Language arts is a subject that is always in progress, so it doesn’t make quite as snazzy of a year in review wrap-up, but I thought this might be a good opportunity to share some of our free grammar resources again in a nice, organized table form since those still are so popular. The chart also includes links to our popular Homeschool Writing Workshop series. I’ve also included links to tons of the books we’ve read (not just this year but other years as well), including the themed books (books about West Africa, children’s books about the Civil Rights period, China or the American Revolution, etc.). And finally there are some links to the language arts curriculum we tend to use in our homeschool.
The more I started trying to get this post organized, the more material I found. At some point, I’ll probably move the chart to a tab up at the top to help people find our language arts materials more easily. Hope you find all this helpful! ~Liesl
A bit about Spelling: You know how hard it is to “fit everything in” right? Well, we’ve fallen into a pattern the past few years. We tend to cover spelling really well from August to February. And we tend to cover grammar really well from January to June. There’s an overlap when we’re doing both (because we’re in the groove for both), but as the end of the year approaches we tend to fade out with spelling as we ramp things up in grammar (and vocabulary). That wasn’t particularly intentional, but that’s how thing seem to shake out each year!
Meanwhile, we do writing pretty consistently, but add in different writing projects periodically. More about that in a second!
So, let me go back to spelling. For those who have been readers for a while, you know how much we love, love All About Spelling (affiliate link). It is hands-on, logical (which works *really* well for my kids), and all laid out for me. Since I pull together so much of what we do (for history, science and German), that has been invaluable! This fall ED wrapped up book 2 and started book 3. I could probably be moving her through the series faster, but… well, it’s not a race, right?! She enjoys spelling so I have to conclude the pace is fine. Meanwhile, DD had been working with Spelling City and various spelling words, but she asked if she could go back to All About Spelling this fall. She’s working on book 6 at this point.
I made a few fun spelling printables for ED the past year. I’ll share links to those in the chart below. Oh, and if you want to know more about this program and other language arts curriculum we use, I summed that up in this post pretty well: Our Homeschool Language Arts, Spelling, and Grammar Curriculum.
Grammar: This past year ED mostly did basic work on capitalization, contractions, commas, end punctuation. She also did a bit of work on homophones (their/they’re/there, its/it’s, your/you’re, piece/peace), but she definitely needs more work on that this spring!! My older two did reviews of all that material and we also went over some of the semi-colon rules for the first time. We’ll need to continue working on those this year. I have plans to do some worksheets on using the right word, highlighting more troublesome pairs: accept/except, already/all ready, insure/ensure, peak/peek/pique… and words like a lot and all right which are always two words. We’ll also go over comma rules again. My older two are much better, but they can always use more polish on that. I have a new set of comma rules and practice sheets (ocean theme since we’re coming up on that unit!) that I’ll share at some point in the next month or so. In the mean time, I’m going to try to add in a lot of our resources to the language arts table below!
Finally, a bit about our beloved Homeschool Writing Workshop! This still works well for us. It has changed a bit in the past year as the kids spread out and want to write in their own special spot. That’s a bit sad for me because I actually love when we all write together. Sometimes I ask if they’ll all write with me, but a lot of the time they charge off to go write on their own. ED decided she really wanted to write her story on the computer. Her typing skills have improved immensely and she is able to self-correct a lot of her spelling errors. Her stories are much, much more sophisticated now and she’ll often incorporate our writing workshop mini-lesson into the story she is writing.
We also do research writing projects from time to time. This fall the kids had their own topics. LD did a project on medieval weapons. DD chose to do hers on medieval medicine. She put hers together in poster form, which suits her creative bent! I really liked how she had a whole bunch of different information in the different booklets and tables on her poster and then included a “quiz” to see if the reader really read everything thoroughly!
ED also wanted to do a poster (once she saw DD start on hers) and did her research project on insects. She included some games and activities too (the word hunt, spot the difference and insect game board). She was pretty excited doing this project!
One last thing before I share our Language Arts Resource Materials Chart. This year, I decided to add in a literature book for the older kids. It’s one of those thick books (2 inches thick) that has reading selections and cover the basic elements of literature (plot development, character development, universal themes, etc.) The kids had read a number of other writing books (for kids) such as Writing Magic: Creating Stories that Fly (affiliate link) which I highly, highly recommend. But after they read 4 or 5 books like that, I couldn’t find any other good fits.
Well, much to my surprise, these thick literature books are a HUGE hit with my older two. In fact, DD finished on (by October!!) and is on to her second thick literature book! Um, did I ever tell you how much she loves to read?!! This was the one DD (age 10) started with Literature by McDougal Littell — Yellow Level (affiliate link) and then I purchased her another book, McDougal Littell Literature: Student Edition Grade 7. (affiliate link) LD is make his way through McDougal Littell Literature: Student Edition Grade 8 2008 (affiliate link).
I thought I’d try to put together a table sharing some of the links to the language arts posts I’ve shared:
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links in this blog are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. If you do click over, thanks for supporting our blog!
I’m sure I’ve left things out, but I really need to get going. So, that’s about it for today! See you again soon here or Homeschool Den Facebook page. Don’t forget to Subscribe to our Homeschool Den Newsletter! ~Liesl