Something I have learned along the way on this homeschooling journey of mine is that you can’t force language arts. Well, you can’t force learning period. Unless the person on the receiving end is truly interested in the topic at hand, learning goes in one ear and out the other. Okay, yay you passed the test but did you retain anything? Why I know my children are learning without the need of being tested. When a conversation lasts for hours, and I mean hours I know they understand. I know we are able to move on.
I have written posts before of my journey to letting go of what I considered “appropriate” reading material. It has also been no secret of Sky’s and my troubles in this department. It wasn’t until she discovered her own interests that our journey of learning truly began. It wasn’t until I opened my mind and journeyed into her world that I could understand where she was coming from. As I said before I had a lot to learn.
It wasn’t that she didn’t enjoy reading, she just didn’t enjoy what I thought was good reading. Once my mind opened I could never view reading the same again. She still doesn’t completely enjoy everything we read but she has learned to find something to make it worth while. So when we do come across a story that obtains her curiosity it is all the more sweeter, and we actually came across a few this year.
Reading: While looking back over my posts for the year I noticed January began with us listening to the dramatic reading of the Phantom of the Opera, I also noticed winter and summer seems to be the best time for us to curl up into a story.
It was actually Little Sis’s interest in the Phantom musical that had us listening to the story to begin with. Both girls loved it and have actually requested it again. The same can be said for the Ramona series. We have already read them more than once and I see them again in our near future, Coraline too. Coraline is actually Sky’s most favorite story.
So these are the best read alouds of 2014 in the girls’ opinion. Other stories I read out loud are Socks, Old Possum’s Book Of Practical Cats, Peter Cottontail, The Pippi Longstocking series (another favorite of Little Sis), and The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.
Read alouds from LibriVox and Storynory: Mrs. Peter Rabbit (The Old Mother West Wind series is another family favorite and this is Little Sis’s favorite. Miss Sky loves Reddy Fox.), The Snow Queen, The Arabian Nights, Gilgamesh (YouTube), The Courtship of Miles Standish, An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving, Old Testament Stories, A Christmas Carol, and A Christmas Nutcracker.
Sky’s read alouds: The Junie B. Jones series, American Girl Rebecca Series, and the Jessie Tree.
Little Sis’s read alouds: The Violet Mackerel books 1-4 (another family favorite), Jenny the Cat series (yep, you guessed it), the Jewel Kingdom books 1-4, Owl At Home, Grasshopper on the Road, The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes, and Magic Tree House books 1, 3, 7, 27, 28, 34, and 44.
Writing: For handwriting, as well as bringing poetry into our homeschool, I write a poem on the chalkboard that the girls copy in cursive.
The New Colossus
Both girls keep a journal
and love writing stories.
Miss Sky, Sky actually translated many of her stories into Latin.
In fact, both girls wrote several stories while on break.
Spelling, Vocabulary, and Grammar: This year since many of the stories they write are private I started story starters or writing prompts to see where they are with their spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Their spelling is good but I do notice they need to work on their grammar. So, this year I do plan on working with them more in that area. They also did word searches.
Little Sis invented a descriptive word game, I plan to use it more when studying the parts of speech. She also had a word of the week,
and she learned about antonyms and synonyms. She likes her Highlights magazine subscription.
Sky learned about prefixes, suffixes, and started a root word notebook. She also had a word of the week, learned about analogies, idioms, onomatopoeic words, newspaper jargon, oxymoron, coined words, clipped words, and she enjoys OtakuUSA magazine.
Though I was saving Nostalgia Critic for The Arts post, I can not tell you how much we have learned about writing from his show. Thanks to him Sky understands exposition and many other elements in script writing. She understands the 3 Acts layout, fourth wall jokes and is able to point them out during a movie. We absolutely love him around these parts but I must warn you, if profanity is not your thing I’d give him a pass.