We continue pretty much as we were. I break down Language Arts into 5 short activities a session which should take 5–15 minutes each and we aim for 4 sessions a week.
This is remains our biggest focus. The plan earlier in the year was to eliminate as much writing from elsewhere in our school work as possible and focus very much on quality over quantity. There was a very noticeable improvement through out the year, which has slipped a bit over the summer. The emphasis now is on correcting that slide and starting to try and encourage him to transfer what he can do when practising handwriting across to general writing by gradually increasing the amount we do elsewhere.
We are using Getty Dubay and have gone back to basics as there are still some letters that he has to be reminded consistently how to form. He is working through book B but should hopefully progress through book C and on to cursive before the end of the year.
On the suggestion of another home eder, one session a week (perhaps more see how enthusiastically it is greeted) we’ll have a go with calligraphy instead.
Bridging handwriting, grammar and comprehension we are using Writing With Ease (WWE). Starting with level one as writing is not something that comes easy.
It follows a four day cycle. Days 1 and 3 are copywork. Days 2 and 4 are a narration exercise, where I read a passage aloud and he answers questions verbally. It is all based on classic children’s literature.
Midway through the year we should progress on to book 2 (picked up second hand along with books 3 and 4 — in for the long term )
We using Spelling Made Easy (with a lot of tweaks). We’ll finish level 1 mid year and move on to level 2.
I have set up a four day cycle.
Day 1 — wordsearch
Day 2 –Look/copy/write practice
Day 3 — Worksheet made from combination of textbook and theirs (didn’t like them)
Day 4 — Test — complete with penguin
Starting book 2.
Another four day cycle. Day one introduce the concept (find a game to supplement if needed). Day 2 and 3 are exercises from the book done verbally. Day 4 is the sum up exercise typed.
We have been using TCR Building Writing Skills to help develop ability to structure ideas. There is quite a jump however between Words to Sentences which is nearly completed and Sentences to Paragraphs. Also if we do a lesson a day, four days a week we will progress through it far too fast.
So plan to slow down to one or two sessions a week allowing time for more ad hoc writing activities. These will be flexible and planned as we go, taking account of things such as thank you letters, flat traveller journals, need to practice particular skills etc. I have found Sam a penpal to help encourage him in his writing.
If things go well you never know I may get to use some of the numerous story telling resources I have collected over the years.
We seem to have worked our way through the worse of the trash literature phase to my relief. Percy Jackson and Harry Potter may not be quality literature but they are good stories and not computer generated tripe of the Beast Quest/Astrosaurs school. The aim is to keep tempting him into trying new series. Time Riders look like they may be a goer after he finishes Harry Potter.
We will have a read aloud for most of our History/Geography projects — we have Sun Horse, Moon Horse by Rosemary Sutcliffe, Poetry of WWI, Around the World in 80 days and Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson lined up.
To encourage a trip back to some of the classics for our bedtime reading we will pick some of the books featured in what is possibly my favourite browsing book of all time - Cherry Cake and Ginger Beer. Following with testing the recipes of course. Expecting the recipes to strongly influence choice of reading matter.
Poetry/Speaking and Listening
Read the idea on a forum one time and loved it. Hoping to introduce ‘Poetry Supper’ evening roughly weekly when all the family picks and performs a poem after tea. Will have to see how this one goes.