Confession Time: One thing that I have not done well these past couple of years is to include activities that show word family patterns. Both LD and DD learned to read easily and early. Once they were off and reading, I guess I never saw much “point” in going over these kinds of things. But then… then I saw LD struggle as a writer. He has worked hard on the very mechanics of writing. He works on Handwriting Without Tears and has done lots of copywork. All this, however, didn’t make a dent in the struggle he had with free form, creative writing and the spelling that went along with that skill.
This year we added in All About Spelling. (Find out why we *still* love this program here: Our Homeschool Language Arts Curriculum) Like so many others have said, this program has been a wonderful addition to our day. LD has gained a lot of confidence and we are making slow, but steady progress. The magnetic tiles mean that we can leave the letters up on small white board.
At times the All About Spelling lesson went on a bit long for LD. Once I made these notebooks, our lesson times became more consistent. (LD and DD each have their own notebook, but I put both there so you could see the two different pages in each notebook.) There are two kinds of pages — on the first there are two columns: “My First Try” and “Corrections.” At this point, he really only uses one column (if he makes a mistake there was enough room to make a correction on that line), so the second column is used the next day. If I had to do it over again I’d just write “Spelling Practice Page” with numbers 1-10 and the challenge words (two columns). The second type of page is “My Words to Learn.” More about this in a sec.
So here’s how our lesson generally goes: When we first start our lesson, as I’m pulling things out, LD copies his “Words to Learn” from the previous day correctly into the column next to it. Then we do the lessons, pull down tiles to make words, etc. Then at the end of the lesson I have him write out 10 words and a “challenge word.” Of these 10 words, 3 words are usually review words, 4 words are generally from the lesson presented that day and the last 3 words and challenge words are from a list called “The 1000 most common words” or something like that. Since this list includes a lot of “sight” words, it’s been a good way to incorporate words I feel he really should know for his creative writing. (Let me know if you want the link to the high frequency word list and I’ll hunt it down.) For any words he spelled wrong, he copies them onto a second page labeled “My Words to Learn” at the end of his lesson.
So that comes to today’s post with the word family activity I pictured. Over the course of the next few months I plan to incorporate more activities related to word family groups (for both LD and DD). The pictures above and below emphasize the “Long I” sound (and also the /s/ sound made by a “C” when it comes before E (I and Y). LD finds it “easy” but I’ve found I can help him self correct his own writing if I remind him that he saw that spelling pattern.
Cherry Carl has a wonderful set of posters with word family groups (see the photo below which includes 4 of these “posters.”) What’s lovely about them is that you can choose the rule you want to emphasize and she has already created a page of words (ng, nk, ck, long A, etc. etc.) You can find that file here it has over 70 pages of word family groups.
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Hi! I’m Liesl!
Do you believe education can be exciting, inspiring, and full of joy? We do too!
I love the quote by William Butler Yeats, "Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." It's about getting the kids involved, engaged, and fired up about learning (while juggling the rest of life too!)
A bit about me: I have my Master's from Brown University. I have more than 20 years of teaching experience. I was a high school teacher for many years both in the U.S. and internationally and also taught for the University of Maryland before leaving to homeschool my 3 wonderful kids.
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how do I start homeschooling
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Science Units and Packets
What science topics could I teach my 5-7 year old - Homeschool Science Curriculum
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Earth Science Bundle
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Earth Science Packet
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Click the image to see our Biology Units on Animal and Plant Cells; the Biology Unit on Biomes, Food Chains, Symbiosis; Scientific Classification & Taxonomy (Domain/Kingdom/Phylum/Class, etc.); Botany - Plant Kingdom and Oceans and Oceanography.
Big Animal Bundle
Click on the image to see our Animal Bundle - including the Animal Unit, Life Cycles, the Rainforest, Winter (Polar Animals) & Hibernation, Chameleons, Wolves, Cicadas and more!
Human Body Systems Bundle
The Human Body Systems, Skeletal, Digestive, Circulatory, Muscular, Nervous, Endocrine Systems and More (with lots of hands-on activity ideas)! We usually study a different body system each year.
Digestive System Packet and Activities (100+ pages)
Click on the image to see our units on the States of matter, Properties of Matter, Electricity & Circuits, and the Chemistry Unit (Get to know the Periodic Table in a fun way!)
Free Science Checklist – Elementary and Middle School
This is a free checklist I put together of the various science units I hope to cover in the elementary and middle school years.
Civics & Government Unit
American Revolution Packet
World Facts Packet
Do your kids know the 4 largest countries? Which countries have the most people? The longest river? This packet covers basic world and U.S. facts and also covers geographic features and land forms.
Geographic Features & Landforms (also in the World Facts Packet)
Ancient Egypt Packet
Ancient Greek Gods and Goddesses
Middle Ages – Feudalism Packet
Slavery and the Civil War Packet
World War I Unit
Click on the image to check out our 100-page unit on World War I.
World War II Unit
Long A Sound Activities
ow-ou-oy-oi-aw-au Word Sort Activities
The spelling program we use:
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