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Beth and Matt are finishing first grade and kindergarten (public school) this year. I don't think either of them is going to need anymore phonics instruction because they both read very well. Soooo....what next? I've thought about not buying a LA program, and just having them read on their own and do written responses. Plus spelling words and tests that I could put together myself. Any other ideas? I don't want to miss anything. I do want to teach them the parts of a sentence (nouns, verbs, etc...that wasn't covered in school) but probably not much formal grammar yet.
Things like handwriting, grammar(most simply just call this English, I guess, lol), composition(that goes with handwriting I guess for most people), literature, spelling...those sorts of things is where we went next after basic phonics. We worked on them a bit while doing phonics too, but not as extensively. We also do GUM-grammar, usage,mechanics(which also includes structure)....which is an all inclusive of everything else. It makes much more sense when doing it. We work on bitty pieces of components here and there and slowly work them all together, if that makes any sort of sense. Like we'll work a bit on handwriting, spelling, grammar individually...and also use all three of them in a combined sort of lesson in composition. It moves much more fluidly when we actually do it, but explaining how we do it is darn near impossible, lol.
As they get older the individual components get worked on less, and it becomes an all combined sort of lesson.
Spelling is one that we'll never eliminate entirely, same with literature. That's a daily thing no matter what. Vocabulary is more like 95% of the time, not quite daily but at least 4 days a week, lol.
Aside from spelling you can also work in vocabulary, unless you treat your spelling like vocabulary. Most people think there isn't a difference, but there really is, lol. Spelling you're simply learning how to spell a word(not always a new to you word), possibly using it in a sentence. Vocabulary you learn new words(we aim for new to us, well them, words, rather than ones we already know), how to spell them, their origin, how to properly use them in all of their tenses, synonyms and antonyms, things like this.
I'm pretty sure most LA courses cover these kinds of things, but how extensively, in what order, etc... I'm not sure. I don't like most that I have seen. But it's pretty easy to put stuff like this together with free resources on the web, or simply making it up as you go, lol. I actually prefer that method to most LA curriculums I've seen. I love the K12 one, but I still supplement a HUGE amount, and only use that one as a base. It's just easier to adapt and cater when needed. Like for my girls, they're both well beyond the actual grade level they're at, in LA(they're going into 6th and 8th, respectively, but in LA they're both 3-4 grades ahead, easily). They breeze right through their actual curriculum, so I basically just make my own.
Everything you're wanting/needing CAN be done simply by choosing great books to read, followed by writing topics (either about the book, or creatively in the style of the book). You can teach vocabulary, comprehension, grammar, spelling, and writing mechanics all in one without having to buy one or more curricula if that's how you choose to do it. All of those topics are the next logical step after phonics, and everyone has their own idea about which is the most important and which comes first. Go with whatever works for you.