Feb 29, 2016

Language Arts Means and Methods

Welcome to the 2016 Virtual Curriculum Fair! This first week is all about Playing with Words.

Language Arts is such a big part of our school day! It's a label that encompasses so many different subjects! Grammar, spelling, writing, handwriting, phonics, reading, typing, foreign languages, all fall under this label. There are many programs that offer you all of these covered in one big box, but we are eclectic homeschoolers and use a lot of different products to cover these areas.

It took us a long time to find our personal perfect product for this, but now we use IEW's Fix It! And we all love it. I highly recommend it to everyone, but especially to writing-phobic or math-brained kids.

We have used All About Spelling for years. It is actually the only spelling program we have ever really used. I discovered it early on and it has worked so well for us that we just stuck with it. I think what I like most about it is that it is easily tweakable for different kids. It is perfect for my visual learners, has manipulatives for my hands-on kid, and uses auditory learning as well. We easily shifted around the various components to make it a great tool for each of my very different kids.

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This was harder for us. We have used IEW, which I enjoyed and my kids mildly resisted. We have used Write Shop, which none of us liked. We currently use Jump In, which isn't my favorite, but my kids (mostly) willingly do. I'm still casually looking for that one curriculum that we can all really embrace.

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I used Handwriting Without Tears with my older kids and we all hated it. My little kids used the Get Ready, Get Set and Go for the Code books to learn print and did tolerably well. But when it came to cursive for them, I decided to just make up my own thing. I gave them a blank, primary-lined notebook and wrote examples for them to copy. It was perfect. It worked amazingly well. They both have great cursive handwriting and enjoyed learning it. Later, I added in the app Cursive Writing Wizard just for fun.

My older kids taught themselves to read. My younger kids had the most success with IEW's P.A.L. After we finished PAL, however, I felt they still needed to work on phonics so we are currently pulling all the phonics work out of Logic of English.

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The big kids read non stop. My younger two are required to read to themselves a certain amount of time each day. We also do our best to incorporate regular read alouds just for fun in addition to the reading aloud I do for school (history and science) every day.

We have used Dance Mat Typing, of course. But also Typing Instructor for Kids, and Typing.com

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This year the Virtual Curriculum Fair is hosted by Laura @ Day by Day in Our World, Chareen @ Every Bed of Roses and Kristen @ Sunrise to Sunset.
Language Arts: Words Make the World Go Round by  Laura @ Day by Day in Our World
  The Language Arts in Our Homeschool and Everything Relating to it   by Joelle @
Homeschooling for His Glory Teaching Elementary Latin by Yvie @ Gypsy Road How to Learn 
ASL & Spanish in 20 Minutes a Day by Rochelle @ RochelleBarlow
  Classical Word Study by Lisa @ GoldenGrasses
  Language Arts Means and Methods by Laura @ Four Little Penguins 
Sprechen Sie....  by Jennifer King @ A Peace of Mind
  The Art of Eloquence  by Jennifer King @ A Peace of Mind
  Love Languages by Jennifer King @ A Peace of Mind
  3 Reasons You Don't Have To Be Afraid To Grade That Essay - And It's Free @ LJSkool
  High School Language Arts by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break
  Words, Words, and More Words by Chareen @ Every Bed of Roses
  Finishing Strong - Starting Gently by Kristen @ Sunrise to Sunset

1 comment:

Annette said...

i like logic of english as well. You've given me some other resources to check out as well. :) visiting through VCF. (a net in time)


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