Our youngest has recently decided he’d like to read chapter books… except he’s just not there yet.
I remember my daughter doing this. She would stack Junie B. Jones and Flat Stanley and Boxcar Children on her nightstand. She would pour over the pages, one by one, and then the next morning she would proudly announce that she had finished the book.
We would cheer for her victory and then make sure we were reading plenty of fantastic picture books until she was truly ready for chapter books. If it made her happy to page through chapter books, it made us happy because our main goal was to raise readers. She wasn’t reading yet, but man she had the desire and motivation!
Now, our youngest is on a similar path. He’s “reading” piles of chapter books and graphic novels in the evenings and we are reading oodles of fantastic picture books aloud together throughout the day.
He is also obsessed with the Preschool Prep workbooks.
Have you seen them? We have a couple of the Meet the Sight Word DVDs, but he’s really smitten with the workbooks and activities. He has an activity workbook and a sight word coloring book and some flashcards.
It’s adorable. He calls the workbooks his “homeschooling” and he assigns himself the work!
Most mornings, after our Coffee and Books, he asks me to do flashcards with him. And so together we go through the stack and rejoice every time he has learned a new word.
Well, last week we had some flashcard induced drama.
My daughter did not feel that all this flash-carding was fair. She wondered why she did not have her own flashcards. She pitched a big fit in the kitchen. Over flashcards.*
I waited until she had calmed down a bit and then I asked,
Would you like a set of flashcards with words you would like to learn?
This shocked the tantrum right out of her. Her answer was an emphatic yes.
And that’s exactly what we did.
* I must confess that I am most decidedly not a flashcard person. I’ve always found them incredibly boring. I’ve yet to get excited over flashcards, but my youngest two clearly love them right now and so I’m following their lead. If you loathe flashcards, too, feel free to keep moving. There’s nothing else to see here… well, except some cute kids using flashcards.
Super Simple Vocabulary Practice
Sometimes the best ideas are the simplest ones. Sometimes, these ideas seem so simple that it almost seems silly to write about, but I’ve learned that these are often the most helpful posts. As busy homeschooling moms, we need simple and easy solutions and so if this can help just one homeschoolin’ mama, it was worth it.
How to make your own super simple vocabulary practice flashcards:
Here’s what we did.
My sweet girl does most of her independent reading in her bed before she falls asleep and first thing in the morning. She keeps a stack of chapter books on her nightstand, just as she did years ago… only now she’s reading them all by herself for real! But we all know how young readers come across tons of words they are unfamiliar with and when you are reading at night or in the early morning, you can’t ask someone what the word means. I thought this was the perfect opportunity to find our flashcard vocabulary.
That evening, I gave her a small stack of post-it notes in her favorite color (pink!). I told her that whenever she came across a word she did not know, she could put a post-it on the word. In the morning, after Coffee and Books, she and I would go through all the words and put them on index cards.
Now, most mornings I go through two stacks of flashcards. One stack of sight words with our youngest and a stack of new vocabulary words for our daughter like the ones you see here:
And that’s it! Super simple and fun if you are a flashcard lover like my kiddos!
Cait co-hosts The Homeschool Sisters Podcast and is co-founder of Raising Poppies, a community for parents of gifted and twice-exceptional children. Cait is also founder of the Family Book Club at My Little Poppies, a fantastic community of book-loving parents and the Gameschool Community at My Little Poppies, a vibrant community of gameschoolers.
Cait is a contributing writer for Simple Homeschool and GeekMom. Her work has also appeared on The Huffington Post, The Mighty, and Scary Mommy. You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram
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