This week’s edition of the carnival of homeschooling is out! Henry Cate has done a great job, so head on over there and get your homeschool advice for the week!
These are the magic years…everything is new and exciting. Making the most of creativity and firsts… it’s an amazing part of life that is the foundation for lifelong learning.
Introducing our youngest children to learning in a way that is fun and exciting gives them a beginning we will never regret. With that said, let’s join Monique over at Living Life and Learning to get 5 Days of Teaching Toddlers and Preschoolers.
Life With Tourette’s is a post that exposes us to what it must be like to find out your child has a disability.
This level of homeschooling has it’s own individual characteristics and definitely challenges. Middle School is the time when your child is changing and growing into the adult they will one day become. Teaching character, having fun, and beginning in depth study are all just part of the Middle School process.
At Home & School gives us an encouraging post for when we encounter the negativity of non-homeschoolers. Her post 9 Ways to Defend Homeschooling without Joining a Homeschool Organization has a lot of great ideas!
In this post post entitled, But… I HOMESCHOOLED You! Kelly talks about the struggles associated with a homeschooled child that isn’t making the right decisions in life. As we reach the Middle School years with our children this becomes more of a reality.
These years are often by far the most challenging for homeschool parents. They require us to dig deeper. Finding ways to inspire and encourage our young adults to figure out how they want to prepare for the future is one of the largest challenges. Couple that with keeping detailed transcripts and finding courses that match their career needs.
Let’s start this off right with a post from Letter’s From Nebby. School Plans 2014-15: The High Schooler shares with us just what Nebby and her homeschooling family plan to do this year for High School.
Here’s a great idea for your high school science course! Electric Conductive Paint Projects and Ideas gives us an inspiring post on how to use paint that conducts electricity.
Not trying to be self serving, but I feel like this article could be helpful to someone who is trying to graduate their first homeschooler! In the momSCHOOL article Tips for Graduating Your High Schooler you can find practical points that we followed in order to prepare our daughter graduation and for college.
Here is an article that really gives you the “insider track.” You’ll find curriculum guides with free resources for creating your very own highschool homeschool courses for free. Don’t miss the Let’s Homeschool Highschool Curriculum Guides.
I’d like to thank each of you that submitted a post to this week’s Carnival of Homeschooling. I really enjoyed reading all of the amazing homeschool insight in each article. Don’t miss the next carnival you can find out where it will be hosted at Why Homeschool. Thanks so much for stopping by!
It’s typically that time of year when many homeschoolers start rethinking and reviewing their homeschool experiences and begin planning the new homeschool year. I typically try to turn a critical eye on all that transpired in the last year. Sometimes it’s pretty and sometimes it isn’t. It seems like there is always something that needs to be changed with our curriculum, how we worked, or our schedule. …And that’s ok… this isn’t a bad thing – it’s actually pretty great. You’re wondering how making mistakes can be great? Well, it isn’t so much the mistakes as it is the correcting of (ahem) said mistakes. That is moving forward… getting better… learning from those mistakes.
Which brings me to my recent observation… there are many times that I meet a homeschooling mom and we begin the typical homeschool “chatter.” You know how it goes… you’ve been there. It’s all pleasantries at first, but then… the first blow is struck when one misguided mother degrades another because of what curriculum they use, or what schedule or method. It isn’t blatant… at least not usually. It’s kind of that… “Oh… you use that curriculum.” “Well, we use such and such. We think it’s the best.”
You’ve been there, and you have walked away wondering if you are a fit parent or why you ever started homeschooling in the first place! Maybe I’m over sensitive, but those conversations used to really knock the wind out of me! Why -when we are all aiming for the same common goal – can’t we congratulate and encourage each other? It isn’t difficult to say something positive to another parent when you see/hear that they are doing something very different than you. Isn’t that what homeschooling is all about? People who believe that they can make a difference? People who want to do things “differently?”
Let’s just remember how incredibly deep our words can pierce and take time to 1) encourage those homeschool families around us (you never know who is struggling today) 2) Don’t expect everyone to be just like you – different is GOOD! 3) Be yourself to others – don’t try to be perfect – sometimes the best thing that we can do to encourage ourselves and others is to talk about our own struggles 4) Pray for those who homeschool along side of you… we have so many things in common that our differences are often minute! 5) Always think about what you say before you say it. Run your words through the filter of God’s love!
Homeschool moms we have one of the greatest opportunities…we educate our own children. We can teach them about God’s love in the best way possible… through example. Together – if we stop being petty – we can have a huge impact on America for good! Yet, not without showing each other support and kindness… it really is that simple. Who can you make a difference with today?
I recently read the article The Truth about Common Core in the Guardian. I loved the fact that they presented several different views of the common core. However, since I homeschool the one on homeschooling really seemed to stand out to me. What is your opinion about the Common Core?
The view from home-school
By Nicole Reuter, home-schooling parent in upstate New York ( quoted from the article The Truth about Common Core – in The Guardian.com)
One of the things that shapes the typical home-schooling parent’s mentality about education is the ability to teach my kids what I want, when I want – as well as the freedom to move at a pace that’s appropriate for each child and to teach them in a way that is best suited to their learning style.
My biggest concern about the Common Core State Standards is how long we’ll be able to maintain our freedom to educate our children in the way that works best for us. There are no federal home-schooling standards but, in New York State, we already agree to cover certain specific subjects, report grades to our school district, and track our children’s progress with standardized tests (like IOWA or CAT tests) or written end-of-year evaluations. National standards, both directly and indirectly, could be devastating to home-schoolers by forcing us to abandon the very reason many of us chose home-schooling in the first place: flexibility.
Even if we maintain the legal right to be free of Common Core, we might well still have to cope with its effects. Some educational companies that market to the home-school community have already begun altering their curriculum in alignment with Common Core. Worse yet, we are told that college entrance exams are likely to change to reflect the new Common Core standards, rather than being tests of general knowledge. If that happens, home-schooled students would be disadvantaged in their pursuit of higher education unless they adhere to the standards, regardless of what they actually know or what skill sets they posses.
I also worry that politicians could just decide that home-schooling parents need to comply with all of the picayune standards of Common Core, full stop. At that point, I would lose the freedom to decide on behalf of my children – my students – how to help them grasp certain concepts, and instead be beholden to teaching them certain things at certain times as determined by the government. How much does it matter if a student masters fractions in the fourth grade or the fifth grade?
My husband was a public high school teacher at the time we chose to home-school our oldest two children, so he’s seen the educational system from both sides and knew this would be a good choice for us. Common Core standards want to make cookie-cutter students that get a one-size-fits-all kind of education. I know that’s not what’s best for my children, and I don’t think it’s what’s really best for any child.
One of my friends posted this graphic on facebook this morning. While I know we see these things all the time, something about it really triggered my thinking. Could it be true? and if it was that would mean – yet again – that money speaks louder than anything else. Sad… very sad…
As my brain was running through these wild and depressing thoughts, I began to click on a new tab and google it. (Well, isn’t that the answer for anything we don’t know these days? ) What I found was that apparently it is true. In 1991 legislation was passed that included ADD/ADHD in the funding for special education. Of course, the more special education children you have in your school the more special funding your school receives, in addition to any grant money. Though, from what I understand over the years the government has become more particular about what that money is spent on. I believe that it has to be spent on the special education department, so at least the money stays in the correct department. (I’m not sure if that is any consolation, though.) Anyway, this occurred in 1991, the numbers for ADD/ADHD rose dramatically since then. We aren’t talking hundred of thousands, we are talking millions! So, of course, I began to google to find out just how high the cases of ADD/ADHD have risen since this legislation was passed. …And for your viewing convenience here is a neat little graphic that sums it all up!
So, yes… I would say that the numbers have drastically risen since that legislation was passed. So, the evidence is in… however, I have to admit I don’t think it is all “filthy lucre’s” fault in this case. You see, I believe that there are two issues at play here. Yes, the misdiagnosis of many children across the U.S., but also the rise in use of technology. Don’t get me wrong… I love technology (as I sit here on my laptop with my ipad and phone beside me…) I just believe that our children are suffering the effects of sitting too long in front of the television and playing too long with video games. Teachers just can’t compete with the amazing graphics, interesting plots, and super sound that comes with all that technology. So, in all honesty I believe that there are two evils at play here.
1) Money – I think every American would admit that most American public schools are often more concerned with the budget than with the individual child.
2) Abuse of technology – I believe that there is a right way to use technology. That is for educational purposes and as tools for productivity. Letting television and video games babysit our children is a big mistake and we (our children) our beginning to pay for it!
I must apologize… it has been quite awhile since I’ve posted some good material! It’s been pretty crazy around here for the last couple months. My grandfather passed away from a stroke back in March, and my grandmother has been having some issues. Grandpa was 84 and grandma is 82, and both were/are amazing people! Anyway, I’ve flown/driven back and forth from Ohio three times now in the last few months. Needless to say, we’ve been doing the best we can with homeschooling. Sometimes life is just like that. God’s grace is sufficient, even in these times. I must say, I’m so proud of my kids. They really did much better than I thought they would on their schoolwork while I was gone.
There are still some gaps in the big picture and some things that need a bit more work in order for them to be where they need to be – but all in all – we are getting there. We will probably do a bit of summer school focusing on the subjects that they just didn’t get this year, and of course – having some summer fun with a new pool. AND… maybe a mix of the two!
When life throws curve balls… what do you do?
- Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Yes, it’s been one of those crazy years. You know… the kind where you feel like you are just making it by a hair’s breadth. There have been a lot of triumphs, but also a lot of tragedies. It’s just been a tough year. However, by God’s amazing grace (yet again) we will make it to the finish line.
As I look back over my children’s homeschool accomplishments, I realize that though they did well… we didn’t make it as far as I felt they needed to go. I’m disappointed… but I realize that it isn’t the end of the world. After all tomorrow is another day… Another great reason for homeschooling. To make up those areas in which we have a few deficits, we plan on homeschooling throughout the summer. Not a full fledged all subject homeschool endeavor… but a focused academic pursuit. Each of the kiddos has a specific area in which they have a weakness. We plan on working through that weakness during the summer, and look forward to fall finding each of them on top of their game!
First grade daughter needs to work on reading fluency. We will be doing Time4Learning Language Arts as well as some other phonics based programs.
Third grade daughter needs work on multiplication and division. We will be using some online math resources to help her gain mastery in this area.
Seventh grade twins need work on math skills and spelling. We will be using Vocabulary Spelling City and Time4Learning in those specific areas to boost their mastery levels.
Do you find yourself in this same situation? What are your plans for this summer?
I’m so excited to share with you all a project that I think is pretty amazing. I’ve had the real pleasure of knowing Dr. Bob and Sheila Doom for over 20 years. they recently shared with me a project on which they ( as part of the Russian Bible Society) have been working. A project to reach the majority of countries and states in and around Russia.
Reaching Russian Children!
This project really caught my heart for a few reasons: 1) Eastern European and formerly communist elementary schools are now MORE open to Christian influence than the U.S. 2) These picture books are a beautiful and amazing way to reach children with the simply truths about Jesus. I know from experience that children always love books. Many of the children in these countries don’t even own one book. Just think how wonderful that would be for someone to give you your first book!
Russian Picture Bibles on their Way!
You see, these books are to be readily distributed through the local schools, amazing right? This project is ongoing, however, a first shipment was sent the beginning of March. In Fact, there were 35,000 copies going to Latvia, 9,000 to the Republic of Georgia, and 6,000 to Romania. This is an amazing beginning.
I gave to this project, and hope to give more soon. In fact, a little goes a long way because $20 will buy 8 1/2 copies of this beautifully illustrated HARD BACK book!
If you are interested in giving to this project, you may contact NETA COX via email at email@example.com.
If you would rather speak to someone on the phone you can call 828-681-0379. The Russian Bible Society is located in Asheville, NC and is an incorporated non-profit organization founded over 70 years ago.
Summer Literature – Big Adventure – Small Investment Yes, most of us just don’t have the budget to see amazing sights and have the dream vacation that we would love. So, this summer instead of just being dissapointed about not … Continue reading
April the first stands mark’d by custom’s rules,
A day for being, and for making fools: —
But, pray, what custom, or what rule supplies
A day for making, or for being — wise?
(Rev. Samuel Bishop, 1796)
This is one of the earliest known mentions of April Fool’s Day. Though the exact origin is a bit cloudy, most historians trace a general air of tomfoolery back to antiquity.The Romans celebrated a festive holiday during the end of March known as Hilaria. The Jewish festival of Purim is also celebrated during this time and incorporates costumes, carnivals, and pranks.While I’ve heard that an ancient Dutch poem mentions April Fool’s and was written in 1561. So, in any case we can see that playing pranks and making all sorts of general merriment is the custom for this time of the year!
I personally just love April Fool’s Day, and at our house we are always on the lookout for some fun and exciting ways to celebrate this quirky holiday. So, in conjunction with our typical article submissions we’ll have some great ways to celebrate this silliest of all holidays!
Of course, as homeschoolers a great way to celebrate this day would be to research the history, make a spelling list that coordinates with the holiday, and possibly do a few science experiments, and even some art that may include making some incredibly fake April Fool’s Day food!
April Fool’s Idea #1
Make some fake food!!! You can use clay, or even other foods to make it crazy! We like to get daddy with this one! Another fun thing… try to eat with chopsticks!!
I love homeschooling for the simple reason that there’s usually time to do the fun stuff! Here’s a few other fun homeschooling ideas to fill your day!
Solagratiamom has shared one of her posts about presidents day. I love learning news ways to connect holidays to regular homeschool learning and she has done just that with her post, Presidents and Heat Flow.
Phonemic Awareness for Pre-Reading is a necessary aspect for pre-readers to gain the fundamental knowledge that enables them to be successful readers. This article gives some great online resources for teaching your child how to read.
I have been looking for some advice on the topic that Natalie shares with us today from her blog, Fill Your Bookshelf. Grammar Unit Study offers alot of ideas for homeschoolers to get their kids having fun with words!
April Fool’s Idea #2
One of our favorite yet slightly messy ideas is to fill something with packing peanuts. My teenagers have taken this as far as filling up someone’s vehicle, but you could make it simple by filling up their bookbag or may be even one of their drawers in their dresser…loads of fun! (Warning: this can get rather messy!)
Yet, play can be messy…
I’d love to throw in one of my favorite blog posts – Make Homeschool Science More Fun than Play… don’t you wish that was the case with all our homeschool subjects every day!
April Fool’s Idea #3
Cover a bar of soap with clear nail polish, our highschool children love doing this kind of thing to each other, uncles, and even poor daddy!
With high school in mind, here are a few great homeschooling articles that top the list!
Don’t miss out on Let’s Homeschool High School’s 30 Questions in 30 Days! It’s definitely going to cover a lot of homeschooler’s FAQ!! While we are over at LHSHS you need to visit their High School Curriculum Directory, it is loaded with great curriculum options that even veteran homeschoolers might not know about. I found several things to use for my higschoolers this year!
Dee shares with us a great post on Why I’m Not Making My Kids Do Dishes Anymore. I know mine would love for me to say this for sure!
I love this article from Pandahoneybee on Digging into Writing. I don’t know about you guys, but writing is always an issue at our house.
April Fool’s Idea #4
I love to use this fun exercise to get creative juices flowing and to get my kiddos writing. It’s an easy way to have some fun, and to get a little April Fool’s Day going! You can even have them illustrate it like a cartoon!