The Language Arts Curriculum that we use acutally covers Reading, Writing, Spelling, Vocabulary, Phonics (if needed) and Cursive handwriting practice.
But because it's difficult to address all of that in one place, I have broken it out here, and this spot is the spot I will talk about the two 'core' parts: the Reading and the Writing.
Pathways (our English-Language Art -or ELA - curriculum) has just gone through a MAJOR overhaul, and there are many new and improved features, not the least of which is a much stronger writing instruction aspect. I'm looking forward to taking advantage of the awesome tools they have provided us with.
Reading and Writing are closely tied together. The more a student reads, the better writer they will be, and the more they write, the better reader they will be. This is another one of those areas where, even though I don't send home regular homework, having your child spend some time each evening reading - in whatever they want! - will only strengthen these skills and help your child have an easier time with classroom learning.
Most of the time, the suggested amount of time is 5-10 minutes per grade. So a 4th grader sould read 20-40 minutes, each evening. Help your child find books that are interesting to them, and they will WANT to spend time reading. Also, don't be concerned if the books are 'below their level', it's still practice!!
In class we will progress through a series of nine 'trade books' (books that were not written for this program, as we were accustomed to usuing as students, but rather are simply 'regular books' that you child might find in an ordinary library!) These books will be noted on your student's 'dashboard' when that feature is added to the website. I am hoping to find enough volunteers to be able to have the students read outloud to an adult every day, in class. If this is something you can contribut time to, even just one day per week, please let me know!
Writing activites will tie in, to the reading that the students do, in their trade books. You can also encourage your child to write, at home, by helping them find a pen-pal, or write to a relative who lives far away, or journal, or write stories. There are so many ways that children can use this medium, to express themselves, and any writing they do is practice.
It is also important to note that the Pathways curriculum is designed with small schools in mind, and 'grouping' is encourage. So our color-coded reading/writing groups do not directly correspond to a specific grade level. It is more like 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, and 7-8, but even that is somewhat fluid as, in a small school setting it is easier to allow a student who is struggling in reading, to move to a level that is more suited to their ability, and move through the material somewhat at their own pace. This is one of the distinct advantages of having your child enrolled in a small-school setting!
If you want to learn more about the Pathways curriculum, click on the image below.