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Bay Lake Mom

English for 2nd/3rd grade?

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My 9 yo daughter is still learning to read.  She has many delays, but is making progress.  I bought IEW Bible Heroes for this year, thinking that it would be a gentle approach to grammar and writing.  I really don't like it - already.  She really really doesn't like it!  It requires too much writing, and she just can't grasp the "key word outline".  I feel like I have looked at just about every English curriculum out there, and I feel even more lost than when I started my search.  We will be doing AAS for spelling and phonics/reading instruction is covered by other resources.   We are also doing literature units from CAHS (Confessions of a Homeschooler).  So,  all I need is Grammar and Writing.

I have looked at BJU and Abeka.  I struggle so much with the BJU teacher's guides.  They are just information overload, and the workbook is so so boring!  I don't want to drop down to a level of English that covers phonics either.  Abeka seems to include all of Language Arts, and I don't need or want that. 

Any ideas for English curriculum that only covers Grammar and Writing.  This can not be a DVD or online curriculum either, as she has visual issues and these don't work well for her.  Also, we don't want multiple components.  Lots of manipulatives frustrate her.

I don't know if there is anything out there that will meet our needs, but I figured you all might have some suggestions.

Edited by Bay Lake Mom

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My youngest has been using Writing With Ease a grade behind and First Language Lessons (on grade), both from www.welltrainedmind.com. They've been a great fit for him. His hand and thus handwriting are behind his other skill levels so WWE builds his endurance and confidence, even if the questions are easy for him. FLL is mostly oral. They're both easy peasy to operate, just open the book and go. 

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Michael Clay Thompson’s Grammar Island and Sentence Island.  This is gentle yet rich grammar, and the writing is flexible but conceptually solid.  Another option might be to do Grammar Island with something like Jot-it-Down from Bravewriter or even just copywork.  Honestly, when you are focusing on decoding writing composition can be a struggle.  But you can strengthen handwriting, proper grammar, usage and mechanics, vocabulary, and sentence structure through copywork.  And then when her fluency for decoding and encoding increases you can work on composition.

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Try Writing Tales.  It teaches writing through the progymnasmata, so a lot of imitation writing and grammar memorization.  But it isn't overwhelming and the expectations are gently scaffolding.

Otherwise, I'd slowly go through Treasured Conversations.  Make it last two years by doing every other day.

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I second the recommendation for MCT's Grammar Island, and Practice Island if you want to reinforce the concepts -- very little writing, but effective.

You might also consider just letting your DD write whatever she wants for now (maybe set aside some time each day where she has to write something, perhaps choosing from a list if she does not have ideas).  Then, down the road, when she is forming sentences with ease (i.e. the process of getting words out of her head and down on a page is not arduous), look for something more formal or structured. She could write stories (even picture stories with a caption), lists, bedroom door hangers, signs, menus, post cards, greeting cards, set up a "museum" and have her make tags for each exhibit, advertisements, design cereal boxes, etc. etc. My priority would be to make sure that she enjoys writing, even if it is hard for her. It can still be fun.  You might also check out Peggy Kaye's Games for Writing or Jennifer Hallissey's The Write Start. Some of the stuff in the Write Start will be too early/easy, but there are lots of good ideas too, especially for incorporating writing into play (doctor's office, memos, library, etc.)

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I third MCT.  You could also modify the writing, she could write a few sentences and then dictate the rest to you and you write them and then you read them to her and make any corrections together.

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have you looked at the language books form Criticalthinkingco. 

I am using them with my 8 year old very delayed twins. they cannot write at all, though they can copy.

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MCT is fabulous & I absolutely recommend it, however I’m not sure if it would become a bit overwhelming for her after Island level as the difficulty ramps up pretty quickly. 

Others options you could look at would be Killgallon Sentence Composing / Paragraphs for Elementary School or Classical Academic Press’ Writing & Rhetoric. We just started CAP W&R’s first level, Fable, & it is really fun! While the student text has a good deal of space provided for writing, many of the exercises could be done aloud & “re-writes” could be either typed or narrated. 

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Thank you for so many great suggestions. I guess I’ll spend the evening doing research. A friend had also recommended using Sonlight LA2 along with Easy Grammar. I was planning on going through the SL LEVEL 2 readers anyway, so that might make sense. She said they’re LA is great for writing,but not Grammar. 

So much to consider. 

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Both my girls couldn’t deal with a lot of writing in 2nd and 3rd. I found Winston Grammar Basic to work really well because we just moved the cards around as we covered the worksheets, so almost no writing at all. I did only handwriting, spelling, grammar, and reading out loud practice for LA in grade 2 and I switch reading out loud for Writing & Rhetoric in 3rd for composition. We’ve had a similar experience with it to Expat_Mama_Shelli above. My 5th grader has matured into Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind and is on the fourth W&R book. She writes much more comfortably now.

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Seconding SWB'sbooks! 

 First Language Lessons because it can be almost entirely oral. Start with Level 2 bc it covers wverything in the first one at a less tedious pace. 

Writing With Ease is essentially copywork and the narration could be done orally.

We also love Treasured Conversations. And CAP's Fable.

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5 hours ago, ScoutTN said:

Seconding SWB'sbooks! 

 First Language Lessons because it can be almost entirely oral. Start with Level 2 bc it covers wverything in the first one at a less tedious pace. 

Writing With Ease is essentially copywork and the narration could be done orally.

We also love Treasured Conversations. And CAP's Fable.

we love these as well

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23 hours ago, Bay Lake Mom said:

My 9 yo daughter is still learning to read.  She has many delays, but is making progress.  I bought IEW Bible Heroes for this year, thinking that it would be a gentle approach to grammar and writing.  I really don't like it - already.  She really really doesn't like it!  It requires too much writing, and she just can't grasp the "key word outline".  I feel like I have looked at just about every English curriculum out there, and I feel even more lost than when I started my search.  We will be doing AAS for spelling and phonics/reading instruction is covered by other resources.   We are also doing literature units from CAHS (Confessions of a Homeschooler).  So,  all I need is Grammar and Writing.

I have looked at BJU and Abeka.  I struggle so much with the BJU teacher's guides.  They are just information overload, and the workbook is so so boring!  I don't want to drop down to a level of English that covers phonics either.  Abeka seems to include all of Language Arts, and I don't need or want that. 

Any ideas for English curriculum that only covers Grammar and Writing.  This can not be a DVD or online curriculum either, as she has visual issues and these don't work well for her.  Also, we don't want multiple components.  Lots of manipulatives frustrate her.

I don't know if there is anything out there that will meet our needs, but I figured you all might have some suggestions.

I do not use the TM's with BJU. They are a massive turn off. I have had them before but dumped them. I would not put it past BJU to make it so that the TM has to be used though. But on the editions I use, it does not. They are starting to come out with a new edition. 

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For a child who is still focusing on learning to read, I would not use any formal writing program. I would pull small selections from her reading that she can read confidently and use them as copywork.  Copywork can be used instructionally to teach mechanics (capitalization/punctuation). You can discuss simple grammar concepts like subject, verb, adj, adv. Talk about the sentence(s) and what makes them complete thoughts. Why is the sentence interesting/well-written? 

I have 3 older dyslexic kids and I never focused on independent writing until their reading didn't take 100% of their focused energy.  Copywork revisiting something they have already read frees up mental energy for thinking about new ideas.

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We liked a combo of Guest Hollow Beowulf Grammar (not much writing) and Evan-Moor How to Write a Super Sentence (done together mostly on the whiteboard). My sons really enjoyed this combo at that stage. 

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On 8/13/2019 at 9:46 AM, Bay Lake Mom said:

My 9 yo daughter is still learning to read.  She has many delays, but is making progress.  I bought IEW Bible Heroes for this year, thinking that it would be a gentle approach to grammar and writing.  I really don't like it - already.  She really really doesn't like it!  It requires too much writing, and she just can't grasp the "key word outline".  I feel like I have looked at just about every English curriculum out there, and I feel even more lost than when I started my search.  We will be doing AAS for spelling and phonics/reading instruction is covered by other resources.   We are also doing literature units from CAHS (Confessions of a Homeschooler).  So,  all I need is Grammar and Writing.

I have looked at BJU and Abeka.  I struggle so much with the BJU teacher's guides.  They are just information overload, and the workbook is so so boring!  I don't want to drop down to a level of English that covers phonics either.  Abeka seems to include all of Language Arts, and I don't need or want that. 

Any ideas for English curriculum that only covers Grammar and Writing.  This can not be a DVD or online curriculum either, as she has visual issues and these don't work well for her.  Also, we don't want multiple components.  Lots of manipulatives frustrate her.

I don't know if there is anything out there that will meet our needs, but I figured you all might have some suggestions.

I didn't read the other responses, but I wonder if a grammar and writing program could/should be put off til she is reading confidently. It just seems like a lot of composition and grammar involves knowing how to read, and if she's still putting a lot of effort into that skill, it might be setting her up to fail to ask her to read to do grammar and composition assignments as well.

Perhaps do some gentle copywork with her and informally talk about the grammar and composition involved in whatever you have her copy? And oral narration would build her composition skills without requiring her to read beyond her current ability.

Edited by Momto6inIN
Eta I just went back and read responses and it looks like 8 beat me to it :)

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