Our authors bring you all things language arts today! A selection from our personal blogs and some choice reviews from the archives. Have you browsed our Language Arts section? It’s full of reviews covering:
So pin and bookmark this post today to help you with your language arts decisions now and in the future!
Since this month is all about Language Arts, I thought it would be a perfect time to have a Classical Copywork giveaway! Whether you are looking ahead to your language arts needs for the fall, or are looking for a simple way to help your children retain what they learned over the summer, copywork is a great answer! At Classical Copywork, we provide a great selection of copywork for children of all ages. Topics include Bible verses, poetry, history, selections from the McGuffey readers, etc. Hundreds of pages of copywork are put together into packs and available to you for just a could of dollars (about $1 per 50 pages of copywork). To celebrate language arts this month, I would like to offer you the chance to win a $10 credit to Classical Copywork! Make sure you enter at the bottom of this page after looking through everyone’s links!
True Confessions: No Formal Latin in Our Homeschool: “We have not been able to complete a formal study of Latin. It is not because we didn’t several times give it an honest to goodness try, but I just did not have the energy to power through and make it work.” I invite you to read what we did instead.
Literature Terms-My Little Reminders: “As we go through our literature readings each week, I want to have a way to remember the terms and concepts that are on our “to do” list for the year…I take a set of 3″ by 5″ cards and write down the literary terms that I would like to cover for the year.”
Poetry for High Schoolers-Organized With Free Notebooking Pages: “Last year I shared Mr. A’s poetry study as we went along in a series I called Poetry for High Schoolers, sharing every six weeks how we had enjoyed each poet and then outlining our simple poetry analysis for each one. …Along the way, I decided to make a fresh set of notebooking pages for him to use with the lesson ideas.”
Living Grammar Packets: “Living Literature, Grammar, and Language Arts Packets is a series of 15 weekly language arts lessons centered around various twaddle-free fiction, non-fiction, and historical fiction picture books. Each week, the 3rd- to 4th-grade student is asked to read one of the books and complete a packet of language arts activities that relate to the book.”
Alphaphonics: A Primer for Beginning Readers “Basic. Simple. Long-lasting. Used with all of our five children to learn how to read. The phonics book that has been the go-to teaching tool in our family.” Alphaphonics by Sam Blumenfeld is a full, logical resource for teaching students of all ages to learn to read. “If you have never taught reading before in this sensible, systematic way, you will be pleasantly surprised.” ~Samuel L. Blumenfeld
Spelling Workout Review “When you stick with a curriculum throughout your homeschool years, I believe it speaks volumes to its success and ability to meet the needs of different learning styles. Spelling Workout is more than just spelling.”
New Millennium Girls Creative Writing for Tweens “As I helped and encouraged my daughter along I was impressed that these smaller lessons were building a habit of writing in a fun way. Building on some concepts she already knew. Introducing new concepts – with the promise of craft time to follow! My daughter had fun with writing.”
Rod and Staff English – (it’s now our eighth year!) “I was reminded again why we’ll be heading into our sixth year enjoying Rod and Staff English. Yesterday, third grader and I read…”
App reviews by Steve:
Phonics and Reading with McGuffey App – Once the student is comfortable with the letter sounds for the current lesson, words are presented using the letters. Each word is correctly sounded out. Students are presented with the opportunity to build simple words with the letters and have those words sounded out for them. There are also drills, where the student is required to tap the correct word out of a number of possibilities on the screen after hearing it spoken.
Letter Writers Ocean App – The object of the game is to “draw” the letters correctly. The letters float beneath the ocean’s surface, and tapping on a letter causes it to float alone on the screen. A friendly fish guides your finger to the correct starting point. As you drag your finger along the letter’s lines, the friendly fish follows your finger–as long as you correctly follow the lines of the letter.
Language Arts has always been a favorite subject in our homeschool. We started with The Big Book of Alpha Tales, to introduce the ABCs. It was full of fun alphabet stories and poems to read aloud. After my daughter learned her letters, we began Explode the Code, which was full of easy to do phonics and early reading activities. It also introduced spelling in a gentle way. My daughter was soon writing her own sentences….and making her own story books! So, the next year, we began working in Spectrum Writing-second grade, choosing from a variety of age-appropriate writing activities, child-led. For literature during these early years, we checked out tons of books from the library, and also read the Pathway series. We and especially enjoyed Seeking True Values. This book was full of family friendly stories with a focus on character building!
Through the years, Language Arts is still our favorite thing to study. As a junior this year, my daughter is working in Oak Meadow Literature and Composition II. It not only covers literature and essay writing, it also teaches literary analysis! These are only a few of the great Language Arts reviews that are written by our talented author team at The Curriculum Choice. And there are so many ways to make your Language Arts learning fun and successful.
Explode the Code This program did not require any prep on my part. All I needed to do was read any new letter sounds out loud, or read her “listening sentences” for her to write down. And of course, celebrate the learning!
Spectrum Writing review – 2nd grade “Spectrum Writing for 2nd Grade served as a helpful foundation for our writing activities in the early elementary years. If you are looking for some new ideas to help your children gain confidence in their writing skills, I recommend Spectrum Writing.”
Spectrum Writing – 8 Review “Have you ever wondered how to help your young teens progress with their writing skills? And how to evaluate how they were doing?”
Big Book of Alpha Tales “Are you looking for a fun way to introduce the alphabet to your younger ones? Or do your children need something special to do while you work with their siblings? Scholastic offers a hands-on alphabet program called The Big Book of Alpha Tales. It includes an entertaining story for each letter of the alphabet.”
Sequencing Simple Stories “In this workbook, children practice putting the parts of simple stories together! Through cutting and gluing, they construct their stories, and build a concrete beginning, middle and end to each story. This helped my daughter to understand stories better, as all stories can be broken down to a beginning, middle and end. And this understanding helped her progressed in her reading!”
Evan Moor’s Building Spelling Skills “Gradually there were more correctly spelled words in her writing! And this learning happened naturally. There are many good spelling programs out there but for my family, we liked Building Spelling Skills.”
Reading Success Mini Books “My daughter not only enjoyed making her mini books, but also loved sharing them. She prided herself on her writing, and enjoyed reading it out loud all to her family – especially to her dad at dinner! This gave her a feeling of confidence in the sometimes difficult process of learning to read.”
Oak Meadow – Lit and Comp II “I love this curriculum, as the questions really helped my daughter to analyze the story/novel, and later to do her literary analysis essay.”
Daily Grammar “Throughout my children’s elementary years, we explored several different grammar curricula, and all have had their good points. This year, however, I came across a FREE curriculum that is thorough and easy to use and free. (Did I mention that already? Sorry. I really like the word free.)”
Spelling Power “Don’t let the “Big Orange Book” scare you, though! Once you delve into the curriculum, Spelling Power is very easy to use…”
Honey for a Child’s Heart “A superb resource that has directed me for years is Honey for a Child’s Heart: The Imaginative Use of Books in Family Life, by Gladys Hunt. Familiar to many homeschooling families, this excellent book makes a strong case for a life of literature.”
Poetry series at The Bluestocking Belle: Six Tips for Enjoying Poetry with Your Children, Poetry Push Back: Working Through Resistance in Young Children, Enjoying Poetry with Your Young Children: Online Resources, Poetry Pushback: Jolting Older Children Out of Apathy, Poetry Pushback: Bridging the Disconnect with Older Children,
Make Spelling Fun with My Spelling Test App “Enter My Spelling Test, an app that makes studying for and taking spelling tests FUN!”
Designing a Poetry Unit with Read & Understand Poetry “Using Read & Understand Poetry as a guide is the perfect way to create a introductory poetry unit (which just might inspire your children to learn further on their own!)”
A print-rich environment is vital to a solid foundation of great reading, writing, vocabulary and spelling skills. Wondering how to build your library of good books? Building Incredible Booklists for Children offers many resources to help you out!
Vocabulary – Have you ever wondered how or even why to include vocabulary into your language arts program? For years I glanced over this as I really didn’t have a clue as to how or why to include it, finally the penny dropped :o). I hope that this post helps you if you too are stuck with vocabulary!
Some Language Arts Helps! – In this post I have a list, links and short reviews of some great free online language arts games we have enjoyed over the years. Kindergarten, elementary and middle school is covered here.
Help Your Child Capture the Story: 1st Grade Book Report Pages – “Print these FREE pages to help your young reader/writer record what they have read. Great tool to measure comprehensaion!
Trace and Build Letters – “help your preschooler begin to understand the shapes of each upper and lower case letter with these FREE trace and build letters!”
Teach Your Child to Write: A Beginner’s Writing Notebook – “Do you have a little one who is ready to begin learning how to write their letters? Take a look at this great, simple way to teach them!”
5 Days of Copywork – “All you every wanted to know about copywork!”
Our favorite writing resources for the elementary grades are Emma Serl’s Primary Language Lessons and Secondary Language Lessons, beautiful old books that follow Charlotte Mason’s principles in a classical way.
It’s also important for children to learn from real writers, by analysing and imitating. Creativity is good, but studying the great writers can teach them so many practical approaches to expressing themselves!
Most years we join NaNoWriMo, a crazy month of novel-writing that forces our children to think about dialogue, setting, conflict, plot, and character. What better way to consolidate what they have learned about literature?
We used many resources to learn to read, but I wish we had Alpha-Phonics at the time. It would have been such a blessing!
Once the children are teens they may think they know how to read, but there is a whole lot more to learn. How to Read a Book is probably one of the most important books our teens study.
The Word Spy – My kids adore this book! So much so that when we finished it they sat there quietly for a minute before screaming, “You have the next one, right?” Yes, my cheeky little boys I do indeed.
Copywork for Future Heroes – If you need help getting your copywork quotes together for your boy to copy this could be the product you are looking for! Copy them out, drop them in a jar and let your child pull one out to work on. Print it out as per the instructions in the ebook and you’re all set. No fuss No muss!
Spellwell – My top notch answer is going to be simple. I love that my child has gained confidence and power with his spelling. He’s gone from worrying that everything he spells will be wrong to asking occasionally. His spelling is not perfect, but it’s vastly better!
Even More Language Arts Resources!
- Free Language Arts Resources Online compiled for you at The Homeschool Classroom
- Our Curriculum Choice review team features a topic monthly. You can see all that our authors have shared on electives, math, curriculum choices and more under Review Team Features.
- A Language Arts Pinterest board! reviews of all kinds from our archives and more.
- Be sure to subscribe to Curriculum Choice. Our authors will be back next week with Five Days of Choosing Curriculum. We’ll be sharing all our best resources for preschool to high school and more!
Now for the giveaway! One $10 credit to Classical Copywork
~hosted by Amy Maze, Living and Learning at Home
Yahiliz Seiltgen says
Thanks for the wonderful post. I so needed this. I’d love to win the giveaway to buy the copywork book. We are just beginning this stage. Thanks, again!
I am going to be trying out copywork for the first time this year. Would love to try classical copy work. I have also not yet picked a literary program so looking forward to reading some of the above articles! 🙂
Alicia Charmbury says
Bible copy work!
I am going to have to get the catechism and McGuffey 2nd reader copywork as that is exactly what we will be doing this fall!
Amy Maze says
That’s great! I recommend waiting a week to get the catechism one because I have 3 more options coming out for in once I am able to finish editing them. There will be a cursive option and then both print and cursive for the Advanced level. Thanks for entering the giveaway!