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Charlotte Mason Language Arts w/ McGuffey Readers


Heidi
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*UPDATE on post 24*

 

Just thought I'd share since there has been interest in Charlotte Mason and McGuffey lately. This is for approximately 2nd grade and up, or for good readers & writers. This is my Language Arts schedule that we will begin next week. I've never used McGuffey in this manner. This is for my dd7 (2nd grade) and dd8.5 (3rd grade).

 

1 McGuffey lesson a week (dd7 starting with the first lesson of Book 2, dd8 beginning in the middle of Book 2)

Day 1:

Copywork: Assign appropriate # of sentences from McGuffey lesson. (Analyze difficult words for spelling and discuss grammar in sentences.)

Written/illustrated narration from science or history

Day 2:

Copywork: Sentences from literature of child’s choice

Dictation of yesterday’s copywork

Child orally reads McGuffey lesson

Day 3:

Copywork: Assign new sentences from same lesson in McGuffey (Analyze difficult words for spelling and discuss grammar in sentences)

Written narration from science or history

Day 4:

Copywork: scripture verse of child’s choice

Dictation of yesterday’s copywork

Orally read lesson again

Day 5:

Poetry teatime(take turns reading aloud poetry)

Copywork-poem of child’s choice

Freewrite 10 min.

*Require oral narration 2-3 times daily with books we are reading aloud throughout the day. (biographies, religious, history, science, geography, tales, myths, fables, chapter books, etc.)

**4 days/week we recite Latin vocabulary and copy Latin vocabulary 2Xs. Grammar is studied in the context of Latin until Middle School.

*Kids read aloud scriptures daily and have 1 hour of silent reading time.

 

I'm excited about it because I've been wanting to use my McGuffey readers that have just been collecting dust on my bookshelf. My girls love the stories and I like the morals. We have already been doing the skills of copywork, narration, dictation, and oral reading. However, I was wanting language arts to have more relevance and meaning, and I think requiring a good portion of it from one McGuffey lesson a week will help with that. We'll see how it goes next week. I'll report back next Friday or Saturday.

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Thanks for sharing! We've used these for years. I love seeing how others use them...your weekly plan looks really good! We mostly use them for beginning reading (for my 6yo), practice reading aloud (8 and 10yo), narration (8 and 10yo), and vocabulary (10yo). I've also used them in the past for copywork, but we are currently using Draw and Write Through History.

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Thanks for posting this. I have the brown, and tan McGuffeys and had to put them away for a little while. They are quite advanced and my dd was not ready for the second book when she first entered 2nd grade. Your post has reminded me to get it back out. My plans are to do something similar to what you have outlined.

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Just thought I'd share since there has been interest in Charlotte Mason and McGuffey lately. This is for approximately 2nd grade and up, or for good readers & writers. This is my Language Arts schedule that we will begin next week. I've never used McGuffey in this manner. This is for my dd7 (2nd grade) and dd8.5 (3rd grade).

 

1 McGuffey lesson a week (dd7 starting with the first lesson of Book 3, dd8 beginning in the middle of Book 3)

Day 1:

Copywork: Assign appropriate # of sentences from McGuffey lesson. (Analyze difficult words for spelling and discuss grammar in sentences.)

Written/illustrated narration from science or history

Day 2:

Copywork: Sentences from literature of child’s choice

Dictation of yesterday’s copywork

Child orally reads McGuffey lesson

Day 3:

Copywork: Assign new sentences from same lesson in McGuffey (Analyze difficult words for spelling and discuss grammar in sentences)

Written narration from science or history

Day 4:

Copywork: scripture verse of child’s choice

Dictation of yesterday’s copywork

Orally read lesson again

Day 5:

Poetry teatime(take turns reading aloud poetry)

Copywork-poem of child’s choice

Freewrite 10 min.

*Require oral narration 2-3 times daily with books we are reading aloud throughout the day. (biographies, religious, history, science, geography, tales, myths, fables, chapter books, etc.)

**4 days/week we recite Latin vocabulary and copy Latin vocabulary 2Xs. Grammar is studied in the context of Latin until Middle School.

*Kids read aloud scriptures daily and have 1 hour of silent reading time.

 

I'm excited about it because I've been wanting to use my McGuffey readers that have just been collecting dust on my bookshelf. My girls love the stories and I like the morals. We have already been doing the skills of copywork, narration, dictation, and oral reading. However, I was wanting language arts to have more relevance and meaning, and I think requiring a good portion of it from one McGuffey lesson a week will help with that. We'll see how it goes next week. I'll report back next Friday or Saturday.

 

 

This is great. I've been trying to flesh out something just like this and also trying to use McGuffey more.

 

Just one lesson a week? That seems like a small amount but we've only worked a lot in the first couple. Maybe I need to move my first grader ahead a bit.

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This is great. I've been trying to flesh out something just like this and also trying to use McGuffey more.

 

Just one lesson a week? That seems like a small amount but we've only worked a lot in the first couple. Maybe I need to move my first grader ahead a bit.

 

 

Yeah, the primer, reader 1, & reader 2 are quite different than reader 3 and up. Those three books are for beginning readers and writers and would need to be used a little differently, in my opinion. I have a very new reader/writer that I haven't figured out a schedule for yet.

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This is great. I've been trying to flesh out something just like this and also trying to use McGuffey more.

 

Just one lesson a week? That seems like a small amount but we've only worked a lot in the first couple. Maybe I need to move my first grader ahead a bit.

 

 

 

I just want to be sure of which McGuffey's you have. The blue and gold don't advance as quickly as the tan and brown. The tan and brown have 2 primers and the 1st reader that are for beginning readers. But the second reader has words like quarrelsome, naughty, Chanticleer, partridges, etc. And it has very complex sentences. If you have the blue and gold books moving ahead may be good, but unless you have an advanced 1st graders I wouldn't rush to move in the tan and brown.

 

So again, I am just not sure which set you have.

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I was just looking at placement last night (trying to make sure everyone is in the right books). I have the blue and gold ones and this is what I found:

primer--1st (grade)

1st reader--1/2 (grades)

2nd reader--3/4

3rd reader--4/5

4th reader--5/6

5th reader--7-9

6th reader--9-12

 

Like Susie mentioned, the brown and tan set are only 4 books (plus the primers). Book 4 is high school level, 3 is Jr. high, and the rest would be elementary levels. I haven't used this version, so I don't know much about it. The more advanced books were used in colleges as well! So children in schoolhouses generally didn't make it through all the books.

 

One lesson a week might not seem like much, but they spent time doing copywork, dictation, spelling, and writing assigments. I found a teacher's manual on Google books that goes over how they were used. We've been covering several lessons a week, but we are just reading them aloud so we aren't getting all the benefit we could be from them...I've been using other sources for copywork, dictation, and writing. My K'er just started the primer, 2nd grader is using the 2nd reader, and 4/5th grader is on the 4th reader.

 

Here's the teacher's manual for anyone interested: http://books.google.... manual&f=false

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Thanks for the clarification, everyone. I have only one primer and the first of the brown/tan ones. I have the blue/gold ones coming in the mail this week. I guess I probably wouldn't have been so confused if I had the whole series in my hands right now.

 

I am super excited to streamline language arts around here . . .

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I was just looking at placement last night (trying to make sure everyone is in the right books). I have the blue and gold ones and this is what I found:

primer--1st (grade)

1st reader--1/2 (grades)

2nd reader--3/4

3rd reader--4/5

4th reader--5/6

5th reader--7-9

6th reader--9-12

 

Like Susie mentioned, the brown and tan set are only 4 books (plus the primers). Book 4 is high school level, 3 is Jr. high, and the rest would be elementary levels. I haven't used this version, so I don't know much about it. The more advanced books were used in colleges as well! So children in schoolhouses generally didn't make it through all the books.

 

One lesson a week might not seem like much, but they spent time doing copywork, dictation, spelling, and writing assigments. I found a teacher's manual on Google books that goes over how they were used. We've been covering several lessons a week, but we are just reading them aloud so we aren't getting all the benefit we could be from them...I've been using other sources for copywork, dictation, and writing. My K'er just started the primer, 2nd grader is using the 2nd reader, and 4/5th grader is on the 4th reader.

 

Here's the teacher's manual for anyone interested: http://books.google.... manual&f=false

 

I've been looking everywhere for that chart that shows what grade goes with what book! I knew I'd seen before, but couldn't find it recently. Thanks.

I'm using the blue and gold books as well, and I've only ever used them for reading practice until now. It is actually that teacher's manual that you linked that inspired me to use them for more than just reading. I'm am going to try to teach my dd4 how to read and write using their method, or attempt to anyway. She's not quite ready though. She'll be five in April.

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Are you using anything else for LA or does this incorporate everything?

 

 

This is everything! I listed it at the bottom of the first post, but want to point out that Latin carries a lot of our language arts as well. We are getting vocabulary, copywork, & grammar from it.

 

My dd8 is also using MP's Greek Myths study guide, which includes vocabulary (I have her use the dictionary) and comprehension questions she completes orally in complete sentences.

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Hunter,

 

I've seen you mention these several times. Can you please explain specifically how and why you use the audio versions?

 

Thanks,

Nancy

 

Most of my education was inconsistent and substandard. My silent reading level is far ahead of my reading aloud reading level. I can write words I cannot pronounce properly, and with the brain damage I have sustained, I have some weird speech problems that get worse and better depending on how many seizures I'm having. To be honest, I benefitted from listening to the primer. I don't use schwa as much as I should. I like to listen ahead of the student to make sure I'm being the best model I can be, when I'm capable of being a model at all.

 

Sometimes I will have a student listen over and over to the audio files, as they read along in the book, especially when my speech is at it's worst, and I am unable to model normal speech. Studies show that remedial students who both read and listen at the same time, make huge gains in reading. I noticed that my younger 2E son made HUGE gains in reading from listening and reading along in the KJV, and then jumped right into Shakespeare as a young teen with a comprehension that was so good that he didn't even understand why anyone else thought it was hard reading.

 

I believe that listening while reading along in McGuffey and the KJV is the most efficient way to prepare for Great Books reading. If a teacher is an expert reader and is reading for the student at least an hour a day, there is no need for audio. I don't think that is happening in most homes though.

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Thank you so much for explaining. I think this could be very helpful for my son who reads with very little inflection. Are the audio recordings for the brown books? That is what I have. Also, what level(s) did you use? He is in 4th grade and has read some of book 2 and book 3.

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Thank you so much for explaining. I think this could be very helpful for my son who reads with very little inflection. Are the audio recordings for the brown books? That is what I have. Also, what level(s) did you use? He is in 4th grade and has read some of book 2 and book 3.

 

I stayed up way too late last night and answered my question about the audio books. The audio books are for the blue versions.

 

I will start looking for the blue set as I have been trying to figure out how to teach my K and 1 grader how to read with these brown ones. They are not very phonetically friendly. :)

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I said I would update after a week, but I feel like I need to do this schedule for a while to get a better feel for it.

 

So far it is wonderful! It was just enough work. I felt it had purpose and wasn't busywork or redundant. I am coming from doing R&S English to this, and it is MUCH MORE ENJOYABLE! (Though I love and recommend R&S to anyone looking for a textbook English program).

 

I like having a stronger focus on Latin grammar as well. I feel like Latin is a better use of our time: grammar, vocabulary, and foriegn language all-in-one. And it is relevant to our focus on MP's Classical Studies.

 

I love that we're not using textbooks anymore, except for math, and being more CM in our schooling.

 

Using McGuffey Reader 2 is a good place to start dictation and oral reading for my kids, but I'm still mulling over how I feel about using McGuffey verses real literature for dictation.

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Which Latin program are you using?

 

I'm using Prima Latina with my 7 & 8 year olds. I waited until I could do Latin with both of them at the same time. It is definitly more enjoyable reciting Latin in a group.

I'm very impressed with the format of Memoria Press' Latin programs. They are clear and systematic, and make it easy for me to understand and teach.

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So what is your long term plan for grammar? Will you eventually use a textbook program? I would love to streamline, and I absolutely agree with your thoughts on Latin, but I'm nervous about dropping formal grammar.

 

I'm still debating...

 

At this point, I am beginning to believe that reading, copying, dictation, and Latin are all sufficient to teach English grammar. I did not learn grammar in school, and I think, for most part, I do OK. I have reference book I pull out if I have a question on grammar.

 

R&S English 3, which we only got through the first 1/3 of the book, is very thorough, which I like because I'm a nerd. But for my kids... dd8 was learning the helper form of something... I don't even know, and that's when I thought, "Wait a second! This is slighly rediculous!" I don't care if my kids know about the helper form of whatever it was. It was intutive! At the same time I was rereading Writer's Jungle and Julie Bogart's thoughts on grammar, and that is what led me back to focusing on Charlotte Mason methods again.

 

I did buy Memoria Press' English Grammar Manual to help me teach the kids definitions of grammar terms. Prima Latina has their words divided into nouns, prepositions, pronouns, common nouns, verbs, adverbs, proper nouns, and so forth. So I bring up grammar when we review our Latin vocabulary.

 

MP has a new grammar program to go along with their Latin programs, starting with Latina Christiana I, but I'm not sure if I'll use it. It is basically just memorizing the grammar definitions with a little application. I think I can do that on my own w/o their workbook.

 

So that's where I'm at. Still thinking about it.

 

ETA: Another thought is that I should go through R&S English 5 or 7 myself so that I can be a better teacher of grammar. I need to know what I'm talking about as the teacher. Even if I had her go through a grammar text in 5th grade, she would still be trading that time studying grammar rather than something else. I'm not sure if it is a good trade-off.

 

Thinking, thinking...

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I'm still debating...

 

At this point, I am beginning to believe that reading, copying, dictation, and Latin are all sufficient to teach English grammar. I did not learn grammar in school, and I think, for most part, I do OK. I have reference book I pull out if I have a question on grammar.

 

R&S English 3, which we only got through the first 1/3 of the book, is very thorough, which I like because I'm a nerd. But for my kids... dd8 was learning the helper form of something... I don't even know, and that's when I thought, "Wait a second! This is slighly rediculous!" I don't care if my kids know about the helper form of whatever it was. It was intutive! At the same time I was rereading Writer's Jungle and Julie Bogart's thoughts on grammar, and that is what led me back to focusing on Charlotte Mason methods again.

 

I did buy Memoria Press' English Grammar Manual to help me teach the kids definitions of grammar terms. Prima Latina has their words divided into nouns, prepositions, pronouns, common nouns, verbs, adverbs, proper nouns, and so forth. So I bring up grammar when we review our Latin vocabulary.

 

MP has a new grammar program to go along with their Latin programs, starting with Latina Christiana I, but I'm not sure if I'll use it. It is basically just memorizing the grammar definitions with a little application. I think I can do that on my own w/o their workbook.

 

So that's where I'm at. Still thinking about it.

 

ETA: Another thought is that I should go through R&S English 5 or 7 myself so that I can be a better teacher of grammar. I need to know what I'm talking about as the teacher. Even if I had her go through a grammar text in 5th grade, she would still be trading that time studying grammar rather than something else. I'm not sure if it is a good trade-off.

 

Thinking, thinking...

 

 

Your thought process sounds so similar to my own. I don't remember any explicit grammar instruction in PS, and yet I'm a 4.0 English major. Grammar is entirely intuitive, especially for DD who devours great literature. We're also using and loving Prima Latina, and plan to continue MP Latin programs which reinforce grammar. And I remember reading about (and agreeing with) CM's conviction that spending years on grammar terms that can be learned by a middle/high school student in a semester is superfluous.

 

So if all of the above makes perfect sense, why can't I take the plunge, drop R&S, and have 20 or so extra minutes in our day to devote to Latin, French, Art, or whatever else?

 

I'm thinking if I do, I could always add R&S for a semester in, say, 5th grade, and possibly for another semester in 7th and/or 9th (and tag along with her for self-education).

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So if all of the above makes perfect sense, why can't I take the plunge, drop R&S, and have 20 or so extra minutes in our day to devote to Latin, French, Art, or whatever else?

 

I'm thinking if I do, I could always add R&S for a semester in, say, 5th grade, and possibly for another semester in 7th and/or 9th (and tag along with her for self-education).

 

 

To my best recollection, we spent one semester in 7th grade doing intensive grammar with diagramming, and a few lessons in early high school reviewing. I'm sure incidental knowledge was accrued earlier as well. But I now consider myself to have an excellent knowledge of grammar*, and don't see the point in spending YEARS on it when an intensive, short period works.

 

*Please don't notice if I made any grammatical errors... lol! *

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We were using R&S as well, but I cut it out of our day...It seems so heavy and repetitive to use each year IMO. We are currently using Grammar Land with the worksheets, but I'm not sure where to go next year. DD will be in 6th and I'd love to go through some kind of 1 year program with her, but I haven't narrowed it down. We are also using Prima Latina, and I've thought about just using Latin for grammar. Either way I at least need some sort of grammar reference book for me. :blush:

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So if all of the above makes perfect sense, why can't I take the plunge, drop R&S, and have 20 or so extra minutes in our day to devote to Latin, French, Art, or whatever else?

 

I'm thinking if I do, I could always add R&S for a semester in, say, 5th grade, and possibly for another semester in 7th and/or 9th (and tag along with her for self-education).

 

I like that idea: just for a semester. Hmmm.....

 

My original plan was to start grammar in 3rd grade. I've never completely bought into the CM LA idea because it didn't sound like enough. I really, really love R&S English too. I've written a few posts on here singing its praises. And I'll tell you, it was difficult to drop it right when I had finally found my true love. But our day was just lacking in enjoyment.... or something. School just wasn't very meaningful like I had envisioned it would be. We did it just to get it over with, and that's not what I want. So I started reading my Charlotte Mason books and blogs again. This one especially helped me realize I needed to let go of R&S English and really try the CM methods.

 

I told my dd8 that we weren't going to do grammar for the week, but that we would pick it up again next week. I told myself that too. It took me two weeks to finally gather all her grammar work out of her folder and revamp it for copywork and dictation. I feel like I've made a really good decision, but I still need more time with it, to feel how the days go and to ponder on it a while longer.

 

CM LA can be fairly intense if you make it so. I've read that it works if you take it all the way and really immerse your children in reading lots of living books, narrating multiple times a day, copying great sentences, and so on. If I put all of our focus on really doing CM, my kids will be just fine and I'll find that beauty and meaning I'm looking for. I think so. I hope.

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I totally agree with CM's philosophy on grammar and the "intuitive" nature of it mentioned by someone earlier. My older were raised on a "true" CM education and were excellent writers, had a terrific grasp on grammar and language, did very well on standardized tests when needed -- all without the years of formal grammar instruction. IDK if some of that is that they were naturally predisposed to do well with some of that, versus it being a direct consequence of an education firmly rooted in the classics and CM philosophy. But it worked for them. Very well.

 

I am greatly enjoying this thread because I have been floundering with my younger crew... not being as consistent or committed to what I already know works beautifully. Thank you all for sharing your thoughts!

 

BTW, I went looking for McGuffeys on the Kindle after a PP mentioned it and found these. Are these the blue swirly covered revised editions that many seem to prefer? I only have the Mott Media version, and these are definitely different.

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Great blog post! I'm bookmarking it to reread as I wrestle with everything.

 

I think we're going to drop R&S for the rest of this year and see how it goes. I know DD could jump into 5th grade grammar without issues, so the next few years are a perfect time to see what works for us. DD likes R&S (as she does pretty much all schoolwork) but when I told her we may drop grammar to give more time to Latin and/or French, she was excited. I am too! Thank you again for starting this thread.

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I totally agree with CM's philosophy on grammar and the "intuitive" nature of it mentioned by someone earlier. My older were raised on a "true" CM education and were excellent writers, had a terrific grasp on grammar and language, did very well on standardized tests when needed -- all without the years of formal grammar instruction. IDK if some of that is that they were naturally predisposed to do well with some of that, versus it being a direct consequence of an education firmly rooted in the classics and CM philosophy. But it worked for them. Very well.

 

I've heard this again and again, but it always does me good to have real living "evidence" that CM education actually works, and not just haphazardly. Thank you for sharing!

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I totally agree with CM's philosophy on grammar and the "intuitive" nature of it mentioned by someone earlier. My older were raised on a "true" CM education and were excellent writers, had a terrific grasp on grammar and language, did very well on standardized tests when needed -- all without the years of formal grammar instruction. IDK if some of that is that they were naturally predisposed to do well with some of that, versus it being a direct consequence of an education firmly rooted in the classics and CM philosophy. But it worked for them. Very well.

 

I am greatly enjoying this thread because I have been floundering with my younger crew... not being as consistent or committed to what I already know works beautifully. Thank you all for sharing your thoughts!

 

BTW, I went looking for McGuffeys on the Kindle after a PP mentioned it and found these. Are these the blue swirly covered revised editions that many seem to prefer? I only have the Mott Media version, and these are definitely different.

 

Yes, the Kindle ones are the "blue swirly" edition :)

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I'm starting more or less the approach in the OP starting Monday. This past week has been a break week for us and I'm really looking forward to a fresh start in LA. I really feel like this is the best of WTM and CM. I'll try to come back and update as well after a week or so.

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I have a question for the original poster... Would you please clarify is the 2nd book you are using the "First Eclectic Reader", since it's the 2nd book in the series? Wanting to start my 9 year old in the copy work and dictation and it looked like that would be pretty challenging for her, even though she is a very advanced reader.

Thanks!

CS

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have a question for the original poster... Would you please clarify is the 2nd book you are using the "First Eclectic Reader", since it's the 2nd book in the series? Wanting to start my 9 year old in the copy work and dictation and it looked like that would be pretty challenging for her, even though she is a very advanced reader.

Thanks!

CS

 

 

Abigail can correct if I'm wrong but I think she (and I) are using the "blue and gold" McGuffey series published by Mott Media. There are six levels plus a primer and "second" probably means level 2, which is the third book.

 

I would use whatever books works for your 9yo as far as dictation goes. You may find that she rapidly advances . . . or not. But dictation itself is an advanced and valuable skill. I would have no worries at all if she needs to start in the First Reader.

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Abigail, another update? I would love to hear how this is working for you.

 

 

I've decided not to use McGuffey, mainly because many of the lessons contain so much dialogue, which makes dictation harder than I want it to be right now. Mcguffey is great for copywork and oral reading though.

 

Dd8 will be in fourth grade in August, when we start our new school year. I have planned three literature books for her to study for fourth grade. I plan on implementing this schedule using passages from those books instead. I do want the dictation to be relevant, and not just random passages from random books.

 

Until then, the kids still do copywork every day (3 lit passages of their choice, 1 scripture, 1 poem), they read aloud twice a week (to their younger siblings from whatever book the Littles want her to read), and we pulled SWR back out and mark the word list and use the sentences from the wise guide for dictation twice a week. I don't want to keep doing SWR, but until I figure out a better way of doing prepared dictation, we'll keep working through SWR. So basically the original schedule, minus the readers.

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I've decided not to use McGuffey, mainly because many of the lessons contain so much dialogue, which makes dictation harder than I want it to be right now. Mcguffey is great for copywork and oral reading though.

 

Dd8 will be in fourth grade in August, when we start our new school year. I have planned three literature books for her to study for fourth grade. I plan on implementing this schedule using passages from those books instead. I do want the dictation to be relevant, and not just random passages from random books.

 

Until then, the kids still do copywork every day (3 lit passages of their choice, 1 scripture, 1 poem), they read aloud twice a week (to their younger siblings from whatever book the Littles want her to read), and we pulled SWR back out and mark the word list and use the sentences from the wise guide for dictation twice a week. I don't want to keep doing SWR, but until I figure out a better way of doing prepared dictation, we'll keep working through SWR. So basically the original schedule, minus the readers.

Abigail, thanks for the update. I have been inspired by your thread to pick up a copy of the fourth reader for my oldest and although I am quite content with our recent switch to LLATL I am going to use your ideas to fill in when where LLATL does not have book studies, copy work and dictation scheduled. Your comments about wanting things to be "relevant, and not just random passages from random books" really resonate with me and is something I have been striving for. Thank you for sharing.

 

Urban Sue I would love to hear how this is working for you as well

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Sorry--busy day today!

 

My tentative feelings at the moment are that this approach is going really well. Certainly, our day feels much more streamlined. Here's basically what I'm doing:

 

Narration: Done every day in a content area. Right now this is history for both kids. My first grader tells me what she remembers (she's good at narration but if she weren't I'd do the WWE approach of "one thing"). My third grader and I review the highlights of the material from that day and he tries to give me a 3-sentence summary. So that's very consistent with WWE but done in the context of history.

 

I'm tempted to do copywork/dictation from literature we're reading but I really, really like that McGuffey is open and go and incremental. So, here's how I use McGuffey with the rough grade outline:

 

K--work on learning to read (I use WRTR approach) and read through the Primer

1--when reading is fairly solid, start the First Reader. The opening material here is MUCH easier than the end of the Primer but that's fine because copywork is a new skill. Do a line of copywork every day discussing all punctuation, vocabulary, etc. Make sure child can read selection fluently and with expression and then move on.

2--continue in First Reader but alternate two sentences of copywork/1 sentence dictation--(possibly dictate sentence copied on previous day but I don't have a 2nd grader this year so I'm not sure) discuss all punctuation, vocabulary, make sure child can read selection fluently and with expression and move on (copywork this year particularly works on cursive)

3--probably beginning second reader or possibly part way through; 2-3 lines of dictation every day, possibly continue copywork if handwriting is an issue, discuss punctuation, etc, etc.

4--not here yet but plan is 4 lines of dictation a day, etc.

5--again, not here yet, but my hope is to continue using McGuffey but to work on the skills taught in WWS. You can check back with me in a couple years.

 

So each reader is worked through one lesson at a time. The next one is begun where the previous one left off. The six readers go through college-level material so there is no rush to get through them.

 

My debate right now is whether to formally study spelling. I love WRTR and we really just started it. But I'm toying with the idea of using it just as a learn to read and write program. But, then, that's it for LA. We do Latin so we get a good bit of grammar that way and, of course, there is lots of good literature being read here both out loud and independently.

 

The link Abigail offered in post 34 of this thread was really helpful for thinking through what CM language arts is trying to do. I really think the intuitive, holistic approach to language arts can work. I've always thought that but we had a couple of crazy years and I landed on WWE and FLL because I needed the hand holding. I think those are great programs and I don't want to abuse them at all--or the people using them--but this approach feels much simpler and more streamlined to me. And, while it feels simpler and seems to take less time, we're actually doing more narration, more dictation, and more copywork than before.

 

My loose plan is to take a year of intensive, formal grammar (and maybe spelling rule) study in, probably, seventh grade. Just enough to fill in any gaps, and turn my children into obnoxious grammar nerds :) . But I think the gentle, intuitive approach is sufficient for these younger years.

 

Thanks so much, Abigail, for getting this thread going. I had been planning to make this switch but seeing your thread a few weeks ago and your outline was what really got me to bite the bullet and do it. We're really happy so far!

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Thanks urban sue, it is extremely helpful to hear your thoughts on this topic. I really like the idea of keeping L.A. relevant and stream lined. We started using the 4th reader today and

Iam still mulling over what this will look like in totality, but I think this is going to help tremendously.

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Thanks urban sue, it is extremely helpful to hear your thoughts on this topic. I really like the idea of keeping L.A. relevant and stream lined. We started using the 4th reader today and

Iam still mulling over what this will look like in totality, but I think this is going to help tremendously.

 

 

Just make sure to be aware of the very high reading level. There is a list up thread but whatever resource I used to mark the reading levels in my copies has the books even a grade or so ahead of the list in this thread. So a fourth grader would be in the second half of the second or maybe the third.

 

My kids can definitely read above the "grade level" of the readers. My ds can read all the way through the sixth. But for copywork and dictation I started them both closer to the grade level of the readers. I just wanted to encourage you in case your 10yo struggles in the fourth reader for dictation--my reader is marked as 6th-8th grade for that one. (of course--no worries if the fourth reader is the perfect placement!)

 

I really like using materials that are leveled with a system totally separate from traditional grade level. My tendency is to get hung up on grade levels and staying "on track". I do so much better with things that are independent of grade level both in terms of letting my kids speed up and meeting them where they are at. I think of all the old literature out there (Little House, etc.) where kids showed up, tried out the readers, and then sat with the class in their reader, no matter their age.

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