ELA – English Language Arts

Reading is a biggie in our homeschool routine.  Even my previously “reluctant reader” has become a shining star when it comes to literacy.

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It didn’t just happen overnight, but once I was able to understand his learning / reading style and tap into his interests, he went from being behind to being multiple grades ahead in his vocabulary and wanting to read!

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We read year round, thanks to incentives from local libraries that continue to motivate my kids with reading logs in the Summer (can I get a hallelujah?!). If this isn’t the case, we’ve also done our own little reading competition at home where they had to reach a certain amount of hours and I would reward them with a yummy ice cream sundae or rootbeer float.

I also try to make learning vocabulary and new spelling words fun.  I remember in school having to just do copy work and it didn’t help me in retaining much of the information.

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We incorporate colored pencils sometimes to differentiate the new sight words and help them stand out in sentences.

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We do sight word scavenger hunts around the yard when the weather is nice. Sometimes to mix it up (literally), I scramble the letters in the words and give them another challenge. I give them different color sticky notes to find so multiple kids can play at once. Bonus, it gets everyone outside for some needed stretching and sunshine.

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Watercolor words is a frequently requested activity to practice spelling. I write out their words using a white crayon on a piece of white paper. They then paint over them with watercolors to reveal the hidden words. After finding all the words, they jot them down in the notebooks and use each word in a sentence.

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Stamp and spell is another activity that is asked to do on a regular basis, so I’ve always got to keep fresh playdough or clay on hand in this house! I found these little letter stamps in the dollar bin of a craft store and they are great. You can also use bigger foam letters or the refrigerator magnet letters.

There are many literary apps and websites these days, so if your learners do better with a program here are some I recommend…

+ Epic! Reading

+ Scholastic Learn at Home (ages 4-10)

+ Freckle Education

+ Starfall

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