Making Sentence Building Tactile
I’m not sure about you and yours, but my son is as logical and concrete a thinker as you can get. If he can’t see it, then he just can’t comprehend it. Thankfully, learning this has made helping him learn easier. In math, applying this visual/tactile learning process is really easy with manipulatives and graphs. However, English has been rather difficult. He can say a sentence perfectly well, but when he writes it down on paper, he seems to skip over words and we end up with a pretty disjointed sentence.
We started exploring the visual side of English by doing worksheets, so that he could constantly practice and see what it is that he is supposed to be doing. The free worksheets over at Educents have been incredibly helpful. They definitely started us down the right road, but we needed just a bit more tactile stimulation to help cement this information in his mind.
Finding and Using English Building Blocks
I thought about this for days (and nights!) until I thought about what else I could use to help him. The next day, I did a Google search on sentence building blocks. I knew exactly what I was looking for in my head and just needed to find the product. It didn’t take me long until I found it. Check it out here:
These have been the lifesaver that we needed. It’s a very simple but pretty inclusive set. The 156 blocks came wrapped in plastic without a storage container, which was easily remedied. The biggest set back, in my opinion, was that it didn’t come with any instructions. However, the rods are color coded by nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, and punctuation. I can definitely work with that and figure out which color goes with which part of speech.
He gets it now!
Once my son was able to physically build his sentences, using not just his mind but his hands, he was able to better construct his sentences. He went from doing just the basic sentences to being able to construct complex sentences. Even better is that, now that the sentence he constructed is in front of him, he is able to write down the sentence in his workbook without skipping any words.
Eventually, I do plan to progress beyond the use of building blocks to construct sentences, but for now, in his initial phase of learning pronouns, prepositions, adjectives, verbs, etc… I really don’t mind giving him the extra help now. I do believe that the extra help now will develop into a deeper understanding later without negative associations from the frustrations that he had when he learned it.
These blocks have been our greatest find this month!
What have you guys used that have you helped you over your initial English-learning stumps? I know that we have a ways to go, and I am always looking to build my portfolio of tips. The more resources I have, the better resource I am to my kids!
Erin T. is a military wife, mom of two homeschooled boys, and works PRN at a local hospital. She has lived in multiple states including NC, VA, and KY. She enjoys writing articles about her homeschool journey and different life experiences. If you would like to email Erin directly, please do so at firstname.lastname@example.org.