Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Things I Should Have Done

I just thought I would share with you some weaknesses in our previous homeschool years that we are now going back to correct. I hope this helps you not to make the same mistakes that I did.
Sight Words and Spelling. We did a lot of phonics. I thought if they learned phonics that they would learn to read and spell. While phonics is very important, they still really need to learn sight words and have spelling. You can use spelling curriculum or you can use words they have misspelled or didn't know in their reading. I recommend using sight words as spelling words while you are learning them (kind of kill 2 birds with one stone). Do an internet search for Dolch word lists and Dr. Fry's instant words.
Dolch -
Dr. Fry -
Math Memorization. I thought if my children understood the concept and had lots of practice everything else would fall into place. I do think that learning the concept first is key, but the definitely need to memorize addition and subtraction facts, skip counting (by 2's, 5's, 10's, etc.) and multiplication tables. Work on memorizing this stuff and test what they know by doing timed math drills. I like . I started by having them do a sheet and seeing how much time it took them, then having them try to beat their own time. I think this is a less intimidating way for them to do it.
I also wish I would have had them do more creative writing and copywork. I had them do their handwriting workbook and that was it. So now we are really working on creative writing. They are doing a lot more writing this year.
I wish I would have had them read aloud to me more often. KH reads very well. KG reads lots of words very slowly and I have noticed the more I have her read aloud to me, the better her reading gets (Fluency).
I really am focusing on catching up in these areas before we move on this year. Of course that's part of the beauty of homeschooling. If we get behind or spot an area of weakness, it's not too hard or time consuming to catch up.
I hope that helps.

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