Thursday, December 20, 2012

Mid-Year Assessment of Our Work So Far ~ Writing


Hmmm, seems like I’ve missed a few weeks of reports.  Oops.  The last 8 weeks of so have been pretty stressful – my husband is transitioning to a new work set-up (self-employment!) and it has impacted my concentration for  school, reviews, and life in general.

With everything as in place as we can arrange it and our full confidence in God’s plan, we are ready and I am determined by faith to walk forward and move on with my jobs.

Usually at this time of year, I assess where we are in our different subjects and decide if we need to make any drastic changes from materials that are not quite working. I’m pleased to say that this year, we will not be needing to make huge changes. Everyone is learning, progressing, and we are chugging along just wonderfully!

I decided since I’m way behind in writing weekly reports and I need to assess our curriculum this year, I’d throw them both together.  First up is looking at the boys’ writing programs.  I’ll also discuss science, grammar, and spelling.

photo credit:  Flickr User Phing (Creative Commons)

Luke and Levi’s writing program was shelved for about a month because we were just running out of time during the day. Ditto with science.  I think that Write Shop Jr. A is a little young for Levi.  He is a little bored with topics that are suggested for writing, but we are chugging through and adapting when needed.  I hope to be able to look through the rest of the curriculum and pick and choose a couple projects that he can work through as well as consult Tapestry of Graces Writing Aids more for ideas for writing. We’re also using lapbooking for accountability with our history topics for the week and for sentence formation and copy work – I think I’d like to do a bit more of this to help Levi with sentence formation and Luke with paragraph writing.

Luke is having a good time writing creative stories with Write Shop Jr. D’s program.  He needs to finish up his Science Fiction story – which has a Christmas setting.  Luke is all boy, and I do have to guide him a bit in his story-telling so that not everything blows up! 

With both of my younger boys, I am thinking about setting aside some free journaling time.  Since they both seem to have lots to say, this might give them the opportunity to express themselves freely (spelling and grammar don’t count!) and without barriers or limits.

Ben is making good progress using IEW’s Continuation Course level B.  We are working on finishing the Continuation Course (you’ll see on IEW’s website that it is called SICC-B) in one year. Last week, he finished up a biographical essay using the DVD’s model of Clara Barton.  I know many people dislike formulaic writing, but I’m pleased that Ben is required right now to use lots of different sentence structures and elements to give his writing some pow!  He is not naturally a pow! writer.  At this stage in the game, I’m just happy that he needs to meet requirements that challenge him beyond short, simple, declarative sentences.  This is my kid who left to his own devices would declare “very” is a descriptive adjective, lol!  He has a great receptive vocabulary, and this program is forcing him to grow and expand.

As with Luke and Levi, I would like to look through the suggested assignments in TOG and Writing Aids and incorporate a project.  0r, maybe I’ll have him write something from science.  Regardless, I would like to work with him on managing two writing projects at a time.

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