Grammar and my 10 yr. old!

This is where new posts begin. All questions or discussions about any of Heart of Dakota's curriculums start here. If you wish to share a one-time post about your family's experience with our curriculum, you may post under the specific curriculum title (found beneath this "Main Board" heading).
Post Reply
Rachel
Posts: 52
Joined: Fri May 20, 2011 10:06 am

Grammar and my 10 yr. old!

Post by Rachel » Fri May 31, 2013 4:44 am

My ds is almost 11 yrs. old, just about finished with Preparing (gr. 4), and finishing up a year of R & S 4. His spelling has really improved this year, and he is loving the history in Preparing, but grammar is a headache! In the past he used FLL though level 3 before switching into R & S 4 this year. I knew at the time that it might be difficult for him, but thought that because of the full exposure to the parts of speech and other grammar that he'd already received, it might "click" with him this year. Well, it hasn't. I have had to drag him through each lesson, sometimes taking 45 minutes or longer. We cover most of it orally, using the whiteboard for diagramming or a few other answers that are easily written. He is also using another short daily review book that covers language usage (ex. punctuation, capitalization, even combining sentences), and he loves that and often gets 100% on the pages. But he cannot seem to recall what a noun is to save his life, much less an adverb or direct object! It is all jumbled up in his head. :( I am a trained teacher who loves grammar, but I am needing help deciding what to do to help him learn his parts of speech next school year!
I contemplated moving him back to R&S 3, which is what I should have done for this year. Too late now! It seems to me that R&S 3 has a lot of other usage topics that ds already knows well. He does not want to do R&S 4 all over again in the fall either! Soooo... any advice? How can I work with him to get him to learn his parts of speech and understand them? I know this can be common for little boys, but still I don't want to go through another year like this one and find he STILL doesn't know what he's doing by the end without me babying him through every question! For those of you who have used CTC, does the Write with the Best cover parts of speech too? Maybe that will be a help, and I noticed if he does R&S 5, he will only cover half of it in CTC, meaning I assume that he will only have to learn up through nouns, verbs, and pronouns possibly. That might help too, since covering fewer topics might help it finally sink in.
Well, I see this is getting very long! Let me know if you have any advice for me. Oh, I should mention that I live overseas and have already made my order, so I can't get new curriculum unless it's something I can download online or already own.
married to dh since 1998
ds 12, RTR
dd 9, Preparing

pjdobro
Posts: 1491
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 1:45 pm

Re: Grammar and my 10 yr. old!

Post by pjdobro » Sat Jun 01, 2013 9:13 am

We just finished CTC using the first half of R&S5 so maybe I can help a little.

WWTB does talk about grammar a bit. For each unit that you do (total of 7 units, I believe), there is a day where you go through the sample story and circle specific nouns, underline descriptive verbs, adverbs, and adjectives. I don't know if it is really helpful in learning the parts of speech though as it is just helping the dc to recognize more descriptive language in general. It assumes that dc understand basic parts of speech and can differentiate them. R&S 5 does review everything again just adding on a bit more depth in each topic. I believe we ended up covering 5 chapters this year which is about half the book. Grammar is done 2 days a week. So perhaps the slower pace and the review that is given in R&S5 might be all he needs to grasp the concepts better.

A friend of mine recently recommended a book that she and her daughter are enjoying, Grammar-Land by M.L.Nesbitt. It's a story about the parts of speech, and she said that her dd loves it. I thought we might read it for fun over the summer. I believe it is available as an ebook. I'm not for sure what it will be like, but it looks like it might be fun. It might be a fun way to try to remember and distinguish the parts of speech. HTH! :D
Patty in NC

b/g twins '02 Rev2Rev 2014/15
previously enjoyed LHFHG, BLHFHG, Bigger, Preparing, CTC, RTR
******
Nisi Dominus Frusta (Without God, frustration)
Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Psalm 127:1

Rachel
Posts: 52
Joined: Fri May 20, 2011 10:06 am

Re: Grammar and my 10 yr. old!

Post by Rachel » Mon Jun 03, 2013 8:10 am

Thanks for your help! :D
married to dh since 1998
ds 12, RTR
dd 9, Preparing

pamh
Posts: 71
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:16 am

Re: Grammar and my 10 yr. old!

Post by pamh » Mon Jun 03, 2013 1:48 pm

Hi Rachel,

R&S grammar, level 4, was very challenging. What I had my son do (he was 10, 5th grade using level 4) was create a grammar notebook that he'll continue to do as long as he is enrolled in grammar (forever, right?). For each rule/definition he wrote it down in his notebook and refers back to it when he can't recall the rule. It has helped him tremendously! Another big help (yet brought on the sighs from my son) was to make sure that he completed the assigned worksheets and slow down if he was struggling with a topic.

Good luck to you!

Pam

luv2homeschool
Posts: 116
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2011 9:10 am

Re: Grammar and my 10 yr. old!

Post by luv2homeschool » Mon Jun 03, 2013 5:49 pm

I am actually having the same problem with my son. I bought Winston Grammar to try over the summer because it's hands-on.
Christine
DS 12, Rev to Rev
DD 10, Preparing
Our fifth year using HOD!

my3sons
Posts: 10599
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:08 pm
Location: South Dakota

Re: Grammar and my 10 yr. old!

Post by my3sons » Tue Jun 11, 2013 10:09 am

It is key to do the oral review questions in the R & S English Teacher's Guide each and every day. I know this because I forgot to do this with Wyatt when we started R & S English 3, and he couldn't remember the grammatical terms. When my loving sister asked me how he was doing with his oral review questions, I said, "What oral review questions?" :oops: R & S English 2 doesn't have them, so I assumed 3 was the same. Once my ds started consistently having to answer the oral review questions (which he was NOT good at to begin with), I saw gradual improvements that steadily increased over the years. :D

Anyway, in R & S English 4, my dc did not always know the answers to these questions, but the consistent asking of the questions and going over the answers with them has helped immensely. My oldest ds just finished R & S English 6 and is ready to go on to high school. He rarely missed the oral review questions in R & S English 6, but that was due to all of the previous years in R & S English. I'd say a huge growth in retention happens from Levels 4 through 6. Making index cards for the oral review questions that he struggled with the most helped jog his memory. I'd let him look at the card if he couldn't answer a question, and I think 'seeing' it and studying it in this manner helped him remember it well over time. :)

I'd not add more grammar to R & S English, nor switch to another grammar. R & S English is full enough already and is an extremely effective grammar program not only for its thorough coverage of grammar, but also for its using grammar as a tool to positively impact students' daily writing ability via the R & S English writing-focused lessons. In hindsight, you are right, it would have been good to do R & S English 3. However, having been through all of R & S English 4, I cannot see going back to 3 nor repeating 4. So, I'd start R & S English 5 and do 1 lesson spread out over 2 days, doing the oral review questions 2 times and making cards to help if necessary. If your ds doesn't know the answers to the oral review questions, tell him the answer right away, but have him repeat it to you. Doing the same oral review questions the next day will further cement the answers for him. I'd only do half of R & S English 5 this year, and finish the other half the next year. I would then do the same with R & S English 6, doing it spread out over 2 years. He is young, and this will work well for him. Double-dipping in the oral review questions will eventually help things to 'stick' even though he didn't do the earlier R & S English levels. I'd also drop any extra grammar as this will be overkill - it is also covered somewhat in WWTB, so between R & S English and WWTB, he will have more than enough. I'd expect this to take a bit, as it will be a lot to recall, but give it 2 years, and I think the progress will be steady! HTH! :D

In Christ,
Julie
Enjoyed LHTH to USII
Currently using USII, MTMM
Wife to Rich for 25 years
Mother to 3 sons, ages 20, 17, and 13
Author of Women's Devotional https://www.ebay.com/itm/293355757184
Blogger https://my3sons-julie.blogspot.com/
Sister to Carrie

Rachel
Posts: 52
Joined: Fri May 20, 2011 10:06 am

Re: Grammar and my 10 yr. old!

Post by Rachel » Sat Jun 15, 2013 8:27 am

Thanks, Julie (& others), for your advice. I did faithfully do all the oral review questions this year, knowing that it was helping him retain more than he would have normally. He actually did very well with that most of the time, especially with things that had just been covered recently, but as the year went on he just seemed to get all those parts of speech mixed up in his head anyway. :? He will be 11 years old doing CTC in the fall, which looks like it schedules R & S 5 to be done 2 days a week, finishing only half the book in a year. So it would take us 4 years to get through book 5 if we only do half a lesson per scheduled grammar day. Although this might be what he needs, is it what you would recommend? Or maybe I should just go at his pace through the book on the scheduled grammar days, normal pace for topics he is "good" at like capitalization, and slow down with topics he struggles with? Just finish when we finish that way. And maybe do the oral review questions a 2nd time even on non- Rod & Staff days. Just going through about half the book will mean we never reach the more difficult parts of speech, so maybe just that will be enough for him to really get his basic "nouns" and "verbs" down with understanding and be ready to add the rest on in future years. That's my hope, anyway. Or do you think I should rather spread his grammar lessons out over a 4-day schedule, with shorter periods of half a lesson each day, maybe doing the same with the writing lessons so the timing is equal? He was pleased that I said we'd only be doing language 2 days a week, but maybe it would be better for him as a struggling student to have shorter doses each day?
married to dh since 1998
ds 12, RTR
dd 9, Preparing

my3sons
Posts: 10599
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:08 pm
Location: South Dakota

Re: Grammar and my 10 yr. old!

Post by my3sons » Sat Jun 22, 2013 9:45 am

I'm so glad you are doing the oral questions - something I forgot to do and regretted! :D I'd go ahead and follow the scheduled plans for R & S English 5 in your CTC guide. I meant half-speed like it is scheduled in CTC, as taking 4 years to do 1 level would be far too long! :wink: I think it is key to remember that 10 yo or 11 yo is pretty young. At that age, I didn't know much at all about grammar. I still thrived with it in college level courses, so there are many years of practice ahead for your ds that will continue to gradually build his English skills. :D There is not a better, nor more consistent, nor more thorough, English program than R & S English. It is so solid. But, because it teaches important writing skills along with grammar skills, it is a meaty program that assumes dc are working through a year at a time with ample review. Mastery is not intended in every area in every level. So, simply consistently doing it and moving forward will help your ds the most. Give it time, and you will begin to see the results! :D HTH! :D

In Christ,
Julie
Enjoyed LHTH to USII
Currently using USII, MTMM
Wife to Rich for 25 years
Mother to 3 sons, ages 20, 17, and 13
Author of Women's Devotional https://www.ebay.com/itm/293355757184
Blogger https://my3sons-julie.blogspot.com/
Sister to Carrie

Post Reply