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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Curriculum, Learning Styles, and Choices… Oh, My!

Curriculum learning stylesAs a new homeschool mom with an arsenal of degrees and certifications to show for my years of college and experience in the preschool and special education arena, I thought I was prepared. I handled a class of 25+ students in the sixth through ninth grades of Specific Learning Disabilities classes. Surely I could handle two children who were my own.

So I set off as many of you do, to recreate the school within the home, only to find it was a dismal failure. Well, not totally. We loved waking up each morning to a hot breakfast, and then I’d take my second cup of coffee and my two little ones to my room where we’d snuggle up and I’d read the Bible, a biography, and often we’d end up back there again to read after lunch. My oldest child had some learning struggles and he was not getting math. Simple facts were beyond him and asking him to memorize the multiplications facts in later years was like asking him to recite the Pythagorean Theorem.

That’s when I discovered that while I could read most things and remember them, I had hands-on learners who loved exploring and delving into things, getting their hands dirty, and loving it! So instead of just talking about rockets, we turned the refrigerator box into a space ship, complete with countdown to blast off music. My children wore bicycle helmets and pretended to be astronauts.

When our lot flooded, I would have been happy to read about the flood plain, and use words like – “cypress slough” in a sentence or learn about all the animals that like the flood water habitat using an illustrated children’s nature book, but, nooooo, not my children! They had to don boots and drag their brand-new red wagon my parents purchased for them around our flooded yard. They would play outdoors for hours. One day my son ran in all excited and asked, “Is it red-on-yellow kill a fellow, and red-on-black friend of Jack?”  Do you see a recurring theme here?ChristinaSpaceShip

These two were not happy to read about nature in a book, they had to experience it, and so when I happened upon Cathy Duffy at a homeschool conference, it finally made sense! Learning styles, yes – I remember learning about those in my special education classes and then it hit me! Our styles were completely different and not only those of my children, but mine as well.

That doesn’t mean it happened overnight, nor does it mean that I couldn’t encourage my strong visual child to learn things orally as well. It just meant that I wasn’t trying to fit a square peg into a round hole any longer. I finally was able to hit on some compromises that worked for our family and we happily became a unit study, Charlotte Mason, textbook, workbooks, biographies, fiction author, eclectic type of family. One size does not always fit all – and I’m a case in point.

Have you struggled finding curriculum that works for your family? Or did you finally have an, “Aha!” moment like I did?

 

Felice Gerwitz is the host of Vintage Homeschool Moms show that airs on Monday at noon eastern time. Her guest is Cathy Duffy.

Curriculum & Learning Styles – Cathy Duffy

CathDuffyInterviewListen as your host, Felice Gerwitz interviews her special guest, Cathy Duffy. They discuss everything for why Cathy began homeschooling her three boys, now adults, to the difference between learning styles and modalities. Cathy tackles the hard questions in regard to Common Core standards and how homeschoolers perceive this pointing out a very interesting fact – data collection, which we should all be aware of and guard against.

Don’t miss this great interview with curriculum specialist Cathy Duffy.

Visit Cathy at CathyDuffyReviews.com and subscribe to her enewsletter and connect with her on Facebook as well CathyDuffyReviews

Cathy is author of the book – 101 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum