Monday, September 3, 2012

The Other Language Arts Plans

I wrote about our literature choices: American Literature, 7th grade5th grade. But there is so much more to Language Arts than literature - composition and writing, grammar, vocabulary, spelling, penmanship, etc...

So, here is my tentative plan. We'll try it for September.

Communication Journal - Tuesdays
Spelling – Mon, Tues, Wed (James and Suzy)
Vocab – Mon, Tues, Wed (David and Emily)
Write a letter - Wednesday
Typing – Mon, Thurs
Penmanship – Tues, Fri

What will each of these entail?

Communication Journals entail writing back and forth between me and the child. I've been doing this for years and it works well for us.

Spelling Power is our curriculum for spelling. Three days a week is all I can manage. 

Vocabulary study will start using through September. Rummy Roots game will be integrated at some point and maybe we will do a more formal study, but I doubt it. Both David and Emily have good vocabularies.

Write a letter is just what it sounds like. So family and friends, if you get a letter from us, please write back!

Typing - not sure what program we will use. I let them go at their own pace and we have several choices of programs - from Mavis Beacon to Dance Mat Typing online.
Penmanship - I want to focus on cursive for everyone.

What's missing? GRAMMAR. I left it off the list unintentionally, so it will be added in October and will be stressed quite a bit. I am looking at Grammarlogues. Anyone use that program?

WRITING also is missing, other than the communication journal. The literature portion of our language arts program has a good bit of writing included. I have the kids write chapter summaries and literature responses just about daily. However, this year I decided to try a DVD-based writing program that is graded. The program is called Essentials in Writing and is very affordable at $40 per level which includes both the DVD's and a .pdf file of the workbook.

Each Essentials in Writing DVD includes instruction for each lesson and then assignments to complete. Sometimes there is one assignment per video lesson, sometimes more than one. However, the only level I have right now is Suzanne's. Because Suzy's reading is below grade level, I ordered her a writing program two years below grade level. I did NOT want her to struggle because of her reading and end up hating writing too! If it ends up being too easy, I'll get her the next level up.

I had planned to share the Grade 7 with a friend but then decided to order my own (which I have not done yet). The curriculum is so new that the high school levels are still being completed. Grade 10 is due out on September 15 and sadly Grade 12 won't be shipped until October 15. This means that David will either be doubling up on writing lessons or will skip some - not sure which until I see the curriculum. He can probably easily skip some of the essay writing lessons since he has taken my essay writing class twice. 

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