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Please PLEASE help me with our LA for next year

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I really need to figure out what to do with LA for my will-be 3rd grader.

 

We will be done with WWE2 and AAS2.  I never really did FLL.

 

For some reason I am drawn to MCT.  I just read on another thread that you can start IEW in 3rd grade.

 

My goal is to teach grammar, poetry and writing.

 

What are the pros and cons of the above mentioned curriculum?  Any suggestions if I should be using two of them together?  If so, which ones?

 

I just really don't know where to go next year.  Please help!

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I don't know anything about IEW.

 

Since your child has not done FLL, I would start with MCT Island.  It is to my understanding that FLL teaches grammar and WWE teaches writing.  I stopped in the middle of FLL 2.

 

I'm teaching WWE 2 alongside MCT Island.  It is working out perfectly.  My ds loves MCT.  It's colorful and engaging.  I plan on continuing with WWE and MCT Town.  I'm using MCT for poetry, language building and grammar.  I'm using WWE to teach writing.  I'm also going to use Bravewriter for creative writing.  Most of this will be done orally.  I'm not going to push my children to hard on writing. 

 

I think coupling WWE with MCT with fit your needs of teaching grammar, writing, and poetry.  Or if you want, you could do WWE, FLL and just poetry from MCT.

 

Hopefully, someone else can chime in about IEW.  MCT works for my ds, but may not work for child. 

 

Good luck! 

 

ETA:  I would continue with AAS.

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If you liked WWE, then I'd go on to WWE 3. You should continue a spelling program or spelling of some kind, and penmanship is going to be a major focus of writing. Grammar-I'd be pretty informal and not expect to much. If I had it to do over again, I'd let Latin sub in for all my grammar until about fifth grade. That was the first year I began to get some retention with grammar. 

For poetry, I'd simply start picking pieces to memorize from all the beautiful poetry anthologies I could find. I would have tea after lunch, we'd work on the memorization and simply enjoy the beauty of poetry. I'd pick fun, silly things to memorize too. 

 

That's about all I'd do. 

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I don't know anything about IEW.

 

Since your child has not done FLL, I would start with MCT Island.  It is to my understanding that FLL teaches grammar and WWE teaches writing.  I stopped in the middle of FLL 2.

 

I'm teaching WWE 2 alongside MCT Island.  It is working out perfectly.  My ds loves MCT.  It's colorful and engaging.  I plan on continuing with WWE and MCT Town.  I'm using MCT for poetry, language building and grammar.  I'm using WWE to teach writing.  I'm also going to use Bravewriter for creative writing.  Most of this will be done orally.  I'm not going to push my children to hard on writing. 

 

I think coupling WWE with MCT with fit your needs of teaching grammar, writing, and poetry.  Or if you want, you could do WWE, FLL and just poetry from MCT.

 

Hopefully, someone else can chime in about IEW.  MCT works for my ds, but may not work for child. 

 

Good luck! 

 

ETA:  I would continue with AAS.

 

Did you get all the Island books?

 

I also have BW, but haven't done anything with it yet

 

 

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I can't remember if it's all of them or not.  This is what I have.

 

1.  Grammar Island  ( TM)  (using)

2.  Sentence Island ( TM)

3.  Musics Hemisphere ( TM)

4.  Building Language ( TM)  (using)

5.  Practice Island (TM and student)

 

I have not used them all yet.  If I remember correctly, I asked a question and stated that I wasn't interested in the writing portion of MCT.  I think Sentence Island deals with the writing section, but I think another mom suggested anyway because of a reason I don't remember.  I have not used it yet.  Hey, I have 2 other kids, so perhaps one of them will use it, right?  :)

 

Another mom has posted a schedule for using all these books.  Would you like for me to link it here? 

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I had to learn a hard lesson:    Language arts is not like math.   Language is an art.   And just like any other 'art', it isn't as simple as going through any given book and checking off all of the boxes.    It also isn't as simple as picking the best book to complete.  

 

Sometimes we (and I mean homeschooling mamas...myself included!) can get very caught up in checking the boxes or 'finishing the book'.    We put all of our energy into trying to pick the best language arts book---thinking that if we only finish the book and check all of the boxes, we will produce great writers.   The thing is, that doesn't necessarily get you to the end goal with writing.  

 

You've listed lots of great options and lots of great books above.   That is why this isn't an easy decision.   There is no 'one best path' when it comes to mastering the art of language.   It isn't that simple.   Brave writer is good.  IEW is good.  MCT is good.  

 

So in order to make a decision, start out by doing a lot of thinking about WHERE your child is currently, and WHERE you want them to be at the end of the year.   Then, you will better be able to pick a resource to get you to the end goal (based on your teaching style and preferences and your child's learning style and preferences.)   But really---the curriculum is JUST a resource, it isn't a guarantee.  You may end up using parts from all of these resources.   Maybe a bit of studied dictaiton to work on hand stamina and punctuation/spelling.   Maybe a bit of Brave Writer free writing to work on style.   Maybe a bit of MCT to learn the parts of speech. etc.  Maybe a bit of old fashion oral narration to work on sentence variety.   Who knows what your child is going to need.

 

So this is my advice:

1)  Start out listing any strengths your child exhibits in language.  (example:  Strong vocabulary, Good reader, etc.)

2)  List any weaknesses you need to work on (Punctuation, mechanics, stamina, typing, spelling, grammar, etc.)

 

Next, based off of those strengths and weaknesses, figure out your short term goals for the year.

Example:

1)  Learn to write strong sentences with more variety.  --or--

2)  Transition to being able to write short narrations in history or science --or--

3)  Be able to copy 2-3 sentences in nice handwriting without acting like they are going to die  --or--

4)  Be able to write a paragraph given a topic sentence.

 

Once you do that, you will better know what resources are going to get you to those end points.  I think things will become a lot clearer to you.   You might have an "Aha!" moment and realize that one of those books looks fun (or nice, or easy to teach)--but isn't going to get you to your end goal.   

 

Anyways, I hope that helps some!  Feel free to ignore my advice if it is not helpful, but this was sort of a "light bulb" moment that I had myself last year.   It really helped me narrow down my choices and refocus my priorities.  

 

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Oh---and one last piece of advice that you are free to take or throw out if it doesn't work for you.

 

I would strongly, strongly, strongly suggest that you don't work on much original written composition next year until your child can easily spell about 1000 words.  That equates to just about the end of AAS 3.    

 

Just like you need to learn to form the letters before you can be expected to do copywork, you need to learn how to write the words before you can be expected to output sentences or paragraphs.   Otherwise spelling is gong to hold you up too much in writing.   You will end up with very stilted sounding sentences, or they will ask you how to spell something every 2 seconds (breaking up the child's train of thought), or (worse!) they end up just practicing the wrong spelling repeatedly.   

 

So until you get to that point in spelling, you might want to do a lot of copywork, studied dictation, and ORAL composition.   Don't underestimate the huge improvements that can be made by focusing on oral composition (aka narration).   Most of writing is being able to think clearly, and this can be done orally until the mechanics catch up.   It is very easy to teach a 12 year old the "rules" of writing.   It is nearly impossible to teach them to be interesting people with interesting things to say.   

 

You probably also want to read aloud to your child in massive, massive quantities this year so they hear good language.  A child cannot be expected to output what is not already in their minds.  SO FILL THEIR minds with beautiful language.   You also may want to have them memorize some poetry, or speeches, or monologues so they have a database of sophisticated language to fall back on.  

 

So what does this mean practically?  Well, out of the options you listed above, IEW has the most original composition expected.   After about the first two units, the child is exptected to write.   You might want to do another year of oral composition and focus on mechanics this year until you get more words mastered.   

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We have done WWE2 + MCT Island + R&S spelling, and it has worked out well. We also added in literature (we used Mosdos and Junior Great Books). I wouldn't worry about not having done FLL (we didn't) before beginning MCT Island, however, I would not attempt WWE3 without having done WWE2 (unless it was with a much older child). 

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I can't remember if it's all of them or not.  This is what I have.

 

1.  Grammar Island  ( TM)  (using)

2.  Sentence Island ( TM)

3.  Musics Hemisphere ( TM)

4.  Building Language ( TM)  (using)

5.  Practice Island (TM and student)

 

I have not used them all yet.  If I remember correctly, I asked a question and stated that I wasn't interested in the writing portion of MCT.  I think Sentence Island deals with the writing section, but I think another mom suggested anyway because of a reason I don't remember.  I have not used it yet.  Hey, I have 2 other kids, so perhaps one of them will use it, right?  :)

 

Another mom has posted a schedule for using all these books.  Would you like for me to link it here

 

Yes, please!

 

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I am taking it all in.  I've mentioned before that I wasn't born in US, didn't go through the school system here and English is not my native language, so I am incredibly confused and lost in the last of LA (and Social studies, but that's whole other story)

 

So I very much appreciate all the advise and input from you ladies.

 

thank you

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I used MCT Grammar Island several years ago.  I think the poetry book is the stronger book at that level.  I chose MCT for the writing, but that is the part that I liked the least.  Writing assignments were quite open ended and I think they would work best for a child who is very creative.  As for grammar, we have found Rod and Staff to work well.   

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I'm using MCT island and wwe3 with my 3rd grader. He had only a little grammar before. I have all the island books (used them with oldest) and really like them together as a whole package. Have you had a look at the website and the implementation chart? I did like the sentence island book but I would still use a separate writing curriculum too. I haven't used iew but I'm sure its fine. I'd do both. I used classical writing alongside MCT with my oldest.

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Also, as general advice, I always say to have a good look at it, go with your gut, and then get on with it. If you're excited to teach it, that goes a long way towards success! You'll drive yourself crazy looking for 'best' and 'perfect', best is what gets done.

MCT is good (IMO), I have heard good things about iew. Wwe is good. Pick what you like, and what you think your kid will like, trust your instincts and just do it!

 

It will be OK!

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