I have to admit. I am panicking a little bit because Sonshine's spoken and written English is still below average. It baffles me that he can read, understand the context, has a wide vocabulary but has problems composing a structurally correct sentence!
So, i am going do whatever i can to help him. I am using Susan Wise Bauer's Writing with Ease curriculum (I was introduced to this book while reading Adventures of bear). I am not following strictly just using it as a guideline. It's quite technical & involves alot of copywork and narration.
I used to think copywork is a boring way to teach a kid to write. But now i think otherwise! I realised while one can read it does not mean one can write. There are many writing rules that a reader tend to overlook. For instance, capital letters, punctuation marks etc. Copywork is one great way to highlight these writing rules to a young writer. Like most kids, sonshine missed out the capital letters & punctuation marks on his first copywork which affirms that reading and writing are not one and the same. I feel copywork helps to drill into the child the correct sentence structure more deeply than reading.
I also like the narration exercise recommended by the author. It involves reading a short passage or a book with the child and then have the child answer (verbal) in full to questions relating to the passage. I think this is a great activity to help Sonshine speak/answer in proper sentences which will eventually help him in his Comprehension work.
Overall, i like the curriculum because the suggested activities are very short and simple. It doesn't require an hour or even 30 minutes of the child's time, just 5-15 minutes will do. However, i choose to use my own choice of book titles rather than her recommended books. I am using mostly books that we borrow from the library.
This week, i've had sonshine copy short sentences (no pictures, too lazy to take) from the kumon reading book and this book, Mouse was Mad (a book we adore!). I'm just grateful he didn't, hasn't resisted and has been quite receptive to copywork. As for narration, i use the library books we've been reading each night. After reading a page, i'd ask a simple question and have him answer me in complete, grammatically correct sentences.