Archive for the ‘
Language Arts ’ Category
Wednesday, May 1st, 2013
We’re coming down to the end of the school year and I wanted to make sure we reviewed a lot of the new comma rules we went over this year. I made this sheet for my son and thought I’d share it with anyone else who might be interested. As always they are free to download.
We read over the rules together, then he had to figure out which rule applied to each sentence and had to add in the appropriate comma/s.
By the way, I included the answers as well, but they are not shown in the collage below.
Download the Comma Rules and Practice sheets:
I just thought I’d add that for our family, we spend three days on this. We went over the rules each day and then did 6 or 7 sentences… that way we were really reinforcing the rules. On the first day, I wrote examples for DD on the back of the paper as we went over the rules and she added the commas. She actually referred to the examples of the rules more than the rules themselves as she worked on the rest of it the next few days.
Related Posts: You can find other free grammar worksheets under the language arts category in the right sidebar. We did everything from synonyms and antonyms, to homophones to the use of apostrophes, quotation marks and underlining over the course of this year.
Thursday, April 25th, 2013
I made a few matching worksheets for the kids to go over the concepts of synonyms (words that have a similar meaning) and antonyms (words that mean the opposite or nearly the opposite of each other). Although the kids probably know most of these words, I’m going to have them work together to fill these out.
If you’re interested you can download your own copy of these free grammar worksheets:
Synonyms and Antonyms
Other free grammar worksheets you might be interested in:
Monday, April 1st, 2013
This year, we added in a new subject to our day — independent writing. My eldest has always been a reluctant writer. I was taken by surprise because he learned to read extremely early… by 5 he was reading easy chapter books… by 7 he was reading long novels. But his writing lagged behind; he seemed paralyzed to try writing. Mistakes made him freeze up, no matter how much I said they didn’t matter.
Because of that we really took our time with writing. In the early years he did handwriting and copywork. He does spelling (which requires him to listen and write specific sentences) and does grammar as well. And, we did writing assignments on-and-off. Time has passed and he is more comfortable with the writing process. My middle daughter loves and enjoys to write and so he feeds off her positive energy and has been willing to write.
I thought I’d spend some time sharing some of the things the kids do with independent writing. First off, if the kids ever say they have an idea and want to write about something I always say GO FOR IT!! They own the writing. I always try to have an idea to throw out to them, though, if they’d prefer. After sharing the idea, I always tell them they can write about that — or they can write about something else that comes to mind. After they are done, I never correct their writing (or I ask permission to point something out). We have other forums for making corrections (we do spelling almost daily, we do some grammar once or twice a week.) The purpose (as I see it) for independent writing is to put their thoughts on paper. The kids are free to share with ‘the group’ (the 4 of us) or not as they please. They can read it or I’ll read it for them if they prefer.
Here are some of the suggestions I came up with for their journals:
- Earliest memory
- Write a story that includes quotation marks
- This was a 2-part assignment… On the first day they wrote about “Things I like about _______” or “How I feel about _______” On the second day, I had them finish the sentences…
- If it were a food it would be
- If it were weather it would be
- If it were an animal it would be
- If it were a day of the week it would be
They absolutely loved this and DD decided she wanted to spend a couple more days and do this one again!
- I’ve given them a word and told them to write what came to mind (Australia, owl)
- I’ve directed them to look in our ‘story starter’ notebook and find something that appeals to them (I have lots of story starters printed out from off the internet and from Scholastic e-books. They can flip through those whenever they want.).
- We talked about “voice” — we talked about how their writing should have personality and tone. They spent a day trying to have a different tone to their writing.
- write about your day (they had just come in from playing out in the snow)
- We talked about introductory words and how they can add feeling and emotion to writing. They wrote these words in their journals and then I asked them to use one or two of them in their writing for the day…
- How to make witch’s brew
- Write a story about a non-living thing (an inanimate object) that is alive (like a rock or a table)
- We talked about adverbs and how they can make writing more appealing and interesting. We talked about how adverbs answer the questions, How? When? Where? Why? The kids had to add adverbs to a boring sentence “The man got in the car. He drove his car to the old house. He walked up to the door and knocked on it. The door opened.” The next day they had to use an adverb or two in their writing.
- We brainstormed synonyms for the verb fly-flew and we talked about how there are words that are so much more descriptive. Then they had to use a couple of those words in their writing.
I’ve found that they kids were ready for this type of work at very different ages. I’ve tried not to stress too much about it as the end goal is to have the kids writing well (or better yet superbly!!) by the time they’re 18.
I absolutely LOVE, LOVE the things that Julie at Bravewriter has to say. I’ve read through her book, the Writer’s Jungle and found a lot of wisdom in that. And she also sends out a daily email that is the very first thing I read each morning. I found the free e-book she sends out when you sign up for her newsletter quite useful and my homeschooling friend immediately said she wanted a copy too. I HIGHLY recommend that you sign up for her daily writing tip (email) over at bravewriter.com.
Thursday, March 21st, 2013
A couple of days ago I went over possessive nouns and pronouns with the kids. This is a practice sheet I made for them. The second page has a couple of interesting tidbits about Australian wildlife that I thought the kids wouldn’t remember (the kids were all born in Australia). I shared a little bit about termite mounds, the cane toad and quolls… all critters you don’t hear that much about on this side of the world!
Grammar Practice Sheets: Possessive Nouns and Pronouns
If you found this helpful, I’d love to hear from you here or over at my Facebook page. I usually write up a quick synopsis of each post there on Facebook. It’s a quick way to see if there are any posts you missed recently that you might be interested in.
If you’re interested in some of our other free grammar sheets be sure to check out them out by going to the categories button on the right side bar and clicking on language arts.
Friday, March 1st, 2013
I made this practice sheet for the kids to practice choosing between its and it’s or they’re, their and there. If anyone else can use this, it’s free to download:
Grammar Practice: its – it’s, they’re – their – there
We’ve been covering quite a number of different grammar points lately (homophones, commas, apostrophes, underlining and so forth). You can browse through all our (free) grammar worksheets by clicking on the categories button in the right sidebar and selecting language arts.