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  1. #1

    Default Feedback on Michael Clay Thompson or other options for grammar/writing curriculum

    I'm pretty frustrated with the endless search for comprehensive Language Arts/Grammar/Vocab/Spelling/Writing instruction. We've tried First Language Lessons, Easy Grammar, Exercises in English, Steck Vaughn, Fix it Grammar, Jump In (writing), Great Source, etc.

    Well Trained Mind is awesome, but does so much diagramming that we lost interest. I know she's come out with the Grammar 5 - 8th grade series, but I'm hesitant. I've been reading through the MCT website, and have done so before - can folks who have used the curriculum offer some feedback: did your kid engage with the material? Was it fun? memorable? Was there a sense of progressive learning? I'm getting most concerned with the fact that my 5th grader, who reads day and night, doesn't like to write at all. Has the MCT curriculum helped any kids engage more in writing? Did you supplement with other writing curriculum?


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    My daughter has used one of the MCT books (e-book version). She likes reading through it on her own, and the learning sticks at least in the short term. I have not used it much though, someone on here has though, so maybe they will add their thoughts.

    My daughter was a very reluctant writer. It stressed her out a lot and she hated it. What has helped her engage more in writing and come to enjoy it is not sticking to any one thing completely. She likes a mix of things. And using Bravewriter has been instrumental in that for us. We have used Jot it Down and Partnership Writing for writing projects, and we use the general Bravewriter "lifestyle" of creating a rich world of ideas/words that gives her things to write about (enjoying poetry, movies, art, nature etc.) and not putting pressure on her to write on her own or perfectly. I have a list of what qualifies as writing time (copywork, grammar, word roots, writing project, research project, free writing, instructional writing, poetry etc.), and she just picks what she feels like doing for that day and writes it on her daily record of what she did. Then if she is doing too much of certain things and avoiding others, I will give her a gentle push by making some a couple of things compulsory for the week and leaving her to have three free choices.
    NZ homeschoolers (school year runs start Feb to mid Dec).
    DD 12 (year 7) and DD 7 (year 2).
    Fourth year homeschooling.
    Part-time freelance science copyeditor.

  4. #3


    Wow, I found this post in my search as I am again reviewing English curriculum for my rising 7th grader (same kid as my original post). We loved MCT this year, but I am looking for more range this coming year. I've actually been considering incorporating Brave-Writery stuff this year in an effort to create more flexibility and "enchantment" into our homeschool. Glad to see your suggestion from last year and, you know, it's just perfect! Partnership writing and Arrow/Boomerang titles are on my shortlist. Thanks again!

  5. #4


    Just throwing this out there for consideration. In middle and high school, DS was a VERY reluctant writer. Arguments, getting away with the least amount he could. I backed off trying to teach it to him directly, just making sure that he read good literature, knew his grammar rules and could spell decently.

    Fast forward to college--he wrote papers ALL.THE.TIME and did very well on them. Sometimes I think motivation is the key we lack in trying to force kids to write.

    Just an point of view.

    Homeschooled two kids for 11 years, now trying to pay it forward

    Daughter -- a University of Iowa graduate: BA in English with Creative Writing, BA in Journalism, and a minor in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies

    Son -- a Purdue University graduate: BS in Computer Science, minor in math, geology, anthropology, and history

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Feedback on Michael Clay Thompson or other options for grammar/writing curriculum