If teaching language arts has been a struggle in your homeschool or if you are new to homeschooling and aren’t sure where to start, then this series is for you. It will be all about the nuts & bolts of learning & teaching language arts for homeschool moms.
This article is part of a series meant to encourage and prepare moms to teach language arts at home to their children using almost any program.
- My approach to teaching language arts is very loosely based on the Spalding method which I have adapted to meet our needs as a large homeschooling family who embraces a lifestyle of learning.
- My goal is to show you how to teach yourself language arts so that you can teach your children language arts – while instilling a love of learning in your children.
- You will learn how to be intentional in language arts instruction so that you are prepared and able to utilize almost any language arts curriculum to your benefit.
- You may even realize you can create your own curriculum using the simplest and cheapest materials like notebooks and pencils!
- I recommend that you teach language arts to your children by example as soon as possible as an extension of parenting.
My Background In Teaching Language Arts
Teaching language arts has been my favorite academic part of homeschooling. Language arts has always been my favorite subject, and you could say it is a passion of mine.
I was not taught how to spell or read phonetically in public school. I was an avid reader by first grade, but I struggled with spelling and grammar.
When I decided to homeschool my oldest son, I felt quite confident. After all, I loved academics as a student, loved reading and writing as an adult, and investigative journalism was a hobby of mine.
I was a writer who didn’t know how to write. I was actually ignorant of the fact.
So, imagine my surprise when I opened our A Beka Book K4 Letters & Sounds textbook and realized I did not know the sounds of each letter! I was horrified that I knew only the most common sounds and was left scratching my head as the text directed me to teach my child two or three sounds for some letters!
Not only that, but I wasn’t able to answer my child’s questions about why words were spelled one way or another. I had never heard of the majority of the spelling rules our curriculum was introducing to my 4-year-old!
It was then that I realized that I was not actually taught how to spell or read properly in my early school years and that ultimately I had not been taught phonics. Thankfully, my mother had instilled a love of learning in me and I had the motivation to study language arts.
I became bound and determined to learn everything I could about phonics and language arts in general. This is where my research skills kicked in.
All About Teaching Language Arts
My research and experience over the last several years of homeschooling my children have led me to believe quite strongly in starting with phonics and spelling as the foundation to language arts. I have discovered that each skill of language arts builds on each other and as you add another skill, you continue using the previous.
You use all of your language arts skills in some capacity, as you expand your knowledge and abilities over time, but the foundational skills become second-nature.
Parents unintentionally start teaching language arts through parenting – even during pregnancy. Intentional parenting is important work and as a homeschool parent, you should include being intentional with academics (though not as important as addressing heart issues).
First, let’s define what language arts encompasses – at least for the purpose of teaching language arts in the homeschool – so that you get an idea of what I will cover. Following articles will go in-depth for each topic, while this is a general overview.
What Is Language Arts? Let’s Break It Down.
Definition of language arts:
- 1. The study of grammar, composition, spelling, and (sometimes) public speaking, typically taught as a single subject in elementary and middle school.
1. The method of human communication, either spoken or written, consisting of the use of words in a structured and conventional way.
1. The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination.
So, in conclusion: language arts is the study of all things to do with a language (in our case, English) and the way in which we can communicate with it, whether through the written word (reading & writing) or spoken word (listening & speaking).
Language Arts Resources We Love
American Dictionary of the English Language (1828 Facsimile Edition)The Noah Webster 1828 Dictionary and King James Bible in Libronix CDHenry Morris KJV Study Bible, The – The King James Version Apologetic Study Bible with over 10,000 comprehensive study notesBiblical Virtues & Values – Do-It-Yourself – Character Development Journal: Homeschooling With Thinking Tree Books (Volume 1)The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation: An Easy-to-Use Guide with Clear Rules, Real-World Examples, and Reproducible QuizzesThe New England Primer of 1777
Language Arts In Real Life
As parents, we start teaching our children language arts by speaking to them throughout pregnancy, as newborns, infants, and toddlers – we have seen them mimic and repeat back to us what we say and how we say it – that is technically the beginning of language arts and it happens without us giving it much thought.
As homeschool teachers, we get the privilege to continue their language arts education at home past the preschool years. The transition is not complicated and neither does it require a teaching degree.
I hope to encourage you, Homeschool Mom, to become confident in teaching language arts at home. Feel free to leave questions & comments here and I will do my best to address them.