For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not of yourselves it is the gift of God, not of works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

Monday, January 5, 2015

Virtual Curriculum Fair 2015 - The World of Words In our Homeschool

It's 2015, and that time of the year has come again for a few of us to share with you all what we are using in our homeschool. I am joining Susan@ Homeschooling Hearts and Minds to bring you 4 weeks of virtual curriculum fair, where about 2 dozens of homeschool moms will share what they are using, what is working or not working for them in their Homeschool:

Week 1: Playing with Words - The Language Arts
Week 2: Discovering Patterns: Math, Science, Logic etc..
Week 3: Exploring our World - Social Studies and more science
Week 4: Seeking Beauty: the Arts and everything that brings beauty to our World

This week Chareen @ Every Bed of Roses will be co-hosting the fair as well.

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So, what do we use in our Language Arts department?

  • The boys are grade 4 and Grade 6, so reading instruction has been over for a few years now. They both love reading, except when it comes in competition with the PS3. My 11 year old has been enjoying books such as The Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit as well as The Pendewicks book series. His latest love has been the Brotherband Chronicles (he is in the process of finishing the second book in the series). My 9 year old is more picky but recently has been enjoying reading through the Horrible History and Science series. They both love listening to audiobook. There is always one playing in the house and they always go to bed with one in the background. Their old time favorite is Winnie the Pooh, Nesbit's Grammar Land, The Story of the World audios, and Chronicles of Narnia, but they always default as well to Magic Treehouse series. For a running list of books they boys enjoy look at the literature page at the top of the blog
  • Something we started back during this school year is copywork. Why you may ask? My boys need improvement on their handwriting skills as well as their spelling. Copywork allows for your children to hit several skills as once: Handwriting, Spelling, and memorization. We are using Write Through the Bible at the moment, and then will be moving on to resources from Homeschool Copywork. They are in the process of memorizing Psalms 1 through the copywork. They copy the verse 3 days in a row, then have a dictation on the 4th day.

  • When it comes to spelling per se, last year we finished The logic of English, which gave them a great foundation in English phonics, spelling rules and the whys. Now they need practice, which we are accomplishing through the copywork and spelling tests from The Logic of English advanced spelling list . Copywork is done daily, spelling twice a week. Once we finished that, we will go on to spelling lists from Natural  Speller.
                                      You can read my review of The Logic of English here on this blog.

  • In September, I tried to have the boys work on Roots of English, for vocabulary, but this did not work out too well for neither of them. It was too hard for my 4th grader and my 6th grader (who has great vocabulary) just could not connect with it all. So I am going to hold off vocabulary for now, besides the facts that they learn vocabulary through their Latin program.

  • Speaking of Latin, my 6th grader is slowly working his way through Latina Christiana. Latin is not his favorite subject to say the least, but that's because he is not the meticulous kind of kid, that pays attention to details. That is exactly why I am persevering in having him finishing it, even if it means slowing the pace. You cannot do Latin if you are not rigorous and details oriented. He has shown improvement, for which I am super excited. My youngest is working his way through Latin for Children Primer A. With him it is a completely different story. He does not mind it at all, but that is because, he is the opposite. He likes mechanics, memorizing stuff and following patterns. It is working out pretty well for him so far.

  • For literature, I am not doing any formal studies with the boys yet. Our History program has a literature section which consists of assignments of books and worksheets, and we do those occasionally.
  • We are doing light Grammar this year with Michael Clay Thompson Grammar Voyage. I have talked about our experience with the MCT Language Art program in previous posts. Here are a few links:
                             5 Days of Homeschool Evaluation - Michael Clay Thompson
                             VCF:Language Arts in our House (2012)
  • We have been enjoying going through Writing and Rhetoric for Writing, We just finished book 2: Narrative I, and are going to start Book 3 Narrative II sometime this month. The boys love the stories being used as examples. The analyzing questions are fun and to the points, and the writing exercises are challenging just enough for them, given that writing (on paper) is not their favorite activity. You can check my review of Writing and Rhetoric to get a better idea of how this curriculum works.

And there you have it, a tour of our Language Arts corner here at our homeschool. Interested in hearing more about how other homeschool moms handle the Language Arts in their homeschool read on:

Building a Foundation of Words by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds
Language Arts for 2015 by Chareen @ Every Bed of Roses
Bible-Based Language Arts Resources by Tauna M @ Proverbial Homemaker
Relaxed Homeschooling: Language Arts in the Early Elementary Years by Brittney @ Mom's Heart
Loving Books and Words by Sarah@Delivering Grace
5 Language Arts Resources We Love by Becky @ Milo & Oats
Teaching Reading at Home: A Tale of 5 Readers by Kristen H. @ Sunrise to Sunset
A More Simplistic Approach to 7th Grade Language Arts by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool
Language Arts Reading for Delight-Directed Learning by Susan @ The Every Day of Education
How To: Spelling Dictation by Heather @ Only Passionate Curiosity
Unschooling and Words, Words, Words by Nicole @ Schooling in the Sun
Learning With Literature and Language Arts Resources by Leah @ As We Walk Along the Road
Words and More Words! by Michele @ FamilyFaithandFridays
Language Arts in Our Homeschool (2014 / 2015) by Laura O @ Day by Day in Our World
Our curriculum choices ~ Language Arts by Renata @ Sunnyside Farm Fun
The 2015 Virtual Curriculum Fair ~ Language Arts in Our Homeschool by Jennifer @ A Glimpse of Our Life
Loaded Pistols: Virtual Curriculum Fair Playing with Words by Lisa @ Golden Grasses
A Renewed Focus on Reading Aloud by Debra @Footprints in the Butter
Language Arts in our Classical / Charlotte Mason Homeschool by Sharra @ The Homeschool Marm
Logic of English Foundations: The Grand Prize Winner of Phonics by Chelli @ The Planted Trees
A Sentence a Day Teaches Grammar the Fun Way by Amy A @ One Blessed Mamma
Tackling Language Arts by Jacquelin @ A Stable Beginning
Middle School Monday - Lightning Literature and Composition by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break
The Great Grammar Discovery by Laura @ Four Little Penguins


Unknown said...

Hello Joelle, can Latina Christiana be done without the audioCD? Julie

Susan said...

Looks like you've got a great line up, including many of our favorites. I agree that copywork has been a great tool for helping my children not just with their handwriting, but also with spelling, grammar, vocabulary, and mechanics---it a packs a powerful punch and takes very little time to do.

Thank you for joining the VCF!

Leah Courtney said...

We love listening to books also, and I love to read aloud!

Jennifer said...

My son might enjoy reading some of those books. Thanks for the recommendations!

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