Saturday, February 16, 2013

Reading Comprehension

We're working on reading comprehension with our youngest daughter Ramona.   Right now Ramona is reading a simply funny book called Ramona the Brave.  It's also a story her older sister used to do as a skit for a speech competition.  She likes the story so much she wants to be called Ramona.  So I've decided to use the name Ramona on this blog to refer to her.

Ramona loves to read, but I wasn't sure if she was understanding everything she was reading. When reading a book together, I occasionally pause to ask her questions from the excerpt we've just read, but she struggles in her responses.  A sweet friend recently bought Ramona a great reading comprehension workbook.  This workbook has served a dual purpose because she's able to also practice her handwriting as she answers the questions.  When she first started writing, she practiced her handwriting mostly on a dry-erase board.  She loves these boards, so it motivated her in practicing her writing.  But as she is getting older, I print up our own handwriting worksheets for her to practice handwriting.

To help her with reading comprehension, I have started to create a list of vocabulary words from whatever book she is reading.  I have her play some vocabulary games online using this list so that she can become familiar with the words that she'll be seeing as she reads her book.  I use this same list of vocabulary words for her handwriting worksheets.  This site has vocabulary lists to choose from, or you can create your own.  I find that these games have been so beneficial in Ramona's learning.  I'm always trying to find new ways to make learning fun for her and to supplement our curriculum.

My older kids are more independent in their studies.  I guide them and check their work as they follow their lesson plans.  A few days ago, though, as I was reading through their Apologia Science book, I realized I could probably create a vocabulary list for them, too.  I picked up the Apologia book, and looking at the unit study and the test, I created a vocabulary list with definitions.  I was so excited when I finished the list.  I immediately called my son over and we went through a word match game.  He had to match the vocabulary word to the sentence.  It almost looked like the actual test, except that I used slightly different definitions, taking them from the dictionary.  Of course I made sure it was a similar scientific definition to what was referred to in the book.  Once he finished a couple of games and saw the vocabulary words he missed or got wrong, I had a better idea of what portion of the unit I needed to review with him.  It was a good way to see how much he retained from his reading before taking the unit test. 

I think I was more excited with the whole idea than he was, but he still liked me going through it with him.  He did find it helpful.  I wish I'd known of this the last couple of years when they were taking Latin.  It sure would've been helpful with learning all the Latin vocabulary words.  Isn't it exciting when we find a new resource to use in helping our children increase understanding on a subject matter?  Oh, the little things that motivate and excite us homeschool mommies. 

1 comment:

Kat said...

Lol, yes...the little things that excite that us. They are wonderful. :)