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Need some suggestions!

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Was about to order the next level of FixIt for my upcoming 9th grader. However, she wants to do something else with diagramming. Before Fixit, she had done diagramming in FLL 3 & 4 and Cottage Press. I would like something that is fairly light. 

I was thinking of Fixit plus 1 diagram per day from a diagramming book. But since she asked for something else, could there be a better fit?

It needs to still be light. She also is doing Latin 3 and a writing class.

I'm also looking for new spelling. She doesn't want to do rod & staff because it's so time consuming. And I agree. I don't want to spend so much time on spelling exercises. She is a good speller with probably a 98 average for her tests last year. Is there another suggestion for an independent spelling program? I liked Spelling Workouts time commitment, but it has no levels for high school.

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Are you looking to continue with diagramming or something different for grammar altogether? For diagramming, if you can find a used copy of Diagramming Step by Step, it might be what you are looking for. I enjoyed working through it quite a bit (as have my kids), but it isn't worth $436 (it looks like used copies are about $22). The same author has Drawing Sentences, but this one has better explanations. The organization is a bit funky, but the content is very good.

If you want to do something else, you might look at The Blue Book of Grammar. My DD did it after Fix-it 6 and liked it. It is a combination of grammar and copyediting. It is pretty lightweight in terms of time and effort required, but also substantive and touches on different things than she had encountered before.

Since your DD has a full schedule, she might also like just reading some of the more engaging grammar books written to a general audience, such as Eats Shoots and Leaves, Dreyer's English, Woe is I, or something like Zinsser's On Writing Well.

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We also stopped spelling somewhere in middle school.  with one kid who didn"t need much spelling practice at any grade we used the vocabulary words as spelling   and sorry for the weird puncutation and capitalization  _  my keyboard has lost its mind and isn"t working properly at all

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I thought about using vocabulary instead of spelling. I just feel one can always be learning new words. She didn't spell everything perfectly on her pretests at the beginning of the week but did not struggle learning spellings. I just feel we should continue.

It's been so long since I looked at wordly wise or vocabulary from classical roots.  I don't remember the content.

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Word Roots by Critical Thinking Company or Wordly Wise would be my suggestion instead of Spelling,  especially for a kid who excells at it. 

As for diagramming, is there a reason she still needs to?  I usually skip grammar in 9th grade and focus on writing.  Then do a grammar review in 10th grade, with a focus on how it relates on standardized tests.  If Fix It gets s bit of grammar in daily, she likes it, then just stick with it. 

I've got a 7th grader who insists on grammar and spelling every year, even though she could easily skip those subjects,  so I keep the books light so they only take a few minutes a day.

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First, a quick aside 😉 : You might try cross-posting this on the High School Board with a heading that adds the specific subject you are looking for input on -- example: "Need some suggestions for 9th grade English" --o--r "Need input on 9th grade Spelling and Diagramming."

Second, my input on your musings 😉 :

On 7/31/2023 at 3:12 PM, Dianthus said:

...my upcoming 9th grader... she wants to do something else with diagramming....
...It needs to still be light. She also is doing Latin 3 and a writing class...
...I'm also looking for new spelling... She is a good speller with probably a 98 average for her tests last year. Is there another suggestion for an independent spelling program...

I see Grammar and Spelling as tools, rather than as ends in themselves. Spelling initially assists with Reading, but also later with Vocabulary and Writing. Grammar assists with Writing, with Speaking, and with learning a Foreign Language.

Usually by 9th grade, a student has completed all of the instruction in Grammar (and usually by 6th-8th grade for Spelling) needed to then put those tools into good use. Sounds like that is definitely the case with your DD.

Since your DD is scoring almostly perfectly in Spelling (so she knows all of the sound and syllabication "rules") it sounds like that it is not really needed as a formal subject any more. Because she is doing Latin, she will continue to get exposure to Grammar. And a Writing class will put both Grammar and Spelling into practice. And since time starts getting very tight in high school, I'd be looking very very carefully at how to "budget" that scare resource of time. 😉

I agree with previous posters about switching to a Vocabulary program that you can do for 10 min. 2x/week. A roots-based Vocabulary would give you the most bang for the buck (helps you "decode" new words based on the roots). Vocabulary from Classical Roots series, or, Word Roots series (or other root-based ideas here). But if just looking to add interesting new random words into use, something like Vocabulary Cartoons is fast, easy, and uses a silly illustration and short "story" to help embed into long-term memory.

Again, agreeing with previous posters about dropping Grammar, and possibly later in high school do a fast Grammar review geared towards taking the SAT/ACT. If you both really love diagramming, then maybe once a week, one of you pick a sentence from your literature to diagram and discuss the beauty of the author's writing style, or how the very structure of the sentence supports a theme in the literature... Just a thought! 😄

High school becomes a time of holding lightly to one's best-laid long-term plans, as students grow and change so much/so fast, and we have to be able to bend and flex to support their changing needs and goals. 😉 



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Your post reminded me of this website. If you scroll down the page he has a number of Latin sentences diagramed. It is easy to get distracted by some of his other diagramming examples - the Gettysburg address, classic writers, contemporary journalists...

Edited by Miss Tick
the age-old "forgot the attachment"
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8 hours ago, Dianthus said:

I can't believe it's time for the high-school board.

It happens all too quickly, doesn't it? But you've got this! And, you'll enjoy hearing about what other homeschool high school families are doing. There are so many options! And ways of creating a course to support your student's passions or goals. And having fabulous discussions with your high schooler about everything.

You and DD are going to do GREAT! And have so much fun! Homeschooling high school, and the WTB high school board, are the BEST! 😄

Edited by Lori D.
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