of it depends on where he is with identifying the parts of speech and parts of the sentence with and without the diagram frame. Is it a matter of needing to see the frame in order to see that there must be a direct object noun?


FWIW, when I diagram a sentence I find the verb and the subject and make that first part of the frame. Then I go through the rest of the sentence, adding on as I identify the role of the other words in the sentence. I don't try to look at the sentence, draw a frame and then fill it up (I probably could, but I think it's more prone to missing something or trying to force a word into a role it's not in).

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I'm afraid I don't understand. You say he prefers FLL3 to CGE... does that mean you have both? If you have a choice, scrap that one that's making him cry, for sure. If you're concerned that it doesn't go past 3 (as mentioned in your previous post), cross that bridge when you come to it, after you've given him a happy foundation. The source of the problem isn't clear from your post - do you have a strong English/grammar background? Is this a subject you are comfortable teaching? Are you sure he has a strong grasp of the basics, like parts of speech? Practically speaking, as you say, he is working at a very high level, but the foundational stuff is important, too.

Anyway, these are NOT the only 2 grammar programs for mid-elementary kids. When you get to the crying / screaming vicious cycle, it is time to cut the lesson short, for sure; just pull back and re-evaluate (as you're doing!).

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Prior to him starting the diagramming part of the lesson (in CGE), I showed him the models and when to use them.


The first three skeletons were drawn for him and they were all the same (compound subject and verb).


I was called away to deal with Mr. Picky Pants and he continued working. He had used the exact same skeleton for every sentence and became very upset with me when I came back and corrected him. And I, being frustrated with prior lessons and his behavior, screamed at him.


I feel like I gave in to something easier. It's not a good feeling.

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