September 07, 2007


Our language arts program from Sonlight is wonderful! Tobin and Charis have been doing so many different activities and learning a lot in the process. Though they are sharing a core, they each have their own language arts package, and I can see the spiral approach to learning as they often cover the same grammar concept at the same time. Tobin will be reviewing the concepts next year as he works on the package that Charis is going through now. And we are huge fans of Explode the Code! Tobin finished Book 1 last week and, unbeknownst to me, took Book 2 off the shelf and proceeded to do the first 15 pages! Charis also enjoys Wordly Wise for expanding her vocabulary. The activities in there are very fun for her.

With Sonlight's language arts, the kids do a writing assignment every week. I honestly don't remember writing much in my elementary years. This is not to say we didn't do it in our Christian school classroom, but if we did, I'm guessing it was not frequent, or if it was, it certainly didn't make much of an impression on me! I do remember writing spelling words over and over and over even though I already knew how to spell them, but that's a topic for another post...

So recently Tobin and Charis were asked to write poetry. First, Tobin had to create a number rhyme with the pattern of One, Two, Buckle My Shoe. Here's what he came up with:

"One, two, peek-a-boo!
Three, four, I went out the door.
Five, six, I ate Kix.
Seven, eight, I climbed over the gate.
Nine, ten, it will be over again."

I like how he wrote from experience--Charis was playing peek-a-boo with Kenna in the living room, and sure enough, Tobin ate Kix for breakfast that morning. :-)

The next assignment was to think of as many words as he could that rhymed with "bad" and then write a couplet using two of them. Tobin went the extra mile and insisted on adding another line to his poem, so the complete version is as follows:

"A man who had a box looked mad,
So I asked him to be glad.
Then we went home and we wanted to watch TV but first there was an ad."


So far Charis has only had one poetry assignment, and that was this week. Her task was to create a 6-line poem about a chicken. Yes, it was rather a fowl chore, this poultry (I mean, poetry) assignment, but she persevered when I took her under my wing. All right, I'll stop with the puns and give you, without further ado, Charis's Chicken Poem:

"A chicken whose name was Cluck
Had a friend named Duck.
They had pretty feathers,
And there was warm weather.
Cluck laid some eggs
While Duck kicked her legs.
Cluck and Duck beg for pegs.
Their friend Puck
Had some luck."

As you can see, she went past the 6-line mark, mostly, I think, because she wanted to use all the words she had come up with during the brainstorm session. (They were to write down words associated with chickens and try to think of some rhymes to go with them.) I personally was hoping to see her use the words chicken, thicken, lickin', and kickin'...


The Litwillers said...

That is so darling! I'm still debating on homeschool or Christian school (I fell in love with the K-5 teacher out here) but if I homeschool, I think it will be Sonlight. I've seen a bunch of other programs, and that one seems to fit our needs/likes the best.

Oh, and Tobin sounds like a boy after my own heart. Wish I could meet your kids!

Amos said...

Well, we have one week under our belt with Sonlight and Explode the Code, and I must say there are rave reviews are here! I sure love reading the updates of how your kids are doing. And I am glad that we added the Explode the Code and Math U See and Handwriting because it started off a little on the slow side with Core B. But on the great side for sure. Thanks once again for all of your emails, it was such a blessing to me. My 3 other friends have started a homeschooling blog at They are in Michigan, Canada, Texas and then us here in Oklahoma.

And way to go Charis and Tobin! Great poems! And great puns mom!

Anonymous said...

Wow! Isn't poetry fantastic? Tobin--I liked your words that you chose to rhyme in your one-two poem and your couplet...triplet(?) was so true. Whenever we want to watch TV there's an ad. A good poet can reveal a truth in his/her poems and you did it. Good job!
Charis, I laughed at all of the possible confusion if Duck clucked and threw a buck then Cluck would have to duck. Who would be who? I loved how you chose feathers and weather. Professional poets also choose rhyming words that may end in different letters but sound close enough. It's so cool!

Good job to all the writers in your family. Writing is wrad!!!!
--Uncle Joel

Ski said...

What great poems! Thanks for sharing. Have you read the book "Quick as a Cricket" by Audrey Wood? I having my students make a poem about themselves using the same format as the book. I think your kids would love to read it. Thanks for sharing.