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Language arts can mean a whole lot of things: Spelling, writing, grammar, vocabulary?? Language arts is a really broad area to cover in your homeschool. But it can be done! After homeschooling for ten years, we’ve come up with some tried and true ideas and some that we’ve phased out of. Both are ok–we are free to keep some ideas and move on from others.

Me, Alicia, of Learning Well Community is about to share how we tackle language arts in our homeschool. What we start with and what we transition out of and when we do all that. You’re also going to find a whole bunch of really helpful resources to help you even more.

Let’s do language arts…Language arts is a really broad area to cover in your homeschool. But it can be done!

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Learning Well Community does Language Arts

For almost all things, I believe the simple approach is best. This includes language arts. If I broke things down into pieces, it would look like this:

  • Age 4-6ish: learn to recognize letters and their sounds + learn to read + learn to handwrite
  • Age 7-10ish: read lots of books to recognize good writing + copywork + practice spelling + learn grammar rules
  • Age 11-12ish: Become more comfortable writing + regular review of grammar + practice spelling
  • Age 13+: use all the training they’ve had and put it to use in writing that reflects their thoughts

This is a very simplified breakdown, and we also focus on the areas where we need extra help each year. But this breakdown is my goal and what I try to work at each year.

Get the 6 Secrets to a Simpler Mom Life

Language Arts for Elementary

Before I worry about ANYTHING else, I want to make sure my kids can read. How can you spell if you can’t read the words!?!

We learn to read with Hooked on Phonics. This has worked very well for us.

When they are able to read well…somewhere around 2nd grade, I will add in some simple spelling. We have used just a simple spelling workbook for this, Spelling Workout.

We love to use Easy Grammar workbooks. I love these because they are very short and only take my kids a few minutes a day.

Easy Grammar have workbooks that go all the way up to high school level and we still use them as a review at that level.

Planning language arts for your homeschooled high schooler--high school grammar.

Writing for Elementary

When I talk about language arts, I just lump together all things having to do with the written word. I put writing into the language arts category when I’m planning but I find resources specific to writing–or at least I started to do so a few years ago. Finding a writing program that doesn’t make me want to poke my eyes out.

We have had luck with WriteShop Jr. And if you’re the type of person that wants a checklist and a definite plan of what to do each day, this is a great program for you!

Language Arts for Middle and High School

At this age, for me, more than ever, I want to hear what’s in their heads. The mechanics are more secondary at this point, as they’ve been practicing grammar and spelling for a while now. For middle school, we have used WriteShop and found it to be a really useful curriculum.

We've been using WriteShop II for our main writing curriculum for 9th grade this year. Here's my WriteShop review for you!

My high schooler has done writing with his co-op, as I have found that to be the best solution for our family. Writing requires a lot of time and reading and engaging with the writer, and with four kids, that’s something that I needed to pass on to someone who could devote more time.

More recently, with four kids, I have found it harder to keep up with my high schooler’s writing. It’s really important to me that he be a strong writer, as I know that will cover many career paths he might pursue. Plus, I just believe writing is a great confidence to have for anyone, no matter your career.

We still do use Easy Grammar as a review, which I think is really important.

We also add in some vocab for high school (and elementary!) too.

Our high school language arts was missing vocabulary. Word Roots 2 has been the answer for us. Here's our review.

Need a great way to easily sneak in great vocabulary words into your homeschool day? Check out this review on Marie's Words, a visual vocabulary tool for kids of all ages.

Language Arts without the Paper

I’ve found more and more through my homeschooling career, that having “proof” of doing the work isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. There’s so much that we do as a family, learning together, that doesn’t have a paper trail. We have nothing to prove how much we might have learned on a field trip or how much insight was offered by a child during a deep conversation. But the learning is still there, without the paper checklist to prove anything.

Games offer moments like these–paper proof-less moments of learning that give us confidence of what we’re doing in our homeschool.

More to read on Language Arts

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