Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Homeschool Update

I'm always trying new ways of practicing spelling words. I saw this idea somewhere online, but can't give credit because I don't remember. But what I did was write out the alphabet on small Post-Its. The reason for the two colors is that I ran out of pink, but if I was thinking I would've done the vowels one color and consonants another color. That would have added to the lesson. Some of the letters had to be doubled. I put them in alphabetical order on a large sheet of paper and then Amber practiced her spelling words by grabbing the letters and sticking them in the open space below. I like this idea for two reasons.
#1 - the act of pulling the letters from the alphabet and sticking them in order is very concrete. 8 year olds need concrete ways of learning to help the ideas stick.
#2 - I like that she has to find the letters in the alphabet. By doing this it enforces the order of the alphabet. She can sing the alphabet, but one thing I notice is when given a letter and asked what comes before it and after it she has to whisper sing the alphabet at mach speed until she reaches that certain letter to identify the before and after. Is this common? Thinking back, I faintly remember Emily and Nick doing this as well.

Over at Chasing Cheerios I saw this number wheel idea. Samuel loves to count and can count to 100 except for the simple fact that he skips 11-19. Here's what he does: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 20, 21, 22......98, 99, 100. I thought I could use her idea to enforce the counting of 11-19. I traced a large bowl on a large sheet of paper and then divided it into 10 pizza slices. I used smiley stickers in the amounts of 10-19 depending on the "slice". Then I grabbed some pinch clothespins I had on hand and wrote the number 10-19 on them. The idea is that he counts the smiley faces and then pinches on the correct clothespin. I thought it was a brilliant idea; he doesn't like it. "It's just easier to skip all these numbers."

Pilgrims of the Holy Family is a badge earning program on order of Boy or Girl Scouts. It can be done as a family, individually or with a group. Emily and Nicholas both started this program last January (2009). They go in spurts with it, working like crazy to check off as many tasks as possible and then the book gets tucked away and forgotten until something triggers a thought about it and out it comes and the cycle continues. Nick finished Archery, Model Building, Collections, Wilderness Survival, Camping and Wood Tools throughout the last year. We presented him with his badges earlier this week and now he's on a mission to earn Fire Safety, Fishing, Cooking, Nature and Woodworking. For kids who love task lists this is an excellent program to involve them in. This week my smoke detectors have been tested, a bow string for his recurve bow has been made, he Googled and demonstrated the 9 steps to proper archery shooting and made homemade Ham and Potato Soup for tonight's supper. The onions were getting the best of his tear ducts. I suggested the cracker method only to find him a few minutes later implementing his own idea - Airsoft goggles.


  1. Thanks for the peg idea! Very timely as I had been trying to think of new ways to reinforce numeracy for my son, who incidentally also loves playing with pegs.

  2. Jen

    Very intelligent mother these kids have, keep it up. Wonderful job you two are doing raising your children.

    Love: M

  3. I like the post-it notes better than the Bananagrams tiles we use. The post its don't scuttle across the table! Thanks for the tip!


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