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    Literature - Always behind

    I can't quite explain why, but it seems that Literature is the subject most prone to falling behind. Granted, I just finished Week 1 for 3rd, 2nd, and K. We were able to get through every single item in that one week - except Literature. I don't understand what it is.

    Michelle T I know it says, over and over, that you don't have to do every single written comprehension question and you can discuss them orally. The problem is that I love those questions and I agree that they provide that deep dive into the material. I can see a real difference in comprehension when I allow questions to be skipped and answered orally only. For the questions you don't formally answer, do you somehow short hand the answer, or answer it without following the complete sentence guideline - targeting comprehension in the interest of time?

    I'm just amazed at how all of this is covered in a school week that doesn't cover 5 days at HLS. For 2nd, you only have them 3 days, and for 3rd, you have them 4. It just seems like a lot of material to cover in that time, even if they are only copying a third of the listed questions in the guides. Handwriting just takes a lot of time at these ages.

    Or, is the comprehension reach that I'm trying to get to just going a bridge too far? Is it a bit over zealous to expect that they write out answers to every single question? At this point, I've gotten to where we answer the questions together, with me guiding their answers and helping them form proper sentences, but then I hand them my teacher guidebook and have them copy out the sentences there while I move onto the next kid and his literature for his grade level. It loses a bit on creative sentence practice, but the material comprehension is there and the practice of writing full and complete sentences is being met - even if it's not their own authentic sentences. They still had to work to discover the answer from the text.

    I'm not sure what my own question is here, other than "How do you do this in 3/4 days, when I can't do it in 5?" Do you have any tips to speed up this part without compromising content?
    Melissa

    DS (MP3) - 9
    DS (MP2) - 7/8
    DS (K) - 6
    DD (Adorable distraction) 2 1/2

    #2
    From what you said you detailed above, it sounds as if you are covering all the elements we suggest even though you aren’t necessarily developing all the final answers from the student ones. Our students do answers all the questions in first and second grades. It is 3rd and up where we eliminate some written answers for oral discussion since so many subjects have comprehension questions.

    Our teachers keep a certain pace in the class. They have a set period of time to get material covered and they keep the class moving so once the answer has been developed there is little time to waste copying. Students rise to this pace though some take some work and persistence on the part of the teacher. After you’ve gone over the questions, when you allow them to copy how long does that take? Try to let them know it should only take ____ amount of time then you have to begin the next task.

    I do do think having the expectation that all comprehension answers be written for the 3rd grade materials is too much, even just all for lit would be a lot.

    If you are on week 1 give yourself a few more weeks to settle in, the beginning of the year always takes longer.

    Remember too, you are going back and forth between two completely different levels. Our teachers aren’t. The schools I help that have split classes always allow for more time in key subjects because it takes longer.

    Give yourself a few more weeks then check back in. My guess is you will have found your stride.

    Blessings

    Comment


      #3
      I agree! I say, give it about 6 weeks, especially with those ages and you might find a better groove. It is often encouraged for homeschoolers to allow 2 weeks for the 1st week to begin. Some families start adding subjects slowly in as well. It's just very different for a home setting vs a school setting. It is great to know the expectations, but the environments are just different and you can not always replicate the classroom. In some of the answers, it is just a more complicated, longer answer and I would allow those to be good discussion and not write all you talked about. In 3rd note the test questions and answer those in complete sentences for sure. The oral answers should still be a complete answer. So if the question is, "What color shirt was Sally wearing?" I would not accept "red shirt". I would say, let's try a complete sentence. "Sally was wearing a red shirt". etc......
      Christine

      (2019/2020)
      DD1 8/23/09 - SC5/6
      DS2 9/1/11 - SC3,4, 5/6 combo
      DD3 2/9/13 -SC2 to start, MP1 second semester

      Previous Years
      DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4’
      DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, SC2)
      DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK)

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Michelle T View Post

        Give yourself a few more weeks then check back in. My guess is you will have found your stride.

        Blessings
        This does make me feel better and I'll adjust some of my expectations for 3rd grade questions. Another constraint for us is that we didn't do cursive "on time" and only started it in the middle (Jan) of 2nd grade last year, but we did continue all through the summer. It's coming along, but not as well as a student who had worked on it solid for 2 years would. I've been trying to make the move to using cursive for all subjects, but mid-week, I gave it up outside of cursive class, copybook cursive (added outside of posted 3M curriculum to match up memory verses with copybook verses), and spelling. I think I may have to relax this for comprehension questions until we have finished another solid year of NAC2/copybook/spelling and allow these other subjects to move on manuscript. That alone could easy the strain. It really is a tight schedule, and it took some major planning in the summer and some serious wrist watch attention to keep me moving the pace. Shockingly, I can get carried away running my mouth.


        howiecram Thank you both so much. I like the idea of really paying close attention to the test questions, and maybe trimming the written work a bit to center around that. Thank goodness for those flashcards. Did they make Literature flashcards for 2nd grade Literature like they have for 3rd?
        Melissa

        DS (MP3) - 9
        DS (MP2) - 7/8
        DS (K) - 6
        DD (Adorable distraction) 2 1/2

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by howiecram View Post
          In some of the answers, it is just a more complicated, longer answer and I would allow those to be good discussion and not write all you talked about. In 3rd note the test questions and answer those in complete sentences for sure. The oral answers should still be a complete answer. So if the question is, "What color shirt was Sally wearing?" I would not accept "red shirt". I would say, let's try a complete sentence. "Sally was wearing a red shirt". etc......
          This is the approach we have taken in all of the subjects in MP3. With the one-year pace of CSI, S&C, and GM, we had to streamline the writing. We answer them all orally, but she writes down the ones the teacher's guide says will be on the quiz.

          Surprisingly, I still have her write answers to almost all of the questions in the lit guides. I don't know if you noticed, but there are usually only 4-5 questions per lesson vs. MP2's 7-10 (5-7 at the beginning of the year). Now, I have skipped many of the copywork prompts. That is just too much writing for my girl. Where they ask to sequence, we do it together on the board and she copies it when I'm done. As she's copying, I go work with her brother.

          As to the cursive, you can either press forward and have pain now or pain later. My eldest had a painful, slow transition to cursive only as well. It's definitely not beautiful, but it's legible. My experience with high schoolers' writing tells me she has plenty of time to make it NAC-perfect. In fact, I told her if she could put more effort into all the P's and S's of beautiful penmanship in her subjects, she could stop doing NAC3. Except for the time she's doing Recitation copywork, we now skip this.

          Final thought: there could be some merit to having him copy what he comes up with as an answer instead of the book, as there are many ways to craft a correct answer. He might gain a little autonomy in writing his answer if he sees it as worthy of being written. You know him best, but if he's already coming up with an answer, just write it down on paper for him so he can copy under it or in the guide.

          Mama to 2

          Summer:
          MPK with SC1 Phonics & Math
          SY 20/21
          4A

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by enbateau View Post

            This is the approach we have taken in all of the subjects in MP3. With the one-year pace of CSI, S&C, and GM, we had to streamline the writing. We answer them all orally, but she writes down the ones the teacher's guide says will be on the quiz.

            Surprisingly, I still have her write answers to almost all of the questions in the lit guides. I don't know if you noticed, but there are usually only 4-5 questions per lesson vs. MP2's 7-10 (5-7 at the beginning of the year). Now, I have skipped many of the copywork prompts. That is just too much writing for my girl. Where they ask to sequence, we do it together on the board and she copies it when I'm done. As she's copying, I go work with her brother.

            As to the cursive, you can either press forward and have pain now or pain later. My eldest had a painful, slow transition to cursive only as well. It's definitely not beautiful, but it's legible. My experience with high schoolers' writing tells me she has plenty of time to make it NAC-perfect. In fact, I told her if she could put more effort into all the P's and S's of beautiful penmanship in her subjects, she could stop doing NAC3. Except for the time she's doing Recitation copywork, we now skip this.

            Final thought: there could be some merit to having him copy what he comes up with as an answer instead of the book, as there are many ways to craft a correct answer. He might gain a little autonomy in writing his answer if he sees it as worthy of being written. You know him best, but if he's already coming up with an answer, just write it down on paper for him so he can copy under it or in the guide.
            enbateau I think you make a great point about him potentially feeling like his answers aren’t worth writing. I never would have thought of that, but sometimes kids see things much differently than we intend! From experience with the older grades, I would also caution that MP always stresses that the book answers are more for the sake of the teacher’s understanding. There have been moms whose children were burnt out in literature and it turned out that the moms were expecting their children’s answers to be like the ones in the TM. Now, in those cases the moms were expecting the kids to come up with those answers from scratch. Obviously, you’re not doing that! But Tanya always says that they’re looking for age-appropriate, complete sentence responses, not the thorough, sometimes mini-paragraph responses from the TMs. I think just writing down your son’s own responses on a piece of paper (or even above the question in his guide) and having him copy that really could streamline your Lit time while also assuring him that his answers are worthy.
            Jennifer
            Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

            DS16: MP, MPOA, HSC, Breaking the Barrier French
            DS15: MP, MPOA, HSC
            DS12: Mash-up of 6/7M
            DS11: SC 4
            DD9: 3A with First Form Latin (long story!)
            DD8: Mash-up of SC 1/2
            DD5: January birthday, using SC B and C as a two-year JrK

            Comment


              #7
              I like both ideas - write on paper or above the question itself. Using the white board here has not done me many favors because I can't erase it and use it for any other class or student until it is done.

              It didn't occur to me that he might perceive his own answers were unworthy and I'm really going to keep that in mind and watch out for it.

              I was looking for some lined, long, sticky notes to copy answers onto and stick them on the page. If anyone finds anything like that, let me know. Usually, they are just larger and larger pieces of paper, but I would like some that are lined, only about 1-2 inches in length, but nearly 6-8 inches in width so that I can stick them to questions.

              Another idea would be to just copy his blank lined book, write the sentence answers as we come up with them, and then let him copy the completed sentences over from that rather than relying on my teacher guide. Too bad they aren't digitized! I'm sure there are copyright issues there.
              Melissa

              DS (MP3) - 9
              DS (MP2) - 7/8
              DS (K) - 6
              DD (Adorable distraction) 2 1/2

              Comment


                #8
                Do you have a Dollar Tree or Dollar Store near you? They have $1 personal white boards that can be used front and back. Write the number that corresponds to the question, then write the answers in complete sentences. Use that so you can keep your white board free for general class use.

                Whenever you get settled into your new digs, see if there's a wall that will fit a big, 8-foot dry erase board. Many times, mid year, the largest ones will go on sale for hundreds of dollars off. I figured, since I've committed to homeschooling, I'll get plenty of use out of it over the next 12 years. I found my 8-foot dry erase board for less than $250. Next to my laser color printer, it is my MVP of MP homeschooling. I love to talk as I write, draw out concepts, throw up venn diagrams for comparing and contrasting characters, list math board work days in advance, hang spelling cards, do KWOs, tuck lists of goddesses or stars or EGR rules in the corners. It is awesome. I have this porcelain magnetic one from Quartet: https://www.officedepot.com/a/produc...lain-Magnetic/ We always had near-point copy work with math problems and CC, but it's been nice to see her thrive at far-point copy work.
                Mama to 2

                Summer:
                MPK with SC1 Phonics & Math
                SY 20/21
                4A

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by MBentley View Post
                  I like both ideas - write on paper or above the question itself. Using the white board here has not done me many favors because I can't erase it and use it for any other class or student until it is done.

                  It didn't occur to me that he might perceive his own answers were unworthy and I'm really going to keep that in mind and watch out for it.

                  I was looking for some lined, long, sticky notes to copy answers onto and stick them on the page. If anyone finds anything like that, let me know. Usually, they are just larger and larger pieces of paper, but I would like some that are lined, only about 1-2 inches in length, but nearly 6-8 inches in width so that I can stick them to questions.

                  Another idea would be to just copy his blank lined book, write the sentence answers as we come up with them, and then let him copy the completed sentences over from that rather than relying on my teacher guide. Too bad they aren't digitized! I'm sure there are copyright issues there.
                  Hmm, I'm not sure I understand what your thoughts are on how the literature guides are intended. I just wanted to reiterate that the teacher's guide answer is merely there for you to ensure the child is on the right track (they are super beneficial for Mom if she has not read the material herself, etc). I would not necessarily share with your child the answer in the teacher's guide. (although I have one that likes to ask "what does it say"? LOL) The child's answer should be a 3rd grade answer. A complete sentence yes, but at the level of a 3rd grader. So, the child forms the answer orally, and you write exactly what the child says. If there are errors in the sentence, correct it orally (I have one that likes to begin sentences with "because"). Once you have a good sentence (that really the child creates orally) you write that answer down for the child to copy. I agree that cheap lap white boards are super helpful for this.
                  Christine

                  (2019/2020)
                  DD1 8/23/09 - SC5/6
                  DS2 9/1/11 - SC3,4, 5/6 combo
                  DD3 2/9/13 -SC2 to start, MP1 second semester

                  Previous Years
                  DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4’
                  DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, SC2)
                  DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK)

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I will just add my 2 cents--I had the same age combination as you (minus the little one) a couple of years ago and literature was a struggle for us. Third grade literature, especially, took a long time (second grade as well once my child got to Little House), as there is just so much reading to do and if you have a slow reader, it simply takes a long time. We orally answered most questions, and I had them write out 2 answers in their own guide after I wrote them on the white board. Often their answers were only very simple sentences (5 words or so).
                    Allison

                    DD MP2, DS MP4, DS MP5

                    Comment


                      #11
                      enbateau I'm definitely going to do this at our next house. I've got a white board but it's a bit weird in that it stands like a teepee and rolls on the floor but the footprint is huge for the room. In the Houston area, you can pick up white boards pretty cheap and I know of several places if anyone is interested - they are used office supply stores and they even deliver. Also, before I leave Houston, there's a contact that sells school desks on craiglist and I've gotten many things from her because she supplies schools and daycares and it's really inexpensive (executive jr desks for $35 in stead of nearly $200), chairs for $10. She also has 6-8 foot white boards for about $10 and 6-8 foot cork boards for $10 - the only downside is you have to attach the hardware to hang them. I'm probably going to stock up before I move. I snagged that picture you posted a while back of your school room and it's in my "wish list" of how I want my next school room. I was serious about school room envy - that was just a beauty of a room. I even love the colors - that dark blue is so soothing and really allows all of the maps and items to stand out.

                      howiecram I'm not sure I'm right-headed here with the literature guides either. I think I may be missing an important part by not using the kid's answers to form sentences, but I was also trying to capture the full sentence practice while still answering more (if not all) of the questions fully and completely. One of my kiddos wants to copy - word for word - entire sections of text from the literature to answer the questions. Since the literature guides often do that too, but shortened and more to the point, I was trying to kill two birds with one stone - limit his answers marginally and save time. He doesn't want to restate the answers as his own, so much as find them and copy them out perfectly. This was a time saving move on my part, and probably not the wisest so it's likely going to have to get tossed. I'm giving real thought to copying his own blank pages and working with him on his sentences and having him copy what we come up with. It'll save my white board space and some of the writing could be pushed off to a bit of homework if we don't finish in a reasonable time.

                      reese098 The other problem is when they want to come up with a sentence on their own (yay), but their own sentence is enormous! I don't have slow readers just now, however one of them reads faster than he comprehends so we have to really make sure that he understands that just because he can pronounce the word fluently as if he understood it, that he knows what is happening in the reading. The literature guides really make sure of that. The other kiddo reads well, answers well, and writes painfully slowly. Not that I'm happy to know you had the same struggles with literature timing, but it helps to know that this is often a time eater subject if you have kids close in age during these years.

                      jen1134 It's that same problem of dealing with stacked challenges here for me. I need him to understand and comprehend, but I also need him to formulate, summarize, and restate. Those literature guides do a pretty good job of asking a question and answering it fully - and they do it in a way that he seems to grasp so much more. They help me solve a lot of the comprehension hurdle. But, I sacrifice one element over the other by not having him write out his own answers (ones that he and I do together), and that is going to have to change. I may have him do that, and then as an extra exercise, read the answers from the guides to see if there was "another way" to answer the question. We started the IEW Student Writing Intensive using the videos, and they focus on the concept of the Key-Word-Outline. He has really taken to that and he did a fantastic job of writing up a summary of the "Sea Snakes" exercise. He also got to hear a dozen other kids come up with different answers which helped formulate the idea that there is more than one right answer. I'm thinking of having him use the skills there to learn how the answer the questions here - basically underlining 3 important words for a key word outline to answer questions and see if he can translate that skill from one class to another.
                      Melissa

                      DS (MP3) - 9
                      DS (MP2) - 7/8
                      DS (K) - 6
                      DD (Adorable distraction) 2 1/2

                      Comment


                        #12
                        You got several good ideas here. Please report back in about 4 weeks and let us know if you have hit your stride. However if you are really struggling, please contact sooner so we can help.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I echo the statements of many of the posters above- use a white board! My goal for literature guides is for my student to learn to formulate a good sentence which answers the question asked. I've found she often *cannot* do this if she is physically writing her answer as she goes. So, we discuss the answer and SHE answers the question orally. If her answer is a good one, then we move forward with that- I'm not worried about what exactly the teacher guide says. Then I write down her answer word for word on the whiteboard, and we look at it together and edit it for punctuation and grammar. If she is not too worn out from writing that day, she copies her sentence into the literature guide book. If she is, I'm not worried about it because I figure she is doing plenty of copywork where she is copying well-written sentences. I'm focusing here on her knowing how to formulate a correct and focused response to a question asked, not the writing. If her answer doesn't fit the question, I try to guide her a little bit, but only just enough to where she's able to answer the question herself. Just throwing this idea out there- it might not cut back on time-per se, but I find it really cuts down on writing frustrations (she's not having to erase and rewrite.)

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