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Language Arts Homeschool Resources   Language Arts Department Resources

Language Arts articles | out and about articles
educational links | unit studies articles | unit studies
  Articles, unit studies, reviews, and resources to help you homeschool.  
  Language Arts Departmental Articles  
  • A Love of Dictionaries
    by Lisette BC Abbott
    When I was a girl growing up, I frequently curled up with a good book. Not so out of the ordinary, except that the good book with which I curled up was the dictionary. I loved reading the dictionary, picking apart new words, rolling them off my tongue, and later injecting them, frequently nonsensical, into my everyday speech. Both my parents encouraged this, and even began to ask me if I learned any new words of which I was particularly fond.
  • A Love of Writing
    by Tamara Eaton
    I've heard from several homeschooling parents recently whose children hated writing. Most of them were using workbooks and yet finding that it wasn't working as well as it should. It's interesting to note that years ago, workbooks were not the method used to produce good writers! Only when public schooling began and teachers had to deal with large groups was it deemed necessary to convert to workbooks for writing and grammar.
  • A Passion for Poetry
    by Beverly S. Krueger
    Poetry, like opera and ballet, seem to occupy another world for many people. A world that they don't much go in for. Perhaps exposure at an early age will give kids a taste for this "other" world or at least keep it from seeming foreign to them as adults. My exposure early on was in reading great poetry that was accessible to my level of thinking. I understood what "Barbara Frietchie" was all about. I didn't encounter it in an "educational" setting. I didn't have to analyze its meter or rhyme structure. I read it and appreciated it. Then I read another poem because the first was an enjoyable experience.
  • Activities -- Helping Your Child Become a Reader
    by Andrea DeBruin-Parecki, Kathryn Perkinson and Lance Ferderer, with updates for the current edition completed by Fran Lehr and Jean Osborn.
    What follows are ideas for language-building activities that you can do with your child to help her build the skills she needs to become a reader. Most public libraries offer free use of books, magazines, videos, computers, and other services. Other things that you might need for these activities are not expensive.
  • Becoming a Reader -- Helping Your Child Become a Reader
    by Andrea DeBruin-Parecki, Kathryn Perkinson and Lance Ferderer, with updates for the current edition completed by Fran Lehr and Jean Osborn.
    You could say that your baby starts on the road to becoming a reader on the day she is born and first hears the sounds of your voice. Every time you speak to her, sing to her, and respond to the sounds that she makes, you strengthen your child's understanding of language. With you to guide her, she is well on her way to becoming a reader.
  • Beyond Book Reports
    by Jean Domanski
    If someone handed you a book and told you that you would have to write a report on it afterwards, would you enjoy reading it as much as if you had read it for recreational purposes only? We want to know that our children have understood what they have read. But isn’t there anything less dry than the typical book report?
  • Bringing Narnia Home
    by Beverly S. Krueger
    Longtime fans of the Chronicles of Narnia are expectantly waiting for the opening of the new The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe movie. Those who were raised on the BBC version of the book can’t wait to see how modern film technology will improve on bringing to life the mythical and not-so-mythical creatures found in the book. Viewers will need to rely on their own imaginations less since special effects now make the fantastic real to us. The heart of the story, Lucy’s wonder at the glorious nature of Narnia, even in never-ending winter, and the fall and redemption of Edmund are what has kept readers returning to Narnia and will be the reason viewers will return to movie theaters to see the film again and again.
  • Building Character Through Literature
    by Lorraine Curry
    How to use good literature to reinforce our character building in our children.
  • Contractions and the Big Train Accident
    by Greda Vaso
    It's a busy day on the Reading & Writing Railroad. Somehow the two little trains "do" and "not" are switched onto the same railroad track and are heading for a collision.
  • Determining the Readability of a Book
    by Greda Vaso
    Ever wondered how the reading level of a book is determined or wanted to figure it out yourself? There are a number of methods available for determining just that for any written passage. We’ll look at several methods: the Gunning Fog Index, the Flesch Formula and the Powers Sumner Kearl Formula.
  • Discerning as You Read
    by Beverly S. Krueger
    Early on in their academic careers we teach our children the mechanics of reading and comprehension skills. As they get older, we need to arm our children with another tool of reading, discernment. Some call this critical reading, reading that focuses on determining the bias of the author and whether the piece is based on fact or opinion.
  • Encouraging Reluctant Readers
    by Lisette BC Abbott
    Reluctant readers are children who can read, sometimes below "grade" level, but who nonetheless choose not to read. In this day of "the cult of celebrity," competing television shows, movies, and video games wildly proliferate. As a result, many children are not recognizing the joys of reading and instead see only what they perceive as the boredom of reading. Perhaps you've heard a variation of "I can just watch the movie instead of reading the book"? And, if you love reading, a statement like that can make you cringe.
  • Fact, Not Fiction: Improving Comprehension of Expository Text
    by Jean Domanski
    Have you ever noticed that reading comprehension questions on standardized tests are mostly non-fiction? Makers of challenging tests from the Stanford 9 to the SAT’s favor these fact-based passages over more interesting fiction. Expository text vexes those with wandering minds and plagues those without strong awareness of its text features. Yet research shows that many boys actually enjoy reading nonfiction over fiction, but are less exposed to it than they’d like, because of the preferences of a mostly female population of teachers and homeschoolers.
  • Fairy Tales with a Twist
    by Greda Vaso
    It can be great fun to rewrite a well known fairy tale or children's story changing the details of the story or writing it from a different point of view. Introduce your children to rewriting well known tales by reading a standard version of the Three Little Pigs first and then reading one or more of the following three little pigs stories with a twist.
  • Father and Son
    by Gunnar Gunnarsson
    He's a chip off the old block. How does a son become just like his father--for good or bad? This short story shows the relationship between father and son, and how one father raised his son to emulate him in all things.
  • File It Under G for Great Reader
    by Jean Domanski
    It is often said that you do what you know. So, I'm sure it doesn't surprise you when you hear yourself tell your child to "sound it out." After all, that's what we all heard as early readers, as well. But what does that really mean, "sound it out?" How does one actually sound out a word, and how come some children perform this action so naturally, while others struggle?
  • Free Handwriting Font
    by EHO Staff
    An italic font to help teach your children handwriting.
  • Frontload ‘Em!
    by Jean Domanski
    The reading of books on topics we know much about goes much more smoothly than the reading of a book on an unfamiliar subject. This concept, of course, applies to both children and adults. However, the uncomfortable feeling of lack of background knowledge on subjects occurs more often in children, who have less world experience. But if we don't let them read books on unfamiliar topics or visit places of new interest, then how will they learn about these areas?
  • Getting the Most from Reading Aloud to Your Child
    by Tammy Marshall Cardwell
    Convinced that daily read aloud time would be a great benefit to your children but unsure how to begin? Tammy Cardwell shares the "secrets" of how to get the most from your read aloud time.
  • Getting to the Roots
    by Beth Waltman
    Beth Waltman shares how she made word study fun for her children.
  • Gone Fishing (Musings on Dr. Seuss and the Process of Learning to Read)
    by Jean Hall
    Jean Hall shares about the ins and outs and ups and downs of helping a child learn to read with a big scoop of Dr. Seuss thrown into to add in the requisite giggles.
  • Good Stories for Great Holidays
    by Frances Jenkins Olcott
    Arranged for Story-telling and Reading Aloud and for the Children's Own Reading
  • Handwriting Questions and Discussions from the EclecticHS Email List
    by EHO Staff and Readers
    In preparing the update for our handwriting focus, EHO turned to the members of the EclecticHS email list. Past questions and discussion about handwriting were gleaned from the list, as well as a call to members to pass on their insights about homeschool handwriting.
  • Handwriting Resources
    by EHO Staff
    Information on the different styles of handwriting, handwriting helps, worksheeets and worksheet software, handwriting fonts, and resources for left-handed writers.
  • Handwriting, What to Do? What to Do?
    by Beverly S. Krueger
    After sixteen years of homeschooling five children, I’m still on the fence about how to handle handwriting.
  • Having a Dr. Seuss Birthday Party
    by Laura Carter
    Celebrate Dr. Seuss' birthday during March or his unbirthday any time of the year. It's a terrific way to add fun to your beginning reader's homeschooling.
  • Helping Your Child Use the Library
    by Tim Burr and Christina Dunn
    Helping your children to enjoy reading is one of the most important things you can do as a parent and well worth the investment of your time and energy.The best help of all, though, is at your neighborhood library.
  • High School Language Arts: Three Solutions
    by Beverly S. Krueger
    Preparing students for college means preparing them to think critically and write well. College courses require a lot of reading and a lot of writing whether that’s a three-page paper or an essay examination. The standard college admissions requirement is four credits in language arts. By that, they mean four years of work. There are a number of excellent curricula to help you accomplish this. I’ll look at three Christian curriculum solutions for average students, advanced students, and students who want a more flexible curriculum.
  • Homeschool Debating
    by EHO Staff
    Whether you want to form your own homeschool debate club or are looking for resources to help your child prepare for a debate, the following list of resources should provide you all you need. We've divided the resources into the following sections: General Debate Resources, Homeschool Debate Clubs, and Instructional Resources.
  • Interview: Amelia Harper, Author of Literary Lessons from The Lord of the Rings
    by Robin McDonald
    Amelia Harper of Home Scholar Books tells EHO’s Robin McDonald how her love for The Lord of the Rings led her to write a one year literature study for secondary homeschooled students that’s both educationally packed and a guaranteed hit with teenage Lord of the Rings fans.
  • Introduction to Poetry
    by Beverly S. Krueger
    Poetry doesn’t have to be a stuffy, academic thing. Introducing your children to suitable poetry from a listener or readers perspective will build an interest in poetry long before you start analyzing rhyme structure and imagery. But where to begin?
  • Keeping Reluctant Readers Reading - Max Elliot Anderson
    by Jean Hall
    Once there was a boy who didn't like reading very much. He liked stories -- his life was like a story, as a matter of fact, a boy's dream of travel and adventure. He just didn't like to read stories.

    When he grew up, Max Elliot Anderson remembered how it felt to hate reading. He took a look at the books available to boys nowadays, and he began to write his own: the sort of book that draws you in, hangs on to you, and keeps you turning the pages. Even if you're a boy who hates to read. Or maybe I should say, especially if you're a boy who hates reading.
  • Learn Through Play: Make Your Own Games to Improve Reading Skills
    by Jean Domanski
    Games are great. They teach cooperation, strategy, and sportsmanship. They can also help your student improve his or her reading skills. Research shows that when a human is in a low-stress state, information can travel to the brain more quickly. When we have fun, we learn concepts, including those related to reading, more efficiently.
  • Learning to Read
    by Beverly S. Krueger
    One method for teaching your children to read.
  • Listen to Someone Else for a Change!
    by Jean Domanski
    How Audio Books Can Improve Fluency and Comprehension
    I think that some people view audio books as material for the blind and the illiterate. But don’t you remember the listening center in your childhood classroom? Those tapes we inserted into the old Califone are, essentially, audio books. They had their places in classrooms of the 20th Century, and they need a position in your home of the 21st Century!
  • Lord of the Rings Resources
    by EHO Staff
    The Fellowship of the Ring opens in movie theaters December 19. Our family has been waiting anxiously for this movie. Several years ago we read The Hobbit as our family read aloud book, followed by the subsequent Lord of the Rings trilogy. We've put together a number of resources that should add to your viewing of the movie and reading of the books including articles discussing the use of magic in The Lord of the Rings.
  • Noun Round Up
    by Greda Vaso
    Noun Round Up is a game that you can play with your primary age children to reinforce the concept of nouns. Since children at this level have a hard time distinguishing between concrete and abstract nouns, this game allows them to focus on the concrete.
  • Parts of Speech Bingo
    by Greda Vaso
    Creating your own bingo games is an easy way to add a little fun to your daily learning routine. This article is focused on Parts of Speech Bingo, but the blank card could be used to create a bingo game on any topic you choose.
  • Patching in the “Glue” Words
    by Jean Domanski
    C-a-t. M-e-ss. T-u-b. The? Hey, mom, how do you sound that one out? So it begins, the tricky explanation of why “sound it out” isn’t always a blanket suggestion. So many words in our English language are undecodable using the “sounding out” method. These words, called high-frequency or sight words, need to be memorized somehow.
  • Poetry and a Love of Language
    by Lisette BC Abbott
    Because I've loved literature and poetry since I was a young girl, it's often left me confused somewhat that my own child has been a reluctant reader. Furthering my confusion has been his general reluctance for writing.
  • Practice Makes Perfect: Improving Reading Fluency
    by Jean Domanski
    It's just like riding a bike. When you are first learning to ride a bicycle, you're wobbly and frustrated. Then one day, you take off, balanced as can be, enjoying the wind in your hair and the bugs in your teeth. Riding your own bike becomes effortless and second nature. But why is it that if you get a new bike or ride someone else's bike, you don't feel as balanced, and it takes a little while to become comfortable?
  • Proofreading Checklist
    by Greda Vaso
    A proofreading checklist can be a very handy tool to help a child proofread his own writing.
  • Punctuation Resources
    by EHO Staff
    Online resources to help with a basic review or an in-depth study of punctuation.
  • Reading Aloud
    by Jean Hall
    If reading aloud to your children sounds like a good idea to you, but you never seem to find the time for it, let Jean Hall tell you how reading aloud became a major part of their school day and how that changed everything for their family. She’s got a great how-to list to get you started on the right foot, too.
  • Real-Life Writing
    by Jean Hall
    How to hone your children’s writing skills without really trying…or what Jean Hall’s family did when they decided to take the summer off.
  • Resources for Using the Library or Building Your Own
    by Beverly S. Krueger
    A listing of resources to assist you in teaching your children to use the library and for selecting books from the library and for your own personal library.
  • Secrets to Writing a Gripping Story
    by Jeff O’Leary
    Whether you're helping your kids learn to write well or entertaining your own dreams of becoming a great writer, master storyteller, Jeff O'Leary has tips to help you lay a great writing foundation for your own stories. He shares "the seven secrets of great story-telling."
  • Selecting the Perfect Picture Book for Your Child
    by Beverly S. Krueger
    You have the opportunity of selecting the perfect picture book for your child. You could head straight for the Disney books or get the latest mass marketed, movie themed picture book, but why go for the mediocre when you can get something truly terrific?
  • Shakespeare for All Ages
    by Beverly S. Krueger
    Many have never considered the possibilities that lie in the study of Shakespeare for younger children. Shakespeare, a prerequisite for high school literature classes, needn't be reserved for a once in a lifetime wrestling match. Shakespeare's stories can be enjoyed in their own right, and a gentle introduction to his vocabulary and writing style can be nurtured into a lifelong love of the melody of language.
  • Shakespeare for High School Homeschoolers
    by Beverly S. Krueger
    If you're ready to launch into a study of Shakespeare with your high school student but not quite ready to fly by the seat of your pants, there are some resources that will give you room to be creative while offering assistance with the more arcane matters.
  • Shakespeare's Allusions
    by Beverly S. Krueger
    Know your Shakespeare, and you'll get most of the allusions found in great literature. Shakespeare's plays are full of allusions from the Bible and the Greeks and Romans. Allusions from Shakespeare are also frequently found in literature. Let Beverly Krueger get you started finding allusions in the works of Shakespeare.
  • Stick It to ‘Em!
    by Jean Domanski
    Reading comprehension can be a very personal thing. We read and sometimes monitor ourselves for comprehension. At other times, we read mindlessly, and it takes several pages before we realize that we have no idea what we’ve just read! How will we know which is the case in our children before they take a reading comprehension test on the book or complete a book report?
  • Story's Corner
    by Susan Himelright
    "In many of my most vivid recollections of my parents I see them with a book in hand. It was a priceless gift they gave us. It was one I meant to pass on to their grandchildren."
  • Strive for Significance
    by Tammy M. Cardwell
    The advice I find myself giving most often these days, especially to the parents of older children, is to strive for significance in your child’s studies wherever possible.
  • Summer Reading Programs
    by Laura Carter
    Don't let the fun of learning end when the school year ends. Find a Summer Reading Program that will keep your children engaged and learning through the Summer
  • Syzygy? Muliebrity? Now Where Did I Put That Dictionary?
    by Greda Vaso
    What do syzygy and muliebrity have in common? Actually that's a trick question. But if you were unable to answer because you didn't know what syzygy or muliebrity mean, then do we have a great tip for you.
  • Terrific Tips to Better Communication
    by Mike Krueger
    Ever have someone misunderstand what you said? Or you tell your kids to do something and they run off and do something different? Words, the building blocks of communication, are often the culprit. How do you determine what words to use? Is one word better than another? Or can I use the same words to explain what I'm thinking with my five-year-old daughter that I use with my fifteen-year-old daughter? How can I know after all is said and done that I've been understood?
  • The Benefits of Reading Aloud-No Matter Your Child's Age
    by Lisette BC Abbott
    Children benefit from being read to by a parent. As they grow older we encourage them to read on their own and read to them less and less. But is that really best for our child?
  • The Biographer's Art
    by Greda Vaso
    Biographers sift through historical accounts, letters, diaries, legal documents and any other material they can obtain that tells them something about their subject. They attempt to find meaning, ascribe motives and discern why a person was who he was and did what he did.
  • The Lord of the Rings
    by EHO Staff
    Resources to help you enjoy or learn more about The Lord of the Rings and JRR Tolkien.
  • The Notion of Authentic Writing
    by Lisette BC Abbott
    Teaching writing can be a daunting experience. Instilling the necessity and relevance of writing in our children can be even more daunting. I have discovered a few things that, in our homeschool, are crucial to getting my 11-year-old son to recognize the relevance and importance of writing. Perhaps they can help you.
  • The Onyms
    by Lori Kimble
    If you have trouble remembering the difference between a synonym, a homonym, and an antonym, think of Mrs. Onym and her three sons, Syn, Hom, and Ant.
  • The People Behind the Books: Visiting Author Historic Sites
    by Beverly S. Krueger
    Plan a trip to a museum or historic landmark devoted to your favorite American author.
  • Theatre For Their Minds:
    by Jean Domanski
    Remember that episode of the Brady Bunch where Peter invited the whole bunch to help with a school project by acting in his movie about the First Thanksgiving? Nearly every viewer could relate to the value of learning by doing. Peter probably learned more by filming that play than he could have spending numerous afternoons in the library. A reading activity called Readers' Theatre applies the same concept. Doing a book promotes not only understanding, called reading comprehension, its also increases reading speed, called fluency.
  • Theatrical Temptations or How to Fill Your Spare Time Watching Your Children's Self-Inspired Dramatic Performances
    by Beverly S. Krueger
    You too can spend your spare time watching your children perform their latest dramatic creation by putting the right resources in reach and then getting out of the way.
  • Unhurried Writing
    by Lisette BC Abbott
    Are you struggling to find the perfect writing curriculum? Let Lisette tell you how she discovered a solution to the writing woes her son experienced as they developed their homeschooling lifestyle.
  • Virtuous Daughters: An Interview with Tiffany Schlichter
    by Jean Hall
    Tiffany is a self-published, fifteen-year-old homeschooled author. Read Jean Hall’s interview of Tiffany to learn how she published her first book by the time she finished eighth grade.
  • WriteGuide: Skill Sheets
    by EHO Staff
    WriteGuide Skill Sheets "permanently eliminate specific writing errors from a student’s style of writing"

Out and About - Language Arts Articles on the Web

  • Words into Pictures
    by John W. Healy Added: 6/27/2006
    Cuneiform, the ancient writing system, makes for a fun lesson in the importance of communicating well
  • Poetic Forms & Techniques
    by Added: 6/27/2006
    A collection of essays about the forms and techniques of poetry writing.
  • Entering to Win: On Poetry Contests
    by Robert Casper Added: 6/27/2006
    Like it or not, contests are an integral part of America's poetry culture. An aspiring poet need only glance through Poets & Writers Magazine to discover a dizzying variety of contest listings, to say nothing of what he or she might find in the annual Poet's Market guidebook. Poets & Writers has produced numerous useful contest statistics as of late. According to their reports, 373 poets won legitimate contests of all kinds in 2004—while down from the previous year, this number still amounts to more winners than any one person could read.
  • 'Obscure bureaucrat' wins bad writing contest
    by CNN Book News Staff Added: 2/28/2005
    From bad opening sentences to truly purple prose, this article offers a very fun look at the "art" of truly bad writing. Enjoy!
  • Freedom of what?
    by staff Added: 1/31/2005
    This article explores the growing phenomenon of students not recognizing the importance or relevance of the First Amendment in the US Constitution and to daily life as an American citizen.
More Out and About Articles

Our Latest Educational Links - Language Arts

  • Shake Sphere
    A study guide for the complete works of Shakespeare. Recommended by The New York Times, the BBC, and the British Library. Features plot summaries, themes, analysis, glossaries, and much more.
  • Family Fiction
    A website that has reviews and lists of books to help families determine safe books for their children. And a place to find age-appropriate books.
    The only website that highlights fiction books featuring homeschoolers as characters. Read synopses, reviews, and even educational tie-ins for books that your homeschooled child can both identify with and be inspired by.


Unit Study Articles

Unit Study Articles - Language Arts

  • The Card Games of Jane Austen
    by Beverly S. Krueger
    Have you ever imagined yourself inhabiting a Jane Austen novel? What would it be like to sit down at the card table with Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett?

Unit Studies - Language Arts

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