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An Act of Kindness

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I had the privilege of doing a portfolio review this past month for a wonderful and thoughtful young lady. Her mom said she wanted to let her neighbors know that they are not alone during these difficult times. She bought plastic containers, filled them with wrapped candy, and attached this note to each one. We can make someone’s day with a simple act of kindness. This would be easy for you and your children to do for school and would count for Language Arts and Handwriting.

Have a great week! ~Lisa~

 

 

Getting Ready for the New Year

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We are already into the second week of July and school will be starting before you know it. Maybe you are just beginning to homeschool or maybe you are starting the last year of your homeschooling. Either way, everyone needs to plan what they will be doing for the year. So, I have three things for you to consider doing over the next few weeks.

  • Pick a curriculum- What will you be using this year for school? This requires some investigating on your part. If you are new to homeschooling, I recommend that you find something that is already planned out. This can be traditional textbooks, online programs, distance learning opportunities, etc. It is much easier to modify a curriculum instead of having to create your own. After  you have that first year under your belt you will have a better idea of what works for your child and what does not.
  • Consider your home and classroom work space. Where will you have school? I think having a dedicated area to do school is great, but it may be that you work at the kitchen table. Do what works best for your family. We began with a schoolroom and ended up migrating as the year went on. After a couple of years I just had all of us meet at the kitchen table. 🙂
  • Complete the Home Education Notification Form. (<- Click on the bold words to get a copy.) It is only used to notify the school that you are going to homeschool your child for the school year. It must be completed and turned into the superintendent no later that the first day of when your child’s school building begins the academic year. I would suggest you send it by registered mail with a return receipt. This is so you have record that they received it. It gets very busy for the superintendent’s office and your paperwork could get lost. If that should happen, you have a record that they received it.

Item #6 is for you to just list a few general topics of what you intend to teach your child for the school year. For instance, in math you can list for your child who is of first grade level the topics of single digit addition and subtraction, counting money and telling time. This is for informational purposes and you can change your mind as the year progresses. Your daughter may sail through addition and subtraction and you decide to add multiple digit addition. That is great and there is no need to contact the school and let them know your topics have changed. She may struggle with telling time and you decide to wait until a later date to teach this. This is perfectly fine too. The superintendent is just seeing that you have some topics for your child to learn.

Item #7 on the form is for informational purposes as well. You can list resources that you will be using, but you do not need to make an extensive list of every book you are going to use. You may not have even come across a fabulous resource yet and discover it as the year continues. That has happened to me on several occasions. You can list the textbook (if you are using one) as well as other resources or programs. For instance, in Social Studies you might use Story of the World, various videos, maps of the world and United States and  and app such as Stack the States.  Again, the superintendent is looking to see that you have a plan of what resources you would like to use.

Have a great week! ~Lisa~

 

Great Resources for Homeschooling

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So, you are thinking about homeschooling next year. That’s awesome! You may be wondering, “Where do I start?”

I found it helpful to find a few trusted sources for information. Start out with just a couple of things to investigate. It can be overwhelming if you try to tackle it all at once. After you have answers for those couple of questions, then pick a couple of more to research. Pretty soon you will be a pro and ready to go! Here are a few great resources to help you get started.

Are you looking for curriculum? Cathy Duffy Reviews is a good resource with a summary of each of her top picks. She also has a book called How to Choose Homeschool Curriculum that would be worth the investment since it covers setting goals, types of learners, and  philosophies of education.

Two great companies from which to buy homeschool books/ curriculum are:

Join a Facebook Group and/or a support group. There are both secular and Christian groups. Facebook groups are very helpful, but I liked talking and meeting up with people. People are more than happy to help you. If you have any questions that I can help you with, comment below.

Have a great week! ~Lisa~

 

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 ~ 

 

 

Fake Snow for Indoor Days

 

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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. 🙂