Homeschooling English – Designing English Lessons for a Homeschool Curriculum

With the current rise in homeschooling around the world, parents are increasingly looking for robust and trustworthy online teaching resources. As a central component of a balanced home learning curriculum, English modules need careful consideration. After all, a strong ability to use and understand language in its written, spoken and visual forms yields success in every other learning area. So what should parents consider when planning English lessons for the homeschooled learner?

Lesson plans that engage and enrich

Homeschooling allows flexibility and self-direction in lesson plans and learning design – that’s part of the appeal for many home learners. A subject like English is ideal to explore in this setting as learners can explore literary texts of their choice. A certain novel, poet or graphic novel may spark an interest in geography, history, an unfamiliar culture or historical event. This in turn can create learner-led links into other subject areas, allowing homeschoolers to create an organically connected curriculum that builds on the specific interests of their child. 

An effective homeschool English programme should promote critical thinking and perspective-taking through the exploration of both contemporary and traditional literature. It is important to expose learners to a range of cultural and historical time periods, as well as a range of text types. Modern English lessons explore traditional texts like novels, poetry and Shakespeare while also exposing learners to newer forms of literature such as graphic novels, digital texts and episodic television series. 

With a selection of literary texts and accompanying learning resources at their disposal, home learners analyse narrative in the range of forms that most interest and challenge them.

See how EP’s content bank of literature lessons can be used to enrich a homeschooling english programme

Lesson plans that motivate and stimulate

Some parents may recall the days of rote learning spelling rules, endless grammar exercises and painful comprehension questions. However, an effective language and literature learning program today should place key English concepts in context. It must build intrinsic motivation and reward for progression through the skills framework and curriculum indicators.

The incorporation of digital tools in home education can motivate young learners. Gamifying the learning process is a great way to keep the pace of learning fast and challenging in a homeschooled environment. Quizzes, self-assessments and timed exercises help learners develop mastery of English language, literacy and literary concepts.

The ability to set tasks and deadlines for completion is important for homeschooling parents. This teaches the time management skills needed for successful independent learning, not to mention those important self-management attributes.

See how EP can scaffold home learners toward independence.

But how to embed literacy?

Put simply, without the attached educational jargon, “literacy” is the ability to read and write. While reading and writing should be developed across all learning areas, English is the subject in which most direct literacy instruction happens during homeschooling.

The quiet and focused environment of homeschool can allow learners to make rapid literacy gains. The one-on-one support from a home tutor creates a space where learners feel confident taking risks in their learning. Parent-teachers can provide regular encouragement and feedback on their reading comprehension and writing ability. As a result, learners can move at their own pace through key literacy indicators and learning outcomes. 

Following a sequential and structured literacy programme is the best way to ensure reading and writing skills are developed in homeschool. In their English modules, students must have the opportunity to work on decoding, reading fluency, as well as higher level comprehension skills.

Literacy experts like to say that reading and writing are two sides of the same coin. It can be hard to say which skills should come first! A young person’s brain is enormously elastic and makes connections at a rapid pace. Therefore an effective homeschool programme will allow students plenty of opportunities to  build academic vocabulary, spell increasingly complex words and use a variety of sentence structures. 

No matter which curriculum is followed in the homeschool environment, reading and writing skills are sure to be at the heart.

Components of Literacy

  • Oral language – both receptive and expressive
  • Phonological awareness
  • Vocabulary development – both oral and written
  • Word derivations
  • Spelling rules and conventions
  • Comprehension
  • Grammatical rules
  • Sentence types and structures
  • Word choices
  • Knowledge of text structures and text features

Homeschooling English: Punctuation, grammar and paragraphs – oh my!

Some homeschooling parents may feel daunted at the prospect of teaching writing, which usually includes the more technical aspects of English. And fair enough. Given the extremely diverse origins of English, the rules of the written language are unpredictable and can be hard to explain.

But there are rules, and with a sequential set of learning resources at their fingertips, parents can navigate homeschool students through the complexities of the English language. When learning punctuation and grammar rules, students do need to “drill” the basics to some extent. There’s no better way for home learners to master the foundational rules of the written language such as punctuation, verb tenses and agreements, word classes and sentence structures.

 Varying the delivery of this learning is important to ensure it remains stimulating. That’s why a digital learning platform is excellent for engaging students in interactive learning content. It’s fast, fun and full of variety in both content and task design.

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Why Use EP to Homeschool?

EP is adjustable for every style of homeschooling. It’s built to enhance your ability as a home educator and offer your child both structured and flexible methods of learning. The platform allows you to adapt for individual strengths and weaknesses so every learner feels supported.

You can:
Create your own courses
Follow our pre built outlines
Unschool your learner with our interest led functionality
Join over 1500 other homeschoolers!

Why Use EP to Homeschool?

EP is adjustable for every style of homeschooling. It’s built to enhance your ability as a home educator and offer your child both structured and flexible methods of learning. The platform allows you to adapt for individual strengths and weaknesses so every learner feels supported.

You can:
Create your own courses
Follow our pre built outlines
Unschool your learner with our interest led functionality
Join over 1500 other homeschoolers!