From Our House to Yours
Quick Tricks to Work on Common Problem Areas
Have you discovered a problem area you want to work on with your child? Maybe you’ve realized your child struggles with spelling? Or, maybe your child just can’t seem to progress to the next reading level? Maybe you’ve discovered your child doesn’t have his/her math facts down? Or, maybe your child just can’t write or read cursive and ought to be able to by now? Well, here are some quick tricks to work on these common problem areas that will keep your child progressing normally within Heart of Dakota’s guides!
Quick Trick #1: Solving Spelling Struggles
Young children are often not the greatest of spellers. Copywork alongside the spelling lists and exercises assigned in the younger guides often iron this problem area out. However, if you have on older child using Bigger Hearts for His Glory or above, dictation is truly your best ally to improve spelling. So, what’s the quick trick? Well, dictation is only assigned 3 days a week. So, to improve spelling simply do dictation daily, either 4 or 5 times a week! We did this with one of my sons who struggled with spelling, and little by little he improved until one day I realized he rarely made spelling mistakes at all anymore! Did this happen overnight? No, but it was super easy to do, it took little to no time, and it kept us moving forward nicely in the guides. If you have a struggling speller, give this quick trick a try!
Quick Trick #2: Getting Over the Hump of Being Stuck at a Certain Reading Level
Young children progress at different reading paces – that is just normal! However, if you have a beginning reader doing the Emerging Reader’s Set (ERS) that seems to just be unable to read the next book, this quick trick is for you! Carrie has extra supplemental books noted for every unit in the ERS schedule. These supplemental books are at the same approximate reading level as the ERS book scheduled in that same unit. So, for example, if your reader gets stuck on the reading level of Unit 15, simply go to the library to check out the supplemental books from Units 1-15. Read through them slowly, and before you know it, this quick trick will have your kiddo over the hump and onto the next ERS book!
Quick Trick #3: Helping Older Children Who Learned to Read on Their Own Progress to the Next Reading Level
Sometimes younger children just seem to learn to read on their own. Phonics didn’t seem necessary. They just knew how to read naturally! The only problem is, now that they are reading chapter books, they are stuck. They come to harder words, and they have no idea how to sound them out. You try to coach them on word attack skills, but they have none. Why? Well, often these smart little cookies are excellent memorizers. You read a book once or twice to them when they were little, and voila! They could read the book on their own! Or, these little smarties are excellent guessers. They looked at the pictures, followed the storyline, and guessed quite well earlier on in those easier, predictable books. But now, the books are harder, the words are longer, the storylines are less predictable, and they’re stuck. What to do? Well, just take a break and do Sound Bytes Reading. This more grown-up take on phonics is just the quick trick they need!
Quick Trick #4: Helping an Older Child Learn Their Math Facts or Cursive
Maybe you have an older child who just can’t do large number multiplication or long division. Often times, the root of this problem is the child just really still doesn’t know his/her facts. A quick trick to help is to slow their daily math program to half-speed and add some skip counting math songs to it! Try doing the 6’s on Mondays, the 7’s on Tuesdays, the 8’s on Wednesdays, the 9’s on Thursdays, and whatever the hardest facts are for them on Fridays. Soon, they will be on their way to having these tough facts memorized! Or, maybe you have an older child who just can’t read or write anything in cursive. No worries! Have that child print everything assigned in the HOD guide, but do one page of Italic D or Cheerful Cursive each day. One year later, this quick trick will have your kiddo writing cursive fairly well and reading it too!