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SuseyQ
SuseyQ asks:
Q:

Language Art Program that really works???

Hi,
Has anyone found a language art program that really works?  Should include grammar and writing.  Spelling is optional as is reading and handwriting.  Should be easy to implement and easy to understand.  My dau is 11y.o. working between the 2nd/3rd grade level in this area.  Any suggestions would be appreciated!

Thank You,  Sue
In Topics: Helping my child with writing, Homeschooling
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Sylvia HS
Apr 18, 2009
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What the Expert Says:

Hello SuseyQ,

I'm thinking that your daughter is experiencing phonological awareness difficulties.  You say that she's working at a second or third grade level, and she's of grade six age.  In my experience, students who are making less-than-expected progress with the reading of words, are unable to figure out how words work.  Words seem like random jumbles of letters to them, and they can't use sounds to help figure them out.  This means that they have to memorize words one at a time.  This also means that they don't see patterns in words.  For instance, they don't notice that the "ab" spelling (which always says /ab/ in English syllables) is found in short, medium, and long words, e.g. nab, cabin, laboratory.  If they can't see and use patterns, then English words don't make sense to them.

I'd like to recommend that you take a look at my website:   www.dynamicreadingandwriting.com for an in-depth discussion about how this difficulty can impact children's progress with reading, writing, and spelling.  I'd also suggest that you consider the book I've written:  Why Your Child Can't Read And Spell And What YOU Can Do About It'.  I've designed 48 easy-to-follow lessons to develop reading and spelling, from one-syllable words through to the hardest multi-syllabic words in English.

You'll want to see if you can accelerate your daughter's reading level to closer to grade expectations, and by developing her phonological awareness (her awareness of how to use sounds to figure out words) you will enable her to learn words more quickly.

For comprehension and writing work, I would suggest that you look for materials that develop main idea reading and writing.  Also look for materials on finding and using details, sequencing, comparing, predicting, and inferring.  Perhaps your daughter's school can help you find these.  It's important that you work with your daughter at her instructional level, i.e. the level at which she reads comfortably (around the 90% word accuracy level).  As you develop her phonological awareness, you'll find that her word reading levels will increase much more rapidly, and she'll move closer to age/grade expectations and materials.

Sincerely,
Sylvia HS
Reading Specialist, Author
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Additional Answers (6)

michaelbartone
michaelbart... writes:
Hi Sue,<br />
<br />
I taught 1st and 3rd grade as well as being the reading intervention teacher, and I teaching language arts was always my favorite. This is a very important area of study.<br />
<br />
As for a specific program, I never subscribed to those. I always taught, and was taught, how to use best teaching practices. I always used a balanced literacy program in reading and the students were engaged in reading and writer's workshop. Basically for reading I always had my students use reading strategies and to not focus on skills. The difference is that strategies help you become a stronger reader while skills are used in reading as a way to pick things out of text. For instance a skill is when a teacher asks the teacher to find the specific causes and effects in a story. While the strategy helps the child better understand and find cause and effect. I know it sounds confusing, but it is a highly controversial area in education.<br />
<br />
To wrap up here are four things I would share with my students:<br />
1. Become the character--what if you are the character how would you be dealing with these events?<br />
2. Ask &quot;What Does the Author Want Me to Learn?&quot;--this helps the child talk to themselves during the reading and discover why exactly the author wrote this book other than just for fun.<br />
3. Ask Questions and Find Answers--have your daughter ask a question about what is going on in the story and then have her find the answer in the story. Sometimes answers aren't clear, but at least she will be interacting with the text.<br />
4. Make Connections--take Post-It notes and have her make a personal (Text to Self--T-S) connection to the book. She will place the Post-It on the page where she has made the connection (she will write T-S to remind herself that is it a text to self connection). She can do this for Text to Text (T-T) connections, when the book she is reading reminds her of another book she has read.<br />
<br />
Finally, for writing she can just keep a journal of things she is interested in. If she likes nature go out to the park and gather things. then write down a list of what is found and make a story up about them. Or if you live in the city, write down sounds and sights of the city. Again, make a list and try to generate story. Let her be free with these tasks and draft and revise. Remind her authors do it all the time!<br />
<br />
If you have any other questions just keep asking or search our reference articles!<br />
> 60 days ago

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Loddie1
Loddie1 , Parent writes:
Hello,
First of all, each child will respond differently to the tactics used by the program you select. Secondly, I have a degree in English and taught this subject for three years. I have never found a better elementary program than Abeka. Abeka has enough practice sheets and clearly outlines the topic being taught. I highly recommend!!! My daughter is in the 4th grade and has mastered some skills I was not even able to in middle school. I usually do not promote a program; however, this one is very accurate! Good Luck!
> 60 days ago

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BanterAboutArts
BanterAbout... , School Administrator, Teacher writes:
Dear Sue,

As an educator who is passionate about the power of books is to encourage you to become her reading mentor.

I will never forget reading Beatrix Potter’s, Peter Rabbit over and over and over with my firstborn, each time experiencing on a deeper level the simple, yet profound message. Peter helped me gently impress on my daughter’s heart the significance of obedience. Mrs. Rabbit does not, after all, create rules so that Peter’s life will be a complete drudgery. Mrs. Rabbit lays down the law because she loves her little rabbit and does not want him to be in harm’s way. Once, when snuggling with my three-year-old Hannah reading a well-worn copy of the story, I was amazed when she grabbed the little book and began reading to me, "…but his sobs were heard by some friendly sparrows, who flew to him in great excitement, and implored him to exert himself." I guarantee she understood the meaning of all those big words because she understood Peter’s story on a deep level.

We all have heard about and embraced the value of reading aloud to our children. Reading aloud plays a vital role in determining whether or not children will embrace books on their own. Because I believe in the transforming power of story, my primary goal is to get students and their parents into the routine of reading. What I’ve come to realize is that reading with our children does not have to stop as they get older. We should never have to ask, "Remember the good old days when life was simple and we could snuggle up with our little ones to share the joys of reading a great story?" When my daughter began reading chapter books in the first grade, I did not want story time to end, so, to her delight, I began reading the same books she read so that we could dialogue about the story. The characters and situations we encountered in our reading, like Peter Rabbit, afforded golden opportunities for me to mentor my daughter.

Establishing a routine of reading and thinking about great stories will enable your daughter to develop the tools necessary to independently analyze and respond to great stories. By combining literature discovery guides—see Blackbird and Company—with a phonics program—a simple one like Explode the Code—you will open up a whole new world for your daughter! Become your daughter’s mentor, free from the confines of a tedious and frustrating language arts schedule that sacrifices golden opportunities to nourish and nurture her heart.

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HeatherPeterson124
HeatherPete... writes:
Make sure that the degree program you want to take is suitable to your abilities and interests as well.
> 60 days ago

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HeatherPeterson124
HeatherPete... writes:
With the advent of the technological age, many students are now considering taking a degree program via online.
> 60 days ago

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t3lemberger6
t3lemberger6 writes:
We are using ACE curriculum with our son because he has the same problem. ACE is very repetitive and reviews prior skills before moving forward. If the child does not receive a B or above on the test, he needs to continue in the Pace until he receives such grade. This is their way of making sure the children have the skills they need before moving forward to the next Pace.
> 60 days ago

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