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Tell me CTGE will be just fine... :) Or not...

Tell me CTGE will be just fine... :) Or not...

Background-
My 2 oldest dc used CTGE (Climbing to Good English) when they were in 4th/5th grade. I really liked it at first, but grew weary of grading the assignments by the end of the year. As a visual person, I never could learn to love the font. :)

Fast forward several years- we've used CLE LA for a few years, but next year we really need a change. My 6th grader especially is not completely grasping all the grammar concepts (and I never learned them in school at all, so it's hard to help him sometimes). He's doing okay, making Bs usually.

Anyway, I was looking at CTGE again, especially since it can be done 3 days per week if you don't buy the extra practice sheets. I bought 4th, 5th, and 7th grade for next year. I LOVE the price. But as I flip through the books, the old sinking feeling keeps coming back about how I can't stand the font and the grading gets tedious (like when they have to circle all the letters that should be capitalized in 20 sentences, or underline this and label that, etc).

Part of me would love to pick a level of R&S English and teach it to those 3 as a class, doing much of it orally. (I toyed with this idea a few years ago when my oldest 3 were going to be in 4th, 6th, and 7th grades. I ended up getting CLE instead.) My will-be 7th grader is the one who didn't completely grasp everything this year, plus he hasn't had a whole lot of writing practice. So, I think it'd be fine to back him up to R&S 5. But I'm thinking that level would be too much for my will-be 4th grader. I'd probably have to put the 4th and 5th graders in level 4 together. Or just keep them all separate.

I'm struggling here, really wanting to ditch all the overkill* subjects, but knowing that they need at least some of it! I'm considering using SCM's recommendations for the 4th and 5th graders at least, but that seems TOO simple compared to what we are doing now.

(And no, I don't want to continue with CLE LA right now. It's time for a change!)

*Yes, I know R&S is considered overkill by many. We used it in the past, for 2nd-4th grade for a couple of my oldest. I actually really like the format, though the wordiness can get tedious. But I'm wondering if using it more orally and a year (or even 2) "behind" would make it more enjoyable. I do like its S&S.

This post was edited on Mar 19, 2017 04:07 PM

re: Tell me CTGE will be just fine... :) Or not...

CTGE will be just fine. :-)

Perhaps the children could correct each other's work.

R&S English can be overkill, but it is possible for you to pick and choose which/how many activities the children should do in each lesson. One of the many valuable things about R&S's English is that the children have to write on actual paper, which gives them not only penmanship practice, but practice in setting up the things they write so they are tidy and legible, things which are still important in today's world of computers.

re: Tell me CTGE will be just fine... :) Or not...

What about something like Winston or Fix It? You could also do a heavy writing year with something like Editor in Chief on the side.

I'm really starting to think that completing a full grammar course every year is pointless.

re: Tell me CTGE will be just fine... :) Or not...

I've never used Ctge. I looked at the samples and could never get past the way it looked, but beyond that...I would not consider planning something I already feel yucky about. It's grammar...it's already a challenged subject in my eyes. ;p

So I've been considering Easy Grammar for my dc in grades 7, 5, and 3. I don't want to leave grammar totally out and this looks like enough and not overly time consuming. Looking over EG samples, I saw little tips thAt honestly made me think. They are giving explanation to the rules in ways I'd not seen in other grammar books we've used. Anyway, I think it will allow for us to focus on writing more on a daily basis rather than sporadically. (Thinking about using writing &rhetoric)

Vamom said
I'm really starting to think that completing a full grammar course every year is pointless.

I've contemplated this, and believe there is truth to this. I like to use different grammar in a way because of that. It makes it fresh. And for us, well, it needs all the help it can get. We used BJU this past year which was a good break from Abeka.

This post was edited on Mar 19, 2017 06:49 PM

re: Tell me CTGE will be just fine... :) Or not...

We used Fix-It one year in between a couple of CLE years (for a break). I honestly don't think my dc learned a thing.

I've looked at Easy Grammar SO many times. My 9th grader is actually using Easy Grammar Ultimate 9 this year. I've never used the lower levels though. I don't really want to have to pick out a writing program, so I'm mainly looking at programs that have grammar and writing.

Yes, I've contemplated all of this before. Pretty much every year. :)

re: Tell me CTGE will be just fine... :) Or not...

If you couldn't get past the font of CTGE in the past, you still won't like it now. I've tried to do that as well, and checking the work is just so painful with the ridiculous font. I love Rod and Staff up until grade 6, where it does get a bit overkill. So maybe you could pick up level 4 or 5 and do that together. It's taken me years of trying lots of different programs to realize that grammar is grammar, and they're all pretty much going to teach you the same thing. So if you can do Rod and Staff orally, I think that would be a great way to go.

re: Tell me CTGE will be just fine... :) Or not...

It will be just fine as far as being "enough". BUT all the reasons it drove you crazy before aren't going to go away. On the other hand, perhaps those things that bothered you won't bother you so much now that you've experienced the grass on the other side of the fence?

I've used the same things you have minus the fix it (RS, CLE, and CTGE). Everyone was miserable with RS including me each time we tried it. CLE was the children's favorite and it got done consistently in my house the years that we used it, but I don't feel like they made ANY progress with their writing from it and I was so overwhelmed with all those lightunits and different teacher manuals for my different kids. CTGE was probably the best use of our time and money in retrospect. It had enough grammar, the writing instruction was excellent, and it was cheap enough that I didn't feel guilty over crossing things off or skipping lessons here and there. Also I liked doing 3 days of CTGE and then narrations on the other two days in the older grades we used it. *I* thought it was dull, but if given a choice between RS and CTGE, I have no doubt in my mind that my kids and I would be happier with CTGE. So that's just my experience as a mom of 6 with no clue as to what we're using next year. LOL

re: Tell me CTGE will be just fine... :) Or not...

My heart is breaking that you didn't think your kids learned anything from Fix-It. I find that we have learned the most with the least pain from it. Having said that, I would caution you against anything that you dislike. It will make school miserable. Rod and Staff is incredible material, but it is wordy, boring, and actually makes my children approach tears. I know it has many fans; I also know it works. However, like your reaction to the product you mentioned, I still cannot bear to use it as written. However, your idea with it is not only plausible, it is the one way that I would consider Rod and Staff. Why not try? It is better than death at the hands of something that you know you disdain.

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