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CheerioKid
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The most important question I would ask is: is he able to correctly use English grammar, construct complex varied sentences and diagnose incorrect sentences? If so, I would not worry one little bit.

Diagramming sentences is not a necessary skill, but rather a TOOL for better active usage of language.

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First, stay calm. I used to teach 8th grade English. What you are seeing is VERY common. It's a terrible reflection of the educational system (hence, why I left it), but it's the truth. Kids are expected to write from K+, but they are given little to no grammar instruction.

Second, I would be grabbing something like Write Source, and I would work through it thoroughly with your child. Another excellent option would be Rod and Staff English if a Christian curriculum doesn't bother you. You need something that has solid grammar instruction at this point. Some of it will be review, some probably never "stuck". Backtracking is the key here, imho. I know others may have more suggestions, but these two English programs are my favorite because they are SO thorough.

MCT may be a good choice as well (dropping all the way down to the first level) since grammar can be taught in story format. Another great resource is Grammarland. It's a story about all the parts of speech that was written in 1877. An update was made in 2009.


eta: I have heard Hake is amazing; however, I do not have personal experience with it.

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The most important question I would ask is: is he able to correctly use English grammar, construct complex varied sentences and diagnose incorrect sentences? If so, I would not worry one little bit.

Diagramming sentences is not a necessary skill, but rather a TOOL for better active usage of language.

 

Laura

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I guess I should have said, we are using Rod and Staff English 8 for him, it's just way too advanced at the moment. He wanted to use his brother's book, (7)...which I wanted to run by the hive before I made that decision. It's basically teaching the same thing, so I don't think just switching back to 7th grade is going to solve the problem. I need a remedial catch-all. His score on the Chapter 1 test was 72. He's not failing miserably, but as always, he is just doing enough to get by. He even said, "I liked public school because I could just get a B and move on to the next thing...you're going to make me learn this stuff." :lol:

 

As far as actual diagramming, I was going to drop it...but ironically, he is also my visual learner. I think if he understood what he was diagramming, that it would help rather than be discouraging.

 

He uses proper grammar for the most part, however his spelling is HIDEOUS!!

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The most important question I would ask is: is he able to correctly use English grammar, construct complex varied sentences and diagnose incorrect sentences? If so, I would not worry one little bit.

Diagramming sentences is not a necessary skill, but rather a TOOL for better active usage of language.

 

:iagree: I really could not agree more. I went to a a very academically challenging private school from K-8. We never diagrammed sentences although we definitely did grammar. We only breezed over things like direct objects. However we did write and write and write and write some more. My 8th grade research paper had more bibliography requirements and had to be longer in length than my senior year public school AP english research paper.

 

I got through college and dozens of research papers (in which I usually scored an A) based off what I was taught K-8. However I have no clue how to diagram a sentence. I'm actually learning with my 3rd grader and he often gets more correct than I do lol.

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If you want to use R&S, go all the way back to grade 5 or 6. Neither are babyish at all. I am tutoring a 16yo with grade 5 right now, with great success. She is challenged and learning, she loves the diagramming, and her writing is tremendously improved.

 

I am working with a few theories to justify my use of a fifth grade book with a 16yo student:

 

1. The grammar in the grade five book is more than I learned in school (and my school actually taught grammar).

2. It thoroughly teaches all the parts of speech and more, with enough instruction and practice in diagramming to make the grammar study a very usable editing tool throughout the rest of the child's homeschool career.

3. After this year, we will not do formal study but instead use writing programs that include some grammar. We'll probably use Write Shop, but there are other grammar-conscious writing programs out there.

 

So for my tutored student, R&S grade 5 English will be the extent of her formal grammar study. When the student is going to be an adult in a few years, you really have to get down to the nuts and bolts of more mature writing. I don't want to spend our limited time on the more obscure points of grammar. I'll be able to draw upon her grammar study this year and refer to those concepts as I help her develop her writing skills.

 

I like R&S because I have taught grades 2-10 and I'm used to it. Another really good option is Warriner's. It was a staple textbook in American schools for a long, long time, and the levels are less noticeably graded.

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If you want to use R&S, go all the way back to grade 5 or 6. Neither are babyish at all.
:iagree:I totally agree. I've used the R&S grammar books 3-10 with multiple children, and the 5th grade book is the place to start. Don't worry if you never get to the 9/10 books. As long as you are progressing through them at a reasonable pace, your children will get plenty of grammar.

 

My dc do R&S grammar M-Th, so they do four lessons a week. They do the tests, and a test counts as a lesson. It works out well with a 34-36 week school year.

 

I come from a grammar-challenged background, and I've learned so much from R&S. It wouldn't have worked for us to do a more cursory program.

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The most important question I would ask is: is he able to correctly use English grammar, construct complex varied sentences and diagnose incorrect sentences? If so, I would not worry one little bit.

Diagramming sentences is not a necessary skill, but rather a TOOL for better active usage of language.

 

I just came back and read this more thoroughly. He does NOT construct "complex varied sentences" by any means, but he doesn't sound like a dunce when he talks either. His sentences are very straight forward, without a lot of thought. Hmmmm.

 

I let him read the Grammarland sample, and he really liked it. He asked just today if there was a "Life of Fred" for English. I think that's about as close as he's going to get.

 

 

 

This is off topic a bit, but not completely: I try to set a good example with the way I speak, but honestly, he is a very scatterbrained child. When we need him to do something (like to go get something that happens to be in a particularly un-obvious place in another room) we have to spell it out for him. Quite often it takes 2 or 3 trips to the location before he finds what he is looking for. Is there anything that can help with that? We have struggled with it for YEARS.

 

If I tell him to "go get the purple washcloth from the rack in my bathroom" it does. not. compute. It goes more like this (with lots of hand motioning). "Jonathan, if you go to my bathroom"...pause...point down the hall...repeat as necessary..."and look on the rack by the door"...pause...gesture to my left hand side...repeat as necessary...(there's only one rack anywhere near the door)..."there is a purple washcloth hanging there"...pause..."would you please get it and bring it to me?"

 

Should I re-post this part on the general board? Just tell me to :chillpill: if this is normal...

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I guess I should have said, we are using Rod and Staff English 8 for him, it's just way too advanced at the moment.

Yes, that would have been helpful. :)

 

He wanted to use his brother's book, (7)...which I wanted to run by the hive before I made that decision. It's basically teaching the same thing, so I don't think just switching back to 7th grade is going to solve the problem. I need a remedial catch-all. His score on the Chapter 1 test was 72. He's not failing miserably, but as always, he is just doing enough to get by. He even said, "I liked public school because I could just get a B and move on to the next thing...you're going to make me learn this stuff." :lol:

I'm still recommending Easy Grammar Plus.

 

As far as actual diagramming, I was going to drop it...but ironically, he is also my visual learner. I think if he understood what he was diagramming, that it would help rather than be discouraging.

Maybe. Maybe not. I'm still recommending Easy Grammar Plus. :D

 

He uses proper grammar for the most part, however his spelling is HIDEOUS!!

Well, that's a whole different issue, and for spelling, my recommendatio is Spalding. I've done Spalding with children his age, and they made amazing improvement in spelling grade-level in just a few short months.

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Nope, that is NOT normal. That sounds like an auditory processing disorder. I have 2 with it. My oldest writes like yours does for academic writing and he has APD. But his stories and poems are fantastic! Go figure.

 

How well does he comprehend what he reads? Mine found R&S too wordy. He would lose the meaning in the jungle of superfluous words.

 

His comprehension is really good, in my opinion. He remembers so many details from the books he reads...he talks about them incessantly when he finds something he really likes. Even from Harry Potter, which he read through I think just once a couple of years ago, he remembers details that I've forgotten (because they weren't in the movie...) and I've read all the books 2-3 times.

 

He is breezing through Apologia Biology. I had him draw cell diagrams for the younger two to label, for a grade.

 

He is a freaking amazing artist. You would not believe how well he can draw, and folding origami is a close second. If I am quizzing him on paper for something, and I take too long to get started or answer a question for someone else, he will be start folding the paper in his hand. Crazy.

 

So, if he does have an auditory processing problem, how do we work around that? Just have him do more reading? He really liked the Grammarland sample, so I plan to buy the whole book.

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I'm still recommending Easy Grammar Plus. :D

 

I just read a couple of reviews....It's so funny what they keep saying about crossing out prepositional phrases....that's what I kept telling him to do, ignore the prepositional phrases! It took me longer than it should have to realize that he had no clue what a prepositional phrase was. I think I'll check this out too. Thanks! Do you recommend the teacher manual or is the student book pretty self explanatory? One of the reviews I read said that her child just took it and ran with it, no real "teaching" from the "teacher"....

 

Graded Lessons in English (full textbook)

 

And I am LOVING the 19th century books!! Some of them are amazing...and some are just plain funny/sad....especially when they talk about "negros" and heathens...lol! The hellfire and dmnation mentality really shows.

 

I'm still looking through the other stuff...The OP was in complete frustration after trying to cover prepositional phrases with him. I'll look through some more tomorrow. I totally got sucked in by the 19th century stuff...lol!

Edited by CheerioKid
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I just read a couple of reviews....It's so funny what they keep saying about crossing out prepositional phrases....that's what I kept telling him to do, ignore the prepositional phrases! It took me longer than it should have to realize that he had no clue what a prepositional phrase was. I think I'll check this out too. Thanks! Do you recommend the teacher manual or is the student book pretty self explanatory? One of the reviews I read said that her child just took it and ran with it, no real "teaching" from the "teacher"....

The student book has all the same instruction in it as the teacher book. What it doesn't have is the answers, and I must exhort you to make the corrections yourself, rather than handing it off to your ds. More than one parent has rued the day she allowed her child to make his own corrections only to discover weeks down the road that he had been getting most everything wrong, such that he had to start over, from the beginning.

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I might pair up MCT Grammar Town, paragraph Town, and Caesar's Englsh. I have a kid with APD and strong visual learning ability who is thriving with MCT and is also a Fred fan.

 

There is some diagramming in the Magic Lens level, but it is much tougher and no storyline.

 

The Latin roots approach to vocabulary in CE will help with a lot os spelling.

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