PDA

View Full Version : Confusion over 10th grade English/grammar/writing



bigrockfarmwv
03-31-2014, 11:09 PM
HELP!! Making myself crazy!! My daughter will begin homeschooling next fall as a sophomore and I am confused at to what we should be covering for literature, grammar and writing. At first I was going to follow what Timberdoodle uses for their curriculum which is Wordsmith Craftsman, Word Roots B2, Editor in Chief and Easy Grammar Ultimate Guide. Then, I realized that there was no literature piece and I started looking around (Read With The Best, Excellence In Literature, LLATL, etc). Now my head is spinning and would love some guidance. I want to make sure I am covering all the bases but I don't know what the bases are.... It feels like if I add a literature program to the Timberdoodle stuff, that it would be overwhelming???

She is in AP English 9 this year. She does not enjoy reading. (I have been able to get her to read Carl Hiaasen's Hoot, Scat and Chomp).

Any wisdom would be greatly appreciated.

farrarwilliams
04-01-2014, 12:42 AM
It's very unusual for 9th graders to take AP English. Is she actually prepping for an AP exam - if so, is it the lit or the writing one? I would expect any high school student in an honors English class to be beyond a book like Hoot, which my average fourth grader read this year. Is it that she doesn't read well or that she just doesn't enjoy literature?

As for English, or as it seems to be known these days, ELA... Yes, at various times, this subject covers grammar, writing, spelling, vocabulary and roots, and literature analysis and appreciation. Honestly, unless a student needs remediation, I would not do grammar at this age so I wouldn't personally want to do Easy Grammar. Also, I wouldn't do spelling or writing mechanics beyond in context with their own writing, so I wouldn't bother with something like Editor in Chief unless a student needed specific help on mechanics. To me, English at this age should be writing and literature.

I wouldn't get a lit curriculum either. I would make a book list, get the Spark notes for them, and go from there. If you want to do a specific focus, then I'd do that, but generally I'd think of it as slots, such as.... a coming of age novel, an American classic, a Shakespeare play, a contemporary novel, a female author, a poetry collection, etc. etc. And just read and discuss. That's the main component of literature. Of course, if she's a struggling reader, I'd want to focus on doing lower level books. If she isn't a struggling reader but simply dislikes literature, then I might want to look for great writing that's nonfiction and also read across the curriculum more.

For writing, I'd recommend Brave Writer's Help for High School.

bigrockfarmwv
04-01-2014, 07:17 AM
Thanks for your input and insight!! And I made a mistake, it is Pre AP English.

To answer your question, I think it is a combination of she doesn't enjoy reading and when she does read, she just skims enough to get the gist of what is going on.

I was thinking I would narrow down a reading list, let her research them and then choose the ones that she found most interesting.

I will check out Brave Writer.

ksb427
04-01-2014, 08:28 AM
I wouldn't get a lit curriculum either. I would make a book list, get the Spark notes for them, and go from there. If you want to do a specific focus, then I'd do that, but generally I'd think of it as slots, such as.... a coming of age novel, an American classic, a Shakespeare play, a contemporary novel, a female author, a poetry collection, etc. etc. And just read and discuss. That's the main component of literature. Of course, if she's a struggling reader, I'd want to focus on doing lower level books. If she isn't a struggling reader but simply dislikes literature, then I might want to look for great writing that's nonfiction and also read across the curriculum more.



I was wondering what to do about the literature component as well for my rising 10th-grader. At a library book sale, I picked up a teacher's annotated edition of an American Lit book (pre-1750 to present day) that I'm going to use as a guide as well as a British Lit textbook to use the same way. I figured for the earlier works I could pick them up at Project Gutenberg (http://www.gutenberg.org/) and other sites. Total amount spent on textbooks: $.50.

Epona968
04-01-2014, 09:37 AM
I was wondering what to do about the literature component as well for my rising 10th-grader. At a library book sale, I picked up a teacher's annotated edition of an American Lit book (pre-1750 to present day) that I'm going to use as a guide as well as a British Lit textbook to use the same way. I figured for the earlier works I could pick up the books via Project Gutenberg (http://www.gutenberg.org/) and other sites. Total amount spent on textbooks: $.50.


Check Bartleby.com: Great Books Online -- Quotes, Poems, Novels, Classics and hundreds more (http://www.bartleby.com/) as well -- the admins of that project seem to have found some stuff that Gutenberg has missed, and their formatting is often easier on the eyes.

crunchymum
04-01-2014, 09:50 AM
Thanks for your input and insight!! And I made a mistake, it is Pre AP English.

To answer your question, I think it is a combination of she doesn't enjoy reading and when she does read, she just skims enough to get the gist of what is going on.

I was thinking I would narrow down a reading list, let her research them and then choose the ones that she found most interesting.

I will check out Brave Writer.

Maybe a book club might help. I've just ordered this book (Haven't read it yet and it has some Christian content but I can update when I get it) What is The LITClub? (http://www.alident.org/what-is-litclub/)

Also loved this idea for the shakespeare sleepover society.
Homeschool World - Articles - Shakespeare and Creative Dramatics at Home - Practical Homeschooling Magazine (http://www.home-school.com/Articles/shakespeare-and-creative-dramatics-at-home.php)

I've been really impressed with the level of discussion that happens in my preteen son's book and writing club and how motivating it is for the kids to ready deeply in order to be able to participate. That whole positive peer pressure thing.

I have on my summer reading list How to Read a book
How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading (A Touchstone book): Mortimer J. Adler, Charles Van Doren: 9780671212094: Amazon.com: Books (http://www.amazon.com/How-Read-Book-Intelligent-Touchstone/dp/0671212095) and possibly using the study guide that goes with it if I think it will work for my younger kids next year. Possibly my high schooler too.

I also second Bravewriter.

If you want to do grammar I might try something like daily grams as a reinforcement. For spelling I might focus more on learning vocabulary - again maybe as a family word a day game and use word origin etc as a way to break down spelling patterns.

dbmamaz
04-01-2014, 10:10 AM
I actually started feeding my teen son books I had loved at that age, and it worked - the books recommended for teens are all SOO dark, and he was too sensitive for that. But I would start by finding what she might ENJOY reading . . even if its . . . what were those sparkly vampires? She must have SOME interest - what does she do in her free time?

Also, you might want to look at Bravewriter's Boomerang (http://http://www.bravewriter.com/program/language-arts-programs/the-boomerang/) . . . its aimed at grades 7-10 and has a book study each month on a different book. You can also select from previously published titles (http://www.bravewriter.com/program/language-arts-programs/the-boomerang/already-published-issues)if you want to let her select the books. But did have to MAKE my teen read fiction, he wouldnt do it on his own - its one of his subjects, read fiction for 30 minutes.

(haha now i'm wondering why I never did any boomerangs with my teen!)

Epona968
04-01-2014, 02:07 PM
I have on my summer reading list How to Read a book
How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading (A Touchstone book): Mortimer J. Adler, Charles Van Doren: 9780671212094: Amazon.com: Books (http://www.amazon.com/How-Read-Book-Intelligent-Touchstone/dp/0671212095) and possibly using the study guide that goes with it if I think it will work for my younger kids next year. Possibly my high schooler too.


Ooh, that's a tough one, crunchymum. It reduced my co-op class of (very) high achieving high schoolers to tears last year. Reading it for yourself and then integrating the techniques into your teaching style would probably work out better.

Unless, of course, you want to torture the kids (which is what I was accused of repeatedly) since a little torture can go a long way ;)

bigrockfarmwv
04-01-2014, 08:35 PM
I did check out the Boomerang and it looks like that might be something we could check out. I love to read (even remember buying the books we had to read in high school so I could have my very own copy!!) Unfortunately, she really has a "whatever" attitude about it. My dreams of discussing Oedipus Rex and The Odyssey (even Catcher in the Rye) are quickly being squashed....lol. Maybe once I can get her in a groove and find stuff she likes, we will be able to move on to bigger things.

bigrockfarmwv
04-01-2014, 08:45 PM
Farrar,

I checked out Spark Notes and WOW! I had no idea how much information was there (even down to the multiple choice quiz).

I have to take a step back because you have simplified this process and feels like a weight has been lifted off my shoulder (being unsure of what she needed to be working on). I do think we will also go with Brave Writer.

crunchymum
04-01-2014, 09:14 PM
Ooh, that's a tough one, crunchymum. It reduced my co-op class of (very) high achieving high schoolers to tears last year. Reading it for yourself and then integrating the techniques into your teaching style would probably work out better.

Unless, of course, you want to torture the kids (which is what I was accused of repeatedly) since a little torture can go a long way ;)

Thanks so much for the heads up. I have the book but haven't even cracked the spine yet. And I haven't bought the study guide. Did you use it?

My goal is definitely not torture. :)

farrarwilliams
04-02-2014, 12:04 AM
I did check out the Boomerang and it looks like that might be something we could check out. I love to read (even remember buying the books we had to read in high school so I could have my very own copy!!) Unfortunately, she really has a "whatever" attitude about it. My dreams of discussing Oedipus Rex and The Odyssey (even Catcher in the Rye) are quickly being squashed....lol. Maybe once I can get her in a groove and find stuff she likes, we will be able to move on to bigger things.

She has her whole life to get to those things, so don't sweat it. If you force it before she's ready or receptive, she'll never enjoy them. I think there can be different goals for high school English lit... to learn to appreciate texts, to learn to analyze texts, to learn to write about those texts, to learn to read difficult texts, to read some part of the canon of literature... Only the final goal is tied to those "great books." Don't get me wrong, I think they're important, but I think you don't do a child any favors skipping ahead to them. Work in bits by reading good but easier novels and harder and more challenging short stories and poetry. Make that your balance. A great YA sort of book like The Fault in Our Stars followed by a classic short story that's tougher like one by Hawthorne or Melville, followed by another more accessible classic like Tom Sawyer, followed by another short piece, maybe a single Canterbury Tale, followed by another YA novel... And so forth. Watch films (or go see a play) of Shakespeare instead of reading the real thing if she's not ready (better that way anyway!). Listen to audiobooks sometimes (it's not cheating!). Watch the film first sometimes before the book instead of as a "reward." There are gentler but still rigorous ways to balance it and get in some of this stuff.

dbmamaz
04-02-2014, 10:26 AM
farrar, after you write your science curriculum, could you please write a lit curriculum?!

ksb427
04-02-2014, 12:07 PM
farrar, after you write your science curriculum, could you please write a lit curriculum?!

LOL! I was thinking the same thing when I read her post this morning.

farrarwilliams
04-02-2014, 07:02 PM
I guess I don't think of it as something that needs a curriculum. I mean, having a book guide like Spark Notes or Cliff Notes is really useful, especially if you're teaching a ton of subjects... Optimally you read the book yourself and engage in it with the student, but I know from experience that that's easy in the classroom when it's your whole job and hard in homeschooling when you have to additionally prep every single other subject.

You know what would be cool would be if there was a website that could give you all the slot options for a well-rounded feeling lit course - a play, a coming of age novel, a poetry collection, an African-American author, a southern novel, etc. etc. And you choose your slots. And then it would pop up with a list of options for those slots, maybe loosely in order of challenge. So the African-American author might have something like Roll of Thunder Hear My Call as the remedial/lower level book (it's more middle school level) all the way up through The Bluest Eye as a higher level book. With, of course, notes for explicit content, and the ability to link back to see what other category slots a book might fill.

dbmamaz
04-02-2014, 07:21 PM
Yes, but I dont think in those categories. It doesnt occur to me to explore those varieties. idk.

farrarwilliams
04-02-2014, 07:37 PM
Huh. I could probably do that. And it would be easy enough that I could do it for free probably. But I don't even know what else is out there in high school lit.

bigrockfarmwv
04-02-2014, 09:36 PM
I guess I don't think of it as something that needs a curriculum. I mean, having a book guide like Spark Notes or Cliff Notes is really useful, especially if you're teaching a ton of subjects... Optimally you read the book yourself and engage in it with the student, but I know from experience that that's easy in the classroom when it's your whole job and hard in homeschooling when you have to additionally prep every single other subject.

You know what would be cool would be if there was a website that could give you all the slot options for a well-rounded feeling lit course - a play, a coming of age novel, a poetry collection, an African-American author, a southern novel, etc. etc. And you choose your slots. And then it would pop up with a list of options for those slots, maybe loosely in order of challenge. So the African-American author might have something like Roll of Thunder Hear My Call as the remedial/lower level book (it's more middle school level) all the way up through The Bluest Eye as a higher level book. With, of course, notes for explicit content, and the ability to link back to see what other category slots a book might fill.

What an amazing idea!! I'd pay to use something like that.

dbmamaz
04-02-2014, 10:20 PM
but you could also include what books have arrows or boomerangs or slingshots from bravewriter, link to the cliff notes (which are free on line now), or these Glencoe Literature: Literature Library (http://www.glencoe.com/sec/literature/litlibrary/)

aspiecat
04-05-2014, 12:42 PM
HELP!! Making myself crazy!! My daughter will begin homeschooling next fall as a sophomore and I am confused at to what we should be covering for literature, grammar and writing. At first I was going to follow what Timberdoodle uses for their curriculum which is Wordsmith Craftsman, Word Roots B2, Editor in Chief and Easy Grammar Ultimate Guide. Then, I realized that there was no literature piece and I started looking around (Read With The Best, Excellence In Literature, LLATL, etc). Now my head is spinning and would love some guidance. I want to make sure I am covering all the bases but I don't know what the bases are.... It feels like if I add a literature program to the Timberdoodle stuff, that it would be overwhelming???

She is in AP English 9 this year. She does not enjoy reading. (I have been able to get her to read Carl Hiaasen's Hoot, Scat and Chomp).

Any wisdom would be greatly appreciated.

I'm probably coming into this discussion a bit late, and I also probably don't have a lot to offer in the way of suggesting something suitable for your DD, but as I have a similar dilemma in regards to my DS (14), who is going back to homeschooling as of this coming Monday (given him Spring Break to "recover" from his one term at the local High School). He is NOT a reader, even though he has BEEN reading from age 3, and has had an adult reading ability and comprehension level from age 11. He simply only wants to read EXACTLY what interests him, and, being an Aspie, that is usually rather specific. Non-fiction appeals far more than fiction, and I can't remember the last time he willingly read a novel (I'm not counting school novels, as he didn't choose 'em).

So in regards to covering English for the rest of his Freshman year and his Sophomore year, I thought I'd try and make English, as a subject, more appealing to him. Ms Google was rather helpful and I found Excavating English | Product Categories | The Basement Workshop Store (http://store.ellenjmchenry.com/?product_cat=excavating-english), which I have since bought as a PDF. The history aspect will interest my DS, and as I studied the history and development of the English language at university myself, I have the background to interact with him. The problem with the literature side of English I won't worry about for the time being - I just want him to not dread the subject for a change. Ironically, he is very good at English, and writes very mature poetry - he just dislikes having to read and analyse books in which he is not interested.