Free Contemporary Language Arts

Some free, complete language arts programs
Good and Beautiful Language Arts and Literature This is free only in pdf download form and only for levels one to five, which are suitable for advanced first graders up to sixth grade. From the site “All of the language arts & literature courses cover phonics (up through Level 3), reading, writing, spelling, grammar, usage, punctuation, vocabulary, literature, and art. Geography is included in Levels 2 and above”

Engage NY
This free common core aligned language arts curriculum created by the State of New York is available for download. It is designed for grades pre-K through grade twelve and focuses on reading, writing, speaking, and listening as well as guiding students toward developing critical thinking skills.

Learn Zillion
This site is always adding more content. Right now they have a language arts curriculum for grades three to twelve that is based on fiction novels. Some of the novels may have to be purchased.

Mobymax
is a complete language arts and reading comprehension program for grades K to 8 paired as part of a complete, online curriculum. There is a paid version available that offers a few extra options. I have to say that my kids have used Mobymax quite a bit over the last year or so.

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Phonics and Learning to Read


Progressive Phonics
Progressive Phonics is a gentle, thorough, and easy to implement complete phonics program designed to be used by parents to teach their children to read at home. I’ve used this program with two of my own children. It is comparable to phonics programs on the current market that sell for quite a bit of money. It starts with the letter sounds of the alphabet and includes handwriting.

The Free Reading Program
This site offers a free reading program for grades K to 6. The early grades are a learn-to-read program and from grade four and up it’s reading comprehension and vocabulary.

Sight and Sound Reading
This year-long learn to read program is a gift to the world from retired teacher Mrs. Madreen Karle, with her wisdom from a career of teaching children to read. There are a lot of ads, and she does have some paid content.

Dolch Sight Words
Dolch sight words are a list of 220 sight words that children must learn and memorize in order to learn to read fluently. The words are organized into lists and the pre-primer list is the list that should be learned in preschool. There is also a link to a bingo card maker on the site, to create your own sight word bingo cards. 

Starfall 
Starfall is a well-known and loved phonics site that is free but has a paid component as well. Although many parents have told me that their child learned to read from playing on this site, my own kids did not get that much out of it. There are no organized lessons, for one thing. It is a fun site for kids to play on and it does offer some letter sounds and early readers.

Fun Fonix
Fun Fonix offers free phonics games, free printable phonics workbooks, and worksheets. You can even customize your phonics worksheets.

Teach Your Monster to Read
From the website: “Teach your Monster to Read is a series of free games to practice the first stages of reading. ” My youngest son loved this website.

Sparkle Box
Sparkle Box is an amazing UK site that offers, among many other things, printable phonics activity booklets, bingo sets, worksheets, and games.

Internet 4 Classrooms
The Internet 4 Classrooms offers a number of free phonics resources. Click on your child’s grade level to find links.

Fun Phonics
Fun Phonics has free downloadable early phonics readers available under the Creative Commons license. There are nineteen phonics readers and a reference guide available

Free Phonetic Readers
Free phonetic readers offers just that, free phonetic readers! Offered under the Creative Commons license.

Cookie.com
Cookie.com has some free phonics games and worksheets that you might find interesting. This is one of my son’s favorite websites.

K12 Reader 
K12 Reader offers phonics worksheets and reading comprehension worksheets as well as Dolch word lists and activities.

I See Sam books
Simple phonics based stories from a popular book series now available in its entirety online.

Learn to Read with Arthur
Lesson plans, worksheets and a teacher’s guide from the popular PBS series Arthur.

Reading Bear
From the website: “Reading Bear is a fun way to learn to read. We teach over 1,200 vocabulary items. Our 50 presentations cover all the main phonics rules. All free and nonprofit! ”

Free Beginning Readers
A homeschool mom has created a free downloadable set of beginning readers. You have to download each set individually. There is a link to a paid version that allows you to download all of the readers at once if you would rather do that.

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Grammar and Composition
English Banana
This site offers free resources for grammar and also for learning English as a second language. You will want to download the Big Grammar Book, the Big Resource Book, and the Big Activity Book.

KISS Grammar
This is a formidable and complete grammar course from Dr. Ed Vavra, a language arts professor at a Pennsylvania college with nearly forty years of teaching experience. Dr. Vavra’s passion is teaching grammar and composition.
The course is designed for grades two through eleven, and includes free workbooks and teacher’s guides.

MacMillan/McGraw Hill Leveled Practice Workbooks
Similar to the workbooks for the Treasures language arts program, this major textbook company also has more downloadable practice workbooks for students in grades K to six. The quality is amazing. The workbooks are organized into categories of ‘reteach, on level, and extend. You can use the ‘reteach’ workbooks to teach your child, the on level workbooks for practice, and the extend workbooks if your child is a bit advanced.

National Treasures Grammar
From the major textbook publisher McGraw-Hill come these very nice downloadable workbooks from their Treasures curriculum. The books are designed to accompany a text but are very much useable without it. Some activities in the workbooks refer to a story in the text, but most activities are stand-alone. If you do feel that a copy of the text would be nice, you can find used copies at a reasonable price on Ebay. Do a search on “Mcgraw Hill Treasures”. Amazon usually has them, but their prices are a lot higher for this product. You can also usually find reasonably priced copies of the text at used textbook resellers like Abe Books.  On this website you will find an activity book for kindergarten and grammar, spelling, and practice workbooks for grades one through six. Many home educators have found using these workbooks a handy curriculum for the elementary age student.

English Grammar
This site has hundreds of lessons you can download, but they are not organized very well. You would need to know what you were looking for or in what order you wanted to teach topics.

Daily Grammar
Daily Grammar is an archive of 440 free grammar lessons with 88 quizzes designed for the student to study grammar at his or her own pace. There are ebooks and workbooks available for a fee, but the site itself with the lessons and quizzes is completely free. Click on “Archive” to access the lessons and content online.

English Linx I was really thrilled to find this excellent resource. The worksheets are top quality and cover many topics that other sites overlook. From the website: “Englishlinx.com is a free resource for teachers, parents, students, and homeschoolers. The English Worksheets are categorized into three basic categories; Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced level. The Beginner level worksheets cater to students in the elementary setting. The Intermediate level worksheets cater to students in the middle school setting. The Advanced level worksheets cater to the student in the high school setting.”

Guide to Grammar and Writing
This online guide, dedicated to the memory of founder and beloved English Professor Dr. Charles Darling, is offered free by the Capital Community College Foundation, a nonprofit 501 c-3 organization located in Hartford, Connecticut.

Khan Academy
Khan Academy has a video-based grammar course.

Guided Journaling
Christie Zimmer has created “Grace is Overrated”, a collection of fifty free, printable guided journal pages. The pages are visually appealing and inspiring. Suitable for high school students.

Paradigm
Paradigm Online Writing Assistant is a free website offering content and community to aspiring writers. From the website: “Our goal is to provide a supportive learning environment in which visitors and members can write, share, and celebrate language.”

ABOUT WRITING: A GUIDE by Robin Jeffrey.
Open source textbook from the website “This writer’s reference condenses and covers everything a beginning writing student needs to successfully compose college-level work, including the basics of composition, grammar, and research. It is broken down into easy-to-tackle sections, while not overloading students with more information than they need. Great for any beginning writing students or as a reference for advanced students!”

Saylor Academy 
This organization offers free, complete college-level courses with assignments, readings from open source (free) textbooks and exams. Cruise the website and check out the selection of course offerings that are suitable for motivated high school students. Courses include English Composition I and II and Public Speaking, among others.

High School Studies
Homeschool College USA offers a free complete high school curriculum that includes complete courses with lesson plans, assignments, and open source (free) textbooks. Check out this website to find courses for high school level students. Courses include Composition, American Literature, and English Literature.

Scout at University of California
Take high school courses from the University of California, including AP courses. You have to register and the courses run on a schedule. They aren’t totally free, there is a $19 registration fee.

K12 Reader
K12 Reader has some writing prompts to help get the creativity going, some spelling, and a lot more. There are a lot of grammar worksheets. Use your scope and sequence to pick the order that you teach grammar using the worksheets from this website.

ReadWriteThink.org
Readwritethink offers some useful literacy interactive applications that your student may enjoy. If you don’t like the featured resources you can search for resources from kindergarten to grade twelve.

Schoolhouse Rock
Remember those old Schoolhouse Rock videos? Scroll down the playlist to find the one you need.

Nanowrimo
Nanowrimo is a crazy shortened form of “National Novel Writing Month”. It’s a free program to encourage creative writing and it’s centered around a free website that helps and encourages young writers who want to participate in writing a novel in November. You can join for November and have fun, but you can also download some nice workbooks to use any time of the year. This link takes you to the page where you can download creative writing workbooks for elementary school, middle school, and high school. You can also click on the main menu to check out the main site.

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Contemporary Spelling

National Treasures Spelling National Treasures Workbooks from McGraw Hill are meant to accompany the National Treasures textbooks, but as many home educators have realized, they are excellent as stand alone materials as well. You’ll find complete spelling courses for grades one through six. You can download these books for use offline or print them out. 

Spell by Color
This is a free phonics-based spelling program developed by a homeschool mom and meant to be started in the third grade.

AAASpelling
Spelling and vocabulary lists by grade for grade one to grade eight.

Kids Know It Network
This popular children’s education site offers spelling lists by the week for grades one to twelve, along with spelling games and activities. 

K12 Reader
This language arts site offers free spelling lists for grades one to five.

Spelling City
This might be the most popular spelling site on the internet. You will find both free and paid services here, along with a huge collection of suggested spelling lists organized by grade level. If you are looking at a particular spelling program you will probably find that someone has put the spelling lists from that program into Spelling City already. This is also available in the form of an app. 

Grade Spelling
Spelling lists by grade for grades one to eight and also SAT words.

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Reading Comprehension
Engage NY
This free common core aligned curriculum created by the State of New York is available for download. It is designed for grades pre-K through grade twelve and focuses on reading, writing, speaking, and listening as well as guiding students toward developing critical thinking skills.

Learn Zillion
This site is always adding more content. Right now they have a literature curriculum for grades three to twelve that is based on fiction novels. Some of the novels may have to be purchased.

Reading Comprehension Passages and Questions for Kids
Mrnussbaum.com offers free reading comprehension passages for grades one to five, as well as reading comprehension passages that focus on specific skills like sequencing and details.

The Free Reading Program
This site offers a free reading program for grades K to 6. The early grades are a learn to read program and from grade four and up it’s reading comprehension and vocabulary.

K12Reader.com
This site has free reading comprehension activities for first through fifth grades.

ReadWorks
From the website “ReadWorks is a leading national non-profit organization that provides a FREE, research-based, and Common Core-aligned reading comprehension curriculum for grades K-6. ” You do have to create an account to use this site, but the content is free.

RHL School
This website offers free reading comprehension worksheets for upper elementary and middle school students.

Mobymax
Free reading comprehension selections and comprehension questions for grades K to 8.

Reading Vine
Free reading comprehension exercises, but you have to register. The content collection is pretty impressive. I really like this one. They have material for grade levels K through 12 and include informational text as well as fiction, and they also have drama, poetry, opinion, and more.

Read Theory  Another free reading comprehension site. This one offers the ability to track your child’s progress.

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Audio Stories
Believe it or not, you can do a simple search on Youtube for ‘read aloud’ and find a number of popular children’s story books being read aloud. Or do a search for that particular book your child enjoys. Take a break and let someone else do the reading!

Kids books being read aloud
Playlist of a number of children’s books being read aloud

More kids books being read aloud
Another playlist of read aloud children’s stories

Even more kids books being read aloud
Includes some chapter books

Kindergarten read alouds
A very large playlist of children’s stories being read aloud

63 Children’s stories being read aloud
Yes, 63. If you have a child who enjoys listening to children’s books being read aloud, this may be a lifesaver for you.

Librivox
You can choose to have a book read aloud to you by Librivox. Librivox is a popular collection of public domain books read aloud and recorded by volunteers. The collection includes adult fiction and non-fiction as well as children’s books. Check out the audio book recordings offered by this free website. Look for the children’s Short Works collection for stories.

Tunein
This is a free streaming audio service with an option for a paid subscription that eliminates the advertising. They have a lot of podcasts designed for children, some that tell stories.

Story Nory
You can find more free audio stories for children at Story Nory. Story Nory has a large collection of children’s stories read aloud, including classics, myths, fairy tales, and original stories. Story Nory publishes a new story every week.

Books Should Be Free
Books Should be Free is a website that has public domain audio books and ebooks. You can find some children’s favorites there including a great selection of classics as well as shorter stories by well-loved writers like Thornton Burgess. The “Great Big Treasury of Beatrix Potter” is a favorite in my house…

The Story Home
The Story Home has a large collection of classic and original children’s stories read aloud and recorded.

Kids Learn Out Loud
Kids Learn Out Loud has a free section. Click on the free section, then on Short Stories to find favorites such as Aesop’s Fables, Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling, and fairy tales by Hans Christian Andersen, and more.

Storyline Online
Storyline Online is sponsored by the Screen Actors Guild and features video recordings of children’s stories read aloud by SAG members.

Light Up Your Brain
Light Up Your Brain has free audio stories for kids, with a mix of classic stories and originals.

CBeebies
This is a popular United Kingdom children’s radio show for preschoolers. CBeebies has stories, songs, and games for the younger set.

BBC Nursery Songs and Rhymes
Large collection of traditional nursery songs and rhymes

BBC School Radio 
This website has some classic stories available to listen to.

Radio Lovers
This is a wonderful website with free links to those great old time radio shows. Your kids will love listening to the Avenger, Buck Rogers, and more. Check this out!

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Literature Guides

The Best Notes
A website with free online literature guides.

Glencoe Literature Library
A collection of free literature guides from textbook publishing giant Glencoe. From the website “Click on a Glencoe Literature Library title below for a brief description of the novel or play, a list of its related readings, and a link to its individual study guide. Each study guide includes background information and reproducible activity pages for students.”

Reading Units
Small eclectic collection of teacher-prepared study guides and literature units.

Nancy Polette’s Children’s Literature site
Literature guides for selected children’s novels.

Spark Notes
This site offers free study guides for a number of subjects, which just happens to include literature. You’ll find free study guides for selected literature here.

Homeschool Share
Literature-based unit studies created by homeschool parents.

BBC Bitesize: Literature
Classic literature study guides

Homeschool Helper Online Literature Unit Studies
Worth a look. They have literature-based unit studies for a variety of popular children’s books.

Shmoop Click on “Learning Guides” in the menu then on “Literature” and you will find a large, eclectic collection of really excellent literature guides with summaries, essay questions, quizzes, and more.

Vocabulary

Spelling City
This popular spelling site also offers vocabulary lists and games.

Vocabulary Games 
This site has a ton of vocabulary games including analogy games, Latin roots games, antonym games, and more.

Word Central
This site is from Merriam Webster and offers a daily buzzword and some games.

Handwriting 

Teaching Handwriting
Teaching Handwriting is the site of Lisa Marnell, an occupational therapist specializing in handwriting. The information and the worksheets are free, the workbooks are not.

Soft Schools 
Soft Schools offers free handwriting worksheets.

Handwriting Worksheet Generator
Create your own handwriting worksheets here at Worksheet Works.

ABC Teach
This site offers some free handwriting worksheets

Free Handwriting Workbooks
Find free writing handwriting workbooks from the ESL Writing Wizard

Sparkle Box
Sparkle Box has free handwriting worksheets

Internet for Classrooms
The Internet 4 Classrooms has various free handwriting resources

Handwriting Worksheets
Create your own handwriting worksheets featuring a single word, a sentence, or a paragraph.

The International Association of Master Penmen, Engrossers, and Teachers of Handwriting
This is the website of the experts. “IAMPETH is an international, non-profit association dedicated to practicing and preserving the beautiful arts of calligraphy, engrossing and fine penmanship.” On this website you’ll find a page dedicated to vintage books on penmanship

K12 Reader 
offers free handwriting worksheets

K5 Learning
This website has free cursive writing worksheets.

Bogart Family Resources Free Penmanship book
Download this great resource “What About Penmanship”, including information on penmanship styles and copywork.

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Children’s Best Literature Lists

Lit Charts: The world’s best literature guides

The Children’s Literature Web Guide

Newbery Medal
You can find the current Medal winner and runner’s up, plus lists of all of the winners since 1922.

Caldecott Medal
Find here the current winner of the Caldecott Medal for most distinguished American picture book for children, plus a list of all of the winners since 1938

Language Arts Games and Worksheets

Interactive Language Arts Games
This is a site that collects links to language arts games and arranges them into categories to make it easy and convenient to find them.

English Linx I was really thrilled to find this excellent resource. The worksheets are top quality and cover many topics that other sites overlook. From the website: “Englishlinx.com is a free resource for teachers, parents, students, and homeschoolers. The English Worksheets are categorized into three basic categories; Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced level. The Beginner level worksheets cater to students in the elementary setting. The Intermediate level worksheets cater to students in the middle school setting. The Advanced level worksheets cater to student in the high school setting.”

Word Libs
Word Libs are a series of fun grammar games based on the popular children’s game Mad-libs. Not a complete curriculum, but really fun.

Houghton Mifflin Education
This popular textbook publisher offers online grammar practice and quizzes as well as vocabulary and proofreading practice for grades one through five.

K12 Reader
K12 Reader has free grammar worksheets and games to supplement your grammar curriculum.

mrnussbaum.com
On this website you will find some really entertaining language arts games and activities created by an elementary school teacher.

BBC Bitesize: Literacy
Games for phonics and early grammar skills, appropriate for grades K to 2.

Grammar Games for Kids and Teens
A collection of links to language arts games collected by Professor Valerie Frankel.

K5 Learning
This website has some basic grammar worksheets that are free to print.

Funbrain Reading and grammar games

Room Recess
Scroll down for grammar and reading games