Our curriculum choices 2015 ~ Language Arts

Monday, January 5, 2015

Some of my most popular posts from 2014 were where I joined up with a group of bloggers & shared our curriculum choices for the year.  The Virtual Curriculum Fair is happening again & I hope to join each week to share our curriculum choices for 2015.  

We believe English studies to be the foundation of academic education, thus we concentrate heavily on this important subject throughout our children's schooling.  

This year brings with it a change to our homeschool.  Our eldest, Zai, has finished his primary schooling & is entering high school (Grade 7 here in Australia).  This means that he has a unique learning program quite different from his younger siblings (although I have attempted to combine where at all possible). 

Here is the curriculum I intend to use for the children this year:

Primary School Students: 
(Ellie: Grade 6; Eli & Jud: Grade 3)

Spelling Curriculum:  LEM Phonics:  I use this program quite differently to the recommendations, but I have been delighted with the results I've identified in our children's work.  Each  child completes a page daily in their workbook progressing through them at a considerable rate.  This means that while they began this particular curriculum later than normal, they are catching up very quickly. They also complete a spelling list of words they don't already know every 4 homeschool days.  Our schedule is:  Day 1: Pretest;  Day 2: Practice (they write their words out 3 times);  Day 3: Practice Test ( & write out any thing wrong 3 times); &  Day 4: Test. Anything they don't get correct on their test will be used in the next week's list. I've found this way they are really learning the words they don't already know without putting a lot of effort into familiar words.
 I also enter their spelling list into Spelling City & they complete various activities on there daily.

Grammar & Writing Curriculum: BJU English ( Writing & Grammar).  The children complete a lesson (generally 2 pages) daily.  I have found that I had to pick & choose which chapters I wanted the children to complete as it was impossible to complete the whole textbook in one year.  I make my choices while referencing the learning outcomes checklist I have.

Handwriting Curriculum: Handwriting Conventions NSW Foundation Handwriting Style.  This is a grade level handwriting curriculum which is relevant for Australian students.

Literature:  While there is some literature study included within the BJU curriculum, I expect my children to read a wide range of literature in their free time. This is never a problem for our family as every single one of us are bookworms.  All I have to do is make sure there is a large selection of quality literature available & the children can't help but pick it up!
I also get them to read aloud to me daily until grade 4.

High School Student: 
(Zai: Grade 7)

 It has taken considerable effort in ensuring that we achieve all the syllabus requirements when compiling Zai's learning program for this stage.  Our Board of Studies inspector was very positive about my proposed program and I hope we are able to accomplish the various elements sufficiently.

Literacy & Writing: BJU English ( Writing & Grammar) ~ this is a continuation of the program previously used in primary school.  I have been very happy with the quality of the teaching & intend to continue using it as long as we feel it suitable for each individual student's learning needs.

Vocabulary: BJU Vocabulary ~ this has been recommended by a very experienced homeschooling friend to compliment the Writing & Grammar.  It looks excellent & in my mind is a replacement for spelling.

Text Studies: In high school the student is required to complete various text studies utilising a variety of texts which cover a range of topics.  My proposed texts for Zai in 2015 are:

~ Fiction: Hitler's Daughter - this will include the online Skwirk study guide.
~Non- Fiction: Follow the Rabbit Proof Fence - There is an online study guide available for this book.
~Film: Rabbit Proof Fence ( for obvious reasons this compliments the above book) - comprehension & discussion ideas for the movie are available.
~Drama: Treasure Island - we will utilise the Skwirk generic drama unit to aid in his studies of this.
~Poetry: 100 Great poems by Victoria Parker

I still need to read through these texts to ensure they uphold our family's standards.  If not, a suitable replacement will be found.

Making English curriculum choices that are relevant & cater to the individual student's learning needs is important to ensure that the child will receive the best education possible.

What curriculum do you use for your English studies? 

Please visit the other bloggers contributing to the Virtual Curriculum Fair:

Building a Foundation of Words by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds
Language Arts for 2015 by Chareen @ Every Bed of Roses
Bible-Based Language Arts Resources by Tauna M @ Proverbial Homemaker
Loving Books and Words by Sarah@Delivering Grace
5 Language Arts Resources We Love by Becky @ Milo & Oats
Teaching Reading at Home: A Tale of 5 Readers by Kristen H. @ Sunrise to Sunset
A More Simplistic Approach to 7th Grade Language Arts by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool
Language Arts Reading for Delight-Directed Learning by Susan @ The Every Day of Education
How To: Spelling Dictation by Heather @ Only Passionate Curiosity
The World of Words in our Homeschool by Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory
Unschooling and Words, Words, Words by Nicole @ Schooling in the Sun
Learning With Literature and Language Arts Resources by Leah @ As We Walk Along the Road
Words and More Words! by Michele @ FamilyFaithandFridays
Language Arts in Our Homeschool (2014 – 2015) by Laura O @ Day by Day in Our World
A Renewed Focus on Reading Aloud by Debra @Footprints in the Butter
A Sentence a Day Teaches Grammar the Fun Way by Amy A @ One Blessed Mamma
Tackling Language Arts by Jacquelin @ A Stable Beginning
The Great Grammar Discovery by Laura @ Four Little Penguins
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