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Semi-new to Memoria Press, Help placing my kiddos

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    Semi-new to Memoria Press, Help placing my kiddos

    Hello, I have been using Memoria Press since January this year with my first grader (now second grader) so we are finishing the second half of first grade now in her second grade year. I did not get the full package and did not do traditional spelling with her for first grade, I only did the story time treasures and book D and book E and Word Mastery that I think is almost the same as Classical Phonics. Would it be fine to start second grade using traditional spelling II without having used traditional spelling I or would the leap be too big? I did do some spelling with her, we used the first book for Spelling-U-See and The Modern Speller by Van Wagenen which has sentences for copying and dictating so she has had some spelling.

    Has anyone else had a kid who was like half way through a grade like this and were you able to 'catch up' and use the full package in the grade intended?

    My next question is for my oldest kid who has never used memoria press, he is at grade level for reading, like right at the beginning of 4th grade, we are having some health issues since last spring with him and he hasnt been able to do school consistently, - as much as I would like to get him solid in reading using the second grade literary guides that have the phonics, it is really a blow to his morale that he would be using the same books as his second grade sister along with his hard year. Any advice on what I could do with him? I was tossing around just doing Greek Myths and Bible for him and maybe one or two books from his grade but we read them together.... but not sure.

    Thanks for any advice, I would really appreciate it, I have loved doing Memoria Press with my daughter, wish I had known about it earlier with my son!
    Plus my toddler loves the preschool book package I got for him, every book so far has been a major hit!

    Thanks,
    Lindsay

    4th grader
    2nd grader and
    Tyrannical Toddler in tow ; )

    #2
    Welcome to the Memoria Press community!

    You are not alone in being off either a half or a whole year. We had readiness issues we needed to address before starting MP1, and we did everything in the level that came before it so that we shored up any gaps that might present themselves in the next grade. It has been a great experience thus far. My only caution with moving into TSII without doing TSI is that there could be some gaps. Most children's decoding skills (reading) far outpace their encoding (spelling) skills. While my child is comfortably reading at a 660L (lexile), it has been TSI that has really cemented all of the rules. When you can spell a word, you can certainly read it. Committing spelling words to memory gave him an incredible base with which to write sentences, and now answers to those lit guide comprehension questions are flowing out like butter.

    I have a friend whose child jumped into MP2 (on schedule for age) after AAR 1 & 2 and AAS 1, and TSII has been a difficult leap. The decoding of MP2 literature has not been an issue, but the spelling is less firm. In this instance, I wish I had recommended perhaps a half year of TS I over the summer to get down procedures and some of the year-end spelling rules before they began MP2. Since you still have time before you launch into MP2 at year's end, you could get a student workbook of TS I and test until she hits a list where at least three are missed and start there.

    FWIW, we are a consistently 6 months behind grade, but I like that MP, in being advanced for grade, gets my child closer to where he needs to be. After finishing MPK in the spring, my child tested in the 1.5-1.7 grade level for most areas on a standardized test. I expect after MP1 that my child will test a similar range for middle of second grade competency. My eldest has tested 2-3+ grade levels above her MP grade. As much as I'd like to catch up with the youngest, I'm glad I have completed the entire year as prescribed.

    As for the eldest, can you tell us a little more about the phonics or reading program he used prior to 4th? If you believe he's reading on-level for grade, can you explain what leads you to think he might benefit from second-grade phonics instruction? That will help those of us who've used MP (and other programs) figure out if he's a good candidate for placing directly into a certain grade level.
    Mama of 2, teacher of 3
    SY 22/23
    6A, teaching TFL & CC Chreia/Maxim w/ Elementary Greek Year One
    MP2

    Completed MPK, MP1, MP2, 3A, 4A, 5A
    SC B, SC C, SC1 (Phonics/Math)

    Comment


      #3
      Thank you for the advice about Traditional spelling 1! Going through and seeing where she lands is a great idea, right now we are still going through book E, like your friend's child, her reading is way higher than her spelling right now.

      As for my oldest boy, we jumped around a little bit for phonics, used primary phonics and reading in 100 easy lessons to get him reading, he went to a montessori school for half of first grade so whatever they used there, we moved and started to homeschool at that point, so then onto explode the code we got through book 3 and some of book 4 and more primary phonics books, then spelling-u-see in third grade, but I could tell he was missing things and had a hard time sounding out words. I realized late that actually he had been memorizing whole words that his books kept repeating and actually couldnt sound out new words very well especially if they were more than two syllables. So we started Blend Phonics from Don Potter's website and are finishing that up currently. I havent seen anything that deals with syllabication like MP, so thorough, to prep reading higher level text.

      For his reading assessments, I used the Blend Phonics assessment Don Potter has: 40L Quick Screen Reading Grade Level Test and another one he has on his site Reading Competency Test from The National Right to Read Foundation, and The Good and the Beautiful reading assessment which placed him just barely at their level 3. He tested at the end of third grade for all the tests, where as my daughter was almost a whole grade ahead, even though she was a 'late' reader - which I believe is a credit to MP. I am so glad I decided to try it, I had no idea the levels were advanced, I just thought the books looked fun and that she would like a curriculum that was literature based.

      In case this helps, his reading books were The Magic Treehouse books in second grade, and the Seton readers for third, he just finished the last third grade Seton reader a few weeks ago since he hasnt been able to do school consistently. The readers were a gift and both my kids love them. My daughter will likely be starting the third grade reader books mid-year.

      I hope that helps,
      I really appreciate the advice!
      Lindsay

      Comment


        #4
        I recommend using TSI instead of TSII. Traditional Spelling is pretty difficult, and I’ve read that many people use it a year behind, myself included.

        Comment


          #5
          Thank you for the advice on the spelling!

          Comment


            #6
            Are the Seton readers the Faith and Freedom Readers? I'm not familiar with Seton, SUS, or Blend Phonics, although I looked at all of them to try to get a feel for where your sweet boy could best place.

            From your reporting, it sounds like he's struggling with multi-syllable words of 3 syllables or greater. If he just barely met the requirement of missing 4 or fewer words in the Good and the Beautiful level 3 placement test, then it sounds like he is either missing or shaky in intermediate phonics teams and spelling rules. All of those vowel and consonant teams are taught in TS II and MP2 literature: al/le/el, tion, sion, ture, ea, ow, ir, ar/or that say er, wor- that says /er/, broad a and u before l, long vowels at the end of the syllable and short vowels when not at the end. It's great you did the blending work to get him up to speed hearing all of the sounds of a word. The goal would be to grow his reading abilities past that point then. Level 4 assumes mastery of kn, the 3 vowel sounds of y, the 3 sounds of ch (ch/k/sh), oi/oy, ey, 5 sounds of ou and 6 of ough, oe, err, o as a lazy schwa sound before m, n, th, and v, au/aw, gn, kn, soft c and soft g, and rules about how silent e is dropped when adding a vowel suffix and most words that split at a double consonant keep the short vowel (or turn lazy like approve, appear, approach, allow). These concepts are introduced in MP2 and continued in MP3 and TS III. If you can pinpoint which vowel teams need introduction or review, then you can work with the deck of Phonics Flashcards to shore up gaps before entering an appropriate level.

            Here's the layer cake approach MP takes in regards to reading and why it's so genius.

            1) Read to your child daily at 2-3 levels above your child's reading level. This exposes your child to new vocabulary in context, elevated sentence structure, and increases stamina for paying attention to key details in a story. It's also a primary driver for predictive reading. When a child has dozens of imprints of common sentence patterns and high-frequency words from which to draw, it makes it easier for the child to decode difficult sight words (esp. proper nouns like names & states and scientific terms). For children with difficulties processing language, Simply Classical promotes plenty of picture books in the primary years to link vocabulary and concepts to pictures in the story. Point to new words in stories and see if they know what they mean from the story context. At the end of the page or story, ask if he remembers what the new word means. Later, at the lunch table, you can ask about this new vocab word to keep it fresh. MP has read-alouds scheduled from Jr. K up through at least sixth. Many of these great stories can be enjoyed by a wide variety of ages. Our favorites include: Where the Red Fern Grows, Winnie-the-Pooh, A Christmas Carol, The Secret Garden, Farmer Giles of Ham, and The Incredible Journey.

            2) Allow children to read freely at level for 20 minutes a day. Sometimes I go through a book and pick out words I know my kids will struggle with and either let them try to attack it in isolation or syllabicate it for them. When my firstborn was young, she announced she had finished an entire book about a character called Fo-ee-bee. She read an entire book mispronouncing Phoebe because I didn't preread and tackle the harder words. When kids are reading at-level, make sure the big words (and names) gets pronounced right. MP assigns great American History readers that children can read within their lexile. Exposing budding readers to a variety of state names, presidents, historical figures, concept words related to our country's history (petition, boycott, convention, bayonet, taxation, minutemen, militia, representation, constitution) will grow his ability to read more advanced writing.

            3) Study literature deeply with a literature guide while concurrently studying the phonics and rules of spelling. Traditional Spelling does a great job of taking words that are commonly in literature for that grade level (or below) and helping cement their phonics principles for encoding. By third grade, the emphasis in the literature guide switches from syllabication to "words to know." A less confident reader would benefit from these words still being syllabicated based on the rules learned in prior years (a dictionary or search engine would help here).

            A technique I use with my youngest is similar to one used in AAR. I will take some of the words in an upcoming book near his reading level and syllabicate the harder words in stages.

            I might put down:

            write
            writ-ing
            hand-writ-ing

            spire
            con-spire
            con-spir-ing

            mire
            ad-mire
            ad-mir-ing
            ad-mir-ing-ly

            beautiful
            beautiful-ly

            Many kids struggle with when ar says /ar/ like car or /air/ like care. Similarly, kids struggle with ir that says /er/ like bird instead of i-er like hire, especially once the final silent e is removed to add a vowel suffix. Teach this concept explicitly. Show your child how admire becomes admiring when you add -ing to a word ending in silent e. Before I drilled this home, my youngest would pronounce admiring like "ad-mer-ing." Once you've introduced the spelling rule or phonemic parts, it's okay if he memorizes the words. Barring a reading impairment like dyslexia, many children will take spelling patterns and apply them to other words. I wish MP would put out another book like Classical Phonics with more advanced words to show spelling patterns, but you can keep your own spelling journal of new or difficult words and group them by patterns.

            While MP doesn't explicitly have a program designed to remediate gaps in phonics and spelling rules for older children (Simply Classical excluded), your child can tackle any of the lit guides within 100 points of his lexile and keep adding new vocabulary with new spelling rules to beef up his word bank and ability to attack multi-syllable words. Remember to review phonogram flaschcards daily, especially with a struggling reader. Even an older reader might read gnarly as guh-nar-ly if "gn" is not kept in maintenance as having a silent letter.



            Mama of 2, teacher of 3
            SY 22/23
            6A, teaching TFL & CC Chreia/Maxim w/ Elementary Greek Year One
            MP2

            Completed MPK, MP1, MP2, 3A, 4A, 5A
            SC B, SC C, SC1 (Phonics/Math)

            Comment


              #7
              I cannot thank you enough for this throrough and detailed message, I am so grateful for this advice and direction!!!
              Thank you for taking the time to look up the resources I mentioned, that took time and I truly appreciate your help!

              Yes the Seton readers I mentioned are the Faith and Freedom sets.

              I like the idea of keeping our own word pattern journal, thank you too for tying in the read a louds and American History set and how they are important - I actually got those packages for him for third and fourth grade hoping he would go through both sets this year - even if he gets 2/3rds through that still is pretty good - I also got the simply classical american history books that go with Writing Book 2 for my daughter along with the MP2 literature guides. I also purchased the read a loud packages for 2,3 and 4th grade. Looking forward to going through those with both of them. I am printing out your message to put in my homeschool notebook to reference - I am sure I will be referencing it many times!!

              Thank you again,
              So much!!!!!

              Lindsay



              Comment


                #8
                It makes my heart so happy to hear that helped. MP has contributed so much goodness and richness to our family that it's hard not to share it with others.

                The Seton readers, while a great choice for being at his level, don't look like they have any (or many...the previews showed almost none) three-syllable words. This is where lit above his level with pre-syllabication will grow his ability to tackle more difficult words. The human brain (beautifully designed by the Lord) will identify patterns to make decoding easier upon each attack. Teach him why the word is different and whether it follows a new rule or breaks the rule. Explicitly refresh these rules, identify the patterns of each word, and keep phonics teams in maintenance mode until mastered (and beyond). Don't skip the word analysis part of TS (colorful letters/syllabication).

                I'm praying you get discernment for proper placement.

                Mama of 2, teacher of 3
                SY 22/23
                6A, teaching TFL & CC Chreia/Maxim w/ Elementary Greek Year One
                MP2

                Completed MPK, MP1, MP2, 3A, 4A, 5A
                SC B, SC C, SC1 (Phonics/Math)

                Comment

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