Frequently Asked Questions:
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The Write from History Series
How can your books cover 1st through 5th grade with only two levels?
Our books were designed to be flexible. If your student can’t read the reading selection, read it to him. He still orally narrates until he is ready for writing his narrations himself. As the child narrates, you, the teacher, write the narrations. Because the student is forced to wait on you to write each sentence he narrates, he is forced to speak more slowly. This gives him practice on holding his thoughts in his memory, which helps him to stay mentally focused on topic.
If the copywork model is too long for your student, we suggest you shorten the model by putting a line through part of it.
Regardless of age, you start studied dictation when your student is ready. Again, if the model is too long, omit part of it. (Although this isn’t a Charlotte Mason thing, you can always use the previous day’s copywork for dictation. This is a gentle way to ease your student into studied dictation.)
Do first graders need a curriculum?
No, they do not. But sometimes the teachers of first graders need a curriculum.
When I first wrote these books, I created a level 1 book and a level 2 book because I had a first grader and a third grader. My grader needed writing practice and I didn’t want to risk skipping his work because I was busy trying to teach and run my home.
Life is busy. It is helpful to have an open and go book that can ensure that writing gets done.
Should my advanced second grader be in the level 1 book?
Well, it depends. If your second grader is an advanced reader, can copy her selections with ease without complaining, and can write from dictation, level 2 may be perfect for her; however, if she has difficulty with the reading, with the copywork selections or the dictation, I suggest leaving her in level 1.
Which level of Write from History should my third grader be in?
If a third grader can read well, copy sentences with minimum errors (no one is perfect), and write from studied dictation, she is ready for level 2. If the child’s penmanship needs more work, you might want to keep her in the level 1 books, but have her start writing her own, as well as reading and writing from dictation.
Within the level 1 books, the first writing area has ruled lines for copywork that are placed immediately below each word of the model. (Note: When you are student is no longer writing the words below the model because she is writing more words per line than the model demonstrates, she is ready to move on.) The second writing area of the level 1 books has ruled lines for copywork following the entire copywork passage.
In the level 2 books, there is only one true font model per reading selection. Also, the writing areas for copywork and dictation consist of wide ruled lines following the entire passage. Additional models for studied dictation are located in the Appendix.
What type of writing models are in Write from History?
The models are a true traditional handwriting font, purposefully chosen to reinforce proper penmanship. The same type of handwriting font is used in our Jump into Cursive Handwriting! book.
My child was taught to write with a different font. Will the font in your book confuse my student?
Probably not. Most handwriting curriculum is about letter formation. With most fonts, the end result is that the letters look the same. For most students, this means that the child can continue to form his letters the way he has been taught. And even if your student has been taught to write with a different type of font than that which is contained in the Write from History series, the student would still benefit from using a true font which illustrates the way letters are formed by hand rather than a computer generated font.
Most children aren’t exposed to primary source documents until much later. Why do you include them in your level 2 books?
The primary source documents are included because children need to know that history is real and not just made up stories, and primary source documents help them to understand that concept. And even though the young students are not analyzing the primary source documents as older students would, including these documents make for a gentle introduction to more complicated ideas, preparing them more in-depth learning in the future.
Will this program work for a person following a classical education model?
Yes! Most classical writing programs follow the same principles: rewriting a narrative, copying a passage, imitating a model, and writing for dictation. These skills are the foundation for many elementary programs because they work.
How many pages are in the books?
The page number per book varies; however, the range is 300 pages to 400 pages.
How many reading selections are in the books?
The number of lessons also varies. But there are more than 55 for the level 1 books and more than 60 for the level 2 books. When considering the various ways in which the books can be used (suggested approaches are included in the introduction), the books typically last approximately 30 weeks. For many parents, this translates into a yearlong program.
Do you have lesson plans?
No, lesson plans are not included. The books do contain a Table of Contents which doubles as a timeline so that parents can co-ordinate the reading selection with the student’s history lessons.
Are the books suitable for older students?
Surprisingly, yes. Although these books have been designed for elementary students to learn to write, the reading selections contained in the level 2 books range from 4th grade to post high school. Parents of elementary students are encouraged to read the more difficult selections contained in the chapter of primary source documents to their students. But older students will be more able to read these selections on their own. And narration, copywork, and dictation are definitely appropriate and beneficial for middle and high school students. For home educators following the Charlotte Mason method, many prefer to use our level 2 books with their 5th and 6th grade students. We want parents to use our books as a tool, not a rule.
The Bible Memorization Made Easy Series
What age is this program for?
Our Bible Memorization program is suitable for any student that can write a paragraph with ease. On Day 5 of the program, students are asked to write the Scripture memory selection from memory. These selections are 5 to 6 verses in length.
I really want to use the Scripture Memory system, but I want to include my younger child. Is that possible?
Yes! We do the same thing in our home. My 15 and 14 year olds complete the program independently. But my 8 and 10 year olds complete it orally with me. I read the selections and pause or point at them when they are required to remember a word.
Does your Bible memory system come with a Bible study?
No, but as you spend time with God’s Word, you may notice what I’ve noticed. By studying in depth and not just skimming Bible verses, you gain a deep understanding of the Word. It is amazing how meditating on the Word opens up our eyes.
Sheldon’s New Primary Language Lessons
What age is this curriculum suited for?
This grammar book is suitable for the average second grader. In my home, I use this book with my children, starting in about 3rd grade and lasting 2 years. We take our time. I have found that going slower helps helped with retention.
With my older student, I used a grade level grammar book and each year went to the next grade level. It didn’t work for us. Slower, but more consistent shorter lessons have proven to be more successful in our home.
Did you supplement Sheldon’s?
Yes, with the fun Grammar Rock videos. My students loved the School House Rock videos, and they made learning definitions a breeze and not so tedious.
I noticed that there were grammar lessons in the Write from History series. Did you do those and Sheldon’s?
No. Initially I used the color coding system with my older students. But I have found that Sheldon’s New Primary Language Lessons are so Charlotte Mason friendly that I was able to drop the grammar in the Write from History books.
Is there an answer key for Sheldon’s New Primary Language Lessons?
No, but an answer key is included in the appendix.