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WRTR makes people cry. I have written multiple posts on it, but this one is a just GET THROUGH IT post. You can print it out and put in Mari’s book for your personal assignment script.

Phase 1: Phonogram only assignments

  1. Get some phonogram cards.  I print out these from quizlet. No need to laminate, you can just print more later.
  2. Before you cut them, number them according to the order in the phonogram section of WRTR.
  3. Read Mari’s assignments and divide them accordingly.
  4. Put them in baggies, paperclips, rubber bands, or a card file according to day of introduction.
  5. Show the child the cards and say the sounds.  Do each card twice or so.

Phase 2: Adding the spelling pages

  1. Write out page 1 of the spelling notebook on the EXACT paper the child will be using.
  2. Cut it apart, leaving the spacer lines at the top of the vowel and silent e sections.
  3. Each day, hand the child the proper section to copy.  “Skip two lines and write THIS.”
  4. It also helps to have a white board handy for example words as you teach the rules.

Day 1:  Consonant section.

For a detailed discussion and memory hooks for these rules, see THIS POST.

  1. Get out the white board and the top section of the spelling page you wrote.
  2. Have the child copy the title and the consonants below.  Point out the QU.
  3. Remark that this is our first spelling rule and give some examples on your white board. (queen, quiet, etc.)
  4. Have him write the next line, which is rule 2.
  5. Remark that this is our second spelling rule and give some examples on your white board. (cent, city, etc.)
  6. Have him write the third line, which is rule 3.
  7. Remark that this is our third rule and give some examples on your board (gym, gem, etc.)
  8. Explain that the word MAY is there because there are some exceptions (get, giggle, etc.)

Day 2:  Vowels

For a detailed discussion and memory hooks for these rules, see THIS POST.

  1. On the spelling page, point to and review rule 1 (QU), rule 2 (c), and rule 3 (g).  Give some examples on your white board.
  2. Get out the Vowel section of the spelling page your wrote.  Note how many lines to skip.
  3. Have the child copy the title and the vowels going down the left side.
  4. Remark that each of these make multiple sounds depending on the situation.
  5. Have the child write the “a” line. “at, navy, father” with the markings.
  6. Remark that “navy” shows rule 4, at the end of a syllable a vowel is usually long.
  7. Have the child write the next line and point out that “me” shows rule 4 again.
  8. Have the child write the i,y lines.*
  9. For i and y, explain that there is no third sound (when we’re spelling) for i and y.  We are going to say some words funny for spelling purposes.
  10. Say navy in the A line as na-vi.  Also write some other examples on your white board like: baby, fuzzy, lily.  Say them with a short I at the end.  This is rule 5.
  11. Explain that rule 6 is when you hear “i” sounds at the end of a word, use Y.  “Navy” (said the funny way) and “my” are the examples of this.  Note that “silent” has the i sound in the middle of the word, so we don’t make it a y.
  12. Do the last couple of lines, pointing out each time you see rule 4 used again.

*Many of us take issue with rules 5-6, but I’m going to act like you’re obeying the book.  See the linked post for alternatives.

Day 3:  Silent E

For a detailed discussion and memory hooks for these rules, see THIS POST.

  1. On the spelling page, point at and review rules 1-3 like last time.
  2. Review rules 4-6 the same way.  Give some examples on your white board.
  3. Get out the Silent E section you wrote and hand it to the child.
  4. Explain that this whole section is rule 7.  It has five parts.
  5. Note how many lines to skip and have him copy the first line.
  6. Remark that this is the first part, read the rule aloud, and give some examples on your board (kite, name, etc.)
  7. Have him copy the second line. Be sure to draw his attention to the little 2.
  8. Remark that this is the second part, read the rule aloud, and give some examples on your board (glue, give, etc.)
  9. Have him copy the third line. Be sure to draw his attention to the little 3.
  10. Remark that this is the third part, read the rule aloud, and give some examples on your board (gorge, dance, etc.)
  11. Have him copy the fourth line. Be sure to draw his attention to the little 4.
  12. Remark that this is the fourth part, read the rule aloud, and give some examples on your board (giggle, buckle, etc.)
  13. Have him copy the fifth line. Be sure to draw his attention to the little 5.
  14. Remark that this is the fifth part, read the rule aloud, and give some examples on your board (house, tense, etc.)
  15. Now have him bracket and write the title to the left.


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I wasn’t sold on this whole “true, good, beautiful” thing until recently.   Much of the ugly versus beautiful seemed like ivory tower talk.  However, I’ve found an author that really helps me in this department.  Kevin Vost.

Since I want to get to the meat of this quickly, I’m going to report it backwards to you. I read Memorize the Faith, The One-Minute Aquinas then  Seven Deadly Sins.  But the first two took on so much more meaning after I read the third!  I went back to the One Minute Aquinas and did it AGAIN, with outlines!

Practicality First

Seven Deadly Sins. It’s a “Thomistic” guide, but includes a synthesis of many saints’ thoughts on the capital sins and their remedies.   He goes through each sin, with a gauge of how far you are into it, and how to fight it: sacraments, particular prayers, and actions.

It turns out that many of the capital sins are counteracted by truth, goodness, and beauty!  What? It’s weird at first, but surrounding yourself with the wonders of nature and great stories of nobility and gorgeous music and art actually innoculates you against sin!  It’s harder to be puffed up with pride when you are surrounded by the greatest human works of all time.  It’s harder to be overly focused on lower bodily pleasures (gluttony, lust) when you’re so full of the highest pleasures.  And when you are regularly “indulging” in the highest pleasures (I love that “lifted” feeling, don’t you?  It’s so nice), you have a harder time being indifferent to higher goods (sloth.) It doesn’t mean you can’t fall into serious sin, but at least the cards are stacked in your favor.

Our Vocation

Of course I think of my kids.  How can I raise them in a way that will help them in the future?

The book is FULL of good stuff, but I was particularly struck with how regular confession and regular indulgence in the “high goods” was so often repeated.   That with the curriculum emphasis on “conversation” as the main formative method, gives me a simple, efficient, battle plan.

If true, good, and beautiful stuff helps remedy vices, won’t preemptive experiences help protect them from attachment to serious sin in the first place? Will filling our kids full of true, good, and beautiful stuff make a big dent in future crappy decisions?  Yes and no; it’s like a vaccine against an attraction to the lowest things in life.  BUT, it’s one of those vaccines that you have to keep taking.  Building the habit in is much more important than just exposing them to it.

One place to build it in is as a remedy for anger.  Teens’ main coping mechanism is music.  Most radio music will NOT help them cope.  It will validate how hacked off they are, but it does nothing to fix it.  Study after study shows that focusing on classical music not only breaks your concentration on your misery (any alternative focus will do this), but that it actually orders your brain waves and makes you FEEL BETTER, which helps you make better decisions.  (Teaching Tips has a bunch of examples of studies supporting classical music if you need to persuade someone.)

I actually said the following to my teen the other day, “Talking it to death will not undo your brother’s butt-headedness.  Play Minuet on your guitar five times for me, and then we’ll talk.”  A frustration number rating is especially helpful.  “You were at a 9 a minute ago.  Where are you now? 5? Do you feel ready to talk or do you want to come down some more first?” I don’t even have to say it anymore.  He knows that great music will make the bad feelings drastically reduce.  And in our house, low drama means more parent cooperation.  High drama means NO cooperation.  He chooses it on his own now.  Little brother being hateful?  I hear the door slam and the baroque start up.

Back to the Other Books

Now, that I saw the practicality of knowing all the sins, their daughters, the virtues and their parts, all of the Catholic “lists” I learned with his book Memorize the Faith became important.  It wasn’t just a party trick that I memorized all the commandments, virtues (and their parts), vices (and their daughters), gifts, fruits, mysteries, stations, sacraments, apostles, days of creation, four ends, and five proofs, and a saint for each of 21 centuries.  They were immediately useful to have memorized.

I also went back to re-read his book The One-Minute Aquinas twice.  Now that I saw the practicality of knowing which passion was being provoked and what area of my intellect was under attack, it was a whole new book!  And learning the vocabulary in this particular “Great Conversation” opened many saints’ writing to better understanding since they had learned the same worldview and vocabulary in their education. (Teresa of Avila, for example, makes way more sense.)

But, what if you’re not into reading pre-19th century saints?  Well, all of the MoDG articles make more sense too.  Does your brain float off when she starts talking all that “impression in the wax” and “ordering the passions”?  It was just a blurr of nonsense words to me. But they aren’t nonsense words.  They are specific and practical.  And it only took me seven years to figure it out…



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Laura’s Homeschool Christian (2001) Interview

Philosophy

If you paste it into Word, it’s 32 pages LONG!  Anyway, HERE’s the link for the QA session.  The other one, which preceded it, is less practical and more theoretical.  If you are in that mood, it’s great. I have cut and pasted a few excerpts that I found particularly helpful.  All of the bolding […]

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7GRD Timeline Assignments

7th

MOM WORK You could make your kid do this, but I don’t.  Getting those BC pages dated right is mind bending. 1.  Set up your book like I did in this post. 2.  As seen in that post, put the lines, beginning and end dates, and tick marks on the following spreads: p. 25 = […]

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Money Saving Tips: Dealing with the Booklists

Organization

Over the years, finances have changed enough and lifestyle has changed enough that I’m not currently pinching pennies on homeschool.  However, that hasn’t always been (and might not always be.)  I was reminded lately of how distressing extra expenses can be. Advantages of MoDG Methodology I hear people say that our school is really expensive, […]

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I’m in the New York Times!

Not-So-MoDG

Bookshelf: Gone to the Beach By MARIA RUSSO JULY 29, 2015 New picture books take children, animals and a T-Rex on getaways to the shore. Beach House Written by Deanna Caswell. Illustrated by Amy June Bates. The story begins even before the title page of this warmly satisfying book, capturing a family’s unabashed eagerness to […]

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The First Ten Weeks Automation

My Printables

As I mentioned last year, about this time we had a “special” baby.  He’s over that now, but since he needed a lot of care back then, I needed homeschool automated.   It was so successful that I’m doing it again this year. Above you see my sixth grade notebook all dressed and ready to go […]

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Updates to Freebies

My Printables

In putting together the kids’ notebooks this year, I realized that I needed a few things.  I have added these to the printables page, but I wanted to let you know here. 4-7GRD Caswell Saxon Math Pages. We do half of the mixed review and rarely do more than six of the Lesson Practice.  So, […]

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WRTR for Parents: Lesson 10

3rd

This is a continuation of a parent series on WRTR. “Advice” in the Fortune Cookie #29  Say the double letters so you don’t forget them. This is a weird rule to me.  It’s like a recommendation.  It reminds me of when you open a fortune cookie and get “advice” instead of a fortune.  “Don’t cry […]

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WRTR for Parents: Lesson 9

3rd

This is a continuation of a parent series on WRTR. Milk Truck Rule /k/ is really the most difficult sound to spell for us. Rule #25 says, “The phonogram ck may be used only after a single vowel that says its short sound.”  AGAIN, that just doesn’t complete the picture, so we state it this […]

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WRTR for Parents: Lesson 8

3rd

This is a continuation of a parent series on WRTR. #20 S almost never follows X. This is one of the “it is what it is” rules.  When you have an X followed by a /s/ sound, it’s almost always a C.  excited, excel, etc. /s/ Conference (Not-So-MoDG) Above you see the first half of […]

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WRTR for Parents: Lesson 7

3rd

 This is a continuation of a parent series on WRTR. The last couple pages of the spelling notebook are lists of multi-letter phonograms. There are lots of rules, even used in the earliest sections of the spelling lists, that don’t have pages.  So, we’re going to continue with the rules.  NOTE:  If you are using […]

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WRTR for Parents: Lesson 6

3rd

This is a continuation of a parent series on WRTR. Shhhh…Tall, short, and otherwise So, now we are on page 6 of the spelling notebook.  This is rule 13’s page. EXCEPT THAT IT’S MISSING. 13. SH at the beginning of a word, SH at the end (word or syllable), or in the suffix ship. The […]

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WRTR for Parents: Lesson 5

3rd

This is a continuation of a parent series on WRTR. So, now we are on page 4 of the spelling notebook.   I would like to keep showing them to you, but I scare people all the time with my cavalier copyright attitudes. This page in the spelling notebook demonstrates the SECOND suffix rule. The […]

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WRTR for Parents: Lesson 4

3rd

The First Suffix Rule:  #9-10 When you add any suffix-that-starts-with-a-vowel (ing, ed, ish, etc) to a base word, you have to check for the following three rules: DOUBLING (a consonant) DROPPING (a silent e) CHANGING (a y to an i) Page 3 of the spelling notebook illustrates the DOUBLING rule.  It has two parts.  Rule […]

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WRTR for Parents: Lesson 3

3rd

This is a continuation of a parent series on WRTR. Section 3: Silent e’s The last section of page one is all of the silent E rules grouped together as “Rule 7.” 7.  There are five kinds of silent e’s. If you are familiar with Sound Beginnings, this section is easy: “Time” illustrates “job 1, […]

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WRTR for Parents: Lesson 2

3rd

This is a continuation of a parent series on WRTR. Section 2: Vowels Below the consonant section of Spelling page 1, you see the VOWELS section.   In the far left column are written the vowels, followed by a vertical line. Instead of listing the phonograms or the actual rule, KEY WORDS are used to illustrate […]

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WRTR for Parents: Lesson 1

3rd

Writing Road to Reading makes parents crazy.  First of all, it should never be attempted as a spelling curriculum without Starting a Spelling Notebook. That text breaks it into assignments for you.  But, that doesn’t really make the CONTENT easier. My daughter has been going through a similar program for dyslexia intervention.  When I say […]

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Lesson Plans: What Are They Selling?

Philosophy

I have seen a lot of lesson plans, and so have you.  They come in different forms. Each has it’s own proprietary information that you can’t get without buying the plans.  This isn’t a comprehensive analysis, but it will introduce us to enough to talk intelligently about how ours compares. Some plans are selling pacing. […]

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K-12 Subject Overview…Almost

Philosophy

I don’t know about you, but I need more charts in my homeschool life.  Have you ever looked at your yearly resources and said, “Are they ever going to get to ________?  Where are we HEADED?  Is catechism coming back around sometime?”  I can’t tell you how many times I “inserted” things into my yearly […]

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