Language Learners

“And all the time we have books, books teeming with ideas fresh from the minds of thinkers upon every subject to which we can wish to introduce children.”
— Charlotte Mason

I am hopeful this area will be a place you can come and search and find most things you might need for your language arts learning~ to save time so you can get to the good things, the teaching. :) I am currently updating this page because I now have two teens in highschool so our Language Arts Learning is evolving~ 

LANGUAGE ARTS LEARNING: ( Listening, Reading, Telling and Writing)

Literature Study Guides available online to use: ( I have used some of these and they are a great help)
Glencoe Literature Library
Penguin Teacher Guides
Bibliomania: Free Online Literature and Study Guides   - free all you need to do is register
The Best Notes 
Pink Monkey - literature summaries online

A Child's Guide to Reading, by Macy John Albert - this seems to be an excellent book for the parent to read or the advanced learner who has a love for literature.              

Teaching The Classics - a wonderful Literature Analysis program  (based on using the Socratic Method) that reinforces their writing program above.  They compliment eachother well "reinforcement without redundancy" .

Spelling is done naturally through written narrations, copywork and dictations and from the teens writing- the boys write and then correct their own work and we work on those words they have a hard time spelling. They do excellent work through spelling with spelling lists so that is of no help to us~ they need individual spelling lists created by them.

     some free resources~ Dictation Day by Day by Kate Van Wagenen ( 1909) approx. 3rd year
                                Dictation Day by Day by Kate Van Wagenen ( 1909) approx. 4th year
                                Dictation Day by Day by Kate Van Wagenen (1909) approx. 5th year
                                Modern Speller by Kate Van Wagenen ( 1916) approx. 5th year
                               The Young Catholics Illustrated Speller (1884) young learners or late spellers
                                The Modern Speller, by Albert Herrman Miller (1917) you will notice that as that at                   this point the spellers started to resign from dictation ~ 

Grammar-  I have one son who does really well in Grammar and the other son who sees absolutely no point in doing grammar. This boy tends to be a natural writer so I needed to be able to sort of weave in his grammar learning so that it made more sense to him.

We are using IEW's US History Based Writing Lessons which also weaves into their lessons grammar as well. Besides working this program we are going to be using Daily Grams to help with editing and proofreading practice with his own ( chosen) written narrations and writings.

Here is a great blog post by Jimmie about Grammar ( this is part of her 10 Days of Language Series) I really found it helpful and made a lot of sense to me.
Here is a Squidoo Lens about Grammar.
Proofreading marks for grades 7-12
Proofreading marks for grades 3-6
Proofreading marks for grades K-2 - I doubt I would use this at this point since these grades (for us) was more about "just getting writing".   I really believe this is where the home school model should look very different than the compulsory model.

Books to help with Grammar learning and practice:
Grammarland- a living book about the parts of speech

Vocabulary is worked orally through read alouds and also through the practices in their writing program and Fix it program, again, "reinforcement without  redundancy * we will not be using Fix it currently so we will be working vocabulary as we did prior to using /trying Fix it through our read alouds and discussion. 

LANGUAGE ARTS LINK RESOURCES (grammar, writing, spelling, reading, speaking etc.)
Web English Teacher- this is a site that has surprisingly a bunch of resources to use for older learner in high school and the end of Middle School, be sure to check this out there is a great deal here.  Big Dog's Grammar basics~ this is a new site I found recently that is great for older learners who may need a review in grammar basics. Since we had been working the strategy of finding prepositional phrases (as is mentioned/suggested on the site) we have really found our grammar to be much more easier and understandable~
Daily Grammar - easy on line practice for grammar/usage skills
English Grammar 101 - free online lessons for practice
Language Arts Links from "Homeschooling 4 Free" - covers all different areas of LA
Grammar Bytes - online practice
Grammar Mechanics - free online grammar practice
Grammar Monster - a listing of free resources for learning different concepts/skills in grammar
Basic Guide to Essay Writing - a step by step guide to writing an essay.
Splashes of the River, free online - Middle School aged Spelling Program
Spelling City, create your own list  for learning spelling and vocabulary or use their lists for interactive spelling
Spelling Connections from Zaner Bloser for spelling and handwriting practice
Stairway to Reading from the Society for Quality Education- a free downloadable reading program registration only is required.
Starfall -  a free phonics program for learning reading
Progressive Phonics- yet another free online phonics/reading program
Great Source Write handbook - help with writing, grammar and usage
Lightening Bug, writing a story beginning to end
Writing - a great site for learning and teaching different kinds of writing.
Kathryn Stout audio on how to teach composition.


here is a recent series of articles/posts on Learning to Read from Simply Charlotte Mason website:

image courtesy istockphoto

Here is a place I hope to share how we teach reading in our home. I hope to be able to share great articles and post that aide in teaching and learning to read.

 Books for Learning 

We generally read and go through LOTS of books.  I like to use these so much more than actual textbooks. While we still use programs and may sometimes use textbooks as a guide, we end up happily hopping around to many living books to help enhance our home learning.
Here is a place I will share our books and book series/audios and reading resource links we have either used, or plan to use for our reading at home.
I will break these down according to book series or subject to make things easier.

Before I begin, I wanted to share some good resources to use; before choosing books here are some helpful resources I use often.
Book Wizard  - this is a great resource to create your own booklists and share with  others, find leveled books or when you find a book to see what reading level equivalent it is. This really can be a big help especially for younger learners or learners who may have special needs.

Book Series: Various Topics ~

A Williamson Kids Can! Book Series  ~ I love these series generally for kids ages 8 and up, we have used the Kids Write book and now I just purchased the Fizz, Bubble and Flash book. Great fun and creative ways for learning concepts.

Storing our Books - how we organize ALL our books~  
This can get tricky for sure, especially for a book lover like myself. I have to say we have many, many books and I suppose I continue to buy more and more.  I hold onto many of my books also thinking of it more as a library for my children and also for my grandchildren.

I plan to share how we store, keep and organize our books~ and also share links and resources for organizing your books.

An article for storing and keeping books.

On-Line Book Sites that include Audio Books~
The Baldwin Project
Free Kindle for your PC 
    Free Books for Kindle: Free Kindle Books.Org
                                        Project Gutenberg
                                        Many Books.Net
Learn Out Loud
NH Downloadable Books
Page by Page Books
Literal Systems
Lit to Go
Tell Tale Weekly
Audio Books for Free 
Thought Audio 
Books Should Be Free Audio Books 
Audio Owl

CLASSIC LITERATURE: ( I will be sharing much more here soon) 
Classic Books for Children

Penguin Classics Teacher Guides

Literature Guides and Activities~ sites I have found to be the most helpful I am sure I will be adding many more as we move along~ ( I also find many of these sites helpful for oral narration and also for questions to generate for literary analysis and written narration) - over 60 teachers guides

Reading/Booklist Resources~ includes audio resources as well
this site offers lots of fables ( over 600) with audio encoding on some~

a way to find appropriate book lists for our learners - this site offers a collection of reviews and ideas for teaching with literature according to subjects.

Database of Childrens Award Winning Literature~ customize a reading/booklist for your child according to topic or time period.

lists to poetry resources

online books

online books

public domain novels dating from pre- 1920’s - 16th century resource to essays, articles and biographies ( 1485-1603 )

full text of Shakespeare’s work to read online

Leveled Book databases~

Is teaching writing possible without all the expensive curriculum and fancy computer software packages? Can we really teach our kids to write well for later on in life and actually enjoy doing it? The simple answer is YES. In writing, simplicity is the best consideration and here I hope to explain how we can do that. To keep things simple yet, extremely effective. ~ we are using IEW to help "fine tune" our writing instruction.( I have found so far my one son does very well with the structure of IEW while my other learner feels a bit more hindered by all the structure. I am altering things as we go for the other learner so that he can use IEW a bit more loosely while still sharpening his writing skills without hindering his creativity).

Here is a wonderful blog post shared with me from a great homeschooling mother entitled "Writing Skills from Homeschoolers"   I really liked this post and can appreciate the great recommendations outlined in this post.

Writing can be as natural as breathing for some, and it can also be completely debilitating for others - Many factors go into actually writing and getting our thoughts in an organized manner on paper. Here I hope to discuss some of those things and add some thoughtful reflections, ideas and tips for others who may be struggling with teaching writing in their homes or may just need extra support and encouragement in this area.

I have found adding the concept of written narrations to our writing really helps with our writing. It helps our writing be more about the writing than the "writing process" so much.

We have also started to incorporate journals ( tips for journal writing if you need them) much more now in our daily writing as well. The boys like writing about events in the news very much so I allow them to just write about anything and everything they wish to write about. At some point we may decide to use prompts but we have not found a need to as of yet.

I recently decided I will be creating a "writing center" on each of my learners assignment blogs. This way they have these resources they can go to at any given time if they need to reference something. 

Here is a list of some writing resources that has helpful information you might find useful:
Some "rules" for Writing Well her main site: Secrets to Teaching Writing Revealed
Writing Across the Curriculum


Paragraph Writing- I really liked this site once I started going through it. An online interactive module for learning how to write. 

 Writing Lesson Checklist for teaching different kinds of writing. ( something I created as a guide to follow) 

Creative Writing:

Wacky Headline Starter- what a neat idea! click on "make my headline" and get started with some fun creative writing~

The Story Kitchen~ another really neat site for learners to use. Fill in the information and the site generates a story that learners will then finish~

Book Report Sandwich Maker- I decided to add this under creative writing because its just SO creative. An online graphic organizer that is used for creating a book report! Just too cute! I can't imagine many learners not interested in doing this one~

Creative Writing using the Snowflake Method- a model for writing a fictional novel

Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing Course 

Research Reports: 

Research Report Outline - for teaching and practicing writing research reports. ( another guide my learners can use for writing research reports) 

Basic Steps to Creating a Research Paper- I thought this site was really helpful. You can click on each of the bolded words if the learner wants/needs further explanation.  We tweak things as we need to. If your learner (like one of mine) works better outlining than index cards I would use that. I have two different kinds of learners so we change things as bit as we need to. :)

Recipe for a Research Paper- a really cute idea that my youngest will really love.

A+ Research Writing- a site to help older learners with research writing

Research and Style Manual- online manual by Kathy Schrock

Research Paper Guide

Essay Writing:

Five Paragraph Expository Model - a visual aide in learning how to write the five paragraph essay.

And here is a book I just recently heard about and found the authors points toward the 500 word essay to be very helpful and insightful. The book is called "Write Your College Essay in Less Thank a Day" by  Elizabeth Wissner Gross.

Resources we can use for Literary Analysis ( while working through TTC- Teaching the Classics)

The Blue Fairy Book of Fairy Tales - an audio to listen to and then do a story chart and analysis.

You might like these~

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