I received Creative ELA for free in exchange for my review. As always, I only offer you my honest opinions. This review also contains affiliate links, which generate a small amount of income for me at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support in reading this!
Writing and literature are huge passions of mine and so it’s very important to me that we use high quality books and resources in our homeschool. When I came across Creative ELA from Curiosity Encouraged, I was so very excited about it, that I couldn’t wait to try it! We started with September and The Turtles of Oman by Naomi Shihab Nye – which ended up being a wonderful book that we fell absolutely in love with and a wonderful unit study to go with it.
What is Creative ELA?
Creative ELA was created by Kelly Sage and features unit studies for upper elementary and high school students. These unit studies focus on diverse books, which I think is awesome! It’s already introduced me to excellent books I hadn’t heard of before.
I personally choose to do the unit with my 10 year old, though my seven year old certainly listened to lots of the book and participated in some activities as well. Some of the features include:
- Live classes
- Video mini-lessons
- Creative writing projects
- Discussion questions to help guide your reading
- Hands-on activities
- Online classroom
- A great printable containing just about everything you need
- And so much more!
Structured Yet Flexible
I absolutely loved how many schedule ideas Kelly included in the unit study. She gave a week by week overview, as well as breaking it down into potential 5 day, 4 day, or 3 day sample schedules! We preferred to use the checklist (which Kelly calls the Student Guide), which was another way she included. This could, of course, be combined with one of the schedules to make sure that you cover all your bases.
She also included lots of suggestions for modifying it, both for younger kids and for older kids, as well as for struggling readers and struggling writers. Having all these options helped us to use the study in the way that was best for us.
You also have the option to choose between doing the units with live classes or without live classes. The live classes are exceptional. Kelly is an amazing teacher and my son had such a good time in them. But, if you have a busy schedule or live classes just don’t work for your child, you can always opt to purchase the unit without live classes. Past units are also available without live classes. I want to add, you are still getting a quality class even without the live classes because Kelly includes mini-video lessons and a whole community to contribute to and ask questions. Both options are great, so pick the one that works for your family!
You also can choose the unit studies individually, so you aren’t locked into doing every single one. This way you can do any past unit studies that were created before you started with it (without live classes), but you can also skip any that don’t work for your family. Maybe you already studied one of the books and don’t want to do it again. It’s flexible, so you can pick only the studies you want to do!
Language Arts You Can Do Together
Now, in our house, language arts is almost always something that we do together. Because I love books so much, we dive into a lot of our reading together. Of course my kids read independently, but so much reading that we do for school is together – even when my kids can read it. Why? Because it’s just really magical to explore a story together. My kids are 7 and 10 and we still read aloud almost every day. Plus, it helps us to more naturally discuss the story when we’re all reading at the same time.
But above and beyond that, Creative ELA is great for working together as a family. Not only because it is so adaptable, like I mentioned above, but because it also is so creative and hands on. In the recent unit we did, there was a cooking section. And the projects also lend themselves to working together – like one that asked my child to create a travel brochure. This is a project that can be done independently, to be sure, but you could also work together on it.
Creative ELA Has Kids Writing with Excellence
As someone who loved writing enough to pursue a degree in it, I have high standards for writing programs. Creative ELA more than passes my test. Not only does Kelly do a great job of getting kids excited about writing in the live classes, but the writing projects she includes are excellent! I love that she gives them a wide variety of writing projects. Plus, she sets them up well to write them, with the video mini-lessons and the live classes providing support and suggestions.
Plus, she is active in the community area as well. When my son shared a poem he wrote, Kelly responded with positive feedback and some suggestions for how he could improve. Getting this direct feedback is really helpful. In the live classes, she invites the kids to share their work there as well. Sharing your work is an important skill in terms of public speaking and in terms of softer skills like confidence.
Creative ELA is a Toolbox for Language Arts and Exploration
When you do a unit with Creative ELA, it is going to take you through a book. But it is going to take you through so much more than just a book. Your child is going to be writing, doing hands on activities, participating in classes (if you choose), and even creating a notebook to keep all their work! There is seriously so much here. It’s so well thought out and I felt totally prepared to teach this with little to no preparation! The live class before we read the book definitely helped my son to feel excited about the book which led to us just naturally working on the unit!
Doing one unit study a month through Creative ELA is definitely enough to cover your language arts in a gentle but also challenging way. Can those two things go together? Yes! Because this unit study can help push your learner out of their comfort zone but in a way that helps them feel comfortable growing.