Saturday, March 27, 2010

Now for Language Arts Wish List for 2010/2011!

I actually have spent a lot of time kicking ideas around for LA, who'd have thought it? I settled on what I did because the approaches are gentle, the time will be spent together rather than assigning a workbook page and me walking away. There's nothing wrong with that, of course. Its what we've done in the past. I felt it was time to switch things up a bit and upon previewing some of the materials and giving a couple lessons practice runs I was surprised how much the kids enjoyed it. It was nice to keep things light and fun and we shared some giggles in the process, which is always nice! Each of these is meant for short, 15-20 minute lessons and we'll alternate between them as it feels right through the week.

Writing With Ease Text for Levels 1-4
This is a non-consumable text for teaching beginning writing skills meant to last four years. There are separate consumable workbooks, with everything completely laid out, including copywork already selected for you. These would be a time saver, but at nearly $30 and needing to buy one each year, and having two students, I really can't afford them. I'll be selecting my own copywork. I will also be able to reuse this once my toddler is of an age to enjoy it. I like that the book introduces quite a bit of literature. I plan to borrow the corresponding books from the library just in case the interest to read it is sparked by the narrations.
Simply Grammar
This non-consumable book is a revised and expanded version of First Grammar Lessons by Charlotte Mason meant to be a mostly oral approach to learning Grammar. Again we'll sit and work through this together, hopefully with some childish comedy and giggling involved.
Daily Grams Grade 4
This is a workbook without answers, though there is a version sold with answers as well. There are 180 brief daily lessons for review of Grammar. I want this mostly for the sentence combining practice, though we may use other bits of it as well. This is a consumable workbook, but I plan to buy only one and do the bits of it we choose orally or on the whiteboard. So no consumption here! And again, I'll be able to reuse with the little one.
AVKO Sequential Spelling
Another non-consumable. I'll be honest. I read the preview on the website and was a bit turned off from the author's conversation at the intro to the book. I'm not really sure what exactly about it rubbed me the wrong way, but it did. However I really like the lessons and the approach. So while it is possible I might not want to invite the author over for dinner, I appreciate his work. This will really be the first time doing any 'formal' spelling. At eight and ten they both spell surprisingly well. I do think they'll benefit from the lessons. Words are taught by word families. The lessons are designed to be short and sweet, say 15 minutes a day. I think the kids may even enjoy this. We shall see!

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