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Help Me Think OOB for Composition/Grammar


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I came across a thread from March on writing goals for 2E 9 year old and found awesome help.  Can you help me make a couple of connections?

 

I am trying to up our language arts a bit for my 9 year old son who hates to write, has a hard time writing, has ADD, and bores easily.  We are making progress with these:

 

  • copywork of short 5-8 sentences from WWE 1
  • beginning grammar with worksheets (He has listened to Grammarland.)
  • spelling and dictation from AAS 2
  • oral narrations -  He is generally good at them.  With WWE 1, he's working on answering in complete sentences. 
  • He reads well and often.

1. We are picking and choosing from WWE and will finish in about 6 weeks.  Is doing WWE 2 at his age/level next?  I've though of switching to Writing Tales 1 or CAP WR or Partnership Writing.  What skills are in WWE 2?  I think he could do written narrations with horrible grammar if he would write more than 5 words without passing out.  I'm seeing some hints that he'd like some creative or story element added.

 

2. We tried the voice recognition on our computer with Word, and even I couldn't get it to type anything near what I said.  Will DragonSpeak or Siri on Ipad be better?

3.  Suggestions to just break-out and get the skills to him in an interesting way?  He drags his feet and fusses about lessons longer than it takes him to do the lessons (once focused).  I thought of BW Partnership Writing since he could adapt projects to his interests.  Other ideas?

 

Thanks!

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My ds, now 12, has dysgraphia/dyslexia, only ADHD type symptoms if he has sugar without balancing proteins, or artificial flavors, colors etc., no ADD diagnosed, but does get bored/frustrated easily.

 

For my son, not trying to do much with grammar and spelling until recently seemed useful since he just did not seem ready (but that is likely due to significant reading issue that your son may not have).  If WWE 1 is going well, I would certainly suggest continuing with WWE 2.  ... or indeed continuing with whatever is working.

 

I do recommend BW as a way to write things of interest to your son. It is very parent intensive work.

 

We are going to try out CAP for the first time this summer, I think., so I can't speak to it, nor your other options due to lack of experience.

 

One addition is that my son who liked listening to Grammarland, also liked listening to MCT (they have some things different, but even picking that up was helpful). And Language Mechanic from Critical Thinking Co. is a pretty light/fun take on grammar that I found helpful.

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You might try a summer of metronome work with digit spans thrown in to see if you can get that working memory up.  It sounds like that's what's holding you back.  (your comment about 5 words killing him)

 

I'm concerned about him not using complete sentences.  Is that in his every day speech?  I'd definitely focus on that.  When you read aloud to him, have him summarize the chapter in 1-2 sentences before you start the next one.  The next day, before you start reading ask him to remind you what happened when you read together the day before.  Make LOTS of opportunities to work on speaking in complete sentences.  

 

Are you doing any memory work?  Memorization is brilliant for working memory, for language, for self-confidence...  Pudewa has his terrific poetry memorization program, but anything will do.

 

Yes, WT1 would be fine.  Where it sounds like he's at, you might also consider one of the lower level IEW books.  I'm not talking about the SWI things but one of their topical books that are straightforward narration with charm.  They have a fables one and a few other charming topics.  Or make it super simple and just crack open a copy of Aesop's Fables and read everyday and narrate, with him dictating to you while you type, and then print and have him illustrate.  Do that 3 days a week and see what happens.  The Milo version that SL used to sell is what we used for that, and they're short enough you can narrate one a day.  If they're longer, use your head obviously.  I would not start WT1 until the dc can comfortably narrate something to you while you type.  just my two cents.

 

It's ok to stay at the narration stage!  It's ok to start bringing that creativity in *without* a curriculum, kwim?  If he narrates while you type, then his creativity can come in with an illustration (fun!) or by adding some chosen nuance to the telling like names for the characters or some background description or whatever.  Or give him little challenges like to include two decorative words (adjectives) to his telling, kwim?  That's what you'll do in WT1 as well, but you can certainly start that now.  Or get WT1 and just adapt.  Shh, but my dd couldn't retell the ENTIRE story in WT2.   ;)  It's ok to adapt to fit our kids.   :)

 

Great job with all you do!  It sounds like it's working!!!

 

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Working on memory processing is a good option.  We started C8 Science (I think that's what it's called).  He did well on all the parts, but his processing speed was very low.  After several weeks, it just didn't improve.

 

The only time he doesn't use complete sentences is in answering specific questions about a passage, like "What did John do first?"  He might say, "ate lunch."  If I just ask, "What happened in the story?"  He'll answer in complete sentences.  Sometimes 1, sometimes a paragraph or two worth.  I write it for him and have him read it back.  We narrate with history, science, literature.  After rereading WTM a month or ago, I've started having him draw if he wants to go with it.  Also, when he finishes a book, he's started drawing from the story or dectating a narration.

 

The 5 words thing was just to show his dislike of writing.  My husband said the physical act of writing was hard for him as well.

 

We do memorize songs, poems, Bible verses, but we could do more.  We started that late as well.

 

I'll look at the IEW books you mentioned.  Thanks!

 

 

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You might *give* him the answer when he answers with a phrase and then have him repeat it.  At least that's what I do.  He might not yet understand how to take a question and turn it into a statement.  

 

What did John Boy like to eat?

sandwiches

No, give me a complete sentence: John Boy liked to eat sandwiches.

 

 

It's actually a very complex grammatical construction that he's just growing into.  Sounds like he's doing an AMAZING job with all those narrations, wow!!!  If you're wanting to take it farther out of the box, bring in technology or topics that interest him.  Around that age my dd did some of the Mrs. Renz 4th grade book projects.  (google for them)  Michael Gravois has a number of neat books by Scholastic I think that you can get either in print or as ebooks.  You make cool little project books for geography, history, etc.  He could also learn to use powerpoint and create slides and recorded audio that he has written.  If he's into a particular topic or type of technology or art for presentation, it's totally fair game to harness them.  

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Thanks for the suggestions for the book report and history book suggestions. I will look into those.

 

I try to have him narrate, at least informally, everyday. He loves computers and Mine craft, so he does some projects on there for history .mostly. I had not thought of PowerPoint. Would the Kidsperation mapping app be useful?

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DS uses Inspiration, which is the grown up version of Kidspiration, and it is very useful. DS mainly uses Inspiration on the IPAD because it is easier to read, takes notes, and snuggle on the couch with the IPAD. DS incorporates Inspiration across literature, paragraph writing, science, and history note taking.

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Just wanted to say that we have been doing the W&R Fables book. My dd10 does not enjoy writing but is capable - in that she spells well, has a pretty good grasp of grammar etc. The creative writing part of W&R - not that it is all creative writing ( and by this I mean the re-writing fables/making up own fable) - drove her crazy. For her, WWE is much more straightforward. Just thought I'd mention this in case your son does not enjoy creative writing. I have decided, I think, that it is not essential to my dd's education to do creative writing, so I am not going to push this any further. We are going to stick to more academic writing skills, focusing on writing a good paragraph each day on one of the things she has studied.

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Just wanted to say that we have been doing the W&R Fables book. My dd10 does not enjoy writing but is capable - in that she spells well, has a pretty good grasp of grammar etc. The creative writing part of W&R - not that it is all creative writing ( and by this I mean the re-writing fables/making up own fable) - drove her crazy. For her, WWE is much more straightforward. Just thought I'd mention this in case your son does not enjoy creative writing. I have decided, I think, that it is not essential to my dd's education to do creative writing, so I am not going to push this any further. We are going to stick to more academic writing skills, focusing on writing a good paragraph each day on one of the things she has studied.

What's W&R?  There have been some new things in the last few years, and I haven't kept up!  I agree, it's not necessary for a 10 yo to write their own fable, mercy.  Most of the methods popular when dd was that age involved some form of imitation, and the creativity was in options and *expansion*.  So they'd do a straight retelling of the story one week and the next add in creative twists (names, description, add a scene, change the time period, whatever floats your boat).  

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Thanks for the notes about W&R.  I was wondering if it would be "too hard", and also, the readings are short.  He loves stories, and I initally thought those in Fables were a bit longer.  I think Writing Tales will work better if we go with a curriculum after WWE 2.   I like the all-in-compassing nature of Writing Tales.  I think it will give him some context for learning. 

 

When he wants to be creative, it's with his own ideas, kwim?  Like we used the Home Studio Art DVD last year.  He watched the project, and then did something similar but different.  I'll just let him make up his own stories when he wants.

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What's W&R?  There have been some new things in the last few years, and I haven't kept up!  I agree, it's not necessary for a 10 yo to write their own fable, mercy.  Most of the methods popular when dd was that age involved some form of imitation, and the creativity was in options and *expansion*.  So they'd do a straight retelling of the story one week and the next add in creative twists (names, description, add a scene, change the time period, whatever floats your boat).  

 

W&R - Writing and Rhetoric from Classical Academic Press - or at least that is what W&R is to me

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My child who just finished up WWE1 and AAS2 and who can narrate complex story lines but lazily gives me 2 word answers is focusing on this next year:

 

1. narrating history and science, focusing on using complete answers in replies

2. grammar is being done orally with me scribing--Voyages in English 3 (we may switch to FLL 3, but right now that seems like too much writing and I can combine my two younger kids easily with VIE, but not easily with FLL)

3. continuing with spelling--AAS 3 (and he uses tiles or spells orally)

4. IEW SWI A--focusing on key word outlining this year---this kid needs to feel like he can write well; WWE2 is not going to be a good fit for him. It's much like WWE1, only longer passages. We chose SWI because the reading passages are short, and the daily work takes 15 minutes tops. We used this program when oldest was this age, and then went back to WWE in a subsequent year.

 

OOB stuff:

*stop motion stuff through my ipad with his Star Wars guys; he has to dictate a script to me

*teaching typing--I think one of his major impediments is the dysgraphia; we have better luck using Siri to dictate than Dragonbox

*writing brochures, comics, diary entries from a character's perspective--from whatever he finds interesting (I am guessing I will be seeing travel brochures to Naboo or Coruscant). I'll provide the pictures for the comics.

 

I'm still working on my OOB list, but I'm looking for non-report writing from him. He's going to learn to outline stuff through the narration. I want this kid to create a few sentences that begin with capital letters, end in proper punctuation, and aren't too much for his dysgraphia. He must handwrite for these things--no scribing.

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Prairiewindmomma, I love how you laid out goals/objectives.  I tend to skip that and get such clarity when I do it.  This is great:

"I want this kid to create a few sentences that begin with capital letters, end in proper punctuation, and aren't too much for his dysgraphia."

 

You made such a good point about WWE 2.  I really feel like on his on-days, my son can narrate very well.  It's not great literature, but he gets the story across.  I hadn't thought of WWE 2 being longer copywork, and that really wouldn't help him much.  I'll look into IEW SWI A; I thought of it once because my son loves videos.

 

So, we can keep up with spelling and narrating across the curriculum.  (I"m all about that!)  I'll look into IEW and Writing Tales for when his skills need another bump.  Start some creative projects: Minecraft writing prompts, an All About Me lapbook, non-reports like you suggested (writing brochures, comics, diary entries from a character's perspective) and from Mrs. Renz 4th grade book projects.  If we get an ipad, I'm sure we will find Siri and other apps he will love.

 

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