You'd think that the previous two posts were enough when it came to homeschooling, but for me there are a few skills which are just as important to help your child along.  They add a little extra and work wonders at enhancing their learning experience and adding skills that will stay with them and benefit them greatly.

If you read my Our Homeschool Timetable post then you'll know which ones I'm talking about but just to recap they are Spelling, Touch Typing, Times Tables, Guided Reading and a Project.

Let me explain each one so you get a better idea of why I feel they are just as important as the rest of our homeschool.


Well, we all know how important spelling is and although K is doing spellings with Wolsey Hall Oxford, I printed out the whole of Year 4 spellings from none other than Twinkl.  I was having a super organised week and so we'll be using them too.  They follow the National Curriculum guidelines so she'll be learning all the spellings that children in Year 4 will need to learn which is great.

Again, I don't need to plan anything or sort anything into groups as it's already organised for me week by week across each term.  All we have to do is complete them each week.  What I love about each spelling lesson is that the group of words are written in cursive handwriting for K to copy, so not only is she learning how to spell them, she is also learning practise and improve her handwriting skills.  I've noticed a big difference in her handwriting and with all that practise without it being obvious has been fantastic.

There are also other activities for each word list, such as word searches, crosswords, games and challenges so I've picked two activities per word list and have tried to make them different each week so K doesn't get bored with the repetition.

Touch Typing

This is a skill I learnt when I was at school and although it was at Secondary school, things are a lot more advanced these days so we started touch typing in Year 3.  We've been using Typing Club to practise touch typing and what I love about it is that it's all online and allows your child to work through each lesson and move on once they are confident.

The target is to get 5 stars in each lesson to move on to the next and with a screen that shows you where to place your fingers on the keyboard and the words right in front of you as opposed to a sheet full of letters and words on the side it's very easy to get a hang of. The practise has helped K to become a lot more familiar with the keyboard and type more precisely too.  

There are plenty of incentives to get them to practise like badges for attempting the lessons and highest score levels.  You do have to sign up but it's free, so you can track the number of hours your child has practised, see all their amazing badges and practice touch typing lesson by lesson.

This is a very important skill to learn because these days a lot of work is carried out on the computer, regardless of what you are doing.  It could be that you are typing up an essay, searching for something online or even blogging, like me.  No matter what you're doing, we rely on using the computer and keyboard for doing a lot of tasks without even realising.  So this skill of being able to type properly will be very useful throughout her life.

Times Tables

Whilst I was researching primary education I saw that times tables are a big part of learning.  I remember having to do them myself but there wasn't as much focus on them as there is today.  After having seen for myself how much it helps to know them, I decided to continue practising the times tables in our homeschool everyday.

Instead of doing one half an hour lesson each week like we did in Year 3, this year I've planned for 10 minutes each day so that K doesn't get bored and complain.  I find that she's more focused with short bursts instead of one long lesson and learns better as well.  In the end, she's actually doing more by practising for 10 minutes each day than for one half an hour session.

I'm trying to add a little variety so we'll be using a selection of apps to practise.  At the moment we're using the Dorling Kindersley 10 Minutes A Day Times Tables app which is perfect.  K can practise each number on it's own or go for the mixed times tables too.

Just knowing the times tables, helps so much when answering questions in maths and doing calculations.  

Guided Reading    

Reading is essential in our homeschool so K tries to read a book of her choice on her own for half an hour each day and once complete she writes up a book review.  When I first started homeschooling, lots of teachers I asked in the TES forum told me that reading will help to improve K's vocabulary, spelling and writing too and it's true!  K loves to read anyway and I'll often find her with her head buried in a book so I have no problem getting her to read, which is great.

If you have Borrow Box with your library then you can download the app, borrow books online and read them on your iPad too.  I've found this resource to be so helpful especially when we can't get to the library.  At the moment, K is reading The Railway Children and so far she's thoroughly enjoying it.  We like to add variety to the types of books K reads so we'll try different genres and even non-fiction books too.

That's just reading.  What about guided reading?  Well, when I first started homeschooling I came across the Scholastics Read and Respond books.  I really liked the books and thought that I'd be able to teach K English using just those books, but it wasn't until I bought them and had a good look through them that I realised it wasn't going to be.  I still love the books and they have some great lessons in there but I didn't know how to plan them into our English lesson which is why I returned them.  But instead I kept the Guided Reading Book for teachers.

This book has a range of questions and points of discussion related to each of the 6 books so it's great for looking deeper into each story, learning about characters, setting, language etc.  During our guided reading lessons we'll be reading the books together and then discussing them using the teachers book.  I'm hoping this will help us to practise speaking and listening skills as well as understanding the story and looking further into the stories.  The books are available for all age groups so you can pick the one that's suitable for your child.

I'm sure that these lesson will hold great value as the skills she learns will be very useful when answering questions about stories and showing evidence when she gets older.  Talking about the different elements to each story will also help to improve K's listening and speaking skills too.


This is something fun I thought to add to our homeschool.  Everyone likes doing projects because they become something that's your own.  Your child will have to do the research and learn a lot on their own too by reading and asking lots of questions.

I wanted to include a project because I want K to learn how to use the internet to research and look for something.  Our project is 'All Around The World' and we'll be visiting a variety of countries.  All chosen by K of course.  It's going to be a very interesting project as there's really no end to it.

The first place K wants to visit is China!  For each country K chooses we'll be looking at the flag, location, capital city, currency, population, religion, language, clothing, food, landmarks, wildlife, wonders of the world, fascinating facts etc.  We'll be using a mixture of the internet as well as maps, books and youtube too.

The great thing is that she'll also be learning Maths as well as Geography and other skills and lessons all rolled into one.  For example, when looking at currency, K can convert it into GBP and then even try and work out how much a bar of chocolate costs in her chosen country.  She'll also be looking at the Chinese alphabet and even attempt to write out her name.  We are even hoping to get creative and cook up some dishes from the countries we visit and try our hand at painting and crafts, so I'm sure she'll learn so much and enjoy it too.

This project is interest led so I know for sure that K will be very curious to find out so many things about each new place we visit.  I'm hoping this will increase her skills in lots of ways and she'll be able to apply them in other areas of our homeschool too.  I know children learn so much when it's something they have chosen to do themselves and when we were watching a documentary on the Great Wall of China, K was so fascinated by it, she asked to watch another documentary.  She also enjoys learning about food and different cuisines from around the world and so this project is right up her street.

I'm excited to be learning with K too and hopefully find out some amazing facts about the world and the it's many wonders.

My Educating K series has almost come to an end and I've really enjoyed sharing my experience and knowledge with you.  I have one final post for tomorrow where I'll be sharing all the resources I've used online and any books I've found helpful too.  As always if you have any questions please feel free to get in touch.