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Thursday, March 3, 2016

Virtual Curriculum Fair 2016: Playing with Words–Language Arts and Foreign Language

language arts curriculum fair

I have 4 kids, but only 2 are ‘school age’.  My oldest 2 are ages 6 and 9 (or 1st and 4th grade).  I wanted to take this opportunity to share what we use for Language Arts and Foreign Language studies in our homeschool.


4th Grade

It was quite the struggle to find a program that worked well for my oldest son, who HATES to write.  We were very lucky to review a few products that really clicked with him, and we are still using them!

Institute for Excellence in Writing, is my number one recommended curriculum for resistant writers! 

You can read our review of their Writing, Grammar and Spelling programs, all of which we love and continue to use!

Institute for Excellence in Writing - Fix It!  Grammar
IEW - Deluxe Combo Level A
IEW - Phonetic Zoo Level A


I can’t say that these programs have gotten him to LOVE writing (I wish I could), but they have certainly made it a lot less painful (for both of us!).  The spelling program still frustrates him sometimes (he hates to get them wrong), but he is retaining the words, which is GREAT, because previous spelling programs were not sticking.  The Grammar he never complains about, he really enjoys the story that he is writing as he goes along each day (and I often catch him reading ahead!). 

1st Grade

For my first grader, we actually do not spend a lot of time on Language Arts.  He uses ABC Mouse and that touches base on it. 

Some other fun programs that both my kids enjoy for Language Arts are

Grammaropolis and IXL.com


Literature generally goes along with our science or history studies.  I also allow a lot of free choice reading.  Currently my oldest is participating in The Battle of the Books program, so he has been reading a lot of books for that.  Z is still learning to read.  He uses Reading Eggs and Reading Kingdom (a program we reviewed).  He also really enjoys these Star Wars Phonics Set.



We have reviewed A LOT of Language Arts programs, it’s impossible to use them all, and though something might not have been the perfect fit for us, these are still high quality programs.  You can find them under REVIEWS

Foreign Language

4th Grade

My oldest son takes Mandarin Chinese using Rosetta Stone.


We have reviewed a few other Chinese programs, but Rosetta seems to work best for us thus far.  There are not a lot of choices when it comes to Mandarin Chinese language learning.

I started making worksheets to go along with the programs, but got so far behind!  You can see what I have made and get them free:

Lesson 1

Lesson 2

We have not started language learning for my 1st grader yet.  We started Rosetta with C when he was 3rd grade, and I think we will do the same with Z.


Our plans for next year

I plan to continue with IEW for 5th grade for C.  We will use Ancient History Based Writing Lessons to go with our history studies, but continue with Phonetic Zoo and Fix It Grammar.  We will also continue with Rosetta Stone.

For 2nd grade, I’m considering The Primary Arts of Language from IEW for both Writing and Reading, but I didn’t push writing a lot with C until 3rd grade, so I’m thinking I’ll take the same approach with Z, but follow his lead, of course.  We may also start All About Spelling with him (which is also part of the Reading program from IEW). 


I’ll also have a Kindergartener next year.  He will be using ABC Mouse as well (he does now for PreK) and IF I get IEW Primary Arts of Language, I may try it out on him too (I think he will like the farm theme, he LOVES animals).  I take a very lax approach to Kindergarten though, so I don’t have a lot of BIG plans.  (This is a HUGE difference from when my oldest started Kindergarten!).  We take much more of an unschooling approach in the younger years.

Linking up at the Virtual Curriculum Fair 2016

This year the Virtual Curriculum Fair is hosted by Laura @ Day by Day in Our World, Chareen @ Every Bed of Roses and Kristen @ Sunrise to Sunset.

Language Arts: Words Make the World Go Round by  Laura @ Day by Day in Our World
The Language Arts in Our Homeschool and Everything Relating to it   by Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory
Teaching Elementary Latin by Yvie @ Gypsy Road
How to Learn ASL & Spanish in 20 Minutes a Day by Rochelle @ RochelleBarlow Classical Word Study by Lisa @ GoldenGrasses
Language Arts Means and Methods by Laura @ Four Little Penguins
Sprechen Sie.... by Jennifer King @ A Peace of Mind
The Art of Eloquence  by Jennifer King @ A Peace of Mind
Love Languages by Jennifer King @ A Peace of Mind
3 Reasons You Don't Have To Be Afraid To Grade That Essay - And It's Free @ LJSkool
High School Language Arts by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break
Words, Words, and More Words by Chareen @ Every Bed of Roses
Finishing Strong - Starting Gently by Kristen @ Sunrise to Sunset

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