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Sonlight Language Arts... yet again!


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  #1  
May 19th, 2007, 06:06 AM
Butter's Avatar Heather the Mama Duk
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: San Antonio TX
Posts: 28,852
So we've used 4 weeks worth of the Sonlight Language Art and we absolutely love both K and 2. We do the 5 day version (the 5th day is optional fun activities).

K introduces a letter a week (10 weeks it reviews the letters instead of introducing another letter). The first little book will be read in week 10 and then about one a week (the Fun Tales books are similar to Bob Books). It is very slow which is exactly perfect for Cameron. It would have bored Ani to death. When she was ready to read she wanted to read right away. Cameron needs to slow, steady exposure to the letter sounds. Three days of the week there is copywork. At this point it's things like name and address. The copywork pages have one side printed with the typical three lines (2 solid, 1 dotted) and the other side with the HWT style lines so you can use the side that matches the handwriting program you are using. You add in handwriting yourself based on the method you choose. Four days a week Get Ready, Get Set, and Go for the Code are scheduled (but optional - we are using them). That's usually 2-3 pages at a time. Two or three days a week there is another activity related to telling a story/pre-writing/reinforcement of letter sounds. One day Cameron "wrote" letters in sand. He made letters with play-dough. He looked at a picture and told a story about it. I read him two very short sentences and we orally worked through making it into a whole story. I read him a book he had never read before and he told me the story back page by page using the pictures as clues. Things like that. The 5th day optional activities reinforce the letter sounds with silly things to do like "fan a foot" or "board a bus."

2 uses the Sonlight natural way of learning grammar and has a real focus on writing. It's gentle and nice. We don't do it exactly as planned out but that's okay. Sonlight "gives permission" just like Math-U-See does to change it a little to make it work for you. Each week has a list of spelling words and a "rule" to go with them. The first day I read Ani the rule and we talk about it (for example, one rule was about splitting words syllabically between the vc/cv point). Then I give her a pre-test where I tell her the words and she writes them on her paper. Then there is an activity about those words (for example, with the vc/cv rule she had to split the words syllabically). The third day Ani reviews the words. The fourth day she has a post-test. We do it orally. The fifth day if she missed any words she writes them in a sentence. Handwriting is done based on the program you choose. Explode the Code 4, 5, and 6 are scheduled four days a week and Wordly Wise A is scheduled one day a week (optional - we use them). EtC is 2-4 pages a day, Wordly Wise is 1-2 pages a day. There is reading each day. The reading has comprehension questions and sometimes mapwork. The writing portion of language arts we change slightly. The first day there is copywork. It is from the reading for that week and shows some sort of grammar issue (for example, pronouns or quotations or compound sentences). The second day the copywork passage is used and changed somehow (for example, removing the pronouns or adding more). I have Ani do that orally instead of written. The rest of the week focuses on writing things. For example, in week 4 Ani learned how to construct a four sentence paragraph with a main idea and three supporting sentences based on something of her choosing we had done in science. It also touches on fiction writing and the different genres of that (science fiction, etc.).

I think that covers it. We're really liking the new language arts. It sounds like a vast improvement over the old.
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~Heather, wife to Jamie (15 years; June 5, 1998) and mom to
Ani - 14 (February 15, 2000), Cameron - 12 (October 3, 2001),
Fritz - 7 (July 11, 2006), and Adrian - 5 (June 19, 2008)
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  #2  
May 19th, 2007, 07:38 AM
KarateMom's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Oooooo, i may have to look into that a little more deeply. It sounds like it really covers all the bases in a nice, fun, "easy" manner. Is there a 4-day program? We've been accepted into a co-op next year that meets on Fridays, so that will be our school on Fridays. I would worry about choosing the 5 day program and missing out on something.
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  #3  
May 19th, 2007, 08:49 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2005
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I believe with sonlight the fifth day is optional anyways- just fun extras you could use if you wanted to, so yes you can do it for four days.

Sounds like the language arts program is very thorough! I'm glad the kids are enjoying it so much! So, how much time a day do you spend on this?
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  #4  
May 19th, 2007, 09:50 AM
Butter's Avatar Heather the Mama Duk
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: San Antonio TX
Posts: 28,852
The fifth day of each week is totally an optional day. That's when the most fun stuff is though. We do the five-day thing but that doesn't mean day 1 is Monday, day 2 is Tuesday, etc. We look at it more as we have now completed 19 days of Sonlight. In fact, we'll be doing day 5 of the fourth week on Tuesday, the 29th when we go back to school and did day 4 of the fourth week this past Wednesday.

Language arts takes about 15-20 minutes a day, usually less for Cameron. It depends on how involved Ani wants to get with her storytelling or writing.
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~Heather, wife to Jamie (15 years; June 5, 1998) and mom to
Ani - 14 (February 15, 2000), Cameron - 12 (October 3, 2001),
Fritz - 7 (July 11, 2006), and Adrian - 5 (June 19, 2008)
Smaller on the Outside

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  #5  
May 19th, 2007, 02:28 PM
joandsarah77's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 5,547
Thanks heather that was a great review. Maybe you could get that added to the homeschool review site?
I am glad you found something that Cameron is enjoying. Do you think he will be ready to read the book come week 10? Makes me wonder if I should get it for Sarah. I really can't see Sarah being ready to read something for a long time yet.

P.S She really took to that body number/letter sugestion of yours.
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  #6  
May 19th, 2007, 05:34 PM
Butter's Avatar Heather the Mama Duk
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: San Antonio TX
Posts: 28,852
You know, I really think he will. I had my doubts at first, but one letter/sound per week is just right for him. We randomly "quiz" him on the sounds he knows and every Monday on the way to gymnastics he looks for the letters on the signs for each light we pass (which, oddly enough, are all ones he has learned). Wednesday I was reading to the kids and Cameron was on my lap and all of a sudden he said "I know some of those letters!" He was so incredibly proud. I've come up with some "action" things as well to get him remembering those letters/sounds like my cousin suggested. Like the stair steps are each labelled with a letter and I tell him a letter, he finds it, and jumps from that step to the ground while yelling the sound the letter makes and putting written letters on the floor and he has to step on them when I call out a sound or letter name or he just randomly walks across them telling me the letter sounds of each letter as he steps on it. Just a bit ago I went through his four letters and he told me the sounds and then wrote M, B, and T in the air with his finger, but needed a little help for F (but after I showed him and told him "big line, little line, little line" for capital F, he made the lowercase F on his own).

Good idea for seeing about adding it to the homeschool review site. If nothing else I can put them on Sonlight's site.
__________________


~Heather, wife to Jamie (15 years; June 5, 1998) and mom to
Ani - 14 (February 15, 2000), Cameron - 12 (October 3, 2001),
Fritz - 7 (July 11, 2006), and Adrian - 5 (June 19, 2008)
Smaller on the Outside

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