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Should we drop back to 2nd grade

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  • MBentley
    replied
    I'm with the other commenters above on choosing the 2nd grade Lit. I am a huge fan of the literature guides too - and specifically, written answers, not oral ones.

    I have a 3rd grader who will turn 9 in Nov. I also have a very, VERY, bright 2nd grader who will turn 8 next March, so he's much closer in age to your kiddo. There are some subjects that I do have him combined with his older sibling, but these subjects are not heavily "writing intensive". He is doing Math 3, Latina Christiana - yr 1, and Christian Studies (arguably the most writing-intensive one of the group but with much shorter reading). Because he is kind of a born scholar, I make it hard in some of these areas on purpose. There are too many examples in my own family (and yeah..me too), where if a subject was easy, I got in the habit of "coasting", rather than put in the diligent effort each subject requires. I would actually do worse the easier the work was. To learn to work hard, you have to practice working hard, right?

    Having said that, Literature is not the one I would pick to push, no matter how much of a strong reader I was dealing with (and I do have one). These literature guides are a bit intense, but oh, so worth the effort. To say that they enrich the text is just not doing it justice. They pull the details from the chapters, force you to ponder deeper thoughts, and yes, practice answering in complete sentences. You might feel a little silly handing your child the first book for 2nd grade literature, but you won't feel silly going through the literature guide. The book will feel too simple, but the guide will not allow the kid to "coast". It will start that process of understanding how to dive deeply into the literature without being overwhelming. It will introduce a small dictionary and begin the process of understanding how to look up foreign words. The 2nd grade books go up from there. After the first book, which could easily be read from cover to cover in about half an hour - tops! - you go onto yet another strange style book called "Animal Folk Tales". Again, this is introducing the concepts of folklore, myths, the use of symbolism, metaphor, and especially hyperbole - your kid won't have to learn what that means yet, but will begin to understand the use of these in future books. Again, the guides will push, just a little more, with each subsequent book. When you get to "The Courage of Sarah Noble", you are taking a tentative step into the concept of a novel. The story itself isn't too long, but it uses chapters with a great deal more detail. The relevance of history, social interactions where there are language barriers, etc...The kid realizes that the answers aren't as immediately available, and will have to actually go back into the literature to find them. Finally, you get to Little House in the Big Woods, and that is the first real moment where you see how far you came from the first book and the first guide to the last. This will really test those acquired skills that developed over the previous months. Interestingly, you may be, as I was, very puzzled by the last set of books. Beatrix Potter? Shouldn't these have been first? Nope. Not the way the guides work. Memoria Press uses a simpler style story, but pushes a larger process by introducing a little bit of "composition". This sets the stage for 3rd grade, where the concept of the novel is no longer frightening, but the Introduction to Composition has effectively already been "introduced" and slightly practiced at the tale end of 2nd.

    These guides "build", and 2nd really is good foundation to start that process. As you get to the later books, (Sarah Noble, Little House in the Big Woods), these are available on Audible for extra reading sessions because you can already see that these chapters are read more than once. The same is true for 2nd as it is for 3rd.

    I've taken to making a photo copy of the blank student page, and as we come up with complete sentence answers, I write that answer out and when we are done, I hand it back so it can be copied neatly into the guide. I think answering them all at once orally helped and since I can write faster, he can take his time copying. I am thinking that seeing the spacing in my handwriting on the page is helping him to begin "shrinking" his own giant handwriting. Win-win there.

    Good luck Mama!

    Leave a comment:


  • luebfam
    replied
    My daughter just turned 8 on the 21st and though she is very bright and loves school, I can’t fathom doing MP 3rd with her. I don’t have experience with 3rd and I don’t know your kiddo, but it sounds like 2nd might be a better fit!

    Leave a comment:


  • howiecram
    replied
    The answers in the teacher’s guide are detailed so “the teacher does not necessarily have to read the book herself! (Probably more helpful in upper grades, and multiple children). A mom of many likely can not read all the books as all of her children are working.

    Leave a comment:


  • Elizabeth86
    replied
    Originally posted by Colomama View Post
    First, let's make sure you understand how the lit guides are designed to work.

    Reading the entire selection independently is not the goal. The original idea was to use these in a classroom. There would be a whole room full of kids to read through the chapter. So, in a home setting, you should be team reading. Sometimes my child reads a page and I read a page. Sometimes we switch each paragraph. And sometimes she reads a paragraph and I read a whole page.

    Next, the lit guides. These are not independent workbooks. They should be interactive books you both work through together. So, you read the comp question and you work together to answer it in an age-appropriate sentence. YOU write that sentence on a whiteboard or piece of paper. The child then copies that answer into their workbook. Done. You don't need to answer every last question. Look ahead to the section test and make sure you answer those questions as they come up in the daily work.

    There has been some recent discussion on these workbooks and proper usage. The goal is not to get your child to re-create the answer given in the teacher guide. The only time I refer to my guide is if I don't know the answer...I haven't opened that guide yet this year.

    Example, today we read the chapter where a hard freeze hits on July 3rd and eveybody scrambles to save the crop. A comp question was something like, "why did almanzo get woke up early?" My daughter's answer, "the corn froze." Yep, it's a complete sentence and it answers the question. Done. Move on. Now, I'm sure the teacher guide had a three line answer that was nice and in-depth, but her answer was good enough.

    The intro to comp. We did that today too. We read and answer each question. I write our answers on the top lines. She then takes those three sentences and adds some minor detail to them and it becomes a summary. So, today her answers had some pronouns like "they woke up early because the corn was frozen." So when she re-wrote that sentence into the summary down below it became "Almanzo's family woke up early because the corn had frozen over night." The idea is that a person could read the summary sentences and get the general idea of what happened in that selection. If she had left the pronoun "they" a reader would have no idea who "they" were. By changing "they" to "Almanzo's family" she gave enough detail for a new reader to understand and follow.

    I wouldn't automatically retreat to second grade. If your child is struggling with the reading, sure. But it sounds like he's doing pretty good. It's still early in the year. Even if you answer everything orally for this first book, I think you're fine. The goal would be to slowly increase his writing stamina and ability as the year progresses. If his comprehension is lacking, he just stared at you when you ask a comp question, now that might be another reason to back down. But even then, I would do some pre-reading warm-up. Preview those comp questions, tell him to listen for the answers as you're reading. Point out when you come across a questions answer.

    He is a young third grader. If there are tears or tantrums from you or him or the workbook goes mysteriously missing....switch back to second. But, I say give it until the end of this book and see if he just needs a more gradual transition.
    Well I guess I haven't been following quite like you. We were alternating pages, so today we tried switching off paragraphs. That helped A LOT! I suppose I was feelings stressed he wasn't coming up with answers like in the teacher's book. So, I just let him answer the question today. If "the corn froze" is a good enough answer then we are definitely on the right track.

    Leave a comment:


  • Colomama
    replied
    First, let's make sure you understand how the lit guides are designed to work.

    Reading the entire selection independently is not the goal. The original idea was to use these in a classroom. There would be a whole room full of kids to read through the chapter. So, in a home setting, you should be team reading. Sometimes my child reads a page and I read a page. Sometimes we switch each paragraph. And sometimes she reads a paragraph and I read a whole page.

    Next, the lit guides. These are not independent workbooks. They should be interactive books you both work through together. So, you read the comp question and you work together to answer it in an age-appropriate sentence. YOU write that sentence on a whiteboard or piece of paper. The child then copies that answer into their workbook. Done. You don't need to answer every last question. Look ahead to the section test and make sure you answer those questions as they come up in the daily work.

    There has been some recent discussion on these workbooks and proper usage. The goal is not to get your child to re-create the answer given in the teacher guide. The only time I refer to my guide is if I don't know the answer...I haven't opened that guide yet this year.

    Example, today we read the chapter where a hard freeze hits on July 3rd and eveybody scrambles to save the crop. A comp question was something like, "why did almanzo get woke up early?" My daughter's answer, "the corn froze." Yep, it's a complete sentence and it answers the question. Done. Move on. Now, I'm sure the teacher guide had a three line answer that was nice and in-depth, but her answer was good enough.

    The intro to comp. We did that today too. We read and answer each question. I write our answers on the top lines. She then takes those three sentences and adds some minor detail to them and it becomes a summary. So, today her answers had some pronouns like "they woke up early because the corn was frozen." So when she re-wrote that sentence into the summary down below it became "Almanzo's family woke up early because the corn had frozen over night." The idea is that a person could read the summary sentences and get the general idea of what happened in that selection. If she had left the pronoun "they" a reader would have no idea who "they" were. By changing "they" to "Almanzo's family" she gave enough detail for a new reader to understand and follow.

    I wouldn't automatically retreat to second grade. If your child is struggling with the reading, sure. But it sounds like he's doing pretty good. It's still early in the year. Even if you answer everything orally for this first book, I think you're fine. The goal would be to slowly increase his writing stamina and ability as the year progresses. If his comprehension is lacking, he just stared at you when you ask a comp question, now that might be another reason to back down. But even then, I would do some pre-reading warm-up. Preview those comp questions, tell him to listen for the answers as you're reading. Point out when you come across a questions answer.

    He is a young third grader. If there are tears or tantrums from you or him or the workbook goes mysteriously missing....switch back to second. But, I say give it until the end of this book and see if he just needs a more gradual transition.

    Leave a comment:


  • ShawnaB
    replied
    The MP literature guides are rich and rigorous. I would not hesitate to do the 2nd grade literature with your son, especially if you are planning to have him read the entire book himself. There is a lot to mentally digest in those longer, 3rd grade titles, and that is one of the things that I think MP does so well in their guides. They help student slow down and think about what they have read. This is important for those "solid" readers who can read anything, yet their thinking skills may not have caught up with their reading. This can lead to reading fatigue when reading longer books with more complex plot lines.

    So I think going through the 2nd grade literature is a great idea. Maybe peruse the first title "Animal Folk Tales of America" first and see if that is a good fit. That book is a collection of very short stories, yet the language and concepts are quite deep. If you want to start with more of a chapter book, maybe skip Animal Tales and go right into Prairie School. The 2nd grade year ends with Little House in the Big Woods, which would be a great lead-up to Farmer Boy. Maybe by the time he gets there he will have the stamina he needs to really enjoy it!

    As for the Intro to Composition, I don't have direct experience with this. I am teaching 2nd/3rd grade this year and use the English Grammar Practice to reinforce grammar concepts introduced in the 1st grade literature guides. There are fix-it sentences, but no independent writing. Your 2nd grade literature guides do have some writing, but not particularly as guided or structured as the Intro to Composition. If you are looking for something in the middle, you might want to take a look at the Simply Classical Writing books. They are listed under "Curriculum" and "Special Needs" and then under SC2 or SC3. I have to say, I kind of love them! Wish I had seen them before I purchased my curriculum this year, as I think Book 2 would have worked well for my small 2nd/3rd grade class!

    Leave a comment:


  • Elizabeth86
    started a topic Should we drop back to 2nd grade

    Should we drop back to 2nd grade

    I'll do my best to include all details, if you have questions feel free to ask.

    My son is 7 and will turn 8 on September 30th. Many states consider him a 2nd grader, but our state has him being a 3rd grader. I do not use all Memoria Press. I have recently discovered it and we are trying out the literature guides and introduction to composition. For our other language subjects we are using First Language Lesson Level 3, Spelling Workout C, Zaner-Bloser Cursive and Song School Latin. I love the literature guides, but I am getting the feeling my son may not be ready for the grade 3 literature guides and introduction to composition. I see they are listed for grades 3-4 and he is really grades 2-3. He has phonics down solid, we used Abeka and it was very thorough. We are doing Farmer Boy right now. We are completely overwhelmed to even think about doing any writing, so we do it orally. He seems very tired reading on this level and going through the guide even orally. He doesn't ever have to sound out words, he reads it perfectly, but not smoothly or easily. What would your suggestion be? Do you think dropping back and doing grade 2 literature guides would be our best bet? What about introduction to composition? Should we just wait until next year? Do you suggest any writing for grade 2, I didn't see anything?

    Thank you so much!
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