So far this year I have been trying to be a Charlotte Mason Purist in teaching language Arts, but some things are irking me.  I am not seeing the progress I would like. It could be me, maybe I am doing something wrong.  But, even if it is me, I just decided that teaching Language Arts makes sense to me in a certain way.  After reading and looking at various curriculum and trying various methods, I believe I have finally formated what will work for our family in the early years.  I could try to fit someone else’s methods for the sake of doing their method, or I could do what works for my children and me as a teacher; I would rather do the later.

So here is how I systematically will teach language arts to my children.  My goal is to have my children reading independently and comprehend what they are reading by around 3rd grade.

  • Baby Age 4
  • Age 4-5
    • Get Ready, Set, and Go for the Code $18 for the bundle
      • There are about 240 pgs total, so you could do two pages a day 4X a week
      • this will solidify letter recognition and the most common letter sounds
      • I do not worry about handwriting at this age, I let the kids try in a crayon and often have them dictate the letter and write it in pencil and let them trace it in a crayon.  Writing can be VERY frustrating for kids this young
    • Continue with the Sand tray
    • American Language Readers $61.50 for a set of 6 * If ready, if not don’t push it
      • They would probably only be ready for A which is CVC words and common sight words.
      • I find these a much better alternative to the Bob Books.  The Bob books are a hassle to keep up with and their illustrations are not so great.
    • Age 5
      • The Reading Lesson $19.50
        • Start this book, doing apx. 2 pages a day or Apx 10 minutes/ May take about 1.5 years
      • Start Handwriting  (10 Minutes a day at most)
        • composition sketch book $7.5  Purchase two of these
        • Find a handwriting style you like.  We use Penny Gardner’s Beautiful Handwriting for Children.
        • Write a letter a day in the book, have the child watch you write it and have them first trace it, then ask them to write 6 of their best letters and circle the one they like the best.
        • There is a place for an illustration in the sketch book, they could illustrate something that starts with the letter
        • Once they can write all their letters you can write a Bible verse for them to copy in their best handwriting.  You can also use this as a way to point out punctuation and when capital letters are used
      • Continue with the American Language Readers
        • This is more for free time for the child who wants to read on their own ( Lydia does this, Abel does not *smile)
    • Age 6
      • Review Phonograms about 10 a day, especially combination sounds for ex. ae, ch, kn Phonics Flash Cards $22.
        • This could be done informally over lunch, young children may enjoy this as well.  It will only take a few minutes
      • Reading Literature the PrimerReading Literature the First Reader $9 a piece/ These contain real folk and fairy tales such as Chicken Little and The Three Little Pigs, they also contain poetry such as Mother Goose Rhymes.
        • Read 2-4 pgs a day or whatever will take the child 10-15 minutes to read
          • before reading scan for five words that might be of trouble to your child
          • Use phonograms to help your child write out the words by sound/ for example: fight your child should know f would be first, then you would say that igh make the I sound, have them underline this to know it is one sound.  They should then know it ends in t (this should take 10 minutes, if you haven’t finished all five in ten minutes, just stop)
            • You do not want your child to guess and see the word spelled incorrectly, this will be confusing.
        • *The Child must narrate, this shows that they comprehend what they are reading and sets them up for independent learning
        • Composition Sketch Book 2– Purchase 2 ( I like these books because they are bound well and the paper is much heavier than normal notebook paper, it ensures you don’t have loose pages)
          • After reading you can copy a sentence from their reading or something they are memorizing such as scripture or a poem, use your handwriting model
          • Use this time to introduce punctuation
          • Also introduce cursive.  Write one letter a day in cursive and have them copy it 6 times and circle their best.
          • The copywork and cursive should only take 10 minutes
        • Memoria Press First Grade Literature Package $89
          • The child could use this if they quickly finish the primer and first reader
          • I am not sure how I feel about the questions and worksheets.  I believe in a single reading and narration

Note:  I do not believe in creative writing at this age.  A child needs to see things written correctly and beautifully.  They also do not know enough to write something profoundly creative.  Have them copy correct spelling and punctuation.  Have them narrate what they read orally, this sets up for written composition later and helps with sequencing.

2nd grade to be continued…..