teaching analogies

Worm is to apple as cow is to___________.

Does this sound familiar?  Teaching your 4th grader about analogies is a great strategy to improve their logic and reasoning skills.   In addition, it deepens their vocabulary and increases reading fluency.  It’s worth a few minutes each week of your time!    Try this one:
vitamin C : oranges
_______ :  milk

Oranges contain vitamin C.  What important nutrient is found in milk?  Calcium!

Yea!  You’re on a roll!  How about one more?
red, shiny : apple
yellow, curved : __________

Banana!  Analogies aren’t just for the SAT test anymore.  Kids can really enjoy analogies, and if you start when your kids are young, they’ll have lots of time to master them way before SAT-time.

handwriting skills

Some kids pick up the skill of handwriting more quickly than others.  Different school districts may advocate different writing styles, for many different reasons.  One of the perks of homeschooling is that you don’t have to go with what the public school wants, but you can determine what works best for your individual child.  Two of the major handwriting styles are Zaner-Bloser, which is a traditional block printing style, and D‘Nealian, which is a more recently developed curvy style of writing meant to make the transition to learning cursive a bit easier.

By fourth grade, most children have mastered basic handwriting.  But remember, practice makes perfect!  If your child is struggling, there are several handwriting programs designed to help.  A program called Handwriting Without Tears seems to be especially popular with public schools in this country, and it works very well to help kids learn proper letter formation.   There are other programs too, so be sure to research the subject if your child needs a little extra help that simple repetition isn’t providing.