"Home" Schooling 101

June 27, 2010

So far, my homeschooling blog has not contained anything relating to "schooling" in the traditional sense. So, today, I figured I would throw out a few tips to those of you with young children. Now, you may or may not be a "homeschooler". Your child may not even be old enough to go to school, but, here are a few ideas I have come across to make teaching your child simple skills fun!

For math you can write number words on index cards and have your child put the correct amount of stickers on each card. Also, I have purchased several dice. You can use these dice in many ways. You can teach the concept of addition by having your child identify the dots and add up each dice. You can even have him adding more than two dice as he gets a little older and better skilled. You can also use the dice to illustrate place value. Once die with two dots and one die with six dots can illustrate 26. I even bought Extra Large dice that are about 5" square! Dominoes can be used in a similar way. We also use candy or dry cereal very often in math! When we're done with a lesson he enjoys eating his work. Another manipulative I like for math is colored "popsicle" sticks. You can buy them very inexpensive. Group them together in bundles of 10 with a rubber band to teach place value and adding by 10's, etc. I also found magnetic wooden numbers and math symbols (+, -. x, -/-). I am certain Brant will like to answer math problems on the fridge much better than the traditional paper and pencil method.

For spelling words I bought a metal cookie sheet and Brant can spell out his words in flour on the cookie sheet. You can use shaving cream too. Another fun way to spell out words is to use different color markers for each letter to make "rainbow" words. I also have purchased the magnetic wooden letter for the fridge for him to spell out his words too. Another fun way to teach spelling words is to have him unscramble his spelling words. Other fun ways to teach spelling words are: have your child write them with fancy letters, make a word search puzzle, let him write spelling words on construction paper with glue and put on glitter, yarn, dry beans or pasta, let him type his spelling words on the computer using his favorite fonts and print them out, let him paint them onto butcher paper, let him spell his words with play-doh, spell words using pipe cleaners, finger paint them.

To bring out a love of writing in your child you can begin a "journal". You start the first entry and try to give you child ideas for his own entry... ie write about your favorite vacation as a child and include as many details as possible. Have you child write and journal entry and return it to you so you can make another journal entry and return it to your child... so on and so forth. You may just discover some very interesting things about your child and grow your relationship in a special direction in this process. I have also found that "story starters" are wonderful tools! Here are a few ideas to get your child started: *Imagine you opened your own restaurant. Explain what the restaurant look like, who works there, and what you serve. *Imagine you woke up and saw a dinosaur in your back yard. Describe what you see and do. *If you could cook any meal for your family, what would you make? Describe the meal and tell how you would make it. *If you could have lunch with any famous person, who would it be? What would you talk about? *If you could have any animal for a pet, what would it be? Describe the pet and tell how you would take care of it. *Write a story titled, "My Journey on a Pirate Ship". You and your friends can star in the story. *Imagine you were a wonderful painter and your parents would let you paint anything you wanted on your bedroom walls. What would you paint? Describe what it looks like. *Describe some ways a person your age could earn money. *Invent a new kind of sandwich. Tell what's on it and how you would make it. *Describe your favorite season. Tell what kinds of things you like to do during that season. *If you could be on any television game show, what would it be? Describe what happens when you're on the show. *Which superpower would you most like to have? Describe what you would do with your powers.

There are many ways we all can teach our children. How creative can you get? I would LOVE to hear your tips and ideas for teaching kids of any and all ages! Feel encouraged to leave a comment- and who knows- your ideas may end up on a future blog.

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