Thursday, October 22, 2009

Something Awesome

I'm in love. My sister shared with me something she uses in her classroom and I have found it to be a wonderful fit for Sweetheart.

See, I haven't really taught Grammar or Language or English since she did some of her Abeka Language book in 2nd grade. I found it to be really easy for her and didn't see the point of making her do all those pages when she already knew the material. I figured I would begin more formal grammar when she was in 6th or 7th grade. I think after a child has read for a number of years, grammar and usage comes more easily. I know when I was a teacher we taught the same things every single year from 1st grade on and the kids still didn't really seem to know it. Why not wait until they are ready and then they can learn it quickly?

So I wasn't planning on teaching this subject this year, but I love what I've found. It's called Drops in the Bucket and it provides very short, daily practice on a huge variety of skills. Here is a sample sheet, and the one we are working on this week. We've been using it like my sister uses it with her 6th grade dyslexic students--by doing 2 boxes a day. On Monday we covered homonyms and ending punctuation. No problem. Tuesday was commas and verb tense. These were both new to Sweetheart but she picked them up very easily. She's since pointed out a list of commas in a book we were reading. We've also covered fact/opinion (new to her) and possessives (also new to her). Even though she hasn't really seen these things in a formal way before, "teaching it" takes about 2 minutes. The whole Drops in the Bucket sheet probably has not used up 10 minutes of our week and yet I think it's very powerful.

Every week she will repeat these skills. A little bit at a time. We are using Level D (4.0-5.5) and it seems to be a perfect level. They also offer Math, but I wouldn't dare mess up what we've got going on in Math right now. Although I'm sure it would be helpful to many. Probably it would be really good to use on summer break!

Just thought I'd share!


  1. The grammar book sounds really great. I may have to check it out!

  2. I use that too...and LOVE it! My kids ask for it if I don't have it on their assignments sheets..


I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)