PDA

View Full Version : Ugh, grammar and writing



summer94
06-18-2014, 03:29 PM
OK,
So I got some test results back and am realizing that learning the "rules" and such to grammar, punctuation, etc just isn't gong to work for this kiddo (my 6th grader, soon to be 7th grader). I really feel we need a new approach and I think that he would learn these "rules" better in a practical application vs a just memorize how to use them, then use them that way approach.

Ideally, I would love some sort of writing curriculum that teaches this within the context of learning how to write. Then he'll see the how's and why's better. Problem is, I am just like him. I suuuuck at writing. I'm not spectacular with punctuation or grammar. Never have been. Maybe if I hadn't been taught so many "rules" vs actually putting them in to practice, I'd be better at it.

So any suggestions? He's dysgraphic/dyslexic, so we can't do a ton of writing and we need to do it in small chunks since he also has a working memory deficit.

I'm looking for 1. either a online program with a teacher or 2. a easy (VERY easy) to implement program that will teach grammar and such in a more organic way...learning by doing.

ETA: He also HATES reading, so I know this is going to be a pain in the butt!

ejsmom
06-18-2014, 04:14 PM
Michael Clay Thompson? We like the Giggly Guide to Grammar for getting the "why".

farrarwilliams
06-18-2014, 06:06 PM
Why not just not do grammar? There is a lot of research to support what you're saying - that knowing the rules doesn't translate to a student's own writing.

I'd focus on writing, if I were you. I'm a Brave Writer person, but that's not very open and go.

dbmamaz
06-18-2014, 07:28 PM
Ok, but what does she do if her kids are not using proper grammar in their writing? MCT is pretty rigorous, even used several years late. For 'bravewriter' focus, would you suggest longer copywork passages, so they get practice with proper sentence structure?

summer94
06-18-2014, 08:56 PM
I have Bravewriter, honestly, I cracked it open and was totally overwhelmed. But I have the same issues he does. I have ADD, comprehension (when it's something I'm not "in" to) and working memory problems, though, not as bad as his. I want to like Bravewriter, maybe I'm making it harder than it is.

I've thought about MCT, so maybe I should revisit it?

We did so much grammar, punctation etc this year, and it seems none of it "took". ugh

He's so un-amused with everything too, so something that is fun or silly would be great.

farrarwilliams
06-18-2014, 08:56 PM
I never know how to respond in threads like this. I mean, yes, I would do longer copywork and dictation. I would cover it through practicing more and more. If you focus on freewrites and getting your own voice down, then that's working on fluency with writing and bringing oral voice to written. I'd maybe try some oral storytelling. I'd make writing about whatever he's into. I'd practice that revision stuff. I'd read his writing aloud to him and see if he can find grammatical mistakes. Most of us don't make mistakes in spoken language, so hearing it often helps a lot.

Also Faltering Ownership from Brave Writer should be out by the end of the summer, and he should be the right age/stage for it.

But I have a feeling that's too free form for Summer... it's not what she asked for. She wants something like... I don't know... Essentials in Writing? IEW? Writing and Rhetoric? Something more workbook based? I don't have a ton of experience with those programs, so I'm never sure which is right. I have a feeling it's not MCT though and I do have experience with that. MCT has a huge focus on grammar and analysis. I think that would just be a chore for a kid who's really struggling, though I could be wrong. We only tried the lower level.

Mostly I just wanted to give her permission to say, it's okay if this program doesn't cover grammar. If it's a "writing" program, then that's enough.

summer94
06-18-2014, 09:10 PM
Yea, I'm totally fine with a program that doesn't teach grammar the way that most. Honestly, you have hit the nail on the head. He can hear it, but when he's reading it, it doesn't "click".

He's not going to be a writer, no doubt about it, so I'm not looking for anything close to perfection. I just want him to able to write well enough to not look like an idiot to the layperson!

Pilgrim
06-18-2014, 09:37 PM
Reading Eggspress (http://readingeggspress.com/) is a colorful online program. The focus is reading comprehension and spelling, but there's a good amount of grammar as well. My daughter with dyslexia enjoyed it.

We've used the Flash Kids (http://www.flashkids.com/products/view/Language-Arts/Sixth-Grade/Language-Arts-Grade-6-9781411404144/)series with good results, too. The material from 4th grade to 8th grade is very similar, so no matter what grade level you buy, the basics are still there. The exercises are colorful, clear, and brief. The progression from grammar rules toward writing paragraphs is effective as well. Their website offers several free worksheet downloads so you and your son can try them out.

Finally, there are some free worksheets here (http://www.k12reader.com/grade-level/middle-school/), including punctuation, etc. We've used them to supplement once in a while.

A strong point of each of these is that they're consumed in little bites.

DD does well with capitalization, punctuation, and comma usage (it's the spelling and handwriting that she struggles with most...as well as the reading, of course). I know the tools I mention here have helped in those respects and have led to her being a fairly good writer considering her disability.

Good luck.

justabout
06-18-2014, 11:01 PM
Pilgrim, where is the grammar in ReadingEggspress ? We couldn't find anything except the stadium, which focused on testing what you already knew. I've an option to purchase it v cheaply for next year but hadn't considered it because I didn't think there was anything to TEACH grammar in it. If I'm wrong, I'll rethink.

Batgirl
06-18-2014, 11:09 PM
What about Mbtp? Is there a unit for older ages that covers grammar? That's a lot of learning by doing and there's lots of writing in that curriculum.

Here's the link to the summary of skills for the first concept in 11-13.

State and National Standards Covered in Moving Beyond the Page Age 11-13 - Concept 1: Semester 1 (http://www.movingbeyondthepage.com/summaryofskills.aspx?conceptID=49)

darkelf
06-19-2014, 12:47 AM
Have you tried Easy Grammar?
It is basically editing. You are looking for mistakes and "fixing" them.

Copy work didn't work my my kids. My 2 older boys turned their brains off and just copied. They couldn't even tell you what they copied. Learning was nil. My 3rd has dysgraphia and easy grammar helped him. If you buy the workbook and teacher's edition, they just fix the mistakes. (No copying)

My son is using an online program this summer, the school district paid for it, so I'm not sure it is for everyone. He hasn't complained so far.

summer94
06-19-2014, 01:51 AM
Have you tried Easy Grammar?
It is basically editing. You are looking for mistakes and "fixing" them.

Copy work didn't work my my kids. My 2 older boys turned their brains off and just copied. They couldn't even tell you what they copied. Learning was nil. My 3rd has dysgraphia and easy grammar helped him. If you buy the workbook and teacher's edition, they just fix the mistakes. (No copying)

My son is using an online program this summer, the school district paid for it, so I'm not sure it is for everyone. He hasn't complained so far.

What is the name of the online program?

I think mine would do the same with copy work. He would copy it and zone out, he has that ability lol

groovymom2000
06-19-2014, 02:03 PM
I am kind of contemplating the Write at Home program this year. My son is fine with grammar, because he likes things that are "rules-based" or factual, but when it comes to actually sitting down and writing, we start to butt heads. It's expensive though, and not self-paced. But I am thinking of trying it for a year to see where he is and how he does writing for someone else. It's his weakest area, and I am not confident enough to help him adequately. WriteAtHome® - We teach writing so you don't have to! (http://www.writeathome.com/)

CloverBee&Reverie
06-19-2014, 04:20 PM
Growing With Grammar? (http://www.growingwithgrammar.com)

DD loves it- 3x a week digestible chunks of a concept and with worksheet practice. It's open and go, student-directed and no prep for the parents. I personally get hives when I pick it up but that's just me, we tried MCT Grammar Town and it was lovely but didn't take, she wanted something more incremental, black & white & worksheety. We started in level 5 last fall and are now almost finishing level 6 and her grammar skills have grown quite a bit.

darkelf
06-19-2014, 06:46 PM
My son said is is mobymax.com

He is using the grammar and math. He really likes it.

summer94
06-19-2014, 11:07 PM
Yea, we've been using mobymax, still not sticking.

Has anyone heard of Home | Home2Teach.com (http://www.home2teach.com) ??

darkelf
06-20-2014, 01:05 AM
Have you tried diagraming?

Maybe that would help things stick. I would work on one sentence a day.

groovymom2000
06-22-2014, 08:53 PM
Yea, we've been using mobymax, still not sticking.

Has anyone heard of Home | Home2Teach.com (http://www.home2teach.com) ??

Thanks for this! I knew there was another online writing program that I had looked at in the past-I just couldn't remember it. I haven't used it, but it's now in my thoughts. It's much cheaper than the other one that I was looking at, and the 6 week sessions gives us more flexibility.

aspiecat
06-23-2014, 08:20 AM
Has anyone heard of Home | Home2Teach.com (http://www.home2teach.com) ??

I've started a separate thread in the Curriculum sub-forum regarding this program, but no responses yet. I can only assume no SHS who has used it has read either this or my thread, or it's not caught anyone's interest enough yet to warrant them trying it out.

Aspie

reefgazer1963
06-23-2014, 11:08 PM
I think MCT did a good job connecting the dots between grammar rules and implementing those grammar rules, so it might be worth re-visiting. But honestly (and I know this isn't going to sit well on this board and so I'm apologizing for this in advance), Rod and Staff does the same thing, for a lot less money, and in a much more straightforward way. You get taught a grammar/punctuation rule and then apply it in your lesson; one rule at a time, in a very incremental way. I opted to go with this curriculum for DS next year because it is scripted and open and go, will suit DS's git-her-done kind of work ethic, and it will obviously get the job done effectively. If you are not totally anti-religion and can look at Bible verses the same way you look at oh, Aesop's Fables or Greek mythology, you might want to consider it. If you can't get past the religion, though, it won't be a curriculum you adapt and use.


I have Bravewriter, honestly, I cracked it open and was totally overwhelmed. But I have the same issues he does. I have ADD, comprehension (when it's something I'm not "in" to) and working memory problems, though, not as bad as his. I want to like Bravewriter, maybe I'm making it harder than it is.

I've thought about MCT, so maybe I should revisit it?

We did so much grammar, punctation etc this year, and it seems none of it "took". ugh

He's so un-amused with everything too, so something that is fun or silly would be great.

summer94
06-25-2014, 01:30 PM
I think MCT did a good job connecting the dots between grammar rules and implementing those grammar rules, so it might be worth re-visiting. But honestly (and I know this isn't going to sit well on this board and so I'm apologizing for this in advance), Rod and Staff does the same thing, for a lot less money, and in a much more straightforward way. You get taught a grammar/punctuation rule and then apply it in your lesson; one rule at a time, in a very incremental way. I opted to go with this curriculum for DS next year because it is scripted and open and go, will suit DS's git-her-done kind of work ethic, and it will obviously get the job done effectively. If you are not totally anti-religion and can look at Bible verses the same way you look at oh, Aesop's Fables or Greek mythology, you might want to consider it. If you can't get past the religion, though, it won't be a curriculum you adapt and use.

The straightforward way is what is not working for him. That is what we've been doing for the last year. I really think he needs to learn it by doing vs trying to remember rules. I just bought a used copy of a unit or whatever it's called of MBTP, I think I really like it. I told him there will be more reading this year, he's not thrilled, but he's taking a reading comprehension course this summer so hopefully it will help that.

summer94
06-27-2014, 09:21 PM
Ok, I think I have decided what to do. I am going to enroll both of them in home2teach. The program seems well laid out and gets LA off of me, which is good because I suck at teaching LA and mobymax isn't cutting it for them. Crossing my fingers!

Now I just need to get them reading more. Or at least getting my middle one reading more. My daughter reads at night before going to bed, but my son, hates it. So as much as I'd love to get him to read more literature that they are "supposed" to be reading, I'll have to stick with graphic novels for now while we work on his comprehension and working memory deficits.

bcnlvr
06-28-2014, 06:44 PM
We like MCT for grammar. The instruction part is short and interesting. After that book is done (6-9 weeks), ds9 starts the practice book. We do 4 sentences per week....ds copies the sentence and then does 4-level analysis. It is fast and easily done.

We also do Latin to help with Language Arts.

For writing I have used Classical Writing, MCT, MBtP, and Stack the Deck. StD is great and I am using it for ds9 in the fall along with Paragraph Town (MCT). MBtP is great too, but we are not using their lit, so the writing is moot for us (MBtP is all integrated). We will spend 9 weeks or so on Stack and then start Paragraph Town.

DS12 is in a charter school now and his teachers are amazed at his writing. He gets asked, "Did your parents help you write this?" He was a very reluctant and mediocre writer when we started HSing in 3rd grade. Now he can research and crank out a MLA-format paper no problem. (7th grade!!) I attribute this to breaking through the "fear" of writing and teaching it in a systematic way. CtD and MCT both do that for us.

amradiofairyland
06-29-2014, 01:45 PM
Not sure if this is the kind of thing you're looking for, but my daughter really enjoyed an app called Grammaropolis (if you google it, you'll see they have a website where you can sample their materials). It's sort of Schoolhouse-Rock-ish in nature--songs and little animated skits with personified parts of speech. We also made her a set of refrigerator magnets with words color-coded by parts of speech (like a magnet poetry kit; we found magnet pages at a craft store and just printed our own), so she could play around with sentence construction. We also use MCT.

reefgazer1963
07-06-2014, 08:55 PM
Oops, yes, I misunderstood your original post.



The straightforward way is what is not working for him. That is what we've been doing for the last year. I really think he needs to learn it by doing vs trying to remember rules. I just bought a used copy of a unit or whatever it's called of MBTP, I think I really like it. I told him there will be more reading this year, he's not thrilled, but he's taking a reading comprehension course this summer so hopefully it will help that.

groovymom2000
07-07-2014, 10:29 AM
Well, I decided to go with WriteAtHome, so I'll report back in a few months and let people know how it's going. The classes don't start until the end of August.

summer94
07-07-2014, 07:07 PM
Well, I decided to go with WriteAtHome, so I'll report back in a few months and let people know how it's going. The classes don't start until the end of August.

Yes, I'm curious about this one as well. But we are going with home2teach since it's cheaper for now.