Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Language Arts- Homeschool High School Blog Hop

You might as well know right up front that Language Arts tends to be one of my least favorite subjects to teach in high school. (Aside from Biology, of course.  Oh, and maybe Chemistry!)  Which is a little weird, since I LOVE Language Arts.  All parts of it, really. The writing, the reading, and even the diagramming sentences.

BUT, and yes, that is a big BUT, it has been my experience that finding good, solid language arts programs for any age, but teens in particular, is just plain hard.

We have done many.  Just take my word for it.  Many!  But after 17 years of homeschooling (oh my word, that is a long time!) I think we have pretty much got it figured out.  For our current teens at least!

Let me start with a quick look at what I recommend, but then I want to talk to you about a few duel credit ideas.

Writing- IEW- If you are not familiar with the Institute for Excellence of Writing, now is the time to be.  Yes, I do use several other writing programs for younger ages, but by high school I believe every child should do an IEW writing course. At least one.  It is a great foundation for college writing.  I am going to admit to you that I am not a teacher who requires tons of papers and reports in my coursework, so I am thankful Mr. Pudewa is a great teacher that the kids actually enjoy learning from.  He is funny and funny just speaks to teens!

Sharon Watson's courses are also amazing and are great to add in after you have completed IEW coursework.  Look into Writing Fiction (In High School)

Literature- Lightning Literature- We have just begun this program in the past few years after having transitioned out of Sonlight.  I like that it spends more time on fewer books, I like the book selections better, and I like that you have more options in the areas of study you can choose.  It has been a huge blessing to us for 7th and 8th grade, and I look forward to the upper levels.
Most colleges want you to have American Literature, World Literature, and British Literature.  We also add in a year of Christian Literature.

Grammar- This is where it gets a little messy.  It is my belief that if your child does not have a strong foundation in Ggammar by now, you may have a bigger problem on your hands.  I also think that at some point it is time to stop diagramming sentences and put that knowledge to the test, which is where writing comes in.  So, no, we do not do formal grammar at this level anymore.

Vocabulary- This is where I DO think we should concentrate instead.  Because of that we use two different things.  We continue Wordly Wise because it is quick and to the point but very thorough.  We also spend two years using Vocabulary From Classical Roots.  Again, a simple format, but a great program!

And about those foreign languages!
There are lots of good ones out there, so the best advice I can give you is know the learning style of your child and find what fits them best!  Most colleges ask for two years of one language, but some prefer three so make sure you are aware of the requirements of colleges your child might be interested in.  Also note that sign language is a new one that some colleges are accepting, but that is still a new trend so be knowledgeable!

Some to look into are-
OK, so about Dual Credit.  It is my belief that you should not teach a subject that your child is just going to repeat at a college level.  Mostly.

Here is what I mean.

I have my kids dual-credit classes their junior and senior years to get a jump start on college and as a way to save some money.  If your child has the opportunity to take that American Literature class at a college level and can dual-credit it, then there is no reason for you to teach it and then them take it again.  Ask me how I know this!!  Lesson learned!  It looks ridiculous to have American Literature on your high school transcript twice.

Now consider the "mostly"- If your child is going to be an English major, there may be a need for them to take the course through you and then again at their college.  I certainly feel that way about Biology.  It can never hurt to be covered, just be careful not to create more work for yourself.  Plus, in many cases those college courses can be completed in less time and therefore allow your child to take even more classes.

That is how I have a high school senior that has no classes left to take with me, but is taking multiple classes online currently.  Yes, she is still a senior, but the classes she is taking online count for high school credits AND college credits.  Yes, she will graduate with more credit hours than she needs for highschool, but she will also have her first two years of college close to completed.

Please remember, there is more than one way to slay this dragon and every child is different. Hence the reason that all of my children's transcripts and course loads look different.  Above all, I suggest you know your child, ask for their input, and then help them to be successful!

Visit our Homeschool High School Bloggers this month-

Carol from Home Sweet life shares Homeschooling High School- Language Arts (&History!)
Tess from Circling Through This Life shares Teaching High School Language Arts: Resources
Wendy from Life at Rossmont shares Highschool Language Arts
Erica from Be the One shares Language Arts Resources
Kym from Homeschool Coffee Break shares History in the Form of Stories
Debbie from Debbie’s Homeschool Corner shares Teaching High School English
Laura from Day by Day in Our World shares How to Teach High School Language Arts Without Tears

Join us next month for "How Am I Going To Teach High School?"

Linking up with friends!
I Choose Joy!

Hearts for Home Blog Hop



  1. We love Lightning Lit here too! And I am hoping that my daughter can do Sharon Watson's Writing Fiction in High School at some point.

  2. All of Sharon's curriculum is great Kym! And LL has been a great change for us. Can't wait to do British Lit with it!


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