Before your child reaches school age, does he know how to talk? How did he learn? Did you pull out the flashcards, go over grammar, show him diagrams of how to form sounds with his mouth, use neat ditties to encourage that sound out of the mouth? Probably not. More likely he simply imitated you — used his natural ability to make sounds, began to mimic the sounds he heard you make, realized that those sounds stood for things, and began to apply those sounds to the same things you did. That is language arts the natural way.
The method is not new or experimental. It is an old and proven method, probably as old as writing itself. Great writers have used it, and you have already used it with your child. But once children reach school age, we tend to shed the natural method for a slower, artificial method.
As Dr. Beechick goes on to say, we learn speech by listening and speaking. So guess how we learn to write? By writing.
Before we get ahead of ourselves here, what is the purpose of language arts in a curriculum? We want our children to:
- Become good writers.
- Become good communicators.
- Use the English language correctly.
- Apply the appropriate rules of grammar and spelling.
Practically speaking, there are four elements that work together to create good writers and communicators:
In this series we will take a look at each element and offer tips and ideas for implementing them in your homeschool, no matter what educational approach(es) you use.