Virtual Curriculum Fair- Language Arts: Reading and Writing and Learning With Words

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This week is the first week in the 2014 Virtual Curriculum Fair. If you missed out on what the Virtual Curriculum Fair is, check out this post.

This week, I’m going to share some of the things we use and enjoy for language arts.

I am using My Father’s World this year for all of my children. My 3rd, 4th, and 8th grader are using the Rome to Reformation history cycle, and my 9th grader is using the high school ancient history cycle. My Father’s World includes literature recommendations, writing recommendations, and grammar recommendations. We’re using a little mix.

For my 3rd and 4th grader:

Grammar: We do not do much formal grammar in the elementary years. My Father’s World fit well with that philosophy.

Primary Language Lessons-This is a very informal introduction to grammar. There is some oral narration; some dictation; some introduction to word usage such as their/there and its/it’s.

Literature: We read literature books for history in place of textbooks. We also have some books that we read aloud as a family, and I am using a literature unit from Total Language Plus with the younger girls also.

Bronze Bow– Believe it or not I had never read this classic. We read it as a read aloud during the time we were reading about the Roman occupation of Israel. It’s the story of a young Jewish boy longing for change in his time and his experience with meeting Jesus.

Augustus Caesar’s World– We read this one aloud during our history time to discuss the Romans.

Total Language Plus; Caddie Woodlawn- Total Language Plus uses real literature as a springboard to discuss grammar and vocabulary. I’m actually taking a break from the Primary Language Lessons to use this with the younger girls now.

Writing: I’ve developed my own writing lessons. I did not like Writing Strands which is what My Father’s World recommended. I found this curriculum called Write From History. It uses Charlotte Mason’s methods of copywork, narration, and dictation. I loved it and almost bought it. But, I’ve really used above and beyond our curriculum budget this year, and I really wanted something that would match our history reading exactly. So I took the premise of this program and wrote my own.

I went through each week of our readings and made a copywork, diction, and narration assignment. I also incorporated some content area writing from suggested activities in my My Father’s World guide. It looks a little like this:

I used the handwriting worksheets here to make my copywork sheets each week.

Spelling: My Father’s World recommends Spelling Power. I actually had the book because I inherited it from a fellow homeschooler who was through with it. I studied the program and thought it was very involved. About the time I was struggling with what to use, I had the opportunity to review Vocabulary Spelling City. This great program lets you put in your own spelling list and then choose activities to practice it. It can even give practice tests and tests. You can use the program free, but the premium membership lets you store various lists and make assignments. I am using the words from Spelling Power. I write a list in the program for each week for each girl. I make a set of assignments that they have to complete ending the week with a practice test and a final test. This has been very successful for us. My youngest was especially struggling with spelling and now is excelling.

For my 8th grader:


Analytical Grammar-My older kids have been using this program for three years now. It is one large notebook with three “seasons” of grammar. They are to begin it in 6th/7th grade and complete one season each year. The season only takes about one third of the school year. The rest of the school year is spent doing weekly grammar reviews- included in the book- that cover all the things learned in that season. I read about this program on Simply Charlotte Mason. I’ve used the recommendations there many times over the years. This one has been really good for us. I really like the way that all of the grammar rules are taught in context. It is heavy on diagramming. They diagram from the beginning. I think it’s been great for helping them to know the basic grammar rules.

Handwriting: It may seem unusual, but I am having my 8th grader do handwriting practice- in addition to his copywork- this year. He was a very poor cursive writer and didn’t even know some letters. His handwriting has always been a struggle. So I turned to one of my review items this year for help.

Rhythm of Handwriting Cursive from Logic of English- When I first received this to review, I thought I would use it with one of the younger girls, but when I took a look at the book, I realized that Charles could use it. It’s been great. It’s taught him the cursive letters with correct formation. It is only a small amount of writing practice each day, so it doesn’t overwhelm him. There are different sizes of lines, so he can write on the line that works best for him.


The Hobbit from Memoria Press– My Father’s World recommends choosing a literature study for the older students. Because of the current popularity of The Hobbit and because we had read it together as a read aloud several years ago, we chose it. I love these guides from Memoria Press. They increase comprehension and give some creative activities as well as some writing.

For my 9th Grader:

Kathryne is using the same Analytical Grammar as Charles. My Father’s World has her reading and writing quite a variety of things.

She uses the Ancient History and Literature Supplement from My Father’s World. It has assignments for essays and vocabulary and comprehension quizzes for the novels that she has to read.

Besides our formal language arts, we love to read aloud together as a family. It’s something I don’t ever want to give up, even and my kids get older. This year I’ve taken to reading during lunch because it’s one time of the day that we’re all together- even my high schooler.

I would definitely say that language arts is one of my very favorite school subjects to study and to teach. I love the things that we are using this year and I look forward to continuing to see what My Father’s World has for us.

You can visit the other blogs participating in the carnival by clicking below. And if you’d like to link up with the things you are using for language arts this year, use the linky 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
Power in 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

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