Language Arts & Math - Choosing these for Adventures (author replies)

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Language Arts & Math - Choosing these for Adventures (author replies)

Unread post by Marie »

2nd Graders - What language arts is needed?
Leena wrote:I am wondering if I really need to do a structured language program for second grade. Shouldn't they mainly need to keep reading and writing? I don't have to teach any specific subjects, so could I wait until 3rd or 4th and use Simply Grammar?
Author: Marie Hazell
Date: 10/2/2003 [updated 12/2014]

We really like Language Lessons for Today. The lessons are very short and simple. You just open the book and read the lesson to your child and work on it together. Usually a lesson only takes about 15 minutes. The lessons are very easy to adapt to your child. When written work is required, you can easily do the lesson orally if preferred (i.e. you feel that your child has already done enough written work that day, or he has difficulty with written work).

We also suggest using Spelling with Sound and Structure for a review of phonics.

Of course it is also very important to keep reading to your child, and to help your child find joy in reading, too.

A note about second grade spelling:

In the past we recommended Spelling Power (for Grade 2-high school) but we began to realize it works best beginning at third grade. So we now have a second grade spelling program, Spelling by Sound and Structure. It works well partly because it is only TWO pages a week. It's our style -- no busy work -- just a gentle but effective method to build second grade spelling skills. We recommend Spelling Power to begin at third grade.

choosing math and LA for Adventures

Unread post by TurnOurHearts »

Dionne Pells wrote:Hi all! I have used MFW for K and 1st. We will be starting Adventures this summer! Is there anyone out there who uses anything different from what is suggested?

I have been so pleased with the choices and structure of the curriculum, that I hesitate to use something other than what the Hazell's suggest. They suggest the primary language lessons, spelling for sound and structure, and singapore math. Other programs sound interesting to me, but I'm not sure how it would fit into the curriculum time wise.

Are there any thoughts or comments on this? Anyone using anything besides what has been suggested? ...and if so, how are you finding it to fit in with MFW curriculum? Thanks!!
Just a thought...While no curriculum, math/LA program, etc., is 'one size fits all,' I went with the MFW suggestions because someone else (MFW) had looked at everything out there & determined that these materials were, at the very least, good; and in their opinion, the best of what's available. We decided to go with these suggestions and see if they worked for us & supplied what we needed. For us, it has been very positive. Following Marie's suggestions, they've been very easy to use & fit in to the schedule. If at some point these suggestions no longer work for us, I will then enter the fray of looking at other options & asking for opinions of the various products. While it may not be the approach for everyone, it's been ours & the result has been very positive & very peaceful for everyone - students & teacher. :)

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Re: choosing math and LA for Adventures

Unread post by bethben »

This is for a ds 7 years old in 2nd grade.

We use Singapore math - just because it teaches a child to think mathematically, doesn't involve a lot of busy work, and teaches how to do word problems which is the reason you should learn math anyway.

I use something else for spelling.

I tried queen homeschool's language lessons for the very young, but will go to PLL next year.

SO, I guess we're close to the recommendations that MFW has - at least next year we will be.


Re: choosing math and LA for Adventures

Unread post by cbollin »

Dionne Pells wrote: I have been so pleased with the choices and structure of the curriculum, that I hesitate to use something other than what the Hazell's suggest.

Just to add to the thinking process for you a bit to help you when you consider about adding to MFW's recommendations.

Many language arts skills are integrated into history/science/Bible activities in the curriculum including:

* Narration, copywork, dictation, and memorization
* Informal handwriting practice
* Extensive library lists for read-alouds and readers
* Composition in science and/or history

In Grade 2, MFW recommends PLL and Spelling by Sound and Structure to add in the bits and pieces of language arts that are not being covered in the base unit study program. This way you aren't overwhelming your day with language arts while rounding out those missing pieces.

Just something to think about.

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Re: choosing math and LA for Adventures

Unread post by mom2woii »

Hi Dionne,

I am using MFW Adventures this year with my 8yodd and I am also using Learning Language Arts Through Literature (LLATL), continuing our program we started last year. It takes us about 20 mins. to read the story in her reader and then do the activities assigned for that day. Sometimes the lesson will ask the student to do some cutting in the workbook (e.g., cut out the words and put two words together to make a compound word). In order to save time, I cut out that stuff for her or we'd be there all day long! I find that everything goes along smoothly when I'm prepared for the lesson in that way.

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Re: choosing math and LA for Adventures

Unread post by Poohbee »

Hi Dionne!

I, too, will be using Adventures next year. I just got back from our state convention today, and I was able to look at all of the books MFW recommends for Adventures. I especially wanted to look at the PLL, Singapore math, and spelling programs since people on the message board sometimes use MFW suggestions and sometimes use other things.

Well, it was so nice to be able to look through all of the books. There are so many wonderful things you could choose to use, but after viewing a variety of resources, I am very comfortable with and content to use almost all of the resources MFW recommends.

I really liked the look of Primary Language Lessons. They seem to be short, manageable lessons that offer variety and can be adapted when necessary, as many people on this board have mentioned.

I loved the look of Singapore math! I looked at Singapore, MUS, Horizons, and a few others, and I liked Singapore the best! I liked the full-color textbooks for the younger grades and the black-and-white workbooks. I liked that the number and arrangement of problems in the text were not too overwhelming or too busy. I liked the skills covered at each level. (I only looked at 1A, 1B, and 2A). Compared to other math programs, I thought that Singapore looked great, and I'm excited to get started with it.

I looked at Spelling By Sound and Structure which is recommended for 2nd grade, and I thought that looked fine. I'm planning to go ahead and use that one for 2nd grade.

I would highly recommend visiting a convention near you or a homeschool curriculum store (there is one in MN, for example, that offers many, many of the books MFW recommends), to just be able to get your hands on and peruse the books. That helped me so just see the books I plan to use.

Now, I am not recommending buying them from other sources. I really like to support the Hazells, their ministry through MFW, and their Bible translation projects, so I will purchase from MFW. I just liked the opportunity to look at the books ahead of time. But, I am looking forward to ordering from MFW in the near future so that I can celebrate box day! Can't wait!

May God guide you in your decision-making for next year.
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Re: choosing math and LA for Adventures

Unread post by Dionne Pells »

Jen, thank you so much for your thoughtful reply! You just got back from your convention and I know your head must be spinning....thanks for taking the time while it was all fresh to respond. These posts are truly helping, as I sort this all out. I said in my original post I am very pleased with what the Hazell's have chosen so far, so I want to make sure I really consider why they have made that choice before I go a different route.

About Singapore, didn't Marie write a teacher's guide to go with the sinagproe for Adventures? Also, did you happen to look at any of the calculadder books? I was thinking of getting that for a supplemant for some timed drills.

I have a 6 year old son and a 2 year old son! Thanks again!

Re: choosing math and LA for Adventures

Unread post by cbollin »

Dionne Pells wrote:About Singapore, didn't Marie write a teacher's guide to go with the sinagproe for Adventures?
MFW has a daily lesson plan for Singapore math. It is not an instructor's guide for it unless they have made drastic changes recently. It is a lesson planner for it. The MFW lesson plan for Singapore 1A and 1B does have a bit more teaching helps and hints. But from 2A-6B it is just a daily check list of do this page, do that page. (I'm one who likes the check list. It's a convenience factor and record keeping thing for me. Nice when my husband and I can easily switch who teaches what. And my oldest liked the feeling of being able to check out that she did her work.)


adventures la ?

Unread post by cbollin »

*leah wrote: Jake will be 2nd grade and I am choosing adventures. :) It looks so fun. :) I am excited to see the "basket list" and start gathering some of the books. :)

I was wondering what language arts you all choose. Do you enjoy the one they recommend, Primary Language Lessons? Same question for the spelling....Spelling by Sounds and Structure or do you have another favorite? :) This gets me so excited. :)
I like that with MFW you can choose whatever LA you want.

I ended up using and liking MFW's suggestions for LA. (I'm on a break from Spelling Power right now after 5.5 years of using it, but still using the other LA suggestions.)

If you end up going with PLL and get stuck, ask out loud on the board for ideas. (I'll probably suggest emailing me for a booklet I wrote for PLL). It's a different approach than FLL with how to approach parts of speech and such.

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Re: adventures la ?

Unread post by KimberlyND »

We are using ADVs this year with MFW recommendations for spelling and language. Ds and I really like both. Neither takes alot of time but he has learned alot this year.
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Re: adventures la ?

Unread post by wisdomschool »

We are in Adventures and are using MFW recommendations(SbSS/PLL) we really like both!

As for recommendations/advice I would suggest going with MFW recommndations and only switching if it just dosen't "fit" your family.......I agree with Crystal though, and I like that you can choose whatever LA you want!

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Re: adventures la ?

Unread post by RachelT »

Hello! We have been enoying Adventures this year. We are using PLL and it's so nice that we can do a lot of it orally and "conversationally". Writing is still difficult for my ds and we are just not ready for dictation, yet, but I feel like he has still learned a lot from PLL. We try MFW reccomendations whenever we can. My ds was just diagnosed with dyslexia and so SbSS became frustrating for us both at a certain point, but I am sure it is great for most families. The lessons are short if decoding/encoding is not an issue.

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How much reading for 7 year old?

Unread post by jasntas »

ruthie5573 wrote:My oldest turned 7 in April & we're about to start Adventures. He reads on his own quietly, but I struggle with getting him to sit & read books outloud with me. I break it down for him by me reading one page & him reading the next, but he seems to tire after about 2 pages! I'm not sure if he's just being difficult or if it is truly tiring to him. He is probably reading at a 3rd or 4th grade level, but he will skip words when we're simple words "the" "this"...he goes too fast & I have to slow him down. I'm just wondering if this is normal for his age. Am I expecting too little or too much? Thanks!
We always seem to expect so much out of our first. Been there, done that. :~

My advice would be to let him read out loud with you at his pace. If he tires or becomes difficult after about 2 pages, then only have him read 2 pages or less. (I'm assuming these are chapter books as you indicated in your post.) Tell him when you start where he is to read to so he knows what is expected. And make it a bit less than you think he can handle. This usually helps. I have a reluctant reader and it helps him to know what is expected of him.

BTW, are there any other indications, other than skipping words, that there may be a bigger problem? For instance, People with dyslexia will classically skip small words or replace a known word like horse with house for instance. It might not be a problem and he may just be rushing to be finished with reading. I'm no expert, just wondering.
Last edited by jasntas on Fri Jun 11, 2010 11:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How much reading for 7 year old?

Unread post by ruthie5573 »

Ok thanks! That is a great idea to let him know ahead of time how much he will be reading. We've also been out of school for 3 months, so I'm hoping it will improve as we get back into the swing of things with consistent daily reading. I don't think there are any other issues going on with him...I have a close friend who has a daughter with dyslexia and he doesn't seem to display any of those symptoms. I think he's just reading too fast to get done quickly. ;)

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Re: How much reading for 7 year old?

Unread post by TriciaMR »

My dd (who is now going into 5th grade) has dyslexia and often reads too fast, skipping words or mispronouncing words (though she really enjoys reading!). I just remind her to slow down a little, because she is skipping too many words.

Sometimes I'll stop her and reread something she just read at a slightly slower pace so she can hear how it is done. Or, you could read something before him, and then have him read it again, trying to match your pace. ("Timmy, let's play a game. I'm going to read this paragraph out loud and use the stop watch to time how long it takes me to read it. Then, you get to read it out loud and see if you can get the exact same time as me." You might want to slow down even more than your "normal" reading pace.)

Our brains can process faster than our mouths can speak, so I think it is hard for some people to really slow down their reading.

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Re: How much reading for 7 year old?

Unread post by jasntas »

ruthie5573 wrote:I think he's just reading too fast to get done quickly. ;)
Rushing through sounds like a boy wanting to finish and go on to more exciting things to me. :-)
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New to HomeSchool!

Unread post by Yodergoat »

Mrnorman12 wrote:Hello! I am new to homeschooling. We are going to use MFW Adventures. My DD went to public school for K-1. I figured out what math level to purchase for her but am struggling on what literature and grammar to get her. At the end of her school year this year she was reading and comprehending at a 3rd grade level. Are there placement tests out there she could do? I don't want to get her stuff she already has learned. This is all a crazy world wind for me! Advice would be greatly appreciated!

Welcome to the board and to homeschooling!

Have you looked at the suggested resources for English during Adventures? MFW suggests Primary Language Lessons for second and also for third grade, and this will seem very different from what she has probably been doing in public school. MFW does not do "grammar" as it is usually thought of with nouns and verbs and all of the terms such as those, but instead suggests using Primary Language Lessons to give English instruction through proper usage, narration, dictation and discussion. I balked at it a little at first, but once it was in hand I saw the sweet simplicity and yet rich depth to this program. But I haven't actually used it yet, so others may need to chime in on this. ;) Some people choose other English courses which would have a more familiar feel to them, and I imagine that placement would vary with each of those.

I know that wasn't very helpful, but your post looked lonely. Weekends on the board are often a little more quiet. I am sure you will get more advice from others!

Again, welcome!
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Re: New to HomeSchool!

Unread post by gratitude »

Welcome to Homeschooling! :-)

We loved many parts of ADV. I hope you do too! :)

The Language Arts built into ADV:
*Bi-weekly copying of a scripture verse that is also memorized and goes with the Bible unit being studied. As far as I can tell copying good writing does help them learn how to write. This is an older method that isn't used so much in public schools today; so it might be new for both of you.

*History note booking: The note booking pages are included in the student sheets and have a place to draw or color a picture that goes with the history reading and some blank second grade lines for them to write a few sentences. Oral narration is your dd simply telling you some things that she remembers from the history that you read. Then she will write a few sentences that summarize what stands out the most to her in the reading about the note book page topic; for example, George Washington.

*Spelling: MFW recommends Rod and Staff Grade 2 spelling. It has a certain amount of phonics built into the work book spelling pages at the second grade level. I also highly recommend this spelling program. In your TM there are daily spaces on the grid marked 'spelling'; these boxes are to remind you to do the spelling each day.

*English: MFW recommends Primary Language Lessons for second grade. It is a more gentle introduction to the study of language, grammar, picture study, etc. It is based on Charlotte Mason methods. It does include dictation. Dictation is where you will read a sentence to your dd and she will do her best to write it down. I usually have them study it first, then read it, and then they write it. Primary Language Lessons is a beautiful study of the English language. I think many MFW users find that it stands on its own. The only change I make to it is I skip the grammar lessons in it and use a different program for grammar. The PLL book is not easy and has much to teach.

Book Basket: In the back of the ADV TM in the Appendix are listed hundreds of books in each individual TM. The books are broken down for each week to go with the topics being studied in the history. You can find many of them at your library. The idea is to check the books out and allow your dd to look at them each day for 15 - 20 minutes. I have modified book basket some for my individual children & home. My 8 & 6 like to look at the books or have me read them to them. My 10 year old is an avid reader and likes to read all of them. In my experience the looking at books does increase an interest in learning.

Reading: This is where your dd can read aloud to you and practice reading. In the back of the ADV TM is a book list for 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and I think even 5th grade. These books are listed in the very back of the book basket list and are intended to be used for them to read themselves; where as the book basket books they may just look at or have you read parts of those books to them. There are also a number of places to see literature book lists that can be bought or used to check out from a library. My oldest, when he did ADV for second grade, also read readers from Honey for the Heart (sold by MFW for MFW1 ~ extensive book list), Pathway Readers (sold by Rod and Staff ~ they have comprehension questions in the books), and Sonlight readers (they come with comprehension questions).

Reading Comprehension: Oral narration is a wonderful way to find out what they are learning. It really is simply your dd just telling you what she remembers. The MFW TMs encourage it for Bible, history, and science.

This type of learning is different than text book learning that is primarily used in schools. I know I enjoy teaching it much more than text books, and honestly I think my children learn more.

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Re: New to HomeSchool!

Unread post by 4monkeyz »

Welcome to Homeschooling! It is will be an amazing journey for your family!! :)

We finished Adven. this past year and it was so much fun. Such a sweet program. The PLL is a wonderful book. I have mixed ages so we did a majority of it oral and everyone kind of chimed in. I did have my son do a letter writing activity, I think it was addressing envelopes, he was in 3rd. I didn't really feel it necessary to add anything extra. We haven't used the 2nd grade requirements yet, that's coming up! As Carin mentioned, there are lots of writing and reading built into the program which is wonderful.

I would suggest trying MFW recommendations for the first year; then you will know for sure what works or what doesn't the following year. I have found them to be right on and it has saved me a lot of headaches from trying to do it all myself.

Enjoy the year!! :-)
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Re: New to HomeSchool!

Unread post by Mrnorman12 »

Thank you ladies so much! I will take your suggestions into consideration! My Dd LOVES to read so we both are excited to start this Adventure together!
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Question about Adv

Unread post by TriciaMR »

Blessedbyfive wrote:Is spelling and PLL actually scheduled in Adventures? I know they're recommended, but I am hoping they actually tell me what to do each week.
For PLL, for 2nd graders you start at the beginning and do a lesson a day, 3 days a week. Some lessons you might spread over 2 days. For 3rd graders you start at lesson 83 (I think) and work through the second half the the book the same way.

For Spelling by Sound and Structure there are instructions in the front of the Adventures TM on how to use it.

Spelling and PLL are not specifically scheduled (as some kids might be 3rd graders and other second graders). But, there are blanks in the grid in the TM for you to fill in for English and Spelling.
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Re: Question about Adv

Unread post by Julie in MN »

TriciaMR wrote:But, there are blanks in the grid in the TM for you to fill in for English and Spelling.
Yes, if you use MFW recommendations, then (a) there will be grid squares for them, and (b) there will be general instructions in the manual (e.g. PLL do these lessons for 2nd grade, and do it these days each week). If you follow those, you'll have your year basically laid out, but they won't be written into the grid because you might have a 3rd grader or 2nd grader, or you might spend 2 days on a particular lesson, etc.

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