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GThomas
07-21-2013, 05:53 PM
:confused:My type A personality has gotten the best of me. I've researched my way into a corner and can't see the forest for the trees.

I'm looking for a Language Arts program for my rising 7th grade dd. She may return to the school system so I am trying to keep her on track with Standards. My wish list is:


comprehensive
Includes 6 Traits of Writing
Covers Standards
Teaches student self-assessment
Teaches how to study authors and their styles
Creative writing
Expository writing
Enjoyable
literary analysis



I think I've narrowed it down to either Holt Elements of Language or Voyages in English (ViE). On the side I have purchased Exploring Poetry: A Journey Through the Forms and Fundamentals of Poetry.

Anyone have experiences with either Holt or ViE they can share?

************************

If anyone one is interested, here is my truncated compilation of comprehensive secular Language Arts for 7th Grade level. I have cut and paste bits and pieces of reviews from Cathy Duffy and Rainbow Resources.

Write Source
$160
Information (http://www.rainbowresource.com/prodlist.php?subject=7&category=7391)
Purchase (http://www.rainbowresource.com/product/Write+Source+%282012+Edition%29+Grade+7+Set/051633/9fdadc344c457957b928f70b?subject=7&category=7656)

spiral approach

extensive coverage of the six traits of writing

evaluation rubrics based on these traits

lots of writing samples

Graphic organizers used liberally

taking notes, summarizing and paraphrasing, keeping journals and learning logs, and giving speeches.

homeschool-friendly

could be almost self-instructional

Prentice Hall: Writing and Grammar Homeschool Bundle Grade 7
$90
Information (http://www.rainbowresource.com/proddtl.php?id=052345)

solid writing and grammar program

a standard five-day weekly format

Six Traits writing model.

grading rubrics

Voyages in English
$70 + $102 + $17 + $24 + $3 = $216
Purchase (http://www.rainbowresource.com/product/Voyages+in+English+2011+Grade+7+Student/048188/9fdadc344c457957b928f70b?subject=7&category=6304)

mastery

traditional and classical

intense one or two year middle-school skill development.

apprenticeship approach: mentored by modeling techniques

fair amount of teacher-student interaction, but teacher preparation is almost non-existent because the lessons are well laid out and easy to follow.

student‘s scoring rubric as well as additional self-assessment tools

Exploring Poetry: A Journey Through the Forms and Fundamentals of Poetry
$48
Information (http://cathyduffyreviews.com/grammar-composition/Exploring-Poetry.htm)
Purchase (http://www.blackbirdandcompany.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=24)

dedicate more time and attention to the study of poetry

7-week exploration of poetry in sort of a unit study approach.

Holt Elements of Language
$180
Information (http://cathyduffyreviews.com/grammar-composition/Elements-of-language.htm)
Purchase (http://www.rainbowresource.com/product/Holt+Elements+of+Language+Homeschool+Package+Grade +7+%28First+Course%29/047823)

Comprehensive, school textbook package.

1.) grammar, usage and mechanics; 2.) sentences and paragraphs; and 3.) communications.

writing models

Diagramming

“Gold standard” due to Warriner’s mastery approach of “rule, example, and practice”

brings it all together with reading and writing workshops

Teacher DVD-ROM

strong language arts courses that meet state and national standards.

The Creative Writer
$12
Focus on enjoying writing. Middle school is all creative, not expository. Directed by the parent.
Information (http://cathyduffyreviews.com/grammar-composition/creative-writer.htm)
Purchase (http://www.amazon.com/The-Creative-Writer-Level-Two/dp/193333956X/ref=pd_sim_b_3)

Essentials in Writing
$60
Information (http://cathyduffyreviews.com/grammar-composition/Essentials-in-Writing.htm)
Purchase (http://www.essentialsinwriting.com/seventh-grade.php)

Has video instruction on DVDs.

Focus is on composition and grammar is secondary.

Instructor is energetic, works on a whiteboard while teaching.

comprehensive course

composition instruction is advanced, but in increments that are manageable

graphic organizers

Check list for students to verify assignment.

Saxon Grammar and Writing
$55
One of Cathy Duffy’s top 101
Information (http://cathyduffyreviews.com/grammar-composition/saxon-grammar-writing.htm)
Purchase (http://www.rainbowresource.com/product/Grammar+%26amp%3B+Writing+7+Complete+H-S+Kit+2ED/022011/9fdadc344c457957b928f70b?subject=7&category=8156)

Sprial

work independently. New concepts taught in small increments. continual review and building upon prior concepts

comprehensive English program

stronger composition component than many other comprehensive programs

mostly composition skills

Complete Writing Lessons for the Middle Grades
$12
Information (http://cathyduffyreviews.com/grammar-composition/complete-writing-middle.htm)
Purchase (http://www.rainbowresource.com/product/Complete+Writing+Lessons+for+the+Middle+Grades/011119)

"zany."

effectively teaches skills in an enjoyable way and is easy for teachers to use.

Writing for 100 Days & Fairview's Guide to Composition and Essay Writing
One of Cathy Duffy’s top 101
$17
Information (http://cathyduffyreviews.com/grammar-composition/writing-for-100-days.htm)
Purchase (http://www.rainbowresource.com/product/Fairview%92s+Guide+to+Comp+and+Essay+Writing/003014)

great mix of skills instruction, writing experience, and enjoyability.

poetry, fiction, business letters, news reports, interviews, television commercials, technical, and travel.

reading journal and seek out different types and styles of essays from different writers

persuasive essay, compare and contrast, personal essay.


The Writer's Jungle: A Survivor's Guide to Writing With Kids
$120 for Gold Package with Binder
Information (http://cathyduffyreviews.com/grammar-composition/writers-jungle-brave-writer.htm)
Purchase (http://www.bravewriter.com)

Add the Boomerang: Copy, dictation, literary analysis
$80
The Boomerang (http://www.bravewriter.com/program/language-arts-programs/the-boomerang/)

binder with 20 tabbed dividers

teaches parents how to teach writing skills, but parents can learn along with their children.

emphasis on literary elements rather than grammar These play second fiddle.

Charlotte Mason interacting with “writing that’s already written”

Razzle Dazzle Expository Writing, Creative Writing, Daily Dazzles, and The Book on How to Really Teach Writing
$100 + $100 + $70 = $270
Information (http://cathyduffyreviews.com/grammar-composition/razzle-dazzle-writing.htm)
Purchase (http://www.rdlco.com/?)

Expository Writing:
target students in grades 4 through 8

work independently

graphic organizer template for students

write at least two rough drafts

self-evaluate

6 Traits of Writing

Creative Writing:
Instructions are written to the teacher rather than the student

Daily Dazzles:
daily language arts skill review

Teaching Writing: Structure and Style in Writing Seminar
One of Cathy Duffy’s top 101
$170
Information (http://cathyduffyreviews.com/grammar-composition/structure-and-style.htm)
Purchase (http://www.rainbowresource.com/product/sku/012487/9fdadc344c457957b928f70b)

writing seminars for parents and students that overcome the confidence barrier via DVDs

does not try to cover all types of creative and expository writing

Wordsmith: A Creative Writing Course for Young People
One of Cathy Duffy’s top 101
$12.50
Information (http://cathyduffyreviews.com/grammar-composition/Wordsmith-series.htm)
Purchase (http://www.rainbowresource.com/product/Wordsmith/015773)

grammar, sentence construction, compositions.


does not teach all the different forms of writing

Lesson organization is clear and well designed.

author’s humorous touches

Write On
$25
Information (http://cathyduffyreviews.com/grammar-composition/Write-On.htm)
Purchase (http://www.kid-friendly-homeschool-curriculum.com/homeschool-writing-curriculum.html)

one hundred lessons

easy for parents to figure out

WriteShop: An Incremental Writing Program
One of Cathy Duffy’s top 101
$56 + $46 = $102
Information (http://cathyduffyreviews.com/grammar-composition/writeshop.htm)
Purchase (http://www.rainbowresource.com/product/WriteShop%3A+Incremental+Writing+Program+Teacher+M anual+%28for+Workbooks+1+%26+2%29/002366)
More Information (http://www.rainbowresource.com/proddtl.php?id=002472)

detailed daily lesson plans and instructions for teachers

copying and dictation

you will find occasional biblical references,

for parents who need lots of help to teach writing.


atomicgirl
07-22-2013, 01:32 PM
I'm researching myself into a corner, too, if that's any consolation. Thanks for the list.

GThomas
07-22-2013, 01:48 PM
You're welcome and good luck! I'm going to take myself out for a tea or something and force myself off the computer (need to grocery shop too) ;)

quabbin
07-22-2013, 02:41 PM
I used the Elements of Language series when I taught school. It was good enough, although you should feel free to skip the parts that are too easy (a lot of the usage and, I'd hope for most seventh-graders, quite a bit of the mechanics). You can cover grammar and composition fairly well with it.
You'll want something else for reading, although if she loves to read you can mostly let her make her own choices and just provide a novel or two a month that you'd like her to read as well.

I've seen WriteSource and sort of felt it wasn't a lot for the price. It's rather short, more of a handbook.

atomicgirl
07-22-2013, 02:41 PM
Ha! I just finalized my "to buy" list and then meant to go grocery shopping, but I couldn't resist looking on here one. more. time. before hitting "buy"

lakersey
07-22-2013, 03:34 PM
Wow. That's a great list. We're trying Cover Story this year, but I'm hanging on to that list for next year.

bcnlvr
07-22-2013, 03:58 PM
I'm using MBtP for LA this year (supp with some MCT grammar and writing, per ds request). MBtP includes all components, is standards-based, and uses the 6 traits of writing.

MrsLOLcat
07-22-2013, 04:27 PM
Wow. That's a great list. We're trying Cover Story this year, but I'm hanging on to that list for next year.

Please let us know how this works! I'm actually poking around that site right now and am curious to see how it works. Some families are considering using it for the writing club at our homeschool group, but it's geared to kids older than mine are right now. I want to hear about experiences.

GThomas
07-22-2013, 07:27 PM
Thank you quabbin; that's very helpful! I think I fell down a bit on getting enough composition in her last year so I want to make sure we do a good job with it this year. She does love to read. I printed out a bunch of reviews of books from Amazon (that I choose because they were Newberry Award Winners...cause I don't know what else to do). Every time she's ready for a new book she gets to choose from the stack of print outs. That way I know she's at least getting good books. Any other suggestions on where to find a list of good books? I read somewhere that in Middle School they also need to start reading a lot of non-fiction. I haven't thought about what those might be.

GThomas
07-22-2013, 07:32 PM
lakersey, I didn't know about Cover Story. Sounds like a great writing program. I will keep that in mind as well. Are you doing grammar on the side or skipping it for middle school? Oh the list gets even longer....

atomicgirl
07-22-2013, 07:37 PM
Any other suggestions on where to find a list of good books? I read somewhere that in Middle School they also need to start reading a lot of non-fiction. I haven't thought about what those might be.

This list (http://www.upworthy.com/95-young-adult-books-to-read-this-summer-instead-of-reading-harry-potter-again-5) popped up on FB yesterday. I was saving it, because I was going to edit it and add to it for my DD's reading choice list for next year. Some of the books with have themes that my DD won't be able to comprehend well, and there are books missing that I planned to offer, but it looks like a good foundation document.

GThomas
07-22-2013, 07:54 PM
Hi bcnlvr. I forgot all about MBtP. I didn't realize you could purchase curriculum individually. Have you used it before? I'm reading through reviews and it sounds like it's good for kids who like to do arts and crafts type projects. My dd is sort of along those lines. Ok, it's added to my list. Thanks!

GThomas
07-22-2013, 07:59 PM
Eeks! I think I deleted your last post atomicgirl! Sorry. I meant to just delete my response and then re-respond. The list looks great. I very much appreciate it. Here it is for anyone else interested.

95 Young Adult Books To Read This Summer Instead Of Reading 'Harry Potter' AGAIN (http://www.upworthy.com/95-young-adult-books-to-read-this-summer-instead-of-reading-harry-potter-again-5)

GThomas
07-22-2013, 09:56 PM
lakersey, I just went through the 4 choices I now have for my dd. She said yes to everything (she's an optimist) but then went bananas over Cover Story. I expect that as we do more homeschooling (it's a week by week decision sometimes!) I will feel more comfortable moving away from the "safer" options of traditional textbooks. I'm going to sleep on it but I think we may go that route. I can see it being right up her alley. Thanks again for the suggestion.

GThomas
07-23-2013, 05:40 PM
This list (http://www.upworthy.com/95-young-adult-books-to-read-this-summer-instead-of-reading-harry-potter-again-5) popped up on FB yesterday. I was saving it, because I was going to edit it and add to it for my DD's reading choice list for next year. Some of the books with have themes that my DD won't be able to comprehend well, and there are books missing that I planned to offer, but it looks like a good foundation document.

AtomicGirl I just came across this list of books (http://www.classical-homeschooling.org/celoop/1000.html) in case it's helpful. The list isn't secular but I recognize many books that are secular or I would still want my kids to read.