Sunday, January 1, 2012

Playing with Words ~ the Language Arts

Homeschooling Hearts & Minds

I have joined in a Virtual Curriculum Fair during the month of January.  Please click the link to read other's that have joined in!

Language Arts ~ what do you use?  We have used a few things over the years, curriculum wise as well as *extras*.
We have flipped curriculum lately because we never could find that one that fit us.  When the kiddos were younger, we used First Language Lessons.  I loved it for first and second grade and felt it was a pretty good solid start to Grammar for sure.  We also used it in 3rd grade, because I liked it so much. The problem with continuing in third grade was there was a lot, I mean A LOT, of sentence diagramming.  I think that it's OK for them to learn diagramming, but I just felt like it was too much at that age.  Plus, I had (have) one with a bit of learning struggles, so I felt like we needed to spend time focusing on things that were more important.  This year, 6th grade, we are using Spectrum.  While it is mainly book work we like it.  The one thing about Language Arts, it pretty much stays the same - I mean, a noun is a noun when you in the first or the tenth! We currently use all 5 Spectrum Workbooks for Language Arts ~ Grammar, Spelling, Vocabulary, Reading, Writing.  The lessons are short and mostly painless ~ we usually do just one-two pages in each book each day.   I am liking the way this is working for us, so it will probably remain our choice for Language Arts!

I also wanted to share some other things that we do that are extra's that we have fun with!

MadLibs ~ kiddos love MadLibs, not only are they great reinforcement for parts of speech, they are cheap and travel easy! word of the day ~ they can look up the word and we try to use it during the day.

Email ~ we email each other all the time ~ great writing practice for them. They also email both of their Grandma's pretty regularly.

Grocery List ~ they help me make my shopping lists

Gram Slam ~ a grammar game I got years ago from CurrClick.

ABC Game ~ always a must when we travel!

Library ~ we go at least once a week and they always have books that they are in the middle of

Words With Friends ~ I purchased it for their Nooks and they each have several games going with family members.

Apps on my phone ~ In addition to them having WWF on their Nook, I also have several apps on my phone that they have access to ~ Chickonary, Word Drop, iAssociate, Spelling Drills & Typing Maniac are a few ~ and I have gotten the all free.

Board Games ~ we play Scrabble and Boggle (I feel like there are a couple of more, but they are not coming to me right now). OK, I cleaned out my game shelf ~ some of the others were ~ Last Word, Pass The Bomb & In a Pickle (good for vocab)

I just added a list of spelling ideas ~ check them out.

Interested in seeing how others work Language Arts into their schooling?  Check out the links below!

Reading on Time by Cindy Horton @ Fenced in Family
Playing with Words: the Language Arts by Christa Darr @ Fairfield Corner Academy   
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 @ Pam and 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 
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 
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


  1. Emailing Grandma is a great idea! Did you set up a separate account for them?

  2. Mad libs are such a hoot and a great way to learn those parts of speech! I need to pull some of those out for my boys to do this month. And, we were gifted with Scrabble this Christmas.

    Who said learning had to be dull??

  3. We love scrabble. Thank you for listing the games you have for your phone. I have been looking for some lately. I love the idea of having a word of the day.

  4. Ooh, thanks for the reminder about the games! I guess it's time to go dig them out of the closet, haha!

  5. My boys are particularly enamored of Mad Libs...thanks for the reminder on how to keep it fun. And thank you for joining the Virtual Curriculum Fair!

  6. Thanks for the games ideas. We love games here. Definitely a great ways to reinforce any school subjects. Off to checking your spelling ideas.

  7. My boys love Mad Libs too. I ought to start playing Scrabble with them too - thanks for the idea!


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