Thursday, July 15, 2010

Games and Learning go hand in hand (in my house anyways)

As a mother, with two boys 5 grades apart, learning games online are a must in my house. It keeps them both busy while I work with the other one. Language Arts is the most intensive subjects we do, just think about it, spelling,writing,comprehension,phonics, reading and more all in one subject!

Recently we started going over compound words, mostly as a refresher for my older son, or so I thought. He has ADHD and finds it very helpful to go over things on a regular basis, and once he gets the concept its there forever. But my younger son was having problems getting the concept of compound words, so both myself and older son tried to explain and show him as many of different combinations as possible so he could understand it. Finally we were all exhausted and took a break, well they did not me. I went online looking for compound word games, for both of my boys we have found that if we get stuck or they need some extra practice that finding a site that has learning games for them to use they always get the concept after a couple of minutes. Come to find out he understood just fine but he was trying to break down the words too far (into smaller sounds). Problem solved, well at least until next time!

Can't, Won't, Don't Make Me!

We as parents go thru contractions to bring these bundles of joy into the world, whether we are the Mom sweating, huffing and puffing or the Dad having his hand contracted into pulp as he gives support!LOL Who knew that years later we would use another definition of the word on a daily basis and as homeschooling parents have to TEACH contractions! The mere thought of teaching things like phonics, punctuation and contractions sends me into chills. Why do they need it, what will it ever be used for.... who cares?! It is not my strong point and usually spent with many, many, MANY phone calls to my Mom, the retired teacher so she can walk me thru it.....again! I am sure she could make $$ writing a book on how to teach your daughter this stuff so she understands and retains it.....LOL! Because as much as I would like to look the other way and not have to teach it.... we ALL use a contraction at least once a day! By Websters definition a contraction is; a shortened form of a word or group of words, with the omitted letters often replaced in written English by an apostrophe. For example, do not becomes don't, cannot becomes can't. Think back over your day, your emails, your conversations..... how many times did you use a contraction today?! Amazing isn't(another contraction) it, when you start to think about it!
Got to love modern times and thank goodness for the Internet! Search engines are a lifesaver when it comes to figuring out cool sites that correspond with what you are trying to teach! We have found that spelling games and contraction games are the way to go, to instill the correct usage of a contraction.... along with a little fun!LOL
Now, you have no excuses to tell your kids they "Can't, Won't, Don't Make Me" teach them contractions! Instead, go online and say I can, I will and PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE Make Me and then have fun with contractions and your kids! I promise it isn't as hard as you think!