Welcome to 2019-2020 Curriculum Review Part 3! Today I will be discussing our Language Arts Curriculum.
I am privileged to join four other homeschooling mamas in reviewing curriculum for the upcoming school year: You tubers Ingrid at Mommy & Mia Homeschool Chronicles , Corinne at Mama’s Little Lambs , Kim at The Homeschooling Grammy and fellow blogger MamaWit Haven. I encourage you to check out their insightful curriculum reviews, as well as comment on this post what curriculum works well for your children.
We will be using the Abeka God’s Gift of Language C writing and grammar work-text. We have used Abeka Language work-text the past two years and like how it focuses not only on the mechanics of writing but the why writing and communicating properly is important. Communication is truly a gift of God. I believe it is our responsibility to learn how to read, write, and speak well so that we are able to not only read about God’s intense love for us though His Son Jesus but to be able to share that good news with others as well.
The Abeka Language curriculum included spelling and does introduce a variety of literature through readers and comprehension quizzes. We no longer use these. Why? They are very thorough, but do not fit with our homeschooling style.
Spelling and Writing
We started using the Spelling Skills book the last quarter of this past school year in place of the Abeka spelling book. Why did we make the switch? The negatives outweighed the positives.
Abeka is great in presenting more difficult words for a student to learn, but only presents a few of them for vocabulary. My son was memorizing the lists for a test, then forgetting them. I feel it is important for a child to learn what each word means and not just because it is on the vocabulary list. I feel that a child should learn how to use the word in a sentence correctly not just memorize it for a test.
The Spelling Skills book (Harcourt Family Learning) includes the following:
- Spelling strategies
- Proofreading Marks guide
- Lessons include pages for the student to use the spelling words through sorting, definitions, analogies, proofreading skills, dictionary skills, clues, hink pinks (rhyming), language connections, classifications, and rhymes.
- There are no tests within the book, but can easily be made if needed.
I found this spelling workbook at Barnes and Nobles Book Store.
After using this curriculum, I found that my son was spelling words in everyday writing correctly without prompts from me. This made my heart glad. We look forward to using this spelling curriculum this year.
When it comes to the writing portion of language/grammar, I do feel that Abeka could encourage it more in their curriculum. They tend to focus on the grammar a bit more than the writing in the elementary grades. Of course, it isn’t hard to add this area myself, and I do. I like to encourage my son to write creatively often through his nature journaling, compositions, and research papers.
Writing. Sometimes children tend to cringe when it comes to this topic. But, we need to teach them how to write and express their thoughts onto paper or computer screen. This is an important part of communication. One little book I found that I like to incorporate into our language time is the Genre Journal. I found this journal at a Lakeshore Learning Store. It contains several types of genres, explains each one, and gives a place for the child to write in that genre style.
I do not use the Abeka readers. My son used them for a time, but I found that allowing him to choose some of his chapter books increased his interest in reading. I do require him to read books from a variety of genres such as classic fiction, non-fiction, Biographies, historical fiction, and mystery fiction. He writes a short description or report about each book he reads. (He is encouraged to do this by me as well as his martial arts dojo. They have a reading challenge for their students. If they reach all the reading requirements, the students earn a samurai sword. Needless to say, my son is hard at work reading and turning in each report to earn that sweet prize. LOL)
Here are the books he and I chose to read this year:
One of the many things I love about homeschooling is that I can correlate his literature books with other subjects. This year in history, we will be discussing the World Wars, so I chose some books that relate to that topic. I also like to do a little study on the author of some of his literature books. The Christian Heroes and Historical Heroes biographies (my son’s favorite) this year were chosen while we were at the FPEA Homeschool Convention as were a few of his Who Was? books. Both series of books can be found through many sites, but one of my favorites is Christianbook.com .
I do hope that you have found this post to be helpful as you choose your curriculum for this upcoming year. I have found that their are ever so many curriculum choices from which a homeschool parent can choose. My choices are but a drop in the bucket of what is out there. I would love to hear what has worked for your family. Feel free to comment.
I encourage you to check in my TpT Store for an elementary “Writing a Biography” free download as well as additional report and fun book report activities. I hope that these items are a help in your educational journey.
Have a great day!