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How Semantic Mapping Can Help Your Students

As you might have already learned that there are different kinds of students – some learn through reading, some are visual, and there are others who prefer to combine these and more. Our child may be any one of these learners. If we’re homeschooling our kids, chances are we have an idea of how they want their lessons to be conducted.

There are different kinds of students, and so there are also different kinds of teaching methods. One of them is Semantic Mapping or also known as graphic organizers. This method involves visual representation or display of topics or key items and their connection to other words of phrases. This is an effective method even for adults. To better explain about this, it is thought-mapping. You can apply this with just any subject which your child finds difficult.

How Semantic Mapping Can Help Your Students

Here are some helpful pointers you may use:

Explain the process and benefits

It’s crucial to send the message across to your homeschooler. You have to help them understand that this method is available to help them visualize their thoughts about something. Let them know that it’ll involve their participation in identifying other words or phrases related to the topic or word they wish to learn about. Present them with the benefit of them being able to reference back to their work should you need to.

Think of practical examples

The process itself has to be explained and thought well. If this is the first time you are introducing this method to your child, you better use practical examples that they can relate to. For example, you can use their favorite toy or game.

Show your own examples and explain your thought process

There’s no better way to teach a new method than giving your own example. Make sure you keep in mind their comprehension level as you go along. Be patient in answering questions such as ‘where did you get that?’, or ‘how did you know that?’.

Exchange ideas by doing the same map, and discuss afterwards

This is an interactive process for you and your child. Use the same topic, and create your own maps. Afterwards, show and compare. Point the differences and discuss your basis.

Work on multiple categories

If you have successfully completed several examples of single categories, it’s time to challenge your child to multiple categories. This involves identifying the topic deeper and more detailed. If you fall short with information or knowledge about something, there’s always your dictionary or other online resources.

There’s more than one way of doing it. You can even create your own incomplete Semantic Map and have your child try to complete it. Use the words they’ve come up with as sentences. This will encourage writing and word familiarization. Don’t be too concerned about how your child had exactly come up with the same map as yours, or how you were expecting it to be. What’s important here is to monitor their progress and identifying their struggles. Always take time to practice more.

For 15 years Mimi Rothschild has been privileged to help hundreds of thousands of homeschoolers educate their children at home. The MorningStar Academy is a private online Christian school offering diplomas and teachers. The Jubilee Academy is an online Christian curriculum provider offering over 150 full year online Christian courses for PreK-12.

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