Monday, October 6, 2014

Language Arts

Grammar, writing, reading ... I love language arts.  Right now, we are in a transition period for language arts.  I decided to just share what we've done in the past that has worked for us, but will wait to share what we are embarking on until I have a little experience using the new tools with my kids.

First Language Lessons.  These four books by Jessie Wise are a great introduction into grammar.  The text is completely scripted out for you, the memorization goals are clearly outlined, and the content is long enough to cover what you need, short enough to keep the kiddos engaged.

Writing With Ease.  This series by Susan Wise Bauer is a great introduction into dictation, summarizing what you've read/comprehension, types of writing (narrative, informative, narrative/informative), and offers many rich examples of solid sentence construction.

Spalding Method.  We have used this for learning to read (my two oldest), for spelling, handwriting, and a bit of their writing/reading portion.  This is intensive, time consuming (preparing lessons, teaching them, and learning for parent/teacher and kids it requires a lot of effort), but it worked for my two oldest.

Handwriting.  Writing wizzard apps on the iPad are phenomenal.  Spalding method teaches their own handwriting and we've used textured touch and trace flashcards as well.

Vocabulary.  Using a pencil and underling words in books as we read aloud or as they read silently and then utilizing the dictionary (and index cards if additional reminders are needed) is the most fruitful thing that we do to enrich their vocabulary.  Wordly Wise 3000 is another awesome tool.  We have used (and continue to use) both the workbooks and the app (for review, practice, and quizzes using the word lists from the workbooks).

OK, I think that's it for now, have a great week.

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