I don't usually call what we do "language arts." Yes, it's true that we read, write, spell, expand our vocabularies and strive for correct grammar and usage.
But, the reason I haven't called it "language arts" is that I haven't really broken these things into their own separate "subjects." More about that later. For now, here's what we have in mind for the coming year:
The girls have enjoyed doing a little bit of writing on their own blogs. Though their poor blogs have been quite neglected this summer, we'll get back to them soon. The blogging's been good for coming up with fun and creative ideas for posts, for spelling skills, and for typing practice.
We've been tossing around the idea of a writing group with a couple of friends. Several things about that are up in the air, and I don't know if it will come off, but sharing writing with friends can be a great way to hone skills.
We dabbled in spellers from Catholic Heritage Curricula last year, and to my surprise, the girls both liked them and wanted to do them again this year.
Betsy is a checklist kind of person, and she also requested a grammar book. I'll use a little of CHC's Language of God for her checklist needs.
I haven't done much formal grammar with Anne-with-an-e, but I've seen her grammar skills develop quite nicely from all of our reading and real-life writing. This year, we're going to run through Grammar Smart Junior to see if we're as on-track as I think we are.
I also got my hands on Hillside Education's Lingua Mater for writing ideas that the girls can pursue independently whenever they like.
As always, we'll read, read, read, and talk, talk, talk. History and science and faith all offer opportunities to read some wonderful stuff, and Betsy wants to read some Shakespeare.
That'll be Ramona's lot in life this year, too: read together, talk, laugh, point out words, talk, read together, watch Leap Frog's Talking Word Factory, read, talk, write, copy everything she asks to copy, talk, read together. You get the idea.
We may not often call it "Language Arts" around here, but the art of language is one we love.