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1st and 2nd grade Lang Arts Questions

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    1st and 2nd grade Lang Arts Questions

    We are on Week 25 of our Kinder and moving fast so I am planning ahead to first grade. We are loving your plans and look forward to our new books. I do have a few questions before I order though.

    Please keep in mind my guys are older (71/2 and 61/2) so this is all within their ability levels. I would be embarrassed to have anyone think I am pushing them.

    Are any changes planned for the 1st grade plans? Because we will be going straight from Kinder to 1st and will not need the review material, what week should we begin with, or will this depend on the subject?

    How are the spelling lists organized? Are the words related to the phonics lesson of the week or by spelling rule or by common spelling pattern (all have same ending, middle or starting blends/sounds, etc.)? How are the words practiced? I can see there are no worksheets so am I correct to assume ideas are given for practicing the words in the plans?

    Would it be better to start R&S Spelling at the 1st grade level with the 2nd grade book or to wait until 2nd grade? If I choose this route, will not knowing the words in the plans cause problems for other assignments?

    We have already started learning cursive. At what point should I begin to require that all work be done in cursive?

    We will be doing a separate full grammar program as my dh says no to Latin. (yeah, silly man.) Will this be duplicating any skills covered by the MP plans (minus the Latin)? Should we wait until 2nd or 3rd or begin in 1st? Will this make using your plans long term a problem? (please say no!)

    Thank you!
    Last edited by Enigma; 12-08-2011, 09:13 AM.
    The Homeschool Grads:
    J- 6/96
    S- 11/98

    Homeschooling:
    G- 4/04 (mild ASD/mild intellectual delay)
    D- 5/05
    F- 7/08 (my only girl)

    New Homeschooler:
    M- 9/16: JrK

    #2
    Hello.

    I have made some minor changes to the first grade curriculum manual based on suggestions from our teachers. We've tweaked the spelling lists and moved the weeks around at Christmas time, but the content itself is the same. The spelling lists do come directly from the phonics work the students do. So, if they are working on contractions in SRA2, their spelling words are all contractions.

    I've never actually seen the 2nd grade R&S Spelling book, so I'm not sure if it would be appropriate for 1st grade or not. We don't start using R&S Spelling until 3rd grade. We did look at the 3rd grade spelling book as a possible fit for our 2nd grade, but we decided that SRA alongside our lit. guides really does take care of our spelling needs and is enough time spent in that area.

    If you do WWE, you probably will get enough copywork that you could skip the MP copybook. Again, it's a matter of where your time is best spent.

    Our 1st graders finish NAC1 by the end of 1st grade, and they come into 2nd grade with a review of cursive, and then they are required to do all of their written work in cursive. Our goal is for them to be fluent cursive writers by the end of 2nd grade so that by the time we really kick in the work in 3rd grade, they won't be slowed down by their writing skills.

    By doing a grammar program, you will not be duplicating anything in our curriculum. We used to start the R&S grammar program in 2nd grade alongside Latin, and we just dropped it last year when our teachers felt like it was grammar overkill. We have never done a grammar program in 1st grade because we felt the copybook work and lit. guide work took care of the basic grammar we wanted to master in 1st (simple capitalization, punctuation, writing 1 good sentence, etc.). I'd wait until 2nd grade to begin a formal grammar program. Just let your 1st grade goal be simple sentence mastery (capitalizing at the beginning, period at the end, subject and predicate, ...).

    So sad about Latin ...

    Cheers,

    Tanya

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      #3
      Tagging onto this question, do your students complete the SRA books in cursive as well? We've are transitioning over to all cursive (just about to start MP 2 after the break) but are having some problems since all the examples in the workbook are in print.

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        #4
        Our teachers require cursive in 2nd grade, but if a student really struggles to the point that paying attention to cursive takes all of his/her attention away from the topic, then exceptions are made and the student is required to practice more at home. But the goal is for students to come out of the 2nd grade writing fluently in cursive. Our 3rd grade kicks in pretty rigorously, so it is a great help to those teachers if students have mastered cursive by then.

        So, I wouldn't rush it if your child is frustrated, but I would require more and more cursive as you go along. That is really the only way to move to an effortless handwriting. But I am not really one to talk - my oldest son hated writing in any form all through school. It made him a good, concise writer though as he struggled even as a little boy to write sentences with the fewest words possible. So maybe I can credit his college writing success with that hatred of the pen (or could it be all the Latin and logic?).

        Tanya

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