Homeschoolers understand how important it is for our children to learn to read, to read well, and to love reading. As our kids enter middle school and high school, however, understanding the importance of reading in general terms is no longer good enough. We need to delve into some of the specific ways in which reading and writing create well-rounded, life-long learners. We also need to understand the standards to which college-bound students will be held.
There are many English/Language Arts curricula available. You can order “Language Arts in a Box” for every grade level through 12, and order them from a variety of highly-respected publishers.
But what if the box is not the best fit for your homeschooler? What if it’s not the best fit for you?
Here are a few reasons to consider something OTHER than “Language Arts in a Box”:
- Inclusive Language Arts curriculum offerings can be very expensive. If you enjoy teaching Language Arts, it may be much more cost-effective for you to design a custom curriculum for your homeschooler.
- Inclusive Language Arts curricula are limited by the person and publisher who created them. The world of reading and writing is so rich, so diverse and so complex that any one perspective on it cannot possibly speak to every type of learner interacting with words.
- Inclusive Language Arts curricula can become boring. The format is likely to be repetitive even as the reading material changes. Using a combination of resources from various curriculum developers can keep you and your student interested in a way that “curriculum in a box” never can.
The fear that arises, of course, out of creating your own diverse curriculum from a variety of sources is this:
“What if I miss something important, and my kid ends up with holes in his Language Arts development?”
Because reading and writing are core academic subjects, this fear is valid, and I have to deal with this fear myself on a regular basis.
I love to teach reading and writing (particularly to high-schoolers), and for many years I have taught classes in learning co-ops or at a day-school for homeschoolers in my area. Vicki has many years of experience teaching reading and writing in the same venues, and Marilyn‘s essay-writing classes are in high-demand by homeschoolers around these parts. Allison teaches a research paper-writing approach that has worked for a wide variety of types of learners. Clearly, reading and writing are hot topics around 7 Sisters Innovative Homeschool Helps!
Homeschooling in community does much to alleviate these types of fears. By putting our heads together we are much more likely to plan well and avoid leaving “holes” in our children’s education. We don’t always have to reach the same conclusions (Marilyn and I had an intense discussion once about the correct requirements for a thesis statement in a comparison/contrast 5-paragraph essay), but the discussion that comes from talking with our colleagues (that’s what we are as homeschoolers, you know!) is invaluable.
The next few weeks of Tuesday posts will look at the standards that institutes of higher education use for evaluating Language Arts mastery in college-bound high-schoolers, and will apply them to homeschool moms who are trying to provide a rich, interesting and affordable Language Arts curriculum without the box.
Ready to join the conversation?
What “Language Arts in a Box” experiences were less-than satisfying for you?