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How much of Storytime Treasures do you have your first grader write out?

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    How much of Storytime Treasures do you have your first grader write out?

    I am about to start Storytime Treasures with my ds 6. He is an excellent reader and I have no doubt that he can read all the books that go along with Storytime Treasures fairly easily. He can read Magic Treehouse books, for example. His writing is also very neat and he loves writing in cursive. His entire writing for school usually consists of cursive practice, a page of phonics, a page of spelling and copywork of one good sentence (about 3 lines). The Storytime Treasures lessons contain much more than that, since we'll continue with the cursive, phonics, spelling and copy work. We are taking the next few months to transition completely into MP. After Christmas, he will be 7 and will start the full 2nd grade package. That's why I thought it would be good to at least go through some of the Storytime Treasures now to ease into that format.

    I really don't want to skimp on anything that is necessary for giving my kids an excellent, rigorous education. At the same time, I can't imagine requiring him to copy the words, write the definitions, answer the questions (and I read that part about having them copy an answer that we come up with on the board) and doing the grammar exercises, on top of all the other "language arts" writing. Do most first graders do all that writing? I want him to be well prepared for second grade!


    We are going through StoryTime Treasures right now as a prep for 2nd grade. I'm not sure what you mean about copying a definition, I don't see that anywhere - we just verbally go over the definition if necessary, although for the most part he already knows what the word means. But I could be missing something from the lesson plans, as we don't follow the lesson plans. This is probably slower than might be listed on the lesson plans, but we just work on a page or two a week. For example, for the very first lesson, after reading the first Little Bear story, I just had him read the words out to me (what, something, wear, etc), and then copy the words and the sentences on that first page. That's it. For the questions and answer sessions, I will have him tell me the answers, I write them out for him, and he will copy them. So we work very gently.

    I also have him do copywork and spelling words each week, and we usually do at least one other writing practice a day, and that is about it for his writing. But we do not write for phonics or grammar (we don't cover a lot of grammar at that age). He hates to write so I don't push him.

    The question and answer sections are preparation for 2nd grade, so I wouldn't skip them. If you feel it is too much writing, you can always just go over the questions verbally.

    I hope that helps!


      Every child is different and you obviously know what is best for your student but I will just tell you what we do at Highlands Latin in reference to the amount of writing in a day.

      In the first grade classrooms, the children are writing their phonics, their spelling including copying the words each day, their cursive practice and their story time treasures. These are not all done at one sitting, for instance they spend 45 minutes to an hour on phonics so they may listen to the lesson then do examples and several answers together before they compete the remaining exercises on their own. They play a game etc. but the writing is broken up during that time.

      Cursive usually is very brief but intentional practice of just what is being learned so there is not a lot of writing there. However correct formation must be observed before assigning these lessons since we don't want poor formation to be practiced.

      Spelling like phonics is a lesson then working through the exercises together. They do copy the words once a day as this not only helps to cement the learning of the words but also facilitates skills such as accuracy, fine motor skills and penmanship practice. Not to mention that copying from one page to another is a skill that is more difficult and must be practiced.

      The writing in story time treasures can be whittled down in that you could pick one comprehension question to answer. Come up with a good sentence then have him copy just that one and do the others orally.

      First grade does need to have plenty of writing practice but you can break it up with some oral work and other subjects that don't require writing that way your student won't be fatigued. Remember too that boys will need extra time for movement. So adding activities where he can move around, recess, snack etc.. in between the writing jobs will help as well.

      Michelle T


        Thanks for the replies! I'm thinking we'll start by going over the vocabulary section orally and copying the answer to one of the comprehension questions and doing the others orally. I'm going to try to gradually increase the writing so that by the time we finish More Storytime Treasures, he is writing out at least 2 or 3 of the answers and copying the vocabulary words. Hopefully this will prepare us for 2nd grade without fatiguing him too much!


          Sounds like a great plan!

          Michelle T


            I believe in the 1st grade plans it has the student do a lesson per week which is basically a page a day. That is not much writing per day at all. However, my just turned 7 yr old is transitioning from another program and we are doing Storytime as a bridge to the 2nd grade lit. We are doing a lesson per day which is way too much writing my my squirmy lefty barely 7 yr old boy. We do most orally but write out the section where it asks questions that require a complete sentence answer. Since he will do four lessons a week, he is still doing a lot if writing each day.
            Debbie- mom of 7, civil engineering grad, married to mechanical engineer
            DD, 27, BFA '17 graphic design and illustration
            DS, 25, BS '18 mechanical engineering
            DS, 23, BS '20 Chemsitry, pursuing phd at Wash U
            (DDIL married #3 in 2020, MPOA grad, BA '20 philosophy, pusrsing phd at SLU)
            DS, 21, Physics and math major
            DD, 18, dyslexic, 12th grade dual enrolled
            DS, 14, future engineer/scientist/ world conquerer 9th MPOA diploma student
            DD, 8 , 2nd Future astronaut, robot building space artist


              Wow, that's good to know they only schedule a lesson a week! We do plan to do about a lesson a day, so that does make a difference. It sounds like you are using it with a similar purpose- as a bridge into 2nd grade.


                In looking at the curriculum guide for first grade, we do about four sometimes five pages a week. I don't have storylines treasures here to reference, but I bet that is about lesson a week. Trying to do a lesson a day would probably be frustrating to most children. A page a day is a fine pace even if you left a day for review it would still be a good pace especially since there is writing in other subjects as well.

                Michelle T


                  Michelle makes a great point about pacing. I'm not sure if you feel you need to finish Storytime Treasures (or More Storytime Treasures) before second, but you could use the slower, regular pacing and simply skip a book or two to move on to the final books before you get into second grade. Please don't feel you have to do every book in there, especially if you are using it as a bridge. I think the process is as important as the content and it would be better to learn the process with fewer texts than trying to get through everything just for the sake of getting through. Just my two cents! Put it in with everything else and weight it. You know your child and your situation best!
                  Festina lentē,
                  Jessica P

                  2021-2022 • 12th year HSing • 10th year MP
                  DS 12th • HLN, Latin online, DE math/sci - Headed to Hillsdale College next fall
                  DD 10th • HLN, Latin online
                  DD 7th • HLN & Home
                  DS 4th • HLN & Home
                  Me • Memoria College, this summer: MPOA Fourth Form for Adults

                  Teaching TFL and co-directing @
                  Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School, est. 2016