Saturday, April 27, 2013

Algebra Vocabulary

Math is one of the most difficult subjects for me.  I enjoy teaching reading, writing, grammar, history, geography....anything but math.  So with each of my children I have been able to put them in a class or with a tutor when they've gotten to Algebra, which is beyond my level of teaching.  This last year their tutor explained to them how much easier Algebra would be for them if they learn the math vocabulary.  And to make sure they were learning it, in addition to the math problems they have in a test, they would also be tested on vocabulary.  This is something I could get involved with! Finally I can help them with math again!  :) I helped them make lapbooks with the vocabulary words. We took a file folder and some plain white printing paper.  We folded the white sheet of paper in half and glued one side in the file folder.  We wrote the vocabulary word on the outside of the paper, and on the inside we wrote the definition. This way they could test each other or even themselves on the vocabulary words. We found that if they made the file folder on their own, writing the words and the definitions was helpful in remembering some of the vocabulary words.  My son also liked playing the definition match game online.  At home he'd play the games online and in the car we'd use the lapbook we created.  I think it helped them.  We certainly had more fun making the lapbook and playing the games online than doing math problems.  I know, some of you think math is fun, and I'm sure it can be.  But you can give me sentences to diagram over math problems any day. ;)

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Antonyms and Synonyms

This week my daughter learned about synonyms and antonyms on her Time4Learning program.  Because she has learning difficulties, she learns best by repetition.  I love that we can repeat lessons as often as we want to or need to with Time4Learning, but I also wanted to do something else with her to reinforce and help her grasp the concept fully.

I remember making up some games using Easter eggs when my teens were younger.  So I pulled out the bag of Easter eggs that I re-use every year from our Easter egg hunts and baskets.  I took out 15 eggs and wrote a word on each half of the egg, like rich and poor.  I used different-colored eggs because antonyms are opposite.  I did the same for synonym words like rich and wealthy, but used same-colored eggs because synonyms are words that are similar in meaning.  One of her friends came over one day and they had fun playing with these.  They entertained themselves for more than an hour. :)

We also used some antonym games and synonym games online.  These challenged her a little more.  And that's not a bad thing. She actually has been learning new words using these online games.  My teenage daughter used this site a lot right before her SATs using the college prep word antonyms.  It has words like abrogate and ratify and usurp and dispassionate.  I think these games have helped her increase her vocabulary, also, and helped her improve her SAT writing

I even found some of these games challenging myself.  It's one of the things I love about homeschooling.  I'm learning right along with my kids in some ways.  I've also learned to become a little creative as I try to make up games for them to have fun with as they learn.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Finishing the School Year.....or not

This was our last week at Classical Conversations with our youngest, but our oldest has another three weeks.  Though we'll be done with our homeschool group in Classical Conversations, we will continue some classes through the summer.  Our youngest will be doing her Time4Learning, which she loves.  She doesn't think of it as school, which is great because she's learning and having fun doing it. We will also continue working on her reading comprehension and copy work.  Our high school son will continue with math.  He's also thinking about doing public speaking and debate competitions next year.  If he decides to do that, then he will need to prepare some speeches for next year and start memorizing them.  As for our oldest daughter, who will be a senior next year, she will be taking some dual enrollment classes at our local college this summer semester.  She also wants to take an SAT writing course.  She recently started a babysitting job watching two kids.  I think she's so good with kids and seems to have a natural flair for teaching.  She likes putting games together or finding a creative craft to do with them.  Last week she was making some preschool flashcards to help one of the kids because she's learning to read.  We've talked about the possibility of her going into the field of teaching, but she doesn't seem interested in it at all.  She wants to be a sign language interpreter.  We'll just have to wait and see what happens.  She may be a sign language interpreter AND a homeschool mommy some day. :)