Valuable Benefits from Reading Classic Literature in your Homeschool

LCP Ep 9: Valuable Benefits from Reading Classic Literature in your Homeschool

 

Stack of classic books for valuable benefits from reading classic books in your homeschool podcast #homeschool #homeschooling #languagearts #classicbooks #classicliterature #literaturestudy #literarystudy #highschoolliterature #highschoolliterarystudy #middleschoolliterature #middleschoolliterarystudy #homeschoolhighschool #homeschoolmiddleschool #literarycafepodcast #homeschoolpodcast

 

Do you cringe when you think about “classic literature”?

Are you intimidated by the thought of tackling challenging vocabulary or complex sentences that seem to go on and on?

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 shares important benefits from reading classic literature, starting with easier books and working your way (and their way) up and through more challenging works as they progress through middle and high school.

There are so many academic and personal benefits that you most likely have not considered in reading classic books, but make the effort extremely worthwhile. They range from the very practical like expanding vocabulary to developing your child’s understanding of themselves, their world, and their individual viewpoints and worldviews.

Show Notes

 

Here is a summarized list of the benefits from the podcast. Please listen to the podcast for details and examples about these benefits.

When I use the term “classic literature”, I am not referring to the ancient literature of Socrates or Sophocles or Oedipus Rex. I am discussing books that have withstood the test of time and have earned a valuable place in our culture and on our bookshelves based on their theme and content or their rich use of language to express ideas.

I have compiled lists of suggested book titles for middle and high school for your reference when considering what books to include in your literature study.

Suggested Middle School Reading List

Suggested High School Classic Literature Book List

Important Benefits from including Classic Books in your Homeschool Literature Study

Learn to Appreciate the Written Word as a Piece of Art

When reading quality literature, we can envision a picture in our minds the scene the author is expressing through the written word. Through vivid descriptions, imagery, literary devices and other writing techniques, we are brought into the world or story that the author is describing. We can hear, feel, or see what the characters experience. We absorb the mood and get to know the characters through their dialogue.

Writing is a craft on paper, much like that expressed by artists with paint on a canvas. What we are reading has so much more meaning and we appreciate and enjoy it more when we can understand the techniques that a writer has used to transport us into another world for the moment.

Learn to Understand and also Absorb Complex and More Interesting Sentence Structure

Classic books, especially as you enter high school level literature, contains more complex and sophisticated sentence structure. If we start exposing our children to easier to understand classic books in middle school, they become accustomed to the longer and more complex sentences and how to tackle them when reading. When they enter high school, it will be less daunting to read some of the more challenging works because of the practice they have already gained.

Our children will also start to speak and write in more interesting sentences, because they actually start to absorb this way of expressing themselves. It comes naturally.

Enrich and Expand Vocabulary

When your children are regularly exposed to a more challenging vocabulary increments at a time, your children will become adept at using the sentence around the word to decipher the meaning of the word in its context. This is a very important and practical skill. They also more easily learn and retain the meaning of the word in the context of the sentence and the story, as opposed to weekly vocabulary lists that are not attached to a memorable story.

These words will then appear more naturally in their speech and their own writing.

Practice Identifying and Analyzing Worldview

In this day, it is important that we help our children identify worldviews that exist today and appear in the written and spoken word as it is presented in books, social media, television, and movies. We need to share with them our family viewpoints, morals, values, and our personal worldviews. Through this filter, we can then identify worldviews in speech and written word we come across or study with our children. It’s important to compare the viewpoints presented by others to our own personal worldviews and determine if they fit with our own and accept them or reject them.

It is through this study and discussion that our children develop their own views and are prepared to enter the world ready to stand by their own beliefs or be swayed and habitually change their viewpoints depending on their surroundings.

Classic literature with its content, themes, and viewpoints is a wonderful resource for this practice and discussion. Wordviews have been presented and have changed throughout literary time periods through history. (In the podcast, we have discussed this with more detail.)

Looking at Literature as a Reflection of History and Society

Because writers do not write in a vacuum and live during different time periods in history and changes in society, their writing will reflect their surrounding events and societal views and their own experiences. When we read classic books, we get a front row seat to events and feelings and beliefs of that time period of that author or of the story.

We can see why and how we are today because of the progression of ideas, events, and beliefs that have come before the present we are experiencing.

Looking at Literature as an Influence on History and Society

Writers not only write about events and beliefs around them to reflect what is happening, but also to influence those events and beliefs to bring about a change. Examples would be Thomas Paine’s Common Sense or Harriett Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Both were written to influence society and instigate change.

The written and spoken word can be powerful tools. Learning to identify pursuasive rhetoric helps our children learn to use these tools effectively and be able to discern when this rhetoric is being used to persuade them to adopt an idea or a belief.

Develop and Practice using Higher Order Thinking Skills

When interpreting and analyzing literature for its worldview and meaning and tying in our own views and experiences, we have the perfect opportunity to practice higher order thinking skills. From comprehending what we are reading to synthesizing what we have read to meld those ideas with our own, there are different kinds and levels of thinking skills that are naturally incorporated in reading and discussing a classic book.

 

Identify and Explore Universal Themes found in Literature and in Life

Classic books are a great opportunity to look at the theme presented in the story and compare it to life and our own personal experiences. These themes might be jealously, greed, grief, love, pride, revenge, or good versus evil. When we read about and explore a theme of a story, we have the opportunity to look at the consequences of actions of the characters and learn lessons from their experiences.

We can compare our own thoughts and feelings from our own experiences and examine them and learn from them. We begin to understand these “universal life truths and human experiences”.

This leads to our next benefit.

Understand and Develop Empathy and Sympathy for Others

A scientific study examined children when they read fiction versus non-fiction and they found children learned something when they read fiction. From reading about different characters and their experiences and being able to see and be a part of the characters’ thoughts and feelings in reaction to those experiences, the children in the study developed an understanding and empathy for those characters.

They were able to learn to take what they learned from those characters and those experiences and transfer an empathy to other people who were feeling a certain way because of the discussions about those characters and comparing their experiences to their own experiences. The children were able to project what they would do and how they would feel and act toward others in different circumstances that demonstrated an understanding of the feelings and motivations of other people. Practicing this with characters in literature helped them to develop this skill.

So you can see that studying classic books does not have to be a dreaded experience of convoluted sentences and long and difficult words and thoughts. It can be a wonderful practical experience to acquire not only academic skills that will help them in college, but important life skills to bring them into adulthood.

Be sure to comment in the Comments box any ideas you’d like to share about how your family has studied any classic books! Any great book titles or authors to suggest? I would love to hear from you!

 

Thanks for visiting! Come back and visit the Literary Cafe Podcast for January’s topic when we discuss essential writing skills in the upper grades! You will definitely want to catch this episode to make sure you are preparing your children for college and life with their writing.

Make sure you download our podcast at iTunes or subscribe to the Literary Cafe Podcast by clicking on the Android or RSS feed buttons below the recording on this page! And make sure you share this page with other homeschoolers with middle and high school aged children!

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Essential Guide to Out of the Box Book Report Ideas and Literary Study

LCP Ep 8: Essential Guide to Out of the Box Book Report Ideas and Literary Study

 

Book Report and Literary Study Ideas #homeschooling #homeschool #languagearts #reading #bookreports #literaturestudy #literarystudy #elementary #middleschool #highschool #literarycafepodcast

 

Running out of ideas for what to do when your learner finishes reading a book?

Are you looking for book report ideas or ways to conduct a literary study and keep your learner interested?

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 shares tons of fun and creative out of the box Book Report and Literary Study Ideas to get even your most reluctant reader excited about reading.

You’ll be surprised and excited by the ways you can use your child’s strengths, interests, learning styles, and talents to capture their interest in reading and conducting a literary study while learning about literary devices and story elements and practicing different kinds and levels of thinking skills at the same time.

Show Notes

 

I usually present to my students and my own children different choices of activities after reading a book where I want them to do some of kind of literary analysis or learn specific skills and concepts. The activity would focus on that skill and concept, but the type of activity would be geared to the learners’ learning styles, personal interests and talents so that they will be motivated and interested.

These activities are geared toward specific skills or concepts that are included in the literary and story elements for the book, but are of a nature to make sure to capture the interest of the learner.

The ideas below are just a list of ideas that are fully explained in the Podcast and summarized with descriptions in this printable handout – Descriptions of Out of the Box Book Report and Literary Study Ideas to Motivate your Readers pdf

Book Report and Literary Study Ideas Geared toward the Visual Learner

 

Construct a mobile

Write an advice column

Character email or letter exchange

Character Facebook Page

Journal or Diary

Character Resume and Cover Letter

Character Dossier

Retell the story from a different point of view

Symbolic Time Capsule or Museum Exhibit or Suitcase or Collection

3 D Relief Map or a Diorama (For Hands-on learner as well)

Photo Album

Foldable Display Board

Drawing Projects (Book Jacket, Comic Strip, Collage, Flip Book or Trading Cards)

Mini Quilt

Charts (Timeline,  plot map, analogy chart, Literary Devices Chart, Compare and Contrast Books or Authors)

Wordle

 

Ideas for the more Auditory Learner

 

Drama (Acting as a character or author, a monologue, a speech, a dramatic reading, a mock trial, puppet show)

Write poetry, songs, or raps

Book Club (just discussions, a tea, a party centered around a book with costumes as characters, theme games and refreshments)

Audio or Video Recording (talk show interview as a character or an author)

Radio Play (Imitate an old fashioned radio show with sound effects and character voices of a scene)

Videos (News report, movie trailer, commercial, sales pitch – recording video or using animation software or creating movie with Power Point or Prezi)

 

Ideas Geared toward Hands-on Learners

 

Games(Create board game or a game to play, or scavenger hunt)

Cooking and Baking

 

Be sure to comment in the Comments box any ideas you’d like to share that your family has used in engaging your reluctant reader! Any great book titles or authors to suggest? I would love to hear from you!

 

Thanks for visiting! Come back and visit the Literary Cafe Podcast for November’s topic when we discuss why you should study the classics and the benefits! You’ll be surprised by what your learner will receive from reading these books that have withstood the test of time and why many people treasure them and read them over and over!

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

Book Report and Literary Study Ideas #homeschooling #homeschool #languagearts #reading #bookreports #literaturestudy #literarystudy #elementary #middleschool #highschool #literarycafepodcast

 

 

LCP 08: Essential Guide to Out of the Box Book Reports and Literary Study

Ultimate List of Fun Ways to Engage your Reluctant Reader

LCP Ep 7: Ultimate List of Fun Ways to Engage your Reluctant Reader

 

Ultimate List of Fun Ways to Engage Reluctant Readers #homeschool #homeschooling #literarycafepodcast #reluctantreaders #booksforreluctantreaders #funreadingideas

Do you have a reader who is “reluctant” or has no interest in reading? Is it a battle to get them to show any interest in a book?

This is a common problem and you are not alone. I fought that battle and overcame it while teaching in the classroom and in our 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.

Join Katie Glennon as she discusses fun ways to engage your learners in reading and offers suggestions of kinds of books and book titles to capture your child’s interest in a story. There are plenty of activity suggestions for all ages to get everyone in your home reading and enjoying it. Reading can be a fun, interactive experience instead of a chore.

Show Notes

Suggested Books and Activities for Reluctant Readers pdf (Printable for you to download)

Suggested Books and Activities for Reluctant Readers

Mostly For your Younger Readers

Books and Activities for Cooking

Hedgehog Bakes a Cake by Maryann Macdonald

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis (upper elementary) Turkish Delight

The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien (middle and high school) Hobbit Food

The Lord of the Rings series (high school) Second Breakfast

12 Recipes Inspired by your Favorite Children’s Books

31 Recipes Inspired by Popular Children’s Books

Books to Inspire Cooking with Children

 

Books with Printable Mini Books and Manipulatives (Story Props)

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

More The Very Hungry Caterpillar printables

Make Your own Books – Gingerbread Man

Make Your own Books – ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

Make Your own Books – Little Red Riding Hood

Almost 100 Story Patterns to Use

 

Circular or Chain Stories with Predictable Patterns

Predictable Books

 

Funny Unexpected Stories

The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka

Who Pushed Humpty Dumpty? By David Levinthal

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems

There is a Bird on your Head by Mo Willems

Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin

Giggle, Giggle, Quack: Duck for President by Doreen Cronin

The Hoboken Chicken Emergency by Daniel Pinkwater

Anansi Trickster Tales – Anansi and the Moss Covered Rock

 

Seasonal and Holiday Activities for Themed Books

Fun Fall Ideas with a Printable Fall Scavenger Hunt

Fun Ideas for Fall #homeschool #homeschooling #fallreading #fallactivities #literarycafepodcast #reluctantreader #readingfun #makereadingfun

Reading Incentive Programs

Pizza Hut Book It Program

Barnes and Noble Summer Reading Program

Chuck E. Cheese Rewards

Six Flags

Reading Rewards

 

Interactive Doodle or Draw Your Own Story and Pick Your Own Adventure Books

Draw It Yourself Adventures

Doodle Adventures

Choose Your Own Adventure

Choose Your Own Story– Minecraft

An Interactive History Adventure

 

Be sure to comment in the Comments box any ideas you’d like to share that your family has used in engaging your reluctant reader! Any great book titles or authors to suggest? I would love to hear from you!


Special Thanks to our Network Sponsor, Kiwi Crate!

 

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Thanks for visiting! Come back and visit the Literary Cafe Podcast for October’s topic when we discuss thinking outside the box for book reports! They don’t have to be boring! And I’ve got some fun and great ideas to share with you that you will want to try!

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

Ultimate List of Fun Ways to Engage Reluctant Readers #homeschool #homeschooling #literarycafepodcast #reluctantreaders #booksforreluctantreaders #funreadingideas

 

 

LCP 07 Ultimate List of Fun Ways to Engage your Reluctant Reader

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 Middle and High School Language Arts Study

LCP Ep 5: What to Include in your Middle and High School Language Arts Study

Join Katie with Literary Cafe Podcast to learn about what to include in your Language Arts study in your homeschool. #homeschool #homeschooling #languagearts #english #middleschool #highschool

What do you need to include during the middle school years in Language Arts to make sure your learner is ready to tackle high school work? What kind of Language Arts and English program would colleges be looking for and what can count as credit for the high school transcript?

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 middle and high school years. Katie shares an outline with some specific areas to make sure you include them in your Language Arts study during these critical years. She will suggest and discuss curriculum resources she found useful in her homeschool when her sons were in middle and high school that work efficiently and effectively to meet English requirements and make sure your learner is prepared for the next step – moving from middle into high school or high school into college.

The Areas of Language Arts you should include in the Middle and High School Years

What-to-Include-in-your-Middle and High School Homeschool-Language-Arts-Study pdf (Printable for you to download)

Show Notes

The Areas of Language Arts you should include in the Middle and High School Years
Reading/Literature

For literature during these years, I recommend a mix of short stories, poetry, essays (non-fiction), drama, and novels. These can be found either separately or in the form of a literary anthology and additional novels to read alongside the anthology.

Along with the novels, you will want to use some kind of novel study guides (that will also assist you with suggested vocabulary words and various questions).

Suggested Homeschool Literary Resources to Assist you in your Literature Study –

Total Language Plus (novel study guide)
Progeny Press (novel study guide)
Mosdos Press Literature Anthologies

Skills and Concepts for Literature Study

There are a number of skills and concepts you will want to include in your literary study.

These skills include –

• Vocabulary – I recommend using words from your reading for your vocabulary words because it saves you time and money from using a separate vocabulary program or curriculum. Most of all, in my experience it is more effective. The words are in context of what your learner is reading and will be understood and remembered more effectively because it is part of a story they will remember. It also gives your learner the practice in figuring out what words mean using their context within a sentence.

• Comprehension and Higher Order Thinking Skill Practice

Recalling details
Comprehending and understanding what they read (being able to identify the “main idea” or “theme” of the story)
Application skills – using what they have learned from the reading to problem solve
Analysis – drawing conclusions, comparing this written work to another from the same author or another author, or comparing what they have read to a personal experience.
Evaluation – critiquing the writing, selecting an issue from the writing and debating it.
Synthesis – taking a point, idea, theme, character from your reading and creating something new from that piece.
Elements of a story – plot, conflict, setting, characters, point of view, mood, tone
Literary devices and writing techniques such as similes, metaphors, imagery, personification, onomatopoeia, hyperbole, alliteration.

• Study different Genres – forms of writing and rhetoric – speeches, drama, essays, short stories, poetry, non-fiction, and novels.

• Study different literary time periods and areas around the world.

American Literature – Native American, Pre-colonial/Puritanism, Colonial, Revolutionary (age of Enlightenment/Reason), Romanticism (includes American Gothic, Transcendentalism), Realism/Naturalism/Regionalism, Modernism, Contemporary

British – (some crossover from American) Old English/Anglo-Saxon, Middle English/Medieval, Renaissance, Puritanism, Enlightenment, Romantic (Regency), Victorian, Modern

World Literature – (Western, Eastern, Other) Can focus primarily on Ancient works from Greek Philosophers or Christian authors, or a broad cross-section of countries, authors, and time periods from around the world.

Semester Specialty Classes – Poetry, Shakespeare, Drama, Journalism, Creative Writing, Research and Composition, specific types of literature or specific authors or parts of the world.

• Worldview – Christian Worldview expressed by author and content or Secular/Humanist view.

• Author Biography and Time Period in which he/she lived or wrote about.
Literature can be a reflection of cultural, religious, societal, and historical views, beliefs, and events written from the author’s point of view or the content itself.

Literature can also be an influencer of cultural, religious, and societal beliefs from the time period and society in which it is written or the author’s point of view and intent. It can influence thinking and historical events.

Writing and Composition

I recommend using your literature study as the jumping off point for essay writing and composition. However, before you can begin with that practice, your middle schooler and early high school student has to have some basic foundation in writing skills.

Middle schoolers should master the proper format of a paragraph –

A Hook to capture the reader’s interest and a Topic Sentence
At least 3 detailed supporting sentences that gives more information directly related to the topic sentence.
A concluding sentence that brings that paragraph to a close.

By the time learners start their first year in high school, they should be working on mastering the proper 5 Paragraph Essay (in this case an informative essay).

I recommend having your learner pick a topic they could talk to you about off the top of his/her head for 15 minutes without really having to think much about it. This topic lends itself to writing this kind of essay and the learner can concentrate on the format of the paper instead of what to write.

Proper 5 Paragraph (Informative) Essay
A Hook and topic (thesis) sentence with an introductory paragraph that include mentioned the three subtopics (or details about the main topic) that you will be discussing in the paper.
3 Body – detailed, supporting paragraphs in the order in which they were mentioned in the introductory paragraph. – Include transition words and sentence variation.
Concluding paragraph which includes a rewording of the topic sentence with a mention of the 3 subtopics and a Clincher sentence (could be a big statement, last thought, question, or a call to action).

Then you are ready to use your literary pieces as a basis of other essays –
Persuasive essay
Analytical essay
Research (and/or MLA, APA, Chicago format) essay
Persuasive essay with citations
Compare and Contrast essay itself to college application essays)
Literary Criticism

 

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 before we wrote formal essays of different forms. 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

Grammar

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 –

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.

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.

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.

Spelling

Spelling for middle school can still be in a phonics based spelling book as recommended in my Language Arts for Elementary Ages podcast such as Building Spelling Skills by Christian Liberty Press .

You can also look at your learner’s writing and include words they misspell in your weekly spelling list.

If you have a learner who is ready to tackle more complex words, I recommend Spelling Power, an inclusive book that you will be able to use for years through high school and multiple learners. It supplies word lists and ways to study and learn the words each week.

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 August’s topic when we discuss how to study grammar in your homeschool!

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 with Literary Cafe Podcast to learn about what to include in your Language Arts study in your homeschool. #homeschool #homeschooling #languagearts #english #middleschool #highschool

 

 

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.