A necessary component of each child’s education, the language arts homeschool curriculum that is available offers a myriad of options. There are many methods and ways that language arts can be taught and there are curriculum offerings that match each method. Many parents buy a complete homeschool kit. If a kit is used, it will contain all the language arts components that you need.
Parent Led Language Arts Workbook based:
As mentioned before, two very tried and proven homeschool curricula are ABEKA and Bob Jones University Press‘ Heritage Studies. Both of these are available in optional formats. ABEKA can be used on DVD or online video streaming. BJU is available through a satelite program. Parent teaching responsibility is lessened because the instruction is given via the video teacher. These have performend well over several decades, meet most state standards, and come in a kit form. If you “do it by the book” without video or satelite there is alot of work for the parent to do as “teacher.” Another newer but very well organized language arts curriculum is the Training for Triumph Character Quality Language Arts. It is put together to include spelling, writing, phonics, and grammar into one book… nice. This is great when you have several children that you are teaching at once. They have levels that correspond with each other on a specific character quality. They will also let you download a month’s worth of lessons to give it a try – before you buy. Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind is also a good curriculum. This curriculum does require parental “teaching” to some degree,though it includes a “scripted” parent book. Another good Language Arts workbook based curriculum is the Shurley English Series. It also includes a “scripted” parent text, but comes with a student worktext, test book, and audio CD for “jingles” that help the student remember certain facts.
Workbook based Language Arts:
Language arts workbook based curricula include Alpha Omega’s Lifepacs and Explode the Code Series. If you are trying to prepare your student for college a great language arts worktext is Jensen’s Grammar. This curriculum has been used widely for many years, is fast paced but in depth. There are also several free online language arts courses of study. One of our favorites is Grammar Bytes. This site includes online activities as well as printable handouts/worksheets. The Web English Teacher includes many teacher based lesson plans…not really worksheet/workbook based, but a good resource.
Computer/Internet Based Language Arts:
A great computer based language arts curriculum is Time4Learning. It is a standards based curriculum, and is very popular with children PreK-8th. This curriculum is great as a stand alone course, or as supplement to a workbook series. Another curriculum that many homeschoolers enjoy is the Switched on Schoolhouse. It is a good curriculum, but is more like a computer based workbook. Students read the text and answer questions on the computer. This is available as individual subjects or a complete grade kit. Alpha Omega does have their new online program Monarch available. I have not tried it first hand, but have heard that it is better than the Switched on Schoolhouse.
Some free internet based resources for language arts include: Rainbow Resource Center, Kid’s Place by Houghton Mifflin, and Fun Brain by Pearson. A subscription service that I use alot is Edhelper. There are multitudes of printable worksheets that you can make to your specifications.
Literature Based Language Arts Programs:
Many homeschooling families enjoy using the Charlotte Mason method of teaching language arts. There are several language arts curricula that incorporate this methodology into their course of study. Here are a few that I would recommend. Simply Grammar by Karen Andreola. This is a very practical literature based language arts program, based on a book by Charlotte Mason. A Journey through Grammar Land is a book written by the author of Jensen’s Grammar. This is a story based approach to teaching grammar. We use a “Classical Approach” to several of our subjects, and have used Prima Latina and Latina Christiana to introduce grammar to our children. We also loved Brian Cleary’s series of books on the different parts of speech. Even our littlest one loves these!
I hope that you are able to find something that will work for your very own homeschool! Let me know through comments if you have used other language arts program that performed well.