Our Favourite Resources For Teaching Elementary Language Arts

Our families favourite language arts resources for elementary school years.

 languagearts

I’m joining in this weeks virtual curriculum fair hosted by Susan at  Homeschooling Hearts & Minds.  This weeks topic is Language Arts.   Language arts is a huge subject area but I’ve tried to narrow down to my top 9 resources and methods for teaching language arts to elementary children.

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Phonics/Reading

IMG_2462 Teach Your Child To Read In 100 Easy Lessons (100EZL) was the first reading program I used as a new homeschooler.  This book worked very well for our oldest child.  She was ready and wanting to learn to read at age 4 and a fluent reader by age 5.  For her we moved from 100EZL right into easy readers and it didn’t take long before she could read short chapter books.  When our next oldest wanted to learn how to read, 100EZL was the first book I reached for.  Unfortunately this time it wasn’t so much of a hit.  It started out ok, but we quickly hit road blocks.  I could see it was more of an issue that dd just wasn’t ready for this book and we put it aside to play word games.  The next time we tried the book it worked better but dd was still having some trouble remembering the sounds from one lesson to another.  I had the same trouble with our 3rd daughter.  Around this time I found a new favourite reading program.
Reading Kingdom was a program I received access to as a Schoolhouse Review Crew member.  With the monthly membership to this site being fairly high it is not a program I normally would have looked at.  However I’m so glad that I did get the chance to use this!  Reading Kingdom has turned into one of my favourite LA resources.  This program “clicked”  with our other children where 100EZL didn’t.  Within the first week each of the children were using this program their reading improved and they started wanting to write stories with their “new” words.  Reading Kingdom also teaches some typing skills and grammar.
Star Fall is another fun website for practicing phonics and reading.  This site has been a family favourite since our oldest was little.  While some of this site is paid, there is a lot of free content available.
In addition to these we use a large range of readers.  Some of our favourites are the Pathway Readers and Treadwell readers these can also be found free on the Baldwin Project.

Writing, Copywork and Memorization

My teaching style is strongly influenced by the methods of Charlotte Mason and Ruth Beechick.  In the younger years we focus on oral narrations and copywork.  Copywork is a very important process for younger children to practice.  We start off with simple letter formation and when they are conferrable with that we select short sentences from their reading books.  As time goes on the length of the passages is increased but kept to what the child can do neatly.  During this time the copywork is helping them to develop their spelling and grammar skills by modeling or imitating good works of literature.   Oral narration is also a very important skill to work on as it leads the way for later written narrations.  After each reading for history and LA I’ve found it easiest to ask the little ones what their favourite part of the story was.  Since our little ones love to talk about what they read or watch this was an easy skill for them to pick up. As they get a little older I expect more detail in their narrations but I still want it to reflect their personal connection to the story.
When the children are ready we start working on written narrations.  It can be hard to transition from oral narrations to the written form so I expect the early written ones to be shorter and less detailed then their oral narrations at first.  This is a process that I’m just starting with our oldest daughter this year.  To make it easier for her learning style I have her type her narrations rather then hand write them.
IMG_2464 Another resource our family enjoy for grammar and early language arts is First Language Lessons.  This is an easy to use language arts book for early elementary.   It is a scripted style so tells you exactly what to say.  This is great if your unsure of teaching LA, but don’t be afraid to adapt the lessons to your own style!  My copy of this book is the original one, it’s since been split into two different levels.  Level 1 for grade one and Level 2 for grade 2.  I think this also works well for a slightly older child, but they could move through the lessons a little faster.  First Language Lessons teaches basic grammar including nouns, pronouns, action verbs, abbreviations, beginning capitalization, and the four types of sentences.  It also includes poetry memorization and copywork suggestions.
IMG_2463One of our main programs in the younger years is Five in a Row.  Five in a Row is a unit study program based on high quality children’s literature.  This program is just FILLED with wonderful language arts ideas.  I do normally add copy work from the stories to our lessons.  On top of this children learn a wide range of topics from alliteration, personification, conflicts, climax etc.
As our children get older I also start adding in more of Ambleside Online.  Ambleside Online is a wonderful free curriculum for K-12 based on the teachings of Charlotte Mason.  Many of the books used are classics and in the public domain.   These books and the methods of copywork and narration along with the other resources I’ve mentioned above form the basis of our elementary and secondary learning.
Another program I’ve bought but only had a chance to briefly look at is Brave Writer.  This program reminds me very much of Charlotte Mason’s teachings and was written to help create a love of writing in children.  This is on my reading list for January and I look forward to sharing more of my thoughts on it.
What are your favourite language arts resources?

Homeschooling Hearts & Minds

To read what my blog friends are sharing about language arts this week, please check out the links below!

3 Reasons to Read to Your Teens by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds
Language Arts {Virtual Curriculum Fair} by Chareen @ Every Bed of Roses
A Classical Take on 6th Grade Language Arts by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool
The Power in a Word by Michele@ Family, Faith and Fridays
The Latin Road to English Grammar Volume 1 by Kristi K. @ The Potter's Hand Academy
Starting a Foreign Language in Elementary School by Amy @ Eclectic Homeschooling
These are the words we say by Christa @ Fairfield Corner Academy
A Peek into our Homeschool: Language Arts by Brittney @ Mom's Heart
Our Curriculum Choices 2014 ~ English by Renata~Sunnyside Farm Fun
Virtual Curriculum Fair: A World of Words by Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory
It Starts with the Alphabet by Kristen @ Sunrise to Sunset
Playing w/ Words-Charlotte Mason Style by Lynn P @ Ladybug Chronicles
2014 Virtual Curriculum Fair ~ Playing with Words: the Language Arts by Jennifer @ a glimpse of our life
Our PreK-1st Grade Language Arts Mix by Tauna @ Proverbial Homemaker
Fun (or Not) With Spelling by Nicole @ Schooling in the Sun
Word Nerd Love by Lisa N@Golden Grasses
Our Favourite Resources For Teaching Elementary Language Arts by Kim @ Homestead Acres
Unconventional Reading Lessons While Homeschooling by Lori@My Journeys Through Life
My Favorite Writing Curriculum for our Boys by Monique @Living Life and Learning
Virtual Curriculum Fair: Playing With Words - Language Arts  by Stacie @Super Mommy To The Rescue
Fun With the Language Arts by Mary @ Winecup Christian Homeschool
Our Grammar Path by Laura @ Four Little Penguins
Virtual Curriculum Fair !!! by Jessica @ Modest Mama
Creating a High School English Course (or two) by Debra @Footprints in the Butter
Language Arts in Our Homeschool This Year by Laura @ Day by Day in Our World

Would you like to share your favourite language arts resources or methods?  Join in with the linky below!

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Homestead Acres: Our Favourite Resources For Teaching Elementary Language Arts
Our Favourite Resources For Teaching Elementary Language Arts
Our families favourite language arts resources for elementary school years.
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Homestead Acres
http://www.homestead-acres.com/2014/01/our-favourite-resources-for-teaching.html
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