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

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Tuesday Tidbits... Laughing at Myself...

So at the beginning of the year, I had this whole, elaborate language arts line-up.

I should have known better. Really.

I've cut it back significantly, and yes, I have dropped a lot of it, as you can see below...

Poetry:
We were looking at using Rose, Where Did You Get That Red?, or Knock at a Star: A Child's Introduction to Poetry. But... well, we like reading poetry. The kids occasionally dabble in writing a little. We just don't care for dissecting it at the moment. So I simply choose a poet each month, and we read some poetry each week.

Grammar:
I like The Giggly Guide to Grammar, but it is actually a wee bit advanced at the moment, though I think The Boy may use it off and on, along with Hot Fudge Mondays (and I'll keep both books around for future use as well). Instead, we're actually reading Grammar-Land: Grammar in Fun for the Children of Schoolroom-shire, and yes, we're doing the free worksheets for practice. We like the storyline, and it is not too juvenile or too advanced for both kids to follow and enjoy. We also like that it really takes very little time!

Literary Elements:
We were planning to use Figuratively Speaking but it flopped. Discussing each literary element in isolation didn't and doesn't appeal so much. So what I've done is take the book, make a list of the terms, and I'm just bringing them up, and then checking them off, as we read good books. For example, yesterday I was reading The Hobbit aloud, and there was some foreshadowing, so we talked about that.

Writing:
After The Girl really started reading, I decided she could use some solid writing instruction. I debated a lot about what to use with her, but finally settled on Writing Skills from EPS. It is simple and straightforward enough that she still has plenty of time (and energy) for free writing.

And yes, after a brief -re-dabbling in Writing With Skill, The Boy is back to using Thinking in Threes most days, which I plan to follow up (in ninth grade) with The Lively Art of Writing (there's even a free workbook for this out there!).

Brave Writer:
I adore this lifestyle approach to writing/language arts. With the resources we are now using, we have a little more time for some of the more fun elements, like language arts games, poetry teatimes, and more. I get the Daily Writing Tips in my email too, which gives me a plethora of nifty ideas for writing projects, and then there are those that come up as we go, such as the complaint letter The Boy wants to write to the company that made his most recent car model (quality control was not very good).

So what have you changed this year? Did you drop something? Add something? Just shift things around? Please tell me I am not the only one that frequently over-plans!

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What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
Emerson

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