Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Reading, Writing, and...well...Writing

Last year, or maybe it was halfway through the year before that...I don't remember...anyway, the timeline isn't really that important, but SOMETIME in the past year and a half, I decided that the thing that was lacking in school at our house was a true grammar and writing curriculum. I know that I want my kids to be able to speak and write in a grammatically correct manner, and I want them to know how to form ideas into coherent sentences and get them down on paper. In a way that is at least mostly correct.
(What's with me and all the words today? Why can't I just say, "I decided I wanted a good grammar and writing curriculum for Reilly."? Oh well, I guess it's just about what you've come to expect from this blog if you've been reading here for any length of time at all.)

ANYWAY, at the suggestion of my good friend, Julie the Homeschooling Guru, I decided to get Shurley English, which, while it is not flowery with pretty pages and colorful pictures, is very thorough and exactly the curriculum that I was looking for, and I knew it would fit the bill just perfectly. For the writing portion, we started with 3-point paragraphs and then moved onto 3-paragraph essays. However, Reilly really fought against the writing portion, saying that she haaated it and it was tooo haaaarrrrrd. There were days that it took her two hours to write a 3-point paragraph, which basically consisted of nine sentences. But, since I really feel like this is one of those super important subjects, I simply told her that it was something she had to do, whether she thought it was as fun as a trip to Chuck E. Cheese's or not. 
Life Lesson #1.  Things we have to do aren't always fun. I keep telling her that I don't think that doing the laundry is particularly scintillating, but I have to do it anyway. I don't think this particular example means a whole lot to her.
In the past few weeks, I've begun to notice a huge shift in Reilly's attitude toward writing. It started when she was writing her first 3-paragraph essay and instead of just discussing the topic with her and throwing her out to do it herself, I sat with her and we worked on it together. I even had her dictate to me what she wanted the paragraphs to say and she copied it into the final draft. We also took several days to complete it instead of trying to do it in one day.
This week, Reilly has been working on her first 5-paragraph essay. I helped her pick her topic (Pet Care) and figure out the points she wanted to make, and she took off like a rocket. She's about halfway through and has worked on her own for probably 90% of the time. No complaining or whining, no crying and saying how much she hates to write. Just hard work and a positive attitudel
I'm so proud of her, and yet I can't help but be concerned that she has been invaded by Pod People.
(When she finishes I'll ask her if I can transcribe the paper onto here so y'all can read it and be proud with me!)


Heather the Mama Duk said...

That's totally awesome!

And could you please go to There's No Place Like Home in the Curriculum Hits and Misses forum and respond to my post titled something like "Hey Lisa! Come in here!" Thank you very much :)

Flea said...

Fantastic! Congratulations! You've just jumped a huge hurdle. Way to go!

Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings said...

That's great! Can't wait to read it!