Jump to content

Menu

Grammar


Recommended Posts

This is my first post in the high school forum.  :seeya:

 

My oldest is in 8th grade this year. He homeschooled grades 1-7, and then did virtual school (Edgenuity) the second half of 7th and now all of 8th. I plan to homeschool him for 9th and up. Just needed a break while baby #4 was a chaotic toddler. Anyway, he's had bits and pieces of grammar here and there over the years... FLL 1/2, level 1 of KISS, a quarter of R&S 5, about half of Hake 6, and then the grammar included in ELTL 5. Since he's been in virtual school, he's really not had much grammar, if any. He reads a lot and generally uses decent grammar, but I would like to hit some of the grammar areas he hasn't been taught yet. He knows the basics of nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, predicate nominatives, predicate adjectives, prepositions, indirect objects, and direct objects. He has not had things like gerunds and perfect tenses and stuff like that.

 

Some ideas I've been mulling over:

 

  • R&S 6 or 7?
  • Jensen
  • Analytical Grammar

I was set on Jensen, but then realized it didn't have diagramming. I would like diagramming included.

 

The rest of his English will be covered by Excellence in Literature Intro to Literature. We'll see if I need to add more writing instruction than that... I suggested WWS2, but he'd prefer not to do that. Currently, he writes essays for virtual school fairly often and gets good grades on them. I have to drag him through the process, but he can do it. Once he gets over his fear, he writes a decent essay. It's not spectacular like some I see on these boards, but they're apparently better than what the local teachers are used to seeing from the public school students, probably because he's had some grammar.  :tongue_smilie: As far as writing goes, he really needs to learn how to flesh out his ideas more. He's a man of few words. So any recommendations for that would be great too.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been using the 6-week sample of SWB's new scripted grammar program, at my 8th grader's request, as FLL was the only grammar dc ever enjoyed. It's going well so far; dc is enjoying it, so we'll likely purchase the books (or the download). It includes diagramming. The full program is more expensive up front than others we've used, but the instructor book will be reused each year with different student workbooks.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the looks of SWB's program, but I don't know if I could swing the teacher intensiveness of it. I'll likely still be at elbow with my autistic 6th grader, and my 4th kid will be 3 - more sane than this year, but still good at interrupting mama.

 

Though I might be able to combine the 6th and 9th graders in it... Hmm... I'll look at it again. :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you looked at Hake Grammar? It's similar to the Saxon Math approach - and it includes diagramming. It doesn't require parent involvement, either. Here is a sample from RainbowResource.com. (We don't use it for writing, but writing is included in the package.) The kit includes the student workbook, teacher answers to the workbook, and quizzes and answers. We used R & S when my son was younger, but switched to Hake Grammar the last two years.

 

https://www.rainbowresource.com/pdfs/products/prod022041_smpl0.pdf

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd probably choose R&S. It's thorough and cheap and does the job well, and if you do need any writing supplementation, you could just pick and choose from their writing lessons. I had the same concerns with SWB's grammar. I don't mind teaching a bit with R&S, so if it only takes 5-10 min. per lesson, that's okay. But the lesson on her video that she did seemed pretty in-depth. I'm not sure I want to do the same exact material for four years. I like the review and progression in R&S that doesn't introduce all the really deep stuff until the upper levels. Anyway, I still waffle on that. Have you considered ABeka?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to the "big board"!   :patriot:

 

As far as diagramming... great if you can get it in there, but not the end of the world if you don't. In high school, rather than a separate unrelated subject, Grammar is put into use with correct sentence structure in writing, and in proof-editing through Grammar's GUM aspect -- Grammar Usage and Mechanics. (Grammar Usage refers to subject/verb agreement, correct verb tense, etc., and Mechanics refers to punctuation and capitalization). Grammar is also used in learning Foreign Languages, so understanding the parts of speech and what "job" they are doing in the sentence is helpful there.

 

Understanding diagramming can be useful to learn, but it really depends on the individual person's brain whether they end up "clicking" with diagramming and it becomes a useful tool for seeing how a sentence is working -- or if diagramming remains a bit of a mysterious activity that is separate from any meaningful use -- i.e., each sentence is just another individual, unrelated-to-anything puzzle to solve as to how to place all the words and phrases and lines to create a diagram tree. All that to say, don't sweat it if your student doesn't end up being proficient in diagramming. ;)

 

 

Of the three programs you list, Analytical Grammar would give you the most flexibility for scheduling. It has 1-year, 2-year, and 3-year schedules -- and you can always reduce the volume to just circling select problems if Grammar is needed more as a final "skim review" to fill in any cracks.

 

Rod and Staff also includes Writing instruction, so if your student likes or fits with R&S, you'd have both needs met in one program. No personal experience with it, so I don't know how independent-working it is.

 

One other possible option that is designed to be fairly independent-working is Growing With Grammar  (which includes diagramming) and its sister program of Winning With Writing. In looking at the table of contents for the WwW, I'm not thrilled with the big units on creative writing in levels 7 and 8. From teaching writing as part of my Lit. & Comp. classes, I know that not all kids like or click with creative writing -- many of the laconic "just the facts ma'am" kids shut down if you ask them to do creative writing. So on many of my assignments, students can choose the creative writing version (like, make up a world to describe for the descriptive paragraph, or invent a process for the "how-to" paragraph), but I also have very straight-forward ideas for the non-creative writers. ;)

 

A mostly-independent working Writing resource that helps students think of what to say and then how to organize their thoughts is Jump In. I used this with DS#2 who was a struggling writer and it was a good fit for him (I have heard other families say that Jump In feels too scattered, or they didn't know how to schedule it). Jump In is designed to take 2 years, but that's because of the insertion of a month of free writing from prompts between each unit. Personally, we hated the repetitive and uninteresting prompts, so we dropped that and instead did a weekly timed essay from past SAT test prompts (which was a super activity for learning how to think of points to build an argument). Jump In only took my 8th grade struggling writer 1 year to complete, even with us taking a day a week for the timed essay writing practice.

 

(side note: for doing essays from past SAT prompts -- available from Online Math Learning: Test Prep -- we started with 10 minutes and the goal of 1 complete paragraph, and then slowly worked up, every few weeks adding a goal and/or time. See post #5 in this past thread Preparing for Essay Exams  for a breakdown of what we did.)

 

Another option for help with writing to check out: Mastering the 5-Paragraph Essay. I have a 2-foot-high stack of writing programs that I go to for ideas in how to teach writing to my co-op classes, and this slim volume has the most bang for the buck. It is definitely a teacher resource, NOT an independent working book for the student, but it has very clear concise instruction and some great exercises and assignments.

 

Finally, if you get into the semester and find the writing is still not progressing the way you would like, you might consider outsourcing in the spring with 1 or 2 4-week Brave Writer classes, or an 8-week Time 4 Writing class.

 

 

As far as how to encourage a laconic writer to share more... I feel your pain. It is exhausting trying to pull more words out of men of few words. ;)  DS#1 here has always been not only quiet but very precise with language, and in middle school/early high school, he felt he had completely covered a vast subject (such as WW2) with a single precisely worded paragraph.  :laugh:

 

You can start by having a very specific requirement in each writing assignment -- that for the body paragraph(s), each point must have two specific supporting examples, or that he must follow up each sentence of support with two sentences of more detailed information to flesh out the idea.

 

Also, sitting down together in the brainstorming stage, and then again in the rough draft stage, allows you to prompt more details by asking him a lot of questions: "Oh that's a great point! What will be a good example that proves that point?" or "Nice point! I'm just a little confused; could you explain more about this part of the point?"

 

BEST of luck in finding what works best! Warmest regards, Lori D.

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is my first post in the high school forum.  :seeya:

 

My oldest is in 8th grade this year. He homeschooled grades 1-7, and then did virtual school (Edgenuity) the second half of 7th and now all of 8th. I plan to homeschool him for 9th and up. Just needed a break while baby #4 was a chaotic toddler. Anyway, he's had bits and pieces of grammar here and there over the years... FLL 1/2, level 1 of KISS, a quarter of R&S 5, about half of Hake 6, and then the grammar included in ELTL 5. Since he's been in virtual school, he's really not had much grammar, if any. He reads a lot and generally uses decent grammar, but I would like to hit some of the grammar areas he hasn't been taught yet. He knows the basics of nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, predicate nominatives, predicate adjectives, prepositions, indirect objects, and direct objects. He has not had things like gerunds and perfect tenses and stuff like that.

 

Some ideas I've been mulling over:

 

  • R&S 6 or 7?
  • Jensen
  • Analytical Grammar

I was set on Jensen, but then realized it didn't have diagramming. I would like diagramming included.

 

The rest of his English will be covered by Excellence in Literature Intro to Literature. We'll see if I need to add more writing instruction than that... I suggested WWS2, but he'd prefer not to do that. Currently, he writes essays for virtual school fairly often and gets good grades on them. I have to drag him through the process, but he can do it. Once he gets over his fear, he writes a decent essay. It's not spectacular like some I see on these boards, but they're apparently better than what the local teachers are used to seeing from the public school students, probably because he's had some grammar.  :tongue_smilie: As far as writing goes, he really needs to learn how to flesh out his ideas more. He's a man of few words. So any recommendations for that would be great too.

 

If you do R&S's English, your whole English credit will be complete. The grammar is comprehensive, and the writing really is, as well. Not sure I'd start with the seventh grade text, as that's when the writing really picks up, in addition to the grammar. Even if he does it a year "behind," he'll still be ahead academically. :-)

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone! I think I'll let him look at the choices and see if he has an opinion. He doesn't always. :lol: I've had to drag opinions out of him. I did print out the placement test for R&S English (that seems new?), starting with grade 5. I'll see where his grammar knowledge is and go from there.

 

What I like about R&S is that it's very thorough and it has writing helps there if we need it, or we can ignore the writing if we don't need it. He'll be doing plenty of writing across the curriculum. I'm hoping after this virtual school year he'll be more comfortable with writing a basic essay. He freaks out every time he's assigned one, but then he gets excellent grades on them once he gets over himself and gets to work. He just lacks confidence in the process. And it doesn't help that the English essays occasionally have ridiculous assignments. Last year it was writing about an event that affected his identity. He was 12. He hadn't really had any specific memorable events that changed him, you know? This year he had to write about a hero and an event involving that hero and how it affected him (my son). Again, sheltered, fairly easy life... not a lot of events like that. :p We figured something out and kind of stretched it to make it fit, but man that was hard. When he's given a normal topic, he can do well. He's certainly much more comfortable writing about history or science, though he'll still have a deer in headlights moment when the assignment is given (and he'll just do all math for a few days until someone notices and says, "Hey, don't forget your other subjects!"  :tongue_smilie: ). At least when homeschooling next year, I'll give the essay assignment myself, so I'll know it's there and can make sure he isn't procrastinating it. ;)

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

My dd (8th grade) is enjoying Grammar for the Well Trained Mind more than she did Hake Grammar last year. It takes around 15 minutes (of teaching time), but I imagine that it may take up to 20 minutes when lessons progress.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Link to post
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...