Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Decisions, decisions

Well, the traditional school year is about to come to a close. For homeschoolers that is not necessarily the case. As homeschoolers we have choices to make. Do we let our children have the summer off? Or do we continue with school throughout the summer?
We normally home school through the summer. We live in a place that is really hot, and it is better all around if we just take more breaks when the weather is bearable, and stay in the air conditioning when it is so miserable.
Additionally, it is hard to get back in the swing of things if we take the summer off. Consider traditional schools and the months of reviewing that they do to recover the knowledge that is lost when children are allowed to be idle over the summer break.
Last summer we had the unfortunate opportunity to see how a summer off would effect our schooling. Due to family issues with my extended family, we just didn’t do school. Because of that we got behind the schedule I had set for us, and when we went back to school it was hard to get back in the routine of doing school. It took us several months to get the ball rolling again. I’m thinking we are just going to let that ball keep rolling all summer this year. What decision will you make?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Reading for a better vocabulary

Is your sixth grader a reader? One of the best ways to improve your child’s vocabulary and spelling is to have her read. Readers are exposed to more words, than non-readers. Just by virtue of the fact that they are exposed to more words, they are bound to have a larger usable vocabulary.
So is your child doomed to a small vocabulary if they are not willing and fluent readers? Absolutely not! Another way to get many of the same benefits of reading is to have your child listen to audio books.
In fact, audio books can be very useful. Consider this: not only will your child get the same benefit as reading, but also they will have the added benefit of hearing the pronunciation of the words, in context. Context is an important learning tool, because even if your child doesn’t know the meaning, he might be able to figure out the meaning by hearing how a word is used.
Summer is not far away, and your child will probably have more time for non-school reading. Consider what your education goals are for your child for the summer, and then encourage your child to read!!