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Grammar Help!! Please!!


4ofus
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I have a 3rd & 4th grader.

 

Last year we did GWG 2/3, WWE 2/3, AAS (2nd grader) & Phonetic Zoo (3rd grader). This was the basis of our language arts. When 2nd grader completed GWG 2 he did Serl's PLL until the year ended.

 

This year both are using MCT Island, WWE 3/4, Spelling Connection (free lists online). We hit a spelling list full of possessives last week. They know easy possessives, but they don't know some possessives end in '. That boggled the brain! :). So I grabbed out GWG4 (previously unused as we used MCT instead) & taught the sections on possessives. They were in chapter 2! We're going to spend the rest of this week on this I'm afraid :(. I found some good resources on Spelling City & will use them tomorrow to see if we make any headway.

 

My concern is.....what else important am I missing?!?! I'm going to scour GWG this week & see if there's anything else I'm leaving out by focusing on MCT.

 

Any thoughts?

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My main thought is that grammar is like math. If you change curriculum, there will be gaps because each one will take it's own journey to teach all that is encompassed in the subject. It doesn't mean there will always be gaps, but you'll have to fill them in when you find them. I did a lot of math curriculum hopping in the early grades with ds, but I resolved myself to picking a one main curriculum and sticking with it through middle school so that there wouldn't be gaps in such an important subject. They all get to the same place (Algebra 1), but the paths can be very different.

 

I realized I was starting to do it with grammar as well, so I started R & S English and spelling this semester and really like them. It is where we are staying for the long haul. Does that mean I'll never consider a change? No, but it would have to be for a very good reason.

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We love R&S grammar, I thought because it seemed so traditional that I would not like it. My son 3rd grade and myself really like it. I think it is thorough, clear, and gets accomplished without complaint. I really see us sticking with it for the long haul. I was going to try MCT, ordered it and realized it wasn't going to work for us. In theory it looked nice but in practical application, I didn't see it getting accomplished. We were using FLL 3 and I wanted to poke my eyes out, while I really like FLL 1&2 and plan to use them in the future I vastly prefer R&S from there on. We also tried Primary Language Lessons and Intermediate Language Lessons (which I like but I wanted something more explicit for instruction). It takes us about 20 minutes, he's retaining the information, and we both like it. :) HTH.

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I think this is why many people combine MCT with a traditional grammar program. I'm using R&S this year, and it covered possessives very well (we did them recently). I think any elementary grammar program will cover them. I don't think this is an issue with switching programs around, as I don't believe grammar programs are like math. All of the elementary grammar programs repeat everything every single year. So you can change programs no problem. But MCT is a different beast and doesn't hit some topics that a traditional program would.

 

According to the GWG scope and sequence chart, GWG 2 and 3 both teach possessive nouns. So your kids probably have had it, but they just forgot. This is why the elementary grammar programs repeat themselves from year to year. :) It may have been early in the year just like it was in the grade 4 book. I would probably continue to use your GWG 4 alongside MCT, and just skip lessons that are super easy for the kids (ie, MCT has covered them well).

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Traditionally grammar is taught in a "here is the topic, apply it to 25 sentences" and repeat it year after year" approach. MCT does cover those topics, but it is a different way of teaching grammar. Punctuation is covered in a progressive "as needed" manner, which IMO is more effective, because kids see it only when they are going to actually be using it and seeing it. A great example is the comma between independent clauses. There are tons of other examples, often in the footnotes of the TM in Practice Island. If something is mentioned there, POINT IT OUT and continue to point it out in the following sentences day after day. DIscuss it. Ask why. Teach it to the point of understanding ONCE and they are unlikely to forget. ever.

 

What I would say is that your child WAS taught these things in GWG 2/3 in the traditional way twice but clearly didn't retain it. You can go ahead and teach it the traditional way again over the next couple years. Eventually they probably will retain it. Or wait until they NEED to use possessives and cover it then (and the why).

 

Of course, not one way will work with any one kid. Not one philosophy will work for every family. Some kids need the repetition and some kids need to see things from different directions. One of the benefits of homeschooling is you don't have to buy into any given approach 100% to find the value in a curriculum.

 

I just see a lot of posts about how MCTLA doesn't cover grammar concepts and I haven't found that to be true -- I just think you have to stop looking at it through the lens of a traditional program where you spend days on "commas in dates" followed by days on "commas in lists" to see that it really IS in there, just so integrated it can be hard to see. The downside is that if you need to remediate "use of X" it would be hard, though he usually covers the rules as they are needed (for review).

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