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If your LO(s) Read Fluently Before 1st...

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What did you use for Language Arts in early primary (K, 1st, 2nd) if your child was already reading for content rather than learning to read?

 

Did you move forward with spelling, grammar, composition, etc?

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We did spelling to keep discussing phonics rules. Copywork for cursive handwriting. I started grammar, ELTL 1 in first grade but it is very light in level 1. The author says you can skip level one if the child is reading but we wanted a light start. We loved the story choices in level one. He read most aloud to me except Five little Peppers and It. The librivox recording was really good so I'm glad we just listened. Otherwise we've been just reading history books and whatever other good novels he sees. I just bought lots of comic book unabridged Shakespeare books. I usually don't buy books, I interlibrary loan. These books are very interesting to them though. We did start Song School Latin also in first grade. It was so much singing though that they didn't consider it school.

 

My second son is doing the same route as the first because we are happy with it.

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Short answer: Yes, I moved on.

 

Long answer: Both my daughters needed something additional to move forward in reading, even though on the surface they read well.

 

Older daughter: I still work on comprehension. She could "read" anything but her actual comprehension only really went to 6th-8th grade -- because she didn't have the knowledge base or vocabulary to read beyond that.

*All about spelling for phonics; Shurley English for grammar, Evan moore comprehension books

*later on: combination of IEW and bravewriter for composition, wordly wise online for vocab

 

Younger daughter: She actually had problems with unfamiliar multisyllable words, even though it "looked like" her word recognition was topped out. She seemed like she had more knowledge of the world though... her comprehension has been better than  her sister's at the same age. So for her I have done all about spelling AND all about reading. When I'm done with AAR I'll move on to grammar, etc.

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We moved on.
 

Last year we began Dictation Day By Day after doing solely copywork for about half the year.  We eased into spelling rules.  We began the first two chapters of Grammar Land, using Montessori-based cartoon symbols to introduce Mr. Noun & Mr. Pronoun, with an extra set of shapes to use with sentences (to cut down on the writing).

He wasn't ready to write much in K, but by the end of the year was writing short paragraphs on his own.  If he stays home next year the plan is to continue with both Dictation DBD and Grammar Land, and then add in book discussion now that he's comfortable with chapter books.

 

The best part, though, was that he could read for content in a wide variety of subjects, so language arts only focused on skills he needed work on at a K level.  Reading was done in every subject: Spanish, Math, Geography, Science.

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I didn't do any formal language arts with my early, strong readers. Instead, I focused on giving them lots of opportunities to read and write.

 

-I had them keep a journal that they wrote in twice a week.

-We had a daily writing block where they worked on self-chosen writing projects. I taught them the writing process as they worked on their projects, but I didn't do a whole lot of instruction - more like gentle coaching as they planned and revised. I would also explain spelling rules as they edited their work, and I would explain grammatical concepts or mechanics rules as they came up in context.

-We had a daily silent reading time. They could read anything they chose; I never assigned books or had them do book reports or anything like that. Just: read for fun!

-I read aloud to them daily - usually literature that was a little above their current reading level or interest level.

 

*We started formal grammar & writing instruction in 4th grade, and we did a gentle introduction to Latin in 5th before starting serious (high school level) Latin in 6th. That was the right timing for my oldest two kids.

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After my first, I never saw a reason to begin grammar before 2nd/3rd grade.

 

We switched to spelling once they could decode any word I put in front of them.

 

I mostly began Writing with Ease in 1st grade.

 

And, of course, I gave them plenty of good books to read.

 

After my older 2, especially, I came to appreciate keeping the official schooling portion of the day as short as possible when they're early elementary.

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We've moved on.

 

I find it somewhat challenging to find good fit for LA because it's the area where DD is most asynchronous. Her reading and comprehension test many years beyond her age, but her handwriting is about average and her content writing only a little advanced.

 

For the last year and planning to continue this next year, we've found good fits in Brave Writer for copywork, basic mechanics, and creative writing, and MCT for being able to go much deeper with grammar, vocabulary, poetics, and writing style.

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We basically jumped to 3rd grade and up stuff-DD's former school principal had sent us home with their old reading/LA series, and DD did the 3rd-6th grade books in those, mostly orally, plus some really cute grammar stuff from scholastic, plus started work on cursive. At age 7, she started doing online classes at Athena's and G3, and we outsourced LA/reading entirely until year before last, when she did LL 7/8 with me, and this past year when we did a homegrown study on the Hero's quest, based loosely on LLoLoTR. This coming year, she plans to focus on Shakespeare, and is going to do a G3 class in it more for fun than content, and again, add more at home.

 

I got Spelling Power when DD was 5, and she whipped through it in a year. The kid is a natural speller, and intuits rules quickly. We played with spelling bee prep stuff, which got her into etymology, which is still a love of hers.

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yes, we moved on.

 

There can be a bit of a challenge finding level-appropriate reading material that's also age appropriate (5yo reading at a 4th grade level) I asked here and got lots of suggestions.

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Younger daughter: She actually had problems with unfamiliar multisyllable words, even though it "looked like" her word recognition was topped out. 

 

This is Peter's issue exactly.  He was a strong reader before 1st grade, but even now, heading into 2nd grade, he reads so fast that he skips words and guesses at multi-syllable words that he doesn't immediately recognize.  He could decode almost any word, but he doesn't.

 

For 1st grade he did the upper levels of Explode the Code, WWE 1 and AAS 1 & most of 2.  I also had him read aloud to me for 5-10 minutes each day from a difficult (high-interest) book so we could work on reading accurately and with expression.

 

Wendy

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We did very little with DD7 the last 2 years for LA.  She read, learned cursive and played on reading eggspress and I-pad apps.  I just didn't feel like she need to leap into grammar and formal writing program and would be better served by more play time.  She has just begun Spelling for the summer because she asked after watching "Akeelah and the Bee"

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I let my daughter read the entire Harry Potter series in Kindergarten. I called it school and didn't bother to do much else for language arts that semester.

 

I'd have to think about what we did in first grade. I think she learned cursive in the summer after K, and typing during first grade.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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For first grade this year, we did WWE2, MCT Island, Mosdos 3rd grade level, Junior Great Books 3rd and 4th grades, Killgallon Story Grammar, Rod & Staff Spelling 3rd grade, and read lots of books. ETA, we also did New American Cursive 1.

 

Next year, for 2nd grade, we are moving up in every level, except switching to Megawords for spelling, and adding Athena's for lit, and Treasured Conversations and CAP Fable for writing.

 

I really want to move him into writing paragraphs.

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We jumped to third grade stuff as well. Easy grammar worked well at 6. We started Sequential Spelling around 7, but I wish we would have started that earlier. Another resource I would have loved to have used around 7 was MCT's Caesar's English.

 

For 4 & 5 we did a lot of classical poetry reading. It was used to talk about parts of speech, metaphor, similie, imagery, main idea, mood, character, inferencial thinking, anthropromorphism, and various other literary devices. As he got a bir older, we brought in children's poetry like Shel Silverstein, but as a little one we deliberately went with shorter classical works. These were early print copywork.

 

We did cursive by 6 years old and Ds got to make up sentences for copywork. As a result, many involved zombies, ninjas, and poop. In hindsight, it should have been one personal sentence, one classical literature sentence.

 

I read aloud from classical kid's literature. Ds read anything he could get his hands on. Dh is a high school English teacher, so middle school reading started by age 7 and high school reading quickly there after. We are still playing catch up with kid's classic literature.

 

For writing we took apart the idea of a thesis and an outline. Ds had to begin making one thesis statement a day. It was just an opinion and three reasons why. They were not academic at all. We did that every day for Kindergarten (age 4). For first, he had to give a thesis and then explain his three reasons with one or two extra explaining sentences. By second, he had to write this down and resummarize at the end. They were never very good, but essentially it was an essay. I think I still have one about why he should get to eat ice cream for dinner.

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Oral narration (see SCM) is a great way to assess comprehension and work on composition skills in a child that reads well, but is not yet ready to write.

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We're at the point now where DS has been reading well for a while now and I've been trying to find some kind of something to do in LA, besides handwriting. I sometimes still do advanced phonics/introductory spelling review work on a whiteboard using The ABCs and All Their Tricks and The Phonics Page website. We started MCT Music of the Hemispheres about a month ago. It has been a great fit so far for my four year old, but I expect it will get beyond his output capabilities around halfway so I'll probably alternate with Sentence Island. I'm also considering Royal Fireworks Press Aesop's Fables Books About Reading, Writing, and Thinking. I can't find many threads about it, though, especially not with younger kids. Without a curriculum I plan to do a bit of oral narration, introducing parts of speech, and living writing projects, plus, of course, board games. I expect that when he's first grade age (two years from now) we'll probably start a standard writing and/or spelling program.

 

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Forgot to mention that I'm planning on having DS do ETC 4 (syllables) and ETC 8 (prefixes and suffixes) this coming year for TK. Then maybe in K do something with root words.

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We moved on with spelling with Spelling Power, did poetry memorization work, and read a lot. I think around 1st we did the MCT language arts program.

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DD spelled her way into reading, so she started word building at 3.5yo and formal spelling at 4.  We started Latin and copywork in Kindergarten.  We studied grammar informally in first grade and more formally starting in second grade.  DH and I continued to read aloud books above her reading level.  She has read voraciously since 4.5yo.  She read a lot of non-fiction in kindergarten, as she could read anything as long as it was a picture book.  My assumption was that having so many words on a page was overwhelming for her.  

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We started doing MCT in first, and thought nothing of it, to be honest. Older DS was reading Machiavelli by 4th, so having younger DS begin to appreciate Shakespeare in 1st just seemed normal to us.

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We did WWE and FLL and poetry memorization for preschool for my son, 1st for my daughter (taught at the same time, both were early readers). We did some spelling on the side.  "Free time" reading was highly encouraged, I made sure my daughter especially focused on chapter books (anything from Box Car Children and The Farthest Away Mountain, to the Hobbit and Heir to the Empire).  My son, while he reads at 7th grade level, doesn't have the attention for books without pictures, so he was able to read whatever he wanted so long as he tried out new books, too.  

The beginning of WWE and FLL were a bit slow for us, but we simply did 2 lessons in each, 3 or 4 days a week (depending on ability, time, comprehension) to make up for any boredom or already-known topics. We finished a few months earlier than the "end" of school, but I just let them do extra reading time instead of starting them on the next level.  

 

This year (Kinder/2nd) we're going to do WWE and FLL again, add an official poetry thing and a spelling component.  Hopefully we'll be able to go through WWE/FLL at a good enough pace and comprehension that we will move on to either WWE3/FLL3 or MCT before the end of the school year, but I won't be concerned if it waits until 1st/3rd, so long as they continue to improve their reading and comprehension.

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Spelling - DS11 was a natural so I slack and did nothing, DS10 was taught using Uncovering the Logic of English as he gets most words correct without effort.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Uncovering-Logic-English-Common-Sense-Approach/dp/1936706210

 

Grammar - we use K12 LA accelerated as we were with a public charter which use K12. The diagramming and proofreading parts were useful.

 

Literature - we use Jacobs Ladder

 

Comprehension - we use Reading Detectives

 

Writing was just free write

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Forgot to mention that I'm planning on having DS do ETC 4 (syllables) and ETC 8 (prefixes and suffixes) this coming year for TK. Then maybe in K do something with root words.

I may look into these... is ETC something I could jump into, or would I need to move through sequentially?

 

My main concern is that the program we are using (LOE) goes from a very "playful / cute" format for Foundations to a much drier format for Essentials. DS will only be 4 when we finish Foundations & I just don't know how he would react to the switch.

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I may look into these... is ETC something I could jump into, or would I need to move through sequentially?

 

My main concern is that the program we are using (LOE) goes from a very "playful / cute" format for Foundations to a much drier format for Essentials. DS will only be 4 when we finish Foundations & I just don't know how he would react to the switch.

 

I've not used ETC, but the samples look like a standard workbook. It looks to me like a child can do ETC 4 and 8 if he is already reading well and won't get tripped up on blending or advanced phonograms. I don't know where Foundations ends. Does it cover all the phonograms? Right now my son can read pretty much any children's book with a 95+% accuracy, but he won't always know if a vowel/vowel team will make a short or long sound in words with 3+ syllables. So that's what I'm targeting with the two ETC books.

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We dumped ETC because Sacha's reading was taking off so fast that it was turning out to be busywork. I wouldn't do ETC for a kid who is already reading fluently unless he/she just likes doing workbooks. Mine balked at it, so we dropped it.

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I may look into these... is ETC something I could jump into, or would I need to move through sequentially?

 

My main concern is that the program we are using (LOE) goes from a very "playful / cute" format for Foundations to a much drier format for Essentials. DS will only be 4 when we finish Foundations & I just don't know how he would react to the switch.

 

My early reader just did lots of reading. My 5yo has started some spelling but nowhere near the reading level. The reading level keeps going up and up, but he's not quite big enough for dry and boring spelling. Have you thought about just reading until your child is big enough for more formal schooling?

 

My 3yo is still in the learning-to-read phase (working on consonant blends, not yet reading long vowels). Once he gets past long vowels, he will just read lots and lots of books until he's old enough to need a spelling program.

 

I looked at ETC, but it looks incredibly slow. My oldest wasn't keen on workbooks, so after flipping through, I decided against it.

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Two of my four were reading thick chapter books by 5.  By 6, ds1 was reading the Harry Potter series and any book he could find about WWII.  Ds2 fell into the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit at 6... So, age-appropriate reading instruction was already out the window. 

 

My two, who are seven years apart, developed differently, so we used different curricula and different approaches.

 

Ds1 was a natural speller.  At 6 I tried placing him in Spelling Power, but we got to 6th or 7th grade words before he missed any.  Abandoned that VERY soon because I realized that I didn't want to put time and effort into spelling... If he was able to get where he was with no spelling instruction, what could skipping it for a few more years hurt? A few years later I tried the placement tests again and saw that I was right: he had continued to gain more than a grade level per calendar year with no instruction.

Ds2 needs direct spelling instruction.  We use All About Spelling, which works really well! 

 

Ds1 was also a natural writer (both actual handwriting and coming up with interesting things to write) and "intuited" GUM (grammar, mechanics, and useage) rules from his reading.  He used semicolons in his writing, accurately, and without instruction!  So I figured we were good there, too. (Lucky me!)

Ds2 has been different. He struggles with the physical act of writing, so we do less with that (using the sentences in AAS as his "taking dictation" AND continuing cursive formation practice).  

 

We used Sonlight Language Arts for taking dictation (in cursive) for two (or more) birds with one stone.  Both boys read a lot of the literature that was supposed to be read aloud, on their own. I scoured libraries and book sales for "the rest of the series" and/or nearly every other book written by the authors Sonlight schedules.  We did a LOT of reading. Oh, with ds1, wee also wrote back and forth to one another every day in a "dialogue journal."  I still have it!  Wish I had done that with all of my kids...

 

Both boys learned cursive at 6, with copywork. Both boys have neater cursive than print. Hmmm...

Both boys began studying Latin at 6 or 7. Both boys LOVED using Mad Libs for beginning grammar and could handle middle school level grammar, including diagramming, instruction by 7. Both boys DETESTED workbooks at age 6, so we didn't use them. For copywork for both boys, I used http://educationalfontware.com/ and improvised sentences that were personal to them. That made a big impact on their ability to focus and their willingness to go along with doing copywork.

 

In the end, my most useful advice is to make sure the curriculum serves the child, not the other way around. Be willing to try several different curricula (that means not finishing things when moving between them). Avoid busywork like the plague. If child figured it out on his/her own so far, and is working comfortably above grade level, he/she may not need direct instruction in it this year (or ever) and you can put that time into something else (like playing outside!).  Most of all, have fun!  Enjoy these years!

 

 

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At the end of Foundations he should be reading at approximately a 2nd grade reading level & ready to begin reading for content. It covers all phonograms by the end of Book C & Book D focuses on comprehension & fluency.

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At the end of Foundations he should be reading at approximately a 2nd grade reading level & ready to begin reading for content. It covers all phonograms by the end of Book C & Book D focuses on comprehension & fluency.

I would just stop at the end of Foundations. We moved from some structure, to trying to find a structure but miserably failing with bad fits, to no structure, then back to structure when DD made big enough leaps to move into some interesting higher level stuff.

 

Have fun! Teach more when there's something he wants to learn that would benefit from the structure.

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At the end of Foundations he should be reading at approximately a 2nd grade reading level & ready to begin reading for content. It covers all phonograms by the end of Book C & Book D focuses on comprehension & fluency.

 

Since you're very much still in the thick of things, I'd recommend giving not planning too far ahead, as your child may need more time with some parts of the program. I've never found a properly paced curriculum -- easy, easy, easy, way too hard (and back up or back off), easy, easy, etc. I get your need to plan (also an expat without easy access to anything), but I recommend not rushing through because when I did that, my ODS ran into the harder sections faster. 

 

What I'm doing differently with my very advanced 3yo is pacing the learn-to-read better. I switch off our learning-to-read curric with books from well-loved series that he enjoys reading (if you're interested in what both my boys love, PM me). It gives him extra practice and means we aren't flying through to the hard parts as fast. It also means that he picks up things from the books that he hasn't "learned" yet, meaning that when we get there in the learn-to-read program, he's already seen it and knows it, so we can just move on. For example, he figured out that /th/ from sight words and /ch/ from another book out of his own interest. 

 

I do know the challenges of educating children in a place where I can't even get decent dry erase markers and where every book we order needs weeks to arrive, but once your child has enough basics to read real books (not phonics books but a book from the library), it's much easier. Math on the other hand I still struggle with!

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What I'm doing differently with my very advanced 3yo is pacing the learn-to-read better. I switch off our learning-to-read curric with books from well-loved series that he enjoys reading (if you're interested in what both my boys love, PM me). It gives him extra practice and means we aren't flying through to the hard parts as fast. It also means that he picks up things from the books that he hasn't "learned" yet, meaning that when we get there in the learn-to-read program, he's already seen it and knows it, so we can just move on. For example, he figured out that /th/ from sight words and /ch/ from another book out of his own interest.

 

I do know the challenges of educating children in a place where I can't even get decent dry erase markers and where every book we order needs weeks to arrive, but once your child has enough basics to read real books (not phonics books but a book from the library), it's much easier.

Mostly I'm just trying to figure out what the "next step" is because DS is moving much faster than I had anticipated. I expected A-B to last us through December & C-D to finish the year, if not go into summer. I expected to space things out & take breaks. He isn't having it. He wants to learn NOW. Which is great, but also leaves me feeling woefully under-prepared.

 

I am relieved to see several people saying to just leave it & let him read. What I would prefer to do (rather than move to Essentials) is read books, write postcards to family & some simple copywork. Then, once he's closer to traditional school age I can start adding in things like spelling & grammar.

 

I hope he slows down once we get to the end of B. He will have to somewhat, because I won't have C & D until October. The end of A really doesn't leave him with much to read, but B opens up a lot. Perhaps by C he'll be content to alternate lessons & books...

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I didn't do any formal language arts with my early, strong readers. Instead, I focused on giving them lots of opportunities to read and write.

 

-I had them keep a journal that they wrote in twice a week.

-We had a daily writing block where they worked on self-chosen writing projects.

-We had a daily silent reading time.

-I read aloud to them daily - usually literature that was a little above their current reading level or interest level.

 

This sounds lovely :-)

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I figured learning syllable division would be good to learn before starting spelling....no? I definitely don't want to start spelling formally yet. I wouldn't "make" DS do the entire ETC workbook, just a few questions here and there to get the idea and to review over the course of the year, along with the prefixes and suffixes in ETC 8. Then maybe he could start a spelling program in Kindergarten the following year. That way he is doing something explicit for language to keep his brain thinking about it.

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I figured learning syllable division would be good to learn before starting spelling....no? I definitely don't want to start spelling formally yet.

Syllable division is definitely a good skill to have. It can be a lot of fun, too - marching around the room, banging drums, clapping beats. LOE explicitly covers both spelling & syllables in terms of phonetic rules, so I'm hoping he will have a strong foundation in those skills.

 

I'll assess DS at the end of Foundations to identify any weaknesses that I'd like to cover before moving forward, but there's no way for me to know what those weaknesses will be at this point. Patience is not my forte, but for now I'll do my best to quit fretting & ride the wave...

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Yeah, it sounds like you won't need to do anything since you're doing Foundations. DS didn't do a reading program at all.

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