Tuesday, August 13, 2019

A Quest for a Great Homeschool Year: Language Arts Overview for 2019-2020

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We are homeschooling three different children with varied needs in regards to Languages Arts. Our youngest is learning how to read and entering preschool. Our middle child has been reading for a while and will be continuing to master the art of reading and now writing. And our teen will be examining the written words of J.R.R. Tolkien and Shakespeare's Hamlet.


Learning Dynamics

Our four-year-old daughter has been wanting to learn how to read like her big brothers for a while now. Through the use of several programs, our daughter seems to finally have cracked the code and is reading. She loves the Learning Dynamics Reading Program because it came with over 50 books that she has been able to start reading after only a few lessons.

The student manual has one page associated with each lesson which she likes completing and she thoroughly enjoys listening to the different songs on the CD that came with the set. We have been enjoying working on it during our homeschooling hours. (Read more in my review.)

Coloring workbook

books from Learning Dynamics

First Start Reading

Depending upon how eager our daughter is to start learning how to write, we may or may not be using First Start Reading from Memoria Press with her this homeschool year. Each book (Books A-E) focuses upon phonics, reading, and printing. She is quite eager to start reading but not as eager to learn how to write, which is perfectly fine as she is still young. So, we will take it slow depending upon her desire to read and write. (You can read more about the excellent First Start Reading Program in my review.)

First Grade

Simply Classical Writing

We started using Simply Classical Writing Book One Step-by-Step Sentences (Bible Story Edition) in May and took a break for a while. We will be picking up with Book One again and reading more about David, Daniel, and then stories of Jesus from the Gospel. Each lesson focuses upon practicing good sentence writing, working on punctuation, and the skills necessary to write a complete sentence. I also like that our daughter can join in with listening to the readings from the Bible as we start each lesson. (Please check out my review for more information.)

StoryTime Treasures and More StoryTime Treasures

The two Student Study Guides will be used over the course of one year to read 12 classic children's books and dig deeper into literature. We started using the materials from Memoria Press during the summer to review. I love the way the lessons and resources are set up. We can go at a slower pace or move more swiftly through the lessons depending upon whether or not our six-year-old son understands the topic being taught. We look forward to reading the following books:

If you want to learn more about StoryTime Treasures, please read my review.

High School

We will be mixing a number of resources for our teen's junior year of high school, including courses from SchoolhouseTeachers.com, material from Hewitt Homeschooling Resources, and vocabulary via our Vocabulary Virtuoso Book 1. For at least one of the courses, we will be reading all of the required books together as a family, so we can discuss them.


The first course that we decided upon was Christian Values in J.R.R. Tolkien by Dr. Steven Hake from SchoolhouseTeachers.com. It is an advanced literature course that will study six of the works of J.R.R. Tolkien and will also include the reading of at least one biography of Tolkien. Over the course of 18 weeks, our son will answer discussion questions, write journal entries to reflect upon the readings, and compose two short papers and one longer research paper.

The books or stories to be read include:

We may or may not extend this course of study beyond the 18 weeks by incorporating other language arts activities during our week or in between the readings of the different books. We wish to have our son to continue building his vocabulary with Vocabulary Virtuoso Book 1 from The Critical Thinking Co., as well as read another play written by William Shakespeare (Hamlet).


I am quite excited about using Lightning Lit & Comp Shakespeare Tragedies & Sonnets again from Hewitt Homeschooling Resources to read Hamlet with our son. The course on the Tragedies of Shakespeare is written to be taught over one semester but we only completed the work on Julius Caesar & the sonnets in the first Unit last homeschooling year. I love that we can be flexible and use the course as it fits our needs so we can learn a different Shakespeare play each year.

There is a plot summary of Hamlet, comprehension questions, a literary lesson on duality, an examination of characters, and a look at the language within Hamlet. To conclude the lesson there are 11 writing exercises perfect for practicing paper writing skills (which the beginning of the book goes over for students).

Not Back to School Blog Hop 

This week I am joining up with the Homeschool Review Crew for the Annual "Not Back to School" Blog Hop...5 Days of Homeschool.... Please visit the other members to see what they are sharing this week.

There are lots of great posts in the "Not Back to School" Blog Hop!

Monique D. @ Early Learning Mom - Homeschooling With Autism
Yvie @ Homeschool On the Range - 5 Days of Upper Grades Homeschooling
Abby @ Making Room 4 One More - Time Management for Homeschool Moms
Amanda @ Hopkins Homeschool - 5 Days of Homeschool Questions
Amy @ the WRITE Balance - Year-Round Schooling
Annette @ A Net in Time - Homeschooling.
Betty @ Lets Get Real - Homeschooling High School
Cassandra @ My Blessed Mess - Eclectic Homeschooling


  1. Sounds like a great plan. May you have great joy in your year.

  2. You have some great resources there! Have a great year!

  3. You have great resources. I'm always amazed at how well homeschool moms track and provide the necessary materials. Or daughter is a junior in public school AP Language Arts. I love yoyr idea if reading your books together as a family.

    1. Thank you! Good luck to your daughter - hoping she has a great year with her class.