Learning a Foreign Language

We all know that math, language arts, science, etc. are the basic subjects that are children will learn, but what about other subjects, like foreign language? Knowing how to speak more than one language is a valuable skill to have. Even though, I think 5th grade is a great time, deciding when the best time to add this as part of your homeschool curriculum, will depend on you and your child. When you do, you will be glad to know that there are many resources that you can use, to help your kids learn in a fun and easy way; for example: foreign language courses, foreign language games, flash cards, etc., etc., etc…

Back to “Home” School

It is that time of year again, back to school, or should I say back to “home” school! Most of you have probably been busy all summer, or longer, preparing for the new school year; especially if you’re new to homeschooling. Whether you are a “newbie” or not, planning the next school year, looks the same for most of us. We all re-evaluate what we did last year, figuring out what worked and what didn’t. We all spend countless hours picking out the perfect curriculum for our children. Except for those of us, who have luckily already found that perfect curriculum 🙂 We all also take time setting up a schooling area, as well as buying the necessary supplies that we will need, for the new school year, ideally, at the awesome tax-free weekend sales. At the end of the day, whether you are just starting to homeschool or are a seasoned veteran, we all have also chosen to educate our children at home for the same reason. Because it is what we think is best for our kids!

Educational Games

As I mentioned in last month’s posting, many homeschoolers and public school parents like to provide some type of learning opportunities during summer vacation. Of course, some families like to stick to the traditional public school schedule. They enjoy having that time off and want to enjoy their summer vacation time, school free. Whether you are for or against year-round schooling, allowing your child to play educational games is a simple, stress-free, fun way to provide learning opportunities during your child’s summer vacation. How do I find these, you might be asking? It is pretty easy; you can find tons of free educational websites online. If you have a tablet or smart phone, there are many, many apps available too. Board games can also be fun and educational. Whatever you may choose, the idea is to provide learning opportunities for your child, in a fun way.

Summer School

Many homeschoolers like to follow the typical public school schedule. So summer for most kids, public or homeschooled, is a time to take a break from their regular school studies. Of course, some homeschool and public school parents want to provide education to their children year-round. Now, for some that means schooling as usual trough the summer, where others summer school a few days a week. Providing learning opportunities during the summer, is a great way to help kids not suffer from summer learning loss. Whether you use an actual curriculum, like online summer school, or choose to put something together yourself, providing education during the summer is always a good way to help further your child’s education.

Learning Your Child’s Learning Style

One of the things I like most about homeschooling, is being able to tailor to my child’s individual educational needs. Just like adults, children have their own way of learning. Some do well by listening (auditory learner), some are more hands on (kinesthetic learner), where others are very visual (visual-spatial learner). Even if you are able to learn using all of those methods, most people have one that works better for them. My daughter is very much a visual learner. Since she was very young, she could recite facts very easily, after watching an educational program on TV. That is why, when I began homeschooling, I knew that using something for a visual learner, would be the way to go. If you are new to homeschooling or maybe you’re not, finding out your child’s learning style can make all the difference in your homeschool, I know it has for us.

Adding Art into your Homeschool

Most children love to create art whether it is drawing, coloring, painting, etc. Even children, who may not enjoy creating art themselves, may still enjoy learning and looking at other’s masterpieces. Adding an art curriculum to your homeschool, as well as showing your child art through the internet, books, or at museums, is a wonderful way for you to provide opportunities for them to further their art education. This will also nurture their love of art too. If you had not considered making art an important area of study in your homeschool before, then I hope after reading this blog entry today, you will 😉

Science Connections

Many kids think of science as scarey or intimidating because of all the deep concepts and intricate details. Science is amazing and it does have a lot of intricate details. Just study one leaf… the amazing details and science that go into how that one leaf functions is enough to fill a book. It is an amazing creation and just one of millions.

Your child can get hooked on their 5th grade science and see the amazing science connections in the world around them, if you as their teacher can give them the foundation that makes these connections. Present science as amazing stories and interesting phenomena…Allow them to discover some of these things themselves, and you’ll see some budding scientists bloom in your own backyard!

Spelling fun… for fifth grade

Fifth graders are not too old to still have a great time while doing their spelling work. My daddy always told me – that spelling was the easiest subject because I already had all the answers. I just had to study them…

This was awesome advice, spelling is a foundational subject that should bring together the other subjects like writing, reading, grammar, and even science and history. If we can spell well, we will also have a greater comprehension rate. But how can we get our non-spellers to become great spellers? That is easy, find them a way to have fun while they are learning spelling and vocabulary. My kids love to do their spelling word lists since we have found an online spelling site curriculum that helps us have fun and keep track of their achievement. It has made all the difference in my children’s desire to learn spelling. Fun = motivation!

Learning through Doing

Fifth graders are usually awesome learners. They are still at an age where they are inquisitive, yet they are a bit older to where they can be trusted with more responsibility. This equals a lot of fun in learning. These young ones can have greater opportunities through doing most of what they are learning. From online math to history and science – take advantage of this great age and let them explore how they can apply what they learn into actual work.

Fifth graders really need this. They are questioning most of what they are learning as to how it applies to the real world. Make examples and then let them apply it. In science, build scale models = or even real models if space allows. In history, allow them to visit some of the historical sites your are studying or learn how to knit or weave when studying colonial times. Make it real… and they will learn through doing!

Writing Skills… refined

Fifth graders are at that perfect age to begin creative writing. I am sure there have been previous attempts at earlier ages to write effectively, but at this age there is usually a comprehension of grammar and syntax effective enough to make a good writer. Bringing them from, dull lifeless writing to dramatic creative expression will be the challenge. Here are a few tips to get your fifth graders writing effectively.

Use pre-writing activities
1) Read a story to inspire
2) Have a discussion about a current even topic
3) Talk about a recent experience and then write
4) Ask questions that incite thought                                                         5) Take advantage of free writing resources

Use each of these as springboards to getting your students writing creatively.