Friday, September 12, 2008

Because someone has actually asked ... repeatedly

O.k. SOMEBODY wants to know what I use for Language Arts with my little brood. Again. Why? I can't imagine. O.k., wait ... I can. There are definitely bloggers whose selections I take an interest in. I just don't see myself as one of those worthy individuals. Who knew?

Anyhow, you asked ... I'm telling.

Jo-My not-quite 11 year-old has always excelled in Language Arts. I pounded phonics rules into her head in K, but since coming to my senses I have taken a more eclectic and personalized approach. Here are the resources I am currently using with her in this area:

I believe that the main function of teaching grammar is to become a writer capable of self-editing. To that end, I've selected two titles (The Chortling Bard and Editor in Chief) that allow for the honing of that particular skill.

Jo is also required to select a weekly topic, research it and present me a short explanation of some interesting element each Thursday. This can be anything, and I do mean ANYTHING. One week she spent her weekly library time (3 hour block) reading about iambic pentameter and ended the session by handing me a poem she'd written. That counts, as far as I'm concerned.

Atticus--Still in the more "I have to teach you this" stage, 8 year-old Atticus gets some booooooorrring stuff thrown his way, as he will tell you. Selections for Atticus this year are:

He is particularly lukewarm to ABeka Language 3. Say what you will, this program is
thorough. If you use it through God's Gift of Language A, I believe that you'll have covered just about any topic your child might actually come up against in real world language. But hey, that's just my two cents.

Atticus also uses Editor in Chief, for editing & application. He likes this far better than the ABeka.

Atticus still does spelling as a curriculum component, as well as cursive writing. Go ahead and laugh--I finally decided that I need to do something about the kid's handwriting. It is atrocious. Not just in a "What does that say?" kind of way, but in a "you're homeschooled?!?!" kind of way ... which I figure is not what the homeschooling community at large needs, based upon the horrified glances I've gotten from Sunday School teachers.

Atticus also writes a brief report for me each week. Again, he gets to select the topic. Because of his personality
("Tell me how much I have to write, and I'll write exactly that much!)" he is required to give me two complete paragraphs. We edit it together and he rewrites it.

Logan--I've mentioned before that Logan is behind where my other children were at this age in the area of language and reading. We've focused on the whole Headsprout thing for the past few weeks, and have finished up (finally!!!) his ABeka Sounds and Letters K. He's ready to move on, and next week will find him digging in to A Beka Language 1. Logan will continue to work through the later episodes of Headsprout, read to me daily, and have plenty of spelling and writing games on hand.

All together now--All three kiddos have daily reading; for Jo & Atticus, it's their SL readers. For Logan, it's something I've pulled to entice him along.

As a group, we

•study etymology

•play games that expand our skills:
Quiddler (hit the link for an online version, but we love the real one, too)
Paint By Idioms
Rooting Out Words

•tell lots and lots and lots of stories

•and use various means to work on analogies, which I consider part of LA, for some reason.

Finally, all three children continue to publish our family's own private newspaper. This grew out of their own interest in journalism and has flourished into a neat hobby and keepsake all in one. As they've matured, we'll taken the newspaper to different levels. This year, I'll be teaching them how to use a desktop publishing program to make their end product that much more appealing.

So there you have it ... Language Arts a 'la MG. Hope it's not disappointing.


Liz said...

when i read your posts about homeschooling, i am totally overwhelmed because you do so much with them! how do you do all that!! with sonlight and math. girl you have energy to spare. i stand in awe
seriously. i wish you lived here, you could give me some hands on pointers for how to try this (homeschooling) again..---said by the homeschooling failure :(

mary grace said...

You are not a homeschool failure!!! Only people who are clearly called and refuse to even give it a go are failures. I mean that, even though it sounds so PC.