My favorite subjects to teach in our homeschool are those that fall in the Language Arts category. Some of this may be because I ding them easy. Some of it may be because I am a writer. And finally, it may be because my son enjoys these subjects as well. I thought perhaps it might be fun if I share with you what we have used, what we are currently using, and what we will be using in the future.
This is perhaps my son’s strongest area. He really excels in the area of spelling. He just knows how words go together and can tell when they don’t look right. So keep that in mind as I share what we have done in the past. I won’t be sharing anything current, because we don’t really have needs here anymore. And unless I can think of a reason to use it in the future, we won’t be doing it then either.
Spelling Power-This program works on your child’s level and allows them to progress at their own rate. I liked it because if he got a word correct, we didn’t have to keep working with it over and over again. I did have to use a lot of different spelling games to make this one keep his interest.
All About Spelling-This program is a great program that covers the basics and builds up from there. This program was too easy for my son, but I loved the approach and the learning of why the words work the way that they do. If he wasn’t so great at spelling, this would be the program we would use. We especially loved the book that this program did on homophones. That was a lot of fun for us.
Bridge to the Latin Road-If you want a program that will really walk your child through an in-depth journey through the parts of speech and diagramming, then this is the program for you. The author provides step by step DVD instruction to teach you how to teach the lessons to your child. This program should not be used as an introduction to the parts of speech however. I only recommend it if you have a good foundation in grammar already. This one worked for us because I already understood the material and was good at it. But it was one of our very favorite studies of grammar that we have ever done.
Grammarlogues-This is the program we are currently using and we love it. Grammar takes only minutes a day and all of the practice comes from selected literary works. The excerpts are from over 1,000 different authors and over 1,500 texts are represented. The program lets you just go in and learn what you want when you want it or you can choose a grade level roadmap that guides you through the over 200 grammar concepts. We are going through the roadmaps to make sure we cover everything. In the future, we will just do some hit and miss as needed when we need to refresh on grammar rules. The other thing I really like is that while you can purchase upgrades, you don’t have to purchase them. Your license for your homeschool is good for forever. I purchased ours through the Homeschool Buyers Co-op.
Tell Me More-Italian– I actually did a product review on this one a couple of years ago. You can read about the program in that review, which you can find here. We haven’t used this program for a little while, though my sister did borrow it to possible use to prepare for a trip to Europe. This will most likely be something we pick back up again in the future.
Visual Latin-We absolutely adore this Latin program. I have felt for a very long time that it is really important for Chandler to learn the Latin language. There are lots of reasons for this, but the main one is that I have had very strong promptings from God that we need to do this in our homeschool. I have searched high and low for a Latin program that would speak to us and help us to learn what God wants us to learn. We found our answer in the Visual Latin program. Duane Thomas is the instructor and he is fun and funny. My son relates to him. He is making huge progress with him, and that is just watching him on our tv. We love this program and teacher so much, we are seriously considering signing up for the online classes that Duane teaches. Hopefully the funds to do this will arrive soon and Chandler can be in his spring semester class that starts January 18th.
Total Language Plus-We used this program last year and absolutely loved it. The program was a very complete Language Arts program that was based on literature. We loved having out spelling words, grammar, writing, and literature all built into one class. We were a little sad that there weren’t more upper level and high school level books available and wished we had found this program earlier than we did. It was fun and I highly recommend it.
Excellence in Literature–I did a very thorough review of this program earlier this year. You can find that review here. We absolutely love and adore this literature program. I have purchased the complete program and we will be using this for most of our high school years. I love that it uses classic literature and that my son is writing at a level we haven’t seen before. His writing is showing maturity and continues to get better every single day. I love that his favorite books are now coming from the classics. He enjoys reading them. That makes this mama smile…a lot.
Literary Lessons from the Lord of the Rings-This is the program we will be doing next year for Chandler’s sophomore year of high school. Why? I just think it is cool. How many kids get to say they are studying The Lord of the Rings? And it will be a great practice in analytical literature. I almost did this with him for his freshman year, but I felt he needed an introduction to analyzing literature, and we are getting that in the Excellence in Literature program. He will be ready to handle this intense study. After we are done with this study, we will be going back to Excellence in Literature to finish out our studies in high school.
Special Note: For the next couple of weeks, I will be participating in a virtual curriculum fair with around 2 dozen other homeschool bloggers. This should be a fun thing for all of us, and you just may find yourself looking at some new to you curriculum. I will be adding the links to all of the other blog posts in the fair a little later today. So be sure to check back and then take your time browsing the posts throughout this week. Here is the schedule so you can anticipate what we will be covering:
Each Monday, a new theme will be introduced that concentrates on a field (or fields) of study:
- January 2nd—Playing with Words: the Language Arts. This theme can include phonics, reading, writing, grammar, spelling, speech, literature, etc., etc., etc. Latin and foreign language studies could also go here.
- January 9th—Discovering Patterns: Mathematics, Logic, and some Science. This theme can include anything to do with mathematics, mathematical thinking, numbers, arithmetic, symbolic logic, critical thinking, and math-y sciences (physics, chemistry, etc.).
- January 16th—Exploring Our World: Social Studies and more Science. This theme can include history, geography, world cultures, worldview, biology, botany, geology, etc., etc., etc.
- January 23rd—Seeking Beauty: the Arts and Everything that Brings Beauty to Our World. This theme can include any of the arts, as well as handicrafts.
- January 30th—The Nuts & Bolts: Pulling it all Together! This theme can be really practical, and include any helps you use for organizing, making plans, keeping little ones occupied, remembering to do your laundry, etc., etc. Or you could take a spiritual approach to it. I encourage you to use this week to explore how you get it done,whether it’s due to scheduling and planning or putting your faith in a higher power or somewhere in between.
On Learning to Spell by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds
Reading on Time by Cindy Horton @ Fenced in Family
Playing with Words: the Language Arts by Christa Darr @ Fairfield
Reading and Beyond: Language Arts in Our Homeschool by Laura O in AK
@ Day by Day in Our World
Language Arts that Work for Us by Melissa @ Grace Christian School
Learning Language at Our House by Jessica @ Modest Mama
Virtual Curriculum Fair: Language Arts by Christine T. @ Our Homeschool Reviews
The Learning of Language by Dawn @ tractors & tire swings
Reading and Spelling: Modifying the Magic by Pam @ Everyday Snapshots
An In Depth Look at All About Spelling by Missouri Mama @ Ozark Ramblings
Virtual Curriculum Fair: Let’s Talk About Words by Debra @ Footprints in the Butter
Why We Love Classical Conversations Essentials (and how I know that is
not a complete sentence!) by Nicole @ Schooling in the Sun
Virtual Curriculum Fair—Playing with Words: the Language Arts by Angie @ Petra School
Whole Language vs. Phonics by Christine @ Crunchy Country Catholic
It’s All About the Art of Language by Brenda Emmett @ Garden of Learning
Watching Movies for Language Arts Class by Debbie @ Debbie’s Digest
Only 5 Spelling Tests a Year! (Can we do that?) by LP @ justpitchingmytent
Playing with Words by Chrissy @ Learning is an Adventure
Language Art at Our House by Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory
Virtual Curriculum Fair Week One Playing with Words: the Language Arts by Leah Courtney @ The Courtney Six Homeschool Blog
Playing with Words, the Language Arts by Cindy @ For One Another
Heart of Dakota- The Fine Details part 1- Language Arts by Lynn @ Ladybug Chronicles