How I Teach Homeschool Language Arts

Monday, January 13, 2014

How I Teach Homeschool Language Arts

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This is part of a five day series on how to homeschool Preschool, Kindergarten, 1st grade, and 2nd grade students. Today I am giving you a glimpse into how I teach Language Arts to my own kids.  Here are the resources we use, how long it takes to teach language arts in our homeschool, and lots of resources.
How I teach Homeschool Language Arts to Preschool, Kindergarten, 1st Grade, and 2nd Grade


Language Arts is one of those super important subjects you teach in homeschool. For your child to succeed in life they will need to be able to read, write, and express themselves coherently. 

Growing up I was a bad speller, had messy handwriting (still do), but I loved to read.  I knew when we decided to homeschool I wanted to get a curriculum for language arts that would give our kids a solid foundation they could build on.  Something that would assume I knew nothing and would guide me through everything. Because isn't that what we all want for our kids - for them to be better at things and have it easier than we did.

 

Our Language Arts Curriculum

Preschool

We do not use a defined curriculum for preschool. Instead we do lots of themed units (like these alphabet units), free learning worksheets (themed Preschool Packs), play with letters, color to build up fine motor skills, do lots of crafts, and read lots of good books!

During the school year I do weekly themed units which are based on seasonal holidays or letter of the week alphabet units. This helps us to explore lots of rich vocabulary, craft around different topics, read some great books, and have a lot of fun together.

Homeschool Language Arts Program - Sing Spell Read and WriteSing Spell Read and Write

After researching for a long time I found Sing Spell Read and Write. SSRW is a multisensory approach that does a fantastic job of systematically covering material. It is phonics based and uses songs, games, readers, and worksheets to help your child become an independent reader by the end of 1st grade. It covers all of language arts completely (reading, writing, handwriting, and grammar); no need for a separate reading and writing program!

I love that the lessons are fun, colorful, interactive, straight forward, and easy to teach. They require no prep time from me and are straight forward for a non certified teacher to teach effectively. I've even found I understand spelling rules and grammar better as I teach my kids!  

You can read my complete Sing Spell Read and Write Curriculum Review here.

We have used this for K –2nd grade and love it. If I were to do it over I’d buy this again!

 Reading the Easy Way - Sight word reading program for preschool, Kindergarten, 1st grade

Reading the Easy Way (sight word program)

Not being a trained teacher I just assumed all words were taught through phonics. There are, however, words that break the rules but are common words kids should know. These words are called sight words.Sight words can be tricky for kids because they pretty much just need to memorize them. The quicker that happens, the easier it is for the student as these are common words found throughout all beginner readers and worksheets.

Reading the Easy Way is a program that teaches children the key sight words they need to know in fun, engaging, and memorable way. It includes 5-6 games per grade, fun worksheets (like color by sight word), readers (that build on sight words learned) and more. This program really makes sight words stick in less than 10-15 minutes a day! 

You can read more about these programs & their success stories here:

 

When & How I teach Language Arts

Preschool

I spend intentional time playing and learning with my Toddler & Preschool age children in the morning. Our alphabet or seasonal holiday units typically take 45 minutes to  1 hour and include reading a variety of books on the new topic, and a craft or activity to further explore the unit or letter.

As time allows we also typically do a puzzle,  play in the kitchen, and whatever else meets our fancy on that day. If it is warm enough we like to play outside or visit the library. I pretty much spend the morning from 8:30am - 11am playing with my younger kids.

Kindergarten & 1st Grade

I like to sit next to my student as they complete their short 15-30 minute language art lessons. We sing the Sing Spell Read and Write learning song(s) together, play a game, I ensure they are forming their letters correctly, and I show an interest in the worksheets they are completing by sitting next to them at the table. Then they read words or short stories to me as we finish our lesson for the day.  As I have “littles” at home I like to teach Language Arts after lunch.  We eat lunch, I tidy up the kitchen while they tidy up the play room and then we sit on the couch and read some stories together. Then my younger kids go upstairs to take a nap and my school age children have my undivided attention until we are done.

 

2nd Grade

2nd grade students can read well and can start working for short period of times independently. We start the day at 8am practicing the piano. At 8:30am, my 2nd grader moves to the dinning room table for Language Arts & Math. I show him the worksheets he needs to complete and give him any writing assignments that go along with it. Then I give him a spelling test. Any words he misses get added to Connect 4 Spelling Practice. Once he has 10 words on there he completes the sheet to get extra practice with the words he is struggling with. Once he finishes his Math & Language Arts I correct them, he fixes any problems (not usually many if any) and then he gets the rest of the morning to play. This is good motivation for us. He finishes the key subjects in the morning so I know they get done, and he is motivated to actually do them so he has time to play. He waits to read to me in the afternoon. It generally takes my son 60 - 90 minutes to complete his morning seat work in Bible, Math and Language Arts (Handwriting, Spelling, Writing, Grammar).

Supplemental Language Arts for Homeschoolers

I like adding lots of fun games and seasonal activities for my kids. It helps break up the monotony and just makes our days more fun. These are in addition to their normal work, usually in the afternoon towards the end of our day. These are great for one child to work on while I work with another child!
50+ FREE Language Arts Printables for Preschool, Kindergarten, 1st grade, 2nd grade, and 3rd grade homeschoolers

Free Language Arts Printables for Homeschoolers

I have over 50 FREE Language Arts printables for Preschool – 3rd grade arranged by grade.  Here is a small sampling of what you’ll find:



  • Alphabet tracing pages
  • Vowel games
  • Sight word activities
  • Spelling practice
  • Smore Sentence Game
  • Superlative worksheets
  • Book Reports
  • and more!

FREE Creative Writing Prompts

I know it is important for kids to write – a lot. So I provide lots of opportunities for my kids to write. You can get my FREE Monthly/Themed Writing Prompts.

Educational Language Arts Toys we Love!

Fun, educational toys are at the heart of our Preschool curriculum and are what give this busy homeschooling mom of 3 the ability to give all her children one on one individualized attention. Here are some of our favorites.






how i teach series button 2

Want to know how we teach other subjects?


Don’t miss my complete series >> Homeschooling Preschool – 2nd Grade:  This is How I Teach << which is part of collaborative hopscotch from iHomeschool Network.

How do YOU Teach Language Arts in your Homeschool




2 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing! Looking forward to the rest of your posts! My boys are 7, 6, and 3 and this was very helpful to me.

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  2. I am so glad I stumbled across this on Pinterest. This is our first year homeschooling and we've take some time to deschool but I was worried I wasn't doing enough wit my second grader. After reading through this series I feel so much better.

    ReplyDelete