Category Archives: language arts

What’s New For Next Year

I’ve been super busy planning for next year these last few weeks. We’re keeping a lot of our favorites from this year (such as Math-U-See, Explode the Code, A Reason for Handwriting, Growing with Grammar, Pathway Readers, Christian Liberty Press Nature Readers, and Five in a Row) but we’re also going to be trying out a few new things as well. Here’s what’s new for next year.

We’re adding art because the kids have shown a real interest in doing more art work. This is a new curriculum written by How Great Thou Art. There are around sixty Bible stories in it with discussion questions and an art lesson for each one. I love that it’s so much more than just art!

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In addition to the book, you get all of the pages for the art lessons that you can copy as needed to use with however many students you have.
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I’m starting Caroline on a math curriculum next year. I wanted something gentle, fun and effective and I came across this. It’s a Charlotte Mason style curriculum, so it’s written in story-form (which is extremely unique for a math curriculum). It’s the story of a set of twins who go visit their grandparent’s farm for the summer and all of their adventures.
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All the extras you need are included in the back of the book and need only to be laminated for durability.
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How cute is this?!
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We’ll also be adding a Worldview curriculum for the three of us to do together. This is a new series written by Apologia (well-known for their excellent science curriculum). There are four books in the entire series and we’ll be covering one per year. We’ll also be keeping a notebook together where we’ll jot down memory verses, key terms, and answers to discussion questions. I think the kids will really grow in their understanding of the Bible and the Christian faith. I’m super excited!
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And last, I’ve had a lot of people ask me what I am doing for literature next year. Elliot and I will be continuing our beloved Five in A Row. I am going to be using titles from both volume three and four with him because I think he will be ready to move on to a more challenging literature program in third grade (I’m looking at a Total Language Plus or Progeny Press). We’ll be doing a total of eighteen FIAR books next year! For Caroline, I’ve come up with something on my own. We’re doing a family theme throughout the whole year and we’ll be reading a variety of books written about different family relationships. We’ll cover mother, father, siblings, grandmothers, grandfathers, aunts, uncles, and cousins. I’ll also be using those books as a starting point for unit studies on a variety of topics like seasons, weather, money, etc.

Here are some of the books her and I will be reading together next year. She will also have eighteen total books for the year.

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Language Arts for Owl Moon

Today we learned that a hyperbole is a statement of exaggeration to convey a point. In our book, the author talks about staring at the owl for “one minute….three minutes…maybe even a hundred minutes.” Though we know that it definitely wasn’t that long, we understand that the staring went on for what seemed like a very long time. We were actually able to think back to a few examples of hyperbole from Three Names as well.

We came up with a few of our own examples of hyperbole.
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We also added “hyperbole” to our Choices a Writer can Make to Add Interest page.
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Language Arts for Three Names

Today for language arts we reviewed what a simile is and took note of the many examples in the book. We discussed how it helps the reader come up with a vivid mental image when the writer uses a simile to describe something.

Here are some examples we found in the book.
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Elliot came up with several of his own examples of similes.
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We added “simile” to our Choices Writers Can Make to Add Interest notebook page.
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Language Arts for The Story of Ferdinand

We had a great language arts day. We learned some new vocabulary, discussed the author’s use of including the reader (On two occasions, he directs a question to the reader.), and learned about interjections.

It’s so nice to have a big board handy when we want to brainstorm together.
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We added “interjections” and “including the reader” to our Choices Writers Can Make to Add Interest page.
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Language Arts for Make Way for Ducklings

We had a pretty simple language arts day, which I’m thankful for considering we’re cramming six days of school work into three days to make up for what Elliot will miss when he is on his east coast trip at the end of this week. We learned a few new vocabulary words, discussed the rhyming (the ducklings names), and completed our information page on the book.

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We also added “rhyming” to our Choices Writers Can Make to Add Interest page.
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Silly Sentences

Elliot received this fun sentence building game for his birthday from his Aunt Stacey. He loves making funny sentences and this week I was able to use it to supplement our language arts lesson where Elliot learned some of the basic parts of speech. He got some good practice identifying nouns, verbs, articles, and adjectives and is even starting to grasp prepositions as well.

Before we began, we separated out all the articles, nouns, adjectives, verbs, prepositions, and periods.

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And here are some of the silly sentences he came up with. He was cracking himself up.
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Language Arts for The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge

We had lots to cover for language arts for The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge. We had a few vocabulary words to learn and we reviewed compounds words and personification. We talked about some of the parts of speech and looked at the title of this book and determined what each word was and admired the way the author chose to balance them. We enjoyed coming up with other nouns and then listing off adjectives that could be used to describe them.

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We decided “personification” belonged on our list of Choices Writers Can Make to Add Interest, because it definitely made this story interesting and enjoyable.
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Language Arts for Mirette on the High Wire

In case you’re wondering, we spread each Five in a Row book across two weeks and focus on social studies and science on the first week and language arts and art on the second week. Today we did our language arts portion for Mirette on the High Wire. We talked about compound words (this book is FULL of good examples) and learned several new vocabulary words.

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I wanted to continue our regular discussion on these details about each book so we can compare all our books at the end. I think it will be neat to look back and compare which were the oldest and which were more recently written, which had authors who also illustrated the book, which were written in first person point of view and third person point of view, and so on. I’ve made one of these to use with each story.
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And we always love to make a memory game out of vocabulary words if there are enough of them. Some books just have 1-2 vocabulary words, while others, like this one, are loaded with them.
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Language Arts for Storm in the Night

We completed our FIAR language arts day today. We had a few vocabulary words to learn today and we discussed the examples of onomatopoeia in the story. Elliot is very familiar with it by now, being that many of our stories have had it. We also talked about the use of simile. The story has several good examples and then we also came up with a bunch of our own. Elliot was cracking himself up as he came up with things like, “Mommy is as big as a tuba.” (Hmm, ok. Not sure what to think of that, but I’ll take it as a compliment.) He also came up with, “Daddy is as big as a giant. Elliot is as sweet as a candy wrapper. Caroline is as cute as a doll.”

We had a little snack of mandarin oranges today because mandarin (as in the color) was one of our vocabulary words.

Onomatopoeia and Simile

Elements of a story……our last time for Kindergarten! By the way, this is not something that is in the manual for each story. It is occasionally suggested for discussion for some stories, but I decided from the beginning that we would take the opportunity to discuss it each time so that he would become really familiar with the terms. It has gotten to the point where, in the last few stories, he’ll tell me what they are after our first reading, before we even get to our language arts day.

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Language Arts for Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel

Today we covered language arts for Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel. We looked at the copyright date of the book (1939) and discussed how this has become a classic book and that children have been enjoying it for over 70 years now! Elliot thought that was really cool. We read about Onomatopoeia and talked about personification again. When we discussed the elements of the story, we talked about how, unlike any of our other books so far, this one has two distinct conflicts.

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