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What writing would you recommend for this Grade 5er? W&R, TC, Wordsworth, IEW...?


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On 3/16/2021 at 10:41 AM, regentrude said:

I like her writing. very fresh, and I can see how she is mimicking the style of the books she is reading.

If this were my child, I would not do ANY formal writing curriculum. I would let her read liberally, a wide variety of genres and periods, and have her write, and write, and write. Go over some of her writing and correct language mechanics, word choices. Focus on one aspect each time.

I pulled my kids out of PS in 5th and 6th grades respectively and never did any writing "curriculum". We read LOTS. Both became excellent writers.

Yes.  It looks like she is doing fine and is quite age appropriate.  Just keep going on and give her chances to write for fun.

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  • 4 months later...

Hi!  I came across your post and felt like I was looking in a mirror.  First year homeschooling and with a 5th grader who loves to write but could use help in all the ways you mentioned in your post.  The thread had a lot of wonderful suggestions.  For this first year homeschooler, I am overwhelmed with all that's out there.  I just want to be able to provide my kids with a solid education so they do not fall behind when they return to ps next year.  Would you mind sharing where you landed?  And advice/insights you have would be greatly appreciated!  Thank you!

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On 10/5/2021 at 6:02 AM, perfectlyimperfect said:

Hi!  I came across your post and felt like I was looking in a mirror.  First year homeschooling and with a 5th grader who loves to write but could use help in all the ways you mentioned in your post.  The thread had a lot of wonderful suggestions.  For this first year homeschooler, I am overwhelmed with all that's out there.  I just want to be able to provide my kids with a solid education so they do not fall behind when they return to ps next year.  Would you mind sharing where you landed?  And advice/insights you have would be greatly appreciated!  Thank you!

Hi!  So here is where we are at right now.

We have been using the 'Outlining' workbook by Remedia publications (very helpful, straightforward exercises for outline skills). We started working through Treasured Conversations (TC) at an accelerated pace, and will be finished before Christmas.  TC focus' on precise word choice, paragraph structure and then basic report writing. While it is a bit  below her grade level, its shoring up her foundation skills and it is definitely helping ME with understanding how to teach writing (and she loves the story writing!). Then we plan to do 'Cover Story'. Alongside that, we will be doing Killgallon Sentence composing for Elementary school (A worktext to build better sentences). She also gets an opportunity to practice her new writing skills through our history curriculum, History Odyssey (Ancients).

In terms of broader Language Arts, we have continued with the Michael Clay Thompson, because she enjoys it so much. We started Fix-it Grammar last term, but have not finished it because we were getting too much overlap with grammar instruction (between MCT, TC and Fix-it). 

MOST importantly, I did a major overhaul on her literature. Last year I boxed up all our books that were not really high quality literature. I started introducing books from the Mensa reading list for grade 5/6. Hands down, that has had the most significant impact on her own writing.  I was inspired to do this by watching THIS clip from The Good and the Beautiful book blog about how books have changed in the last century. I watched the first 4 minutes of this clip, and it was HUGE wake-up call for me...you are what you read. https://goodandbeautifulbooklist.com/howbookshavechanged/

Oh, and I also got her a MadLibs book (grammar, parts of speech), which the kids find hysterical and do for fun in the car!

Let me know if you have any questions at all. I'm happy to share our journey!

D

 

 

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Awesome! Thanks for the update. So glad to hear you have found what is working and is a great fit -- and that's a great set of resources you are using! 😄 


A few more ideas to go with your Mensa lists, for reading/literature that encourage great vocabulary and sentence structure to transfer over to writing:

- listening to great literature
In addition to reading good literature, listening via read-alouds and/or audio books also enhances vocabulary and internalizes writing structures and rhythms. So include lots of read-alouds (and/or audio books) of works above her reading level but still within her comprehension and interest.

- a classic children's anthology set such as one of the below
Out of print, but you can often find a used set for under $100. The reading level of the selections in these tends to run between grade 4-8, with usually one volume of nursery rhymes and very young child short selections, and also frequently one volume dedicated to classic poetry. These sets are great for free reading browsing, or, assign a short selection here and there as it matches up with what else you are doing.
   • My Book House (12 volumes)
   • Colliers Junior Classics/Shelf of Books (10 volumes)
   • The Children's Hour (16 volumes)
   • Journey Through Bookland (10 volumes)

past threads comparing the various anthologies:
- "Anthologies: The Children's Hours vs Young Folks Library vs ?"
- "My Book House vs. Journeys Through Book Land -- compare"
"What vintage reference anthology type sets do you recommend"

past threads with ideas on using the various anthologies:
- "How to use 'My Book House' set?"
- "Junior Classics anthology -- what now?"
- "Just wanted to share again how much I really like Journeys Through Bookland"


- "Which 20 books help prepare for reading the Great Books?"
Very long past thread with tons of great classic book ideas.


1000 Good Books (gr. 4-6 list)
Booklists by age/grade range, with more ideas of great lit. -- some overlap of the Mensa gr. 4-6 list. Also includes poetry anthologies.


- Ambleside Online by year booklists for each subject
For each "year" check out the "Literature" lists at the top of page, and the  "Additional Books for Free Reading" at the bottom of each page. Note that Ambleside uses almost exclusively much older books, and tends to list books which run several grades ahead of the typical student's reading level (the "Additional Books for Free Reading") and the student's interest level/listening level. For a student reading at a grade 5/6 level:
• grade 4 "Additional Books for Free Reading" (readers); a few of the "Literature" as read-alouds
• grade 5 "Additional Books for Free Reading" (most as readers, a few as read-alouds); a few of the "Literature" as read-alouds
• grade 6 "Additional Books for Free Reading" (over half as readers, some as read-alouds ); a few of the "Literature" as read-alouds

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Thank you SO much for your response! This is very helpful.  My dd also needs to shore up her foundation skills and I definitely need to understand how to teach writing. 

I hadn’t heard of the Outlining workbook but it’s definitely something she could benefit from.  It’s now in the shopping cart.  😊 

With MTC - are you using the entire curriculum? Or just the grammar book? 

Thank you again!!

 

 

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I'm also so curious about this -- just started homeschooling my 3rd grade daughter after pulling her out of Mandarin Dual Immersion. She does not love to write (hates putting pen to paper -- I'm trying several months of "lazy eights" exercises with her to see if that helps) but is a prolific English reader. Her problems may be different than your daughter, as her issue is more hesitancy regarding output than poor grammar or spelling.

I'm starting her with WWE2 as our main writing curriculum. We are going through rather quickly and my tentative plan is to do WWE and most of WWE3 this year. I saw that you considered that for your eldest but ended up going a different direction, yet noticed you are still using WWE with your younger child. Why did you end up steering away from WWE for your 5th grader?

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1 hour ago, beffers said:

... just started homeschooling my 3rd grade daughter after pulling her out of Mandarin Dual Immersion. She does not love to write (hates putting pen to paper -- I'm trying several months of "lazy eights" exercises with her to see if that helps) ... her issue is more hesitancy regarding output than poor grammar or spelling.

I'm starting her with WWE2 as our main writing curriculum...

Welcome! I see by your post count you are new.

First: along with the "lazy eights" you might try Callirobics. Plus you might also include daily activities to strengthen fine motor skills -- writing reluctance sometimes comes from writing being hard or painful from not having the hand strength for endurance in writing.

Ideas for strengthening hand muscles:
- squeeze a stress ball
- scissor cutting 
- use an eye-dropper (example: use eye dropper to suck up water colored with food coloring, and drip onto coffee filters) 
- use tweezers (pick up beads with tweezers and sort into empty ice cube tray)
- use Legos (push pieces together and pull apart)
- use a hand paper punch
- use a spray bottle to water plants


Second: JMO, but 3rd grade is very young to be pushing much in the way of volume of writing (esp. if this is not her first language) , and also very young to push a lot of structured formal writing. Especially since you just pulled her out of a formal classroom setting, AND she hates putting pen to paper, I would very much back off of any formal writing for at least 6 months, if not the entirety of 3rd grade. Spend this year "decompressing" from being in a classroom, and bringing back some joy in learning.

Instead, I'd suggest looking at ways of making writing fun -- do a fun mix of ideas each week. Do some things orally -- practicing the thinking part of writing is a very valuable part of learning to write. Ideas:

- Rory's Story Cubes
Get several versions and practice oral writing -- thinking of what to say.

- casually alternate writing a story in a notebook that you leave out
You write a short sentence, then when your DD notices you've added to the story, she adds a short sentence and leaves it for you to discover.

- use special paper
• Comic strip paper (printed with comic strip panels), and create a comic, with the writing being what characters say in the speech bubbles.
• Or, paper that is blank on top, lined at the bottom. That leaves room for an illustration. On the bottom can be writing generated by the child -- a short news article, a joke, a poem, etc. -- and then illustrates; OR, the child's narration to you from the history reading, and then the child copies the narration from your version as penmanship practice (let her take several days to practice her best handwriting, just a sentence at a time) and then illustrate

- Journal Buddies website: journal entry from a prompt
Make the journal entries SHORT -- like, 3 sentences or less, 

Games for Writing (Kaye)
Book of ideas, from K-3, so pre-writing through reluctant elementary-aged writers. Two ideas from this book that worked VERY well for getting my pencil-phobic DSs to put pencil in hand and write on paper:
1. lists -- 5 things you'd take into space with you; 7 ingredients for a witch's brew; 3 favorite desserts; etc.
2. build a story -- roll a die, and that's how many words you get to contribute on your turn to add to a group story or tall tale

- blog articles with fun activity and game ideas
"Activities and Games to Get Kids Writing" -- article with 10 ideas
"Fun Writing Games to Encourage Your Kids to Write" -- article with 7 ideas
"5 Writing Games Your Child Will Love" -- article with 5 ideas

Edited by Lori D.
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On 3/15/2021 at 10:44 PM, PeterPan said:

Have you ever played Ticket to Ride? Low working memory will be glaringly obvious with this, because they have to plan out their train routes, figure out how many of each color ticket they need, hold that in their mind while strategizing what cards to take... It's an ADHD and low working memory nightmare! Same gig with Catan. But conversely, that means playing the game is a way to BUILD working memory.

Working memory is very much use it or lose it, and you can always have more. So yeah, if you go to Walmart and buy Ticket to Ride or Ticket to Ride London ($20, very fun!!), you can call it school. :biggrin:

Ticket to Ride also has a computer game/app version, which is useful if you need something that counts as "productive screen time", that is portable in low-luggage situations (e.g. on holiday) - or you just plain want some variety of maps without filling half a cupboard with the different Ticket to Ride variations that exist.

Editing to add that I just realised I'm replying to something that was said a long time ago and OP may no longer find useful.

Edited by ieta_cassiopeia
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12 hours ago, Lori D. said:

JMO, but 3rd grade is very young to be pushing much in the way of volume of writing (esp. if this is not her first language) , and also very young to push a lot of structured formal writing. Especially since you just pulled her out of a formal classroom setting, AND she hates putting pen to paper, I would very much back off of any formal writing for at least 6 months, if not the entirety of 3rd grade. Spend this year "decompressing" from being in a classroom, and bringing back some joy in learning.

Instead, I'd suggest looking at ways of making writing fun -- do a fun mix of ideas each week. Do some things orally -- practicing the thinking part of writing is a very valuable part of learning to write.

Thank you so much! This is all hugely helpful. I really appreciate the many and very useful practical suggestions. I'll give the exercises/fun writing games a go.

I also appreciate your informed opinion...my intuition is to really work on the oral expression this year...but then I worry about not doing enough. So far, I'm doing WWE and then oral narration across all other subjects in a more Charlotte Mason style. Even though there is so much material and information about language development...it's still disconcerting to be going such a drastically different direction than what public school was like. I mean, that's why I'm doing this, but it's still scary! 

 

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1 hour ago, beffers said:

......my intuition is to really work on the oral expression this year...
...So far, I'm doing WWE and then oral narration across all other subjects in a more Charlotte Mason style...

That sounds great!
 

1 hour ago, beffers said:

...it's still disconcerting to be going such a drastically different direction than what public school was like. I mean, that's why I'm doing this, but it's still scary! 

 

Totally understand. It IS scary and hard to step off the familiar path and start on an unfamiliar path -- even when we KNOW that the familiar path is not working. That is human nature. 😉 

You can do it! And I bet you are already seeing some successes -- for both of you! 😄 Post as often as you would like -- the people here are very kind and generous with their encouragement, and with their sharing wisdom from their own past experiences of homeschooling.

BEST wishes for a wonderful homeschooling adventure and journey together! Warmest regards, Lori D.

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On 10/6/2021 at 3:19 PM, Demeter said:

Hi!  So here is where we are at right now.

We have been using the 'Outlining' workbook by Remedia publications (very helpful, straightforward exercises for outline skills). We started working through Treasured Conversations (TC) at an accelerated pace, and will be finished before Christmas.  TC focus' on precise word choice, paragraph structure and then basic report writing. While it is a bit  below her grade level, its shoring up her foundation skills and it is definitely helping ME with understanding how to teach writing (and she loves the story writing!). Then we plan to do 'Cover Story'. Alongside that, we will be doing Killgallon Sentence composing for Elementary school (A worktext to build better sentences). She also gets an opportunity to practice her new writing skills through our history curriculum, History Odyssey (Ancients).

In terms of broader Language Arts, we have continued with the Michael Clay Thompson, because she enjoys it so much. We started Fix-it Grammar last term, but have not finished it because we were getting too much overlap with grammar instruction (between MCT, TC and Fix-it). 

MOST importantly, I did a major overhaul on her literature. Last year I boxed up all our books that were not really high quality literature. I started introducing books from the Mensa reading list for grade 5/6. Hands down, that has had the most significant impact on her own writing.  I was inspired to do this by watching THIS clip from The Good and the Beautiful book blog about how books have changed in the last century. I watched the first 4 minutes of this clip, and it was HUGE wake-up call for me...you are what you read. https://goodandbeautifulbooklist.com/howbookshavechanged/

Oh, and I also got her a MadLibs book (grammar, parts of speech), which the kids find hysterical and do for fun in the car!

Let me know if you have any questions at all. I'm happy to share our journey!

D

 

 

Sorry for the repost!  I'm still learning how to use this.  I am so old school and admittedly do not post on sites/forums.  Please forgive the mistakes!

D - 

Thank you SO much for your response! This is very helpful.  My dd also needs to shore up her foundation skills and I definitely need to understand how to teach writing. 

I hadn’t heard of the Outlining workbook but it’s definitely something she could benefit from.  It’s now in the shopping cart.  😊 

With MTC - are you using the entire curriculum? Or just the grammar book? 

Thank you again!!

---

Adding a little more to the original response.  Sorry!!

Curious to know if you looked into using IEW since you are using Fix-it?  How/why did you land on using TC and Killgallon (vs any other contenders)? They both sound great - just wondering if there was anything in particular about these two that pushed them higher on the list than some of the other programs.  

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On 10/7/2021 at 3:16 PM, perfectlyimperfect said:

Thank you SO much for your response! This is very helpful.  My dd also needs to shore up her foundation skills and I definitely need to understand how to teach writing. 

I hadn’t heard of the Outlining workbook but it’s definitely something she could benefit from.  It’s now in the shopping cart.  😊 

With MTC - are you using the entire curriculum? Or just the grammar book? 

Thank you again!!

 

 

You are most welcome,

We have been using the whole curriculum, except for the writing portion. For the writing portion (Sentence Island, Paragraph Town, etc) we have mostly been reading through the books and discussing the material. As I mentioned, we are moving through at a bit of quicker pace due to her age.  The poetry and vocabulary books (both exceptional and enjoyed immensely) already have some writing assignments, and I don't want to overload her with writing.  

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On 10/7/2021 at 7:19 PM, beffers said:

I'm also so curious about this -- just started homeschooling my 3rd grade daughter after pulling her out of Mandarin Dual Immersion. She does not love to write (hates putting pen to paper -- I'm trying several months of "lazy eights" exercises with her to see if that helps) but is a prolific English reader. Her problems may be different than your daughter, as her issue is more hesitancy regarding output than poor grammar or spelling.

I'm starting her with WWE2 as our main writing curriculum. We are going through rather quickly and my tentative plan is to do WWE and most of WWE3 this year. I saw that you considered that for your eldest but ended up going a different direction, yet noticed you are still using WWE with your younger child. Why did you end up steering away from WWE for your 5th grader?

Well interesting that we both have the same plan for our 3rd grade daughters. I am working through WWE2 with her as well right now.  She does not like to 'write', but I think it's because she finds it verrrry tiring.  She does love to tell stories and have me write them for her.

As for my older daughter. I tried some WWE with her last year (some WWE3 and then 2) and it just didn't go well. She had a difficult time 'getting' the writing, remembering the details in the passages (to answer the questions), and then narrating/summarizing. We were both floundering and frustrated. That was probably due to my unfamiliarity with the WWE method (and homeschooling in general).  So WWE went on hold, as I allowed her the time to free-write stories, which she loves. I am now more familiar with WWE after having completed WWE1 and part of 2 (with my youngest), and my older daughter is now more accustomed to the type of literature in WWE, so I think I will try WWE3 again. 

Honestly, my biggest issue is that every curriculum I choose for both my girls is very teacher involved/intensive and simple run out of energy to 'do it all' well...or I probably would have kept WWE in the mix.

Hope that answers your question, and feel free to ask any more.

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On 10/8/2021 at 7:06 AM, ieta_cassiopeia said:

Ticket to Ride also has a computer game/app version, which is useful if you need something that counts as "productive screen time", that is portable in low-luggage situations (e.g. on holiday) - or you just plain want some variety of maps without filling half a cupboard with the different Ticket to Ride variations that exist.

Editing to add that I just realised I'm replying to something that was said a long time ago and OP may no longer find useful.

Thank you, I appreciate the reply! I didn't know about the app.

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, perfectlyimperfect said:

Curious to know if you looked into using IEW since you are using Fix-it?  How/why did you land on using TC and Killgallon (vs any other contenders)? They both sound great - just wondering if there was anything in particular about these two that pushed them higher on the list than some of the other programs.  

Yes, I did look into IEW.  I had intended to be finished TC over the summer, and then was considering both Cover Story and IEW. I had initially planned on doing this first semester using IEW and then starting Cover Story afterwards. But we are still working through TC (she gets SO into the stories and the writing, it's taking longer than I thought)....soooo I've decided to let her do Cover Story before IEW.  Simply because I know she will love it and I want to keep her enjoyment for writing going. And January/February/March is miserable weather where we live and Cover Story just looks fun!  Hoping it will off-set some of the winter blues.  So between IEW and Cover Story, one was not higher on the list necessarily. I would have been doing IEW now probably, if we were not still on TC. This also gives me more time to purchase and watch the IEW structure and style seminars which I'm kind-of dreading, lol.

Also, I just wanted to add that she does really like Fix-it and was learning a lot. We just slowed down over the summer and haven't picked it up again. We were getting too much grammar for a while there.

Edited by Demeter
*missed word
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3 hours ago, Demeter said:

You are most welcome,

We have been using the whole curriculum, except for the writing portion. For the writing portion (Sentence Island, Paragraph Town, etc) we have mostly been reading through the books and discussing the material. As I mentioned, we are moving through at a bit of quicker pace due to her age.  The poetry and vocabulary books (both exceptional and enjoyed immensely) already have some writing assignments, and I don't want to overload her with writing.  

That makes sense - about not wanting to overload her with writing.  I had been on the fence with the MCT curriculum due to mixed reviews.  Her class did Caesar's English I last year, so it was my intention to continue her with Caesar's II this year, but wasn't sure about the other parts of the curriculum vs. using other programs out there.  There seems to be so many well regarded ones that it's tempting to look into all of them but I would go broke!   I guess it's FOMO?  Thank you again!

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2 hours ago, Demeter said:

Yes, I did look into IEW.  I had intended to be finished TC over the summer, and then was considering both Cover Story and IEW. I had initially planned on doing this first semester using IEW and then starting Cover Story afterwards. But we are still working through TC (she gets SO into the stories and the writing, it's taking longer than I thought)....soooo I've decided to let her do Cover Story before IEW.  Simply because I know she will love it and I want to keep her enjoyment for writing going. And January/February/March is miserable weather where we live and Cover Story just looks fun!  Hoping it will off-set some of the winter blues.  So between IEW and Cover Story, one was not higher on the list necessarily. I would have been doing IEW now probably, if we were not still on TC. This also gives me more time to purchase and watch the IEW structure and style seminars which I'm kind-of dreading, lol.

Also, I just wanted to add that she does really like Fix-it and was learning a lot. We just slowed down over the summer and haven't picked it up again. We were getting too much grammar for a while there.

Would you recommend starting with IEW instead of TC?  I was on their website the other day and also dread having to watch the videos.  I guess I'm trying to balance between super intensive hands on programs vs. totally hands off.  I don't mind prepping and teaching but it does get exhausting with my 5th grader and my 2nd grader who are learning completely different things.  Most days I feel like I'm just surviving and we are only in October. 😕

Fix-it sounds like a winner.  I will definitely order that one.  Thank you for that suggestion!

Thank you again for your help!

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21 hours ago, perfectlyimperfect said:

That makes sense - about not wanting to overload her with writing.  I had been on the fence with the MCT curriculum due to mixed reviews.  Her class did Caesar's English I last year, so it was my intention to continue her with Caesar's II this year, but wasn't sure about the other parts of the curriculum vs. using other programs out there.  There seems to be so many well regarded ones that it's tempting to look into all of them but I would go broke!   I guess it's FOMO?  Thank you again!

I understand that it has mixed reviews. It's such a unique style of curriculum.

I ended up going with the whole MCT Level 2 Town package for 2 main reasons. First, my daughter enjoyed Island (Level 1) soooo much last year and now loves grammar and learning about language (we started with Island because she had zero grammar teaching and was coming out of French immersion).  Second, with an older child, Town  moves very quick! Grammar only takes a month, if that. We are mostly just reading through Paragraph Town, as it is a really great compliment to the Paragraph section in TC, as well as being a general resource for writing assignments . And Caesars English I and II, as you already know is fantastic, and we are not rushing that. Last year Poetry Hemisphere transformed the way she thinks about writing and the relationships between words and sound, so we just had to continue with Building Poems. The literature books are classics that she would be reading anyways. We will be finished the whole Town Level 2 by January, with the exception of Caesars English. The program is time consuming, on my part, as I read through everything with her. But it's a very pleasant time! Such a beautiful curriculum with every part reinforcing the other.

I am planning to move to (gasp!) Rod and Staff (5) for Grammar  in the winter....but we will see....I might end up with the MCT Level 3 grammar Voyage homeschool package. Like you say, FOMO!

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22 hours ago, perfectlyimperfect said:

Would you recommend starting with IEW instead of TC?  I was on their website the other day and also dread having to watch the videos.  I guess I'm trying to balance between super intensive hands on programs vs. totally hands off.  I don't mind prepping and teaching but it does get exhausting with my 5th grader and my 2nd grader who are learning completely different things.  Most days I feel like I'm just surviving and we are only in October. 😕

Fix-it sounds like a winner.  I will definitely order that one.  Thank you for that suggestion!

Thank you again for your help!

You totally could.  I was just so curious about TC, and thought we could try and zip through it over the summer and then do IEW this term. If it wasn't a good fit, then I figured I would still be able to use TC with my younger daughter in grade 4. So not a waste.  We slowed down over the summer, and are still doing TC. But we'll be finished mid- November.  Then I would either do Cover Story or IEW...but leaning towards Cover Story.

TC is not super intensive. It's my daughters most independent subject right now actually, as we are in the outling/paragraph section. Now that she actually knows HOW TO outline and construct paragraphs...she's good to go on her own. It's definitely 'young' for her, but it's teaching the basics very quickly. And I can constructively guide her now (at this stage at least!).

 

I understand about running two different curriculums! Still trying to find our balance too, but I will say, it's much improved over our first year.

 

 

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On 10/7/2021 at 11:48 AM, Lori D. said:

Awesome! Thanks for the update. So glad to hear you have found what is working and is a great fit -- and that's a great set of resources you are using! 😄 


A few more ideas to go with your Mensa lists, for reading/literature that encourage great vocabulary and sentence structure to transfer over to writing:

- listening to great literature
In addition to reading good literature, listening via read-alouds and/or audio books also enhances vocabulary and internalizes writing structures and rhythms. So include lots of read-alouds (and/or audio books) of works above her reading level but still within her comprehension and interest.

- a classic children's anthology set such as one of the below
Out of print, but you can often find a used set for under $100. The reading level of the selections in these tends to run between grade 4-8, with usually one volume of nursery rhymes and very young child short selections, and also frequently one volume dedicated to classic poetry. These sets are great for free reading browsing, or, assign a short selection here and there as it matches up with what else you are doing.
   • My Book House (12 volumes)
   • Colliers Junior Classics/Shelf of Books (10 volumes)
   • The Children's Hour (16 volumes)
   • Journey Through Bookland (10 volumes)

past threads comparing the various anthologies:
- "Anthologies: The Children's Hours vs Young Folks Library vs ?"
- "My Book House vs. Journeys Through Book Land -- compare"
"What vintage reference anthology type sets do you recommend"

past threads with ideas on using the various anthologies:
- "How to use 'My Book House' set?"
- "Junior Classics anthology -- what now?"
- "Just wanted to share again how much I really like Journeys Through Bookland"


- "Which 20 books help prepare for reading the Great Books?"
Very long past thread with tons of great classic book ideas.


1000 Good Books (gr. 4-6 list)
Booklists by age/grade range, with more ideas of great lit. -- some overlap of the Mensa gr. 4-6 list. Also includes poetry anthologies.


- Ambleside Online by year booklists for each subject
For each "year" check out the "Literature" lists at the top of page, and the  "Additional Books for Free Reading" at the bottom of each page. Note that Ambleside uses almost exclusively much older books, and tends to list books which run several grades ahead of the typical student's reading level (the "Additional Books for Free Reading") and the student's interest level/listening level. For a student reading at a grade 5/6 level:
• grade 4 "Additional Books for Free Reading" (readers); a few of the "Literature" as read-alouds
• grade 5 "Additional Books for Free Reading" (most as readers, a few as read-alouds); a few of the "Literature" as read-alouds
• grade 6 "Additional Books for Free Reading" (over half as readers, some as read-alouds ); a few of the "Literature" as read-alouds

Thanks so much for all this info and the resources! The Mensa reading for excellence seemed a good jumping off point for us. But great to know of  other options. Also, appreciate the reminder for audiobooks. We do read-alouds, but audiobooks would be a nice addition 🙂

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7 hours ago, Demeter said:

I understand that it has mixed reviews. It's such a unique style of curriculum.

I ended up going with the whole MCT Level 2 Town package for 2 main reasons. First, my daughter enjoyed Island (Level 1) soooo much last year and now loves grammar and learning about language (we started with Island because she had zero grammar teaching and was coming out of French immersion).  Second, with an older child, Town  moves very quick! Grammar only takes a month, if that. We are mostly just reading through Paragraph Town, as it is a really great compliment to the Paragraph section in TC, as well as being a general resource for writing assignments . And Caesars English I and II, as you already know is fantastic, and we are not rushing that. Last year Poetry Hemisphere transformed the way she thinks about writing and the relationships between words and sound, so we just had to continue with Building Poems. The literature books are classics that she would be reading anyways. We will be finished the whole Town Level 2 by January, with the exception of Caesars English. The program is time consuming, on my part, as I read through everything with her. But it's a very pleasant time! Such a beautiful curriculum with every part reinforcing the other.

I am planning to move to (gasp!) Rod and Staff (5) for Grammar  in the winter....but we will see....I might end up with the MCT Level 3 grammar Voyage homeschool package. Like you say, FOMO!

It's great that your daughter enjoyed MCT so much!  I've read great things about the poetry and would definitely like to expose my kids to those books.  We did Grammar Island as well just so I could get a sense of the style.  My daughter enjoyed it but I felt like I needed something more.  I do have to remind myself that Island is suppose to be a gentle introduction.

In retrospect, had you not done TC, do you think just doing Paragraph Town would've been enough?  Or did it need a little something else? Since Caesar's II is part of this year's curriculum, it would probably make sense to do the whole package as that's how MCT meant for them to be used.  I read somewhere (can't remember where) that it's a bit of jump between Level 2 and 3 so that's why I've been hesitant to do 3 in its entirety (vs. just Caesar's).

Rod and Staff?!  You will be the go to woman for all things Grammar!  🙂 

So along the lines of FOMO....I was also looking into Analytical Grammar and Easy Grammar.  Sigh....analysis paralysis. 😕 

 

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8 hours ago, Demeter said:

You totally could.  I was just so curious about TC, and thought we could try and zip through it over the summer and then do IEW this term. If it wasn't a good fit, then I figured I would still be able to use TC with my younger daughter in grade 4. So not a waste.  We slowed down over the summer, and are still doing TC. But we'll be finished mid- November.  Then I would either do Cover Story or IEW...but leaning towards Cover Story.

TC is not super intensive. It's my daughters most independent subject right now actually, as we are in the outling/paragraph section. Now that she actually knows HOW TO outline and construct paragraphs...she's good to go on her own. It's definitely 'young' for her, but it's teaching the basics very quickly. And I can constructively guide her now (at this stage at least!).

 

I understand about running two different curriculums! Still trying to find our balance too, but I will say, it's much improved over our first year.

 

 

I know TC is well regarded on this forum so I'm curious about it as well.  I tend to over analyze everything and find myself in a state of analysis paralysis - which seems to be the theme for me this year of homeschooling.  Ugh.

So...I attempted to watch the sample lesson on IEW's website yesterday, and I don't know if I was just too tired and shouldn't have attempted it, but 2 minutes into it I found myself just not wanting to sit there for 40 mins watching this video.  I will make a better attempt tomorrow when I have a bit more steam in me and see if it's something I can commit myself to doing.  I don't know if all the videos in that curriculum are that lengthy.  On a positive note, if I can't sit through the video,  it'll help me eliminate something.  Lol!

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12 hours ago, perfectlyimperfect said:

It's great that your daughter enjoyed MCT so much!  I've read great things about the poetry and would definitely like to expose my kids to those books.  We did Grammar Island as well just so I could get a sense of the style.  My daughter enjoyed it but I felt like I needed something more.  I do have to remind myself that Island is suppose to be a gentle introduction.

In retrospect, had you not done TC, do you think just doing Paragraph Town would've been enough?  Or did it need a little something else? Since Caesar's II is part of this year's curriculum, it would probably make sense to do the whole package as that's how MCT meant for them to be used.  I read somewhere (can't remember where) that it's a bit of jump between Level 2 and 3 so that's why I've been hesitant to do 3 in its entirety (vs. just Caesar's).

Rod and Staff?!  You will be the go to woman for all things Grammar!  🙂 

So along the lines of FOMO....I was also looking into Analytical Grammar and Easy Grammar.  Sigh....analysis paralysis. 😕 

 

Grammar Island/Practice Island  and Grammar Town/Practice Town are enough for where my daughter was/is at (Did you do the Practice Island too btw?). And I think she will be nicely prepared in terms of attitude and knowledge for moving into Rod & Staff grammar. I did the over analyzing too...for deciding where to land with grammar. I was between AG, Abeka/ and Rod & Staff.  AG seemed a lot, too much, marking for me.  Abeka Grammar (God's gift of language) I actually really liked, but the material is very USA focused. We are not American, so my daughter would be clueless about the topics.  And then there is a Rod & Staff. After taking the placement tests I got a 'feel' for it and think it will be alright.  But we will need to read and/or YouTube the bible stories as we go along, because my daughter will be clueless about those too!  But I'm happy to add some religious studies.

But to answer your main question, No, I do not think Paragraph town would have been enough for us. I needed more hand-holding for 'teaching' writing.  We just started Paragraph Town though....so if my answer changes I'll let you know!

 

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13 hours ago, perfectlyimperfect said:

I know TC is well regarded on this forum so I'm curious about it as well.  I tend to over analyze everything and find myself in a state of analysis paralysis - which seems to be the theme for me this year of homeschooling.  Ugh.

So...I attempted to watch the sample lesson on IEW's website yesterday, and I don't know if I was just too tired and shouldn't have attempted it, but 2 minutes into it I found myself just not wanting to sit there for 40 mins watching this video.  I will make a better attempt tomorrow when I have a bit more steam in me and see if it's something I can commit myself to doing.  I don't know if all the videos in that curriculum are that lengthy.  On a positive note, if I can't sit through the video,  it'll help me eliminate something.  Lol!

Analysis paralysis, lol. Love it. That's so me too.

You could start with the Outlining workbook. It's deceivingly simple, but shored up the way my daughter structures her writing pretty quickly. And it's short, only a few weeks to do. Then, on the recommendation of the other forum members, I started her reading articles, National Geographic etc, and practicing outlining those. It was very effective. And buys you a bit of time to consider your other options.

Hmmm,I think I'll watch the sample lesson on IEW too.  I watched one of his videos, but I don't think it was a sample lesson.

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2 hours ago, Demeter said:

Grammar Island/Practice Island  and Grammar Town/Practice Town are enough for where my daughter was/is at (Did you do the Practice Island too btw?). And I think she will be nicely prepared in terms of attitude and knowledge for moving into Rod & Staff grammar. I did the over analyzing too...for deciding where to land with grammar. I was between AG, Abeka/ and Rod & Staff.  AG seemed a lot, too much, marking for me.  Abeka Grammar (God's gift of language) I actually really liked, but the material is very USA focused. We are not American, so my daughter would be clueless about the topics.  And then there is a Rod & Staff. After taking the placement tests I got a 'feel' for it and think it will be alright.  But we will need to read and/or YouTube the bible stories as we go along, because my daughter will be clueless about those too!  But I'm happy to add some religious studies.

But to answer your main question, No, I do not think Paragraph town would have been enough for us. I needed more hand-holding for 'teaching' writing.  We just started Paragraph Town though....so if my answer changes I'll let you know!

 

We didn't do Practice Island - instead we used the practice material that was included with the Grammar Island Teacher Manual.  I think she would've gone nuts if I had her do Practice Island.  Hmm...I'll have to take a look at AG again to check out the marking.  If it's a lot, I can see that being a problem as well.  

I think that's what kept me on the fence with MCT grammar - that it required? assumed? little to no hand holding - something that I needed/need.  I was going to run through Paragraph Town with her before moving onto Essay Voyage, but now I wonder if I should skip Paragraph Town altogether and do something like TC before moving onto Essay Voyage.  

Please do keep me posted!  Good luck!

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3 hours ago, Demeter said:

Analysis paralysis, lol. Love it. That's so me too.

You could start with the Outlining workbook. It's deceivingly simple, but shored up the way my daughter structures her writing pretty quickly. And it's short, only a few weeks to do. Then, on the recommendation of the other forum members, I started her reading articles, National Geographic etc, and practicing outlining those. It was very effective. And buys you a bit of time to consider your other options.

Hmmm,I think I'll watch the sample lesson on IEW too.  I watched one of his videos, but I don't think it was a sample lesson.

I am eager to start the Outlining workbook.  It sounds like it really helped!  Great idea about reading articles and having her practice outlining - I could use the extra time.  Sadly, at the rate I'm moving, my daughter will be in 6th grade before I make a decision.  Lol. 

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