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Vooks

I just visited the website, Vooks, and I can see this being a great addition to your homeschool.  It is a collection of animated storybooks from publishers, authors, and illustrators around the world. The animated children’s books are well done and have illustrations that are true to the stories. The book is read aloud with the words being displayed while it is being read aloud. It is kid-friendly, ad-free and age-appropriate and is for children 6 months to 8 years old.

One really great thing is that it is FREE to teachers and homeschoolers for 1 year. You can preview some of the stories to see if you want to subscribe. It could take up to 3 business days to process your request. Check it out 🙂 VOOKS

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Have a great week! ~Lisa ~

Helping Students Write

Writing can feel intimidating, mysterious, ambiguous and frustrating. How can you help your daughter or son get beyond those feelings to be able to write? As I had mentioned before, taking baby steps is where it all begins. Writing doesn’t have to be done in a day. In fact, I recommend you take several lessons (days/ weeks) to complete a writing piece.

Have you ever head the expression priming the pump? It means, ” to take action that encourages the growth of something or helps it to succeed.” You have to do this in writing as well. Think back to the time when you were given a writing assignment and you had no idea of what to say, no interest in the topic? This is how our children feel too!

Create a writing atmosphere. Light a candle, brew some tea or make hot chocolate, have some erasable pens or fancy pencils, special paper, and of course, some type of treat. This lets your child know this is something special and a time dedicated to doing something different. At first, the beverages and snacks may be eaten with little writing taking place, but keep at it. It will change if your child knows you are going to be doing this as a regular part of your school routine. use those fancy pens and paper for just your writing time.

Start with Conversation  You can talk about a fun activity that happened recently. ( a sleepover, a day at the zoo, a soccer game, a friend who came for a visit, a trip, etc) You can also talk about something that has made them sad or an event that is yet to occur.

Jot Down Ideas or Make a List from the Conversation Either you can do this or you can have your child write them.

Use these Ideas for Writing Your son or daughter can write the ideas down in various ways: a poster, a strip of sentences, a comic book, a short video, or a PowerPoint.

Find something your daughter or son is interested in to help them write. This can be Minecraft, Legos,  a favorite video game or a best friend. Set a timer of 2-3 minutes and have them write whatever comes to mind about the topic. This list can be a springboard for the next time you write.

Is your child been asking you for something and you have been on the fence about it? I have had students write persuasive pieces of writing about getting a pet, having an allowance, playing inside, staying up later, and taking a trip. Let them know you will have an open mind so they don’t feel their efforts are totally in vain. 🙂

Set the timer. This will help your child know there is a stopping point. You could be having such a fantastic time that time gets away from you.  Short and sweet lessons are good for everyone. (10-15 minutes)

Write alongside! Yes, your child needs to see you model writing. Not every time is a great writing day and your child can see how you overcome your writing block or when you are enthusiastic about the topic you have chosen.

Share Each person can share something they have written. Your reluctant writer might want to share anything, but ask them to share at least one thing. Be sure you share too!

Praise your child for their efforts.  You are likely to have a child that is willing to try again if you praise them and what they have accomplished.

Here are the erasable pens that I use with my students. They LOVE them! FriXion Pens

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Have a great week! ~Lisa ~

 

 

 

Helping Young Students Write

Please forgive me for not getting to write sooner.  My husband had some medical issues and has spent almost a month in the hospital. It is difficult to write anything when so much is happening. But, I have been thinking of you and what would be something that would benefit you who have young students. A comment that I hear often from moms is that their child (especially boys) don’t like to write. It takes a lot of practice, baby steps, and many successful experiences to get children comfortable with writing.

Be a scribe for your daughter/son so they see that they see they have something to say/ write about. Write down what they say and read it back to them. Here are some ideas:

  • Find a funny picture and have your child tell you about it. You can use the picture below of the giraffe if you like.
  • Have your son tell you a funny joke.
  • Have your daughter tell you about her favorite toy.

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Do small writing projects.  Many times children are excited about telling a story, but get bogged down with the physical act of writing. Small writing projects are just the thing! They bring huge successes to your budding writers.

  • Lists- your son can write a list of their favorite things (toys, sports, season, things to do). You can use this list for writing later by finding which list has the most interest and information and have him write about that.
  • Have your daughter put 3-4 pictures in order and then tell what happened. If you can find pictures of a family event that would be interesting and more engaging. If you have ever been to my house for a homeschool assessment you have met my extremely friendly cat, Oreo. Here are four pictures you can use if you like.

I have more ideas that I will share with you next week. If you try one of these and would like to send a quick email I would love to hear from you! It makes my day when I know I have helped.

Have a great week! ~ Lisa ~

Draw and Write Through History

Are you interested in combining history, art, and cursive this year? The Draw and Write Through History series of six books does just that.

The workbooks are in full-color and are Non-consumable. The recommended ages are 8 and up. I think this would be fun to do together with your son or daughter. They are affordable with each priced at $10.00 or if you purchase all 6 you save $1.00 per book. These are from a Christian worldview and are divided into the following time periods:   Creation to Jonah  |  600BC to 395AD  |  793AD to 1600s |1492 to 1781  |  The 1800s  | 20th Century

If you are curious to learn more, here is a description of the second book, Greece and Rome. “Take your children on an exciting journey through time as you draw and write your way through history! Learn how to draw a Greek soldier, the Lighthouse of Alexandria, The Great Wall of China, Hannibal’s war elephants, the Colosseum, a gladiator, and more in this second book in the Draw and Write Through History series. Each drawing is broken down into easy to follow steps. Cursive handwriting copywork about history is also included.” (source: http://www.amazon.com)

 

Have a great week!  ~Lisa ~ 

5 Great Read-Aloud Books

Have you ever read a book to your children? I loved this time that we spent together as a family. We had a lot of discussions, laughs and even cried (or at least I did ). Well-written books should evoke a response from us such as joy, empathy, sorrow, just to name a few. Here are some books to consider for your Read-Aloud time:

Moose Country by Sam Campell-  Although this is not a well-known series, if your child likes nature this book, and others in the series. will be ones they will enjoy and want to read many times. They are about the life of a man who lives in the Canadian wilderness and the antics of the animals that he loves.

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Mr. Popper’s Penguins– by Richard Atwater  Imagine Mr. Popper’s dilemma when penguins arrive at his house! This is a classic book that everyone loves.

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Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein is a silly, funny book of poetry that is the perfect introduction to this genre of literature. You will find your children wanting you to read “just one more”.

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Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien Mrs. Frisby, a field mouse, has a problem and must have the help of rats of NIMH to save her family. The race against time makes this book hard to put down.

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The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson The Herdman family are a bunch of unruly, loud, and obnoxious kids who want to run the Christmas play. read what happens in this funny and touching story. There are also two more books in this series should you wish to read more.

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 If you have a book that your family has enjoyed, please let me know. I would be happy to add it to the list.

Have a great week! -Lisa-