Monday, February 3, 2014

Sonlight Language Arts....

I'm in the process of re-evaluating Riley's Language Arts.  She is an avid reader and is always begging for a literature based program, which was my intention, but somehow it fell by the wayside.  So far this year, she's working on All About Spelling, Oral and Written English, which is an original text by Potter, Jeschke, & Gillet, from 1917, and reading misc. books as assigned through our history study.  She is also using excerpts from George Washington's Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation for copywork.  Although, I like each of these resources individually, all together, language arts feels somewhat disjointed.

Last week, I started researching Sonlight Language Arts.  We've used Sonlight in the past, and still read books from Sonlight lists as they pertain to our history study, but I have not used their Language Arts curricula.  I bought used and pieced together many cores over the years, so I dug out some of my Instructor Guides and started researching.  Sonlight's LA Instructor Guides heavily reference the works of Dr. Ruth Beechick.  Keep in mind, I have older guides.  I know there have been revisions, but I'm assuming they still utilize Dr. Beechick's philosophy. 

Sonlight 4, which is now Core E, recommended reading sections of You Can Teach Your Child Successfully by Dr. Ruth Beechick. I am working my way through these sections.  You can view my thoughts on Dr. Beechick's books here.

Sonlight 3, which is now Core D, fits our time period this year for history.  So we're going to give the SL Language Arts 3 a try.  Many of the readers will be easy for Riley, however in looking at the grammar and dictation exercises, I feel this is a good place to start get our feet wet so to speak.  The recommended readers are:

A Lion to Guard Us
Pocohontas and the Strangers
Squanto, Friend of the Pilgrims
The Thanksgiving Story
The Courage of Sarah Noble
The Matchlock Gun
The Skippack School
Meet George Washinton
Phoebe the Spy
The Cavin Faced West
The Bears on Hemlock Mountain
Meet Thomas Jefferson
Sarah Whitcher's Story
Robert ulton, Boy Craftsman
Sarah, Plain and Tall

Riley has already read some of these books and I'm not going to make her re-read them.  However, I am still going to have her do all the related Student Activity pages because I'm thinking they build in a sequential manner so starting at the beginning will make more sense as we're trying to lay a foundation.  We will breeze over some for review to quicken the pace and because she's already familiar with basic nouns, verbs, when to capitalize, etc.  I am not looking for mastery at this point, just exposure to a variety of grammar, punctuation, etc., as she comes across them in her reading.  She is so excited!!  I took the Student Activity pages and bound them with the ProClick Binder creating her own "workbook". She already started working on the them over the weekend :)

I plan to have her read the scheduled readers that she's not read before, complete the student activity grammar pages and some of the dictation.  I don't think we'll utilize the "Creative Expression" writing assignments at this point.  We've used narration in the past and it works well so I will continue with that for writing. 

We will also continue All About Spelling and the copywork, but I'm not sure about Oral and Written English.  We only have approx. 20 lessons left so we may pick through them orally.  I don't want to spend too much time or get hung up so we'll see how it goes.

I'd love to hear feedback on your experience with Sonlight Language Arts.

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