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We are fortunate to homeschool at a time when there are so many fantastic language arts curriculum options available. Sometimes though, all of those options can feel overwhelming. It can be helpful to hear what other homeschool families have used and loved.
These are my favorite language arts curriculum options because they are effective, but don’t suck the fun out of learning. There is no point in using curriculum that doesn’t actually work.
Over the years of being a homeschool teacher and a public school teacher I have tried quite a few language arts curriculum options. These are my favorites.
4 Favorite Language Arts Curriculum Options
WriteShop is a writing curriculum with a level for every grade from kindergarten through high school.
Primary = kindergarten – 3rd grade
Junior = 3rd grade – 6th grade
High School = WriteShop I and II
The primary and junior levels each follow a similar model. Each unit helps students work though 4 stages of writing – brainstorming, first draft, editing and revising, and final draft.
There are a total of 10 units for each level, so we have always studied one unit per month. The teacher’s guide lists a suggested schedule, but you can of course create a schedule that works for your family.
I like WriteShop for elementary and middle school because the lessons are interesting. They are not dry, but they provide explicit writing instruction. The lessons contain fun creative writing prompts, hands-on activities, and plenty of editing practice. My son has used WriteShop Junior for a few years now and enjoys creating unique writing projects.
WriteShop I and II are great choices for teaching high school writing. Like the earlier levels, a suggested schedule is provided. This makes it easy to transfer the assignments onto a student agenda.
Check out WriteShop with the Terrific Tales package of story prompts.
Spelling is an important component of any elementary language arts curriculum. Some students continue to study spelling through middle school, but that depends on a child’s spelling skills.
All About Spelling is a spelling program that uses the Orton-Gillingham approach. This approach really helps students who are not naturally strong spellers. In my experience, it also works well for kids who have no spelling difficulty.
I love All About Spelling for multiple reasons:
- It is a hands-on program
- The lessons only take about 20 minutes per day
- It teaches the rules of spelling (perfect for kids who have to know ‘why’)
- Progress at your child’s pace – there is no rush to move faster
All of those things together have made this the best spelling curriculum for my family.
We have used All About Spelling for years with great results. We tried many different spelling curricula before landing on AAS. It is the only spelling curriculum that we have stuck with long term.
There are 7 levels to AAS, but they do not correlate to grade level. Generally, students begin at level 1 to make sure they don’t miss any of the spelling rule instruction. There are placement tests available if you think your child is above a level 1.
Check out these frequently asked questions about the All About Spelling curriculum for more information.
Many parents stress about how to teach their little ones to read. I promise it doesn’t need to be scary!
All About Reading does all of the prep for you. Just open the book, read the script, and watch your child’s reading confidence soar.
There are 5 levels:
- Pre-reading –
- Level 1
- Level 2
- Level 3
- Level 4
Most preschoolers and kindergartners without any previous reading instruction begin with the pre-reading level, but there is a free placement test to make sure you buy the correct level so you can meet your child where they are.
All About Reading will help your child become fluent readers through activities and games, letter tile manipulation, and practice with fully decodable leveled readers.
I was first introduced to the Brave Writer program about 5 years ago when I had the pleasure of seeing Julie Bogart present a speech at the VA Homeschoolers conference. At the time my daughter did not like writing. Her brief time in public school had killed her joy of writing.
BraveWriter helped my daughter learn to love writing again.
The BraveWriter writing program is very low-stress. The goal is to improve writing ability gradually, while recognizing the writers unique voice and insights.
There are 5 levels of the BraveWriter program:
Jot It Down (5-8) – The child expresses the thoughts, but the parent does most of the physical writing.
Partnership Writing (9-10) – The parent and child work together to get ideas on the page.
Faltering Ownership (11-12) – The student grows in bursts. Like adolescence in general, students progress unevenly, alternating between great writing success and struggling to get words on paper.
Transition to Ownership (13-14) – The student takes on the role of sole author and the parent assumes the role as editor.
Great Conversations (15-18) – Students write academically.
I love the BraveWriter program because it works with developmental stages. Parents do not need to fight with their children about writing work, which helps protect their family environment.
BraveWriter can be taught at home by parents or through online classes.
What is your favorite language arts curriculum? Share it in the comments!