Over the years I have tried SO MANY different resources for our curriculum. Some worked, and some didn’t make the cut. When I find one that works, I do a happy dance. And when I find not one, but TWO resources that work together I write a song about it. Ok. Maybe not a song, maybe just a blog post. So, you can imagine my glee when I discovered how to create the perfect elementary language arts curriculum with Brave Writer and Grammar Galaxy. I’m so giddy that I’m humming “Happy Together” in my head!
So, you may be wondering how I discovered this perfect match of language arts grammar, spelling, literary elements, reading, writing, and more! Well, quite by accident actually. We have been a Brave Writer family since nearly the beginning of our homeschooling. The lifestyle fit us so perfectly and gave me such peace that it is the one thing that keeps us going some days.
Grammar Galaxy was introduced to me by a friend. Well, I guess I should say a friend who WROTE Grammar Galaxy. Melanie told me all about her new book, and it intrigued me, but alas, I didn’t have much faith. As you see, we have flipped back and forth on grammar curricula for years. I’ve tried everything to reduce the crying, head-banging, and general distaste for grammar. Many years I have wanted to stab the books in effigy. I can’t remember a single grammar lesson from my school days that I enjoyed, and apparently, my kids were in for the same results.
I knew that Julie Bogart of Brave Writer suggested adding a grammar element at least once in elementary and I was really trying to make that work. But, as I said, every grammar program was insanely boring, tedious and frustrating. So in a last-ditch effort, we tried out Grammar Galaxy.
Why Brave Writer and Grammar Galaxy make the perfect elementary language art curriculum
#BraveWriter is a natural way to add literature and writing into our #homeschool in inspiring ways. #ihsnet #bravewriterlifestyle
We are relaxed Charlotte Mason homeschoolers. We love to travel and read books. We aren't huge fans of workbooks, though sometimes they work (i.e., Math U See), and we aren't fans of checking off boxes just to say we did. I know grammar is essential for competent readers and writers, but I don't want to force a miserable option on my kids and make them hate writing.
That's why we love Brave Writer. Brave Writer is a natural way to add literature and writing into our homeschool in inspiring ways. We read intriguing novels and use the Brave Writer Arrows to learn spelling through copywork and dictation. We learn literary elements and use them to become better writers through imaginative games and projects.
Grammar Galaxy is perfect for a relaxed Charlotte Mason homeschool family. The grammar stories are whimsical and fun. The reviews (missions) are short. Grammar Galaxy gently leads your student into the world of grammar without overwhelming them with rule... after rule... after rule.
The two combined are a gentle, relaxed approach to language arts that keeps the crying (and stabbing of books) at bay. And, I hesitate to add this because I know it sounds unbelievable, but my daughter actually requests to do her language arts. We've been using this combination for three years now, so I can honestly attest to this working. My elementary kid reads above her grade level, enjoys reading for fun, and loves to write stories and poems. It's proven to work in this house.
#GrammarGalaxy is perfect for a relaxed Charlotte Mason homeschool family. #ihsnet @psychowith6
How to combine Brave Writer and Grammar Galaxy to make the perfect elementary language arts curriculum
The biggest question is always, "Yeah, you say it works, but HOW?" I know. I get it. Combining two curricula can sound frustrating and time-consuming, but I assure you that, in this case, it isn't. So here's how we do it.
Our weekly schedule looks a bit like this:
Read a chapter or two from our Arrow book. Sometimes this is a read-aloud, and sometimes she reads independently. It just depends on the book.
Read the chapter from Grammar Galaxy and do Step 1 in the Mission Manual.
Read a chapter or two from our Arrow book. Do copywork from the Arrow and discuss spelling and grammar within the copywork selection.
Do Step 2 in the Grammar Galaxy Mission Manual.
Read a chapter or two from our Arrow book. Look over the copywork from yesterday and make a note of any words that may be difficult to spell.
Do Step 3 in the Grammar Galaxy Mission Manual.
Read a chapter or two from our Arrow book. Write the copywork from memory using dictation. For younger children, you can type the copywork leaving blanks for spelling words or punctuation. Sometimes we will use reverse dictation which is when you present an incorrectly spelled and punctuated paragraph for the student to "edit" or correct.
Do Advanced Guardians project in the Grammar Galaxy Mission Manual.
Fridays are our fun days. Once a month we have a party school with our friends celebrating the book we just read. Other Fridays we do Friday Freewrites or a project from one of the Brave Writer Writing Courses like Partnership Writing. Once a month we also use the writing project found in the Literary Elements section of the Arrows.
And that's all there is to it. See, I told you this was going to be easy ,and it is by far the best combination of curricula I have found for a perfect elementary language arts curriculum.