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mymommy1

Writing & Grammar for Pencil phobes

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My soon to be sixth grader needs to build skills in composition.  He needs to build his spelling and hand-writing abilities, and we are doing that this summer.  He has not had formal grammar.  Through a few fun things and Latin, he knows many parts of speech, types of sentences, end punctuation - the basics. He can capitalize a sentence and put a period at the end.  He can narrate, summarize, rewrite in complete sentences - orally.  He has done some copywork and dictation.  We did the first third of IEW SWI-A. He did fine, but I didn't like it.  He is pencil- and generally work-phobic.  He says, "I know how to write," which he can orally.

 

I know where I want to get him, but I'm not sure what to do/use to get there.  Should I do WWE 3/4 with him until he can write on his own?  At his level and personality, what grammar? 

 

 

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It sounds like he wouldn't really need WWE 3 or 4 if he can narrate/summarize/restructure sentences well orally. I think you can find the pre and post tests for WWE 1-4 levels online for free to check out. If he does well with all of those I'd move past narrating into something else. I haven't used WWS yet so can't really speak to whether it's good for a pencil phobe. I know many have used it with 6th graders successfully but I'll let others chime in on whether it would work well for your situation. 

 

Now, grammar..I think R & S would work well as it's pretty easy to curb the writing by doing the work orally. You can also compromise with his doing the writing/diagramming on a whiteboard with dry erase markers (generally easier on the hand). Maybe get the workbook if you want to give him more review and actual writing practice. We went from FLL4 to R&S 5 with no issues. I think if he knows basic parts of speech and such he could start at level 5. 6 is supposed to be a lot of the same material...just bumped up a notch, but if you'd like to start more slowly with formal grammar than 5 should work. It's cheap too. :) 

 

*I apologize for any typos or incoherence. Had LASIK a few days ago and am still recovering 

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Thanks for your reply, especially with your "new" eyes.

 

He can do the narration in WWE 4 orally. He can do the dictation, except for spelling the words correctly and actually making it to writing the whole piece!  We are putting lots of time into spelling and building his writing this summer. 

 

I do hate to bore him with ONLY narration.  We are doing SOTW4, and some outlining there. 

 

Anyone have thoughts on just starting with R&S 6 and taking it slow?  He will continue Latin to support his grammar.

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R&S 6 and taking it slow ought to be about right. If it gets challenging you could do odds of a lesson one day and the evens the next day. I'd start out doing the lessons all orally, with the understanding you will be transitioning him to writing out the written drill section in time.

 

Wordsmith Apprentice could be a good fit for composition for him. It starts very simply and gently rolls up to simple essays by the end. It has a "fun" cub reporter feel. A capable sixth grader could likely finish it in a semester and move onto the Wordsmith level.

 

FWIW, 6th grade was about the time I handed my older kids the Declaration of Independence at the beginning of the year and made them copy the entire thing by hand. In cursive even. Signatures included. Anything remotely messy was erased and rewritten. It probably took them each a whole week to get it done. At first they thought I was a monster. By the end of that paper they were so proud of their project, and suddenly those three paragraph writing assignments looked like a walk in the park. Their perspective and penmanship were much improved.

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My DD is going into fifth. She has similar problems but this year she made good improvement with a plan I implemented to try to make her physical writing automatic, which is the glitch that makes writing unpleasant for her.

 

We used Modern Speller as copywork and she did it everyday. We did not to the dictation of the copywork later in the day as recommended but that would be ideal.

 

For grammar we used Easy Grammar for minimal writing. It fit the bill but she didn't like it so I'm re-evaluating for next year.

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SilverMoon, I'll look at WA again.  I tried it before when he was too young. 

 

Tiramisu, I think that's a great idea.  I think once he starts writing more, his spelling will progress faster.  He is making great progress with cursive, so I'm hopeful by the end of summer he can copy whole sentences with relative ease and not so much fussing.

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My DD hated writing but surprisingly never complained about the passages in Modern Speller. Her use of mechanics are amazing now. And she picked up lots of nice tidbits of knowledge through the stories. Now when we are reading history for example, she'll already be familiar with it,

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