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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