Sunday, March 22, 2015

Very Vast Vocabulary

Just as learning to spell correctly is important, learning to use vocabulary words is also necessary.  One way we incorporate vocabulary words into our homeschool day is by using an online vocabulary program.  A fun game to play is a matching game--a word list is given on the left side of the screen and a list of definitions on the right.  The same game can also be played by using sentences in place of definitions.  There are also vocabulary flashcards used to review definitions and assigned vocabulary words.

Learning new words and expanding a students vocabulary is important to the growth of reading skills.  Just as it is important to practice and improve reading comprehension, it is also essential to broaden the vocabulary horizons of homeschooled students.  

Monday, February 16, 2015

The Importance of Reading Comprehension

An area of education that calls for frequent attention is that of reading comprehension.  When children are in preschool and kindergarten, the goal is to teach them letters and sounds so they can learn to read.  Learning to read, however, isn’t the only important part of this equation.  In addition to being able to read, children need to also hone their skills of reading comprehension.  

It’s not enough to know how to sound out the words and read them on the page.  It’s also incredibly important to understand what is being read.  To help your student hone their
reading comprehension skills, here’s a great course of action you can utilize:

  1. Predict what will happen next in a story using clues presented in text
  2. Create questions about the main idea, message, or plot of the text
  3. Monitor understanding of the sequence, context, or characters
  4. Clarify parts of the text which have confused them
  5. Connect the events in the text to prior knowledge or experience

By teaching your students the aforementioned steps, you can help them learn how to become an active reader.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Making Creative History Projects

Social studies is an interesting subject for upper elementary students.  Ancient civilizations, history, geography, civics, and economics are all topics likely covered in this time frame.  Learning about the past and how it affects the present and the future are topics in which students can relate.  Plus, with so much action taking place throughout history, it’s easy to find a time period in which students enjoy hearing the stories.  

Between reading lessons together or online, completing worksheets, and taking quizzes, social studies may start to get a little dry for students.  A great way to combat that issue is by creating engaging social studies games and projects.  Making clay writing tablets to represent cuneiform or constructing a wigwam with sticks and cloth are all ways to make history come alive in your homeschool.  Think outside of the box and get creative when thinking of a social studies project-- those always turn out the best!