5 Language Arts Resources We Love

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vcf

I’m excited to be joining the 2015 Virtual Curriculum Fair for the month of January! The VCF is a month long blog fair where homeschool bloggers share what works for them in their homeschools. I’m thrilled to participate each Monday and to share a little more about our homeschool curriculum. Make sure to hop on over to Homeschooling Hearts & Minds if you’d like to learn more about this fun curriculum fair. Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds and Chareen @ Every Bed of Roses are our co-hosts this week.

This week’s fair theme: Playing with Words: the Language Arts

5 Language Arts Resources We Love!

There is almost nothing I enjoy talking about more than homeschooling. Of course, homeschooling is about much more than just the curriculum. Curriculum just so happens to be one of my favorite homeschooling perks. Put me in a room full of curriculum to choose from and I’m like a kid in a candy store. Yes, I’m a nerd. That’s ok though, I figure that’s a good quality in a homeschool mom. Practically a prerequisite:-)

Language is such a huge building block to other studies. I make curriculum choices carefully for each child, making sure that the course we map out is suitable for that particular child.

Some of the materials we have used, and continue to use, stand out as favorites and I’m excited to share those with you today. Here are 5 Language Arts Resources we love:

Explode the Code

We have used this deceptively simple set of phonics workbooks for all of our school-age children so far. I think it is the only product we have used with every child, regardless of learning style. They have all loved it, and bonus, so have I! These workbooks are easy-to-use, inexpensive, and incredibly effective. We will continue to use them for each child that is ready to learn to read! We use Explode the Code with lots of readers and whatever reading program I happen to pull out, usually Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading. Explode the Code makes learning to read fun!

Building Christian English Series

This is newer to us. I purchased it because I thought my organized and analytical 8-year-old son would enjoy it. It has been a big hit! He really enjoys it, and it is gentle but thorough which I love!

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Prima Latina

Latin is likely not the first thing that pops into your head when you think of language arts. If your curious about the why of studying Latin you’ll want to check out this article: Top 10 Reasons for Studying Latin. How do we study Latin? Prima Latina! We love it. It looks a little dry initially, however it is quite effective and the kids don’t object too much;-) I even tried to switch to a more “kid-friendly” (think cartoon-like monkey) program several months ago, but my kids would have none of it. They missed Mrs. Lowe. We’ll be sticking with Memoria Press.

Learning Language Arts Through Literature

My 9-year-old daughter is using this right now with much success. She will be the first to admit that grammar is NOT her favorite subject. My girl will read all day long if I let her, but she is not interested in mechanics:-) LLATL is perfect for her in that it provides enough variety to keep her engaged and it doesn’t involve a huge time commitment. Which really just means that she can get her nose back in a book that much sooner. We do use an additional spelling program, but otherwise I am enjoying the completeness of this all-in-one program.

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 Books, books and more books!

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Books, of course, are a huge part of our homeschool. Exposing kids to great stories and good writing, in my opinion, is the most effortless way to encourage language development. I strive to provide them access to good literature all the time. In the case of my oldest, it can be hard to keep up but I do my best! I also try to keep a read-aloud going, so that readers and non-readers alike can enjoy great books. Audio books are a great resource too, especially if you are homeschooling many! If you’d like to see some of our favorites, feel free to take a peek at my Amazon store.

I’m so glad you stopped by today!

Enjoy paying a visit to the other fantastic bloggers participating in the Virtual Curriculum Fair.

Building a Foundation of Words by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds

Language Arts for 2015 by Chareen @ Every Bed of Roses

Bible-Based Language Arts Resources by Tauna M @ Proverbial Homemaker

Relaxed Homeschooling: Language Arts in the Early Elementary Years by Brittney @ Mom’s Heart

Loving Books and Words by Sarah@Delivering Grace

Teaching Reading at Home: A Tale of 5 Readers by Kristen H. @ Sunrise to Sunset

A More Simplistic Approach to 7th Grade Language Arts by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool

Language Arts Reading for Delight-Directed Learning by Susan @ The Every Day of Education

How To: Spelling Dictation by Heather @ Only Passionate Curiosity

The World of Words in our Homeschool by Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory

Unschooling and Words, Words, Words by Nicole @ Schooling in the Sun

Learning With Literature and Language Arts Resources by Leah @ As We Walk Along the Road

Words and More Words! by Michele @ FamilyFaithandFridays

Language Arts in Our Homeschool (2014 ñ 2015) by Laura O @ Day by Day in Our World

Our curriculum choices ~ Language Arts by Renata @ Sunnyside Farm Fun

The 2015 Virtual Curriculum Fair ~ Language Arts in Our Homeschool by Jennifer @ A Glimpse of Our Life

Loaded Pistols: Virtual Curriculum Fair Playing with Words by Lisa @ Golden Grasses

A Renewed Focus on Reading Aloud by Debra @Footprints in the Butter

Language Arts in our Classical / Charlotte Mason Homeschool by Sharra @ The Homeschool Marm

Logic of English Foundations: The Grand Prize Winner of Phonics by Chelli @ The Planted Trees

A Sentence a Day Teaches Grammar the Fun Way by Amy A @ One Blessed Mamma

Tackling Language Arts by Jacquelin @ A Stable Beginning

Middle School Monday – Lightning Literature and Composition by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break

The Great Grammar Discovery by Laura @ Four Little Penguins

Some of the links in the post above may be “affiliate links.” This means that if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive a small referral commission, at no extra cost to you. Regardless, I only recommend products I personally use and love.

Comments

  1. Teri says

    Hi Becky! We also like using ETC! My son is now on book 3 1/2. This is our first time using a 1/2 book, but he needed further practice with vowel blends and consonant blends. I have a few questions:) have you ever used All about Reading? We are currently using level 1, in fact this is our 2nd time through it! My sons fluency is poor and like I mentioned he needs a lot of work on blends. I have him reading simple readers daily, but he sounds out every.single.word…..he can often recognize and read an isolated word, but even using a pointer while reading he stumbles (hope that made sense:) I have often considered Ordinary Prents Guide, but have not seen it in person. He’s self esteem is suffering as he has made comments like he’s no good at reading:( my heart breaks for him!
    We are also using Shurley English level 1. This I feel may be too much for him, a tad over his head. My state requires a full language arts curriculum: grammar, reading, spelling. Handwriting, ……
    I feel the need to revamp our entire curriculum for next year!
    Any thought or advice are always appreciated:)

  2. Teri says

    Sorry for the 2nd comment…..after reading your post I was very intrigued by LLATL. I checked it out on various websites, and compared it to other programs. Have you ever used the grade 1-2 books? Do you feel it teaches enough grammar? I appears to be a much gentler approach then shurley English! Would this be used in conjunction with a program to teach reading? Does it focus on reading comp? Thank you again so much!

    • Becky says

      Hi Teri! I will do my best to answer your questions but let me know if I miss anything, or if you are wondering about anything else:-) Let’s start with All About Reading. I have not used it, but I did use All About Spelling for a bit (before AAR was around). My oldest loathed the letter tiles so we did not continue on with it. I’ve heard of many that have success with this program and if I had a struggling reader on my hands I would not hesitate to try it. As it was, I was tempted for my K’er this year. However I have two other students, and two more littles underfoot so I just needed something easier to implement right now! I would bet that All About Reading could really be a confidence builder for your son. We have the level one readers, from when we used AAS, and I like those a lot! Another quick thought, would he like something computer based as a fun supplement? My 5-year-old has been begging to do Reading Eggs like his older siblings did. The subscription is a bit pricey, so I have not pulled the trigger on it, but maybe your son would enjoy it.

      LLATL. This is our first time using it so I only have experience with the The Yellow Book. Here is my general take. It is not “rigorous” per se. I have not used Shurley English, but I think that it is recommended by Veritas Press? So, I would think it would be fairly rigorous. My reason for choosing LLATL is specifically that it is more gentle. At the same time, I still think we are covering our bases, you know? As far as grammar, we cover that in Latin as well and since we are still in elementary I don’t worry too much about it. We also use Apples and Pears for spelling since that is a weak area for this particular child. It really seems to be working for her so I am thrilled about that! Here is a link to the LLATL scope and sequence maybe that will help?
      Sidenote: Have you ever used First Language Lessons? We used that when my oldest was a first grader and she enjoyed it.
      Let me know if you have any other questions Teri. Have fun researching!

  3. Teri says

    Apples and Pears, never heard of that…..hmmmm,…..may look into that:) FLL is actually something I looked into months ago, but decided on Shurley. So it’s funny you mentioned it because it’s been in the back of my mind:) I struggle with keeping my expectations realistic and remembering I don’t have to try to a “public school” in my home:)

    • Becky says

      Apples and Pears is lesser known for sure, it is a UK product. We had tried a couple of other spelling programs before taking a shot on Apples. This is the one that finally clicked with her, sometimes you just don’t know until you try!
      Do you have any homeschool conferences in your area? Sometimes it is nice to just get your hands on some of these materials to be able to make a better decision:-)

  4. says

    I think you’d be hard pressed to find a homeschooling mom who doesn’t have sagging shelves from all those wonderful books she’s collected over the years. 😉 It’s really nice when you find just the programs that work for you family and are indispensable, isn’t it? Because collecting curriculum and researching can be fun (I admit I’m a nerd, too), but at some point you want to settle into something that you know works.

    Thank you for joining the VCF!
    Blessings,
    Susan

  5. Teri says

    Hey Becky, question, I can’t find the post where you mentioned where you buy your dried beans. Can you remind me? I normally order from Amazon, but I’d love to get a co-op going:)
    Many thanks!

    • Becky says

      Hi Teri, well…hmmm. I don’t remember that post either and I don’t buy dried beans often, but I do order several bulk things from Azure Standard. Oats, sorghum, tapioca starch…etc. I save a lot by doing that! Is that what you were thinking of?

      Have a great night!

  6. says

    Great post! We have a lot in common, so it’s always fun to read your posts! 🙂 I’m a total curriculum “nerd” as well.

    I completely agree with what you said about great living books. Yes, it can be so hard to keep up with the older ones. I wish there was a website with wholesome children’s literature reviews and recommendations. I know of a couple, but they’re either limited in the reviews they have, or I find that my standards on what I want them to read at this age are a bit higher. It’s so worth the effort though! I just need more time in the day. 🙂 Don’t we all!?

    ~Catherine

    • Becky says

      Thanks Catherine! Having a voracious reader is good problem to have;-) I will often check curriculum websites such as Sonlight, Memoria Press, ect. for book ideas too.
      Love hearing from you!

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