Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Copywork & Language Arts

This picture pretty much sums up the majority of our Language Arts this year. I had different plans when we started, but things have a way of working themselves out sometimes don't they? So this is where we ended up.

We read The Word Spy in small sections, dividing a chapter up over a week generally, sometimes longer. The boys really love this book which is written with a lot of humor & apparently I do a knock-up job of implying all that humour when I read it because they roll with laughter through most of our lessons.

Jayden is still doing copywork, he's moving slowly, in my opinion, with his handwriting, but he's never been one for sitting still & writing much of anything. He really can write neatly if he chooses, but he tires out quickly which is often evident in the many things he does. So we're working on slowly building up that stamina.

Morgan can write much longer passages & has moved on to regular lined paper. They don't have wide rule & college rule here, so we simply purchase him a spiral notebook & we use it. I flag passages in the books we're reading with my nifty little post-it flags, seriously I have a large fetish for anything post-it, so I can find it again later when we need it.

I copy it into his copywork book & then have Morgan go & copy it over in his own handwriting. I pick quips from the books that really jump out at me & then build a lesson off of it. A previous quote, that you can't see was from Caddie Woodlawn. It was in the chapter where Uncle asks if he can take Nero away with him. It was a little quip about how the children knew that when an adult asked mother a question, they were not to answer it, no matter how interesting it was. I just felt my boys needed to hear that again, but it made for a great jumping point in regards to commas.

The quote above was from Shades Of Gray, & jumped out at me because Morgan has been worrying lately about what people might think if they see him doing something normal {all be it silly} or how he looks in a photo. Just typical preteen stuff happening, but I knew this quote would really touch home with him. It led us to a nice chat about quotes, which my boys love using when they are "quoting" someone while speaking aloud.

Sometimes the quotes lined up beautifully with what we are reading from The Word Spy, sometimes they don't. It doesn't really matter. If he doesn't know the grammatical answer to the question we can look it up in the Learning Grammar Through Writing.

We're still doing our Novel writing, but in much smaller doses then Morgan would like. I'm not in as much of a rush as he is, which means I should probably pick up the speed a little before he is no longer interested in the idea. Is that possible?


Butterfly said...

Thanks for showing us your Language Arts process. I LOVE The Word Spy and have ordered it for next year. I love that you've shown me how I might use it alongside that method of copywork, which I've seen in Bravewriter resources but intend to DIY with quotes from our favourite books.

IF you want wider lined paper you can usually buy smaller exercise books with wide lines at Officeworks.

reader19 said...

I broke down and requested my library to find this book--but they couldn't find "Word Spy"; but they could find "The Word Snoop". So, we will be able to see an idea of what your book is like.

Thanks for sharing good book ideas!!

Kendra said...

Oh Yes, I forgot it had a different name in the US!

Diana Bartch said...

This is what I want to do next year! :) I love the idea of sticky notes to mark copywork. I can never remember what I was going to have him copy. :)