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Book Shark language arts curriculum for 1st grader?


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

I attempted to use the Sonlight version of Bookshark for grades 1 and 2 many years back. I went and looked at the samples of the current Bookshark versions of level B and C (which appear to be for grade K or 1 and grade 1 or 2 ??), and while it is a bit updated, it is still very similar to the Sonlight version I tried.

I found their Language Arts to NOT work for us at all. The level of skills and the topics from week to week are all over the place. The expectations for and topics introduced for writing are too advanced and inappropriate for these young elementary grades. There is no systematic and incremental teaching of reading or spelling -- it is randomly based on the book being read that week.

While I liked the idea of dictation and looking more in-depth at a few sentences or short paragraph from the reading to discuss grammar, that seems to work better for a slightly older age (like 3rd grade), when the child is solid and fluent with reading and has a basic foundation of phonics and spelling.

The Bookshark book lists are great, however, and can be very nice for adding good books to your child's solo reading and your family read-alouds.

Just our experience. BEST of luck in finding what works best for your family. Warmly, Lori D.

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On 4/28/2021 at 3:20 PM, JaiMama said:

Has anyone used this? I would love to hear your reviews. Thank you.

My experience with Sonlight LA was just like Lori D's. I remember one assignment suggested having the child write their address before they had learned how to spell basic CVC words. Writing one's address is important--but the skills were not in a logical order that worked for us. I also find that "all-in-one" Language Arts programs in general didn't work for us. My kids needed to work at their own pace for each skill (reading, handwriting, spelling, composition...) until they were much older. 

We did enjoy many of the books they chose, and Bookshark also shares many of those choices (we used Sonlight packages or parts of packages most years throughout our homeschool.) Definitely worth checking that part out! 

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Just echoing what Merry and Lori have already said; Sonlight's basic idea of rolling grammar/mechanics into the books that you read is a good idea.  Unfortunately for us, the range of topics and order in which they were introduced seemed very scattered and uneven for an elementary aged LA program.   My children have done much better with a separate grammar program--First Language Lessons is where we begin around first grade or even second grade,

Sometime around third or fourth grade, my children do daily copywork (taken from many of those good books in SL!--we take turns choosing a sentence or two) and we talk about it/ diagram it as a way beginning to use some of that grammar we have been learning.

I do like their LA portion of their high school level cores. The variety of books and writing topics tied to the books was very much enjoyed by one of my sons.

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