Multisensory Learning

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Did you know that we all remember and learn better if we have information presented when it involves our senses?  I think about when I am learning something new (like gardening) I like to read a description of the plant and growing conditions, and see pictures of it. If there is a video about the care of it then I like to watch it which involves both seeing and hearing. The final step in the learning process is to purchase the plant and care for it. (hands-on) Sometimes that’s more multisensory than I want!

Do you have a child who just can’t seem to get a concept? You have gone over the example in the text several times. So, instead of just reading the directions and explanations one- more- time, try doing something else, get the senses invloved. For instance, instead of textbooks and worksheets see if you can…

  • watch /take notes on an educational video on the subject
  • discuss the video that was viewed
  •  read library books on the topic
  • go on a field trip if appropriate
  • talk to someone who understands the topic and might be able to give a different perspective
  •  go on to another topic and come back to it a while later
  •  have your child draw pictures of what they understand this far
  • create a comic book about the topic
  • listen to an audible version if possible
  • give your child an opportunity to vent (Write a nasty letter to fractions, geography, etc. Just remind them that what is written on the paper only applies to inanimate objects. 🙂 )
  • Act out the topic if possible. Years ago I had a student that did not understand Shakespeare so the whole family did a reader’s theater and even acted out particularly difficult scenes he was struggling to understand.
  • Create a  video, PowerPoint, or a tri-fold board If you are reading about the Battle at Vicksburg, find maps of the battle; go on Google to see the battlefield; draw the area and the battle plan, etc.
  • Use Post-It Notes and break down the topic into smaller pieces. Addition- Point 1- Each number of objects is represented by a number. (2 candy bars or small candies) and (2 people). Point 2- You can add these together to see how many you have in total. Ask your child what they think the number will be. Point 3: Count them (2 candy bars or small candies ) and (2 people) and determine if the answer given was correct. Point 4: Eat the candy bar or small candies if the answer was correct. If not, cut the candy bar in smaller pieces or use more small candies for extra examples.

I know there are other ideas, but I hope this will give you some other options for teaching. If you care to share I’d love for you to comment.


Have a great week! ~ Lisa ~ 



Testing Options for Homeschooling


Last week I discussed the option of the Written Narrative option.  This week I wanted to give you some resources if you would like to do testing.

Here are things to consider:

  • Which test do you want your child to take? The ITBS? CAT? Standford? Think long term and stay with the same test so that you can compare how your son/daughter measures up from the previous year.
  • How well does your child test? If you have a student that is anxious and you do not think it would be a good indication of what they know, consider doing a portfolio review/ assessment instead.
  • Does your child read well? Much of the test is read independently, even in the younger grades.
  • Has your child taken a standardized test before? If not, practice filling in bubbles beforehand. This can confuse some students if they haven’t done this before.
  • Qualifications– Some standardized tests have administrator requirements. Others do not so be sure to check on that detail.
  • Time– Consider the amount of time it will take for the test. You do not do the test all in one sitting and it will take several days. Also, order tests early as some companies (BJU Press) only allow you to order until a certain date.
  • Cost– If you are ordering a test that will need to be mailed, how much will it cost in order to do this? Doing an online test can be less expensive and the results will be given to you much quicker. Prices vary from $25.00- $45.00

Here are websites to order standardized tests.

Have a great week!  ~Lisa~


Homeschool Assessments

Screen Shot 2020-02-12 at 12.04.55 PMTraditional schools celebrate the 100th day of school when children are in elementary school. I think we should celebrate the countdown to the end of the year that is less than 100 days! I  bet you are looking forward to a more relaxed morning schedule, no tests, no textbooks, and a break from the school routine. Hip! Hip! Hooray!

If you live in Ohio, you probably have given it some thought as to having your child assessed since this is a state homeschool requirement. Do not become anxious; it’s pretty straightforward. You can either choose to create a portfolio of academic work samples for an assessor such as myself or have your child take a standardized test. You also can do both if you like. This week I will be sharing about portfolio reviews or otherwise known as portfolio assessments.

I thought this was an interesting quote from a testing service regarding standardized tests. “A student’s regular performance throughout the year is likely more valid than a single test score. Testing is only a snapshot of a student’s skills, abilities, and knowledge. It is also affected by anxiety, fatigue, and disposition. Most importantly, it does not measure many of the best predictors of success, such as effort, tenacity, emotional intelligence, and creativity.” source: Homeschool Testing Services. com

If you considering the portfolio review option here are some things that can help you with your decision.

What is it? It is a portfolio (a compilation) of your child’s work from the academic year they have just completed or are completing. Think of it as showcasing your student’s school year. You can also think of it as a great way to reflect back over the year- what areas was there progress made? Where do you want to see progress next year?

Who can assess my student’s work? A currently licensed teacher in the state of Ohio. It can be a music teacher, a high school science teacher, an elementary teacher, as long as they have a current teaching license.

When are portfolio reviews done? Typically, assessors perform reviews from May through July or early August. I begin scheduling in March.

What do I need to do for an assessment? Gather samples of your choosing to show that your student has made academic progress. You should also include work samples if you have concerns so that the teacher can offer recommendations, suggestions or resources to assist you. If you have questions, be sure to write those down so you can discuss this with the assessor.

What kinds of samples do I show the assessor? This is not an exhaustive list by any means, but some ideas to help you. You can show samples from the beginning, middle, and end of the year of workbook pages; samples of writing; tests; lab reports, etc. You can include pictures of activities, experiments;  lapbooks; screenshots (classes, grades); videos; narratives; nature journals; programs from plays; sports programs or a team roster; co-op classes, etc. I tell families this is your “Bragging Time” to show off what you have done for the year. Am I interested? I sure am! I get so excited to see what students have done. You work hard all year to give your children an excellent education and reviewing the year with you is an honor and joy. I like to think of myself as your cheerleader and I am sure every assessor feels that way too. 🙂

What is the cost? That varies as the assessor sets the price. Keep in mind that they have expenses for continuing post-graduate education and the time they take to carefully review your student’s work.

Do I meet with the assessor? This depends upon the assessor. Some teachers want to meet with you (with or without your children), other teachers have you send paperwork to them. Still others, such as myself, will give you the option to meet or send work samples.

What happens next? You will receive from your assessor the Written Narrative paperwork that needs to be submitted along with your Ohio Home Education Notification Form when you notify for the next school year. It is a single piece of paper, but it is a required part of your notification.  It is important to note that your paperwork must be submitted no later than the first week of your child’s school building’s start date. If past that date, your child is considered truant. 

If you would like to schedule an assessment with me please contact me through my email:  I would love to serve you and your family.

Next week my post information will be about testing.

Have a great week! ~Lisa~





Fake Snow for Indoor Days



Maybe winter hasn’t had a lot of snow for your children to play in this year. Maybe you live in a climate where there is never snow. Well, I have a fun solution for you. I made this fake snow recipe that I found on the internet for my granddaughter and she loved it! It only requires 2 ingredients and you probably can do it as soon as you finish reading this post!

  • 1 box of baking soda
  • 1 can of shaving cream (regular)

Add shaving cream little by little until you get the consistency that you like. If you add too much then you will need to add more baking soda.

While it doesn’t stick together like snow would, it is still a lot of fun! I am going over weekly to do activities with EJ and we made this three weeks ago. She has played with it for hours and asks for it every time I am at their house.  We had plastic googly eyes and made snowmen and snowgirls with small mounds of the snow. Bury some objects in it for a treasure hunt (a nickel, a pen cap, a paper clip, etc.).

Not only will little ones enjoy playing with it, but so will big kids. The texture is very interesting and fun to pick up and pretend like it is “snowing”. Yes, I played in it almost as much as my granddaughter. lol

Play area: You can let your children play with it inside of a baking tray or a rectangular plastic container. Be sure to wash hands when finished.

Storage: It can be kept in the refrigerator in an airtight container until it dries out or your child loses interest. 🙂


Free Math Apps for Kids


While I do not advocate plopping your daughter/ son in front of a computer or giving them a portable electronic device that has a math app on it and calling that teaching math, I do think technology can reach students. Sometimes you have taught multiplication facts with multi-sensory activities, games, and explained it in as many ways as you can possibly imagine and it still isn’t sticking. A math app can provide reinforcement and added practice to help a child with concepts. I have chosen a couple of websites that you can go to to read about various FREE apps for your student.

10 Free Math Apps for Students Here are ten apps that are recommended by teachers.

iGameMom gives her list and descriptions of her ten favorite math apps.

Have a great week! ~Lisa~