Archive for the ‘ Language Arts ’ Category

Finding a Language Arts Curriculum (Writing, Grammar, etc.)

Monday, August 18th, 2014

Welcome back to the our series on how to start homeschooling. During the past week, I have provided information about some of the homeschool curriculums available out there in the different subject areas. Today I wanted to share some of the writing and grammar programs available to homeschoolers. This is not an exhaustive list. You may want to order the (free)  Rainbow Resource Catalog, which is packed with homeschool reviews.  But these are some of the programs that I’ve heard good things about through the years:

Writing Curriculums

NaNoWriMo – Write a novel in a month. A free writing curriculum for elementary, middle school and high school. “ The activities inside will help you create characters, build settings, and hatch plots, plus keep you motivated throughout the month.”

Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW)

One Year Adventure Novel

Cover Story – My friend’s 6th grader used this last year and loved it.

Brave Writer

Writing Strands

Word smith

Essentials in Writing

Writing with Ease

Writing with Skill

Writing Power

Write Shop

Create your own writing workshop: A series I did about how and why we started using a writing workshop format. Click here to see some of the Writing Workshop Lessons we did.

How Do I Help the Kids Start Writing? 5 Lesson Ideas:

    1. What makes a good book or story?
    2. Make your story come alive with details and description.
    3. Creating Interesting Characters
    4. Story Openings: Set the mood or feeling of your story
    5. Gathering story ideas from your own life: Exploring Memories

This worked so well for us last year, that we’re going to continue with this same format this year.  My son, who was always reluctant to write much of anything, now says that writing is his favorite part of the day and my daughter has filled notebook after notebook. Even my youngest who was in kindergarten last year loved writing… and progressed from writing two simple sentences to writing a full page or two each day.  I’m sure I’ll share more about the rhythm of our writing workshop and some of the mini-lessons we tackle this year.

Grammar/Language Arts Curriculums

Write Source Skillsbooks

Editor in Chief

Grammar Island (and other materials by Michael Clay Thompson)

Growing with Grammar

First Language Lessons (Book 1, 2)

Shurley English

Easy Grammar

Simply Grammar

Grammar Workshop (W. Rothstein)

Free Grammar Sheets - I’ve made a lot of grammar worksheets for the kids for practice with their/there/they’re or its/it’s; apostrophes; comma rules; quotation marks and much more.  They are all free here on the blog.

Five in a Row (Literature and projects)



Literature: The only language arts curriculums I mentioned that focus on literature are Five in a Row and Sonlight. I have a friend who has her kids use Novel-Ties.  But other than that haven’t done much research into available programs.  Our family reads a lot. Our shelves are bulging with Caldecott and Newbery Award winning books. I look through suggested reading lists.  I ask friends what their kids like. But we haven’t ever dabbled with specific literature programs. I let the kids choose what they want to read and offer suggestions. We read books aloud together. We listen to audiobooks. This seems to be working well for us as their vocabulary and reading comprehension are years “above” grade level (whatever that means).

If you have a writing program or grammar materials that work well for you be sure to add your comments over at our Homeschool Den Facebook Page!

Meanwhile, you may be interested in some of these related posts in the series:

You Might Be Interested in These Related Posts:

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Free Grammar Sheets: Lay-Lie, Peace-Piece, Accept-Except and more

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

The kids are going over some tricky homophones.  These are some of the sheets I made for them.  If you can use them, they are free to download.

Free Grammar Sheets: Lay-Lie, Peace-Piece, Accept-Except and more

Other free grammar worksheets you can download:

If you found these helpful, I’d love to hear from you over at my Homeschool Den Facebook Page.

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Tags: | Categories: Freebies, Language Arts

Grammar Practice Sheets: Plurals, Endings, Past Tense Verbs

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

I made a couple of sheets so my older kids can review how to add endings (such as -ed, -ly, -s, -es and so forth). We reviewed when to double the final consonant and some of the irregular verbs.  I also included the answers (but they are not shown in the picture below). There’s nothing fancy about these sheets, but they’re free to download if your kids need some review:

Free Grammar Practice Sheets: Plurals, Endings, Past Tense Verbs


Other free grammar worksheets you can download:

If you found these helpful, I’d love to hear from you over at my Homeschool Den Facebook Page

Find more learning activities with our easy to use activity finder.

Handwriting: An Introduction
Handwriting: An Introduction
Handwriting: An Introduction

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Word Family Chains; Present-Past Tense Chains

Friday, April 4th, 2014

We should really call this post “Going Crazy with a Stapler!”

So, the picture below is the skip-counting chain ED did (free to download at the Coins, Coins, Coins post), but shows you what we did with the strips in this post!

Going along with the “chain” theme that I talked about on Tuesday with the coins and skip counting, I made ED sheets she had to cut out, mix up and then organize into word families. She then organized them into groups (light/right or sail/nail) and stapled them together…

Download the Word Family Chains

I also made strips of present and past tense verbs that she had to match and form into chains of two: 

Verb Pair Chains (in the same file as the Word Family strips)

Hope you enjoyed these.  This time next year, no doubt you’ll see “chain” activities everywhere, right?!!  It’s such a simple idea and my girls really enjoyed this activity! (DD did multiplication chains… I’ll share those in a couple of days.)

If you used this download, I’d love to hear from you over on our Homeschool Den Facebook Page!

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Free Grammar Practice Sheet: Quotation Marks, Said/Asked Words

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

I noticed in the kids’ writing journals that they weren’t using quotation marks correctly. I wanted to go over how to set up dialogues–the use of quotation marks and commas. I also wanted them to think about all the alternatives to using said or asked… there are dozens and dozens of great words.

My kids love the song and video, What Does the Fox Say?  That’s what this dialogue is about at the end (just so you understand!).

Looking for other free grammar pages?  You’ll find lots of other pages I’ve made for the kids by clicking on the Language Arts category (You’ll find the categories button on the right side-bar).  I’ve made pages on the use of commas, their/they’re/there, apostrophe practice and much more.

If you found this useful, I’d love to hear from you over at our Homeschool Den Facebook Page.

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