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)
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Joined: Fri Mar 24, 2006 7:34 pm

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

Unread post by annaz »

Thanks for the insight. It doesn't look like dd would be overwhelmed by WS. But she gets ticked at having to constantly rewrite and fix her writing in BJU.It's so inexpensive, I'm just going to order it. I actually like the thought of ILL and WS together but I can't really wrap my brain around ILL. WS though looks quite intriguing as it starts out writing a good sentence, correct?

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

Unread post by MFW-Lucy »

Hi Annaz,

Yes, Writing Strands 3 begins with how to write a good sentences. I am not sure the age of your child but MFW recommends it at 4th grade and above. It should work well to just replace a lesson from W.S. with the writing lessons in BJU.


I have GAPS....GASP! Spelling/word "stuff"

Unread post by cbollin »

annaz wrote:What all does spelling power cover? homonyms? synonyms, analogies, etc? I can't find what it EXACTLY covers. I'm sort of freaking out. We came from another curric that uses dictation as spelling and I am seriously missing huge parts of subjects. I'm finding out how seriously lacking we are in just plain word work. Homonyms, synonyms, analogies, homophones; all that; prefix, suffix, etc. :~ I find that there's a lot of words she doesn't know what they mean as much as I thought, even though she reads alot.

Big question! So when using MFW does using WS, ILL, SP all work together as a whole to pick up the slack in other areas? So for example, I know that BJU Reading, Grammar and Spelling programs covers it ALL! KWIM? It may be overkill in some areas, but there's no gaps. I'd rather skip than forget or not have it there entirely. I know we'll always have holes, but I have gaps. !!
Hi Ann,

Homonyms: in the strictest sense that where you have the same spelling, same way to say it, but it has various meanings. I’m not eating a stalk of celery. And I did not stalk you on the forum. those are homonyms in the strictest sense of the word.

The other meaning of the word is more of homophones where word sounds same, but spell differently. Yes, those will be covered in any spelling program. (and on Veggie Tales.... homophones, homophones where the crews coming cruising on the plane... homophone homophone I need my kneaded biscuits plain!

But, yes there are in ILL (check the index)

Synonyms: that’s where you use a different word with same meaning. (big, large) I think that tends to be in writing and maybe in some of the English. Honestly, I think that’s vocab development and comes through reading books to children and talking and introducing new words to them. Yes, there are some brief lessons in ILL on this, lesson 179. But once they have that word in their vocab you just remind them at “syn” mean same – they get to learn that in English from the Roots UP. Some of it will show up when they do writing and you want them to use a “stronger” word to better describe it and sound more “fancified”.

Analogies? I’m confused. That has nothing to do with spelling, does it? Do you mean those things on standardized tests where they say BIG IS TO LARGE AS Small is to _____
a. fish. B. dish. C. fried rice. D. tiny
you can get analogy books for fun and do those lightly.

Or do you mean similes and metaphors? Check index on ILL.

Prefixes and suffixes? I find that as we go along in everyday life, we naturally check for prefixes -- re, un, dis,
suffixes: that's covered in spelling... ed, es, ing, tion

Some of this is covered in the Roots Word study in English from Roots Up too.

MFW includes dictation exercises with Bible memory work. There is a section of Spelling Power than can be done as dictation exercises. That’s a step where the student writes sentences with the words she is studying. Instead of having them make up their own sentences, you could dictate sentences to them.

What’s really going on here? Are you concerned about standardized testing or something? I’m not really hearing a question about Spelling Power here. Spelling Power is a spelling program and also has some dictionary skill and proofreading information.??

Over the course of it all in grades 2-8, all of those things you mentioned are covered in various components of language arts in MFW. The only thing in my head that isn't, comes with the analogies thing. Logic is taught, but not necessarily word base analogies in elementary.

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Joined: Fri Mar 24, 2006 7:34 pm

Re: I have GAPS....GASP! Spelling/word "stuff"

Unread post by annaz »

Hi Crystal. Your friendly neighbor having a freak moment. Panicking (sp?) is a serious job.

Okay, so I'll go back and re-read ILL (sigh) and look for that. I need to read it as a whole and stop reading it for the topic of "my" moment.

I am assuming that what I'm missing is all the stuff I think Spelling Power may contain and should I be using it or "something like it"? I wanted to know what SP contained to see if this rounded out what we are missing. (We're not using it, do we need it, should we be using it...sort of thought process.) I guess the initial question was whether all bases are covered in MFW to include my main panic topics listed above and is SP what it is that we are missing?

The last curriculum I used really didn't cover a lot of this. I probably asked 3 times. Lack of answers scare me. The biggest problem is when you switch programs, there are things you like and things you dump. So I keep some, and find out one doesn't work without the other. And...I am missing vocabulary work, word work. not a standards person! Heck, we never test. HOWEVER... there is a nagging feeling of comparing, did I, should I, what if that continues to yell at me in my little head. It gets so confusing, because everyone covers it in different time periods. Some really late and some really early and some not at all. And ... I need to eat lunch.

Re: I have GAPS....GASP! Spelling/word "stuff"

Unread post by cbollin »

There are some children for whom spelling does not need to be a separate subject. I think Julie in MN"s son was one of them. I think one of the Hazell daughters was one of those as well.

What is in SP - the big "scary orange book?"

There are parts of the SP book that sometimes I think we (as homeschooling teachers) don't take the time to read through because they are not essential to doing the program. But just now I was reading through it and thinking... I'd love to re-organize this book again.

Sections in the book tell you in more detail about "the rules". I never saw those until today!!!! I've had this book since 2003. spelling rules are right there in the book in the parts that everyone is so scared to use.

There's a section on proofreading skills.

There's notes on homophone things.

yes, suffixes are taught as games

the SP company even sells pre made colored magnetic tiles even with special letters..... I just re-sold myself on using Spelling Power after going through the book.

don't tell me I just talked myself in to using SP again.... I know that dictionary skills are covered in ILL, but..... sigh......... I over think these things. this stuff was here all the time.

Ann, basically in SP, you are working through groups of spelling rules to help with phonics and "non phonics"rules. It's done in a multisensory way so that you review phonics, practice words specific to that rule, study words that you miss, don't fret about studying words you got right, and then build skills.

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Re: I have GAPS....GASP! Spelling/word "stuff"

Unread post by TriciaMR »

I remember someone saying once (or maybe reading it once), that if you study Proverbs, there are lots of analogies in there...

Crystal, I read through SP (but I have the 3rd edition) and I didn't find all that stuff... Maybe I read too fast... Like I said, one day you and I will come up with something ;)

Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
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Re: I have GAPS....GASP! Spelling/word "stuff"

Unread post by cbollin »

TriciaMR wrote:I remember someone saying once (or maybe reading it once), that if you study Proverbs, there are lots of analogies in there...
that's a great point!

like sands through the hour glass....
Crystal, I read through SP (but I have the 3rd edition) and I didn't find all that stuff... Maybe I read too fast... Like I said, one day you and I will come up with something ;)
things to look for in the table of contents whether it is 3rd or 4th edition
this is harder than I realized....

4th edition has a part in the section called What Research Says with the rules for the group numbers. In 3rd edition it's page...345 BUT in 4th edition, it has a few extra tips....

scope and sequence for Spelling Skills is p. 98 in 3rd edition, or page 315-316 in 4th edition
Scope/sequence for dictionary skills, 3rd edition. p. 99, or page 317-318 in 4th

check the glossary for cool definitions like open and closed syllables. both edition.
check table of contents for homophone sections. 3rd section
check the list of "tough words" Words Commonly Misspelled by Elementary Students /high school, business....

you know, I just can't cross reference it. my brain totally shut down now. I feel like Charley in Flowers for Algeron

Writing Strands or... ?

Unread post by cbollin »

davimee wrote:I think CLE LA will be the best for us. However, I am wondering if I should have some sort of writing program for my oldest daughter? She's 10, going into 5th grade. She loves to write, and is very creative.

What forms of writing does Writing Strands teach? From the reviews it looks like children who already do a lot of creative writing on their own find it boring. Does WS primarily teach creative writing? Or does it teach how to write other things, like a research paper? Hopefully this will help me decide what type of writing program to look at for her.

What kind of writing is part of CLE? You might not have to add much. I don't use CLE ,so I don't know.

WS covers many kinds of writing. It is taught more in skills presented
there's foundational stuff:You get very basics of quick review to make sure they can write a compete sentence on their own.
following directions
turning sentences into paragraphs and controlling the paragraph
Adding description
and organization to writing.
and creative writing. In the creative writing, you get a time to be able to learn about points of view, tenses, plot, character development.

With "reports," it tends to be a non research topic (such as describe your friend, or family or room) and then write with descriptive sentences in report format.

That's level 3 book.

It is more in the flavor of process into product, and more about mentoring a writer.

Julie in MN
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Re: Writing Strands or... ?

Unread post by Julie in MN »

cbollin wrote:It is taught more in skills presented
I agree. WS is not a "writing prompt" program that gives you ideas to write about. The MFW program in general may provide the history topics and PLL compositions (even if done orally) to get those jobs done. WS is, instead, a program that teaches new ways to look at writing, and does it in small increments.

One lesson may teach a child to describe the same scene from the point of view of different characters, each with very different physical perspectives as well as emotional perspectives. Another lesson might teach children to organize a whole bunch of details into different groups in different ways, to find what the reader might understand best. A third might challenge them to write the narrator's lines in one tense and have the characters think in a different tense. But it may only be a few lines, and then try something with another mix of tenses.

I am a WS fan. I think WS tools and a parent's feedback are strong methods for improving a child's writing.
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs
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