How to Homeschool Language Arts: 11 Helpful Tips

2020 has blown up the homeschool world with more and more moms looking for answers to how to homeschool their kids.  And whether you are a new or seasoned homeschool family, we all know one thing.  Our kids will ultimately thrive when they know how to read and write.  Because of this, it’s important that moms feel confident in how to homeschool language arts.

How To Homeschool Peacefully

How To Homeschool Language Arts & Reading

 

Just like so many new homeschool moms, when I started homeschooling I was clueless as to how to really do it well. I’d grown up going to public schools and went to a public university. Later I went on to graduate school for teaching at that same public university. I learned how to teach in an institutionalized system. It took me years to finally figure out that homeschooling is not school at home. Homeschooling is a lifestyle focused on educating each individual child so that they grow into a thriving adult.

 

11 Helpful Tips: How To Homeschool Language Arts

Here are some practical strategies that are easy to incorporate into your home. Best of all, these are totally free, extremely effective and stress free. Think of this time at home as your opportunity to make simple shifts to help your child make huge gains in language arts.

 

1. Start with the 3 Rs

I consistently recommend to my private community of moms and my clients that when in doubt, focus on the 3 Rs. Yep, I am talking all about reading, writing and good old-fashioned arithmetic. There is a classic homeschool book out there by this title. You may want to check it out: The 3 Rs by Ruth Beechick. Today we’re focusing on the first of the Rs: Reading.

RELATED POST: How To Help A Struggling Reader (& Writer)

 

2. Go Backwards In Order To Move Forward

If you know that your child is struggling in any academic area, I suggest getting on your hands and knees and thank God!  Woo hoo! This is news that you want to know sooner rather than later.  Many foundational academic skills including reading and writing skills are often missing in struggling learners.  It’s often best to go backwards to solidify earlier skills and concepts in order to move forwards.  

 

3. How to Homeschool… Find the Gaps

In order to know where to start, it’s essential to find your struggling student’s educational gap.  Specifically, if your child hates to read or resists reading at all costs, this is your clue that there is some sort of gap in reading skills. Take your next step… identify where the reading gap lies. Ask yourself:

In the end, simply slowing down to spend time intentionally focused on language and reading skills will be your best bet.

RELATED POST: How To Help A Struggling Reader (& Writer)

Check Out Reading, Writing & Relationships: The Homeschool Parent Training That Will Change It All!  Click Image Below:

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4. Always Remove Learning Barriers

Ultimately, my number one tip to help struggling students get over the reading hump is to remove learning barriers.  When you first begin homeschooling, it is a great idea to spend a week or so just reading good books TO your kids. Reduce the stress-related anxiety that so many children experience when told that they must read aloud and independently.

 

Academic Content Too Fast, Too Soon

Unfortunately, way too many children have been forced to read independently and at increasingly difficult levels way too soon and too fast.  They then shut down and begin to hate reading often as a fight-flight-or-freeze response. For more on learning to look behind the behaviors to get the root issues, check out Homeschooling The Unregulated Child: Sensory Systems & Self-Regulation In Your Home & Homeschool.

It takes time for the brain to develop the pathways that allow reading to become a natural and enjoyable experience. We have got to back off and allow children time to develop their reading skills at their pace. Tragically, that reading stress response becomes the norm in so many children. Reading is the enemy for these “pushed-too-soon” kids.

 

5. Know The Value Of Safety & Relationship

A child who feels safe is a child with a brain primed to learn effectively and efficiently.  Children simply need intentional one-on-one instruction from a loving adult. Our kids need to be given the grace to focus on where they really are and not where the “standard” says they should be.

RELATED POST: 7 Homeschool Tips For The Beginner

6. Read to Your Child

With everything in life, internal motivation is the game changer that propels us forward in any endeavor. We want our resistant readers to learn to enjoy the experience without stressing about making mistakes. This is why it is absolutely fundamental that we give our kids opportunities to enjoy books. One of the greatest ways to do this is for parents to read aloud TO their kids.

Read to your child and don’t for one minute feel any guilt about it. In fact, tap yourself on the back because you are providing your child with what they need to move forward.

7. No Pressure Reading Time

When you do ask your child to read:

  • allow them to choose the book,
  • allow them the grace to read a book “below” level with confidence

Each successful reading experience adds up and they will grow as a reader. Check out this post all about the importance of reading as a family and grab our Family Favorites Book List printable.

 

8. Reading Strategy: Narration

Narration is another great strategy that you can use to help guide your reading time and is an excellent way to strengthen reading comprehension.  Narration involves reading aloud to your child and then allowing them to share what they’ve learned from or remember about what was read.  Find a book that your child loves, and spend some quiet time together. Allow your child to ask questions. Talk about the illustrations. Have fun.

 

9. Focus on Conversations & Oral Dialogue

Conversations and dialogue between a trusted adult and a child is not only relationally life-giving but also builds essential (and often missing) language and reading comprehension skills. Don’t underestimate the power of conversation and the spoken word.

For more insight and training into language-based processing and reading and writing, check out:  Huh? How Speech & Language Processing Impacts Reading, Writing & Relationships  

Click Image Below To Learn More!

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10. Don’t Forget Your Teens

Even older children enjoy being read to and reading aloud to your teen eases the resistance to read a book “just for school”.  We want our teens to develop a love of reading as a form of entertainment that is NOT always a screen, right?  Getting lost in story with your teen is a relational win AND it is an excellent way to expose your child to greater ideas and concepts about the world.

  • Find a book that you know will interest your teen,
  • Read a chapter together each day.
  • Have deep, meaningful conversations with your teen. Ask thoughtful questions and above all,
  • LISTEN intently to their answers with gratitude.

Bottom line, when you read aloud to your child of any age, you remove barriers to reading, increase foundational language skills and deepen relationship. Win! Win!

How To Homeschool Language Arts

My oldest reading Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper. It’s now free on Kindle Unlimited!!!

 

11. Invest In You, The Homeschool Teacher

Way too many moms struggle trying to replicate school at home.  But the problem is that school at home model is failing millions of kids.  Often it’s best to invest in your own training in order to best support your unique child.  Learn about learning.  Read and learn and then do it again.  You got this!

Homeschool Teacher Resources: 

If you’re looking for more support to equip your child to thrive in reading, language arts and all.the.things, check out the following language-based resources and homeschool parent trainings. 

Check Out Reading, Writing & Relationships: The Homeschool Parent Training That Will Change It All!  Click Image Below:

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2 thoughts on “How to Homeschool Language Arts: 11 Helpful Tips”

  1. You are right, LL.

    The power of the spoken word and a trusting relationship is important.

    You talk about Logos [or at least the Greeks do in the New Testament].

    I am reading the Gospels of John just now.

    And that BIG ENOUGH TO HANDLE MY TANTRUMS video.

    Reply
    • You bring up some meaty topics, My Friend. Language is powerful. The concept as a whole has been a resonating theme in my life for the past couple of years… ever since I started teaching an intensive English grammar class. That led to studying Latin and of course, diagramming Scripture. That takes Scripture to a whole new level. I am sure you understand that. Yay!! Grateful to know that God is big enough to handle my many many imperfections… His grace is HUGE!!! 🙂

      Reply

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