Flashcards

There have been numerous times when I have gone online to get flashcards for my kids to help them with their math skills. I love sites that provide printable flashcards for learning math facts. Have you ever thought of using them for spelling though? What about vocabulary building? I really hadn’t either!

As much as I love printable flashcards, what I like even more are ones that are automated on the computer. Learning Games for Kids is a great site where you can find online flashcards. They even have flashcard type games for learning the keys in music.

I’m always telling my friends who have preschoolers to check this site out. They have some really wonderful preschool games.

Reading Skills

We live in a culture where reading and spelling is turned on it’s heel when it comes to most technology. LOLZ, BRB, AFAIAA, IDK, IMHO and tons more are recognized by teens almost universally. There are whole text translators available to us less hip parents who are clueless as to what many of these letters, seemingly thrown randomly together, are supposed to mean.

 

Did you know that there are stages of reading development that kids go through in learning to read? They don’t just start out already knowing all those acronyms even though it may seem like it to us. It actually takes a systematic building up of skills to reach reading proficiency. These start with very simple things like understanding that print has meaning and realizing that there are letters in their own name. This progresses until the child is able to comprehend and explain to someone else what they have read.

 

Time4Learning is a great example of technology that can improve rather than wreck your child’s spelling and reading comprehension!

 

Declaring An Electronics Fast

So you may be shocked to read this on a blog all about tech and how to make the most of it in your child’s education. I’m quite sure that you will agree that when the tech starts to actually hinder your child’s education, it’s time to cut it for a while. This is a very real part of the pros and cons of homeschooling and part of the hazards of living in such a gaming family.

What do I mean by an electronics fast?? Well for my kids it basically means no TV, no movies, no video games, no computer games, no DS or DS 3D, no kindle unless they are actually reading a book. It may seem harsh, but it really isn’t so bad as it sounds. Plus, this is the best way to get the attention of my kids!

My kids have been very lazy about doing their schoolwork which they are fully able to do independently. Yes, I take partial responsibility since I should be checking their work daily. Mom’s do get busy though. Especially moms who also work from home. And so I do believe that next week will be an electronics fast for the purpose of getting caught up with schoolwork!

(Teaching) Writing Angst

I’ve heard so many homeschool moms confess that they are terrified to attempt to teach their children how to write. I’m not talking penmanship, but how to form intelligent sentences and paragraphs. Many moms don’t seem to have much confidence in their own writing ability and therefore don’t feel that they can teach their kids anything in that area.

journal by sisterlisa, on Pix-O-Sphere

The wonderful news is that you don’t have to do it all on your own! There are online programs that can help. For most of us, simply getting  our kids to write a few sentences is a huge challenge in itself. That’s when you can turn to online writing ideas.

I happen to have one child who LOVES to write. She may turn out to be one of an elite set of homeschool authors. I just need to work with her on grammar and punctuation. My other kids are a completely different story! Pun intended.  They are boys, so that may have a lot to do with it. Males just don’t seem to be as verbose as females, at least not at this age. Both my sons seem to struggle with putting any of their thoughts into words either spoken or written. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t need to keep trying.

There are tons of ways to get a kid motivated to put their thoughts down in text.

  • You could have them keep a journal. Let them start out doing mostly drawings and have them add captions to them. Eventually you could have them write an entire story about their pictures.
  • Have them try their hand at writing a blog. You could have them take a blog writing course to be sure that they are blogging safely. Don’t forget to monitor their blog even after they take the course!
  • Have a file of writing prompts to spark their imagination.
  • Let them use the computer to write. Often kids even teens, dislike using a pencil to write, but will suddenly open up if allowed to use a keyboard instead.
  • Don’t critique their spelling and punctuation. If your goal is simply to get them writing, then focus on that to begin with. You can teach them spelling and punctuation through other venues.

Try some of these ideas and you just might have the next great homeschool author in your house as well!