Welcome to week 2 of the 2017 Virtual Curriculum Fair hosted by Homeschooling Hearts and Minds. This week we will be talking about the Language Arts.
When it comes to the Language Arts, it is a very important subject in our homeschool. As a classical homeschooler, mastering the Language Arts is a very important step and component of our study.
Both the boys read at a young age with minimum teaching from me. I had to catch up in teaching them some phonics so that they could learn to read well. I do believe both whole language learning and phonetic learning are essential for a good reading education. They both read above their grades and have good comprehension. I am very thankful to The Logic of English as it helped me fill in the gap of whatever they lacked in the area of phonetic awareness. I used the Essentials program then and would recommend both the Foundations and Essentials, as a worthwhile reading and spelling curriculum. Read my review of it to learn more.
This area, along with Writing has been the most neglected aspect of our Language Arts course of study. I have struggled to find a program that worked for my boys, one reason being their reluctance to writing which lasted until the last couple of years. Using the Logic of English helped a lot in improving their spelling skills, and then, thanks to my time as a reviewer with the TOS, we had the privilege to try a few spelling curriculum that also added to their progress. Most recently we have been using Essential Skills Advantage. You can read my review of ESA to learn more.
When the boys were young we did First Language Lessons as their foundation. This worked very well for them. After FFL 4, I moved Zach to Michael Clay Thompson Grammar series, and this is what he is doing right now. We are using the Ibook interactive version of The Magic Lens 1 which Zach is enjoying.
With my youngest, because he thrives on workbook, unlike my oldest, I used a variety of curriculum such as Simply Grammar, with him. Now that he is in grade 6, we have settled for Analytical Grammar, which seems to be working well for him.
As I mentioned earlier, Writing has been a bit neglected as well, but about 3 years ago I found Writing and Rhetoric and have stuck with it. We stated with level 1: Fable and are now at level 5: Refutation and Confirmation. This program is really good in teaching the content and different styles of writing, but the boys still need lots of practice with Essay writing. This is one of my goals for this year and next year, as Zach enters High School. I am hoping to use the Writing curriculum from Tapestry of Grace, but am thinking I might need to add another, except I am not sure what yet! I did review Writing and Rhetoric in the past, so feel free to check it out!
The boys love reading and have been reading a variety of books for pleasure. That said, I have also required them to follow the Literature thread of Tapestry of grace which has served to expose them to classic works of literature and which contains literature study. With this program they will cover the different aspects of literature analysis. They do this as part of an online co-op, which makes it easier for me.
A couple of things I love adding to our Language Arts line up is copywork and dictation. Copywork has a lot of benefits attached to it, such as improving spelling and penmanship as well as memorization. we like to use products from Homeschool Copywork where you get to copy Bible verses or quotes from artists. As for dictation, I have done it on and off and have been wanting to get to it, so this is another one of our goal for this year.
There you have it; our Language Arts curriculum line up. Do not forget to check out the other posts this week:
Delight Directed High School English by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds
Act Your Part Well- 2017 VCF by Lisa @ Golden Grasses
The Search For Language by Michele@Family, Faith and Fridays
Our Top Picks for Language Arts by Amanda H @ Hopkins Homeschool
Multiple Approaches to Language Arts in 2017 by Laura @ Day by Day in Our World
How We Cover the Language Arts in Our Homeschool by Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory
Use Your Words by Laura @ Four Little Penguins
The Art of Perfecting Macarons by Jennifer @ A Glimpse of Our Life
Loving Languages Every Day by Jen K @ A Peace of Mind
Speech Therapy & Elementary Latin by Yvie @ Gypsy Road
The Readin' and Writin' Part of Homeschool by Shecki @ Greatly Blessed
Children Who Love Books by Lizzy @ Peaches At Home
Customizing High School Language Credits by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool
A Poetry Feast by Sarah @ Delivering Grace
Teaching Language Arts without Curriculum by Brittney @ Mom's Heart
I know your pain and it is worth it! by Kim @ Good Sweet Love
Language Arts: Our Style by Annette @ A Net in Time
Words! Words! Words! by Lisa M @McClanahan 7
10 Wonderful Word Games (+1) by Lori @ At Home: where life happens
Finding the Right Words by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break
What About Reading Comprehension? by Kristen @ Sunrise to Sunset
Teaching Grammar and Writing Through Discussion by Chelli @ The Planted Trees
You can add your Language Arts related posts as well if you want to join in the fun: