I filled out the educational questionnaire for my son’s therapist with a growing sense of dread.
Does your child understand the basics of grammar, including parts of speech?
Can your child articulate the differences between active and passive voice?
Is your child able to complete an essay outline?
Because my dyslexic son has struggled for so long with basic reading skills, it has been difficult to find ways to teach him the other fundamentals of language arts.
Grammar, vocabulary and even spelling have felt like a luxury to teach, when he continued to struggle with the most elementary reading. The truth is, I am not even sure I care that he can articulate specific names and grammar rules so much as I want him to be able to express himself well.
Please know, although I was compensated for my time in writing this post, I only share programs that work well for my family. This is in hopes it might work for yours, too.
Now that my son is gratefully is making some progress in reading however, I have been looking for ways to incorporate in more formal language arts instruction, without it feeling super formal.
Knowing him and what works best for my family, I knew that I needed something that would peak his interest, incorporate in a bit of hands-on learning, and somehow work well with what we are already learning.
It seemed like a daunting task and one that I was a little reluctant to take on. Fortunately, I found Pathways from Kendall Hunt RPD.
Pathways 2.0 is a comprehensive elementary reading program with integrated language arts.
Here is their introductory note to parents:
As a parent, you strive to find the best educational products that will meet the needs of your child. As a publisher, we strive to bring inspiration to the lives of all students. We are committed to meeting this goal by providing quality, easy-to-use, and enjoyable educational products to your family. We understand that homeschooling is a lifestyle and is interwoven into all aspects of daily life. Many of the products are faith-based and help to provide moral connections that strengthen the development of the whole child. The best thing about our products is that they are flexible, and you and your child can progress at your own pace.
Impressed with the idea of integrating this type of language arts instruction into a more comprehensive book study, I decided to give it a try.
We chose Pathways 2.0 – If You Lived Here as our initial study.
The study includes the beautiful hard cover trade book – If You Lived Here as well as a comprehensive Teacher’s Daily Lesson Plan Guide.
Pathways 2.0 If You Lived Here offers a complete and comprehensive four week study of the book with lesson plans that include:
Word Study (including spelling and vocabulary)
Reading Response Activities
The book itself, If You Lived Here, takes the learner around the world to different dwellings. It was fascinating for all of us – even my high schooler got into the book and our discussions. For instance, we were shocked to learn that more than 45 million people are still technically considered cave dwellers in the world today.
Starting with an engaging book is always going to be a win around here.
A Creative and Flexible Approach To Language Arts
Here is why I am so impressed with the Pathways 2.0 If You Lived Here study.
Learners read, write, and talk about ideas.
The daily lesson plans are beautifully written to encourage not just reading and writing about the book, but reflective discussion as well. For me, it is also super helpful to have a teacher’s guide. Although I know it can feel constraining for some, I find a lesson plan gives me new ideas, a fresh approach and honestly, just makes it a lot easier than coming up with all of my own activities!
It’s easy to progress at your own pace.
Although this is designed to be a four-week study, the lessons are so robust, it could easily take you an entire quarter to complete. The good news is, the program is designed in a way that is flexible and allows us to proceed through the learning at a pace that makes sense for our needs.
Hands-On, Multi-Sensory Activities Are Included.
I LOVE when a formal curriculum provides opportunities for multi-sensory learning. Our lessons plans included spelling and vocabulary word cards to cut out and use in hands-on activities and practice.
The lessons promote critical thinking and application to real life.
The best part about this book study was how it inspired my son to really think about the different dwellings around the world, and what it is like in other cultures. Yes, we learned some basics of grammar and practiced spelling words, but we did it in a way that was so much more meaningful than standard language arts drills.
Want to learn more and see all the book studies Pathways from Kendall Hunt RPD has to offer?
Shawna Wingert is a former training and development professional turned education specialist, and has homeschooled her two children for the last ten years.Shawna has written four books about homeschooling unique learners and has been featured in homeschooling discussions on Today.com, The Mighty, Simple Homeschool, My Little Poppies and Raising Lifelong Leaners.
You can find her online here at DifferentByDesignLearning.com.