TLDR: What Are the English Language Arts (ELA)?

English Language Arts (ELA) refers to the academic study of the English language. The subject encompasses seven main instructional areas: reading (“phonics”) and its counterpart, spelling; handwriting; vocabulary; grammar; composition (“writing”); and literature.

A complete ELA program includes direct instruction in all seven areas over the course of a child’s education. Certain areas, such as handwriting or phonics, are usually taught only in the lower grades, or until the skill is mastered. Other areas, such as composition, require extensive instruction and practice throughout the student’s K-12 years.

This post is part of TLDR(“Too long, didn’t read”), a series of very short articles that explain common homeschooling terms.

Copyright 2022 by Drew Campbell, PhD. All rights reserved.

Drew Campbell is the author of  Living Memory, I Speak Latin, and Exploring the World through Story, and co-author, with Courtney Ostaff and Jennifer Naughton, of How to Homeschool the Kids You HaveDr. Campbell is a veteran homeschooler and has worked as a classroom teacher, private school administrator, and independent tutor.