The Language Arts Scope and Sequence for Ambleside Online lists skills for each year. This page shows some ways we have accomplished this sequence.
For a child to read, she has to be motivated. What is the best motivation? I have four children, and I can give you four different answers. For the first child, she wanted to be able to find her favorite parts of stories. For the second, we don’t know … he simply always knew how to read. For the third, she had a desire to be more grown up. And for the fourth, he was driven to not be left behind as the youngest sibling.
- My favorite Audiobooks from Audible
- Reading Eggs
- Explode the Code
- Early Readers
We used Handwriting Without Tears for early printing, and also briefly when transitioning to cursive. My kids also enjoyed a lot of fine motor activities for increasing finger strength.
Fine Motor Activities
- Purposeful “Doodling”
- Master Doodle Template
- Master Doodle Patterns
- Today’s Doodles, 12 June 2014
- Mazes, like Krazy Dad’s Mazes (all levels)
- Cutting Practice – the Mardi Gras beads are the best!
We mixed copywork in with our handwriting curriculum off and on through the early years. By 4th grade, all of my kids transition fully to copywork for cursive handwriting.
- Copywork – Early Years
- Copywork – Poetry, Folk Songs, Hymns, Prose, Movie/TV Quotes
Charlotte Mason programs like Ambleside Online do not start “writing” in the very young years. The focus is on oral language development while fine motor skills, reading, and transcription catch up. In addition to oral narration, we have also dabbled in some creative projects from Bravewriter, mainly for fun.
Know and Tell by Karen Glass is a very informative book on what narration looks like, and how it transitions into writing.
Elementary Language Arts Skills
Secondary Language Arts Skills
- Life of Fred Language Arts.
- Elements of Style
- Traditional English Sentence Style
- Paradigm Online Writing Assistant
- The Writer’s Journey
Games and Activities
- Noun Collecting
- Grammar Gardening
- Magnetic Poetry
- Mad Libs
- Schoolhouse Rock
- Parts of Speech books by Ruth Heller
We start dictation a little earlier than AO suggests, usually around age 8/9. My kids enjoy it, and I prefer to introduce the concepts very slowly. I occasionally refer to a checklist of Grammar Concepts to see if there are any gaps in knowledge.
From age 11/12, we start to work on longer documents for dictation, starting with 1-2 sentences a day and ramping up slowly. Some favorites are:
- The Declaration of Independence (1776)
- Treaty With the Six Nations (1794)
- Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address (1863)
- George Washington’s 110 Rules of Civility
- Inaugural Addresses of the US Presidents (Washington to Obama)
- On the Death of Queen Victoria (Laurier, 1901)
We begin simple diagramming along with dictation. 5 minutes on a dry erase board, nothing complicated. For the elementary years, one resource we like is “Diagramming Sentences.”
In preparation for high school Latin/Greek, we found more formal grammar prep was beneficial in middle school. Barbarian Diagrammarian and Witty Wordsmith with Lukeion Project were two classes we enjoyed. We have also worked through Grammar Revolution’s Sentence Diagramming Exercises book.
In high school, our kids take Latin or Greek at the Lukeion Project. The work done in these classes forms the bulk of their high school grammar. Other resources for high school: