Confused about Language Arts and Language Arts Extensions
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  1. #1
    babyem is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Default Confused about Language Arts and Language Arts Extensions

    I got my 2 kids started with Time 4 Learning yesterday. I'm thinking about scraping the Abeka and Horizons we were going to do again and just going with time 4 learning. So we are giving it a spin to see if it would work out for us.

    I'm confused about the difference between Language Arts and Language Arts Extensions. Is there a general difference between the 2? Just curious about that and wondering why it might not all just be grouped under language arts.

    I'm mostly confused about how the 2 tie together. I figured out how many lessons in each we would need to do in a day to complete a grade level in a year, but they don't seem to correlate. For example, at the 3rd grade level, in Language Arts, my daughter is learning about synonyms and that covers the first 4 lessons. But in Language Arts Extensions, only the first lesson covers synonyms and then it moves on to antonyms and then prefixes. So she was doing antonyms in the Extensions before she ever got to the antonyms in Language Arts. Am I supposed to skip around the Extensions? At a glance it doesn't seem that there is as much of a direct correlation in the Extensions with the Language Arts once you move on past the prefixes. My daughter struggled with the prefixes in Extensions today and it occurred to me that maybe she wouldn't have if she'd done the prefixes in Language Arts before doing them in the Extensions. I just started off telling them how many of each (LA & Extensions) they need to do each day, but it seems 'off' with how they seem to need to correlate.

    Now, in the 1st grade Extensions I'm confused as well. We did the 'Sanders in the City' story where it starts off in one lesson that the story gets read to the child and progresses to where the child ends up reading the story themselves. Some words would show up as highlighted and in different colors. I wasn't sure what we were supposed to do with those words. Is there somewhere that instructs how to use those as the lessons progress? Also, there were words that seemed like the child was expected to read that were really above my child's current level. Using special sounds that have not been introduced yet in the Language Arts lessons (again, the Extensions don't seem to be correlating or lining up with what they are learning in the Language Arts lessons). The Language Arts lessons are right where my son needs to be, but the Extensions we were doing frustrated him a bit.

    Am I totally doing the Extensions when I shouldn't be? Or am I using them wrong? Thanks for any help in advance! I'm just trying to figure out how it all fits together.

  2. #2
    hearthstone_academy's Avatar
    hearthstone_academy is offline Administrator
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    Hi!

    I, personally, prefer to have my younger children do all of the core language arts program first, and then do the extensions when the core program has been completed. There are several reasons for this:

    1. In grades one and two, the language arts program focuses on learning to read, and the reading required is a little bit “easier” than in the extensions.


    2. The language arts extensions in grades one and two are all based around excellent science and social studies themes. By the time the student has finished the language arts program, he or she has also finished the available science and social studies lessons. The themes in the language arts extensions help to fill the science/social studies void in the second half of the school year.

    3. Both the language arts and the language arts extensions assign writing projects using Story Creator. If done concurrently, the student often ends up with two writing assignments in one day, which is overwhelming for most children of this age.

    Here is some information about the readers that will be included in a document I am preparing for new parents:

    Each of the 22 chapters in the first grade language arts extensions includes a reader presented in four different formats: Read to Me, Read Along, Read By Myself, and I Can Read. This is so your student can use the version appropriate for his reading ability. It is not necessary for your child to read the same story four times. The schedule suggested is based on only requiring your student to read one version of each story, which brings the total to 223 online lesson activities instead of 289.

    In addition, the worksheets provided for each version of the story are exactly the same, bringing the unique worksheet total to 116. This schedule is based on only doing each story-related worksheet once.

    Information to assist you in determining the best reader format for your child:

    Read to Me – The program reads the story aloud to the student.

    Read Along – The program reads the story somewhat more slowly and highlights each word as it is read.

    Read By Myself – The program allows the student to read the story without aid, but selected difficult words are highlighted and the student can click on them to hear them read aloud. Other words are highlighted in an alternate color and students can click on them to hear them pronounced and defined.

    I Can Read – The program allows the student to read independently, but he can click on any word that he has difficulty with to hear it read aloud.


    Here is my suggested schedule for first grade language arts:


    Scheduling – 376 online lesson activities, which INCLUDE necessary quizzes and tests. (Quizzes and tests are incorporated into the daily activities. They are not separately indicated by their own icon at the bottom of the page as in some other subjects.)

    Aim for four to five online lesson activities per day, during the first half of the school year (first semester) only. The student can usually do four activities, but it will be necessary for the student to complete five activities on 24 days throughout the first semester in order to finish the program during one semester (80 school days).

    Sample first week’s grade one language arts schedule:

    Monday Phoneme Isolation Online Lesson Activity #LA001
    Phonics Online Lesson Activity #LA002
    High Frequency Words Online Lesson Activity #LA003
    Sam: A Decodable Story Online Lesson Activity #LA004

    Tuesday Phoneme Isolation Online Lesson Activity #LA005
    Phonics Online Lesson Activity #LA006
    High Frequency Words Online Lesson Activity #LA007
    Pam and Pat: A Decodable Story Online Lesson Activity #LA008

    Wednesday Phoneme Isolation Online Lesson Activity #LA009
    Phonics Online Lesson Activity #LA0010
    High Frequency Words Online Lesson Activity #LA0011

    And here is my suggested schedule for first grade language arts extensions:


    Scheduling – 289 or 223 online lesson activities (see Note, below), 182 or 116 worksheets (see Note, below), 44 quizzes, 22 tests

    Aim for 4-5 online lesson activities, worksheets, quizzes, or tests per day, during the final half of the school year (second semester) only. The student can usually do four activities, but it will be necessary for the student to complete five activities on 19 days throughout the second semester in order to finish the program during one semester (80 school days).


    I know that's a lot to wade through, but I hope it helps. Please feel free to ask if you have further questions.

    Mom of six . . . current students and homeschool graduates. Enjoying using Time4Learning since 2006!

  3. #3
    babyem is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Thank you so much! That makes so much more sense now and I don't think I'm so confused about the 1st & 2nd grade Language Arts and Language Arts Extensions now. That seems like a good way to use them. Is the 3rd grade similar? Where you would do the Core Language Arts in the first semester and then move to the Language Arts Extensions in the 2nd semester? Or is it better used differently?

  4. #4
    BunchesOBunnies is offline Junior Member
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    Yes, you would do them the same way. But once they get to the upper level login, I recommend doing them at the same time because the core is reading comprehension and writing, but the extensions are grammar.

  5. #5
    Yca's Avatar
    Yca
    Yca is offline Senior Member
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    My son is in 5th, and he still does all of the LA before the extensions. Welcome to the group, and let us know if you have any other questions!!!
    ~ Yca ~
    (otherwise known as Jess )

    Wife to Dave and Mom to Red - 13, The Princess - 11, Fluffyheaded Diva - 6, and Sir Smiley - 3
    Read about our adventures HERE!


  6. #6
    hearthstone_academy's Avatar
    hearthstone_academy is offline Administrator
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    For older children, it really depends on how they learn best. Some students benefit from a "mastery" approach, where they're concentrating on one thing at a time, until they "get it". (Think PACEs, Alpha Omega, and similar programs.) Throwing in review work confuses them. Those kids should do the core language arts first, and then proceed to the extensions.

    Students who do better with frequent review (a spiral approach) would want to do the core language arts and the extensions together. (Think A Beka, Bob Jones, and Horizons.)
    Last edited by hearthstone_academy; 07-04-2011 at 11:24 AM.

    Mom of six . . . current students and homeschool graduates. Enjoying using Time4Learning since 2006!

  7. #7
    Yca's Avatar
    Yca
    Yca is offline Senior Member
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    Kelly, your knowledge of curricula is amazing!!!
    ~ Yca ~
    (otherwise known as Jess )

    Wife to Dave and Mom to Red - 13, The Princess - 11, Fluffyheaded Diva - 6, and Sir Smiley - 3
    Read about our adventures HERE!


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