Monday, January 6, 2014

A Peek into our Homeschool: Language Arts

I don't know about you, but I love to see how other families "do" this whole homeschooling thing.  It introduces me to new methods, other curriculum, and gives me new perspective.  Now, I can't say what we do is as helpful or fascinating as what others do, but I am excited to participate in the 2014 Virtual Curriculum Fair for the first time this year.  Each week during the month of January, we will be focusing on one subject area, and sharing how we homeschool (or unschool) that subject.

image source pear83

The first theme is Playing with Words: the Language Arts.

For reference, we are relaxed homeschoolers that are influenced by many of Charlotte Mason's methods, but I try to follow my child's lead more than anything. Elliott is 7 and in the 1st grade. Emory is 4 and in Pre-K, but is not required to do formal work.

The only area of Language Arts that is semi-formal is Elliott's reading & phonics.  He is an emerging reader, and I want him to have some regular practice.  Right now he is using Reading Eggs a few times a week for practice.  We also do a lot of reading aloud and buddy reading to build fluency. 

We cover grammar, spelling and vocabulary a bit more informally.  We reviewed in the fall, and we use the 2nd grade grammar on occasion.  We also reviewed VocabularySpellingCity around the same time, and I sometimes set up the lessons to coincide with his reading.

After that, the only thing that is consistent is Literature.  This is my favorite subject in the Language Arts umbrella! We just read. My only criteria is that we choose quality, living books. We read picture books and we read chapter books. We read fiction and non-fiction. We read Mother Goose or fairy tales or poetry.  Sometimes we read a book and do a fun activity like in Hear Your Heart.  We read as "school" and we read for pleasure. Since the boys are close in age, they usually listen to everything together, although I don't expect Emory to sit through some of Elliott's longer readings. I don't worry about analyzing or dissecting, but the boys do narrate on their own, and we do discuss!


We "supplement" all this with fun board games, educational apps and a little foreign language--we dabble in Spanish here and there at home, and Elliott takes Latin at co-op.

It's all very light and informal.  The mechanics of reading is important, but my biggest concern is to create an environment that encourages my children to have a desire to read, a love of reading.  If they want to read, they will be more eager to learn the whys and hows.  The rest will fall into place.

Week 1:  A Peek into our Homeschool - Language Arts
Week 2:  A Peek into our Homeschool - Math & Logic
Week 3:  A Peek into our Homeschool - The Sciences
Week 4:  A Peek into our Homeschool - Seeking Beauty

2014 Virtual Curriculum Fair
Now, these other bloggers are also participating in the 2014 Virtual Curriculum Fair, so be sure to check out how they "do" Language Arts in their homes! 

3 Reasons to Read to Your Teens by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds
Language Arts {Virtual Curriculum Fair} by Chareen @ Every Bed of Roses
A Classical Take on 6th Grade Language Arts by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool
The Power in a Word by Michele@ Family, Faith and Fridays
The Latin Road to English Grammar Volume 1 by Kristi K. @ The Potter's Hand Academy
Starting a Foreign Language in Elementary School by Amy @ Eclectic Homeschooling
These are the words we say by Christa @ Fairfield Corner Academy
Our Curriculum Choices 2014 ~ English by Renata~Sunnyside Farm Fun
Virtual Curriculum Fair: A World of Words by Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory
It Starts with the Alphabet by Kristen @ Sunrise to Sunset
Playing w/ Words-Charlotte Mason Style by Lynn P @ Ladybug Chronicles
Our PreK-1st Grade Language Arts Mix by Tauna @ Proverbial Homemaker
Fun (or Not) With Spelling by Nicole @ Schooling in the Sun
Word Nerd Love by Lisa N@Golden Grasses
Unconventional Reading Lessons While Homeschooling by Lori@My Journeys Through Life
My Favorite Writing Curriculum for our Boys by Monique @Living Life and Learning
Virtual Curriculum Fair: Playing With Words - Language Arts  by Stacie @Super Mommy To The Rescue
Fun With the Language Arts by Mary @ Winecup Christian Homeschool
Our Grammar Path by Laura @ Four Little Penguins
Virtual Curriculum Fair !!! by Jessica @ Modest Mama
Creating a High School English Course (or two) by Debra @Footprints in the Butter
Language Arts in Our Homeschool This Year by Laura @ Day by Day in Our World

Stay Tuned for next's week installment: Discovering Patterns: Mathematics, Logic, and Science.

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1 comment:

  1. I've found that with young kids, often informally learning spelling and grammar is the best way---it just sticks with them because they can see more readily how it applies to real life. Thank you for sharing your take on language arts!