A short introduction for anyone new. This month we started our 4th year homeschooling our only child, a 7th grade daughter named Amber. We prefer a Classical education model, however Amber has developed a chronic illness that is still (after almost two years) being diagnosed. We do know that it is an autoimmune disease that results in dysautonomia. All that to say it makes her heart work incorrectly, she is exhausted most of the time and on some days has a brain fog so thick that you wonder if she's even aware of her surroundings. Other days she's sharp as a tack and lives up to the results of her standardized testing.
This week we will be taking a look at how our family handles 7th grade Language Arts. In the past this post would have been full of the various curriculum components we use to fully educate Amber in a Classical model. However after the dysautonomia diagnosis during the summer of 2014, we reviewed and made quite a few changes to our homeschooling plans. The primary goal in it all is for Amber to learn when her brain is working best and when her body has energy left over from breathing and staying alive. This means we no longer have time for an array of curriculum, but must make the most of every available school moment. We combine a lot of learning points into one session or topic.
We started the first semester of 7th grade simply with Analytical Grammar, loose plans for literature, and a German curriculum as our language arts. Amber is one of those people who truly likes to diagram sentences and would work on grammar all day if I let her. Analytical Grammar provides three different schedules based on when you start the program and your student's needs. We have chosen to use each season of Analytical Grammar as a year of school. In this schedule we work through the entire season, which is 10 weeks of daily grammar, until it is complete. Then the remainder of that school year there is only one day of grammar review every other week.
Although it took us all of first semester to complete the 10 weeks of the first season, we love the schedule. It kept us from feeling behind and will also allow time second semester for other language arts topics while still having our toes in grammar occasionally.
|Morning lessons, including grammar, are usually done in bed before her heart goes crazy from being more upright.|
New to us this year is Tapestry of Grace for our history studies, yet if you've ever looked at Tapestry of Grace you know it is much more than history. I love the literature recommendations in TOG, but there just isn't time for Amber to complete them all. Instead, I've selected three items for Amber to study over the course of her 7th grade year. We have already completed Beowulf and will be moving on to Canterbury Tales and a few selections from Shakespeare in second semester. We've found that occasional project based learning is helpful with Amber's brain fog. In addition to traditional discussions for literature, I've gathered resources from various locations, including TOG, to utilize on some of Amber's more foggy days.
With grammar completed, second semester we are putting more emphasis on poetry, creative writing and research report writing. We previously used Writing With Skill on a daily basis, but Amber simply does not have the time or energy for a separate writing curriculum anymore. We chose instead to include more writing across the other subjects. Amber does write almost daily and we are utilizing the Writing Aid portion of Tapestry of Grace to guide her history and literature writing assignments, but we still do not always follow even those assignments exactly.
In 6th grade we started using The Creative Writer for Amber's creative writing lessons, and will continue with it this year too. We also used The Art of Poetry last year as part of a multi-year poetry study and will again continue on with that curriculum in the second semester of 7th grade.
Even though we plan to work on a larger sized research report this year, it will actually be assigned through Amber's science lessons. We will be using a combination of resources including Tapestry of Grace and Writing With Skill to guide the research process. Given Amber's many doctors' appointments and sick days, we will spend most of second semester working on this research report.
|Grammar on the go and writing her history newspaper articles. We are trying writing across the subjects this year.|
Finally, Amber started German as a foreign language this year. While I speak German and have a minor in the language, it has been quite useful to have an upper level curriculum for our use. We also found that the three years Amber spent studying Latin were not done in vane. We do not work in the German curriculum every day, but we do daily German conversation practice. Amber will actually earn 1/2 of a high school credit for her lessons this year and that is all due to the Prima German curriculum we chose. In truth, I selected two different curricula to try but we never had time for the second one. I really think it might be the better of the two, however I also teach German at our homeschool co-op and they use the Prima curriculum. I haven't had time to prep two different German curricula, so we never had the chance to evaluate the geni@l klick.
In a nutshell, this is our approach to 7th grade language arts. It's not going to be the right plan for everyone, but it works for our chronically ill child. If you are interested in a more detailed explanation you can view my 7th Grade Curricula page.
Come back next week to see how we are implementing Math, Science and Logic this year!
Other Weeks from the 2015 Curriculum Fair
Please check out how the other members of the 2015 Virtual Curriculum Fair are tackling Language Arts with their children.
- Building a Foundation of Words by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds
- Language Arts for 2015 by Chareen @ Every Bed of Roses
- Bible-Based Language Arts Resources by Tauna M @ Proverbial Homemaker
- Relaxed Homeschooling: Language Arts in the Early Elementary Years by Brittney @ Mom's Heart
- Loving Books and Words by Sarah@Delivering Grace
- 5 Language Arts Resources We Love by Becky @ Milo & Oats
- Teaching Reading at Home: A Tale of 5 Readers by Kristen H. @ Sunrise to Sunset
- A More Simplistic Approach to 7th Grade Language Arts by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool
- Language Arts Reading for Delight-Directed Learning by Susan @ The Every Day of Education
- How To: Spelling Dictation by Heather @ Only Passionate Curiosity
- The World of Words in our Homeschool by Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory
- Unschooling and Words, Words, Words by Nicole @ Schooling in the Sun
- Learning With Literature and Language Arts Resources by Leah @ As We Walk Along the Road
- Words and More Words! by Michele @ FamilyFaithandFridays
- Language Arts in Our Homeschool (2014 � 2015) by Laura O @ Day by Day in Our World
- Our curriculum choices ~ Language Arts by Renata @ Sunnyside Farm Fun
- The 2015 Virtual Curriculum Fair ~ Language Arts in Our Homeschool by Jennifer @ A Glimpse of Our Life
- Loaded Pistols: Virtual Curriculum Fair Playing with Words by Lisa @ Golden Grasses
- A Renewed Focus on Reading Aloud by Debra @Footprints in the Butter
- Language Arts in our Classical / Charlotte Mason Homeschool by Sharra @ The Homeschool Marm
- Logic of English Foundations: The Grand Prize Winner of Phonics by Chelli @ The Planted Trees
- A Sentence a Day Teaches Grammar the Fun Way by Amy A @ One Blessed Mamma
- Tackling Language Arts by Jacquelin @ A Stable Beginning
- Middle School Monday - Lightning Literature and Composition by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break
- The Great Grammar Discovery by Laura @
If you'd like to join the fair this week, use the linky below.
Some graphics created using elements from StoryRock