Using Pathway Readers, Climbing to Good English,
& Christ-Centered Curriculum Together
You will see that there is a lot of work to be accomplished in the Pathway workbooks and the Climbing to Good English. The following information will give you ideas for effectively using these wonderful resources.
CHILDREN OUT OF THE SCHOOL SYSTEM:
If you have taken a child out of school and are not sure of their skills, proceed slowly at first until you determine their ability. It may be necessary to start at a lower grade level than the grade they are presumably in. Do not be anxious and attempt to catch up several grade levels in one year – cramming the child's brain so quickly that you discourage yourself and your child! You MIGHT be able to proceed quickly through a lower "catch up" level but you need to ensure that the child is absorbing what is being covered. You are laying strong foundations that have possibly been missed previously. If the level you have chosen is too difficult, drop back to a lower one. Call them "levels" NOT "grades," because the Climbing to Good English is more challenging than most graded materials (ie. Level 3 is more like grade 4 or 5 in other curriculums). A child in an older grade (4 to 6) without a foundation in basic grammar, might benefit from starting with Level 3 in CGE because it lays solid foundations. The ease with which they will accomplish its completion can build confidence.
• determine how many pages there are in the Pathway workbooks and divide the total by the number of weeks you plan to work on academics during the year. This will give you an idea of how many workbook pages you will need to accomplish in a week if you want to take a full year to complete the grade level. Do the same thing with the Climbing to Good English. This gives a rough guideline.
• if pages seem "too full" – use a half sheet of white paper to cover up half of the page. You will find that the Climbing to Good English in particular has a lot on one page so this tip helps some children to keep from getting overwhelmed. Hold paper in place with paper clips if necessary.
• Good coffee takes time to reach its full bodied taste. You run water slowly through ground coffee beans and let it percolate for a time before drinking it. When you plant a seed, it takes time to germinate, to lay down roots, and to eventually produce the desired plant. Use the same approach in teaching anything. Slowly run the water through the "beans" or over the planted "seed," (new concept being taught), then take a break and let the concept percolate or grow in the child's mind, establishing connections to other known concepts. During the "waiting" time, do something else for a few days or a week or so as follows:
• After completion of the Christ-Centered Curriculum (CCC) Level B1 workbook, add in the Pathway for reading comprehension and the Climbing to Good English for further grammar and writing skills development. A DYNAMIC trio!
• If you are using the Pathway Readers and the Climbing to Good English along with the CCC, use the CCC as your core material and use the Pathway and CGE as you can fit it in. Typically, it will take approximately 30 to 45 minutes per day to accomplish the CCC. Take a week or so off from CCC every so often and concentrate on the Pathway and CGE and to allow the percolation process to work for the CCC concepts.
• Alternate between resources. For instance, do Pathway every day for one week and then CGE the next. OR do one story in the Pathway, taking about three days to complete the reading and the workbook pages, and then fill out the week with CGE. The next week, reverse the time spent (three days on CGE and only two on Pathway. We spend about 30 minutes per day on whichever activity we are doing. If you are doing a longer writing assignment in the CGE, you might have the child work on it for 15-20 minutes even on days you are doing Pathway.
• Step One: Using the Word Box in the workbook, read the words out loud in unison with the child, and then the child by himself. Then discuss the meanings of the words. Older children should look up unfamiliar words in the dictionary if they can't remember the meaning to match it with the definition shown in the workbook.
• Step Two: Have child complete that workbook page OR just the vocabulary section if it is long, and then complete the balance of it later that day or the next.
• Step Three: The next day, have the child read the story. For young children or for children with reading delays, read the story out loud to them first, either all at once or a paragraph at a time. Then, have the child read in unison with you so that they hear your voice inflections, stop at periods, and recognize the sound and shapes of the words. Point to each word as you read. You might alternate reading sentences – you read first one, child reads next one, etc. This reinforces for the child punctuation stops. Then assign the child to read the story to themselves. Sometimes have the child read the story out loud to you. Emphasise the need for fluent reading.
• Step Four: The day after that, have the child complete the reading comprehension questions.
- I sometimes have the child "perform" a story by standing on a wooden box to read with passion and feeling! It might take a couple of days to get the child ready to do this dramatic reading exercise.
– Sometimes it is good to help a child with longer assignments. For instance, when they have to find specific information, I often find the page for them and tell them the answer is on that page. They then find the exact spot or information.
– Teach the child to "scan" a page in the story for key words found in the question. This alerts them to where the possible answers are for the questions. Children do not know automatically how to scan for answers! For eg. - "What was Billy's favourite chore?" - scan for "favourite, chore, Billy"
– If there are lots of sentences to be written out, consider sometimes having the child dictate some or all of the answers to you and you write them into the notebook. This keeps the child from feeling totally overwhelmed by the magnitude of the work. You are not DOING the work for them, you are coming along side as an assistant and encourager.
– As noted on my "Writing Suggestions" flier, have the child dictate to you answers requiring sentences and/or paragraphs. You write the sentences on a paper with correct punctuation and spelling and they copy the answers into their book.
YOU (not the child) should erase any errors without the child observing you doing the actual erasing because it can make them feel defeated and frustrated. I personally do not use big X's or marks but just a small line or dot beside the line where a correction needs to be made. Then have the child fill in the correct answer. Errors should never be left in the book! If it is a spelling error, have the child write the word five times on a white spot (margin) of the page. I always initial any corrections so I know they were completed correctly.
PATHWAY WORKING WITH WORDS vocabulary development grade 5-8:
• Children do not have to look up every word in the dictionary – only those they don't know.
• These lessons can take a lot of work so you might only assign a portion of a lesson a couple of times a week.
• It is NOT necessary to do WWW every day!
• Even a grade eight student would benefit from starting with the Level 5 of WWW.
CLIMBING TO GOOD ENGLISH:
• Please read the "Writing Suggestions" flier!
• Some lessons the child will be able to complete within minutes, others that require lots of writing may take several days so don't be a slave to "we have to do ___ pages every day!"
• Take about 5-10 minutes to discuss the concept being taught and then assign the work.
PHONICS DRILL READER for SPELLING preschool to grade 8
• This is an excellent book for spelling and for developing reading speed. It lists the phonics rules, Latin suffixes and prefixes along with their meanings, and more.
• Use it several times a week for about five to ten minutes at a time for developing reading speed, as often as you desire for spelling assignments.
• consult our "Phonics Drill Reader" flier for further information
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