I have been neglecting my homeschool peeps lately. I strongly believe in making learning fun for everyone. Language can be so daunting to some children. But “the pen is mightier than the sword” still rings true. Once students understand how powerful words can be, they stop being afraid of writing and can begin to enjoy it.
I am going to share the class I am teaching right now at our homeschool co-op. It is a Language class from 4th-8th grade. Yes, we can do that age difference all in the same room, because homeschool children don’t learn age boundaries like school children do. I have 14 students in this class, and they all do well.
In order to keep them engaged and all on the same page, I divide my lessons into topics. Today was our 5th week of class. We meet once a week for class, but every 3rd week of the month we go on a field trip.
I’m going to share my topics and teaching methods for the first 3 weeks.
1 – Prepositions – It’s so important for children to learn about prepositions. They add so much to a sentence, yet can be removed and still make a real sentence. For this topic, we read a Berenstein Bear book (Dr Seuss collection) called “Inside, Outside, Upside Down”. We went around the room and asked everyone to come up with a preposition. It’s easier to get them thinking by asking them where things are located. They know prepositions from everyday speech, they just need to recognize them for what they are.
Where is my pencil? On the table
Where is that chair? Under the desk
Where is Sally? Beside John
Here is a list of common prepositions:
Have each student make a prepositional phrase using something in the classroom. Talk about the object of the preposition.
2 – Onomatopoeia – This is one of my favorite things to teach children, because it really is FUN. Onomatopoeia words are words that make a sound; words like moo, baa, snap, pow, zoom, and more. For this one, I love the Dr Seuss book “Mr Brown Goes Moo”. It goes through so many fun words. I have read this book in tiny cardboard version when my children were small so many times that I can write this without thought.
Moo, moo, buzz buzz, pop pop, klopp. Tick tock, knock knock, boom boom, splat.
Shel Silverstein also has some fun poems featuring onomatopoeia:
3 – Alliteration – Some students seem so smart. See what I did there? Alliteration is when a group of words all begin with the same letter or sound.
Again, we can turn to Dr Seuss.
The B Book is a great one.
“Big brown bear, blue bull, beautiful baboon blowing bubbles, biking backwards…”
There are so many signs, labels, and titles containing alliteration: Chuck E Cheese, Green Giant, Community Coffee, our local water park is Blue Bayou, etc.
We play a game where the students must come up with a menu for Dave’s Delicious Dinner Diner.
All menu item descriptions must start with the same letter, for example, crunchy curry carrots.
I will share another 3 next week.
The ultimate goal is to publish some of their work in a book and in a poetry contest.
When you take away the boring textbook and replace with fun, entertaining writing, you hold your students’ interest and allow them to have fun learning.
Here is a book that I recently finished reading. It begins slow but builds into a beautiful story. I would recommend it to adult readers.
Happy Friday tomorrow!