This first step is to lay a strong foundation on which to build your children's education.
Enjoy the bi-weekly article below:
Enjoy the bi-weekly article below:
Exploring words is a valuable project this summer. Did you know there were eight winners in the national spelling bee this year? You can prepare your children for this by helping them know words and how they can spell them. Use this information to begin.
If words are the building blocks of our language, how do we know what they sound like, what they say? Children need to know sight words—the words you must say and use so that your children will learn and remember them. Words that we cannot sound out easily become sight words in our reading because we just need to know them. If parents have read to their children, their children will have heard many of the words we now ask them to recognize.
Other words or new words may be sounded out. Here is how we can detect what they are and what they say. There are 10 vowel sounds that are easy to detect and account for about 70% of our language. They are called long vowels and short vowels. Long vowels are easy because they say their names--a as in late, e as in beet, i as in ice, o as in boat, and u as in rule. Were you a good detective? Did you notice that in the words given as examples of the sound of the long vowel, there were two vowels? This is a good clue to watch for: two vowels in each word—either together, or the first vowel in the word with an e at the end of the word. Sometimes, we call the “e” at the end of the word, a “silent e.” It sacrifices its power to sound in order to strengthen the other vowel in the word, thus enabling the other vowel to say its name. Another clue for a good detective to find a long vowel is it frequently comes at the end of a word, like in Hi, we, ho-ho. Sometimes, a good detective will find a long vowel before a y, as in “say.” In these cases, we consider “y” as a vowel rather than a consonant. Y is the only letter that has this duel designation.
Short vowels require your children to remember key words: a as in bat, e as in bet, i as in bit, o as in not, u as in but. Teachers may teach different key words for the short vowels, but the sound of the vowel is the same. You can detect short vowels by noticing that there is one vowel between two consonants, or the vowel comes at the beginning of the word, like act, egg, is, of, us.
Syllables are parts of words. Many words can be divided into parts as long as each part contains at least one vowel.
Let’s try what we have learned above in words that have syllables: as-sail, ba-con, clo-ver, frac-ture, de-cath-lon.
Although you will find many other kinds of pronunciation marks in your dictionaries, including an upside down e (a schwa) for the long vowel sound (because we do not emphasize or fully draw out the sound of the long vowel). At any rate, 70% is a good percentage of ways to sound out new words and in their syllables. Besides, you can always have a dictionary on hand, even for your small children.
Help Your Children Learn More This Summer
Trying to help you think ahead and plan for your work as "summer teachers" for your children...Now is the time to put ideas to work as you control your children's use of tech. Too much time playing video games, not enough outdoor activity, too much junk food, not enough creating and imagining time makes for slow progress when they return to school. Too much time away from necessary learning makes for trouble when school begins again. Too little discipline, misunderstood rules (and not following those you have established) makes for a LONG summer.
The time you take now to sit down and talk about summer plans sets the tone for your summer. You might think "I'll just let them rest and relax for a week." However, that week becomes all the weeks of the summer and bad habits form. It is up to you to set expectations, arrange learning and reading time, provide learning opportunities and time for chores. Now is the time.
If you are planning a vacation, arrange a family meeting for all members to have a say. Find out where everyone wants to go and why. Look up activities and attractions for the desired locations on the internet. Use MapQuest and similar sites to plan time and distance. (Reading and math are strengthened by figuring time and distance necessary to travel.) Set an itinerary. You may plan to combine a campout with one night in a motel (with a swimming pool.) Plan outdoor activities like walks and hikes with a trip to the town and its entertainment centers, movies, and museums which encourage hands-on learning. Be flexible and make room for compromise. If you visit a museum one day, visit a theme park the next. You can even plan to go separate ways. If Dad and sons want to visit a Car Show, Mom and the girls can go shopping. After all in the family have finished dreaming, it is time to figure the cost. A day in your home town or to a nearby city to visit museums and have lunch may be all the time and money your family can afford this year with a plan to save for next year's visit to Legoland, Sea World, Disneyland or Washington, D. C.
Consider the opportunities your trips and time will give your children for learning. Experiences you have are memories you share. Visit places with a history or from a book you are reading.
Summer is the time to add to your children's general knowledge. The more they know, the more ideas they will have to consider, read and write about. The more knowledge you as "summer teacher" provide for your children, the smarter they will be when they resume school.
Let Money Help With Math
Do you and your children pick up pennies you see on the ground? Do you put your loose change in a jar to save? Do you help your children know how much money each coin stands for? If you do these things, you are teaching your children math.
Money provides a perfect, authentic opportunity to explore mathematics. Candace Lindemann
Money can be used for counting, sorting, comparing, measuring, adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing. When children understand how to know money in these ways, it can even be used for more advanced math functions, like fractions and decimals.
Young children can learn a "brown" penny is one. They can learn to count by ones with pennies even to 100 if you have enough pennies. They can learn about a nickel being the same as five pennies and learn to count by fives. Soon you can help your children to know a dime as ten pennies or two nickels and then count by tens. You can add or subtract what your children have.
Parents can help their children experience money. You can help your children know how much things cost. Maybe Grandma has given them some coins or you have given them coins for helping you in some small way. They have collected their coins in a small glass jar so they can see money that is theirs to use. When they want to buy a small toy or a snack, you can help them count their money to see if they have enough or even have some left over. It is satisfying for children to have their own money to buy something.
Help your children know the difference between wants and needs so they learn to know how to spend their money. Starting with coins helps them learn whether they have saved enough to buy something and whether they want or need it. These are lessons you want to help your young children learn. As children grow older, you can pay them an allowance and help them learn the value of dollars and how to convert their coins into dollars.
You also need to help your children learn to spend. Do they have enough money of their own to purchase what they desire? Can they afford to buy the object with what they have in their glass jar or do they need to wait longer. By not purchasing the object for them, you help them to learn to live "within their means." Hopefully, they see you using your money carefully, too.
Figuring out how to save and spend their money is a way to use math in a practical, everyday kind of way. It also helps your children to know the value of money as they count, add and subtract what they have saved. Keeping the money in a glass jar allows them to see it better than in a bank that may not be see-through.
bedtimemath.org/using-money-to-teach-math/ provides great ideas for you to use to help your children practice math skills.