Strengthen Your Family Through Biblical Homeschooling

Tag: reading

boy with cape and sunglasses

Dragon Slayers

Boys are conquerors by nature! Ask any mom who has one. If they aren’t jumping off the furniture they’re slaying pretend dragons. It flabbergasts us women but it’s best to heed the wisdom of dads, “Leave them alone, they are learning to be men!”

After further research I discovered how in utero a male child experiences a chemical wash over the right side of his brain, causing it to shrink. This alteration forces males to act more left brained, think logically and act physically. All perfect for hunting, conquering and producing! But not as easy to multitask as us woman, who can do five things at once. I’m sure a great design from our heavenly Father so we could raise children and cook at the same time!

Learning for Boys

A light bulb went off in my head. I would need to approach homeschooling my son differently than my daughter. He would learn all the same things, but in a different way.

I gave my son as many hands on learning experiences that I could find. We took walks and found bird nests, made salt relief maps, prepared biscuits and stew from the Oregon Trail, hatched chicken eggs, raised baby ducklings, made our own flashcards, went on field trips, discovered caves, drew birds, planted gardens and the list goes on!

During sit down book times if he needed to get up and move around I was lenient. If he spilled his milk three times a day, I was patient.

Sometimes when we think our sons are being difficult we need to remember these limitations! I told my son about what I had discovered. He was relieved! He would remind me many times, “Mom you gave me three things to do at once and are overwhelming me. I only think with one side of my brain!”

The revelation was a godsend. My son is brilliant! He went on to become an honors student in college and won scholarships. Thankfully I found out early on that I needed to be tender to his God-created maleness and it has made all the difference!

A couple of hand-on curriculum I have found boys love:

Spies of the Revolutionary War Writing Unit and Lapbook

Each writing exercise uses visual, auditory, or hands-on projects sure to engage every type of learner. Make a battle drum, create your own secret code, or memorize parts of a famous speech. Develop a spy character and write about it! Even the reluctant writer will dive into the writing pool!

Warfare by Duct Tape

Bring Ancient History to Life! Re-enact history, defend honor, vanquish the enemy and take dominion… or just plain have fun! Warfare by Duct Tape specializes in books that teach you how to create your own historically based duct tape weapons, armor and costumes.

This article was originally published on our Homeschool Launch Blog.

Homeschool Workshop

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alphabet letters in bright colors

Thanksgiving is a time to stop and give thanks to God for our many, many blessings. Of course, Thanksgiving isn’t the only time we should give thanks. We are commanded over and over again in Scripture to give thanks…in every circumstance and for all things! But I do love that we can set aside a day or two to really focus in on our blessings instead of taking them for granted {which I can be so guilty of}.

Printable ABC Thanksgiving Cards

These free printable ABC Thanksgiving cards can be used with your family to give thanks from A to Z. The idea is especially pertinent for young children {Pre-K through 2nd grade}, but can be used with everyone.

GiveThanksfromAtoZ-3How to Use the ABC Thanksgiving Cards

  • Print off the cards.
  • Each day, pick one or two letter cards with your child(ren).
  • Brainstorm a list of things for which you are thankful that begin with the letters. For example, if I picked t, I might say: trees, the Trinity, or tires for my van. Keep in mind that younger kids may not pick things that seem important to you (for example, your child may say he’s thankful for trains) and that’s okay, too. We can give thanks for ALL things!
  • Pick one item to write in the blank.
  • Younger kids (and older) may also enjoy drawing a picture to match the word in the blank space provided on each card.
  • Place the used cards in a box or special jar.
  • On Thanksgiving Day, or the day your family meets, everyone can draw out a few cards and read them aloud.
  • Pray and give thanks!

There is a variation mentioned in the download, but these cards are very open-ended so you can easily adapt them for your family. For example, I adapted this idea last year with my preschooler and 1st grader with an ABC’s of Thanksgiving journal.

Click HERE to download these FREE Printable Thanksgiving Cards!

 

headshot-300-2014

First and foremost, I am a daughter of the King, and I’m also a homeschooling mama with four little blessings. Before having children, I was a classroom teacher, both in the private and public school setting for 6 years. I got my M.Ed. in Elementary Reading and then had my first son, and I began tutoring K-5 struggling readers privately out of my home until having my first child (2012).

I did not plan on homeschooling {I actually said I’d “never” homeschool, but the Lord called me to it in 2009}. Homeschooling was a bit lonelier than I expected. So in 2010, I started blogging as a way to share ideas with other parents, teachers, and tutors.

I never dreamed that God would use my blog in so many ways. I have been able to use it as a platform for writing curricula, authoring books, creating learning apps, and speaking at homeschooling conferences and MOPS groups. Through my blog, I have shared many articles, activities and free printables.

 

This article was originally published on our Homeschool Launch Blog.

 

To learn even more helpful homeschooling tools, click here to sign up for the newsletter.

 

Do you want more fun articles on a wide range of topics like discipleship, academics, family, encouragement and general homeschooling?  Just click here to search the vast blog library!

 

Attending a Teach Them Diligently Convention in 2019 is one change that is guaranteed to help your homeschool– and bless your family! We hope you will make that a priority!  Watch the video for more information!

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small boy sitting on floor reading

I love word sort! Word sorts are such a fabulously hands-on way to teach spelling and phonics. Word sorts help kids focus on spelling patterns within words. Learning to read and spell by spelling patterns is essential to helping kids move beyond the sound it out mode to reading more complex words.

Create Your Own Word Sort

To do a word sort, collect a few words (6-10) from your child’s reading that share a similar spelling pattern (let’s say you collect words that have the i_e pattern). Then, collect a few words that have a different spelling pattern (let’s pick igh). You write all the words down on separate cards. When I make my own sorts, sometimes I cut index cards into fourths.

Once your words are ready to go, set them in a pile in front of your child. Ask your child to read each word. Then say something like, “Some of these words share a common spelling pattern of i_e, which makes the long i sound. Can you find all those words?” After the child has pulled all those out, say, “The rest of these words share a common spelling pattern of igh, which also makes the long i sound.” Set those aside.

By taking the time to have our reader stop and pay attention to the spelling patterns within these words, we are helping them to move that pattern (and the full sequence of those letters) into memory. This helps kids read and spell better.

On subsequent days, you can use the same word sort to do different activities, like the ones I mention in my 10 days of teaching spelling through word study.

Long Vowel Word Sort for Long i {Springtime Theme} | Teach Them Diligently

 

To celebrate the arrival of spring (Yay!), I’ve created a High Flying Kite Word Sort Pack. This word sort features the long vowel i with these three spelling patterns: igh, final y and i_e. In the pack, you’ll find a springtime-themed word sort as well as a place for kids to write the words and find more words in their reading that share the same pattern {a great way to extend word sorts into real reading}.

 

Download this FREE Long Vowel Word Sort HERE.

 

headshot-300-2014

First and foremost, I am a daughter of the King. I am also a homeschooling mama with four little blessings. Before having children, I was a classroom teacher, both in the private and public school setting for 6 years. I got my M.Ed. in Elementary Reading and then had my first son. I began tutoring K-5 struggling readers privately out of my home until having my first child (2012).

I did not plan on homeschooling {I actually said I’d “never” homeschool, but the Lord called me to it in 2009}. Homeschooling was a bit lonelier than I expected. So in 2010, I started blogging as a way to share ideas with other parents, teachers, and tutors.

I never dreamed that God would use my blog in so many ways. I have been able to use it as a platform for writing curricula, authoring books, creating learning apps, and speaking at homeschooling conferences and MOPS groups. Through my blog, I have shared many articles, activities and free printables.

 

This article was originally published on our Homeschool Launch Blog.

 

To learn even more helpful homeschooling tools, click here to sign up for the newsletter.

 

Do you want more fun articles on a wide range of topics like discipleship, academics, family, encouragement and general homeschooling?  Just click here to search the vast blog library!

 

 

A Hands On Approach To Educating Your Preschoolers

Teach Them Diligently 365 members, listen to:

“A Hands On Approach To Educating Your Preschoolers”

During this video session we will define the components of a quality preschool education, identify some of the important skills preschoolers need to learn, and learn how to create lessons and activities using a thematic hands on approach and look at lesson examples.

Become a member of Teach Them Diligently 365 for access to more!

Sign up for a free 7 day trial and explore the extensive content!

 

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preschool girl reading to stuffed animals

Do you have a preschooler this fall and need a curriculum? Many homeschooling parents get concerned that they will not be able to homeschool their preschooler from home. Are there free curriculums that are designed specifically for them and cater to their developmental needs? Yes!

Prior to homeschooling my girls, I taught preschool and PreK.  I have researched high and low supplemental programs through the years and have found many to be pretty successful and yes, free. There are even new ideas out there as well.

Here is a list of some free curriculums out there designed specifically for the preschool child:

Easy Peasy All In One Homeschool
Starfall
PBS Kids
1+1+1=1
Letter of the Week by Confessions of a Homeschooler
Kinderplans
Cornerstone Confessions
Kids Learning Station

If you do a broad search online for free preschool printables, there are a variety of resources available.
Some may not offer all out curriculums but maybe free printables, etc. My favorite program for
preschool reading, etc., is Starfall. Two out of three of my homeschool students used this and they are
advanced readers to this day. It’s fantastic!

I like that some of the curriculum programs offer a nice balanced option of online learning (to keep kids up to date with advancing technology), and printables. Children as young as the preschool years are learning a bit more than they used to. These curriculums keep some of the traditional learning styles for dedicated homeschooling parents.
If you know of any other free preschool curriculum out there not listed here, feel free to share them with us.

This article was originally published on our Homeschool Launch Blog.

 

To learn even more helpful homeschooling tools, click here to sign up for the newsletter.

 

Do you want more fun articles on a wide range of topics like discipleship, academics, family, encouragement and general homeschooling?  Just click here to search the vast blog library!

 

 

A Hands On Approach To Educating Your Preschoolers

Teach Them Diligently 365 members, listen to:

“A Hands On Approach To Educating Your Preschoolers”

During this video session we will define the components of a quality preschool education, identify some of the important skills preschoolers need to learn, and learn how to create lessons and activities using a thematic hands on approach and look at lesson examples.

Become a member of Teach Them Diligently 365 for access to more!

Sign up for a free 7 day trial and explore the extensive content!

 

 

Register for the Homeschool Convention Today

Parents who might be intimidated by the idea of teaching their child to read, don’t be!

Though a seemingly daunting task, teaching reading can be a fun and extremely rewarding activity. There are several different ways to work on reading skills with your child. Some methods and activities will work better than others. Here are some ways to approach reading in your home as you determine what works best for your child.

Ideas for your Toolkit

Use a formal reading program.

Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, reading made easy, All About Reading. There are many reading programs available to you as homeschoolers. You may wish to find a curriculum review site and find out what others are saying. You can also read about each program on their own personal web sites. If you go this route, realize that you may get a quarter of the way in and discover that this method does not work for your child. That is okay! Be willing to try something else or set it aside for a while until your child is more ready for formal instruction.

No matter which program you’re using, or even if you choose not to use one at all, you can add other resources to your days that will re-enforce learning. A young daughter may really enjoy workbooks, and pull it out at random times and complete a few pages, all with a smile on her face. This may not be the case for everyone, that’s just her. If your child does not enjoy workbooks perhaps he will enjoy reading Bob books, working through flash cards, or playing games like boggle junior and scrabble junior with you or his siblings. Or, wait a while. Putting off reading instruction until your child is ready can also help to re-enforce learning the skill whenever he is ready to read. Moving at his or her pace will make learning easier on you and your child, and will also help your little one keep the love for learning that he naturally already possesses.

Introduce copy work.

Daily copy work accomplishes many things at once. Your child will be reading and writing correctly spelled words. Their handwriting will likely improve. Handwriting can improve within a month of beginning a homeschool journey, through completing copy work each day. This can be a paragraph for older children or even just a short phrase for your younger children. A few words written neatly and correctly is much better than many words on a page that are misspelled and messily written. Your child will also begin to recognize what a good paragraph sounds and looks like, simply from reading and writing her copy work passage each day. You may choose passages from the bible (which will also help to work on scripture memory!), a paragraph from a favorite storybook, or even purchase an actual copy work curriculum.

Read good books.

It has been said for years that one important key to teaching children to read is to read lots of good books to them. Another saying is that to instill a love of reading in your child, you should be a reader yourself. These may not be true for all, but it could be in your home. As a family, read lots of great books together and your children may also become great readers.

 

How do you teach or improve reading skills in your homeschool?

Share your tips and favorite resources with us in the comments below!

 

Check out this article on the “Benefits of Reading Aloud“, for more information on getting your children to read.

And sign up for the Teach Them Diligently newsletter for more articles on discipleship, academics, family, encouragement and much more!

 

Rethink Home Education

To further your reading, we have a special ebook that we would like to send to you. It’s entitled “RETHINK EDUCATION, Turning Scary Questions About Home Education Into Exciting Possibilities.” It was written after countless conversations with moms who are either considering homeschooling or struggling with doubt. My heart in writing it is to offer hopeful answers to some of the questions moms tend to be asking… and you might be surprised at which ones didn’t make the list. I would love for it to become a resource you could share with your friends who are considering home education, or who are wondering if they’ll keep going. So, grab your copy today! – Leslie Nunnery

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Jim Trelease, author of the fantastic Read Aloud Handbook, says the most important thing to KEEP doing is reading aloud to your kids.  Most of us read to our kids when they are little, but after they become readers themselves, do we need to keep reading?

Trelease says YES.

Because listening comprehension is greater than reading comprehension, reading aloud is very beneficial.  Trelease says keep reading as long as they will let you.  (He made a habit of reading newspaper articles even to his high school aged kids.)

Benefits of Reading Aloud

  • Builds vocabulary
  • Conditions the child’s brain to associate reading with pleasure
  • Creates background knowledge
  • Provides a reading role model
  • Plants the desire to read.
  • Opens the door for some great discipleship conversations with your children.
  • Teaches discernment.

A great way to do this is to start a short novel with your kids and read a chapter a day or more.  Read biographies.  Read exciting missionary stories. Find something they are interested in and explore the topic together.   Usborne Books has a series of Illustrated Stories including Classics, Shakespeare, Greek Myths, Fairy Tales, and Dickens.  They also have King Arthur, Heidi, Alice in Wonderland and more.   True adventure stories are also a big hit.

Books must be accessible; Trelease says studies show that students who have at least 100 pieces of printed material in their homes statistically perform better academically than those with less. Generally, homeschool families don’t struggle with having too few books on the shelf, but we can struggle with taking the time to read them sometimes.

The family time benefit of reading aloud can be incredible. Setting aside those hours to go on virtual adventures together into other lands and other times can build some of the best memories your family will look back on when your kiddos have grown up.  Our family has ventured to Narnia, Middle Earth, The Prairie, Arrethrae, and countless other places together. We have a shared vocabulary based on those stories. We still talk about some of our favorite parts, and those times of reading together allowed us to slow down and just “BE” together. What a great blessing in this sometimes frantic world.

Does your family read aloud together? What are some of your favorites? Leave a comment below to share your best ideas, and we’ll compile them into a resource sin the days ahead.

Looking for more reading resources and ideas?  Check out these from the Teach Them Diligently Blog Vault:

Some of our family’s very favorite read-alouds have been the Chuck Black books– Starting with the Kingdom Series, followed by the Knights Series, and then the War of the Realms, your family will enjoy some great stories and learn some deep lessons along the way. The conversations these books have opened up for our family have been incredible, and we have read and listened to each of these books multiple times through the year. We highly recommend them!  Make sure you plan to hear Chuck at Teach Them Diligently 2018, too! You’ll be glad you did. ;)

Denise Eide of Logic of English wrote “That’s An Exception” The Source of Struggling Readers and Spellers, which includes 7 tips and ideas for helping those struggling to read or understand the rules of reading.

Shawn Lamb of Allon Books wrote “Using Spiritual Discernment in Reading Fiction,” which will give you some principles to build your conversations on as you are reading aloud with your family.

Parts of this article were contributed by Usborne Books. Check out the books at www.Usborne-Books.com and stop by our booth at all Teach Them Diligently Conventions for some great specials and free book drawings.  We would be glad to help you find just the right resources for your home.

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Homeschooling Parents

About David and Leslie Nunnery

Leslie Nunnery and her husband David founded Teach Them Diligently, the nation’s premier source for gospel-centered homeschool events. With seven years of homeschooling experience from preschool-high school and a passion to encourage and equip homeschool families, this mom of 4 shares her know-how and insights weekly through Teach Them Diligently media and on TeachThemDiligently365.com.

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