Saturday, July 29, 2006

Next year: English

Angel: So You Really Want to Learn English Prep Book 1 (Galore Park)
Star: Haydn Richards Junior English 2; dictation
Schedule: Angel - four times weekly for 20 to 30 minutes; Star - Junior English three times weekly for 20 minutes, dictation twice weekly for 10 minutes. Copywork for both ad lib.

I am experimenting with three texts from Galore Park this year - Latin for Star, English and Science for Angel. The So You Really Want to Learn English book comes recommended by a friend who tutors teenagers in English. Although the book is intended for 10 to 12 year olds, she tells me it teaches to a higher standard than the National Curriculum for Key Stage 3 (11 to 14 year olds). I like the format, which lends itself to regular, short lessons. The book is divided into ten chapters. Each has a mix of comprehension, creative writing, grammar, vocabulary and spelling exercises. I have scheduled it to cover one chapter over three weeks: week one will be comprehension and creative writing; week two will be grammar; and week three the remainder.

The Junior English book is one I used a while ago with Angel. I dithered between Better English 2 (a text used by Charlotte Mason's Parents' Union School that we recommend in Mater Amabilis for UK students) and Junior English. Both are in many ways similar. They were both originally published in the 1960s and have been in print ever since (though I think Better English may have recently gone out of print in the UK), and both have a similar mixture of language arts activities. Better English is supposed to be self-correcting and includes creative writing; Junior English does not have creative writing, but I opted for it because it has a bit less "busy work" than the other book while still covering a good range of topics. I will also be doing some dictation with Star and both girls will do copywork. I'm not sure yet what I will have them copy - in the past it has often simply been anything they chose, but I'm thinking of giving them specific items to copy this year. I am also not sure quite where I will fit it into our schedule. I find copywork is one of those things that only happens if it is part of our regular routine. As our regular routine needs rebuilding from scratch next year, I will have to do some thinking on where to fit the copywork in.

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