Seventh Grade Language Arts
by Donna Simmons
Completely new seventh grade language arts publication coming July 2021. These materials represent a year’s worth of guidance and lessons.
The Teacher’s Guide is a required part of this language arts course. While it includes full guidance, there is no answer key to the Student Workbooks. Very few of the student’s exercises or assignments have just one answer and therefore a key is not possible. The Guide includes discussion of how to approach this issue.
Christopherus middle grades language arts focuses on writing—on creating ‘templates’ for the student’s own composition through dictation, copying well written work and ‘collaborative writing’ with their teacher (homeschooling parent). Creative writing and the writing of reports by the student is an important part of this work. There are also many enjoyable short writing exercises.
In creative writing the child learns to use the best words and descriptions to really express what she wants to say. She learns about voice and about the flow of a piece of writing. When writing reports a main goal is to help the student learn how to gather and use information from books—to learn to discern what he needs and does not need for his report. This lays strong foundations for the use of the internet for reports in high school.
As throughout the rest of the Christopherus curriculum, punctuation, grammar, spelling and vocabulary arise, for the most part, as active lessons within the context of the writing that is being done: these lessons therefore are not abstract, but flow from the student’s own writing. This year, such work is taken a step further with many exercises devoted to the nuts and bolts of grammar, spelling, punctuation and vocabulary.
This Student Workbook is written directly to the student and leads her through writing assignments, various writing exercises and step-by-step writing instruction. There are also sections, as said above, on grammar, vocabulary, spelling and punctuation.
This year we take significant steps toward the study of books as literature. These materials contain guidance for you and your child to read, discuss and write about The Hobbit, Black Arrow, The Witch of Blackbird Pond and The Isle of the Blue Dolphins. These books are not included with the materials and you will need to purchase them or borrow them from the library.
Spoken work such as story-telling, giving oral reports and reciting poetry also feature.
Although some of the work the student will do in her Student Workbook will be independent, this is not a self-study curse for your child—the parent-teacher will need to be involved in the child’s work, discussing subjects, reading novels together and correcting work. The Teacher’s Guide gives full instructions on how to proceed and includes examples of real student writing so a parent can gauge how to evaluate his own child’s work.
As Christopherus is a completely holistic curriculum, language arts appears in (and is the foundation of) most main lessons, including science lessons. Further specific language arts guidance will be found in those curriculum materials, but the main thrust of seventh grade language arts (its goals, how to teach and evaluate and so on) appear in these materials which represent a full year of language arts studies.
Specific details of the Student Workbook and Teacher’s Guide (including specifics of lessons, sample pages, and much more) to follow.
Please note: American English varies significantly from English in other parts of the world–spelling, grammar and punctuation, for example, are different in Australia, Canada and the UK. While much of the material focused on literature and writing will be valuable to any homeschooler, much of the ‘nuts and bolts’ will possibly differ significantly from what is expected outside the USA. Please bear this in mind if you are not an American household.