Character is defined by Webster’s dictionary as,”Moral quality; the principles and motives that control the life[of a person].” How do we homeschool moms instill that into our child? It certainly doesn’t come naturally! I think it is by modeling, discussing, and expecting things from our children that demonstrate you prefer others and that you live a life of honor. I found some funny and engaging books for young readers to help.
Mo Willems has a series that involve two friends, Elephant and Piggie, that I think your children are going to love. Listen to My Trumpet is a story about speaking the truth in love. Loving this book was easy because of the illustrations and all of the sounds that Piggie makes with her trumpet. In fact, as I was reading it, I started laughing so hard that my mother-in-law who was sitting in the room was interrupted from her reading. I just had to read the book to her! Designed for young readers, this book will be read again and again, reinforcing the point of being truthful.
Waiting is Not Easy! is such a terrific book to help children see that waiting IS worth it! Children (and some adults like me!) sometimes have a difficult time waiting, but with Elephant and Piggie’s story you can talk about a part of our daily life- waiting!
Other books in the Elephant and Piggie series that are about character include: Should I Share my Ice Cream? and Are You Ready to Play Outside?
Sometimes a homeschool teacher just wants to know how the pupil is doing with reading comprehension or mathematics skills. While I am a huge proponent of portfolio reviews/ written narratives, I do understand. 🙂 The following are resources for you from Homeschool Giveaways to have an idea of where your daughter/son is in relation to skills. These are not nationally norm referenced tests and cannot be used as a means of assessment to fulfill the homeschooling requirement of Ohio.
EdInformatics provides a list of states with assessments and benchmark tests available online (keep in mind that different states have different standards)
Internet4Classrooms has a simple way to find an assessment to meet your needs. When you arrive on the page linked here, you will be asked for information but most is optional. You simply click on the grade level or subject you are interested in testing. There is a wide variety of tests available here for printing as well.
Academic Benchmarks will give you the state guidelines for different grade levels.
Secondary and College Testing
If you want to give your child a preview of the SAT visit Test Prep Preview or Test Prep Practice. Both websites offer free testing samples which include the GRE, Vocational Exams, Law School LSAT, and many more.
Curriculum Placement Tests
Taking Curriculum Placement Tests is another way to find any gaps in your homeschool academics (these are what I typically use). Several curriculum companies offer free diagnostic and testing tools for your use. Even if you have to register to take the test, you are not obligated to buy the curriculum at all.
Sonlight provides Horizons Math readiness tests. You will also find tests for Teaching Textbooks, Singapore Math, and Saxon. Once you have your student take the test, look at the results to see where gaps.
Alpha Omega Homeschool provides tests for grades 3 and up. You will have to register but you are under no obligation to purchase anything.
Math Mammoth tests are intended to assess end of year mastery. The tests group the questions by topic, so it is easy to find any gaps in understanding. Let us know in the comments if there are any other assessment testing resources that you like!
I was looking on my bookshelf today and found a book that I had given to my mom nearly 20 years ago. It is called Reflections from a Mother’s Heart. It is a journal that has questions for you to answer about your childhood and is broken into months of the year so you can spend a year filling it in without feeling overwhelmed.
I am such a terrible journal writer that I found a duplicate of this book next to the one I had given my mother. It was given to ME from a friend of mine in 1998! I had begun the journal, but then family came along and I obviously never got to return to it. I also totally forgot about it. lol My goal is to finish this by June so it doesn’t sit on my shelf for another 19 years!
So, if you would like to leave a legacy of early childhood memories that your children can read about later and gain some insight into why you act the way you do, 🙂 perhaps consider completing a journal like this one.
I will leave you with a few questions from the journal so you can see what they are like. Of course, if questions do not pertain to you, then just skip them.
Who gave you your name and why?
Where was your childhood home located? Did you enjoy living there?
Did you have a family pet? What was its name? Describe it.
What toys did you like to play with?
Music is something that I appreciate, but do not feel qualified to teach. Since that is not one of my strengths and I suspect some others may feel this way, I’d like to give you an online resource to help. It is called the Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra that has been produced by the Weill Music Institute ay Carnegie Hall.
This is a comprehensive overview of the instruments of the orchestra and would certainly meet the requirement of teaching music to your elementary student. It is interactive, interesting, and well done. I found myself wanting to continue on with the adventure as I think your pupil will as well. The adventures center around a young lady helping her eccentric uncle locate the instruments to fill an ancient amphitheater. There are activities the children must complete that test their knowledge as they go on a treasure hunt to find the lost instruments. I would suggest that you create an account if you wish to use this throughout the year. I believe you and your child are going to visit here often as part of your music studies. To see for yourself CLICK HERE
Happy Independence Day! Here is a great video for your family to watch that will bring this holiday alive for them.