Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Back to School Time

Back to school time!  The curriculum has been chosen, supplies have been purchased, and books are ready to go.  The months of planning and preparing have come to fruition and it’s time to get the teaching underway.  

It is definitely exciting when a new school year begins.  The kids are ready to get back to their regularly scheduled programming and I’m ready to have the “I’m bored!” chorus cease!  The newness of school after a few months away bring back refreshed and interested kids, even if it lasts all too brief.  

Embrace the excitement of the new year as it fades faster and faster with each year.  Talk longer if they will listen, read more if they ask, and allow the learning to continue.  Far too soon you will hear the refrain of school time groans creeping back into your homeschool.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Spelling for Fun

There seems to be an abundance of spelling curricula available for homeschoolers.  Any way you want to teach it, there’s likely a curriculum available for you to use.  With the mobility our family enjoys by homeschooling, we tend to utilize online resources.  

One of our favorite computer resources is an online spelling curriculum.  By choosing a curriculum that offers so much variety in spelling and vocabulary games, we are able to use it for a variety of purposes.  We enjoy handwriting worksheets, word matching, definition games, and online spelling tests.  There are a lot of resources from which to choose, making that subject an easier one with which to work.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Homeschool History

History is one of our favorite subjects to study.  It’s exciting to read stories of what has happened in the past and how it has impacted our lives in the present day.  We often learn of people we did not previously know and how they changed the way our works even today.  It’s easier for our homeschool when history reads like a story, telling the details of events and other people’s lives like we had sat down with a novel.

We also incorporate social studies projects to help understand the ideas we have read and discussed.  We’ve made wigwams when discussing Native Americans and covered wagons when reading about pioneers.  We also have fun playing social studies games.  The projects are the kids favorite activities and the fun in learning is mine!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Science in Your Homeschool

How does science work in your household?  With kids spanning several ages and homeschool grades, it can be difficult to work together on many subjects.  Science, however, is one of those times we come together to learn.  Science topics are easily worked across several age groups by adding in or reducing the material presented based on learning capabilities.  

One of the ways we make science work for us is by the use of science experiments.  I find an experiment that utilizes household materials and we get started.  The kids get excited when I start setting up and for those few minutes before we get started on an experiment, they are quiet with anticipation.  It’s one subject I know we can all do together.  

Friday, May 16, 2014

Finishing the School Year

As the school year begins to wrap-up, I have been thinking about ways to improve our homeschool in the fall.  I think about what curriculum choices worked out well for us and which ones did not.  Fortunately, we will still be using the same core curriculum in the fall.  That makes summer planning much easier for me.  

In the fall, I plan on incorporating music studies and music games into our weekly schedules.  Often, when time is getting short or our schedules get too hectic, music appreciation is one of the first subjects that fall by the wayside.  I’m hoping to do more to include additional ways to include learning about music.  Besides, the kids in this house are already huge fans of music!  

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Homeschool Spelling Words

How do you practice spelling words in your homeschool?  We have found the best way to commit words to memory is to practice them through the use of online games.  It is an easy and fun way to learn new words and practice popular word lists

By finding games that are exciting and even silly, kids can have a great time playing without even realizing they are learning.  It has been said that great readers may not be good spellers but that good spellers are often great readers.  With such an important life skill at hand, such as reading, it's vital to put our best foot forward when it comes to honing our spelling skills. 

In what ways have you found to enhance spelling practice in your homeschool?  Have you tried word games? 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Reading Fluency

Silent reading is twice as fast as oral reading, but in order to become a better silent reader, you need to develop good fluency. Fluency is simply being able to recognize words automatically as you read, so that you can develop more expression in your reading and read smoothly with expression.

There are two common ways to improve fluency, the direct and indirect way. The direct method has a child read a passage of about 100 words at their reading level. The passage should be decodable but not predictable. The child will read and reread the passage with a certain amount of time until they are fluent. The indirect method encourages kids to read voluntarily in their free time.