Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Using Phonics Games in your homeschool

Like all newbie homeschool moms I began using a very traditional curriculum and tried to replicate my home to resemble a public school classroom.  It must be some right of passage or something.  Well, as some of you know (and maybe even nodding your head right now) that it doesn't work.  Your home is NOT a school.  Now that we got that out of the way I wanna talk about some of the changes we've made along the way in our family homeschool.  For both my girls we use A Beka for phonics and math (I have a love/hate relationship with A Beka and only using it until I find something better).  With my K5 girl a traditional curriculum used to it's full extent is absolute torture.  She is a "Wiggly Willie" (term used in Cathy Duffy books) and can't stay still for 5 minutes.  Flashcards, worksheets and constant drills are the quickest way of killing the joy in learning for her.  But being the frugal mom that I am, I have A Beka K5 and now I'm going to use it.  BUT HOW?!  With alot of prayer I have struck out only using the teacher's manual as a scope and sequence and occasionally using worksheets when needed.  The greatest change of all is the use of games.  I still have all of those expensive (gently used) "visual aids" or aka flashcards from A Beka and I use them as a springboard to begin a game of leapfrog over toys as she answers my questions.  This not only gets the wiggles out and she's getting a good exercise but she's joyfully doing her lessons.  YAY! 

Over the past couple of years I have collected books and PDF files of different games.  My kids love hands-on stuff and I'm glad to use them.  I wanted to list my favorite books and files for you.

Dr. Maggie's Phonics GamesDr. Maggie's Phonics Games 
This is a great title from Currclick.com .  It has 22 file folder games to play with your little one.  You can read my review for the title on the page as well.  We're on our way to making all the games.  I recommend laminating the loose pieces for durability and longevity.  We played one of the games yesterday and my K5er didn't notice we were still doing school.

Phonics Games and Learning Activites
This title doesn't really have file folder games but more out-of-the-box learning activities. Our favorite is the Word Wheel.  I catch my kids playing with it all the time.   We also liked Vowel Search.  I used it to test my K5er's vowel sound skills and she asked to play it again.....twice.  Currclick also has this title but it's cheaper through Amazon and I always appreciate having a hard copy book on hand.

These are just my favorite Phonics games.  To not bog you down, I will limit my post to just these.  In later posts I want to address online games, math games and other fun activities.  Have a blessed day!

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