Language Arts - Lesson Plans and Scope

Copywork, Cursive, Dictation, Grammar, Handwriting, Letter Writing, Memory Work, Narration, Read-Alouds, Spelling, Vocabulary, & Writing (many of these topics apply to other subjects such as Bible, History, and Science)
Julie in MN
Posts: 2915
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Language Arts - Lesson Plans and Scope

Unread post by Julie in MN » Wed Feb 22, 2006 12:25 am

Lesson Plans?
kim in ks wrote:Is there a daily lesson plan for the language arts? For example, dictation-writing assignments-copywork? I understand Spelling power, I've used it for the last 10 years. But is there anything planned for correlating writing work?

I will be using 3rd or 4th grade level of LA ! But are there Daily Lesson plans for any of the levels? and if so, which ones.
thanks
kim
Kim,
If you look at the samples of ECC & CTG, you will see much of your Language Arts mapped out for you. Go down to the weekly grid. You will find many things included in the lesson plans for your week:

Included in the MFW Guides:
* Independent writing (& editing) in your geography or history notebook, and possibly science notebooking
* Letter writing
* Memory work
* Handwriting
* Copywork & Dictation (learning from the masters)
* Vocabulary Word(s) for the week, as well as review methods (ECC, CTG, RTR)
* Independent reading time (book lists included)
* Read-alouds (books included in Deluxe package)
* Book basket time (book lists included)
* CTG has dictionary work
* CTG & RTR have vocab sentence-writing practice
* EX1850 has report-writing, as does ECC in 7-8th

Then for the remaining portions of Language Arts, specific tools are recommended and specifics about using them are given, but they are not so tightly interwoven that you cannot substitute your own program easily:

* Writing (Writing Strands -- actual lesson numbers in ECC, or other) - adding skills like tense & 1st person
* Spelling (Spelling Power, with specific start-up pages given, or other)
* English (PLL/ILL, with specific pages given for each grade, or other) - adding skills like apostrophes, gentle grammar such as was/were, & a bit of poetry


I think MFW breaks down "Language Arts" into very specific skills and looks for the best tool to develop that skill. There is a lot of room for students who may be ahead in one portion and need more reinforcement in another. The other advantage of using separate components is that language arts can be tailored to your child's needs. For instance, my son is a great speller and has terrible handwriting, but one of your kids may be the exact opposite. "Language Arts" is so very broad that I for one am glad that MFW outlines my week so that all these components can be planned for!

Julie
[updated 2010]
Last edited by Julie in MN on Sat May 06, 2006 9:24 am, edited 2 times in total.
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

kim in ks
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2006 7:37 pm

Some of my reasons, for wanting it all planned out!

Unread post by kim in ks » Wed Feb 22, 2006 10:01 am

Thanks so much.

I've seen where WRiting Strands was written in the grid, but no pg#'s or Lesson #'s. Is this where you just start the first lesson in Writing Strands when assigned, preceding the next lesson when assigned on the grid?

Sorry to be so detailed, I'm really at wits end w/ my daughter! I want something planned out exactly for her, so she can learn to work more indepently in some areas. I've been writing our own unit studies for the past year, but for next year, I want something I don't have to write out the lesson plans for. I figured this way I would have some idea, if she was a "lagger" or if I have just been planning too much. I'm a very disciplined mom, not very flexible, but I've really "went to town" on this one, changing my lessons to accomodate! And still we have very very long days!!!!!!!!!!!! I've been homeschooling for 15 years, and this has been my most frustrating child to homeschool. Yes we've tried the timer, rewarding, punishing, etc. I can't think ofanything we've not tried, to speed her up.

She is a good reader, so I don't know what the problem is. Thanks for listening/reading!
kim
Kim Boyenger

Guest

Unread post by Guest » Wed Feb 22, 2006 10:48 am

Here are my thoughts...
The Adventures and ECC TM's give some detail on using PLL. They say if 3rd grade+, you can begin WS3 at 2 lessons per week. In the ECC TM it gives exact WS3 lesson numbers, as I think that is where it is estimated you will begin that work. I think it boils down to 2 lessons on two days per week though. The other days are either PLL or ILL work, depending on level. So, I think the assumption is you will begin at WS3, and do 2 lessons per week...

Also, you might want to re-read the "Help! How do I fit everything in?" from the Hazell's in the Intro to the Teacher's manuals. It is interesting to see how they get their own motivated and moving in a timely manner. Plus, I smile every time I read it! Partly because it makes me realize almost ALL of us must be struggling / asking this same question. It is just nice to know I am not alone.

Which package are you using?
Do you belong to a coop? There are two sides to these... One is it is nice to visit and compare with other HS moms. The other is, don't take the comparisons too seriously. :)
HTH,

cbollin

Unread post by cbollin » Wed Feb 22, 2006 10:51 am

Kim,
{{{HUGS}}} for you!!!!!!!!! I think you and your daughter will find the checklist format helpful. Just a guess really --- I like it and my dd (4th grade) can use it. Something nice about seeing it all laid out and checking it off every day.

Because different students will be in different levels of LA and math (while all students using the same base curriculum) space is provided in the lesson plans for you to record the lesson numbers you teach.

These sections are left blank in the grid so that families using the program can adjust for multiple children. It is also left blank for families who are using L.A. materials that are different from the author's suggestions.

In my family, I can hand over the weekly grid to my oldest and say -- just look at what I have written down in the English and Spelling and Math sections.

In Writing Strands, you should be able to cover the material in the book if you teach 2 days of WS per week according to the TM for Creation to Greeks. This suggested pace in MFW is slightly different than that described in the Writing Strands book.

For Primary & Intermediate Language Lessons, in the TM for CTG you will find these kinds of guidelines for which lessons to complete: Grade 3: Lessons 83-164 of Primary Language Lessons. Grade 4: Lessons 1-100 in Intermediate Lang. Lessons.

You will need to write down in the space in the grid which lessons to do during the week. This shouldn't take a lot of your time. There have been plenty of times where I have written in the week's expectations on Monday morning and been done writing it in within a minute or two. The same thing for Math lessons. It takes minimal effort and time to write the plans down (thankfully.)

another set of {{hugs}}
crystal

kim in ks
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2006 7:37 pm

WHoops! I'm looking at Creation to Greeks!

Unread post by kim in ks » Wed Feb 22, 2006 12:47 pm

You'll never know how much everyones input is helping me!

My daughter is 9 and is currently doing 3rd grade work, so I'm looking for a relaxed 4th grade curriculum, which she can succeed in, instead of being so frustrated all the time. We have already done geography, so that's why I was looking at Creation to Greeks. We also are needing more "integrated" Bible!

Thanks so much for everyone taking the time out of their very busy homeshcool mornings, to help answer my questions
kim
Kim Boyenger

Tina
Posts: 119
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2005 6:00 pm

Unread post by Tina » Wed Feb 22, 2006 3:19 pm

Kim: along with what others have shared, I wanted to make a comment too that Intermediate Language Lessons (Iwhich is what you would use for LA, if you use what the Hazell's recommend with Creation to Greeks) is very gentle in its teaching and fairly easy for you as the teacher. I am using it now for my 4th grader.

I also wanted to clarify that it is not a workbook approach. It is a fairly small book with all different types of language lessons in it and very gentle grammar. I really like it. When you use it along with the other materials recommended by the Hazell's (as Julie pointed out in her post) you have a very well rounded LA program.
Tina, homeschooling mother of Laura (1996), Jacob (1998) and Tucker (2003) In MO
"One of the greatest blessings of heaven is the appreciation of heaven on earth. He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."--JIM ELLIOT

Julie in MN
Posts: 2915
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Language Arts - What activities are included?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Sat May 06, 2006 9:56 am

sheilanne wrote:Can anyone tell me what type of language arts activities are included in ECC for a 5th grader, and a 2/3rd grader? I'm hoping it will influence my decisions for next year.
Sheila,
I really think MFW should reconsider their statement that "you must add Language Arts." It should be, "you must add bits of Language Arts" LOL! And if you use all their recommendations, you don't have to add anything else. They not only suggest specific resources, but they also tell you what lessons are for which grades, how many lessons per week (2-3), and they provide a place in the grid to write these down (but they don't write them, because they vary by age, plus some folks use other things).

I think it's important to realize that if you add your own materials, you are only adding bits of instruction. MFW is very careful to make sure you cover every aspect of LA! Here is my summary of the Language Arts that MFW "integrates" and the few extras that MFW is careful to recommend that you add to each program.

Included in the MFW Guides:
* Independent writing (& editing) in your geography or history notebook, and possibly science notebooking
* Letter writing
* Memory work
* Handwriting
* Copywork & Dictation (learning from the masters)
* Vocabulary Word(s) for the week, as well as review methods (ECC, CTG, RTR)
* Independent reading time (book lists included)
* Read-alouds (books included in Deluxe package)
* Book basket time (book lists included)
* CTG has dictionary work
* CTG & RTR have vocab sentence-writing practice
* EX1850 has report-writing, as does ECC in 7-8th

Add:
* Specific writing skills like tense & 1st person (Writing Strands)
* Grammar skills - starting gently like apostrophes, was/were -- & a bit of poetry (PLL/ILL)
* Spelling at your student's level (SP)

[updated in 2010]
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

cbollin

Does MFW teach writing for multiple ages?

Unread post by cbollin » Wed Dec 06, 2006 6:01 am

TommyGirl wrote:We are in week 12 of Adventures and MFW1 and we are absolutely LOVING it!! I could not be more pleased with this curriculum and thank God daily for leading us here. I have some questions now as I think towards the future.

Do you feel that you get enough writing practice in all of the different genres and do you think you have enough guidance to help you in making assignments and grading them? Are there specific instructions given as you go through the year to the younger, middle, and older children? (This would be for the 2nd-8th grade programs.) So, do you have to decide what is appropriate for the different age levels that are studying together and come up with your own things?
Posted: Tue Nov 07, 2006 2:41 pm
In the early stages of writing, MFW encourages copywork, dictation and narrations as a foundation for writing skills.

Writing practice comes in several forms in the upper programs

* lots of notebook summary pages for "research" writing
* more formal writing is included in books that are part of the language arts curriculum (Primary language lessons, Intermediate Language Lessons, and Writing Strands). If you feel you need additional helps with how to evaluate writing, check out the book Evaluating Writing that Writing Strands offers. At this age, I'm not big into letter grades for writing.

In the 1st grade TM, take a look at pages 193-194 to get an idea of how MFW handles creative writing in the first grade. Remember, this is after many weeks of writing summaries in the Bible notebook, and copywork too.

By the time you are in EX1850, you are doing all kinds of writing across many subjects and you even have a 4-6 week unit of Writing a full research report (State History).
So, do you have to decide what is appropriate for the different age levels that are studying together and come up with your own things?
In the introduction to the TM in ECC and up, it is explained in a bit more detail than what you would see on the online sample. I look for when it says "advanced students do these pages," "omit for younger students."

--crystal

cbollin

Any insight on language arts?

Unread post by cbollin » Wed Jun 20, 2007 3:38 pm

dslicom wrote:I really like the idea of an integrated language arts program, but I also like the simplicity of MFW teacher's manual and hands on activities.

Any insight on the language arts from those who are using ECC and up would be appreciated.
Posted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 6:43 pm
I'm in EX1850 and we do a lot of writing that is integrated to the history and science that we read. MFW calls it "notebooking." It is scheduled in as part of the assignments and is related to what you have read in the spines.

There is also some writing that is separate from the unit studies. These more "creative" writing assignments come from English (Primary and Intermediate Language Lessons) and Writing Strands. That way you get a variety of writing practice over the week. Although, truth be told, usually in PLL/ILL we don't always do all of the composition as written work. I like to let my kids have oral composition for some assignments. That way it blends over with public speaking skills --- which my kids need practice on. :)
dslicom wrote: Have you found that you were able to "test" comprehension of your dc reading without discussion questions?
Sandi
Some of the books we use in MFW do come with their own questions inside them. We use those questions in those books.

For the ones that don't have questions, here is how we have been able to "test" comprehension without a discussion guide.
* We break up the readings a little bit and make comments along the way when WE as teachers notice something.
* We simply have our daughters tell us about the reading and listen to see if they are connecting the dots (narration along the way).
* We ask the basic WH questions (who, what, where, when, why, how come, and what do you think).
* Then they write some of it down.

This morning's reading from SOTW is a great example. I'm reading along, oldest is listening about Napeleon advancing into Russia. Winter comes. He heads back to France and almost everyone dies along the way from starvation and cold. This one sentence jumped out at me: Napeleon burned everything on his way to Russia. So, I asked my daughter (before finishing the reading) --- how did that affect his return trip?

It did break up the reading a bit, but that's ok. I think a big key to the reading comprehension is that I don't try to rush through the reading, and we talk along the way.

Another little thing we do is to help act out the stories for our younger child. It is not in the TM, but she still is young and we are working more on basic comprehension of reading with things like "sequencing" and basic questions. So, our dolls and teddy bears get to help with school a lot. That's when we know if she has understood history readings. Can she retell the story in her own words and get most of the story right. She's only 8 --

One of the other things that my dh pointed out is that an advantage to MFW is that it uses some "narrative style textbooks" instead of just living books. That way you aren't trying to pull information from several smaller sources within living books. Rather you use those living books to help with the text. He seems to think that style of reading/teaching doesn't require as much of a discussion guide. I dunno?

A little note about the "book list" that you are referring to. Those aren't meant to be "quiz your kid on these books" style of reading. Those book basket books are for the child to read and enjoy.

too much info
--crystal

HSmommi2mine
Posts: 159
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2006 5:59 pm

Re: Any insight on language arts?

Unread post by HSmommi2mine » Wed Jun 20, 2007 4:00 pm

Posted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 8:13 pm
Ask a few basic questions. My sister hs's my dn and after reading a story my sis asks some form of these questions.

- Who were the characters in the story?
- What was the setting?
- What problem was solved?
- What did you like best about this story?
- and sometimes things like, how would you change the ending if you were the writer? or something else book specific. Just basic discussion may suit your needs.
- You could also do the "what happened first, next, next, last...?" kind of thing to get a narration going.
~Christina

Wife to my favorite guy
Mom to 3 great kids

MJP
Posts: 109
Joined: Sat Sep 11, 2004 9:25 pm

Re: Any insight on language arts?

Unread post by MJP » Wed Jun 20, 2007 4:28 pm

Posted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 9:51 pm
We have learned more and enjoyed school more with MFW than the program that had questions which we used for 2 years.

The lack of discussion questions has not bothered me as we do the spine reading together and I ask questions as we go along and when we finish. I also assign books. I read these books anyway so I just ask my kids questions about them. I also have them write some reports.

Previously, even though there were discussion questions, I still felt like I had to read the books myself to really be able to discuss the book with my children. So for us the lack of questions did not change our schooling at all.

There are certain books that do have some questions listed. Someone help me here. Didn't the Children's Homer in CtoG have questions listed?

I have also really been excited about the paragraphs my children have written for their notebooks. The notebooks are precious keepsakes, and it has been much easier with MFW because they are scheduled, there are aids in the teacher's manual, and sometimes there are internet links to pictures. Can you tell I am pleased with our notebooks? When I found MFW I quit looking so I can't comment on the other product you mentioned. Prayer, of course, is always needed when choosing curriculum. Best wishes.
Melissa
Wife of 1 for 18 yrs. Mom of 7--ages 1-15--1st, 2nd, 5th, 8th and 9th grades & (one on the way)
Psalm 16:8
Currently using--1850 to Modern Times
Previously--MFW K , 1st, CtoG, RTR, Exp. to 1850

cbollin

Could I use something more independent?

Unread post by cbollin » Fri Aug 24, 2007 8:30 pm

Rives wrote:I am really wanting some kind of independent work for LA with my now 3rd grader, while I work with my 1st grader. Anybody else gone with a workbook type approach??

Don't you find that PLL is something you have to sit down and read through with them?? Also, as I have a 1st grader and tend to get tired of repeating curriculum, will I have to do it again with him in a couple of years??
Yes, she'll most likely be able to do a grammar workbook on her own. But the pages only took my dd a very very short amount of time to do (think in terms of just a quick couple of minutes). I don't think it will help to keep her doing something for very long while you work with your 1st grader.

Can she do book basket or copywork or math workbook or drills or art work for more independent work? It's just another possible route to consider and wanted to toss it in the mix.

-crystal

mamaofredheads
Posts: 61
Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2006 10:23 am

Unread post by mamaofredheads » Sat Aug 25, 2007 8:56 am

I don't mean to discourage you, but I'm not sure there is any grammar curriculum that you can give your child to do indepently that will really teach them very much so that they will retain it. Grammar is one of those things that requires teacher input, and needs to be taught individually for the child's grade level.

PLL does require your time to teach it, but the lessons are relatively short. I would agree with Crystal's suggestion that perhaps you can find another subject that they could do independently during that time.

Sorry I don't have an easier answer. :)
Glenna

TurnOurHearts

Unread post by TurnOurHearts » Sat Aug 25, 2007 9:18 am

Hi Rives :)

I never thought of PLL time as independent time for the older (or time I could count on with my younger child). However, there were many days that I ended up with additional time to work with my daughter or to go change the laundry, etc. There were many days that my son had to write out several sentences or copy a paragraph - those turned independent. Once he had his instruction, he was working on his own - sometimes for 15-20 minutes.

In our case though, 'independent' means Mom is working primarily with student B while student A is still in arm's reach if help is needed. In our house, it's not a 'take your book & paper to your room' type of thing.

Also, my daughter (in K last year) sat at the table for all of school time. She usually colored or finished an activity while my son & I did LA & math. They had to learn about waiting their turn & not interrupting, but it worked for us.

I hope you have a great year! :)

Toni@homezcool4us
Posts: 122
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 4:28 pm

Unread post by Toni@homezcool4us » Sat Aug 25, 2007 2:05 pm

I prefer grammar at an earlier age, but my dd did not retain it well (even with the CM approach to teaching it). I can't really blame either book's delivery because my dd has some difficulty with retention anyway.

So, this year I'll be curious to see if she does better with a textbook approach (she does like workbooks but would go crazy if all subjects were textbook/workbook). She's another year older too, so we'll see how it goes.
Blessings!
A proud adoptive mom of 4 children,
~Toni~
I invite you to join me THE WISE WOMAN BUILDS HER HOUSE

Rives
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 8:39 pm

Unread post by Rives » Sat Aug 25, 2007 2:54 pm

I guess I might go ahead and see how it goes. It is so helpful to hear others experiences on this board. Thanks for taking time to share!!!!
Mother to Rosemary 8, Stuart 6, and Dorothy 4

cbollin

A very logical, mathmatical child

Unread post by cbollin » Wed Sep 05, 2007 4:08 am

Laura M wrote:He doesn't understand why he has to memorize all the poems and look at and talk about a picture...etc. etc. He is so analytical and logical it drives me crazy! !
Laura,
In some ways this sounds like my oldest daughter. I told her she had to practice observations skills so she could learn to be a better scientist someday and that using the pictures in PLL and ILL will help with that.

It is truly amazing how much carry over those language arts skills have to other things we will do in life. Those observation skills will help with making predictions and drawing conclusions, and help to understand a bit more of what is going on around him. It will help him to be prepare to make reports about his observations.

I don't know if any of that will help your son or not. But it helped over here and just wanted to share my thoughts out loud.

--crystal

caod
Posts: 52
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2006 8:29 pm

Unread post by caod » Wed Sep 05, 2007 11:25 am

Laura,

I have learned there is a balance between accommodating the learning styles of our kids and giving in to what they want. The reality is that they need to be stretched in some areas.

I talked with a MFW rep at our convention who communicated to me that the Hazells really saw PLL as couch time. They see it as being done primarily orally.

I have learned that with most children when it comes to asking them to describe something the question is too open ended. I have learned to ask my dd very direct questions like, "What is he holding in his hand?" (A book). "Tell me that in a whole sentence." (He is holding a book.) "Good. What do you think he will do with the book?" (Give it to the girl.) "Good. Tell me that in whole sentences. .... "Now put those two sentences together. ... Great!!!" Then we are done.

There is value in learning the skill of putting observations and thoughts into words. It is worth the effort. However, I think we expect far too much. Some kids don't have the innate skill.

I require 3 complete sentences since she is in third grade. Then we just talk about it after that. My dd likes to know what the expectations are, or what the point of the lesson is. She needs to check something off her list and know what she has accomplished. PLL takes her out of her comfort zone. On the other hand there is value is sitting on the couch and reading poetry together and talking about it and acting it out and playing around with it. I have had to work with her on her attitude. I then need to keep the lessons short and within her realm of capability so I don't frustrate her. That is why I am keeping PLL but also trying to add in something I think is more her personality and learning style. We haven't even started anything else yet, so I don't really know what it is going to be like. It may flop. I just felt some kids learn by exploring and experimenting, and some kids learn by rules. Nothing wrong with either one, just different. The experimentation process is frustrating to my dd.

I don't know if I made sense at all. To summarize my thoughts. I think PLL stretches the learning style and personality of our children. On the other hand, stretching our children is not a bad thing. That is what God does to us. Stretches us in directions we are not comfortable with. That is the way we learn. As teaching parents we have a responsibility to do what we think is best for them not what they want. So, if you make sure you are not expecting too much, keep the lessons at 10-15 minutes and make sure you communicate your expectations to him, and he still is resistant, then you might challenge him to look at the attitude of his heart. OR you may just decide to ditch it!! You are mom and you know him. You can discern what is going on with him and whether it is worth the battle. It may be that it is just not worth the struggle. I totally understand that.

Please, please ditch whatever I just said that doesn't make sense!! Put on you discernment hat and do what you think is best!

Connie

4Truth
Posts: 334
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2004 11:59 am

Unread post by 4Truth » Sat Sep 15, 2007 11:13 pm

I tried PLL with my middle dd last year and it didn't go well. Like you, I found the narrations and questions to be too "open ended" for her, and the writing to be too laborious. I put it away.

This year, I got something else for her and that's going pretty well... but we're doing PLL again (a couple times a week) and that's going much better, too. She seems to be doing fine with it.

So I think for my kid, and maybe yours, maturity and a little more time can help. I don't know yet if we'll continue with both after this year, but at least I know now that she *can* do PLL/copywork/narrations, and I have a choice.
Donna, with two MFW graduates and the "baby" in 11th grade! %| Using MFW since 2004.

Julie in MN
Posts: 2915
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Dictionary skills - When does MFW introduce these?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Mon Nov 05, 2007 2:12 pm

bethben wrote:I've been wondering about where in the language arts program do they introduce stuff like dictionary skills. How to find stuff in the library...researching skills...I'm not one to just do stuff like that on my own. I do better as a teacher when I have something to go off of. Does any of the language arts accomplish this?
Beth
Hi Beth,
Well, here are a few to start with:

* CTG definitely covers dictionary skills all year with a dictionary day each week during the vocabulary (Greek root words).

* ECC covers some research skills for older kids doing the geography packets. Some of us use the internet a lot for that (as is common in colleges today), but a few prefer to focus on library skills during that time.

* EX1850 walks you through writing a state report. Haven't done that yet, but it should build some skills.

* Older kids in ECC (grades 7-8) also get help writing country reports, and researching different facts on those countries.

* ILL has a few assignments that we have used to do a bit of research. One was about the different parts of a lion or cat or something. My son ended up doing a power point presentation, with photos he took of his cat and info he gleaned from our encyclopedias.

* Book basket is sort of your own private, relevant "research library" all set up for you... If not specifically used for "research," then at least familiarity with library materials is guaranteed!

I'm sure others will think of more,
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

cbollin

Unread post by cbollin » Mon Nov 05, 2007 3:06 pm

A few more things to add in with Julie’s list for dictionary use:
* the vocabulary with English from the Roots Up starts in CTG and continues in RTR
* I found various dictionary skills in Intermediate Language Lessons --basic looking up words---especially in some of those poems and prose pieces. Poor me --- I don’t know them sometimes. As well as some lessons on pronunciation guides are in ILL.

But where dictionary skills really seem to shine the most in the MFW recommendations is in Spelling Power.
*Spelling Power has dictionary skills as part of it as well. That can be part of the “last 5 minutes” of SP lesson each day, as well as the other suggested ways in the SP manual. SP has a section called Building Dictionary Skills (starts on page 271 of 4th edition) and SP provides a scope and sequence for dictionary skills in Appendix B, starting on page 317.

And...
* there is a unit on dictionary skills in Applications of Grammar, which MFW recommends in 8th (or 7th) grade. That unit will cover it if you don't get to dictionary skills in elementary years using less formal methods.

-crystal

WindriderMom
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2007 10:24 am

Unread post by WindriderMom » Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:12 pm

Also, MFW recommends Progeny Press for reading/literature and I belive these language arts skills are covered there. We have been using Progeny and just ordered a Language Plus book for 21 Balloons that will take about a semester to complete.

Fly2Peace
Posts: 79
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2006 7:36 pm

WS - Still recommended if we're not using Language Lessons?

Unread post by Fly2Peace » Fri Dec 10, 2010 6:39 pm

annaz wrote:Is Writing Strands complimentary to ILL or can it be used on it's own? We're using BJU English and started that this year. I'm not sure I like the writing projects in it yet. They go via chapter, so there's a chapter of grammar, then a chapter of writing with review of grammar during writing projects. I like that. However the chapter writing project seems a little daunting as they break it down so much where I can see that it has the possibility of killing the love of writing. I know I could shorten it up a bit and probably will. But MFW uses Writing Strands.

I'm wondering if Writing Strands is good on it's own or it it one of those programs that work much better with other programs, like ILL? Can someone explain how Writing Strands works?
Writing strands is entirely a stand alone writing program. You do not have to use ILL with it, any English will work. It is a writing program that builds from the basic sentence to a more carefully thought out and descriptive type of writing. It has been a while since we did WS 3, but as I recall it has some different styles and types of writing assignments, creative, descriptive, informative, etc. Hope that helps.
Fly2Peace (versus flying to pieces)

Poohbee
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Re: WS - Still recommended if we're not using Language Lessons?

Unread post by Poohbee » Sat Dec 11, 2010 2:32 pm

We are in our first year using Writing Strands. I really like it, and I think my reluctant writer does, too. :-)

Writing Strands breaks writing down into manageable chunks, and the writing activities have been interesting for my dd. We do it 2 days a week, as recommended in the ECC TM. It starts out teaching your child how to write a detailed, interesting sentence. My dd has also written a story and a description, so far. I'm not sure what else to say about it, but I really like the conversational tone the author uses in giving instructions, the gradual progression from writing basic sentences to writing entire stories, and the fact that the author breaks the writing assignment into small chunks that build upon each other.

My dd's desire to write has improved quite a bit as we've been using Writing Strands.
Jen
happily married to Vince (19 yrs)
blessed by MFW since 2006
have used every year K-1850MOD
2018-2019: Adventures with 9yo boy

MFW-Lucy

Re: WS - Still recommended if we're not using Language Lessons?

Unread post by MFW-Lucy » Mon Dec 13, 2010 12:16 pm

Hi Annaz,

As Pam mentioned Writing Strands can be added to any English program you are using. We do not use the program as written but as Jen mentioned we use it 2 days a week along side ILL 3 days a week.

When Marie Hazell, the author of My Father's World, first started using ILL, she felt that although the writing activities were good in ILL, that it did not give enough direct instruction in writing. She added Writing Strands to complement ILL. Using ILL with Writing Strands is a complete English program along with the other elements that are woven into the curriculum (summary writing, copywork, vocabulary, etc.).

Keep asking if you need more information.

Lucy

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