Monday, May 17, 2010

Language Arts Home school

There are a ton of great language arts home school things out there. You can definitely be picky in this area! Here are a few of the ones I hear the most about!

As I have mentioned before, there are the well known homeschool options such as Abeka, Bob Jones University Press, ACE, Alpha Omega, and Sonlight. Each of these are available as a complete curriculum... meaning you can get each subject for an entire grade from one source. This is often the choice that beginning home schoolers make. Then as they gain confidence in their abilities - they branch out to different types of homeschooling resources. I pretty much did the same thing the first year we homeschooled.

Each of these resources listed above as well as the ones listed here are workbook based curriculum. They are well designed and comprehensive. There is also the Character Quality Language Arts series from Training for Triumph, and Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind. Shurley English series is really getting a lot of attention in the homeschool community these days. I haven't used it myself, but I hear very good things about it. Another workbook and standards based curriculum is the Jensen's Grammar. I used this series in my first year of college.  I felt it was very challenging.

This year we are using the Abeka Language Arts books with other supplements. We use Abeka spelling lists with Spelling City to help us review, practice, and test the words. We use Time4Learning as a supplement to both our language arts and math curriculum. It is so fun - the kids really don't think they are doing school!

A few free resources include Grammar Bytes, Lesson Pathways, The Web English Teacher, Rainbow Resource Center, Kid's Place by Houghton Mifflin, and Fun Brain.

Some people enjoy teaching their children language arts through a literature based program. This means that they use fiction or non-fiction trade books to teach their children language arts skills. Simply Grammar by Karen Andreola incorporates this method as does A Journey Through Grammar Land.

We typically also incorporate Latin into our Language Arts program. This year we used the Prima Latina for all of our children. We do it all together at one time, and it just takes a few minutes each week. It helps the children to understand the roots of our English words as well as the parts of speech.

And last but not least we use the Brian Cleary books on the various parts of speech. These books are so fun and colorful - all of our children like to read these.

This is defintiely not a comprehensive list of the available resources for homeschooling language arts, but it should give you a good start. If you come across some other well made homeschooling curriculum, please comment and let us know!

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