I love the simplicity of the Robinson Curriculum.
The 3 R’s are at the core- to read, to write, and to do math.
The other thing I appreciate is that it is a complete curriculum;
meaning that everything you need is already available for use.
Language Arts is one of those things.
RC equips the student well by way of quality reading, exposure to daily writings,
and the availability to utilize the grammar, spelling, and McGuffey readers as needed.
The overall consensus is that writing skills (aka grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc) will improve over time by simply being consistent with the reading and writing. The literature in RC displays quality grammar, so the children absorb it by daily exposure. However, some folks feel the need to implement more. I am one of those people.
So this post is to show you how to implement language arts utilizing what RC already provides.
Language Arts tools available in the Robinson Curriculum:
1. A complete vocabulary program which includes:
-Vocabulary List – a list of the words and definitions
– Word Find – containing the vocabulary words as clues
– Crossword Puzzle – with clues to words across and down
– Word Find – containing definitions as clues
– Matching Game – matching words with definitions
along with available flashcards.
Professor Klugimkopf’s Grammar:
Primer and Main Course levels available.
Yes, this is our home-printed book that has gone through 4 years of usage now.
Professor Klugimkopf’s Spelling Method:
includes spelling rules, word families, and homonym studies
Readers are based on reading levels, not to be confused with grade levels.
Primer: 1st grade
1st Reader: 1st–2nd grades
2nd Reader: 3rd–4th grades
3rd Reader: 5th–6th grades
4th Reader: 6th–8th grades
5th Reader: 7th grade–college sophomore
6th Reader: 9th grade–college senior
HOW TO BEGIN
I have a vast age range to teach.
(an upcoming 1st, 3rd, 7th, & 12th grader).
Much of what I do I integrate for all ages, and the student works to their abilities.
To start with, we study one grammar concept per month and build upon it.
Here is our common basic outline:
The 8 parts of speech (& more)
August- prepositional phrases
September- nouns (1 week emphasis each on concrete, abstract, proper, & pronouns)
November- verbs (state of being, helping, action, etc)
December- adverbs, appositives
January- conjunctions, interjections, and articles
February- subject/predicates, (older kids include predicate nominative, adjective nominative, & direct objects)
March- 4 types of sentences, basic punctuation review including end marks and quotations.
April- commas, semi-colons vs colons
May- hyphens vs dashes, apostrophes
We work through the grammar lessons, and apply them to our McGuffey reader lessons.
McGuffey readers we use one lesson per week as follows:
Monday- Read McG lesson, list words;
Discuss in some depth the grammar topic at hand, by reading about in the grammar book listed above.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday- Copy work
My 6 yr practices letters and some words; working towards a sentence.
My 9 yr old writes a few sentences, working towards a paragraph (a newbie reader and weak writer)
My 12 & 17 yr old write a few paragraphs.
Copywork is enough for the younger kids, but secondary learning levels also have an assigned essay, which includes adding 3 vocabulary words into their assignment.
Friday– oral spelling quiz, and dictation (younger kids);
being able to write properly what I read out loud- adjust as necessary per child’s ability.
I also write sentences daily (on our white board, often from their copywork), and we break down what we have learned.
Example: The beaver is found chiefly in North America.
prep. phrase- in North America (parenthesize)
subject noun- beaver (underline once)
verb- is found (underline twice)
adverb- chiefly (marked above w/ ‘adv’) etc…
*this is not instantly like this, but built upon each concept covered as the months go on* youngest kids just listen, middle kids are learning the concept, older kids are reviewing.
PROF “K” SPELLING is based off of a Word Family style:
I use a large white dry erase board for my big family, but can easily be written/typed on paper next to the student.
‘Notes on Homonyms’ jingles are written on the board, which I will break up into sections if it is a long one.
The children copy it, then match up all the homonyms.
Unfamiliar words will be listed as Vocabulary.
Example of a “Notes on Homonyms” jingle:
Lean and mean;
A lien of property;
a person of gentle mien.
lean – lien; mean- mien (matched homonyms)
Vocab words- lien, mien (the students are told to use a dictionary)
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday- *the above lesson is on the long e sound, thus we will learn the variety of word families that use the long e sound.
I would list -eed on the board.
I give them 2 minutes to come up with all the words they can using that.
deed, feed, weed, need would be common;
freed, speed would take some pondering;
breed, creed, & tweed would be a “oh yeah” thought (often after I share it with them).
Friday- oral spelling test/vocab test, and a dictation quiz as listed above from the McGuffey lesson.
Word games are played such as Scrabble or Boggle.
Note: We have tried many grammar styles and curriculums. I do not find outlining to be necessary.
What RC provides is plenty sufficient, and this is just one family’s way of doing it because it works for us.
Here is a photo of our whiteboard. Obviously, you don’t need one that big, and paper is even sufficient, to be honest. This is one of our first lessons of the year. A sample of spelling is up there, and the grammar lesson at hand was actually an introduction to prepositional phrase (over the hill) (through the woods) (to Grandmother’s house). My explanations above seems long, so I wanted you to have a visual of how easy it is to implement, and it simply takes only few minutes a day.
fast and chaotic gets us confused, especially when it comes to grammar!