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.

Friday, December 7, 2012


Christmas is a very special time of year for most everyone. It is a time when young and old share, laugh, and love. Maybe this year your children can incorporate sharing into their homeschool studies.
You can use the idea of an Advent calendar to schedule special things for your children to do during December. Maybe they can bake goodies for a elderly person in your community, It is always helpful when kids shovel the snow-covered sidewalk for a neighbor or relative. Grandparents LOVE handmade pictures with lots of XOXOX’s at the bottom. Underprivileged kids might enjoy toys your child no longer plays with.
It doesn’t really matter what types of activities your kiddos plan, it is just important they show they care for others.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


November is "We Are Thankful" month! Thanksgiving and Fall are usually times to celebrate family. The first Thanksgiving took place in 1621 when the Plymouth colonists (Pilgrims) and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast. This is a great time to emphasize sharing and being thankful for what they have.

Here are ideas you might useful:

  • Write thankful letters to soldiers.
  • Make a construction paper turkey. Write something you are thankful for on each tail feather.
  • Have your child create a poem about something they are thankful for and share it with the family at the dinner table.
  • Encourage your child to go through their toy box and select five toys they would like to give to a needy child.
  • As a family, make “thankful” placemats for Thanksgiving dinner. Give each family member a 14”X14” felt piece (or whatever size fits your dinnerware). Using fabric glue, attach pictures (either drawn or printed ones) that show thankfulness. Use a fabric marker to draw and write on the placemat.
  • Using the word THANKFUL, write something you are thankful for for each letter of the word.
  • Bake something tasty for a shut-in.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Homeschool Literature

Have you ever wondered if there are any literature books written by homeschoolers. Have you ever wondered if there are any books written about homeschoolers? Well, the answer is yes to both questions. Homeschool Literature.com is a neat site that has books for and about homeschoolers and homeschooling.

The site offers a directory with reviews by homeschoolers, study guides, and ideas for further study.What a rare jewel that is for homeschooling families. I know that when I told my reluctant reader and writer that Eragon by Christopher Paoloni (one of her favorite books) was written by a homeschooler, it turned her thinking around. She suddenly realized that if he could write a book, she could too! She set out on her writing journey. She hasn’t’ finished her book yet, but what is important to me is that she believes in herself, wants to read more, and has finally realized that writing is not the enemy.

Challenge your child to read about or write about what they are most interested in. Maybe they will write a book and have it featured on Homeschool Literature.com!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Who is the Teacher?--

One way for kids to have more ownership in their lessons and retain more of what you teach them is to let them be the teacher once in a while. My daughter loves it when we I let her do this.

Sometimes after she has read a story, I have her make a test for Mom to take. She doesn’t show much mercy to me either. I had a little trouble on one test. I can still see her face as she giggled about me missing some of the questions. What I got out of this was the ability to measure her comprehension of what she read. In order for her to make a good test for me, she had to know about what she read. I was impressed with the difficulty of her questions.

You can also let an older child teach a concept they are good at to a younger sibling. Let them make the lesson plans for a younger sibling. Once in a while will not hurt the younger child.

This is a great way to increase retention of lessons being taught and create interest and curiosity before the lesson. Be sure to let your child know they are going to the be teacher before you assign the task of reading and creating a test for you or planning or teaching a lesson to a younger sibling. When they know what is expected, they will do a much better job.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Visual-Spatial Learners

My daughter has dyslexia and is a visual-spatial learner, a right brained learner. She is bright, but definitely learns differently from me. She thinks in pictures rather than words. She needs the whole picture first and doesn’t work in sequential steps.
The left hemisphere is sequential, analytical, and time-oriented. The right hemisphere perceives the whole, synthesizes, and apprehends movement in space.
If you think you might have a visual-spatial learner in your home, here are things to look for:
  • Thinks primarily in pictures
  • Has visual strengths
  • Relates well to space
  • Is a whole-part learner
  • Learns concepts all at once
  • Is able to learn hard things easily and easy things are hard
  • Is a good synthesizer
  • Sees the big picture; may miss details
  • Reads maps well
  • Is better at math reasoning than computation
  • Learns whole words easily
  • Must visualize words to spell them
  • Prefers keyboarding to writing
  • Creates unique methods of organization
  • Arrives at correct solutions intuitively
  • Learns best by seeing relationships
  • Has good long-term visual memory
  • Learns concepts permanently; is turned off by drill and repetition
  • Develops own methods of problem solving
  • Is sensitive to other people’s attitudes
  • May have very uneven grades
  • Enjoys geometry and physics
  • Is creatively, mechanically, emotionally, or technologically gifted
  • Is a late bloomer