View Full Version : anybody use Wordsmith or LLATL in 7th or above?

01-06-2014, 08:22 PM
Questons about Wordsmith:

Do you like it? Pros and cons? I'm thinking about using it in conjunction with LLATL.

I see that Apprentice is grades 4-6, and Wordsmith is grades 7-9. We are halfway through 6th grade. I'm wondering if it would be worth it to order the Apprentice book. Does the regular Wordsmith book actually cover three years? Or can you stretch it, or what? I was thinking we could do Apprentice for 6th/7th (is there enough for two years?) and then Wordsmith for 8th/9th. Would that work?

I'm not seeing on the website where it's very clear exactly how much time is necessary to do these programs. They seem to be very flexible. :confused:

Also, if anyone uses them with LLATL, please tell me how that's working.

This is all for my reluctant reader/writer whose very least favorite subject on earth is language arts. :unsure: I'm trying to figure out what to use for him in jr. high and into high school -- I can't use what I've used for my older two. :no:

Becky in CA
01-06-2014, 08:59 PM
I've used both Wordsmith and LLATL. I would suggest trying LLATL "as is" first to see if you really want to add anything to it or replace the writing assignments with Wordsmith. When I use anything alongside LLATL, I only use it at maximum 3 times a week. I really want them to get used to writing. For my youngest, we went back to LLATL three years ago. At the time, my youngest was 15, but he hadn't retained anything from what we were using previously...which was a lot. What he used just prior to LLATL was very heavy in grammar and didn't cover any literature well. Like your ds, he was a VERY reluctant writer and disliked language arts pretty intensely. :lol: Where did I start him in LLATL? I actually started him in the Tan book because I wanted to give him a soft intro to literature...and review (and remember) grammar. It worked! We took it very slowly, but we were able to use the Review Activities and Assessments in the Green book to finish that in 9 weeks. He also did the Shakespeare study. This year, we are using almost the entire Gray book while doing Wordsmith about once or twice a week. Next year, I will combine the Gold books to make it a year of Am/British lit. I'm not sure if he'll use Wordsmith Craftsman or not.

I'm planning on posting on my blog soon more details about how we tweak LLATL to work for us...possibly as early as this weekend. :unsure:

01-07-2014, 08:46 AM
Thanks, Becky! I would love to see what you're doing with Wordsmith and LLATL. Can you post a link after you do your blog post?

We're in the Tan book right now for LLATL. He doesn't like it, but he doesn't like any language arts, so that doesn't surprise me.

Anyone else using Wordsmith or LLATL in 7th grade or above?

01-07-2014, 09:36 AM
My 8th grader is in the LLATL Green (7th grade) book. My plan is to use the Grey next year, then take a year with Winston Grammar in 10th, a writing program of some sort in 11th, and the LLATL Gold-American in 12th, and somewhere squeeze in a Shakespeare study.

Instead of the LLATL dictation assignments, I'm having him outline the passage IEW-style on Monday, and rewrite it on Friday, gradually adding in the structure and style from IEW.

Both my boys have been very slow to progress in LA skills, and have been from the beginning. I learned with ds1 that it does no good to push it. We are better off to move at their pace not try to push to "catch up". That just leads to agony and fights. Both boys are avid readers, and ds1 is now writing fiction on his own time, which he posts on the Deviant Art website. Ds1 did very well in his LA courses in college, so we must have done something right!

01-07-2014, 03:21 PM
Thanks, Wendy.

I'm very encouraged that two moms with LA-reluctant sons have found success with LLATL in later grades. I'm definitely leaning toward using it at least in 7th/8th, and maybe also in high school.

Joy in Alabama
01-07-2014, 05:47 PM
We're using LLATL American literature and will be doing British lit next. I like it because it's pretty relaxed. We usually just discuss orally without the added writing assignments. I have Carrie look up the vocab words and make a page for her notebook. And if the writing assignment is short or looks interesting, we do it.

We used another literature analysis curriculum that was rigorous and we hated it, so this seems like spring to us! :thumb:

01-08-2014, 07:21 PM
Thanks, Joy!

I had a talk with my ds today and we discussed what we liked and didn't like about LLATL. He knows that he would hate almost any LA program, and he admits that. He only likes Daily Grams because he can do it in about 5 minutes. :eyes: I think if I stay excited about LLATL with him (and I do think it's a good fit), then he'll also be okay with it.

I'm going to check out the Green book and also Wordsmith at our convention in March.

Becky in CA
01-10-2014, 12:51 PM
I'm working on the LLATL post right now, but I want to add pics; it probably won't be up until either later tonight or tomorrow.

Becky in CA
01-11-2014, 06:50 PM
We lost internet last night and just got it back this afternoon. I posted the LLATL tweaks, but I didn't get a chance to put pics up yet. They are coming though. :)

01-11-2014, 09:25 PM
Becky, I just read your blog post. Your highlighter method ... that is just brilliant! :clap: I can't believe I never thought to do anything like that. I'm definitely giving that a try.

Basically, this is my only child who has language arts issues. For both dh and me, LA is our strength -- it's actually what we do for a living. So I am clueless as to how to help my ds sometimes. Things like that highlighter idea are just the kinds of ideas I need in order to help me help him.

01-11-2014, 09:53 PM
We lost internet last night and just got it back this afternoon. I posted the LLATL tweaks, but I didn't get a chance to put pics up yet. They are coming though. :)

Becky, how do I get to your blog? I clicked on the "homepage" link in your profile, and it took me to a MySpace page that says "there are no posts".

Becky in CA
01-11-2014, 10:16 PM
Oh, my! I never even thought to update my homepage on here. I will do that ASAP.

In the meantime, my blog is http://beckysheart.blogspot.com. If you're using a cell, it's http://beckysheart.blogspot.com/search/label/Home.

01-11-2014, 11:37 PM
Thanks, Becky!

I used the highlighter trick with my dd WAY back when. She was using MCP Plaid Phonics; they had a lot of sorting words onto different lists and she hated all the writing. Highlighters were a great way to sort them instead.

I've never seen a *10* pack of highlighters. I'll have to look for those. A regular 5-pack would not be enough for grammar, so I've never even thought about doing that.

Becky in CA
01-12-2014, 02:52 AM
This is the package he's using from Staples.