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One of the first things a child learns in preschool is the alphabet. We have all sang the ABC’s with a young preschooler, and most of us have practiced letter sounds. Teaching the alphabet to our children can be a lot of fun, and it doesn’t require a curriculum!
I have found children learn best when they are active, and many children are hands on learners. Teaching the alphabet with worksheets may work for some, but it won’t work with everyone! And, it isn’t exactly the funnest way to learn, now is it?
Here are a few hands on activities I have found that tend to make learning the alphabet easy without a curriculum!
- Make a Rice Sensory Bin: Rice is a great sensory tool and other than needing swept up is not really messy. Find a plastic bin and fill it with rice. Get plastic spoons, funnels and cups and put them with the bin. Then get alphabet tiles or another form letters and bury them. See how many letters the child can find and identify. If they don’t identify it correctly, tell them the right answer and bury it again.
- Fun with Cotton Balls! Gather up some cotton balls, glue, a marker and a piece of construction paper. Write a capital and lowercase letter of your choice on the paper. Show the child how to make glue drops onto the letter. Then have them tear up the cotton balls and place them onto the glue drops.
- Play a game of I Spy! Get a pack of alphabet flash cards. Pick a letter, then “spy” something that starts with that letter. Then, have your child try to find what you are referring to. “I Spy with my little eye something that starts with the letter sound T-“ta, ta”. Have them try to guess, if they say something that doesn’t’ start with that sound correct them by saying something like “Hmm, no that starts with the letter B. B says ba, ba “ then refer them back to the proper sound. Take turns playing the game. This helps the child learn to recognize the sounds the letters make.
- Let them play in the Dirt! What child doesn’t love to play in the dirt? Grab a stick and go outside! Find a good flat area where the children can draw or write in the dirt. Make letters and ask the children which letters are in their name. Have them copy the letters. If you have room write out the alphabet in the dirt and sing it with the children.
Learning the alphabet is a huge part of a child’s life. It sets the foundation for reading, writing, and spelling. However, teaching the alphabet CAN be fun, and it doesn’t require a curriculum!
If you are homeschooling a high schooler, you probably realize that college testing season will be here before you know it, and as a homeschool parent you may be concerned about how to best prep your homeschool child for the ACT or SAT. Homeschool parents are typically the sole person responsible for their child’s education so this can make testing season rather stressful. You may wonder if you taught everything your child needs to know, and if your child isn’t used to standardized testing you may wonder if they are fully prepared to take the tests.
There are a few things you can do to best prepare yourself and your child for the ACT or SAT.
Prepare now for testing season
Students who study ahead of time tend to score higher on these tests because they walk in feeling confident and prepared.
You can find study test packets here:
There are also free practice tests online:
Consider allowing your child to take the PSAT in their early years of high school. This will give them an idea of what they need to focus on and will gauge their preliminary scores.
Not everyone tests their homeschoolers and that’s fine. However, if you have a child in high school that you know is going to take college placement exams in a few years, test them now to prepare them for the big test later. This will allow them to gain confidence in their test taking abilities and will make them less nervous when it comes time to prep for college placement.
Be confident in your abilities as a teacher
Homeschoolers have an advantage when it comes to college entrance exams because they can turn preparation into daily lessons. Studying for the test can become school, after all they will be focusing on reading, writing and math while prepping to take the test.
Homeschoolers tend to turn out great scores on these exams, and consistently score higher than their public school counterparts. In 2002 and 2003 the average homeschooled students ACT score was 22.5 compared to the national average of 20.8. In 2002 the average homeschooled students SAT score was 72 points higher than the national average.