Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Please help me make the literature guides work

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Please help me make the literature guides work

    We’re currently finishing up first and second grade. My first grader has finished STT already and my second grader is finishing Little House (we did the Beatrix Potter books first). I want to love the literature guides, but I just…don’t. I see the value in them but I have a really hard time finding a good slot in the school day to have each kids read aloud to me and then work through all the vocab and questions together (I also have a crazy 4yo in the mix). It’s also the one area I get tons of grumbling about.

    Both of the kids are very fluent readers at this point. My second grader has already read through Norse myths independently with good comprehension and is mostly through the Greek myths I just ordered (we’ll still work through it together next year, of course). I’ve been having my first grader read aloud to me each day from various books since finishing STT.

    Has anyone else struggled with this? Part of me just wants to let them read and move on, but I do see the value in the guides. Any ideas on making the guides work for us? Would it be crazy to work all together through the third grade books with the kids buddy reading? I know my daughter will breeze through the second grade selections, but I’m not sure she’s ready for all of the third grade selections.

    I feel like a have a good grasp on all the other moving parts of the curriculum, but I’m still really struggling with literature. Please send help!
    2021-2022
    DS1 (7) - MP2
    DD (6) - MP1
    DS2 (3) - SCA
    +6 little souls in Heaven+

    #2
    One, we sometimes go slower than the guide, not because the child can't handle it, but because it is the only way to get it done! We only do 20-30 min total for everything in Literature/Phonics so because of that "goal" we can't always do what is assigned for the day. This typically means we just read 1 less book with the literature guides. For the 2nd grade literature, the phonics work is important, but just move through it quickly. If you pull the cards ahead of time, just run through them. If you find a card that the child struggles reading the words, set it aside to review again the next day. So, if you get through the phonics work in maybe 10 min - then you read the pronounce and spell + vocabulary - the whole thing should be done in 20 min tops. To speed up vocabulary you can write the words on a board in a column, on the second column write the definitions. Have your child draw a line to the correct definition. Then, you have a couple of options. You could have the child read to you 1-2 pages and then finish the selection via audio book. Or, I generally just have the child read silently a book that is an easy for the child to read for 20 min (this frees you up to move to another child). On day 1, once you have made sure the child has the correct definitions, you can move to another child -=the child then copies, from the board the definitions. On day 2, we just team read the selection. On day 3, we do the comprehension questions. Before we begin, I circle the questions that the child will write the answer to (so there is no "how many and which ones will I write today complaints). Have the child orally answer all questions in a complete sentence. For the questions you mark the child should write, you write the child's answer on the board. (I don't let the child copy just yet). After you are finished, the child can copy the answers, while you move to another child. Then, we just rinse and repeat. The days that the child isn't reading (for example the comprehension days - I have the child read silently for 20 min a book the child can read) (I have a stack the child can choose from)

    In the 3rd grade, we do something similarly, but only take 2 days per chapter. Day 1 is vocabulary + team read, Day 2 is comprehension (with silent reading for 20 min ) following the same method used described above. (this grade may take more like 30-40 min)

    So, if I had a 2nd and 3rd grader, my day might go something like this: Math - 20 min with each child (are you using R&S or something else?). With R&S , I do the teacher lesson and watch the child do some practice problems. Then, I "assign" some problems while I work with the next child. (the child "waiting" can either play with the 4 year old, or you can give them some speed drills or flashcards to use). I switch - so we are looking at 40 min for math between the two kids. Maybe it's time for you to spend a bit of one on one with the 4 year old...another 20 min - that is 1 hour. Now, do literature/reading - another hour will have passed (2 hours)......I think I would Prima with both the 2nd grader and 3rd grader together. This should take no more than 15-20 min. Somedays all you are doing is reviewing and the kids are just writing the words. Now, it has been about 2.5 hours and you have finished Latin, Math and Literature! I would alternate teaching spelling. I don't teach every day spelling. So, Day 1 of spelling for your 2nd grader may be Monday, but Day 1 for your 3rd grader might be Tuesday. On Monday for "spelling" time, the child you are not teaching can simply copy the words for the week. Day 2 of spelling we don't do that whole second page, but just the first column, which has become independent work in our home. I do colorful words with the children on Day 3. Also the fill in the blank page is independent work in our home. The spelling "quiz" is usually our test so the extra day might be a page in the supplemental book. If the child misses words on the quiz, then I do spend extra time with the child. It has now been probably 3 hours and latin, math, spelling and literature are done! YEAH! If we have a playdate in the afternoon - we enjoy it! If we are home, after lunch, we do a rotation of Classical/Christian/States and Capitals/Mammals (one per day). In your case the 2nd grader can listen to the Bible story, and asked some basic questions, but excuse this child while you spend a little more with your 3rd grader - follow the same process for the study guide. We do do this one more orally - and I do the drill questions/flashcards 2x per week - alternating Classical/Christian. If you feel like you want to do some of the 2nd grade enrichment - you can listen to the music at lunch and save the read aloud for bedtime. There is a 5th afternoon "free" if you do Classical/Christian/States/Mammals rotation after lunch. You could do some of the 2nd grade enrichment on the 5th day, or don't worry about it! Cursive is pretty independent in our home. I would like to say we do the Copybooks, but they don't often get done with everything else we have going on. Our after lunch time, I allow no more than 1 hour.

    Good luck! I found teaching two was doable, but have had some trouble adding in the 3rd child. I did have to do some consolidation. It's had it's plusses and minus. My 3rd grader is doing Greek Myths and Christian Studies with my 4th grade son, but she is slowing him down. In your case, you could actually not do the Classical/Christian etc until the next year when you have a 4th grader and 3rd grader. The 4th grader could do "4th for New Users" and the 3rd Grader could do 3rd accelerated....just a couple of thoughts. If they don't work well together then, I would suggest my original recommendations.

    I am finding that every year I have to figure it out and each year the kids grow and change. I think my current 3rd grader is going to repeat Christian Studies and Myths..(which the moderated homeschool actually schedules them over 2 years anyway) so, I'm not sure how that will work. I have found that they are able to do more independently, so I'm not "at the elbow" as much. My rising 5th grader I have been able to assign "read then discuss" where earlier in the year I couldn't.
    Christine

    (2022/2023)
    DD1 8/23/09 -Mix of MP 6/7
    DS2 9/1/11 - Mix of SC 7/8 and SC 9/10 (R&S 5, FFL)
    DD3 2/9/13 -SC 5/6

    Previous Years
    DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4, Mix of MP3/4, Mix MP5/6
    DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, AAR/Storytime Treasures), CLE Math, Mix of MP3/4, MP5 (literature mix of SC 7/8/MP5)
    DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK, AAR), MP1, MP2

    Comment


      #3
      I get it. I remember reading a while back that the efficient parent will look at a course of study and figure out what the essentials are and why each component is in there. If you have a child who readily meets many of the objectives from that assignment, that is a time when you can either intermittently bring them in or do them as time allows. Look at the vocabulary synonyms activity. If taking 3-5 minutes before you read seriously impacts the flow, skip it and ask "What's another way to say that?" when the word pops up. Does a child need the skill of finding a vocab word in a text? Sure. But if your child can randomly do this a few times, don't belabor it! If your child has excellent capitalization, punctuation and syntax when writing and can form complete sentences without help, skip some of the easier questions and write down one good one. I never found it necessary for my child to write lists of main characters, ages or minor details in a story. If your children do not remember character names, THAT is the time to write them down. If your children need practice composing complete sentences to lit guide questions, then it needs to find its way into rotation, whether you slow it down or drop something else not critical to skill-building in the primary years (art, music, science).

      At that age, there was a ton of protesting about writing. Building up the stamina required does take time (and plenty of writing). You are not alone, and protesting is usually related to things which give our bright learners the most headache.

      Here's my 2 cents when you have accelerated readers: While my eldest read LWW in the middle of 1st, I am so glad I didn't put her a year ahead in MP. MP2 seemed way beneath her reading level, but I treated it as a gentle year in which to learn the procedures of the MP guides. I let her shine and work as independently as she could. My child read everything aloud, even the science and history readers. We never buddy read, and I still don't. My children read everything, even if it's to their grandma, sibling or father. They can do this because the material is at or below their reading level and stamina. By the time we hit 3A, my child was using the pronunciation guide to read through the Greek Myths selections at least twice a week. I read the first time for inflection, cadence, and pronunciation. She read aloud and silently the rest of the times. We did the Honors activities in the lit guide for fun, as it is the icing on the cake for some kids. We had such an enjoyable year in 2nd and 3rd, really getting into the LHOP prairie stuff. We built a covered wagon for my eldest's dolls, made a butter churn, washboard, and sacks of vintage goods for them. We bought prairie dress-up clothes and packed picnics. If you do AG Doll, Queen's Treasures has a ton of great replica accessories from that era. I bought all of the Wilder books for my eldest to read silently, and we even found biographies and spin-off series to read (one follows her daughter Rose, another her mom). Could getting INTO the lit be the thing that makes it all worth it to you? Or are you the type who needs to scale back? For us, the lit guides were our meat and potatoes, and the Enrichment activities were the icing that kept us coming back. I was glad I persevered through the difficult stage with the kids. Now, I have to beg my daughter to stop asking me for MP lit guides just for fun for books she has read (like Little Women, Hobbit, Jane Eyre, Pride & Prejudice, Romeo & Juliet) that I know we're going to study in later grades. While I know that can sound suspect that a child would even say that, she is so excited to tap into all of the maps, poems, vocabulary, study notes, and discussion questions that MP puts into them. Don't skip them. Don't rush ahead. Do what NEEDS to be done, and find ways to bring the literature to life!

      Mama of 2, teacher of 3
      Summer: First Start French I
      SY 22/23
      6A, teaching TFL & CC Chreia/Maxim in group, and Koine Greek
      MP2 w/ R&S Arithmetic 3


      Completed MPK, MP1, MP2, 3A, 4A, 5A
      SC B, SC C, SC1 (Phonics/Math), SC2's Writing Book 1

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by howiecram View Post
        One, we sometimes go slower than the guide, not because the child can't handle it, but because it is the only way to get it done! We only do 20-30 min total for everything in Literature/Phonics so because of that "goal" we can't always do what is assigned for the day. This typically means we just read 1 less book with the literature guides. For the 2nd grade literature, the phonics work is important, but just move through it quickly. If you pull the cards ahead of time, just run through them. If you find a card that the child struggles reading the words, set it aside to review again the next day. So, if you get through the phonics work in maybe 10 min - then you read the pronounce and spell + vocabulary - the whole thing should be done in 20 min tops. To speed up vocabulary you can write the words on a board in a column, on the second column write the definitions. Have your child draw a line to the correct definition. Then, you have a couple of options. You could have the child read to you 1-2 pages and then finish the selection via audio book. Or, I generally just have the child read silently a book that is an easy for the child to read for 20 min (this frees you up to move to another child). On day 1, once you have made sure the child has the correct definitions, you can move to another child -=the child then copies, from the board the definitions. On day 2, we just team read the selection. On day 3, we do the comprehension questions. Before we begin, I circle the questions that the child will write the answer to (so there is no "how many and which ones will I write today complaints). Have the child orally answer all questions in a complete sentence. For the questions you mark the child should write, you write the child's answer on the board. (I don't let the child copy just yet). After you are finished, the child can copy the answers, while you move to another child. Then, we just rinse and repeat. The days that the child isn't reading (for example the comprehension days - I have the child read silently for 20 min a book the child can read) (I have a stack the child can choose from)

        In the 3rd grade, we do something similarly, but only take 2 days per chapter. Day 1 is vocabulary + team read, Day 2 is comprehension (with silent reading for 20 min ) following the same method used described above. (this grade may take more like 30-40 min)

        So, if I had a 2nd and 3rd grader, my day might go something like this: Math - 20 min with each child (are you using R&S or something else?). With R&S , I do the teacher lesson and watch the child do some practice problems. Then, I "assign" some problems while I work with the next child. (the child "waiting" can either play with the 4 year old, or you can give them some speed drills or flashcards to use). I switch - so we are looking at 40 min for math between the two kids. Maybe it's time for you to spend a bit of one on one with the 4 year old...another 20 min - that is 1 hour. Now, do literature/reading - another hour will have passed (2 hours)......I think I would Prima with both the 2nd grader and 3rd grader together. This should take no more than 15-20 min. Somedays all you are doing is reviewing and the kids are just writing the words. Now, it has been about 2.5 hours and you have finished Latin, Math and Literature! I would alternate teaching spelling. I don't teach every day spelling. So, Day 1 of spelling for your 2nd grader may be Monday, but Day 1 for your 3rd grader might be Tuesday. On Monday for "spelling" time, the child you are not teaching can simply copy the words for the week. Day 2 of spelling we don't do that whole second page, but just the first column, which has become independent work in our home. I do colorful words with the children on Day 3. Also the fill in the blank page is independent work in our home. The spelling "quiz" is usually our test so the extra day might be a page in the supplemental book. If the child misses words on the quiz, then I do spend extra time with the child. It has now been probably 3 hours and latin, math, spelling and literature are done! YEAH! If we have a playdate in the afternoon - we enjoy it! If we are home, after lunch, we do a rotation of Classical/Christian/States and Capitals/Mammals (one per day). In your case the 2nd grader can listen to the Bible story, and asked some basic questions, but excuse this child while you spend a little more with your 3rd grader - follow the same process for the study guide. We do do this one more orally - and I do the drill questions/flashcards 2x per week - alternating Classical/Christian. If you feel like you want to do some of the 2nd grade enrichment - you can listen to the music at lunch and save the read aloud for bedtime. There is a 5th afternoon "free" if you do Classical/Christian/States/Mammals rotation after lunch. You could do some of the 2nd grade enrichment on the 5th day, or don't worry about it! Cursive is pretty independent in our home. I would like to say we do the Copybooks, but they don't often get done with everything else we have going on. Our after lunch time, I allow no more than 1 hour.

        Good luck! I found teaching two was doable, but have had some trouble adding in the 3rd child. I did have to do some consolidation. It's had it's plusses and minus. My 3rd grader is doing Greek Myths and Christian Studies with my 4th grade son, but she is slowing him down. In your case, you could actually not do the Classical/Christian etc until the next year when you have a 4th grader and 3rd grader. The 4th grader could do "4th for New Users" and the 3rd Grader could do 3rd accelerated....just a couple of thoughts. If they don't work well together then, I would suggest my original recommendations.

        I am finding that every year I have to figure it out and each year the kids grow and change. I think my current 3rd grader is going to repeat Christian Studies and Myths..(which the moderated homeschool actually schedules them over 2 years anyway) so, I'm not sure how that will work. I have found that they are able to do more independently, so I'm not "at the elbow" as much. My rising 5th grader I have been able to assign "read then discuss" where earlier in the year I couldn't.
        Thanks for the helpful suggestions! We do use R&S and I love that my kids can do it mostly independently. Same with cursive and spelling. When I type it out, it seems like everything flows along well, but somehow in the day to day, things feel crazy and time seems tight even just covering the essentials. I do plan to have the kids do prima together next year (we’ve followed it loosely this year) and we’re going to do Greek myths orally together (the kids are chomping at the bit to get to that one). Second grade enrichment and mammals will get covered at our once a week co-op so that’s off my plate.

        I guess maybe I just need someone to convince me that the literature guides are an essential so I can just add that to my non-negotiable list and get it done. And maybe I just need to get used to the fact that there just isn’t enough time in the day to get to all the rest of life while also homeschooling. I feel like I have so many balls in the air and they’re frequently falling and hitting me in the head, lol.
        2021-2022
        DS1 (7) - MP2
        DD (6) - MP1
        DS2 (3) - SCA
        +6 little souls in Heaven+

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by enbateau View Post
          I get it. I remember reading a while back that the efficient parent will look at a course of study and figure out what the essentials are and why each component is in there. If you have a child who readily meets many of the objectives from that assignment, that is a time when you can either intermittently bring them in or do them as time allows. Look at the vocabulary synonyms activity. If taking 3-5 minutes before you read seriously impacts the flow, skip it and ask "What's another way to say that?" when the word pops up. Does a child need the skill of finding a vocab word in a text? Sure. But if your child can randomly do this a few times, don't belabor it! If your child has excellent capitalization, punctuation and syntax when writing and can form complete sentences without help, skip some of the easier questions and write down one good one. I never found it necessary for my child to write lists of main characters, ages or minor details in a story. If your children do not remember character names, THAT is the time to write them down. If your children need practice composing complete sentences to lit guide questions, then it needs to find its way into rotation, whether you slow it down or drop something else not critical to skill-building in the primary years (art, music, science).

          At that age, there was a ton of protesting about writing. Building up the stamina required does take time (and plenty of writing). You are not alone, and protesting is usually related to things which give our bright learners the most headache.

          Here's my 2 cents when you have accelerated readers: While my eldest read LWW in the middle of 1st, I am so glad I didn't put her a year ahead in MP. MP2 seemed way beneath her reading level, but I treated it as a gentle year in which to learn the procedures of the MP guides. I let her shine and work as independently as she could. My child read everything aloud, even the science and history readers. We never buddy read, and I still don't. My children read everything, even if it's to their grandma, sibling or father. They can do this because the material is at or below their reading level and stamina. By the time we hit 3A, my child was using the pronunciation guide to read through the Greek Myths selections at least twice a week. I read the first time for inflection, cadence, and pronunciation. She read aloud and silently the rest of the times. We did the Honors activities in the lit guide for fun, as it is the icing on the cake for some kids. We had such an enjoyable year in 2nd and 3rd, really getting into the LHOP prairie stuff. We built a covered wagon for my eldest's dolls, made a butter churn, washboard, and sacks of vintage goods for them. We bought prairie dress-up clothes and packed picnics. If you do AG Doll, Queen's Treasures has a ton of great replica accessories from that era. I bought all of the Wilder books for my eldest to read silently, and we even found biographies and spin-off series to read (one follows her daughter Rose, another her mom). Could getting INTO the lit be the thing that makes it all worth it to you? Or are you the type who needs to scale back? For us, the lit guides were our meat and potatoes, and the Enrichment activities were the icing that kept us coming back. I was glad I persevered through the difficult stage with the kids. Now, I have to beg my daughter to stop asking me for MP lit guides just for fun for books she has read (like Little Women, Hobbit, Jane Eyre, Pride & Prejudice, Romeo & Juliet) that I know we're going to study in later grades. While I know that can sound suspect that a child would even say that, she is so excited to tap into all of the maps, poems, vocabulary, study notes, and discussion questions that MP puts into them. Don't skip them. Don't rush ahead. Do what NEEDS to be done, and find ways to bring the literature to life!
          Thank you for the thoughtful response! Good readers are their own sort of tricky, aren’t they? I do think my kids would like a deep dive, but I honestly don’t know how I would make that work if I were doing second and third grade literature at the same time. And they’d both want to be involved in any fun projects. I hear not rushing, and that’s my hesitation for just putting them together in third (and there’s no way my son would re-do second). The one year age gap is tough…they seem so close on so many things but there is definitely a difference that year makes. My next one in line is three years behind my first grader, thankfully. No worrying about how/if to combine there

          I like your ideas for streamlining the guides. My kids are good at writing complete sentences so part of me feels like we’re not getting tons out of the guides. But I’m afraid we’ll be missing something valuable if I just have them read.

          As I replied above, I think I’m just struggling with lots of balls in the air educating and loving on kids and keeping the house running and need someone to tell me that making the guides a priority for each kid is worth my figuring out how to make it work.
          2021-2022
          DS1 (7) - MP2
          DD (6) - MP1
          DS2 (3) - SCA
          +6 little souls in Heaven+

          Comment


            #6
            I have no tips for keeping all the balls in the air. Something is always crashing around here…literally and figuratively. However I do think the literature guides are worthwhile. iIf it means fewer books in the year, then know you did fewer things well.
            I, too, have voracious readers who don’t love to write in the lit guides. For my eldest who is in sixth grade, I can see her needing the lit guides more than in years past. It is helping her focus on key events and understand more complex and longer chapters. In the younger years, you are building the foundation of being able to read well, write well thought out answers so they can do that easily when the deeper thinking comes. The hard part of laying a foundation is you don’t see the beauty of the building until later.

            FWIW, beginning in 3rd grade, I stop partner reading with my kids. I will find other times for them to read aloud but there just isn’t time for me to read with them in literature. I do have them note the page numbers where they find answers so we can easily reference them later. Also, we don’t write all of the answers. They use a dice to roll to see how many answers they have to write. Sometimes they’re lucky and sometimes they aren’t.🙂 They can only roll once and complaining means they lose the privilege of rolling. It takes the decision away from me of how many to answer, although I will tell them which ones to answer.

            If you want some more resources, here is an old forum post about why the lit guides are worthwhile: https://forum.memoriapress.com/forum...erature-guides

            At last year’s Sodalitas conference Leigh Lowe talked about literature and the MP approach in one of the plenaries, if you’d like some more encouragement. I always like to watch a few of the recordings in the winter months to cheer me on to the end of the year. https://www.memoriapress.com/sodalitas-plenaries/ She also wrote about the purpose of lit guides in a Classical Teacher article.
            Heidi

            For 2021-22
            dd- 6th
            ds- 3rd
            dd- 1st
            ds- adding smiles and distractions

            Comment

            Working...
            X