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Language Arts 3rd grade - grammar, writing & spelling

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My daughter completed LOE foundations in K-1st.  Last year (grade 2), we used the very light language arts in Bookshark (secular Sonlight) and I supplemented with some content from LOE.  I had planned to use LOE Essentials this year, but can't bring myself to order.  I just hate how long the lessons took in LOE and I wonder if it's a good fit.  I also really want my daughter to learn diagramming and I don't see that mentioned in LOE content.  Since my daughter has not enjoyed writing, I purchased Writing with Ease 1 for this year and planned to supplement Essentials with it.  Now I'm thinking of dropping LOE and using First Language Lessons 3 (also looked at R&S but am leaning more toward FLL).  Now, I realize that this will leave me without a spelling program.  I've looked at so many spelling programs and don't like many.  I like the ones with a workbook activity and think my daughter would enjoy that.  She seems to be pretty good at spelling, but I've been having her copy words 2-5 times a day and am a big believer in that.  I am thinking of using R&S spelling while continuing to review phonics and spelling rules from LOE.  I also like the looks of Spellwell and Spelling Workout.  If anyone could give guidance on these spelling programs, that would be wonderful.  I need something with limited teaching time.

 

Now, I wonder if this will actually be a time savings.  I'm really concerned about giving my new K student enough time.  I already feel that I've spent too much time on my older child and that my K child should have been reading last year (he'll be an older K student, turning 6 at end of October).  I also have an overactive 2.5 year old.

 

I will be doing LOE Foundations with my K student.

 

Does FLL, WWE, and R&S spelling sound like too much for 3rd grade language arts?

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If she is a good speller/natural spelling then Spelling Workout is low parental involvement and fun activities.

 

Sequential spelling also makes a CD computer version that is also low parent involvement that is kind of neat as well.

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My 3rd grader spends about an hour (4 days a week) on language arts.

 

He spends ~5 minutes reading aloud to me (practicing advanced phonics) from WISE OWL Polysyllables.  

 

He spends ~10 minutes reading 2 chapters from a novel of my choice and then 10 more minutes doing a one sentence written narration for each chapter.

 

He spends ~10 minutes on handwriting (introducing cursive and perfecting manuscript).

 

Two days a week he spends ~20 minutes on spelling (All About Spelling).

The other two days a week he spends ~15 on writing (WWE) and ~15 minutes on grammar (MCT Island level).

 

I also have a first grader, plus a preschooler and a very needy toddler.  It is hard to carve out the time my 3rd grader needs for language arts, but it is a high priority for me.  He does he read aloud practice following me around as I change diapers and wipe sticky hands.  He does his reading and narrations fairly independently and I just help with proofreading afterwards.  His handwriting is completely independent other than me checking up on him to keep him from getting lazy.

 

For his spelling, writing and grammar, however, he does need most of my attention.  I schedule those subjects carefully when all the littles should be occupied.  It is not always an ideal work environment, but it is only 20-30 minutes a day and so we manage.

 

Wendy

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