Jump to content

Menu

Advice from other Shurley and MCT users


Recommended Posts

Hi all,

 

I have a little dilemma mulling around in my head, and I need some help.

 

We currently use Shurley and WWE, and we may start with CAP Writing next year, but I am thinking more about the long term of our language arts sequence today.  We started in a classical school, and we have been following many of their curriculum choices.  They used Shurley, and we continued with it, and we like it.  At some point though, they switch to MCT, but not in third grade.  They start it in 5th grade and continue into 10th.  I realize I don't have to do everything the same, and Grammar Island seems a little light, which is probably why they want a good foundation with Shurley.  We are strongly considering MCT as well after reviewing it, but I was thinking we might start it in 4th.  When my oldest starts 4th, my younger one will be in 1st, and I thought we might want be a little tired of the jingles by then, which he could still participate in with his younger brother for refreshers.  I don't know if I want to do two Shurley programs every day though.  I am looking at the scope and sequence of Shurley, and it looks like they only add a little bit each year until 7th.  The main thing in 4th they would be missing is the indirect object.  That is something I would like him to learn about.  My husband and I have been in discussion knowing we had a year still to decide, but then I wondered if maybe, since there is so much review, we could skip Shurley 3 and do Shurley 4.  The big concern is whether Shurley 4 would require too much writing or vocabulary for his maturity level, but I haven't seen it.  So here are my major questions:

 

1.  Would you recommend starting MCT in 4th or 5th after Shurley?

2.  Would you recommend doing MCT WITH Shurley in 4th, modifying to do only the grammar portions since Grammar Island is a little light anyways?

3.  How big of a difference is there between Shurley 3 and 4, and is the review adequate to ease into Shurley 4?

 

BONUS Question:  I realize CAP is new and not complete yet, but how strong is the writing with MCT in the first three levels?  Do you think continuing on with CAP along with MCT would be overkill?  My thought is it would probably be ok in the first three levels, but maybe piling on a bit with the Advanced Academic Writing.

 

I know everyone's experience will vary, but I appreciate everyone's advice in advance.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can only share my opinion on yur bonus question. I have never used Shurley but understand it is a great program. We have done MCT island and town levels. I must be a moron because I just don't find it to be a useful writing program. Grammar, vocab, poetry? 100%. We would read through the chapters with delight, and then I would say "ok, here is a writing idea we should do" and I would read the assignment and we would both look at each other and quietly close the book and walk away.

 

Is this simply an example of my own moral failings? You bet. Do I realize I need a curriculum that has writing projects that we like and are applicable to real life? Of course.

 

We are continuing with MCT (grammar and vocab!) and will do CAP fable or narration for creative writing and do WWS 1 at half-speed. This is for fifth grade. We pretty much didn't do any writing in 4th grade, so I am awash in insecurities. We have already done some of the samples and we are in love with CAP.

 

1. I would start Island in 4th. It is not hard.

2. You could read grammar island in a month, then get back to Shurley while doing your daily practice sentences from Grammar Island. For me, I was totally satisfied with MCT grammar but again, I have a streak of laziness.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you!  That is very helpful.  The writing for the town, island levels definitely looked light.  The upper levels looked more robust in Academic Writing, but I don't think we would get through all the levels in CAP before we got to those levels.  I think I will plan to stick with CAP through at least the three levels.  I know I am an advance planner, but I feel like I need the big picture so that I make the right selections each year.  I give myself permission to tweak it, but I need the general idea.

 

I think I am still trying to fully wrap my brain around MCT.  The Vocab and poetry look the most appealing to me.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Both my boys use MCT and CAP, but I don't know anything about Shurley. I have flirted with Voyages in English, Growing with Grammar and used LOE this past year. Every time I go through a traditional worksheet-y grammar, I bow down deeper to MCT's brilliance. I think if a second and a third grader understands well grammar concepts in the Island level, that's all you really need. Maybe throw a light book on mechanics, but certainly no drill programs. MCT made my kids love grammar without creating confusion. LOE approach had my little one completely mixing parts of speech and parts of sentence sentence. Once I introduced MCT, all fell into the right place. I don't think you need to wait for MCT and use something else instead. I think you can dive into the Island level slowly and enjoy the whimsical.

As for writing, we didn't do many writing assignments at the Island level, but we are absolutely loving the Paragraph Town writing alongside assignments in Ceasar's English. I think it works fine with CAP. CAP works at different skills, while MCT throws big assignments at a child. I think he assumes a teacher will guide the write/rewrite process. DS1 decided to write about air pollution for one of Paragraph Town assignments and what should have been two paragraphs is turning into a 6 or 7 paragraph writing assignment. We are working on one paragraph at a time and taking into account everything MCT thought us (topic sentences, transitions from one paragraph to another, flow of thought). CAP is very different, but equally loved.

DS1 is a capable student somewhat ahead of his grade level, so I am not sure I would put my DS2 through Paragraph Town in third grade, but I think it should work fine for 4th or 5th graders. I can't comment on upper levels.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used Shurley Levels 3-7 with my older children.  I have used MCT Island (all books), am using Town (all books - not far into it as we started it about a month ago), and used Magic Lens 1 (grammar - my kids were in HS and basically used it on their own). 

 

When my kids finished Shurley Level 7 I thought we were done with grammar curriculum...until I realized how little they had retained.  Shurley moves very s.l.o.w.l.y and saves a LOT for Level 7, which you have already noticed.  Leaving so many things for Level 7 means that they are learning a lot right at the end of the program with little time to master and retain it.  My kids remembered all the basic things from the early levels but very little that was introduced in Level 7.  Also, the names that Shurley uses for labeling will only be found in Shurley, though to me this is less of an issue than the aforementioned complaint.  The jingles are boring but I think very helpful.  It can't all be exciting ;-) 

 

MCT introduces many of the things that Shurley leaves until Level 7, such as verbals, as early as the Town level.  My 10 year old already has a better understanding of verbals than her older siblings did after 5 years of Shurley.  The parsing is similar but more specific and in levels (4-level analysis).  The labels Shurley uses often combines MCT 4-level analysis (subject noun vs. noun being labeled in the parts of speech and subject in the parts of a sentence).  I much prefer MCT's parsing method because I can see the different levels of language.

 

I thought I would use Shurley again with my younger kids.  However, after using MCT with my older kids, I sold all my levels of Shurley except for the Level 7 teacher's manual (I kept it so I could use the jingles).  How much they forgot in less than a year after doing Level 7 (and I did Level 7 over 2 years), and how much they learned and retained after switching to MCT, spoke volumes. 

 

If you are going to switch to MCT I would do it sooner rather than later.  There isn't any benefit to keeping them in Shurley.  Indirect objects are taught in both Grammar Island and Grammar Town so you could start with either level and not miss them.  I don't think Grammar Island is any lighter than the early levels of Shurley.  The rest of the levels of MCT are more advanced than Shurley.

 

I would not use Shurley and MCT together, but would instead choose one or the other.  I think it would kill any possible love of grammar ;-) 

 

Regarding the bonus question, the one area in which I find MCT on the light side is writing.  We use IEW with MCT.  We read MCT's writing books and use what we have learned in our IEW work.  My dd loves the writing books even more than the grammar books, and I'd have a serious revolt if we didn't use them, LOL.  There is a lot of helpful information in them, but it's easier for me to use IEW (I use the SWI and then SICC's) than to really work MCT into what I would like.  I am not familiar with CAP so I can't comment on it but did want to let you know that I do use something else with MCT's writing and don't think it would be too much to use something else with (or instead of) MCT's writing.

 

Hi all,

 

I have a little dilemma mulling around in my head, and I need some help.

 

We currently use Shurley and WWE, and we may start with CAP Writing next year, but I am thinking more about the long term of our language arts sequence today.  We started in a classical school, and we have been following many of their curriculum choices.  They used Shurley, and we continued with it, and we like it.  At some point though, they switch to MCT, but not in third grade.  They start it in 5th grade and continue into 10th.  I realize I don't have to do everything the same, and Grammar Island seems a little light, which is probably why they want a good foundation with Shurley.  We are strongly considering MCT as well after reviewing it, but I was thinking we might start it in 4th.  When my oldest starts 4th, my younger one will be in 1st, and I thought we might want be a little tired of the jingles by then, which he could still participate in with his younger brother for refreshers.  I don't know if I want to do two Shurley programs every day though.  I am looking at the scope and sequence of Shurley, and it looks like they only add a little bit each year until 7th.  The main thing in 4th they would be missing is the indirect object.  That is something I would like him to learn about.  My husband and I have been in discussion knowing we had a year still to decide, but then I wondered if maybe, since there is so much review, we could skip Shurley 3 and do Shurley 4.  The big concern is whether Shurley 4 would require too much writing or vocabulary for his maturity level, but I haven't seen it.  So here are my major questions:

 

1.  Would you recommend starting MCT in 4th or 5th after Shurley?

2.  Would you recommend doing MCT WITH Shurley in 4th, modifying to do only the grammar portions since Grammar Island is a little light anyways?

3.  How big of a difference is there between Shurley 3 and 4, and is the review adequate to ease into Shurley 4?

 

BONUS Question:  I realize CAP is new and not complete yet, but how strong is the writing with MCT in the first three levels?  Do you think continuing on with CAP along with MCT would be overkill?  My thought is it would probably be ok in the first three levels, but maybe piling on a bit with the Advanced Academic Writing.

 

I know everyone's experience will vary, but I appreciate everyone's advice in advance.  

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you so much for your very thorough response.  It is so hard to see from the MCT samples just how deep it goes.  I will show your response to my husband who is trying to wrap his head around what MCT is.  I am going to go with Shurley 4 in 3rd grade next year, but I am still not sure if I should then do Shurley 6 or 7 or quit.  I think with my younger child beginning Shurley 1, there will be the jingles continuing for reinforcement, but I really don't want to do 2 Shurley programs at a time.  Thank you again!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...