How Should we Study Grammar in our Homeschool

LCP 6: How Should we Study Grammar in our Homeschool

 

Join Katie with the Literary Cafe Podcast for tips in How to study grammar in your homeschool #homeschool #homeschooling #grammar #language arts #english

Every homeschool mom eventually asks herself, “How should we study grammar in our homeschool? Should I use diagramming or not? How do I apply the grammar to learning how to write?”

Join Katie Glennon as she shares years of experience in her own teaching and homeschooling to answer these questions and provides easy to use tips and suggested resources to use in your homeschool.

Visit Katie’s website for more fun ideas and tips to use in your homeschool at Katie’s Homeschool Cottage or her Facebook Group.

You’ll walk away more confident in tackling this sticky area of Language Arts.

How Should we Study Grammar in our Homeschool

How Should we Study Grammar in our Homeschool (PDF download for you to print)

Show Notes

How to Study Grammar in your Homeschool

Grammar Resources

Use your learner’s writing to assess what skills they need to review and practice each week.

Other review and practice for grammar skills can be found with these resources –

Diagramming –

Rod and Staff – (books go up to 8th grade, but the concepts and skills are up through high school work.) These books use diagramming and are very well explained. If you have a learner that loves following and making lists of steps and learns best this way, you might want to try diagramming. However, if it is frustrating or challenging for you or your learner to understand the “diagramming process”, it may not be worth using that method to learn the grammatical concepts.

Old Warriner’s English and Composition textbooks are a secular alternative that provide valuable instruction and practice with sentence diagramming for all grade levels starting with upper elementary through high school grades. You may find them on Amazon or Ebay or used book store websites.

Hands-On Grammar –

If you have a hands-on learner, you may want to check out Winston Grammar. This program uses a hands-on approach and labels parts of speech and how the words are used in a sentence. Basic and Advanced levels are available.

Non-diagramming –

Another program I recommend is the Easy Grammar series. The Easy Grammar books have the text and instruction to learn and practice new skills and the Daily Grams are workbooks that have a daily review with 5 different kinds of grammar concepts with one sample of each per day for a total of 5 quick review samples to practice. Loved this! As your child moves into high school, you may want to use the Ultimate Series that has the text and instruction and the practice in each. There are placement tests on the website to assist you.

 

Incorporating and Practicing Grammar Skills in Writing

Narration –

When your learner retells back to you what they have just heard, it not only improves their listening, recall, and comprehension skills, but also the process of organizing their thoughts, practicing vocabulary, and formulating sentences to express their thoughts. These are all important skills in the “Pre-Writing” process, and what a writer needs to be able to do before putting pencil to paper.

After getting into the habit and practice of “Narration” in this manner, the next step we followed was – writing down what they just told me orally.

For my younger guy- this might be drawing a picture of what he just told me about and writing just one sentence about the picture.

For my older guy- this meant starting with the first sentence of his oral narration to me – writing only one sentence at a time as he says it aloud.

The grammar came into play when some of their narrations on paper – were used to review proper grammar. We would read each sentence together and make corrections to certain errors I felt we had already learned and needed practice. So that the next narration on paper they did, I made sure to look over their shoulders and point out to them the mistake they made last time so that this time and next time, they wrote it correctly. We repeated this process every few narrations and always reviewing and adding a new concept or two to correct and practice in their writing.

Dictation –

We would practice dictation with our spelling words. I would dictate a sentence to them for each spelling word they had for the week. This would be for a weekly spelling test. I would grade them for the correct spelling of the word. But use the sentences to see how they were doing with their grammar. I would pick and choose which mistakes to review with them and make sure that in future writing I would steer them in the proper way to use that particular grammar concept.

Copywork –

Copywork – was sentences I would select from novels we were reading aloud together or novels they were reading on their own.

This might be C.S.Lewis or Tolkien or Mark Twain. These were quality classic type books. – even starting with something like Charlotte’s Web. I would look for a passage (the length depended on their age and ability) that contained various skills and concepts of grammar that they had or were in the process of learning.

They would practice copying these passages almost every day for a week. I would look at it with them and point out punctuation, capitalization, and other grammatical features and any corrections needed.

This also gave them practice in their handwriting. I would print out worksheets with the copywork passage at Handwritingworksheets.com that would show the proper way to write the letters as well.

I began to notice, that as young as fourth grade, my guys would want to write their own stories and their writing started to sound like Tolkien from doing so much copywork from that author.

Their natural sentence structure and vocabulary was influenced by the practice of this copywork.

 

Be sure to subscribe to  iTunes so you don’t miss an episode and comment in the Comments box any ideas you’d like to share that your family has used in studying grammar or practicing it in your writing or any of these ideas from this podcast you found helpful! I would love to hear from you!

Thanks for visiting! Come back and visit the Literary Cafe Podcast for September’s topic when we answer the question many moms ask, “My child hates reading. What can I do?”

Make sure you subscribe to the Literary Cafe Podcast by clicking on the Android or RSS feed buttons below the recording on this page!

Join Katie with the Literary Cafe Podcast for tips in How to study grammar in your homeschool #homeschool #homeschooling #grammar #language arts #english

What to Include in your Elementary Language Arts Study

LCP Ep 4: What to Include in your Elementary Language Arts Study

 

Join Katie at the Literary Cafe Podcast to learn about What to Include in your Elementary Language Arts Study #homeschool #homeschooling #language arts #elementary school

How are you going to homeschool Language Arts with your elementary aged children? Does the idea of teaching your child to read or write stress you out? Do you wonder if  you are teaching everything you need to during the elementary school years for what is called “Language Arts”? And how are you going to cover everything plus other subjects during the day?

Visit Katie’s website for more fun ideas and tips to use in your homeschool at Katie’s Homeschool Cottage or her Facebook Group.

Join Katie Glennon as she discusses what skills and concepts you should include in your Language Arts study during the elementary school years. Listen for practical tips and suggested curriculum and resources to help you and your learners use your time efficiently, effectively, and economically in teaching and learning Language Arts in your homeschool. She will also give you fun learning ideas to address learners in your home with different learning styles.

The Five Areas of Language Arts you should include in the Elementary School Years

What to Include in your Elementary Language Arts Study  (Printable for you to download)

Reading

Use a Phonics based program or curriculum that starts with letters and moves to vowel sounds and vowel combinations, then moves to consonant blends. These programs will also include when to introduce specific sight words.

Use a multisensory approach to be able to address all learning styles and multiple learners in your family. At early ages, it may be difficult to determine your child’s learning style. Not only use different ways to look at words and hear the sounds for your visual and auditory learners, but address your kinesthetic learners with assorted hands-on activities.d

Suggested Homeschool Language Arts Curriculum – Reading

Foundations – Logic of English (K-1)

Hooked on Phonics (K-2)

Bob Books – Early Readers to Supplement your programs

Explode the Code (K-4)

Phonics Pathways (K-2)

McRuffy Language Arts (K-4)

All About Reading (K-4)

Reading for Grades 3-4 – After Phonics and Developing Fluency

After your child is ready to move on from learning to read to reading larger chunks of material and has begun to develop fluency, you will want to introduce other reading skills such as comprehension and higher order thinking skill questions and other skills.

These skills include –

  • recalling detail
  • making inferences and predictions
  • using context clues
  • identifying main ideas
  • learning the elements of a story – plot, conflict, setting, characters, point of view, theme
  • literary devices and writing techniques such as similes and metaphors
  • Introduce the study of vocabulary and vocabulary skills

We used a combination of novels and study guides; an anthology for other forms of writing such as essays, speeches, poetry, short stories, and plays; and reading novels or “living books” aloud together that were tied to our history or social studies.

Suggested Homeschool Language Arts Curriculum – Reading for Grades 3-4

Bob Jones University – Book Links

Total Language Plus 

Progeny Press

Mosdos Press Literature Anthologies

Handwriting

Along with learning to identify and make the sounds of letters and able to read simple words, you will want to eventually include handwriting those letters and words. Before you begin handwriting, you will want to make sure your learner has the fine motor skills to hold the pencil and make the formation of the letters.

You can develop fine motor skills by using safety scissors and tracing lines and assorted shapes with a pencil. You can also practice using the pincers with tweezers or play (larger-size) tweezers to pick up objects including pony beads and doing sorting activities.

Start with cursive or D’Nealian cursive instead of manuscript or printing. This is easier for early writers because their hands and arms do not leave the paper and it is a more continuous and smooth motion. They do not have to worry about picking up the pencil and where to place it to continue to draw each letter.

You can make your own handwriting worksheets to go along with your Phonics program and spelling lists.

https://www.handwritingworksheets.com/

Spelling

Spelling as a subject should be closely related to what your child is learning or has learned with their Phonics program. If you tie the learning of word families from the Phonics program to handwriting and spelling with the same word lists, you have taken three parts of your Language Arts programs and have effectively and efficiently tied them together with meaningful learning.

Use a program that is based on Phonics and word families in the same word lists. This makes the words and lessons more meaningful and easier to master.

Suggested Homeschool Language Arts Curriculum – Spelling

Building Spelling Skills by Christian Liberty Press

All About Spelling

Vocabulary – Grades 3-4

Use the vocabulary words from the novels and anthology you are reading. Separate vocabulary workbooks can be dry and boring and not very effective. Using vocabulary from the context of novels and reading from an anthology give the vocabulary words meaning and a foundation for your learners to understand and remember those words. I have found this a more effective and better use of learning time.

Writing and Composition

We began writing sentences when my littles were learning to read. I had them draw a picture from something we read aloud and they would dictate to me a sentence telling me what that picture was about. I would write it down as they said it so they would see the connection between their words and my writing.

We moved on from there to continuing our read aloud time and we used a Charlotte Mason technique of “narration” where my children would retell a chapter of something we just read or a short story like a fable, folktale, or fairytale. This required them to organize their thoughts in their heads before they retold the story and while they were telling me the story. These are important skills a writer should have before they write their thoughts on paper.

This retelling is easier to use in starting to write something on paper instead of having to come up with their own story and content. They can concentrate on writing a summary of what they have heard. I would have my little guys draw a scene from what we read and tell me a sentence about that picture. I would then have them write a sentence, one word at a time, from what they just told me. Any misspelled words (usually two at a time) would then become part of that week’s spelling list. Soon my guys would be writing two sentences and by the end of the year an entire page of sentences using this retelling technique.

We used several resources to build on adding details to these sentences and then moved onto the proper paragraph format.

Suggested Homeschool Language Arts Curriculum – Writing and Composition

Write a Super Sentence by Evan Moor

Paragraph Writing by Evan Moor

Writing Fabulous Sentences and Paragraphs

Here is a bundle of notebooking pages that we used for our written narration that I mentioned in the podcast to develop our writing skills. There is a set for different subject areas that we used to either make our own books or put into a 3 ring binder to put together a notebook of our writing and what we learned in that subject that year.

Make Your Own ABC Book Notebooking Pages Bundle Set

Be sure to comment in the Comments box any ideas you’d like to share that your family has used in your Language Arts or any of these ideas from this podcast you found helpful! I would love to hear from you! Thanks for visiting! Come back and visit the Literary Cafe Podcast for July’s topic when we discuss what to include in your study of language arts in your homeschool for your middle and high school learners!

Make sure you subscribe to the Literary Cafe Podcast at iTunes so you don’t miss an episode or by clicking on the Android or RSS feed buttons below the recording on this page!

Join Katie at the Literary Cafe Podcast to learn about What to Include in your Elementary Language Arts Study #homeschool #homeschooling #language arts #elementary school

Visit Katie’s website for more fun ideas and tips to use in your homeschool at Katie’s Homeschool Cottage.


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How to Study Poetry in your Homeschool

LCP Ep 3: How to Study Poetry in your Homeschool

 

Join Katie at the Literary Cafe Podcast for tips and resources in How to Study Poetry in your homeschool. #homeschool #homeschooling #poetry #language arts #literature

Join Katie Glennon as she discusses how to study poetry in your homeschool and shares fun ideas and activities in learning how to appreciate and enjoy poetry. Listen for practical tips in developing language skills in your youngest learners with poetry and valuable practices in building the writing skills in your older learners. Poetry does it all! And you can have fun doing it!

Visit Katie’s website for more fun ideas and tips to use in your homeschool at Katie’s Homeschool Cottage or her Facebook Group.

What Can Poetry do for your Youngest Learners?

Poetry can help develop fluency, vocabulary and comprehension skills in your youngest learners.

Short poems with rhyming words (word families) and the rhythm of the poems are great practice for young readers.

Identifying rhyming sounds at the end of the lines of a poem provide a wonderful opportunity in practice with word families.

 

The rhythm or meter in the poem is a wonderful device to assist with fluency and pauses and the rhythm of speech while reading.

Shorter passages are not as overwhelming and can be fun compared to passages in books and are helpful in practicing new vocabulary and sight words.

Poetry can also provide practice in identifying and using different parts of speech in an engaging manner.

What Can Poetry do for your Older Learners?

Older learners also gain language skill development with the rhyming and rhythmnic patterns of poems.

Learning to identify and practice the literary techniques and devices used to paint a picture with words helps older learners appreciate and better understand the use of effective word choice and descriptions in written rhetoric.

Their own writing and self-editing skills are tested as they attempt to follow different poet forms and are forced to read their own work aloud and then change their words to match a specific number of syllables to help their sentences flow or to better describe their thoughts.

Their reading comprehension and higher order thinking skills are also expanded with poetry as they progress and practice reading aloud and answering questions to poems that start out rather simple and move on to more complex poetry.

Book and Poetry Suggestions to Develop Language Skills

Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes

A Child Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson

Dr. Seuss books with simple verse and rhymes

The Twentieth Century Poetry Treasury by Jack Prelutsky

The Random House Book of Poetry for Children

Poetry books by Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends and The Light in the Attic

Poems by Edward Lear or E. E. Cummings

Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll

Inclusion Ideas for Poetry

Read poets or poetry that include historical references or cultural experiences as part of your studies. For example, when studying American History, included some American poets from that time period who wrote poems about the events or people of that time period or poems that mention people or events from American history.

Some American history examples:

Walt Whitman

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Langston Hughes

Gwendolyn Brooks

For World History:

“The Charge of the Light Brigade”

Or “Flanders Fields”

Study poems about seasons, holidays, or nature when studying these topics.

Activities to Have Fun with Poetry in Homeschooling

Here is a downloadable file you can print out for your reference filled with activity ideas to include the study of poetry in your homeschool.

Activity Ideas to Have Fun with Poetry

Poetry Forms to Practice Writing your Own Poems

Acrostic Poems

Ballads

Cinquains

Color Poetry using the Five Senses

Diamantes

Haikus

Limericks

Concrete or Shape Poems

Tankas

Be sure to comment in the Comments box any ideas you’d like to share that your family has enjoyed in reading and studying poetry or any of these ideas! I would love to hear from you! Thanks for visiting! Come back and visit the Literary Cafe Podcast for June’s topic when we discuss what to include in your study of language arts in your homeschool for your elementary aged learners! We will explore fun ways to teach and learn those necessary language arts skills!

 

Make sure you subscribe to the Literary Cafe Podcast at iTunes so you don’t miss an episode or by clicking on the Android or RSS feed buttons below the recording on this page!

Join Katie at the Literary Cafe Podcast for tips and resources in How to Study Poetry in your homeschool. #homeschool #homeschooling #poetry #language arts #literature

Visit Katie’s website for more fun ideas and tips to use in your homeschool at Katie’s Homeschool Cottage.

Why Study Shakespeare?

LCP Ep 2: Why Study Shakespeare?


Join Katie at Literary Cafe Podcast for tips in Why and How to Study Shakespeare in your homeschool. #homeschool #homeschooling #Shakespeare #Language Arts

Join Katie Glennon as she shares fun ways to include Shakespeare’s plays in your homeschool literature and Shakespeare studies starting as early as elementary ages through high school. Find out why you should include Shakespeare in your studies, what resources you can use to more easily understand and enjoy his works, and fun activities for your whole family to enjoy brushing up your Shakespeare!
Visit Katie’s website for more fun ideas and tips to use in your homeschool at Katie’s Homeschool Cottage or her Facebook Group.

 

Why do we study Shakespeare?

Plots and themes from Shakespeare’s plays are a part of our culture and can be found in movies, television shows, plays, books, and poetry.

References to Shakespeare in Movies

TV Shows with Shakespeare Themes

TV Characters Based on Shakespeare

Book Titles Inspired by Shakespeare Phrases

Allusions to Shakespeare (characters and phrases) are found throughout literature and poetry. When we have background knowledge of Shakespeare’s plays we can better understand the ideas and images authors and poets are trying to convey in their writing.

Words created by Shakespeare are used every day. 1 out of every 100 words are most likely attributed to William Shakespeare.

Words Shakespeare Invented

45 Phrases Coined by Shakespeare

Words and Phrases Coined by Shakespeare pdf – Printable Handout for you to Download

Shakespeare used his plays as a way to share what he observed about human nature and man’s “foibles”. He poked fun at and examined how and why humans behaved. We can learn to understand men’s motivations and the consequences of their actions, and can examine character qualities and flaws.

Shakespeare for Children and High Schoolers

Tales from Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb

Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare by Edith Nesbit

Barron’s Simply Shakespeare and Shakespeare Made Easy series

Shakespeare Activity Ideas

Study William Shakespeare’s life and times and the Globe Theater with some of these suggested book titles –

A Shakespearean Theater by Jacqueline Morely

Bard of Avon: the Story of William Shakespeare by Diane Stanley

William Shakespeare & the Globe by Aliki

After reading a story or some stories, have your children select their favorite one or scene and use quotes as copywork or write a summary or sentence or two of the story on notebooking pages and draw the scene.

You can use this e-book I created for notebooking pages, quotes, book title suggestions, activity suggestions and website links for a ready to go resource for your Shakespeare study. (Just for visiting my podcast page, use the coupon code ShakespearePodcast to receive $1.50 off.)

Having Fun with Shakespeare for Kids and Teens

Having Fun with Shakespeare for Kids and Teens in your homeschool

For field trips, go to plays at local community theaters and schools. Look for a Shakespearean Festival.

Make some puppets from paper and craft sticks, paper bags, or even those old socks with the missing pair. Be creative!

Have a discussion about what happened in the story, favorite or least favorite parts of the story, and about the characters and their actions.

Have a party for Shakespeare’s Birthday (April 23rd) or just have a party celebrating Shakespeare

Throw a birthday partyor celebration and dress up as characters from any stories or plays you have read. Or, dress up as historical figures from his time period.

Use this great free printable pack of party decorations, hats, photo props, and place mats.
Printable Party Pack

Serve food from the time period.

Play games –

  • Quote famous phrases from the stories or plays you read and ask if anyone knows what story or play it came from or what character said it.
  • Read words or phrases and ask if anyone can tell you if it is one Shakespeare created.
  • Read a quote and ask if it came from one of Shakepeare’s plays or the King James Bible.

 

Be sure to comment in the Comments box any ideas you’d like to share that your family has enjoyed or any of these ideas! I would love to hear from you! Thanks for visiting! Come back and visit the Literary Cafe Podcast for May’s topic How to Study Poetry in your Homeschool. We will explore fun ways to study and enjoy poetry! Spring is the perfect time to study poetry!

 

Make sure you subscribe to the Literary Cafe Podcast at iTunes so you don’t miss an episode or by clicking on the Android or RSS feed buttons below the recording on this page!

Join Katie at Literary Cafe Podcast for tips in Why and How to Study Shakespeare in your homeschool. #homeschool #homeschooling #Shakespeare #Language Arts

Visit Katie’s website for more fun ideas and tips to use in your homeschool at Katie’s Homeschool Cottage.

Help for When Your Child Doesn’t Like Language Arts

Help for When Your Child Doesn't Like Language Arts: The Homeschool Sanity Show Podcast

You may be concerned if your student resists reading, writing, and all things English. Reading in particular is the best predictor of a child’s future success—not just in school, but in life. If that’s your situation, I have help. You can get your child interested in language arts.

Join me on Periscope or become a member of the HomeschoolScopes community on Facebook.

Teaching Tip of the Week

Answers for Kids from  Answers in Genesis Bookstore

Organized Homeschool Challenge of the Week

The Charity Challenge

Links

5 Days to Your Child Becoming a Better Reader

5 Days to Your Child Becoming a Better Reader

Grammar Galaxy Language Arts

Grammar Galaxy Language Arts

Free Funny Fall Writing Prompts

Free Funny Fall Writing Prompts

10 Minutes of Language Arts Kids Love

Caught Ya, Grammar with a Giggle

The Ultimate List of FREE Grammar Games

The Ultimate List of Free Grammar Games

This Week’s Action Steps

  1. Determine why your child doesn’t like language arts
  2. Address your child’s specific problem
  3. Model reading and writing for your child

If you found this podcast helpful, I would be thrilled if you would rate it on iTunes and share the sanity.

Next week

We’ll discuss help for the anxious homeschooler.

Have a happy homeschool week!