Language Arts Questions

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)
cbollin

Language Arts Questions

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

Could I use something more independent?
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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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.

Fly2Peace
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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
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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

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

Unread post by annaz » Tue Dec 14, 2010 11:47 am

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?

MFW-Lucy

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

Unread post by MFW-Lucy » Tue Dec 14, 2010 12:00 pm

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.

Lucy

cbollin

Writing Strands or... ?

Unread post by cbollin » Mon May 09, 2011 5:41 pm

davimee wrote:I've been looking over the suggested LA for MFW, and I think CLE 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. What other options should we look at? Does WS primarily teach creative writing? If so, I would think any creative writing book would be fine. 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.

Thanks,
Emily
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.

-crystal

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

Unread post by Julie in MN » Mon May 09, 2011 6:41 pm

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
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(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
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MelissaM
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Wondering if PLL may be too difficult for my 2nd Grader

Unread post by MelissaM » Fri May 18, 2012 7:38 am

albanyaloe wrote:Hello,
I've just taken a look at the PLL samples again and am feeling anxious that it may be a bit difficult for my 2nd grader. I wouldn't say we are behind, we just have taken a "better late than early" approach and though she reads, mostly easy books, we're still busy covering the less common phonics sounds. Some of them she actually knows, but I just keep going. I am not sure that she will manage PLL. Must she read it herself?

I don't even think she'd be able to copy out the amount of copywork I saw. I am worrying that perhaps I have been too slack with her, but when she wants to do what we call creative writing (composition) she is capabable of writing a good deal of interesting, well composed sentences, and she copies our Bible verses now and again for penmanship.

How do you suggest starting out if it does seem to be a challenge? How much may be done orally, and then, which parts of lessons would be ok to do orally, and which beneficial to do written. I am thinking perhaps I'd have to get her used to copywork slowly?

Any help and ideas appreciated,
Lindy
No, she absolutely doesn't have to read it herself! *Disclaimer, haven't used PLL yet, but have used ILL for the last 2 years.* You can do as much of it as you want orally - all of it, or definitely most of it. Tweak the amount of copywork to what she can handle. Skip the dictation until she's older, or change it to copywork, or find some other way to make it work for you.

She's not behind, she's doing fine and so are you. :)
:)
Melissa
DD13
DS10
DS5
DS2

cbollin

Re: Wondering if PLL may be too difficult for my 2nd Grader

Unread post by cbollin » Fri May 18, 2012 7:40 am

I know that lesson 2 has a lot of copywork. I imagine advanced students in a classroom in the 1900's would have copied more than some other students. And not all student entering 2nd grade would be ready for any dictation.

No, she doesn't read this book on her own. It's teach together.

Don't panic based on lesson 2 amount of writing. Instead.. try the approach of seeing this lesson as a 2 school days worth of material. one day copywork for 10 minutes. next day, try dictation of that same copywork. If it's 1- 2 sentences, great.. ... if more, fine..

no.. they aren't expected to know how to spell squirrel on their own just yet in that lesson. You can practice it together on paper or marker board a few times before the lesson and allow her to look at the spelling of that word.

more fun and helpful hints ...try here
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... ier#p67941

-crystal

cherona
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Re: Wondering if PLL may be too difficult for my 2nd Grader

Unread post by cherona » Fri May 18, 2012 7:48 am

I've only been using PLL for two weeks with my just-turned 7 and 8yr olds. I was a little nervous too because I have also been gently schooling and this was a BIG step up from what we had been doing...But we all love it so far!

One of my favorite aspects of the book is how easy it is to simplify the lesson without having to skip it completely. I have not been having the girls memorize the entire selection only a couple lines. We answer a lot of the written questions aloud instead, and like others have said do copy work instead of dictation. I plan on slowly increasing some things over the year.

I really think you and your students will enjoy it if you don't feel the pressure to do everything exactly as written and push them too hard. :)

Cheri
Wife to my hardworking husband, Seth, and Mom to...
Emma (12) CTG
Megan (10) CTG
Katie (8) CTG
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Violet (2 1/2) MFW Toddler/Preschool

albanyaloe
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Re: Wondering if PLL may be too difficult for my 2nd Grader

Unread post by albanyaloe » Fri May 18, 2012 2:13 pm

Thank you so much for the posts.
Melissa, thanks for the encouragement. It's funny how easy I think I've messed up. We don't have other HS'ers around us for support, which would be great. Sometimes you just need to hear "it's ok"

Thank you Crystal, for your comments and also your reference to that very helpful thread and the notes you've compiled. I've actually copied into a doc so I can find it again on my pc. Your replies are always very valuable.

Cheri, thank you for responding with your personal experience. I think you're right about not putting pressure on.

I'm going to loosen up and not worry about PLL in advance, then, when it arrives, I'll take a look at the notes, and we'll take it slow and see how we go.

This board is amazing and I do so appreciate it. :-)
Thank you,
Lindy
Lindy,
Our first year with MFW, doing ECC 2012, Our 7th year of HS'ing
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gratitude
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Re: Wondering if PLL may be too difficult for my 2nd Grader

Unread post by gratitude » Fri May 18, 2012 11:59 pm

albanyaloe wrote:Hello,
I've just taken a look at the PLL samples again and am feeling anxious that it may be a bit difficult for my 2nd grader. I felt the same way before I started PLL with my second grader last September. By lesson 5 or 6 my nervous feeling was gone, and I was completely enjoying the book. I wouldn't say we are behind, we just have taken a "better late than early" approach and though she reads, mostly easy books, we're still busy covering the less common phonics sounds. Some of them she actually knows, but I just keep going. I am not sure that she will manage PLL. Must she read it herself? No. It is actually meant to be used with mom doing the reading and teaching as you go.

I don't even think she'd be able to copy out the amount of copywork I saw. PLL is scheduled 3 days a week in ADV. I decided to spread it out over 4 or 5 days a week so I could spread out copy work and dictation lessons. So a picture study lesson will take one day. We do the grammar lessons orally (so he hasn't been copying those) and it takes one day. Then the copy work lessons of multiple sentences and the dictation lessons of multiple sentences I have him do one sentence a day. Thus, a six sentence dictation takes 6 days. It has worked well for us, and not put too much hand writing (not a favorite for ds8) into the day.I am worrying that perhaps I have been too slack with her, but when she wants to do what we call creative writing (composition) she is capabable of writing a good deal of interesting, well composed sentences, Wow. You are not behind at all.and she copies our Bible verses now and again for penmanship.

How do you suggest starting out if it does seem to be a challenge? Slowly. I had my ds8 copying dictations from September to January. Then I started to add in the dictations. It has gone well.How much may be done orally, and then, which parts of lessons would be ok to do orally, and which beneficial to do written. I do all of the grammar and picture study and poetry orally. Conversations too.I am thinking perhaps I'd have to get her used to copywork slowly? If she hasn't done copy work I would start slowly. MFW1 has them copy one Proverb a week and write a sentence or two in the Bible note book a week. So the copy work has been built over the course of a year before PLL. The Writing with Ease book, we don't use but I have seen it, has them do copy work I think twice a week for a year prior to any dictation. If needed break up the copy work. I know my sons both do best with one sentence a day rather than 2 - 4 sentences a day. If I am taking it too easy on them hopefully someone will interject here for you, but so far I think their writing and speaking is building so I like what I am seeing.
I hope this helps.

Any help and ideas appreciated,
Lindy

TriciaMR
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PLL Question

Unread post by TriciaMR » Sat Dec 14, 2013 4:19 pm

lovehomeschooling wrote:We just started PLL and I'm not sure if my son is ready for it. We are using All About Spelling and he is only in level 2 of that. He does well with the dictation included in his spelling although he almost always forgets capitals and periods. He also has no idea what a sentence is, although I have tried to explain it to him. He doesn't see any difference between the phrases and the sentences I dictate except that I tell him, "these are the sentences."

The first copywork/dicatation lesson contained MANY words he didn't know how to spell yet. Also, it seemed like a large amount for him to copy. Am I not expecting enough from him?? We only got through the copying the first paragraph and he filled an entire page! I can't imagine how we would have gotten through all three paragraphs. Three pages of writing?? That seemed like a lot. Also, it is very frustrating for him when there are so many words that he has not learned the spelling rules for yet, such as squirrel. It takes him forever as he looks back and forth for each letter. He is doing great on the rest of the lessons though.

We just finished up MFW 1st a month or so ago, so we are only in week 5 of Adventures. He was doing really well in writing with his Bible notebook, but he really struggles with the summaries in his history notebook. Maybe he's not quite ready for second grade writing?? Or should I be pushing him more??
You know, we do AAS too, so I don't do any dictation from PLL or ILL (my boys are 4th graders now). I do PLL dictations as copywork. And those that are really long like that, only about 3 sentences/one paragraph is all at that age. I also have two dyslexic children, and I got the StartWrite software, and I make pages with that for those copywork lessons so that they can copy from the line directly above and not have to look onto another page or even to the very top - I put a blank line between each line that I can fit on the page. Both of them (well, the oldest can do it now, but she's 14) have had trouble with copywork when it isn't right on the line above.

As far as understanding/explaining a sentence... A sentence is a "complete thought." So, use the phrase and sentence lists in AAS and read a phrase, maybe it is: green grass. Then as him if it is a sentence. If he says yes, say, "I didn't say 'The grass is green.' I just said 'green grass.' If I were to use that in a sentence I would have to say, 'He ran on the green grass.' See, 'green grass' is just part of a thought." Just keep working on it and working on it. Eventually they get it. You have to model a lot for 7 and 8 year olds.
Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
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Joyhomeschool
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Re: PLL Question

Unread post by Joyhomeschool » Mon Dec 16, 2013 8:35 am

There are three stages to dictation that might help you.
1. Read the passage out loud together. You will notice any new words or punctuation and point them out to the student. Study them. That might mean using the whole passage for copy work.
2. Dictate the passage. Slowly either a few words at a time or sentence at a time. When. My kids are starting PLL I remind them to use capitals and I say "period" or "comma" when there are those punctuations. They are learning what those are and where those go so this helps.
3. Check the work and recopy or study the mistakes. So if squirrel was misspelled then they erase rewrite squirrel. Your teaching editing skills.

AmbleSide online has a great article about dictation:
http://www.amblesideonline.org/PR/PR17p ... sons.shtml

They do not have to do it perfect, but you shouldn't challenge them too much. So if one sentence is challenging enough then do one sentence of the dictation. If its all overwhelming use those passages as copy work and circle the commas, periods and capitals with a pen in Different colored ink. Pll is a frame work, you adapt it to for you.
Vicki
Homeschooling my 7,
2018/2019 1st, EXP, AHL, US 2

Julie in MN
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Re: PLL Question

Unread post by Julie in MN » Mon Dec 16, 2013 10:07 am

I love reading Trish and Vicki's very experienced advice. Like Vicki mentioned at the very end, dictation might not even be done by some. I've always felt sheepish to admit, but I could never get my ds to do dictation, so we settled for copywork, and even that was mostly just the Bible verse. It didn't ruin him to skip dictation. Yes, he is a person who is weaker in the reading/writing area than in the math area, but we've always worked on that, and in 12th grade he does indeed know what good sentences are (notices poor ones), maybe more than a lot of his college classmates.

I wanted to mention something about 2nd graders knowing what a sentence is. I tutored for some years at an early-grammar-heavy program, and really being able to "talk grammar" or "do grammar" didn't transfer much at all into being a good writer. At home, I loved using PLL as a conversation, getting my son to look at what he was putting into writing, observe written language, start to understand what is going on when we put our thoughts into writing.

At your ds's age, I found it helpful to get kids to "hear" the difference between baby talk and big kid talk (2nd graders are certainly big kids in their own eyes!). Kids will laugh if you try to say "Want cup. Cup blue." They know in their heads that those are not correct, even if they don't know why. I might ask how a big kid would say that, then I might write them both (at home, it would be on the marker board) and talk about how they are different. Along the way I'd plant the idea that one was a complete sentence, and that we want our writing to sound like big kid talk with good sentences.

To me, gradually learning to look and listen attentively to what they write is what PLL excels in.
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)
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Yodergoat
Posts: 243
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Re: PLL Question

Unread post by Yodergoat » Mon Dec 16, 2013 1:35 pm

I love Julie's "big kid talk" comparison! That is great!


My second grader has not learned parts of speech and we have not been doing dictation. But she does listen to lots of good literature, and when doing her summaries for her history notebook she can come up with good sentences... although sometimes I have to remind her that she should make sure her summary would make sense to a person who has never heard about the topic (for instance, she tends to just jump right in and say something like "They signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776" without first explaining WHO they are and WHAT the Declaration is). But that is sort of a different subject. ;)

Out of curiosity, I just asked my second grader to explain "a sentence." I wonder if her wording could help another child her age?

I asked, "Can you tell me what a sentence is like?"

She said: "A sentence is a string of words."

So I said, "Blue yellow duck hat. That is a string of words, but is that a sentence?"

She laughed. "No, that doesn't make sense. A sentence is a string of words that make sense."

I pointed to a balloon she was blowing up. "Balloon in mouth!" I said. "Is that a sentence?"

She smiled and replied, "No, because it doesn't make sense. It sounds like a baby talking."

I asked, "How would you make that into a real sentence?"

Gail said (mimicking the voice I had used for my "balloon in mouth" comment), "You have a balloon in your mouth!"

I pointed to the cat and just said, "'The cat.' Is that a sentence?"

She said, "No, the cat has to do something or you have to say something about the cat. Otherwise it's just random words."

So I said, "The cat runs. Is that a sentence?"

She replied, "Yes, because now I know something about the cat."

Then she looked suspicious and asked, "Why all this talk about sentences?" :~


I found it interesting that she made the "baby talk" connection. We do discuss sentences quite a bit. During Spelling (we use Spelling by Sound and Structure), I often ask her to use the spelling words in a sentence. So if the word is "babies," she may say, "Mrs. Jamie watches the babies in the nursery at church." I try to encourage her to be creative in these instead of just making short ones like "Babies are cute." It has helped her in forming lots of variations in sentence structure in a gentle and fun way. I think that has helped, as well as all of the Bible Notebook summaries from First Grade and a little journal we kept in Kindergarten.

I don't do the dictations with her because she does plenty of writing otherwise and she would not do well at the spelling (at all!) and would be very frustrated. If she writes a word incorrectly she tends to remember it incorrectly in the future, and it sets her back. So I think that skipping dictation is fine! Mayhap work on sentences orally to skip all the tedium of writing and spelling until he has the concept of the sentence cemented in his mind.

I do like much of PLL but the dictations are something we skip entirely. I suppose this may not be popular advice... :~
I'm Shawna...
... a forgiven child of God since 1994 (age 16)
... happily wed to William since 1996
... mother of our long-awaited Gail (3/15/2006)
... missing 6 little ones (4 miscarriages, 2 ectopics)
... starting Rome to the Reformation this fall!

Yodergoat
Posts: 243
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 2:14 pm

Re: PLL Question

Unread post by Yodergoat » Mon Dec 16, 2013 2:39 pm

I meant to add also that we do a form of dictation but I prefer to use words she knows how to spell, and I relate these to her spelling words or things that are happening. But they aren't dictation from PLL. It is a good time to practice punctuation and capitalization and such, but doesn't get her flustered about spelling. And we keep it short, just one sentence at a time and we might do 5 or so sentences. I try to make them fun, such as "I got a new kitten yesterday! We named him Sparky. I hope he gets along well with our puppy. They may become good friends!" Stuff like that... nothing earth shattering. ;)

Part of my purpose in this is to get her to listen to all the words in the sentence and pay close attention. Some days she does better than others at this. If it is a particularly hard day for her in paying attention, I tell her that if she gets one without any additional reminders she can be finished and move on to the next subject, and then she can amazingly remember everything I have said without repeating. :~ (I do know the lack of attention is a discipline issue and not a memory or auditory issue.)
I'm Shawna...
... a forgiven child of God since 1994 (age 16)
... happily wed to William since 1996
... mother of our long-awaited Gail (3/15/2006)
... missing 6 little ones (4 miscarriages, 2 ectopics)
... starting Rome to the Reformation this fall!

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