This includes Reading, Spelling, Grammar and the like. Even though I am a voracious reader and enjoy writing, I have found dealing with English/Language Arts in the homeschool setting to be somewhat intimidating. There seems to be an infinite amount to learn and just as many ways to approach it! (For example, to teach sentence diagramming or not?? Spoiler: I vote not!).
Over the years I have read about this topic, designed curricula, tutored and assisted homeschool families with their plans for Language Arts. After all of that I have found that I strongly feel teaching Language Arts really DOESN'T have to be complicated. (WHEW. Because, man, it sure felt to me like tooo many choices and decisions around this topic!)
If you are just starting out homeschooling, you will likely feel a bit 'better' about following a curriculum you can purchase. But please keep in mind, homeschool does NOT have to public school, just at home! Please don't feel pressure to strictly stick to the plan you are provided by a curriclum.
A Few Things to Keep in Mind
- Allow choice in what they read and write. I am a fanatically believer that when kids are empowered to make their own choices they are infinitely more invested in what they are doing.
- At every age do whatever you can to allow your child(ren)'s interests and spontaneous activities to be a natural guide for their writing. For example, I have never met a kid who doesn't want to design their own board game (but sometimes THEY have to have the idea, me TELLING them they should doesn't work as well!). They will be drawing and writing with more effort and attention to detail than anything you could 'assign' them to do! Or maybe they want to play store: can they make their own signs? Of course!! Children are born creators (we all are), encourage their creative play and watch for opportunities for them to write: but I wouldn't force it if it is part of play.
- Reading and Writing should be half of the 'school day' (that is my personal and somewhat arbitrary fraction). BUT reading and writing can and SHOULD take place in most subjects. It is crucial.
ADRIANE: ADD HOW I LEARNED TO WRITE: EXTENSIVE ONE-ON-ONE 'TUTORING' IN COLLEGE WITH A PROFESSOR.
Where to Start
- Read often. To your children, with your children. You sharing your love of reading with them is exactly what they need. Find book on topics THEY are interested in.
- Just Write. You do not neccisarily need a dedicated grammar and spelling curriclum. Recent studies call for a more integrated approach to reading and writing, and that the purpose of spelling and grammar instruction is to support that (1).