Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Up, down, left, right, backwards and diagonal! WORD SEARCH TIME!

I love word searches!
My kids love word searches!
I think they are a great way to get those spelling words into their brain or just a good brain teaser to keep their mind active!
The best way to expand your knowledge is to keep your brain active!
And you can find word searches on the internet for ANY grade level from Kindergarten to High School.
For ANY holiday or activity from MLK to Easter to Columbus Day to Boxing Day!
Even on a down day where we are just not into homeschooling or they have run out of things to do.... Mom pulls out a word search!
I even found a word search game for the car! Came with a little stylus and runs on batteries. It is a great thing to have in the car for those times we have to wait. Traffic jam, Dad getting haircut, Mom ran into grocery store, etc. And I am looking for a 2nd one, because they fight over it!
Who knew my kids would fight over the educational toy!LOL
So, if you are looking for something for those bored kids to do on a rainy day(and yes, they have rainy day word searches!LOL) then get online and find a free printable word search! You can even find sites that allow you to make your own and print them out! Think of the possibilities! Hints for the next family trip, announcements about a new baby, surprise class you signed them up for....
I don't know about you.... but I am off to find one for my boys right now!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Go, Research, Learn and Decide!

As the homeschool year starts, as homeschooling parents we start to work on curriculum.
So, how to decide what to teach this year.....
Of course there are the basics of Math, Language Arts, Social Studies and Science.
But those cover a broad expanse of subjects.
Math, what are they ready for? What is geared to their age? And once you get into the high school age... you have even MORE choices, pre-algebra, algebra, geometry, calculus, etc.
Language arts covers English, Writing, Spelling, Reading and then some. What is geared for their age? What are they ready for?
Social Studies covers history, economics, geography and more. Again, what is geared for their age and what are they ready for?
Science covers Health, Chemistry, Biology, Green Living, etc.
Now as a homeschooler...you have the freedom to choose and set it up how it works best for you!
There are TONS and I mean TONS of programs out there that can completely cover, enhance or help each subject!
The problem is picking which ones! Well, that is a very personal decision for both YOU and your child! How cool are you with teaching homeschool language arts for example? Are you totally capable? Then maybe some workbooks are ok for you. Have no clue what you are doing? Then maybe an online program would be better.
The best thing I can offer new to homeschooling parents is RESEARCH! And breathe! Because we are homeschoolers, we have the luxury of picking and choosing things that work and if they do not work, toss them and find something that does. We are never tied down by anything other than ourselves!
Go, Research, Learn and Decide!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Butter+Fly=Compund Word! Who made that butterfly and why!LOL

So....how do you explain compound words to your kids.
Like I said previously, the English language is hard enough.
You have taught your child what butter is, how to spell it, the meaning, etc.
You have taught your child what a fly is, how to spell it, the meaning, etc.
And now we have a compound word "butterfly" which has nothing to do with butter OR flies.
It means something TOTALLY different, has the same spelling but is 2 words now squished together AND a totally different meaning!
Compound words can be fun, they can be confusing, they can be silly.
They are usually introduced towards the end of Kindergarten or the start of First Grade and make for a learning experience!
Learning about compound words helps your kids understand the English language, builds an interest in words and their creation and meanings and will help prepare them to learn prefixes, suffixes, and word roots which comes later in their studies!
I like to get my kids started on these and then give them a challenge to see how many compound words they can come up with!
Kids love challenges and a challenge that lets them learn at the same time is even better!

So, now we will let the "Butterfly" wake up with the "daylight", have some "breakfast" and then seal the purchase on his new cocoon with a "handshake"!

Friday, September 2, 2011


How did you learn about how to count syllables? I learned to place my flat hand horizontally under my chin and say a word, how many times my chin touched my hand... was how many syllables the word contained. Try it, it does work! Now, you can end up adding extra syllables into words because of how you say the word or saying it to slowly or putting emphasis on spots that don't have them.... but overall, if you just say the word like normal..this trick does work.
I have used this for my own boys as they work on their writing lessons from Grandma because she has where they look up dictionary words and must write down the number of syllables in each word as part of it as well as creating a sentence, etc. When we learned about haiku and they had to create their own haiku's, they used this trick.
It goes back to my emphasis that if you give kids some creative tools for learning, they will stick with them for life and always have a good base for understanding!
Now, how many syllables does the word "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" have?
Try the chin trick and see!

Read this blog post so you can say you read it.... Multiple word meanings!

The English language is said to be one of the hardest languages to learn. If that is true... how, as a homeschooling parent do we best approach teaching it.
We have words that have multiple meanings, we have words that are spelled the same but sound different, we have apostrophes that change how a word is used.... confusing to say the least.
So think about this as we start back to school and our kids are learning this in English or Language Arts....
When it comes to things like multiple word meanings or words that are spelled the same but sound different, I think a good visual approach works better than most other methods. Think back to basics and yes, your kids will think it is babyish but it will help establish in their minds the differences. That way, later on in like when they have a job in a fish market and have to scale a fish, then cut and weigh it on the scale for a customer.....they will know the difference! Please read your book, but Mom... I have already read the book. Things like this will be understood because you as a parent gave them a good base to work with!
Now go wind up the cords on the blind before the wind blows them away so you can learn how to scale the fish you just caught but weigh it on the scale before you do that. Then read this blog so you can tell your kids you already read that!
And that is my lesson for the day.....!LOL