desperate for a way to teach language arts

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • Author
  • mamagus6

    Hi all, I am new here. I have students grades 2nd, 5th & 6th. I’m in my 10th year of homeschooling.  I am desperate to find an enjoyable way to teach Language Arts.  My most recent attempt was to buy AO LifePacs for the 3 grades & I HATE them! They are so NOT user friendly.  I am trying to teach these 3 grades with a new baby & 5 yo. who is ADHD, & was looking for a way to do it painlessly. I have also purchased the SCM Spelling Wisdom & would appreciate any advice on how to use it.  It seems like a simple program.  I wish I had learned more about this way of teaching at my HS conference, the workshop I saw was spelling wisdom, and that is one thing my kids struggle with.  I want them to have strong language skills & am at a loss!  What can I do to teach them “the rest” of Language Arts besides spelling?  What books would be good to use from SCM? Will it be difficult to implement for 3 grades in a limited period of time? Is there a way to teach them together? Please help! thanks :o)


    Have you looked at Queen Homeschool? We are using her books and enjoying them. They are extremely painless Smile.


    hadn’t heard of it, but looking around on her website now.  not sure about trying to do it with 3 differents grades though.



    I am no expert but will tell you what has been working for us. 

    We use English for the Thoughtful Child, half of the book in grade 2 and half in grade 3.  This enables us to go through slowly and review often.  It takes very little time in a day, and we find the method enjoyable.

    English for the Thoughtful Child 2 in grades 4 and 5, similar to above. 

    Junior Analytical Grammar for grade 6, and we will be using Analytical Grammar this year for grade 7 (and after). 

    For Spelling Wisdom, we try do dictation twice weekly.  We look at the exercise daily and identify any problem words.  After the student is confident with them, we do the dictation.  I say it and the student writes it out.  Then we go over it and correct any mistakes (spelling and punctuation).  If there is a misspelled word, I usually have them write it out correctly a few times, copying it to make sure it is correct.  That is it. 

    With the younger kids, I usually cover one lesson a week in English for the Thoughtful Child, and as stated, two dictations.  Of course you should modify this to fit the child, but I do not think this is beyond reasonable expectations.

    I have all of the kids read aloud every day (sometimes the younger ones will read to an older sibling) and they are read to every day from a good literature selection and also the bible at a minimum.

    Just as a sidenote, we have eight children.  Their ages are 12, 11, 9, 6, 5, 4, 2, 6 months.  Even in a busy house such as ours, I do not find this to be too much to handle, nor do I find it too light to be useful.

    I am not sure how you could teach them together.  Language Arts is one thing we approach at different levels, because of the different skills they have at progressive ages.

    I hope this is a little helpful.


    Sonya Shafer

    Just as a sneak peek for you wonderful ladies on this forum: I just finished a book on how to do Language Arts the CM way. That topic is confusing to many people, and I wanted to try to clarify it for everyone. The book is at the printer and should be available by the end of the month.

    Also, next week we will be starting a series about Language Arts in our weekly e-mails (and posting each installment on our blog). So hang on, more help is on the way!


    Sonya, will you make that available as an e-book, yesterday please?   😉 


    Ditto to the ebook request!!  That would be great.


    Hi Mamagus6,

    We are using Primary Language Lessons which is painless (we do alot orally), copywork for 5 mins and lots of reading with and to our children, but I only have ds8 & dd3.

    A friend of mine (grades 8, 6, 4 & 3yr old)had a whole year off a LA curriculum and just did lots of reading & dictation and spelling (with Spelling Wisdom). Her children are doing very well, & are happy, caring children and it worked for them. Now they use Any Novel Novel Guide (the older ones) which they intend to use through High School, very simple & painless and Intermediate Language Lessons lightly (for the younger).

    I have another friend (grades K, 5, 7)who are reading, doing Spelling Wisdom from SCM and Story Starters by Karen Andreola (for the older 2) and bits n peices from currclick (for Kindi) and thats all.

    It doesn’t hurt to simplify things while you have babes, and your older children will probably thankyou for it!

    We have 4 x 9-10 week terms here in Australia and I did one term where I just used ideas from Catherine Levison, Karen Andreola and Ruth Beechicks books, and I will take this approach again down the track. Gives focus and variety. I think most people tend to over complicate (including myself) by trying to include too many resources and subjects. To give our children a rich smorgasboard of ideas and a love for learning is of far greater importance.

    I’m looking forward to Sonya’s how to Language Arts hoping the e-book version will be available as shipping to Australia is expensive.

    I know I haven’t exactly answered your question but hope my reply might spark an idea towards something better for your family.




    I will tell what we are using this year for 3rd and 4th grades, BUT you are going to have to decide for yourself how and what you want to teach your children. I have come to realize this after agonizing over what to use for about a year LOL! I do love and use a lot of the CM method, but in order to give myself peace of mind, I add a little to it 🙂

    We are using Primary Languge Lessons and Intermediate Language Lessons, Spelling Power, Ruth Heller language books, this poem, and these worksheets for the parts of speech. I really, really like the Language Lessons books, but felt uneasy about waiting on the parts of speech. So we are doing something like unit studies on the 8 parts of speech. We will study each one for about 4 weeks by memorizing the stanza in the poem, reading the Ruth Heller book together, and doing some of the worksheets orally or on the marker board together. They do their PLL or ILL independently everyday and do the parts of speech work together about 3 days a week.

    I hope this helped and did not make things more confusing. Maybe Sonya’s book will be out soon and we will all be able to understand this stuff a little better!



Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • The topic ‘desperate for a way to teach language arts’ is closed to new replies.