Teaching the names of colors is much easier than I thought it would be, and now that we’re in the thick of it, I don’t know why I thought it would be so difficult. As much as colors are lumped in with art, the names themselves are actually a language thing. Good writers describe things using colors when it is warranted, and as a parent, that’s exactly what you should do.
There’s no need to break out flash cards that will soon be torn to pieces or chewed on. Rather, talk to your child about all the different colors of things. “Where are your purple shoes? Do you see the green tree? Thank you for the pretty, pink flower.” This is a natural method that allows a child to learn at her own pace. Soon enough, she will be describing things to you using the colors you have taught her.
If you are the kind of parent that likes to evaluate if your efforts are paying off, feel free to ask, “What color is this tomato?” But, don’t worry or worse, over drill, if she can’t immediately answer, “Red.” She might need time to think about what you just asked, or to even figure out that you were asking her a question. She might not know what the word, “color,” means yet. Don’t fret. She’ll figure it out eventually. Just keep talking to her.
I recently saw a bunch of pins about how to make spelling “fun.” It made me roll my eyes. Not everything is fun, but it sure feels good when you get 100% on the spelling tests every single week. My mom was really good about drilling our spelling words with us every day of the week. Spelling for the week went something like this:
- Bring the spelling list home. She would take us back to school to get it if we “forgot” it.
- We were supposed to review the words ourselves so that we didn’t waste her time on the next step. Needless to say, we rarely did this step.
- While cooking dinner, she would read our words, and we would spell them out loud to her. If we missed any, she would read them to us again after the whole list was done.
- While cooking dinner, she would read the words to us, and we had to write them on paper.
- Depending on how old we were, and how trustworthy we were, either she or we would correct the paper.
- If any were spelled incorrectly, we had to write them five times, correctly.
- Same as day 2, only this time the words got all mixed up, just to make sure we really had them learned.
- Same as day 3, except for the random tests that ended up being on a Thursday. On those days, she would read our list out loud, and we would spell them to her out loud, while driving to school.
There is nothing “fun” about this, but I thought it was great. Her consistency and involvement show that she loved us and that she cared about us doing well in school. I rarely missed any words on my spelling test, and was able to enjoy the thrill of showing my mom a perfect spelling test. I know that this is how I grew to love learning and gained a desire to always do well in school and life.