Archives

Independence Day Resources

Happy Independence Day! Aren’t you glad to live here in the United States of America where we have great freedoms (speech, assembly, religion)? I have some video resources for you to use for this holiday.

download

Liberty’s Kids– This is an animated series that has 48 videos about the American Revolution. Each of them is approximately 30 minutes long and cover different aspects of the war.  If you enjoy the series you can purchase them by clicking HERE.

Would you like an overview of the American Revolution? Here is a 9 minute video that explains it. * The narrator talks very quickly, so you will likely need to watch it a few times if you want your student to take notes. For the video only, watch below to avoid the sidebars of other video suggestions.

 

If you have older students and you would like them to learn more about the American Revolution, Khan Academy has 17 lessons with each having a slide show and documents pertaining to the war. There is also a quiz for your student to take afterward on the Declaration of Independence, The Article of Confederations, and The Constitution of the United States. Should you take a summer break, bookmark this resource to use in the future.

What exactly was written in the Declaration of Independence? Here is the document written for you to read: Declaration This same website also has lesson plans, questions, and activities. U.S. HistoryLesson Plans

If your student has an understanding about the American Revolution, then this music video will reinforce what the Declaration of Independence was about to the writers. (Set in a much more modern music style than 1776. 🙂 It’s Too Late to Apologize lesson. Here is the video. For the video only, watch below to avoid the sidebars of other video suggestions.

Enjoy your day! ~Lisa~

Seasons

I am beginning to wonder if Winter will ever leave our lovely Ohio valley. But, I know Spring is here and I just need to be patient because the snow has limited days and will give way to warm temperatures and beautiful flowers.

This is how life is sometimes. Winter seems to drag on and Spring seems like it is never coming. But, be encouraged! The days of warmth and sunshine are coming! As Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heaven.”  If you find circumstances are difficult, children are being uncooperative, dragging their feet on getting their work completed, and the dog is always wanting to either go out in the goopy yeard or come in, remember, “Spring is a coming!” This will not always be the case in your life and better days are ahead. Remember life will get better; hold yourself and your children accountable for schoolwork to be finished, and I have no advice or words about the dog! lol

This colorful snack can’t help but bring a smile to your face and help brighten your day. These made me happier just looking at them! It is made with a few simple things that you likely have on hand in your house.  Here are the directions if you and your children would like to make them. GO HERE

Fun-Snacks-for-Kids-Butterfly-Snack

source: juggling with kids

6 Things to Remember for Homeschool Conventions

imagesIt’s convention time! While it can be exciting to hear the speakers and see all of the fabulous books, curricula, and fun things to add to your classroom, it can also be hugely overwhelming. As a speaker, as well as an attendee at past conventions, here are a few things I have learned and you may want to remember before you go.

Study the map of the convention building and speakers. Look at the list of vendors and where they are located. I look at the list of vendors and locate some of my favorite shops such as Rainbow Resource and Homeschool in the Woods. I star those on the map and anything else that looks interesting so I am sure to visit them. I also read through the topics that are being offered and plan the time and the room where I need to go. Otherwise, I will happily spend the entire time looking at curricula, talking to people, or looking at other booths and miss great speakers I wanted to hear. Or, miss my own speaking engagement! 🙂

imagesMake a list of curricula in which you are interested. There is nothing better than getting to peruse a book after you have read reviews about it. What seems like a great idea for your student may not be what you envisioned once you actually get to see it yourself. However, if you don’t make a list before you head into the vendor hall, all of your thoughts will go out your head once you see how many exhibits there are in the gargantuan room!

Pack drinks and snacks. Convention food can add up quickly, so pack a snack or a lunch, and be sure to take a couple bottles of water with you. You think you will stop for lunch, but time gets away from you and before you know it, the line for lunch is way too long and you run the risk of being hangy (hungry and angry combo- NOT good!)

downloadTake a rolling cart or a rolling suitcase. If you plan on purchasing more than a couple of items, this is a back saver! The first year I went to a convention, my shoulders and back were so sore because I bought all kinds of goodies and then had to haul them around all day! the next year I took a rolling cart, and it was great. Don’t take something too large because there are lots of people to maneuver your way through and you don’t want your cart to be too unwieldy.

Ask a friend or spouse to attend. I have really appreciated it when I have taken a friend with me to bounce ideas off of them. It also saves money because you can split the cost of parking if you take a friend. Consider getting a hotel room for a fun Girls Weekend. After all, you have worked really hard this year and it’s time to treat yourself! A couple of years I have asked my husband attend and that was extremely beneficial in helping me make decisions about our school. One time we went away and I forgot my bag! My hubby and I had to go and buy an outfit and some toiletries for me! Ooops! 🙂

We are all in this together. There may be someone who you have enjoyed using their curricula or have read one of their books, don’t be shy speaking to them. You can receive encouragement and at the same time, encourage them to continue. You may have a question about using a product or just want to say thanks, please take the time to do this. You will be glad you did and it will help as you go through the school year if you have spoken to the author or someone who has used the curriculum.

Have a great time!

~Lisa ~

Setting Goals for Your Homeschool

pexels-photo-38196

Beginning the new year is a time to review how your school year has gone so far and what you would like to accomplish for the remainder of the academic year. Consider focusing on the following:

Academic goals- What were concepts and ideas your daughter learned since the beginning of the year? What are concepts that you want to have your son master by the end of the year? Write them down and review each month the ones that have been completed.

Personal goals- What goals do you have for yourself, both as an educator and personally? Have you considered going to a homeschool convention? If not, how about going this year?  Great Homeschool Conventions has several conventions throughout the United States. Do you have friends with which you can go places or call?  Consider joining a homeschool support group to encourage you on this journey (for information on groups in your area CLICK HERE)  or asking other homeschool moms to join you for a cup of coffee. If you have friends that do not homeschool, be sure to keep in touch with them too.

Marriage goals- For you who are married, homeschooling can put a strain on your relationship with your spouse. One thing that Dale and I did for several years was to have “couch time”. We would set aside one night a week to sit on the couch and just discuss how things were going. Sometimes we read a book on strengthening our marriage, other times we had a powwow to discuss ways to parent and issues that came up with our sons.  Be sure to keep connected, because believe it or not, one day you will no longer have your children at home and it will just be the two of you again. 🙂

May this year be a wonderful and special year filled with great “Aha!” moments as you and your son and/or daughter learn about the world in which we live. May your home be filled with laughter and fond memories. May you enjoy your children and the opportunity to homeschool. Happy New Year!

~ Lisa

 

 

 

 

Ideas for Teaching Subjects for Homeschool

Teaching subjects can get to be a bit overwhelming. So, how do you teach all of them? Where do you find the time? When students are just beginning school and in the primary grades remember attention spans are short, so teaching a lesson needs to be short too. Take small breaks and return to subjects if necessary. For example, 15 minutes of explaining and showing examples, 15- 30 minutes of practicing/ doing what has been taught.

Over the course of the next few weeks, I am going to be concentrating on teaching elementary students.  I don’t want these posts to be too long so I will be talking about a few subjects each week. I can see just concentrating upon just one subject at a time, but I’ll save that for a later date. So many years of teaching, so little time to explain. lol  If you have an older student, I promise to address teaching junior high and high school students in future posts; please stay tuned. 🙂

Language Arts

Reading- I believe that teaching a child to read is the single most topic she needs in order to succeed in life. As far as language arts is concerned, my concentration would be to only teach reading in Kindergarten and 1st grade until your daughter is reading fluently. Incorporating spelling, grammar and handwriting can be done informally through writing the alphabet, her name,  street address, creating homemade cards, writing simple stories, etc. If you are interested in teaching these with a formal program, this can be added to your studies once reading is progressing well.

Spelling and grammar- The best way to teach spelling and grammar is by incorporating these into reading and writing. Practice writing the words you are teaching your son to read. If he is able, he can write simple sentences and perhaps a story using these words, which will reinforce what he is learning.

Handwriting- While many schools are opting not to teach cursive, I have read studies that say this is good for your brain since both hemispheres are involved in the process. It also requires less of the pencil to be taken off of the paper and nearly all letters are made in a forward fashion. I think teaching handwriting formally with a program is important since you want your son to be able to not only write it (neatly lol), but also to be able to read it. I am encountering junior high students who can no longer read cursive. I wish I had the time to instruct them so that they can read old documents, communicate with others who use cursive, etc. Don’t you want your student to have every means of communication available to him? Copying passages of favorite literature or poetry or writing out spelling words or science terms is an easy way to incorporate this into your lessons.

Social Studies (Geography, History)

Geography- While teaching young students geography and history can be taught by learning your address, what state and country you live in. When reading a book that has a specific setting, have your daughter investigate where that is located. Have you used Google Maps or Google Earth? These are fantastic apps to see the world and where we fit into it. Do you have relatives that live out of state? Use google to show her where this is in relation to your home and to the world. Still using the app, you can pick a destination such as the Statue of Liberty and take a virtual tour. I think it’s a pretty cool way to teach geography.

History- With young students, I like to begin teaching history that is relevant to them. For instance, create a personal timeline with your son. Choose events such as his birth and things that are memorable to him (learning to ride a bike, losing a tooth, the birth of a sibling, etc.) Creating a family tree gives meaning to history as well. This can involve interviewing grandparents, aunts and uncles, etc., which can be a lot of fun.  Once the concept of things occurring in the past has been established, history takes on a bit more meaning since much of it is about people. Field trips are a fun way to teach history. You can go to a local history or museum and discuss what you see and the time period in which it occurred. Dressing up in period clothing like we did when we studied Ohio presidents, and reading a famous speech or reading a short biography such as the series of books by David Adler brings history to life. (Click on the book for the link.)

61PkugiK15L._AC_US218_