Covering homeschool language arts and no other subjects for the day is not just dull, boring and unbalanced but it can also suck the life out a child’s desire to read and write every day.
Letting go of the homeschool language arts stranglehold is not easy. Wanting our children to succeed in life and not wanting them to miss something vital in the area of language arts, many parents, including myself, have unintentionally piled on double the subjects in language arts.
Instead of feeding a child’s natural eagerness to learn through language arts, we create resistant learners.
e;”>Understanding the elements of language arts keeps them from over taking hands-on science activities, history projects or art projects that our children can’t wait to do.
Key to covering language arts well, but keeping it balanced with the other activities is being sure we know what the subjects are.
It is hard to know if you are covering the essentials when you use such a broad general term like language arts.
Homeschool Language Arts – Think Communicate
Because I was not a public school teacher in my LBK (life before kids) and because I always need to compartmentalize before I can tackle a job, today, I want to help you clearly identify and categorize which subjects make up language arts at each level.
Language arts is a term used to cover how we communicate, whether it’s spoken communication or written communication.
In each grade level, language art subjects will vary but the subject will cover one of those two areas. You don’t have to have a public school teacher background to figure it out.
For example, at the beginning level, teaching phonics is about teaching our elementary children how to read. At the middle school level, teaching our children composition is about teaching them how to communicate their ideas efficiently. At the high school level, language arts can take a different turn and it’s about how to teach our high school students to orally communicate effectively.
As just a mom, I don’t like the term language arts because it is too broad and does not help you to grasp which subjects to teach at which grade levels.
Language arts can be a whole host of subjects but most of them fall into these 5 subcategories.
Identifying them each year and then filling the need, keeps language arts as a subject that is not only thoroughly enjoyable to learn about, but keeps it balanced.
Look at this list of a whole host of subjects and teaching techniques used interchangeably that make it seem almost impossible to organize.
Phonics, word study, narration, dictation, grammar, literature, English, speech, penmanship, drama, public speaking, poetry recitation, memory work, composition, spelling, reading comprehension, speaking and listening and outlining are just some of the subjects that I have seen through the years.
While some are subjects like composition, which have numerous ways to teach it and various genres and some are techniques like copywork, which teach a whole host of skills, they all generally fall into reading, writing, spelling, grammar or oral categories.
Too, one subject can teach multiple language arts skills.
Elementary Homeschool Language Arts
Look at these samples below of how I categorized subjects or teaching techniques.
This is not an exhaustive list by any means because there are an overwhelming amount of superior teaching techniques as well as excellent language art curriculum that we can seize for the year.
I just sorted through some of them to show you how I organize them both mentally and most of the time in my planner so that I keep a balanced plan.
Middle School and High School Homeschool Language Arts
Too, I haven’t even touched on how language arts skills can be honed by using novels, poetry, science and history topics.
The point of today’s blog post is for you to rein in the numerous techniques and subjects in language arts that constantly bombards us.
It helps to see that many years were are either meeting or exceeding standards for a grade level.
Some years, I have very slim language arts curriculum and more reference type books because language arts is taught through another meaningful subject like history.
For example, if you have a boy that does not like writing, he can see the value of learning it while he can write about ancient weapons. A reference book to guide him on his subject is of more value. If you have a girl that would rather read about fashion or horses than write, then a reference book about creative writing will inspire her to write her own story.
How Do You Keep Homeschool Language Arts from Choking Out Your Other Subjects?
Did I mention that covering language arts while study science, history or the history of art is the simple trick to balancing language arts while still getting in your much loved subjects for the day?
Covering only language arts for the day and not finishing until 2:00 p.m is a recipe for disaster.
I hope that by simplifying some of the subjects and techniques for you that you will see that you are probably more than just meeting the basics each day.
Most homeschoolers I have helped have way too much curriculum in language arts and do not realize that language arts spans just about any other type of subjects.
Whether you are learning about art, history, science or the Bible, you have to read, decipher sounds, infer, follow directions and explain or tell back what you have learned and somewhere along the way write down instructions, follow directions, label and diagram.
Sorting through my language arts curriculum each year helps me to isolate curriculum to fit within the categories of the big 5 (reading, writing, spelling, grammar and oral).
Too, it helps me to not over plan but to realize that I will cover different parts of language arts through our love of other subjects.
How do you keep language arts from choking out the other activities you have on tap for the day?
Hugs and love ya,