I knew if I started writing every day again I would get out of my rut and get back to the topics I really like to write about, including of course, Montessori Monday!
It is really no secret that the area my boys struggle in most significantly is writing. They are excellent voracious readers...who can barely compose simple sentences some days. They both have different issues with why they struggle so much, but before Christmas I started rethinking our approach to language to see what I could do to foster these skills. Especially for Aidan when scouts, religious education, and other activities occasionally require him to write something now, he is struggling to write clearly enough to pass along good information. We ended up having to do part of his Parvuli Dei booklet dictation style because there was just no way that Father was going to be able to read through it!
We have gone back to advanced phonics (word lists and spelling sorts) and Dwyer cards to practice spelling. We have also gone all the way back to noun/verb and are working our way through all of the grammar symbols and word types again. (For Aidan this is a complete repeat, for Caleb it is a mix of review and new material.) I have also put together a writing self evaluation checklist based on this chart I found on Pinterest, and we are doing weekly creative writing where they self evaluate their quality. This is really encouraging them to slow down and think before they write instead of just rushing through.
We practice sentence coding with another writing paper I designed (also see below). We actually used the same paper for several weeks as we worked through all of the word types. First we cut out a picture from a magazine and described it with an article- adjective- noun family, then the next week we added a verb, then an adjective, then a preposition (and another article/noun), and so forth.
It is slow going at times, but we are seeing improvements!
Noun Family Card/Image from Montessori Materials
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