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    Help getting started and planning

    Many years ago I did CAP fable composition with my oldest child. He had fun with it but when it was done I felt he hadn't actually learned anything or improved in his writing skills. So we dropped that and went with a traditional writing program (Essentials in Writing)

    Currently I am planning school for my two youngest children. My rising 7th grader has only done EIW for composition and mostly Rod and staff for grammar. She is a strong reader, has excellent comprehension skills, and enjoys writing for fun.
    My rising 6th grader has not done any formal writing beyond writing narrations, summaries, and the writing assignments in her grammar curriculum which was similar to rod and staff but a workbook format. She enjoys reading but struggles with comprehension. I'm planning to do a mix of 4th and 5th grade MP literature with her next year. She is a slow learner all around. She has no trouble writing summaries but we haven't tried anything more difficult. I try to stay very positive with her because she gets frustrated easily. I don't want to overwhelm her and then for her not to enjoy writing.

    I've already purchased EIW for them for next year which now puts me in an awkward place since I can't return it. I should be able to do EIW in about 1/2 year because my experience is that it repeats a lot and the grammar is all review for my children so I skip all that.

    I'm thinking I could do MP fable in that half year with my 7th grader. Maybe I could do even more?? I'm looking at buying the lesson plans that have the first two levels of composition combined into one year, or are there plans for older children that combine more than two years into one?
    However, I know my 6th grader can not move that fast. I'm not sure we can even do fable in half of year. We probably need a full year.

    Do I need to buy two different sets of lesson plans or is it obvious how to slow down the accelerated plans or if I get the single year plan will it be obvious how to accelerate it.

    Can they share a student book if they don't write in it and use notebook paper? Or are the assignments such that they really need to be able to write in the book?

    Do the DVDs still work if moving at a faster pace?

    Any direction or advice would be appreciated. Thank you.
    Lori (wife, mother and educator to four children)
    "To whom much is given, much more will be required." Luke 12:48b

    #2
    Hello lorisuewho !
    Sounds like your students are really ready to take off!
    The Fable curriculum for CC is a bit more rigorous, in my opinion, than CAP. I'd love your perspective on that after you have been through the Fable of CC, for comparison.

    The books are set to whatever pace you would like. Some students take a week to work through a lesson, others 2-3 weeks, depending on the student. The DVDs are broken up into sections, which , again, can be completed as many as desired as quickly as possible. The DVD's or Streaming access are organized to allow students a "lecture" and "example" time, and then they are released to go do their own work for the "section." The books have "sections," but are not laid out in specific days (although the Teacher's manual does give an optional 14 day pace in the margins), so again, you have wide latitude for your own pacing.

    Given the diversity of ability between your two students, here is what I would do. For the sake of your sanity and to foster togetherness in the curriculum, I would start your 6th and 7th graders off learning together. Then, have the 7th grader accelerate the pace (complete the lessons and papers in, say, 1 week instead of 2-3 weeks) as he/she gets the hang of it. It is completely possible to do the whole book in a semester at a brisk pace. Be sure to save a few lessons at the end for review please, as students should begin each new school year with reviewing previous stages

    I would spring for the cost of 2 student books, honestly. They are only a few dollars, and it will be SO much easier, especially for your rising 6th grader, to have the book to work out of. You mentioned the reduced price for buying both Fable and Narrative at once https://www.memoriapress.com/curricu...i-fable-stage/, so that may also help squeeze a bit more money out of the curriculum price to facilitate the purchase of 2 student books per stage. The books also have indexes of figures, etc., and it is easier to give each student a workbook. (There is a $10 DVD Streaming deal right now too, by the way, just thought I'd mention that... ;-) You should not need two sets of lesson plans, as the pacing is the same for each lesson, and you will quickly see how to pace the lesson to fit both your children.

    About combining future levels, yes, we have accelerated programs and lesson pacing. However, completing Fable and Narrative in one year is the accelerated pace for a 7th grader, the same as for our online school. If your 7th grader completes both Fable and Narrative too this year, then you can look at completing Chreia/Maxim (Book III) next year, and then Ref/Con in 9th grade. Some students are ready after 6 months off Chreia to move into Ref/Con, but Ref/Con (done well) takes a year, even if it's split into separate school years. Then, at that point, you can look at accelerating the "upper levels" for your student's 9-11th grade years and deciding what combinations to make then. The middle stages are best when you have the time to do them well, slowly, as they are both a significant vertical leap in skill.

    Finally, there are Teacher Training videos from the Sodalitas 2019 located here. They will help you orient yourself with the curriculum and how to pace it for your needs, as well as give you a solid overview of both the theory and the application of the lesson skills. I hope Fable is an enriching time for both your students!

    I hope this gets you started Let me know what you think of these options, and bring anything else up that I missed!
    Abigail
    Last edited by Abigail Johnson; 05-17-2021, 11:43 PM.

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      #3
      Thank you. That was a very thorough response! I understand much better now and will watch the teacher training video. I think we can do this! Thank you.
      Lori (wife, mother and educator to four children)
      "To whom much is given, much more will be required." Luke 12:48b

      Comment


        #4
        Abigail, I now have some follow up questions if you have time.
        1. My to-be 6th grader, as I stated, is a slow learner. I was trying to take a look at the sample of the 4th grade curriculum manual where Fable is introduced, and from what limited things I can see, it looks like the entire fable book is not covered in 4th grade and that each lesson is taking about 2 weeks?? Are the 4th graders doing fable every day? Are there other writing assignments (not from Fable) being injected into the schedule on some days? I don't believe if I purchase the Fable lesson plans it will show me how it is happening actually in 4th grade (including other assignments or the timing). Is that correct?

        2. I'm planning to buy the accelerated plans for Fable and Narrative for my to-be 7th grader. To get through both books in one year, does that mean not every lesson within the book is used? I imagine it would be overkill for an older student to do the same type of lesson 20 times.

        Thank you. I appreciate all the help you have already given me.
        Lori
        Lori (wife, mother and educator to four children)
        "To whom much is given, much more will be required." Luke 12:48b

        Comment


          #5
          Hello!
          Those are some very good questions! So, my advice to you is going to be to actually call the memorial press 877-862-1097 number, and talk to one of the phone representatives. They will be able to explain to you best how the third grade and fourth grade work together and as a whole with all the subjects together, what's happening in the grand scheme. They might even be able to help you access more visuals than what you can see in the samples that are online.
          I'm sorry to pass you off, but since I am not on the curriculum side as a whole as much, I am not the best person to give you a wider view of this, so give them a ring and they will be more than happy to talk to you!
          Abigail

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            #6
            Also,
            Regarding your second question, yes it is overkill to have an older student complete every lesson in Fable and Narrative. I would shoot for half of each book, at a brisk pace.
            Keep in mind that even students completing a book in one year will never finish the book in that year, as some lessons are reserved at the end of the book for review before beginning new stages in the following years.
            One small point about older students in the first 2 books, remember that Fable and Narrative are very appropriate for even older students, because they offer an exercise in creativity and depth. In other words, sometimes it is even more helpful to have older students go through the Fable and Narrative stages because they can be much more creative and complex in retelling these simple stories than a student who was still struggling with run-ons and spelling. Older students should not treat these as pat exercises, beneath them, but as great challenges in depth and ingenuity. By presenting the material as such and holding them to a higher standard much growth happens!
            Abigail

            Comment


              #7
              Thank you for your thoughts. I actually think my older child is going to love Fable and Narrative for the very reasons you listed!
              Lori (wife, mother and educator to four children)
              "To whom much is given, much more will be required." Luke 12:48b

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