Language Arts

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Language arts includes reading skills, listening skills, writing skills and communication skills. For most of my son’s elementary years, I unschooled him, but I did give him a few formal reading and writing lessons using A Beka, only because I had already purchased the curriculum at a friend’s suggestion (before realizing we don’t enjoy boxed curriculum). Honestly, I think he could’ve learned how to read and write without any fancy curriculum. There are a lot of free resources online and I think the biggest key to read, read, read to your child. We love reading at our home and to this day, I read aloud to this same son, who is a teenager. Of course, he reads on his own, too. It’s a good idea to have your child read aloud to you.

My son has always been a reluctant writer, so I’ve had to be creative to get him to write. One year, when we lived in Canada, we purchased dollar store Valentine cards and the kids wrote short messages in each one before we mailed them to family and friends in the states. We added stickers and stamps to make it fun (or my son would draw a little picture to go with his message).

I think the key for a reluctant writer is to tap into your child’s talents and passions. For my son, this was/is science. He keeps a notebook where he records his science experiments. He records his hypothesis, his observations and his conclusions. One year, living in Peru, he started keeping a Spanish notebook. That was his own idea. And, he keeps a journal now which he enjoys writing in (when he’s in the right mood).

In his fifth-grade year, he wrote posts for his online class blog, I’m a Mormon Kid, as well as researched papers for science. He writes in short increments of time, over a few days, or even a week or two, instead of one drawn-out session. He now writes essays! So this mom’s patience has paid off!

Check out my  language arts pinterest board for lots of cool language arts/English ideas.

I can personally recommend these spelling workbooks and this series of handwriting books-

Spelling Made Easy and Spelling Smart!

Spelling Smart!: A Ready-To-Use Activities Program for Students with Spelling Difficulties

A Reason For Handwriting

A Reason For Handwriting: Cursive E--Student Worktext, Grade 5

There are also a lot of free worksheets online. Just do a search and see what comes up. KidsSpell.com has free spelling lists.

You can purchase inexpensive handwriting workbooks at Walmart or bookstores.

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