Luke has used a few different language arts programs that were very good, but just not a good fit for him. He needs something a little more hands on and visual. While researching this summer, I stumbled upon Winston Grammar and it seemed like it would fit him.
After an initial honeymoon period with the program, I became a little discouraged. Luke was having some trouble identifying the parts of speech in sentences. We talked often about needing to read a word in context to know how it was being used. He would be inconsistent in his performance. He desperately wanted to break free of using the colored cards to label words, but each time he did, he would make simple mistakes. This lasted for a good 2+ months. It seemed a long time to "hang in there" with a program that just seems to not go anywhere.
But once ski lessons were over and life's schedule returned to normal (or whatever normal is here), we settled into a new routine and hung. in. there.
He's now classifying sentences (with a little prompting from me) with adjectives and adverbs! Adverbs, mind you!
This is what a card looks like:
There is a different colored card for each part of speech.With Luke, I'm using both the basic set and the supplementary set. The sentences with the supplementary workbook are definitely harder than those in the basic set, so we do not do every one. What seems to work best for Luke is for him to parse sentences with me and with the cards before labeling sentences with marks and underlines on his workbook page. The sentence he's labeled below was:
Unfortunately, farmers relied too heavily on the valuable crop.
The black card is used when a word needs to be classified, yet it hasn't been learned yet. We haven't gone over conjunctions or prepositions yet, and we also haven't gone over sentence types, direct objects, etc. That comes in the second half of the program.
Luke likes to try to do some of the sentences without the cards; he wants to just look at the sentence and start classifying it. But, these cards are like magic; they cue him, they slow him down, and they make him focus on one part at a time.
We are also excitedly working on a unit study on Composers for an upcoming review. Levi really enjoys creating all the parts of the lapbook -- and there are a TON in this packet, so he is pretty happy: