Saturday, August 25, 2007

Deciding between the Grammar Approach and the Natural Approach

This summer I’ve been re-reading some education books by Ruth Beechick. She is a proponent of the natural method of learning to write. This is the way children learn speech, and the short definition she gives is this: Children learn to write by writing.

This is the method I’ve been using so far with Peanut. It has been working, but I started wondering if this year I should just get her some grammar workbooks and go that way. It is a hard decision to make. So far, she has been doing copying and slow dictation, as well as some writing on her own. Her own writing is usually to describe her drawings or to write small books that she is illustrating. According to Beechick, she would benefit from writing from models, instead of so much of her own creative writing. It does not help that she is a pretty reluctant writer, especially when it comes to something that she did not think of herself, but I suppose that is how most kids are.

The little booklet I have, A Strong Start in Language, does have a checklist of objectives. That is helpful. It also has some sample lessons, and those are very helpful. I am going to use those to make some lessons that come directly from our daily reading. I plan on sharing some of those lessons here in the days to come.


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