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Writing program to go with Easy Grammar?

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I have decided to try out Easy Grammar next school year for my 9 year old son going in to 4th grade.  He is behind in his language arts.  We are enrolling him in a local public charter school that allows me to choose my own curriculum (no religious content for the most part).  I need to find a writing program to go along with EG and would like some input on what writing program goes well with it.  He has worked on copywork and does fine with it but we haven't done much dictation (some, but not much).  I need to find a less parent-intensive course, however I know I will need to help him.  I was looking at Excellence in Writing (EIW) because it combines writing and grammar but EG appeals to me.  One easy option is to use "Daily 6-Trait Writing" as Timberdoodle suggests to use.  I can order from Timberdoodle.com, Rainbowresource.com, and exodusbooks.com.  I need something that is comprehensive yet doesn't take me all day to teach it.  This last year we used Sonlight Language Arts 2 and it was just okay.  I tried R&S English but even as a Christian I feel that it goes over the top when it comes to references to God.  Here's what I plan on using so far:

 

Writing: ???

Spelling: Spelling You See   (I had no eye-rolling when using this program!)

Grammar:  Easy Grammar

Reading: Teaching the Classics???

Handwriting: A Reason for Handwriting

 

Thanks for your input!

 

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Just Write. Get books 1 and 2 and work through the paragraph sections. We did this for fourth grade paired with Easy Grammar and Modern Speller as copywork for my very reluctant writer. Absolutely low stress and very effective. Cheap, too!

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I will throw out Writing Tales 1 and Treasured Conversations as writing programs to look at for your son.

 

I should also add that I can not purchase downloads through the charter school program.  From what I can see, Treasured Conversations is only in download format from her personal website which even if it were in paperback form I couldn't order from.  Writing Tales is listed at exodusbooks.com but they are out of stock and it actually looks as if they don't carry the new books, only used.  I have to order new.  Thanks anyways! 

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I personally don't like EG- it didn't "stick" when we used it. 

I love First Langauge Lessons and Writing With Ease. You could start with Book II and work quickly through. It will build a solid foundation. FLL will cover grammar more comprehensively and dive in to simple diagramming and parts of speech- it's a broader base than EG and more comprehensive, like R & S, without the pedantic flavor. 

 

We've had great success with Spelling You See (review here). 

Reading- do you mean reading comprehension or reading aloud? Narration is an excellent tool to use- WWE will incorporate this. I'd have him read aloud a bit each day too. And don't forget read-alouds or books on CD. 

Edited by laughing lioness
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Wordsmith Apprentice could work for writing. It has a cub reporter approach. At the beginning a newspaper "hires" the DC to work for them and they start as the lowest one on the chain, doing grammar/editing. That gently builds up to having their own column by the end of the book, covering several types of writing as they go.

 

We did not have a good experience with Easy Grammar. It was so easy my DS could spot the pattern and do a whole page completely correct, without having actually learned anything. Some other options with short and simple lessons would be Junior Analytical Grammar (DVDs could help it be more independent depending on the child, this one teaches diagramming) or Fix-it from IEW (no diagramming).

 

I didn't use a reading course with my 4th graders. We just read high quality children's literature and discussed it. If you would like some help for you on discussing literature with kids, get Deconstructing Penguins for yourself. In middle school I added Figuratively Speaking to cover literary terms, and we still just discussed the books. My teens thrived in Great Book literature in high school. I'd say this method worked.

 

I also did not use a handwriting book with that age unless they were still learning cursive. Instead of having yet another lesson, however little, I just required their best penmanship in the other lessons and made them redo anything that was messy.

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I have decided to try out Easy Grammar next school year for my 9 year old son going in to 4th grade.  He is behind in his language arts.  We are enrolling him in a local public charter school that allows me to choose my own curriculum (no religious content for the most part).  I need to find a writing program to go along with EG and would like some input on what writing program goes well with it.  He has worked on copywork and does fine with it but we haven't done much dictation (some, but not much).  I need to find a less parent-intensive course, however I know I will need to help him.  I was looking at Excellence in Writing (EIW) because it combines writing and grammar but EG appeals to me.  One easy option is to use "Daily 6-Trait Writing" as Timberdoodle suggests to use.  I can order from Timberdoodle.com, Rainbowresource.com, and exodusbooks.com.  I need something that is comprehensive yet doesn't take me all day to teach it.  This last year we used Sonlight Language Arts 2 and it was just okay.  I tried R&S English but even as a Christian I feel that it goes over the top when it comes to references to God.  Here's what I plan on using so far:

 

Writing: ???

Spelling: Spelling You See   (I had no eye-rolling when using this program!)

Grammar:  Easy Grammar

Reading: Teaching the Classics???

Handwriting: A Reason for Handwriting

 

Thanks for your input!

 

Not at all trying to dictate to you, and just my observation with my own DSs, but it looks like you are hoping for some programs that are more solo/independent on the student's part for your LA. But 4th grade is VERY young to be able to handle much of the LA on their own -- and esp. with a student who is a bit behind in the LA  areas. To really shore up weak LA will very likely require more parent-intensive time for another 2 years, rather than less. Just my own experience! :)

 

For example, our DS#2 who struggled with mild LDs in the LA areas of spelling and writing needed a lot of specialized materials and a lot of intensive one-on-one time with me up through 8th grade; he finally started to click in the weak areas about 6th grade, but really could not fly with something less parent-involved until he hit high school. Not at all suggesting or thinking that is where your DS is, BUT, if he is behind in some of the LA, I'd be planning on scheduling myself to be at his elbow for those areas up through 6th grade to get back on track. Again, just my thought, without knowing your DS or your family circumstances. :)

 

These are all non-religious, except as noted:

 

Writing:

- Wordsmith Apprentice (gr. 4-6)

written to the student and done largely independently; can break it into as small of a "bite" per day as needed by the student

- Writing With Ease, level 3 -- more parent input and more formal, but thorough, and coordinates with FLL Grammar (below) -- also could be alternated with Wordsmith Apprentice

 

Reading:

Do you really *need* an actual reading program at this stage, or can you just go with a big list of good books (see these threads for great ideas: "4th grade reading list"; "Reading list for 4th grade"; ), and:

- do some as completely solo/independent reads by DS

- some books at- and slightly above DS's reading level for DS to read aloud to you (or take turns "you read a page I read a page") and discuss as you go

- and some as read-alouds (you reading to DS from works above his reading level) or audio books

 

Or, if you'd like a "bite a day" Reading Program to practice comprehension skills to go along with good books:

- Jane Ervin's Reading Comprehension, book 2 (gr. 4)

- Jacob's Ladder Reading Comprehension Program, level 2 (gr. 4-5)

- Reading Detective, beginning level (gr. 3-4)

 

- Memoria Press -- grade 3 or grade 4 -- Christian, but from the samples, I see no religious references at all -- be sure to ask in a thread how religious it is know for sure :)

 

Christian Light Education (CLE) Reading

This might be what you're looking for, but it is religious, so it would have to come out of your pocket. However, it is a half-year program, so you could intermix it with something secular for your reading. See all the things the grade 4 program covers on page 29 of the CLE elementary grades scope and sequence chart. (I also listed them below.)

 

 

Grammar -- unsolicited comment ;)

Not trying to dissuade you from Easy Grammar esp. if that's a good fit for your student, but I found EG to be very "rote" and repetitive, and easy for a student to memorize the grammar "formula" and fly through the workbook pages without really *learning* actual grammar -- or assume it was the same "formula" again, and make a lot of unthinking errors. It really depends on what type of learner your student is on whether or not this program will "click" with the student for actual learning.

 

Another thought would be to add a supplement to Easy Grammar that comes at grammar from a totally different perspective to help reinforce, and alternate days or do EG 3-4x/week and the supplement 1-2x/week...

 

Ideas -- these do require more parent involvement than Easy Grammar workbooks

Winston Grammar Basic -- hands-on use of cards; program only about identifying parts of speech (no GUM Grammar Usage and Mechanics)

- First Language Lessons, level 3 or 4 (by SWB's mom, and which coordinates with SWB's Writing With Ease)

 

 

____________________________________

 

CLE Sunrise Reading 400 - Bridges Beyond -- page 29 of scope and sequence chart

 

401

footnotes

recalling story facts and details

applying story information

table of contents

inferring and drawing conclusions

comparisons

predictions

feelings of story characters

oral reading rules

reading with good expression

figures of speech

descriptive language

characters and setting

cause and effect relationships

scanning for story information

main character

context clues

poetry: word pictures

poetry: stanzas

poetry: rhyming words

anachronisms

chronological order

fact and opinion

poetry: rhyme pattern 

stating an opinion about the story

finding proof of answers

using informational books

 

402

defining homonyms from the story

poetry: oral reading

problem and solution

poetry: descriptive language

poetry: figures of speech

poetry: feelings

analyzing changes in a story character

main idea of a story

supporting details

poetry: rhyme pattern

map exercise

title

interpreting phrases

meaning of words from KJV Bible

stating what a story character learned

poetry from the Bible

 

403

guide words

main idea of a paragraph

prefixes: over-, under-

using prefixes to determine word meanings

poetry: rhyme pattern

poetry: repetition

probably, improbably, and impossible

stating how the title fits th estory

poetry: tells a story

fiction and nonfiction

examples of fiction

identifying a story character's traits

examples of non-fiction

analogies

poetry: special sound effects

poetry: rhymthm

 

404

describing a story character's appearance

onomatopoeia

similes

main ideas of poems

map exercise

préfixes: non-, mis-

illustrting a sentence

poetry: free verse

plot

visualizing

checking a prediction

 

405

inference

poetry: comparisons

personification

suffixes: -er/-or, -en

using suffixes to determine word meanings

summarizing

correcting story characters' incorrect grammar

pronunciation of Bible names

map exercise

Edited by Lori D.
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I have decided to try out Easy Grammar next school year for my 9 year old son going in to 4th grade.  He is behind in his language arts.  We are enrolling him in a local public charter school that allows me to choose my own curriculum (no religious content for the most part).  I need to find a writing program to go along with EG and would like some input on what writing program goes well with it.  He has worked on copywork and does fine with it but we haven't done much dictation (some, but not much).  I need to find a less parent-intensive course, however I know I will need to help him.  I was looking at Excellence in Writing (EIW) because it combines writing and grammar but EG appeals to me.  One easy option is to use "Daily 6-Trait Writing" as Timberdoodle suggests to use.  I can order from Timberdoodle.com, Rainbowresource.com, and exodusbooks.com.  I need something that is comprehensive yet doesn't take me all day to teach it.  This last year we used Sonlight Language Arts 2 and it was just okay.  I tried R&S English but even as a Christian I feel that it goes over the top when it comes to references to God.  Here's what I plan on using so far:

 

Writing: ???

Spelling: Spelling You See   (I had no eye-rolling when using this program!)

Grammar:  Easy Grammar

Reading: Teaching the Classics???

Handwriting: A Reason for Handwriting

 

Thanks for your input!

 

Writing Strands, Level 3.

 

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