If we value the pursuit of knowledge, we must be free to follow wherever that search may lead us. ~ Adlai Stevenson

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Language Arts Lineup...

We're getting ready to start a new academic year at the end of the month, and are taking a mishmash approach to language arts. It blends the Brave Writer Lifestyle with some great tools I have compiled, and I think it will work well for us.

So, here's the WRITING plan...

Each day (Monday through Thursday anyway), we'll start with a rotating focus, with both kids and I working together (a lot of this will be oral work, a little more so than written).

Mondays (our short day due to my college schedule) will be for poetry. Now, I have not quite decided yet if I want to use a poetry teaching resource (Rose, Where Did You Get That Red?, or Knock at a Star: A Child's Introduction to Poetry, or ???) OR if I simply want to introduce the kids to poets and go for the full poetry teatime experience. Hmmm. This will be followed by free writing for both (just 10-15 minutes). The Boy will be using Unjournaling for ideas when needed, while The Girl and I are embarking on a year-long adventure (see below).

Tuesdays will have a grammar focus. We're going to try out The Giggly Guide to Grammar, which is described as "Shel Silverstein meets Strunk and White and the results are both hilarious and instructive." Then the kids will split up for other work (see below).

Wednesdays will be all about literary elements, with Figuratively Speaking, again followed by independent work.

And on Thursdays, we'll explore the history of our language, and its oddities, word roots, and more, with The Word Snoop. This will also be another day of more independent work for each, though sometimes I am sure we'll take a break from the "work" of writing to play language games.

As far as independent work, The Boy will be working on more academic writing -- essays and the like. We've decided that he will finish working through Thinking in Threes, which is really thorough for basic essay writing. After that, he'll move into BWL writing projects and written history/science narrations, creative writing, etc.

For The Girl, we (she and I together) decided to really foster creativity and just get her more at ease with writing. So on Mondays and Tuesdays, she'll be working on free writing -- short stories, or longer ones if she chooses. Tuesday evenings, I can correct spelling, etc., and then on Wednesday and Thursday, she can work on copying (copywork!) the story out and illustrating it. Sometimes we may work in other ideas/activities, and leave the "rough drafts" as is. At the end of the year though, the hope is her spelling will improve in context, AND she'll have a whole book of her own illustrated writings!

As fa as the READING plan, The Girl will continue to work through the Reading Horizons program, then I'm hoping she'll move into active reading. After reading my friend Jessica's posts on this series, I think The Girl may enjoy many of the titles. And she's been talking about wanting to read the original Oz series, which we are lucky enough to own in its entirety. And of course, I will continue reading aloud to her -- you can see the list of hopefuls here.

I also plan on actually assigning some reading to The Boy, just one book per "block" of scheduled study. He's interested mainly in dystopian/Steampunk/sci-fi literature right now, so his list of assigned books (bottom of the post) reflects that. I will re-read/skim them alongside him, so we can discuss the books, something we enjoyed doing with The Hunger Games trilogy. I am certain he will continue his fairly heavy load of free reading as well!

Can't wait to see how it all works! And if you have any recommendations on the poetry bit, I would love to hear them!


  1. Oh! I am anxious to hear about Cassia's experiences with the Sterling books! And did you see Reading Horizons has just launched their new site -- it's really well done & includes a discussion forum now, too. I've been giving Benjamin the Skill Checks to see if there are any area we need to 'fill in' or review. This year I want to help him learn as many spelling strategies as possible -- although I am seeing that with increased reading, his spelling has naturally improved (which is how I like it)!

    1. I think she'll love the books, especially titles like The Secret Garden (one of her favorite stories), Black Beauty, etc. I did receive a link to the new website from Erika, but haven't checked it out yet!


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