Monday, January 19, 2009

Blendy Pens & Homeschool Games

I always manage to bring some kind of artwork into homeschool. I just can't help myself! This semester I am trying to get back to basics for both kids as I feel like we crammed a little too much in at once last semester. I love the books Games for Reading by Peggy Kaye and Family Math by various authors. They are jam-packed with games to use to teach your children reading and math skills. Prep time is very minimal.

Last week I played "The Ladder" game with both kids. I modified it so they each had their own stack of words. Kabs is in 1st grade so I made a stack of beginning words (those she knows well and words she is struggling with) and for Kaden I made a stack of words that would challenge his vocabulary. As they were able to read the word on the card they got to move up a rung on the ladder. If they missed it the first time, I gave them a second chance. If they got it right, they were allowed to stay on their rung otherwise they had to move back. By the end of the game, Katibree's confidence grew as she sounded out new words and WOW was I impressed with Kaden's vocabulary. I had to go to the dictionary and make a new stack because I underestimated his knowledge in this area. We've also modified this to play as a spelling game where I read the word and they have to spell the word. A little more challenging. They ask to play this game everday so I think that qualifies it as a "hit."

Today, we played "Rabbit Sounds." I made a large playing board on the floor using electrical tape (see pic). In each square (or triangle) I put a card with a blend or letter sound. I gave Kabs instructions such as, "Hop to the letters that you hear at the beginnig of the word SMALL." Then I had HER tell ME words and hop from space to space. Kaden got in on it by giving her words and I gave him more challenging assignments such as if the space had "e" he wou ld have to say a word that has the short e sound in it and is 2 syllables. I can already see all kinds of possibilities with this one including math games so I think this game board will be hanging around for awhile.

Oh...back to where art comes in. Kaden was reading and decided he needed a bookmark. Because my addiction to creation has seem to have rubbed off on him, he needed to make a bookmark. I pointed him to the construction paper but he politely informed me he had something else in mind. He took plain white drawing paper and Blendy Pens (thank you AJ), a hole punch and some yarn and created his own bookmark. Maybe this is the year that my children will join me in projects!!! If you know me at all you know the enthusiasm that is welling up inside me this very moment! Since the blendies were out, I thought I'd have a litte fun with them as well and used them to make the letters for the Rabbit game.


  1. I think you were cut out for this. Any openings in your academy?

  2. Great Ideas for games...

    Great post...