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A to Z, an Other Goose Glossary


Want a crash course in homeschooling or early childhood education basics? We’ve got you…


A is for Absorbent Mind.

A Montessori term, absorbent mind is a description of the stage from birth through age 6 where a child experiences a period of “intense mental activity” that allows learning quickly and easily without conscious effort.

B is for Blending

In early literacy, blending is the task of combining sounds or consonant clusters rapidly to create a word.

C is for Circular Books.

Circular books, also called predictable books, offer a patterned story in which children can successfully anticipate the next word, sentence, or phrase. Often including plenty of rhyme and repetition, this predictability encourages participation and the engaging of young minds. A few classic favorites: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, When the Elephant Walks, or There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly.

D is for Dramatic Play.

Dramatic play is the term for when children assign roles to perform unscripted within their peer group, or for a larger audience.

E is for Exploratory Play.

Exploratory play occurs when children discover how materials work within a larger, open-ended context.

F is for Fine Motor Skills.

Fine motor skills are actions that require control of smaller muscles in the body to achieve a desired skill or outcome, i.e. cutting with scissors, copywork, drawing, or playing an instrument.

G is for Generalization.

Generalization is an educational term meaning the ability to use a learned skill in novel situations.

H is for Holistic Learning.

Holistic learning encompasses all aspects of a child’s learning and development, including intellectual, physical, social, emotional, and spiritual dimensions.

I is for Informal Assessment.

Informal assessment offers an alternative to test a child’s growth, progress, and comprehension of a skill or outcome. Common examples of informal assessment in homeschooling include parental documentation, narration, or portfolios of a child’s work.

J is for John Holt.

John Caldwell Holt was an American author and educator, proponent of homeschooling and a pioneer in youth rights theory. Find his bestselling book, How Children Learn, right here.

K is for Kinesthetic.

Kinesthetic learning is a common learning style in early childhood education in which a child carries out a physical activity to comprehend a new skill.

L is for Letter-Sound Correspondence.

Letter-sound correspondence is an early literacy term for the matching of an oral sound to its corresponding letter or group of letters.

M is for Manipulatives.

Manipulatives are objects easily grasped by young children in a hands-on learning manner. Through the use of manipulatives, concepts are “brought to life” visually and become easier to understand, i.e. counting blocks to build a tower or pattern-making with raisins. Our favorite manipulatives are wool pom-poms, available here.

N is for Narration.

Narration is a term coined by Charlotte Mason, a leading educator and early advocate of homeschooling. Loosely interpreted as “book review,” narration allows a child to retell a story they’ve heard read to them or have read independently. By offering a narration of the book in their own words, a child is honing comprehension and recitation while building a strong memory for future recollection of the subject at hand. For a deeper look at narration, or to learn how to implement with your child, click here.

O is for Onset and Rime.

Onset and rime is a beginning reading term. In a syllable, the onset is the initial consonant or consonants, and the rime is the vowel and any consonants that follow it (e.g., In the word sat, the onset is β€œs” and the rime is β€œat”).

P is for Print-Rich, as in a Print-Rich Environment.

A print-rich environment offers a childhood heavy exposure to words via posters, books, papers, fonts, and typography in their everyday surroundings.

Q is for Quiet Time.

Quiet time is a common homeschooling concept for a lull in the afternoon in which a younger child might nap, an older child might perform independent learning, and a mother might rest.

R is for Recitation.

Recitation is a review of poetry, typically memorized and performed among a small gathering of learners.

S is for Scaffolding.

Scaffolding is a method of teaching new concepts in a way that involves the connecting and leveraging of skills a child has already mastered.

T is for Trivium

A classical education term, trivium refers to three foundational stages of learning: grammar (early), logic (intermediate), and rhetoric (advanced).

U is for Unschooling.

Unschooling is an educational philosophy that advocates learner-chosen activities as a primary means for learning.

V is for Variant Correspondences.

Variant correspondences refer to spelling patterns that offer a variety of specific sounds, i.e. long “a” spelled a, ae, ai, or ay.

W is for Waldorf.

Waldorf is an educational philosophy that approaches education holistically, primarily valuing imagination and self-expression. For a deeper look at the Waldorf methodology, click here.