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Needle in the Haystack

29 Dec

Do you have a child who needs a little extra help in school? If you answered yes, I bet you have been frustrated at times looking for the elusive “needle in a haystack.” Finding that just right program or curriculum takes time and patience. Sometimes you think you have the perfect “program” only to discover it just doesn’t mesh well with your child or your child’s needs. Perhaps you like the curriculum, but you can’t adjust the grade level within each subject. Does your child excel in one area, but need a little more help in another area? Adjusting levels within each subject is very helpful. Maybe you like the curriculum, but you wish you could see progress reports for each and every subject so you know what your child is and is not mastering. Special education needs are important, and finding that “just right” program is possible. It may take some time, but it is very possible.  One “perfect” program or curriculum usually doesn’t exist. It is most often a mixture of a few great programs.  assistive technology is readily available today.

My daughter uses Time4Learning and Teaching Textbooks as her two main core curriculum’s. They each offer just what she needs in order to learn and be successful. We also participate in a very small local co-op, that way she can also take speciality classes with other friends. We supplement as necessary and based upon her interests.

As a side note, I wanted to talk just a little about vocabulary and its impact on education. Do you think it is important to improve your vocabulary?  My daughter has a rather large vocabulary and has since she was very little. I think one of the main reasons is that her father and I were older when she was born, plus, we never talked baby talk. We chose to teach her the real names of things and expose her to as much as we could. If we were working in the garden, we talked to her about compost,  trellising vines, or maybe the ways sulphur helps in the garden. We included vocabulary lessons in her early years of homeschooling.  Back in the day, we weren’t aware of online classes, online curriculum, or online educational games. Today, there are so many free educational resources available online,  there is no excuse not include vocabulary lessons in your daily homeschool lessons.


A good vocabulary is linked to better grades and higher pay in the work force. According to Larry I. Bell, there are 12 powerful words all kids should know in order to master tests. If your child doesn’t fully understand these 12 words, they may miss a test question even if they really know the answer. Take time to watch a few of the videos or power points, make flash cards, etc… with your child. It pays off in the long run.

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