A Sample of Delights: SchoolhouseTeachers.com Language Arts
Well, another school year is up and running. It’s both familiar and strange to begin high school with my third child. I’ve done this twice before, but every year, new resources become available and each child is a bit different. This year, my daughter chose to participate with her friends in a literature class taught by one of their moms. Even though the girls will read quality literature, my experience tells me that the writing instruction will be somewhat lacking. So, I thought I’d see what my SchoolhouseTeachers.com membership offered.
A Sample of High School Offerings
Let me just say that SchoolhouseTeachers.com offers many language arts classes. The number of possibilities overwhelmed me a bit. So, I stuck to my usual requirements: relevant, fun, and interest-based. That helped me narrow down my choices. Because my daughter also has an interest in entrepreneurship (and it’s one of her high school courses), I looked for courses that would do double duty. I found two: Words and What to Do with Them and Writing: Advertising Copy. Words and What to Do with Them isn’t really an instructional course, though. It’s more of an application type course. It helps teens understand how and where to share their writing and why they should do so. I love courses like these because writing has such tremendous power. Books and pamphlets start revolutions, wars, and social movements. Teens need to understand this.
To help with the instructional part, I found Into the Elements, which teaches the important components of all writing and storytelling, unlike the Writing: Advertising Copy course, which only teaches copywriting. But, if my daughter wants to run a business, she will need this writing skill. No matter what, all these courses make great supplements to the literature class I mentioned.
A Sample of Middle School Offerings
Once I had my daughter all set, I turned to the middle school offerings for my son. Because he’s a late reader, I couldn’t start grammar and basic writing skills before now. So, I started with these skills. I found several possibilities for him. The Daily Grammar lessons looked very manageable and similar to Charlotte Mason methods. We don’t do worksheets or busywork, so these short lessons might appeal to him.
I also took a look at Schoolhouse Spelling. I usually like to practice spelling skills within the context of the books and other material the kids read. However, since he’s older, he may need some extra help. I’ll keep these lessons handy in case I need to use them with him.
Moving on to writing lessons, I found two possibilities, Creative Storytelling and Sparking the Noggin’: Creative Writing with Pictures. Both of these courses use relevant, fun, interest-based writing prompts to get the creative juices flowing. They include some instruction, but nothing too challenging or technical. After all, both of these courses are designed for children as young as age 8.
Other interesting possibilities
As I hunted around for courses that might suit my kids for this year, I happened upon some interesting language arts offerings for younger kids. Ditch the Desk sounded like a fun unit study that incorporated some writing practice into nature study. Another one that I may actually end up using is Daily Puzzlers, which are brain teasers that exercise thinking skills. They start with 3rd grade and go through high school. I like to use these when the kids complain they’re bored. Printing these out will save me from purchasing a puzzle book for those long car rides!
It’s nice that I can find everything in one place for both of my last two students. Check out SchoolhouseTeachers.com for yourself to find some creative ideas for all of your children.
Julie Polanco is a 16+ years veteran homeschooling mom of four challenging, artsy kids. She is the author of two books for moms–God Schooling: How God Intended Children to Learn and 100 Ways to Motivate Kids–and the high school botany instructor for www.SchoolhouseTeachers.com. She teaches live middle school science workshops for her local homeschool co-op and is actively involved in her church’s women’s ministry. You can find her at www.julienaturally.com where she offers natural learning & living solutions for challenging kids and their families.