Many of the pieces have worked well. Others were passable, but did not present a challenge to Amber, nor did they advance her abilities in language arts. After a semester of 5th grade, we have finally found the right mixture for us.
|Current Language Arts |
(5th grade) Curriculum
|Original Language Arts|
(5th Grade) Curriculum
During the first half of 5th grade we included literature study in our curriculum, however it was fairly loosely done with a variety of study aids. Sometimes we simply read the book and discussed it ourselves while taking less than a week to complete the book. Our 5th grade book list is on our curriculum page, for those who are interested. During the second half of 5th grade we are continuing with literature studies in a more purposeful way, with study guides that emphasize reading comprehension and encourage thought. The literature study now completely replaces our reading curriculum.
|She LOVED Tom Sawyer!|
I honestly thought the BJU English curriculum would provide the necessary writing instruction. Amber had fared so well with a similar style curriculum during the second half of fourth grade in our homeschool and once again began writing above her grade level. Unfortunately, this year she clearly needs a different style of instruction to further her writing ability. I still love the BJU English writing lessons, even though they do not suit Amber this year. Still, we have been quite pleased with the BJU English grammar lessons and continue to use those daily. They provide solid instruction in English grammar, including diagramming, with many examples and opportunities for practice.
|Still loves her grammar workbook.|
One of my favorite parts of Writing with Skill is that it is written to the student! There is a needed teachers guide, as well as the student guide, that includes plenty of direction and assistance recommendations for the teacher. However, in the end, Amber is responsible for reading and interpreting her assignments each day. It has already taught her more independence in her work. Yay! We are still in the early phases of using this curriculum, but it has completely surpassed all my hopes for its use. Amber doesn't whine about the majority of the writing assignments and punctually completes her lessons each day. What more could we ask for?
Creative writing is another story though. Amber has always loved creative writing, but it was something that was not often formally included in her school curriculum. This year we participated in the NaNoWriMo Young Writers program, utilizing their free downloadable workbook. Amber enjoyed the pre-writing activities in the workbook and learned more about the planning process for creative writing. She spent a good portion of her free time this past Fall planning and researching her novel. The actual writing wasn't as productive as her planning, but Amber did finish her word count goal and learned more than I hoped through the process. I expect we will participate again in the future.
Overall, we both feel that we have now found the best combination for Language Arts (and foreign language) and hope this combination will work for a couple of years. I hope the story of our journey through language arts helps you find a path that makes your journey easier.
This post is part of the January 2013 Virtual Curriculum Fair. Please visit the other participants to see all of their Language Arts related curriculum plans and ideas.
2013 Virtual Curriculum Fair-Playing with Words: The Language Arts by Leah Courtney @ As We Walk Along the Road
Playing with Words: The Language Arts by Christa Darr @ Fairfield Corner Academy: The Story of Our Life
What Language Arts looks like in our house - Are we doing it right? by Hillary M @ Our Homeschool Studio