Category Archives: English-Language Arts

SEA Homeschoolers have tips and information for secular homeschoolers about English-language arts.  Find articles on writing, grammar, reading instruction, literature, spelling, and vocabulary to help you and your children on your homeschooling journey!

July 12th, 2019 by 

Women’s History Month: Reading List March is Women’s History Month and the SEA Homeschoolers facebook group has been buzzing with excellent book recommendations to add to your family’s TBR lists. Thirteen books to read during Women’s History Month. Rad American Women A-Z: Rebels, Trailblazers, and Visionaries who Shaped Our History . . . and Our Future! This unique A-Z book introduces 26 diverse women spanning several centuries and multiple professions. There are artists and abolitionists, scientists and suffragettes, rock stars and rabble-rousers, and agents of change of all kinds. Recommended Age: Elementary Students Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History …

October 1st, 2018 by 
The 2018-2019 SEA Homeschoolers Teen Book Club list has been finalized. There is a mix of fiction and non-fiction books. Several of the books are required reading for teens in other countries. There are also books with teen protagonists dealing with serious situations that I hope lead to thoughtful and thought-provoking discussions. If you are reading this after the start date, don’t worry. You can join any time. The monthly online discussions through Google Meet have been interesting and insightful! Send an email to [email protected] with subject "Teen Book Club Signup" to join. We start the year with a rendition of The …
September 4th, 2018 by 

As a follow-up to the talk I gave at the SEA Homeschoolers Convention 2018, “Playing School: Bridging Play and Education for Academically-Minded Preschoolers and Kindergarteners,” I would like to share a list of some of the most-loved items in our child-led homeschool. We are eclectic homeschoolers and that definitely shows in this list. All the products on this list have been selected and tested by my kids. Some are updated versions of materials my teens loved when they were little, and others are new additions to our homeschool toolbox as I start this journey again with my youngest. (This post …

March 21st, 2018 by 

Reading Comprehension Activities One of the great perks of homeschooling is that we have more flexibility in how we structure (or, often, don’t structure) our class time. Since we’re working in very small groups (often just one-on-one!), we can do a lot of things that are difficult or even impossible in a large, traditional classroom. One area where we can really take advantage of this is in testing reading comprehension. Reading comprehension is sort of tricky territory, pedagogically speaking. See, we need to know that our learners understand what they read, but the traditional methods for testing their understanding are, …

February 7th, 2018 by 
by Julie Bogart, creator of Brave Writer. Is it possible to nurture your child’s writing voice without worrying about the mechanics of writing? Will that foster a carelessness in children's writing habits? Shouldn't kids learn to care about how they spell, how they punctuate, how they construct their sentences and paragraphs? Isn’t attentiveness to the form as important as attentiveness to the content? It’s true that meticulous care about mechanics is a final step in every writing process. When high school students would turn in papers to me, I always told them that they should make sure their work is error …
January 29th, 2018 by 

Focusing on several core foundations, Structured Literacy is an approach first developed for students who suffer from dyslexia but has been found to work well for all children. Learn more about structured literacy and how to use it in your secular home education program. Structured Literacy with Thomas Morrow Like many of us in the home education community, I generally don’t think much of educational theorizing by PhD’s. As a child, I was one of the subjects of educational experiments during three of my primary schooling years, 2nd grade, 5th grade, and 6th grade. These were lost years and contributed …

October 8th, 2017 by 

On any given day you will find multiple conversations focused on books in our online community. Rich discussions of authors and subject matter, innovative ideas for related lessons, and always a plethora of recommendations for more books. Reading back through hundreds of threads in various SEA Homeschoolers Facebook groups these 25 books have been recommended time and time again. Having read nearly every book on this list I can certainly understand why. This book list is secular homeschool approved. Secular Homeschool Reading & Book List Red: A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall – A funny, insightful, and colorful story about being …

October 7th, 2017 by 

The Importance of Reading Aloud Reading aloud to your children is so important. I cannot stress that enough. It may be one of the most important things you do for them, educationally speaking. Most parents can find the time to read a picture book or two with their infants and toddlers, but once a child learns to read, that snuggly read aloud time usually ends. But, I think it’s actually more important to continue that read aloud time, well into their school years.  But my child is fully capable of reading their own books. Why should I read aloud to …

October 7th, 2017 by 

Sarah Cook: Blogging, Youtubing, Bibliophile! Sarah Cook is homeschooling teen who is a talented Youtuber and Blogger. She is the perfect homeschooler to feature this month, because she is also a serious bibliophile! (I do not think IT is too long for you, Sarah.) I met her at the SEA Conference this year, and, yes, she is as charming in person as she is when she writes. I cannot wait to read a novel written by you Sarah. How long have you been homeschooling? I’ve been homeschooled since preschool! What is your favorite part of being homeschooled? Sleeping in! Also, …

December 30th, 2016 by 
This is the time of year when I see so many great reading challenges, but I often struggle to adapt them for my kids. This year instead of trying to find one that my whole family could do together I decided to create my own and share it with our SEA Homeschoolers' community. My kids are two and twelve so they certainly won't be reading the same books. For my youngest we will find children's books to read aloud and my oldest will probably use audio books for most of his. Some books we read may check off more than one challenge …
November 12th, 2016 by 

In honor of banned book week 2016, I wrote a quiz. See if you can guess the titles of the top 10 banned books of all time. This quiz is rather difficult because almost all the clues are about the author. You will have to figure out who the author is, and then which book of theirs was most likely to be banned. Not surprisingly, the authors of banned book are interesting characters. Post your answers in the comments. I will add a list of the sites I gathered these facts from and the quiz answers in a week. If …

November 7th, 2016 by 

Another Fun Game in Honor of Banned Book Week, 2016 Written by Kat Hutcheson Continuing our celebration of Banned Books Week, here is a fun little quiz to see if you can match the quote to the banned book. This is easier than the first quiz, so if you gave up on that one, why not give this one a try. Write your answers in the comments section. “The mark of an immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one.” …

December 21st, 2015 by 

An Eclectic Approach to Becoming a Writer It’s none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way. – Ernest Hemingway A question that I often come across on homeschool forums is what can you do to help a struggling writer. I had a struggling writer for many years, and now that he is 16 and thinking about college he is debating majoring in writing. Let me repeat that because it is a remarkable statement: My struggling writer is now thinking about majoring in writing at college. How did he get …

October 12th, 2015 by 

Living Books and How to Choose Them What makes a book “living?” written by Emily Cook I should start out by explaining what I mean when I call a book “living.” I know you may be thinking, “Doesn’t everyone teach with books?” Well, yes and no. I’m referring to what Charlotte Mason called “living books.” I am of the belief that what actually makes a book “living” can be subjective. But the basic idea is that a living book is one that is written by an author who cares about the subject matter which he or she writes about. The author …

September 8th, 2015 by 

Building the Habit of Reading Aloud As a homeschooling parent, there are many things you do to make sure your child is getting the best possible education. You can research curriculum, create the perfect learning space, and search out great learning opportunities in your community. But often, reading aloud to your child slips off the to-do list. Maybe you think that once they can read to themselves, reading aloud is irrelevant. Or maybe, life just takes over and you can’t seem to find a way to schedule it in to your day. But reading aloud is one of the most …