I used Sonlight Language Arts for the first time with Leah (1st grade, Core K), Julie (8th grade, Core 5), and Clay (6th grade, Core 5). It has not been the best fit for our family. The assignments are too easy for Julie (I really expected that), and really too vague for Leah and Clay.
I plan to let Julie continue with the weekly Sonlight writing assignments, but I have already dropped the dictation and worksheet portion of the program for her.
Clay will begin All Things Fun and Fascinating sold by IEW. He has done IEW for the past two years, and he really needs more practice in this type of writing instruction. I have been pleased with all of the various IEW products I have used in the past. I have dropped the Sonlight dictation and language worksheets for him too, but I am interested in doing dictation with Clay. I also plan for him to begin daily copywork again. I used daily copywork with my oldest two girls for years, and I really think it is beneficial. He will be doing his copywork in both print and cursive (alternating days).
Leah will drop most of the Sonlight Language Arts. I plan to occasionally use the worksheets, but none of the copywork, dictation, or writing assignments. Leah will do the same type of language arts activities that my other three children have done in first grade: journal, story starters, letter writing, and doodle-loops (I draw a squiggle or two on the page, and the child finishes the drawing and then writes about it). She will also do daily copywork, and I want to incorporate dictation with her too.
So here are my questions. If you use dictation (meaning the parent dictates something to the child to write), please share with me how it works.
- What is your source for dictation?
- Do you dictate a passage that they have previously copied?
- Do you assign copywork every day?
- Do you assign dictation every day?
For the first week or two in January, the children will be writing thank-you notes daily. By late January, I hope to have a concrete language arts plan in place.
Thanks in advance for all of your great ideas!