Using Vocabulary to Homeschool

One of my favorite methods to teach is through the use of Vocabulary. Now, I admit this could go wrong… very wrong if not done in the proper manner. However, using vocabulary to teach other subjects besides building language skills and reading vocabulary is not a common choice. Yet, the research does support the use of vocabulary to enrich and solidify instruction in other subjects.

Dr. David Chard, a consultant with Houghton Mifflin Math says, “While young students learn how to “do” math, they must also learn how to articulate what they are learning. Children must learn to recognize and answer why questions in order to develop problem solving skills. And for teachers to accurately assess student progress, children must first need to acquire the means of explaining how they solve problems as well as what concepts might not be clear to them.”

You see using vocabulary instruction for other subjects simply enriches and increases a student’s understanding and ability to communicate within that subject. In fact, at the Vocabulary Spelling City website, you will see not just vocabulary to increase literacy skills, but also vocabulary to assist in learning science and even math vocabulary.  Yet, I hope you realize that that isn’t all you can use vocabulary with. I love using vocabulary to polish and build foreign language skills, study social studies, and develop geography skills. So, the next time you start developing a homeschool unit of study – make sure you add vocabulary to your instruction. You might be surprised at how quickly your student’s start putting it all together!

Revolutionizing Spelling Curriculum

spelling curriculumWhen I first started homeschooling, I thought my kids had to conform to my previous classroom standards. I made myself and them miserable those first few years. In fact, I thought I had to teach each of our individual grades and their homeschool curricula in their entirety. I have six children, so that really began to make me crazy. My life began to change when I noticed how other homeschooling families used one curriculum to reach many different grade levels. This really made sense to me, and I could see how it would liberate my life!

One of my first moves in this direction was to begin using Spelling City. This online spelling program allowed me to quit teaching 5 different spelling levels. I simply had to enter in my lists into the program and assign them to my children.  The rest was up to them. They would learn the words, complete drill and practice exercises that I chose for them, and then take a spelling and or vocabulary test on the words. Spelling City also made my life easier by keeping track of their progress, and storing all of their grades! They also have printables that can make homeschooling a little richer including spelling flashcards! I immediately fell in love, and have been with Vocabulary and Spelling City for 5 years now. The games are interesting, the options are nearly endless, and the record keeping is taken care of… what more could I ask for?

My review can also be found at The Happy Housewife