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Second Grade Language Arts Question


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Okay, so I need some ideas. :) I've used Abeka Phonics for kindergarten and first grade with my 7 year old. It's just too much work for both of us. I'm sick of switching back and forth between this book and that workbook and that book, etc. I did reduce the seatwork, quite a bit, but it's still a lot of work. She did well with it overall, but struggled a little with phonics. I was not taught phonics myself and struggled with reading until it "clicked." So I don't have any phonics experience of my own to go on. She's reading well (short chapter books, like Magic Treehouse, Polk Street School) on her own with no trouble. Her spelling could use some work, but it's not terrible. Handwriting is good (she's been doing cursive since this spring with no problems.) But, she has no real grammar experience, other than capitalization and punctuation.

 

So...I'm looking for a program that will not hinder her enjoyment of reading (we both hate the Abeka readers), isn't all workbook (some is fine), and possibly has both grammar and spelling. Does such a program exist? :) Or are there several that would work? I don't mind using a separate spelling or separate reading, for example. And what about writing? I've been happy, mostly, with Abeka up until now so I really have no experience with any other language arts programs. I just want something that will not take an hour and a half every day.

 

TIA!

 

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If she can read Magic Treehouse on her own I would let a spelling course take over the phonics instruction. My favorite is Rod and Staff spelling, though the 2 book doesn't explicitly teach phonics. The direct phonics instruction will ramp up a notch every year, until spelling as a subject is finished with the 6 book. (7 and 8 are root based vocab study.)

 

I don't use a reading curriculum with mine beyond learning how to read. Mine get a shelf stocked with high quality children's lit around their reading level every year. They are expected to read for an appropriate amount of time from their choice from that particular shelf, daily. We discuss what they read, and don't use guides. (Deconstructing Penguins is a good book for you to read if you're unsure of doing this yourself.)

 

That leaves grammar. I like First Language Lessons for 1st and 2nd, and we switch to Rod and Staff English for 3.

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We use McGraw-Hill Treasures. The books are cheap on Amazon, and the workbooks (practice, grammar, and spelling) are free online to download. I combined the practice and grammar workbooks (and grammar transparency book) and shuffled the pages. Then I used my Pro-Click to make a new workbook. Each day we do 1-2 practice pages, I teach from the grammar transparency, and we do the grammar worksheet. It works out great for our needs, with just one workbook and everything in the right order.. We read the intro story on Monday and do the corresponding practice worksheet which focuses on the vocab (and do the grammar, and could do spelling too). Then on Tuesday we read the main story, and do the practice worksheet which focuses on some type of story element. The rest of the week the practice worksheets reinforce phonics, or writing, or whatever. It leaves plenty of time for other reading. We read daily in addition to Treasures, but this keeps the grammar and "reading" skills moving forward.

 

The site is down at the moment, but the link is http://www.mhschool.com/reading/treasure_workbooks/national.html

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Your situation sounds just like mine. My 7 year old dd used Abeka last year for 1st grade and we are NOT using it again this year. Abeka has turned her off completely from workbooks (page after page after page). We are going to use English Lessons Through Literature Level 2 this year. As soon as she finishes up Headsprout Comprehension I consider her done with phonics. She is at about the same level with grammar too - familiar with capitalization and punctuation. Now its just time to read great literature, do some copywork, and learn a little about grammar. I plan on using Grammar Land as a read aloud as well. I'd consider starting spelling (not included with ELTL) but she needs to really focus on correct formation in her writing. I'm afraid the extra writing during spelling will either frustrate the both of us or re-enforce poor formation just trying to get it done. I guess I could go with something computer based. Hmm. Anyway, spelling is off the table for us to start with. I think ELTL is going to be a great fit for us, it would be worth a look.

 

 

  

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We just started using this so I can't give an in depth opinion but I found these free books http://www.sfreading.com/resources/ghb.html online and that is what I plan to use for my 7 year old. I thought it looked good and covered everything I wanted to teach her this year. Also I am finding it easy enough for me to explain and then have her work on. She did the first page of the 3rd grade book and seemed to like it.

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