Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Learning Games/Activities....Fresh Start

The absolute beauty of homeschooling is the flexibility it provides.  If something doesn't work, try something new.  If you find your kids getting a bit bored or losing interest, change things up.

The internet provides limitless activities and ideas.  When I finally jumped on the pinterest bandwagon (friends had been telling me for months how much I would love it, but I initially resisted), that list of limitless activities grew exponentially.   Though I use it for countless things, I love the variety of engaging learning activities I can find on a daily basis.  For example, I can type in "sight words" and find great ways to engage my 5 year old. 

With a new semester starting and Bradlee taking off in learning at a rapid pace, he and I both were ready for some new, engaging activities to keep that spark growing.  I started "pinning" like crazy, but I hadn't taken the time to sit down and print or create the activities.  I have a HUGE weakness that is the THORN IN MY SIDE---I'm great about gathering ideas.  I'm great about planning and thinking.  I'm horrible about follow through.  I have to be consciously aware of moving from thought into action---in so many areas of my life.

The snow gave me the perfect time to create some this weekend.  Let's just say that out of five people living in this house, one isn't like the other.  ONE doesn't like to hurl herself down a hill head first, sideways, feet first or any other such way in the snow.  ONE of us likes to stay warm.  ONE of us doesn't find the same pleasure as the other four in bundling up to the point that you waddle when you walk.  Fortunately, for that ONE the other four were perfectly happy to spend several hours doing just that.  YES---that meant this ONE person had the rare opportunity to spend an afternoon in a quiet house. Yes----it was heavenly!!!

So here are the things that I completed and my kindergartner is enjoying adding to his workboxes now. 

Bottle cap math games.  (Thanks to a friend that helped me gather soda bottle caps!)  Self-correcting math facts.  This set is just addition facts (all the way up through 9 +12), but the link also has subtraction, multiplication, and division.  The link also includes labels to print for Pringles type cans for storage.  For now, I'm just using a ziploc bag...but the idea for the Pringles can is great!

Simple sight word bottle cap games using the lids from our glass milk bottles.  These are called Oreo Words and I was thrilled that I had brown and white lids.  I specifically put the vowels on white and the consonants on brown to reinforce that extra skill.  I created my own labels on the computer and used Avery 3/4 inch round labels and it worked perfectly.  You could just use a sharpie.  This link has MANY others great learning uses for bottle caps and lids.  It's about using what you have!

Sight word journal printables.  A worksheet for MANY different words.  We place them in a plastic page protector and use a dry erase marker to make them reusable.  Eventually I will have him write directly on the paper and make a book out of it, but for now we are still in the practice stage.

Word family strips/slidders/ladders.  This was simply a print and cut out activity.  These have already made a tremendous difference in the number and speed of words he can read.  I do plan to laminate this for durability in the near future!  This website has many other ideas, activities, and worksheets.

I LOVE this printable worksheet.  Read. Stamp. Write.  We don't have the Educational Insights clear stamps, but our Melissa & Doug ones work well.  This is another great website for ideas!

I love fresh starts.  I love new semesters.  I love changing up things to make learning interesting and unpredicatable!  For once, I DID move from thought into action on a FEW things.  Now to find that list and do some more ACTION!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love the Bottle cap math game!!! That is so creative :)

Thank you for sharing!

Keri- A home-school mom who knows the value of Learning games!