I am really excited to be a part of the Virtual Curriculum Fair that is hosted by Homeschooling Hearts and Minds. I am always looking for new ideas for what may work with with my kids. This weeks theme is Playing With Words: Language Arts. This includes many things such as phonics, reading, writing, grammar, spelling, literature and etc. I will be sharing what is working for my kids. This is coming at the right time for me as I am on the hunt for first grade language arts for my daughter for later this year.
My son is 12 and has Autism. He also has a cognitive delay. It took me a while to learn his learning style. Now that I got it down I find that our language and spelling program works the best for him. I have to work short chunks of time for both spelling and grammar as if I take what would be a full class period in school he will not retain it. I use JacKris Publishing. In February I plan to add Winning with Writing to our Language Curriculum.
I use Soaring with Spelling and Vocabulary Level 1 – I really like the set up of this series. For each week there is 5 days worth of lessons. For example, Lesson 1 Day 1 is where you review your word list. You have a word list and also definitions. On the first day you also take your pretest. Day 2 – Day 4 is just a sheet a day of review with the words. Day 5 is your spelling test. We do a page a day so we spread it out all week.
For about 10 – 20 minutes a day I have my son practice his spelling words on Spelling City. We have a premium membership that we paid for a year. You can also use it for free but you don’t get all of the games. I like that my son can practice his definitions, and use the word in sentences. He can also play different games as well to practice his spelling words.
For Language I use Growing With Grammar Level 1. Each day I have my son do one lesson. It is two pages long. You review each topic for a period of time. It is a little repetitive but it works well with my son. I find that he retains it well. There are tests as you get through each topic. The tests are seperate from the book but they tell you after you reach a certain page when to do the tests. You have to look at the tests to find out what page. It’s a fairy inexpensive curriculum.
The grammar book contains: Sentences, Nouns/Pronouns, Verbs, and Adjectives/Word Review.
I also have made worksheets for review that I use with him that can be found on Currclick in my Language Helper Series.
To fill in the time and also for review on the things we have done. I use IXL.com. I go through the different grades and find the topics we are working on. Then he goes online and spends time reviewing. It might ask him things such as which is the subject, is it a complete sentence, find the nouns in the sentence. It does at times give him multiple choice. Some days he struggles and gets frustrated and we have to stop as when you make a mistake you have more to do. When your right on with the answers you can move through it faster. We can stop and pick up where we left off.
For Reading we are currently reading different Chapter Books together. We have used lapbooks with a couple of them. We stop and talk about the chapter and what has happened in the story, to make sure I know he is comprehending. I sometimes ask him to draw his favorite scene in the story. Right now we are reading I Even Funnier by James Patterson.
My daughter is in Kindergarten this year. I started her early and we will start working with first grade probably shortly after tax time. I kind of combine Language/Reading/Spelling with her. I have been using Scholastic Sight Word Readers Teaching Guide with her. I tear out a book and staple it. It has two sight words. For example our first book was Farm Friends. The sight words in focus were I and See. You only get two work sheets that go with the story. So I have been making a set of worksheets to go along with each book and you can find those on my blog here under the category Free Printables. I also use these words as her spelling words.
I will be moving on to vowels here shortly starting with Short A word famalies. I will be making worksheets to use with her. I will be putting them on Currclick.
I also have been printing different sight word worksheets from education.com. I like the workbook selection it has on the website. We also use some of the writing workbooks as well. You have to have a subscription to use the workbooks. I have used letter mazes for her to identify her letters and for a fun review.
I also just purchased Scholastic Study Smart Ages 5 -6 Level K2 English Reading Skills Builder. We have not used that yet. but it works with word families.
I sometimes find different books and we do some lapbooks as well for literature. I am in the process of making a couple unit studies for some books. One of the new unit studies will be Harrold and the Purple Crayon. I also find lapbooks from Homeschool Share as well.
I also use Spectrum Reading for Kindergarten. It touches on phonics, letters, and letter sounds.
I will be on the look out for Gr 1 Reading/Language/Spelling.
I would love it if you could leave me a comment on what you have used and what works for your kids. I am always looking out for new things.