English / Language Arts

Language Arts CurriculumLanguage Arts Resources

The goal of all language arts is clear communication.

It's also one of two main required subject areas (along with math) in state standardized testing. A knowledge of language arts is required to drive a car, order from a menu, be understood, read subtitles on foreign films, pray, and most other useful activity known to humankind. Language is one of the primary ingredients for successful human culture and civilization.

Yet we at Exodus Books talk to parents every day who are unclear exactly what constitutes language arts, how to teach them, if composition is as important as reading, etc. They might think terms like English, composition and reading are interchangeable. Or they teach a single element of language arts (like vocabulary) and are confused when their kids score poorly on a grammar test. Or....or....or....

But what ARE the "Language Arts"?

The term Language Arts refers to the tools needed to read, write, speak, and understand a given language. Yes, it's a broad definition. But it also means the collective language arts are all interrelated, and that should actually be a cause for relief rather than fear.

Because of this interrelatedness, splitting the various topics into stand-alone subjects is nearly impossible.At the same time, all kids have strengths and weaknesses, so you can apply focus and de-emphasiswhere needed. Topics that fall under the LA umbrella include (but aren't limited to) phonics, penmanship/handwriting, reading comprehension, listening skills (dictation), spelling and vocabulary, grammar, composition, research skills, speech, rhetoric, and more.

Does that mean you have to find a single program that covers all this territory? By no means. There aren't many "total language arts" programs available, and fewer still that live up to that promise. So does that mean you have to find curricula for each topic, and then somehow manage to correlate everything into a unified whole for your kiddos? Well....yeah, kinda.

A goal a day keeps the headaches away (and CSD, and bad grades, etc.)

Yes, this sounds like a lot. Be assured: it doesn't just sound like a lot, it is a lot. That's why you set and keep goals. You don't have to teach ten language arts topics a day. Most of the skills represent means, not ends. The end of language arts study is the acquisition of good communication skills; the means to that acquisition include phonics, spelling, composition, and so on.

Phonics is a means to deciphering words; grammar provides the rules for clear writing; a large vocabulary increases a student's ability to understand and relay information effectively. Don't forget the big picture: language arts translates directly into communication skills. If your student is steadily aquiring the tools needed to communicate well, you're on the right track. If not, set some goals.

Well, set some goals even if you're on the right track. Does your child understand the rules of grammar but still can't spell? Devote extra time to spelling and vocabulary. Are there gaps in her knowledge of sentence-construction? Focus on composition for awhile. Does he excel at each of the language arts? Press him further and have him study rhetoric.

Don't tie yourself to one program; keep your kids' abilities and learning styles in mind, and find coursework that caters specifically to their needs as well as your own. Remember that there is a progression within the language arts spectrum, that phonics precedes reading, spelling precedes vocabulary building, grammar and composition precedes writing the next Pulitzer Prize-winner.

Keep the short- and long-term goals in mind at every stage so you don't get bogged down in unnecessary details or try to get all the way to homeplate when you haven't even rounded second. Why teach phonics? So kids can learn to read. Why teach kids how to spell? So they can be understood through writing. All language arts instruction boils down to the desire to form good communicators.

Our advice, for what it's worth...

Finding what works for your children will take effort. There are several learning styles, and gajillions of teaching philosophies. Not all of them work; not all programs stay consistent in their approach; not every child responds negatively to straight-up instruction vs. colorful pictures and hands-on activities. Our product reviews are intended to help you navigate the many options, but ultimately the decisions are yours to make.

Just below you'll see the main topics included under the "Language Arts" umbrella. We've tried to group them in difficulty order (phonics first, rhetoric last) to help you understand where your student currently stands. And though we've said it a thousand times already, never ever forget that teaching spelling isn't about teaching spelling—it's about equipping students to be the kinds of people who can express, understand and exchange ideas (from "Clear the table!" to "I doubt, therefore I am.") with a high degree of grace and proficiency.

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur.Read more of his reviews here.

 

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173 Items found Print
Active Filters: 2nd grade (Ages 7-8)
70 Basic Phonogram Cards
by Wanda Sanseri
5th edition from Back Home Industries
for 1st-4th grade
in Spell to Write and Read (Location: PHO-SWR)
$17.00
70 Basic Phonograms - CD
by Wanda Sanseri
from Back Home Industries
for Kindergarten-4th grade
in Spell to Write and Read (Location: PHO-SWR)
$9.00 $6.00 (3 in stock)
Alpha List
by Wanda Sanseri
from Back Home Industries
for 1st-4th grade
in Spell to Write and Read (Location: PHO-SWR)
$15.00
Beall's Learning Games Phonogram Fun Packet
by Bealls' Learning Games
from Beall's Learning Games
for Kindergarten-4th grade
in Spell to Write and Read (Location: PHO-SWR)
Behind the Mask
by Ruth Heller
from PaperStar Books
for 1st-4th grade
in Grammar Picture Books (Location: GRA-PICTURE)
$8.99
Ben and Me
by Robert Lawson
from Little, Brown & Company
Humor/historical fiction for 2nd-5th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
$6.79 $3.50 (1 in stock)
Black Learning Log
by Wanda Sanseri
from Back Home Industries
for Kindergarten-4th grade
in Spell to Write and Read (Location: PHO-SWR)
$12.00
Blended Structure and Style in Composition
by James B. Webster
2nd edition from Institute for Excellence in Writing
Writing Curriculum for 2nd-12th grade
in IEW Teaching Writing: Structure & Style (Location: WRI-IEWTW)
$35.00
BookShark Language Arts 2 Advanced - Instructor's Guide
by BookShark Team
from BookShark
for 2nd grade
$20.00 (1 in stock)
Cache of Jewels
by Ruth Heller
from PaperStar Books
for 1st-4th grade
in Grammar Picture Books (Location: GRA-PICTURE)
$8.99
Caught'ya Again!
by Jane Bell Kiester
1st edition from Maupin House Publishing
for Kindergarten-12th grade
in Grammar Reference (Location: GRA-REF)
Charlotte's Web
by E. B. White
from HarperCollins
for 2nd-6th grade
1953 Newbery Honor Book
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
$7.64 $4.00 (2 in stock)
Children's First Encyclopedia
by Neil Morris
from Backpack Books
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Encyclopedias (Location: REF-ENC)
$7.00 (1 in stock)
Chocolate Moose for Dinner
by Fred Gwynne
from Aladdin Paperbacks
for Kindergarten-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$7.19 $4.00 (1 in stock)
Christian Light Language Arts - 200 Extra Practice
Sunrise 2 from Christian Light Education
for 2nd grade
in Christian Light Language Arts (Location: GRA-CLE)
Christian Light Language Arts - 200 Teacher's Guide
Sunrise 2 from Christian Light Education
for 2nd grade
in Christian Light Language Arts (Location: GRA-CLE)
Christian Light Language Arts - LightUnit 201
Sunrise 2 from Christian Light Education
for 2nd grade
in Christian Light Language Arts (Location: GRA-CLE)
Christian Light Language Arts - LightUnit 202
Sunrise 2 from Christian Light Education
for 2nd grade
in Christian Light Language Arts (Location: GRA-CLE)
Christian Light Language Arts - LightUnit 203
Sunrise 2 from Christian Light Education
for 2nd grade
in Christian Light Language Arts (Location: GRA-CLE)
Christian Light Language Arts - LightUnit 204
Sunrise 2 from Christian Light Education
for 2nd grade
in Christian Light Language Arts (Location: GRA-CLE)
Christian Light Language Arts - LightUnit 205
Sunrise 2 from Christian Light Education
for 2nd grade
in Christian Light Language Arts (Location: GRA-CLE)
Christian Light Language Arts - LightUnit 206
Sunrise 2 from Christian Light Education
for 2nd grade
in Christian Light Language Arts (Location: GRA-CLE)
Christian Light Language Arts - LightUnit 207
Sunrise 2 from Christian Light Education
for 2nd grade
in Christian Light Language Arts (Location: GRA-CLE)
Christian Light Language Arts - LightUnit 208
Sunrise 2 from Christian Light Education
for 2nd grade
in Christian Light Language Arts (Location: GRA-CLE)
Christian Light Language Arts - LightUnit 209
Sunrise 2 from Christian Light Education
for 2nd grade
in Christian Light Language Arts (Location: GRA-CLE)
Christian Light Language Arts - LightUnit 210
Sunrise 2 from Christian Light Education
for 2nd grade
in Christian Light Language Arts (Location: GRA-CLE)
Clock Stamp
from Back Home Industries
for Kindergarten-4th grade
in Time & Clocks (Location: MATMAN-TIME)
$8.50 $6.00 (1 in stock)
Comprehensive Composition
by Kathryn Stout
from Design-A-Study
Writing Curriculum for Kindergarten-12th grade
in Design-A-Study (Location: P3A)
$14.00
Courage of Sarah Noble
by Alice Dalgliesh
Reissue from Aladdin Paperbacks
Realistic Fiction for Kindergarten-6th grade
1955 Newbery Honor Book
in Realistic Fiction (Location: FIC-REA)
$5.09 $3.50 (1 in stock)
Cursive First
by Elizabeth FitzGerald
2nd edition from LITHBTH Educational Services
for Kindergarten-4th grade
in Spell to Write and Read (Location: PHO-SWR)
$20.00
DK First Encyclopedia
by Anita Ganeri & Chris Oxlade
from DK Publishing
for 1st-3rd grade
in Encyclopedias (Location: REF-ENC)
$10.00 (1 in stock)
Doodling Dragons
from Logic of English, Inc.
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Logic of English (Location: PHO-LOE)
$15.00 $10.50 (1 in stock)
English for the Thoughtful Child Volume One
by Mary Hyde & Cynthia Shearer
2nd edition from Greenleaf Press
for 2nd-4th grade
in Charlotte Mason Language Arts (Location: GRA-CM)
$14.50 $7.50 (13 in stock)
Evaluating Writing
Writing Strands
by Dave Marks
from National Writing Institute
Writing Curriculum for Preschool-12th grade
in Writing Strands (Location: WRI-WS)
$14.00 $8.00 (2 in stock)
Explore Language Series
by Ruth Heller
from PaperStar Books
for 1st-4th grade
in Grammar Picture Books (Location: GRA-PICTURE)
EyeLike Shapes
from Play Bac
for Preschool-2nd grade
$6.00 (1 in stock)
Fantastic! Wow! and Unreal!
by Ruth Heller
from PaperStar Books
for 1st-4th grade
in Grammar Picture Books (Location: GRA-PICTURE)
$8.99
First Dictionary
from Golden Books
for 2nd-4th grade
in Dictionaries (Location: REF-DIC)
$3.00 (1 in stock)
First Encyclopedia of Our World
from Usborne
for Preschool-3rd grade
in Encyclopedias (Location: REF-ENC)
$7.00 (1 in stock)
First Language Lessons Level 1
by Jessie Wise
2nd edition from Well-Trained Mind Press
for Kindergarten-2nd grade
in First Language Lessons (Location: GRA-FLL)
$16.95 $12.00 (2 in stock)
First Language Lessons Level 1 & 2 - Audio Companion
by Jessie Wise, Mark Russo & Mike Smith
from Well-Trained Mind Press
for Kindergarten-2nd grade
in First Language Lessons (Location: GRA-FLL)
$10.95 $7.00 (1 in stock)
First Language Lessons Level 2
by Jessie Wise
2nd edition from Well-Trained Mind Press
for Kindergarten-2nd grade
in First Language Lessons (Location: GRA-FLL)
$17.95 $12.00 (2 in stock)
Games for Writing
by Peggy Kaye
1st edition from Farrar, Straus and Giroux
for Kindergarten-3rd grade
in Writing Reference (Location: WRI-REF)
$7.00 (1 in stock)
Grammar Songs - DVD
by Kathy Troxel
from Audio Memory
for 1st-4th grade
in Audio Memory CDs (Location: I5E)
$15.00
I Can Run!
by Wanda Sanseri
from Back Home Industries
for Kindergarten-2nd grade
in Spell to Write and Read (Location: PHO-SWR)
$5.00
King Who Rained
by Fred Gwynne
from Aladdin Paperbacks
for Kindergarten-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$7.19
Kingfisher Children's Encyclopedia
by Jennifer Justice, ed.
from Kingfisher
for 1st-6th grade
in Encyclopedias (Location: REF-ENC)
$20.00 (1 in stock)
Kingfisher First Dictionary
by John Grisewood
from Kingfisher
for Preschool- 3rd Grade
in Dictionaries (Location: REF-DIC)
$7.00 (1 in stock)
Kites Sail High
by Ruth Heller
from PaperStar Books
for 1st-4th grade
in Grammar Picture Books (Location: GRA-PICTURE)
$8.99
Knitting Knights
2nd edition from Logic of English, Inc.
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Logic of English (Location: PHO-LOE)
$15.00
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