Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Writing With Ease

We have two weeks completed in our school year and I've been quite happy with the curriculum choices I made so far. I kept many of the same curriculum as last year but added Writing to Elijah's Language Arts work. For the most part we are using L.A. curriculum created by the authors of The Well Trained Mind. They have just published this Writing course and I knew that using it would tie in well with our other L.A. books. It is simple to use and gets directly to the point. No fuss. I like that because I have about 6.7 seconds to glance at the teacher's guide and get Elijah started before someone needs me...again. You can purchase a student workbook or simply use lined paper. I bought the student workbook because I thought it would lend itself to Eli being a little more independent after the instruction was completed. Families can photocopy the student workbook pages for reuse in the future eliminating the need to buy curriculum again.

The format is the same for atleast the first four weeks of school. Days 1 and 3 are simply copywork using interesting and well constructed sentences from classic children's literature noting the concept taught such as capitalizing a proper noun or adding a punctuation mark at the end of a sentence. Week One referenced "The Little House in the Big Woods" by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Week Two referenced "The Adventures of Pinocchio" by Carlos Collodi. I'm also using our Writing curriculum to continue practicing Handwriting...ahh, kill two birds with one stone. I like that! Days 2 and 4 involve the teacher (me) reading a short paragraph or two from the selected literature and asking comprehension questions after which the student (Elijah) tells one more thing they remember from the passage. Thus, we have the narration. I encourage and help Eli to form a complete sentence worthy of copying on his worksheet. The picture above shows a sentence Elijah narrated to me.

I found small lined white boards in the $1 section at Target. They have been SO useful for Writing! I write Elijah's narration sentence on the board for him to copy. I also discovered that my recipe stand works really well to prop up the board for easier viewing and copying. Last year, I wasted a lot of paper doing this very thing. Now I write, wipe and store until the next day. Or until Isaac wants to have a turn writing!

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