If we value the pursuit of knowledge, we must be free to follow wherever that search may lead us. ~ Adlai Stevenson

Monday, April 8, 2013

Monday Musings... This Week & LA Thoughts

I'm still on the fence about language arts for the fall. This should be an easy decision. I am studying for my MA in English Education after all. But it isn't easy when it comes to my own kids.

I want them to have solid writing skills. I read and grade papers for English classes at the local community/junior college, so I know that kids are not getting good writing instruction these days (every child left behind?). The problem I am having is what path we should take to get there. I've managed to narrow down the options, and I just need to decide! So, more structured (think Writing With Skill level 1/Writing With Ease/ Intermediate Language Lessons Book 1) OR more unstructured (think the Brave Writer Lifestyle)???

Here's what I have planned for this week's language arts:
Daily copy work, dictation exercise on Thursday, for both
Reading Horizons work for The Girl each day
maybe work from The Complete Writer?
Monday: A lesson from The Sentence Family for both; Writing Skills work for The Boy, pretty basic but good stuff
Tuesday: Work from Igniting Your Writing for The Boy   Nature journaling for both kids!
Wednesday: Free writing for The Boy, probably using Unjournaling for a prompt

We've ended up doing exercises from The Complete Writer, with The Girl doing level 1 (mostly verbal, some copy work) and The Boy working in levels 3 and 4.

When we do poetry, we might try the Arrow Poetry Guide for fun, since it was half off and I bought it today!

I printed out samples of maybe six different writing programs I was looking at for The Boy, and a couple under consideration for The Girl. M and I had a "meeting" where we spread them all out on the bed and went through them together. And we picked a program!!!

I realized that while I love the idea of the Brave Writer approach, when we piece things together we are less likely to get anywhere. Probably a personal flaw/issue of some sort, but there it is. So we ended up picking a more all-in-one approach...

The Boy will be working in Writing With Skill level 1 in the fall, and The Girl will be working through Writing With Ease level 2. M really liked the samples I printed out, and we both agree the programs are very thorough without looking too challenging. I also know that at some point, later down the line, I may want to try Write With the Best and The Lost Tools Of Writing, and I think a year or so of Writing With Skill, etc., will nicely prepare The Boy for either.

Nice and simple!  Phew!


  1. Wow. That is a LOT of writing!

    Julie at Creekside Learning is a big proponent of Brave Writer and has written some great posts about it, if you'd like more info.

  2. I've been thinking about writing prompts for Benjamin. I'll write more in an e-mail. ;)


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