any use it? Or other ideas? Thanks!
homeschooling mama to ella (9) and maya (5)
For writing/reading comprehension/language arts that's really gentle, you might look at "First Language Lessons" and "Writing With Ease" from the "well-trained mind" folks. I've started level 1 with my daughter and she is, I must admit, loving it. The lessons take 5 minutes tops. Progress is very gradual and gentle, with lots of reinforcement over time happening -- rather than 20 exercises a day.
It's very scripted, which people either love or hate. My daughter is loving it. Even when it's something like "I'm going to say the definition of a noun three times," she listens attentively each time, "now I will say the definition of a noun one more time, and you try to say it with me" she does so, eagerly! I admit I'm a bit surprised, to me it feels kinda artificial but it's actually written in a way that connects with most kids very easily.
The writing comes in as copywork, and again it's very gradual, customizable to the kid's level, and gentle. You can either use the workbook, which comes with all the literature samples for copying and narration questions done for you. Or you can only use the guidebook, where you will choose the literature samples yourself. More customizable that way, it's more work to prepare but then you can co-relate it with whatever books she's enjoying at the moment.
We're using the prepared workbook, and using it as inspiration for which books to read next. The sentences and passages she's exposed to in the copywork and narration get her interested in the story, so then she wants to read the whole thing. :) For the copywork, there are 2 sentence options to choose from depending on writing level, DD is young, so we're using the shorter sentences for copying, and just read the longer ones for fun (and learning about capitals and periods!)
Again, I have to admit I was skeptical about how structured and scripted this kind of thing is, but now that we're using it, I 'get' it. And my daughter really does enjoy it!
(I think my son would not have enjoyed it at all, though -- all kids are different heehee!)
Anyway, for phonics/reading skills, we like reading eggs too. We also use Progressive Phonics -- it's free and easy to use. :)
The people from All About Spelling now have All About Reading. Their spelling program is scripted; I understand that their reading program is too. They have samples on their website. I don't have the program, but I do have several of their readers. My kids loved the readers, they progress in a not too fast/not too slow way and aren't loaded with sight words. Everything was decodable.
I think you really have to take into consideration how your child learns. My ds1 (7), for example, is more of a site reader and can learn rules by seeing, reading and writing words. Writing with Ease and Sequential Spelling are good fits for him because they are quick and easy to do, and very applied. Writing with Ease doesn't have to be scripted; once you get the flow of it, you don't have to follow their exact prompts. Anyhow, I feel like the dictation exercises have really improved his ability to spell, as well as his confidence in writing things out. It also only take 5-10 minutes a day to do - yeah!
My friend's son, however, did not do so well with either of those two programs. He does better with clearly stated spelling and phonics rules and more formal instruction, so they are using All About Spelling and writing instruction with a tutor.
I like the Language Lessons series from Queen Homeschool. They are short lessons and I think they are pretty awesome. Phonics starts with book 2. http://www.queenhomeschool.com/productpages/Language%20Lessons/Language%20Lessons.html
Literally they are short and simple and easily could be done a few times a week.
Happy to be a mommy and teacher to D , born 1-17-06 via and A , born 10-6-08 with a
hooked on phonics worked great with my son, it is especially a good fit for him because it has no writing & is very open and go (and short lessons!). we just finished the second grade level and he's reading chapter books easily now. we also use AAS 2, which works well because it includes dictation and reinforces phonics. for writing, this has been working well: how to write a paragraph and second grade writing prompts (scroll down to calendar prompts). anyway. both are free & this has worked fairly well with my 7 year old.
homeschooling mama to DD 10 & DS 7
My son was 6 in December and is totally resistant to reading. He knows his letter sounds from starfall.com. I bought Happy Phonics which is a bunch of games. http://www.lovetolearn.net/catalog/product/07073 So far we've only played a couple of the games, and have done it randomly. He's liked them and he really helps me out when I try and sound out words since I "struggle" enough that he wants to help me. If I tried to do it any other way besides making it super fun, he would balk and not read until his teens. I think he would love to read which is the only reason I'm doing anything just yet. Normally I'd wait until 7 or 8.
Created an instant family (7/89 and 5/91) in 1997. Made a baby boy 12/05 adopted a baby girl 8/08. Ask me about tandem adoptive nursing. Now living as gluten, dairy, cane sugar, and tomato free vegetarians. Homeschooling and loving it.