language arts for a fluent reader? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 08-18-2010, 07:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My daughter just turned five and would have started kindergarten this week(!) I am trying to figure out how to proceed in her language arts, but I am not really sure what I should be doing. She is what I would call an independent and fluent reader. She can read in her head, and when she reads aloud, it is smooth with very few pauses. I think she "sight reads" at this point, but I know she can sound out words too (she informed me the other day that her breakfast cereal has "no artificial flavors or preservatives" )


She has plenty of time to read and be read to, but I'm not sure what else to work on. So much of the language arts materials for her grade level are geared toward learning to read. Should I begin spelling? Get some kind of phonics program to help her progress in her writing (she spells phonetically)? We will definitely work on handwriting, as this is a source of frustration for her(I'm thinking Cursive First maybe). But can anyone recommend language arts materials suitable for her age and level? I know I should be doing something...just not sure what

Thanks in Advance,
~naismama
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#2 of 12 Old 08-18-2010, 08:39 PM
 
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Subbing to see what others think. One of my twins is like your dd, been reading for about a year. So far we just follow their lead and it seems to be working well for them, but like I said, I'm Curious and open to ideas.

~helen~ mama to 5 yo twins jonas and micah and my 2 yo baby boy eli
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#3 of 12 Old 08-18-2010, 09:16 PM
 
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I would just help her choose good literature and see where it leads you - reenacting stories as plays or puppet shows, practicing retelling stories, talking about "what ifs" (like what if character x made choice y instead of choice z), talking about different types of literature (fiction, non-fiction, poetry, plays, etc), talking about character, setting, plot etc (in an age appropriate way, no pressure, etc), creative writing (dictating to you if she's not writing easily yet), art projects related to the books/stories, etc.
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#4 of 12 Old 08-19-2010, 07:54 AM
 
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My 5.5 year old also reads. This fall the plan is -- continue to feed him books he enjoys, listen to audiobooks, continue through McGuffey's, Rosetta Stone Spanish which has a reading component. I do not think he will study spelling and we do not do the "writing" (spelling) component of RS at this time. But, the didj does have spelling He can go back and do those portions of the Rosetta Stone curric later (it's a minor portion at least in Level 1). When he finishes Level 1 Spanish I plan to add ... probably German so he'll do L1 German and L2 Spanish at the same time.

I'm hoping that getting a feel for the structure of multiple languages will make grammer studies in English pretty easy in older elementary school.
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#5 of 12 Old 08-19-2010, 12:00 PM
 
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My DD is not quite 5, and finishing up the I See Sam readers. You can find their Scope and Sequence and also placement tests in the free downloads on the site.

I'll get for the their Fluency Builders when she finishes.

I love I See Sam, they are quality stories IMHO, with comprehension questions and challenges and in the later levels do a nice job building 'reading stamina' which is what she's basically working on now.

I like doing the leveled readers with her, even though she is also reading independently and well.

We read, and read aloud obviously...for mechanics we do spelling with All About Spelling now, and my eye is on Micheal Clay Thompson when she finishes up I See Sam, which leaves off at a 4th grade reading level and will give her the time to mature a bit before tackling Thompson which is generally considered to start around 3rd grade.
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#6 of 12 Old 08-19-2010, 12:51 PM
 
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My son was like this(he's 11 now).
There are many free sites or affordable workbooks out there to introduce her to the many parts of language arts, I would just show her a few things and watch how she feels about them but wouldn't invest in anything too planned or involved at this point.
I would stay focused on the fun and love of reading and wonderful story's and how great words can be before introducing any academic parts of language arts at least too seriously.

For us, reading and loving books is very different than the technical parts of language arts. I would start trying to get more out of the books she was reading like making drawings of her favorite characters or scenes, making dioramas, acting them out, making puppets or wherever her natural play takes her. Go online to the author or publishers websites to see if they have any downloadable projects or games or just things for fun, many of the best children's authors have the best websites.

If anything I would introduce more opportunity for vocabulary expansion. Learning the latin roots is pretty easy. Vocabulary is actually one of our favorite subjects around here. There are many tools and toys out there that are fun exposure to words and their history and origins.
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#7 of 12 Old 08-19-2010, 02:56 PM
 
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My kids were all like this at age 5 and there's nothing I did from a language arts curriculum standpoint at that stage. They just continued reading good books, I continued reading good books to them. Eventually they all wanted to work on handwriting, so we did a workbook series starting at whatever age interested them (ages 7-11). A couple of them worked through the Editor-in-Chief series of workbooks for spelling, punctuation and grammar practice. Again, not at age 5. The earliest any of my kids started those was age 7. Their spelling improved pretty naturally over the first two or three years of them achieving reading fluency. They're all pretty visual, so they are all fantastic spellers. Their grammar and understanding of sentence structure also improved with their continued reading of good literature.

So ... you could do nothing formal at all. It worked for my kids.

Miranda

Mountain mama to three great kids and one great grown-up

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#8 of 12 Old 08-19-2010, 03:31 PM
 
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One thing I would definitely do is have her start a journal. There are so many ways to do this that don't have to focus a great deal on writing in the beginning. Her writing will blossom as handwriting becomes less of a frustration. You can give her a topic each day and ask her to draw a picture about it, and then write something, anything--whether it is a few letters to represent the picture, or a word, or a sentence. She can verbally elaborate, tell a story, etc. For topics, it can relate to a theme you are learning about or a book you have read, or something seasonal or holiday related. If she builds a block tower, or bakes a cake with you, or creates some kind of craft project, you can ask her to go get her journal and draw a picture of her creation and write something about it.
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#9 of 12 Old 08-20-2010, 01:08 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eclipse View Post
I would just help her choose good literature and see where it leads you - reenacting stories as plays or puppet shows, practicing retelling stories, talking about "what ifs" (like what if character x made choice y instead of choice z), talking about different types of literature (fiction, non-fiction, poetry, plays, etc), talking about character, setting, plot etc (in an age appropriate way, no pressure, etc), creative writing (dictating to you if she's not writing easily yet), art projects related to the books/stories, etc.
:
Once you can read well, the next step is to do a LOT of it until you know 90% of grammar without trying.
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#10 of 12 Old 08-20-2010, 01:51 AM
 
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I'm in a similar boat with my 5 yo. She reads somewhere around 3rd-4th grade level, but doesn't write much. We're doing Handwriting Without Tears (and loving it) and lots of reading this year--I plan to take some titles from This List.

I'm considering starting a phonetic spelling program with her. I ordered All About Spelling 1 for her 2nd grade brother and I may use it with her if it looks like it will be a good fit.

Wife to a great DH, SAHM to 3 great kids
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#11 of 12 Old 08-20-2010, 11:34 AM
 
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I'm not exactly sure what you're looking for, but if an online literature course would interest you, I've heard good things about this site: http://onlinea3.com/

I'm not affiliated with the site in any way.
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#12 of 12 Old 08-20-2010, 10:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OK, I was going to use the multi-quote feature, but there were too many good quotes I wanted to use, so I'll just send out a general "thank you"!

This is such an exciting time for me considering I spent the entire spring and summer stressing about what to do with dd for Kindergarten. I do plan to use "Cursive First," but other than that, I don't think I'll do any formal language arts this year. I did get some of these to play around with, but we'll just make lots of trips to the library and bookstore and have lots of great talks about the books she's reading. I have an English degree and was a highschool English teacher, so that's super-duper exciting for a booknerd like me .

I'm thinking we'll do math the same way this year. She was lost in Singapore Earlybird math, but it's clear to me from our conversations that she understands addition, subtraction and multiplication. The busy pictures and manipulatives(!) often get in her way (she has some visual challenges and is very much an auditory learner). So, we'll read and draw and talk about the characters, setting, etc. in the books she's reading. I love the suggestions to act out the stories, have her tell her own, do related arts and crafts or cooking activities, etc. Thanks, and send on any other ideas!

~naismama
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