Thursday, September 18, 2008

Language Arts...

This subject has been the thorn in my side since we started. I have never felt settled and I have always been looking for the next best thing, questioning constantly if I'm missing something. I have read what Ruth Beechick, Charlotte Mason, Susan Wise Bauer and the Bluedorns have to say about language arts. I have tried Sonlight, but dropped it fearing that it wasn't enough, even though my daughter enjoyed it and was having sucess with it.

This week princess has been a bit sick, so it has given me some extra time to evaluate the year so far. We are in week 6, so I'm beginning to see what's working and what's not. For the past several weeks, princess has rolled her eyes everytime I pull out First Language Lessons. So we tried speeding it up a bit, but still the eyes roll. Hold on to that thought a minute...

At the beginning of the year I tried some of the Sonlight LA2 I own. It's the older version, one day you do copywork, the next you look for grammar principles in the passage. Princess loved the circle, box and underline, for her it was a fun way to learn grammar, but I put it aside fearing it wasn't enough structure. Hold that thought a minute...

Last night I ran across a lecture by Cindy Rushton called "Language Arts the Easy Way". In it she details how she did LA and how her kids turned out. One thing really resonated with me was when she said that all the philosophies contain three main things, reading, narration and copywork. She's right, I know because I've read them all!

So back to the eye rolling and princess' love of Sonlight's LA, along with my goals of reading, narrating and writing daily and here is the LA plan. We are already doing reading, narration and copywork so those stay. My plan is to choose one of our copywork's every week and use the grammar principles laid out in the first year of FLL, then apply them to that passage(, box, underline), but only once a week. On top of that Cindy inspired me to let princess choose some of her own copywork (shocking gasp!, I know!). I want to see what my daughter considers important enough to write down and remember. We will keep All About Spelling because I think it's a great program! It uses phonics to teach spelling, so it could fall under reading, right?

So from now on my LA curriculum choices are going to have three things, reading(aloud and to self), narrations(across the subjects) and writing daily(ones I assign and one's she has chosen). I think that what I already have will give me the tools to accomplish this.

I just wanted to publically say thanks to Cindy for her encouragement that Language Arts can be easy! I really feel like this is a banner year, when I am becoming more knowledgeable as a teacher of what's available and how princess learns. I feel a confidence and peace in my choices that I've never had before. So many people/authors have influenced my homeschooling journey and I am appreciative of the wealth of information out there! Just had to share some of what's going on in my head.

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