Is it possible to be a dedicated homeschooling mom while still making time for myself as an individual (a girlie girl who likes cute shoes)? I like to think so. Follow along, and I'll let you know for sure.

Trust me . . . it's not ALL about the shoes.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Wild Idea Wednesday - Personal Dictionary

Need some new ideas for keeping learning fun? I’ll be sharing our favorites each week on Wednesday. To be honest, the thought of committing myself to having one great idea every week is stress-inducing, so I’m going to put it out there in advance that I will probably borrow heavily from all my wise mama friends.

So the language arts ideas are still flowing, thanks in part to our recent evaluation with Jan Zeiger. One of her specific ideas for making our language arts learning more hands on was to have Noah create a personal dictionary.

The idea behind a personal dictionary is that each time your child asks you how to spell a word, you help them spell it (or help them find the spelling on their own) then have them copy it into their personal dictionary. Not only does it reinforce the learning, but it also provides them with a tool they can refer back to in the future.

In asking around about personal dictionaries, I found that everything from regular notebooks and binders to business card holders and recipe card boxes are being used for this purpose. After weighing the merits of each, I liked the recipe card box idea the best since it lent itself to rearranging the words most easily (to maintain alphabetical order when new words were added). Unfortunately, finding the perfect box - with blank cards and alphabetical tabs - proved more challenging than I'd imagined.

I was still wrestling with the idea trying to figure out how to make it work when it dawned on me to try a Rolodex. So Noah and I marched down to Staples, picked one up and we now have a personal dictionary to house his first 500 words . . . I'd say that will keep us busy for a while!

I plan to seal a stash of them up in a plastic baggie and keep them in my purse; when we're out and about, he can just fill in a card and at it to the dictionary once we're home. You never know where you'll be when the quest for knowledge strikes!


  1. love it!!! We might just have to use this :)

    We have this neat project we are starting this year, I am sure everyone has seen somewhere about notebooking a timeline, or if you have seen the "Book of Centuries". Anyway, we have printed out a very extensive timeline, put it into sheet protectors in a 3 ring binder and we are going to add historical events to this notebook as we learn about them. The plan is to print out regular History events or pictures reguarding history events on white paper, but I also want to incorporate Art History and Music History into the same book so I want to either print those in a different color or on different colored paper. Haven't decided yet. Its a work in progress of course lol. I also think this is actually a project that we could keep going for several years, and it would make a good reference to go back and look at some times.

  2. What a neat idea! If you don't mind sharing, I'd love to know what timeline you started with. I always need new ideas for history, and this sounds like a great project to keep expanding on over the years!