Monthly Archives: September 2011

5 Ways To Learn Key and High Frequency Words – Literacy Recources

Whether your child has just started, or gone back to school, or you are home educating/schooling, we have a variety of literacy resources that you might find useful.

Some schools are still sending out word lists to be learnt, either 45 reception keywords, Dfes high frequency words, or some schools simply have their own lists. Don’t panic if the school hasn’t given you any either, as some schools aren’t using this method at all. We thought we would provide some resources and ideas to help those that wanted them.

So here are our 5 ways to help your child learn these words.

1) Play games with the words – like snap, pairs, and ask a question. We have printable sets of flashcards so you can play these games.

2) Finding the words in a book – this helps to not see the words in isolation, but as a part of reading. Read a book together, and the child has one or more keywords to spot and read in the text. 

3) Put words around the house – Now some people won’t want words all around the house, but it’s ideal to have a few, opposite the toilet is a good place! We have printable individual words for this purpose for reception keywords and high frequency words. Just scroll a little down the page and you will see them.

4) Combine with physical activities – For those who learn more actively, try using the words as part of a modified hopscotch, or involved with play, driving cars to the word, or scooter to words and back as a race. 

5) Sentences and pictures – Once you have a few keywords, you can start to join them together to start simple sentences, ideal so the words aren’t seen in isolation. If you want to, combine with drawing a picture to match the sentence and play a guessing game.

If you want more details, here is the original article which also contains the printable resources, including the flash cards to play the games. 

Not based on keywords but based on different topics, including dinosaurs, and fairies, we also have printable word games, which includes word searches and word matches. 
Also if you’re child’s reading is progressing, they’re heading towards reading chapter books, and you’re not sure where to start, we have suggestions and reviews about a variety of different books, including  First chapter books for boys, and Fairy chapter books.

We hope these ideas and resources are useful to you. If there are any other resources you would like to see on the website please get in touch. Leave us a comment below, or contact us.

Movies For Kids – Summer 2011

So this summer we have been to the cinema a few times, and have seen Cars 2, Mr. Poppers Penguins and most recently The Smurfs.

The children enjoyed all of them, but the overall favourite was ………. The Smurfs!

Cars 2, the children were a little disappointed with it, I’m not exactly sure why? Maybe because it’s been so long since the first and they’ve outgrown it? My son loved the first one, and collected a few of the cars, but we are going back a few years now! This one failed to engage them fully, and dare I say it, they got a little bored!

Mr. Poppers Penguins was quite light entertainment, a reasonable watch, not at either end of the scale of good or bad! Although Jim Carrey was a lot better than I’ve found him in other films, thankfully!

The Smurfs, now I might be biased, I’ve always loved the Smurfs, and this film didn’t disappoint. We all loved it, including the male that came to watch it too. It’s funny, bordering on cheese, but I like cheese, so beware if you don’t. It’s happy, light, entertaining, with a slightly sinister character, faintly resembling in physical appearance to the child catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Although not quite as scary because the character in the smurfs was quite funny too, so there was a good balance.

If you’re not sure whether a particular film is appropriate for your child, says it’s a PG or 12A and you want to know a bit more. There is a great website to check out a film before you take your child to the cinema, or watch it on DVD –  Kids in Mind,  it reviews the films on things us parents are interested in! Each film gets a nudity, violence, and profanity rating, and a review of the film.

So the summer holidays are coming to an end, and the films I’ve mentioned above seem to be on limited showings or have finished now. However if you still want to see them at the cinema look out for a cheap weekend showing.

Most cinemas do a Sat, or Sun showing of films a second time, at a much cheaper price, aimed at attracting kids. So Cineworld for instance has Movies for Juniors, Saturday mornings, normally around 10am. When it’s £1 a ticket for each person, so a lot more reasonable than normal cinema prices. The Odeon do similar too – Odeon Kids. It’s definitely a good way to see films at the cinema, at a more reasonable price, as long as you don’t mind seeing the films a bit longer after release, and giving up your Saturday mornings!

What films have you been to see this summer? Anyone else agree that The Smurfs was the bestest?