Mom Title

Just what is Language Arts?
At what level do I stop teaching Language Arts?

Language Arts is that subject that emcompasses so many topics. At ELK it means spelling, grammar, writing structure, and possibly penmanship.

Spelling is not the same as reading. For many years I disagreed with that statement. My youngest daughter could read college level at grade 5, but her spelling skills were atrocious. So I began researching the problem. It turns out the two subjects are not connected - kind of like a left brain right brain thing. Therefore, ELK does not teach spelling in co-ordination with literature. I had a hard time adjusting to this school of thought, but once I changed her spelling technique, she seemed to improve. Another school of thought is "Spelling is not worth the time. Word processors will correct the errors." The problem with this thinking is that the typist must get close to the word for it to be automatically corrected. Students that are phonetic spellers will struggle with auto correct. It is best to know how to spell! Spelling begins very early at ELK and the difficulty and expectations grows every year.

Grammar is the hardest subject in Language arts to teach. Students must learn a whole new vocabulary in order to understand what grammar is, and on top of that there is punctuation. Grammar is the crux of writing. Without good grammar skills, writing is just a bunch of misplaced words. The cirriculum I use for grammar is sooo easy to understand and use that the student can almost teach him or her self.

Writing structure is quite simply the backbone to any good paper. Younger students learn to write basic sentences, while intermediate students learn how to put those sentences into a paragraph about one narrow topic, and advanced students learn how to write a paper with many paragraphs while staying on topic. This can be a difficult thing to learn, but it can be achieved with great success. I feel it is much like solving a math problem with substitution!

Sadly, penmanship is a dying subject. With all the technology literally changing daily, the thought is that writing will become a thing of the past. Many schools have deleted penmamnship from their cirriculum. This will not be the case at ELK. People will still have to sign their name and therefore students will learn, practice and write (hopefully) with good penmanship. That said, I will not be teaching this subject to students in grades 5 and above...they have these skills already.

When do I stop teaching Language Arts?!
This is a difficult decision. At Elk spelling and grammar end at the completion of 8th grade. Writing structure never really ends, but we focus less on the structure and more on the how from grades 6-12. Penamanship is taught as follows; K-3 printing, 4th grade cursive, and in 5th grade all assignments are done in cursive. From 6-12 grade students will have their choice of writing style as most assignments that require penmanship are required to be typed when submitted for a grade.

Any Questions Contact:
Kathy Nunes
209-640-9363 (ok to text)
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