Our Pre-K–1st Grade Language Arts Mix (Virtual Curriculum Fair)

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This month I am joining the annual Virtual Curriculum Fair with Homeschooling Hearts and Minds, where a group of homeschool bloggers are sharing what’s working for them this year. Stop by every Monday for the rest of January and browse these topics:

  • Playing with Words: the Language Arts 
  • Discovering Patterns: Mathematics, Logic, and Science
  • Exploring Our World: Social Studies and more Science
  • Seeking Beauty: the Arts and Everything that Brings Beauty to Our World
I am excited to find out all the great ways homeschoolers around the world are doing school in real life. I hope you take the time to scroll to the bottom of this post and hop around to see what they have for you!
 
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This week’s topic is “Playing With Words”, so I’ll be sharing what we are using for language arts. There may be affiliate links to products on Amazon we use and I think you may enjoy. 
 
Our kids are 6, 4, 2, and 1, so our curriculum is pre-k through first grade. 

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Learning to Read
  • Ready, Set, Read by Barbara Curtis – This is one of my favorite, basic books for getting started teaching my kids how to read. It’s more about games and phonics exercises you can do without fancy curriculum. Some suggestions include playing a “sounds game” in the car, using sandpaper letters, and starting with all lower case. 
  • Teaching Your Child to Read in 100 Easy LessonsWe finished this up a while ago with my oldest and for the most part it worked well. I loved the price, the ease of use, and I could adapt it on the fly so that we only did what was needed. My son was able to read at first grade level about two thirds of the way through. 
  • AlphaPhonicsMy 4 year old is working with this program right now and we like it as well. I’ll be doing a review on this in the future, but after the first few lessons my child was reading the most basic early readers.  
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Reading Time
  • Reading Practice Sticker Chart – We print out blank calendars and put them up on the wall. One is for my 6 year old’s reading chart. He is to read 3 books at level to earn a sticker. When it’s all filled out, he gets a reward – usually a date with Dad. 
  • Read Aloud Sticker Chart – The other calendar we print is for read aloud time. The goal is at least a half hour each day. When the calendar is full, the kids get a treat or other reward. We often use these more as charts instead of calendars, especially in holiday months when it’s not likely we can do every single day. 
 
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Spelling and Grammar

  • All About SpellingWe’re ready to finish up level 1 and move on to level 2. My son loves this program and so do I! It’s easy to use and adapt if needed. The tiles and flash cards make it fun and quick each day.  
  • First Language LessonsWe’ve been using First Langauge Lessons by Jesse Wise on and off this year. I like the book and lesson, but honestly I have a hard time remembering to use it. 
 

Handwriting
We have struggled really getting going with handwriting, mostly because of my lack of focus with it. We have the Getty-Dubay program that teaches italic right away and then moves into cursive. 

We may check out other programs if we can’t get going with it soon. I love the style of Getty-Dubay, but I have noticed that a lot of practice sheets available online for download follow programs like Handwriting Without Tears. It would be nice to be able to use them! We’ll see. 

For now, we are working through what we have when I think of it and trying to focus on real-life writing tasks like letters, pen-pals, thank you cards, etc. We may also start an Observation Journal soon, which will be similar to a nature journal.

Classical Conversations Memory Work
 
We recently started using Classical Conversations at home primarily for the songs and weekly memory work and use it as a supplement rather than a base of our homeschool. We received the 3d edition curriculum for free from a fellow homeschooler, updated it with the free 4th edition info PDFs, and then purchased a temporary membership to the digital community so that we could download the songs and member uploads. 
 
We have really been enjoying it and I can already see the payoff of learning the songs together! The kids are learning English grammar, math facts, history timeline, science facts, and geography. We’re skipping Latin though and are hoping to pick up a Spanish curriculum soon. 


Looking for more inspiration? 

Don’t forget to check out this great group of Virtual Curriculum Fair bloggers this week. Then scroll down to link up your own language arts posts!

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. I haven’t heard of many of these resources and will look into them. Thanks for sharing.

  2. These are good. I love the book lists with “living books.” 🙂

  3. Language arts is fun with littles, isn’t it? Thank you for sharing! 🙂

  4. We have Alpha Phonics too but my daughter isn’t sounding out the words she says the words. I am going to try again after we do the sight readers. I want to check out All About Spelling as I have been hearing lots of talk about it.

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