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Internet Safety Issues

I bet all of my readers have some sort of virus software installed to help keep your computer safe, but how many of you have solid plans for keeping your child safe while using the Internet? Internet Safety should be included in your homeschooling curriculum at some point. It is relevant for all age groups, even adults. My daughter, a teenager, and I have had discussions about ways she is to protect herself when accessing the Internet. We also explored why it’s important.

Have you heard about Cyber bullying? It is very real in today’s social media circles. So many older kids today use Facebook, My Space, chat sites, surf randomly, visit You Tube, blogs, and who knows what else. Many times, kids have no idea whether their movements are being tracked, who is reading what they post, who they are truly chatting with, who hacked their account, and so forth. Most kids do not purposefully go to “bad” sites, but bad sites ARE seeking them, tricking them, luring them in…

Do your kids know what information NOT to give at registration sites, in chat rooms, in post comments??? Do your kids know not to ever mention their school by name? Mentioning the name of a school or places near your home helps pinpoint the location of your child. Pedophiles have sneaky ways of finding that type of information. If your child posts pictures on the Internet, things in the background of the picture such as buildings or parks, specific clothes (such a school uniform, cheerleading outfit, team mascot or logo on clothes…) give away your general area. Even if your child doesn’t mention these type of things, chances are his friends might comment about them.

Take time to share safe surfing tips with your teen. Teach them to guard their information. The FBI offers a free report, Parent Guide to Internet Safety , that is a very good starting point for parents wanting to learn ways to spot online sexual predators.

Arm yourself and your child today, don’t wait!

 

 

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Fan Fiction: One More Time

*If you are an email or Twitter subscriber, you may have received this post this morning. Word Press accidentally suspended my blog shortly after this post due to a glitch. I removed the original “Fan Fiction” post because the suspension messed it up. I hoped this re-post would correct any problems, but sadly I am now on my second re-post. Please let me know if you have any problems reading this post or any post on my blog.  Thanks in advance for your understanding.

Jackie

I hope everyone is back in the saddle again so to speak. I know some of you have changed curriculums or just started homeschooling. January and August seem to be the two start-up times for homeschooling.

If you have read my blog for any length of time, you know that as part of my daughter’s homeschool writing curriculum, she writes her very own anime fan fiction blog and we edit together. Anime continues to grow by leaps and bounds in this country. There is a huge fan base here in the United States. .

Because of my daughter’s great love of anime, it only seemed natural to merge it into her home school lessons. She is very into sketching, so her art lessons include anime drawing. She has her anime sketches posted all around her room. She even posts them on an anime artist site. She creates AMV’s ( anime music video ) and posts them on YouTube. Here is a link to some of her AMV’s. Recently a particular site invited her to submit a Christmas AMV for a contest they were running. She was so proud! Being recognized for her work was a thrill for her. I must admit, I was a very proud Mom too! Smile For theater arts or drama, she has anime cosplay outfits. She acts out various scenes. Her dream is to attend one of the many anime cons such as MegaCon, Dragon Con, A-Kon, AWA…

Here are a few of her anime drawings.

Rin Okumura Drawing By Hannah  Yuki Sohuma Drawing by Hannah

Writing fan fiction is so very different from what I learned about traditional writing as a student. I embraced that difference and learned something new myself.  Blogging is not our only avenue for writing lessons, but it is her favorite. If you would like to take a peek at her blog, it is Bleached in Anime. The lingo is unique to anime lovers. If you are not an anime fan, it might be a little strange. It has taken me a while to become a fan (o.k., I am still traveling the anime road hoping to become a fan, but shhhh, don’t tell my daughter).

The blog is a little behind now due to all the holidays, and she has writer’s block. Sad smile It’s not too bad for a dyslexic, CAPD kid. I think her success with blog writing just proves that Special needs learners can succeed if we give them the right tools.

I truly want you to share how you teach writing in your homeschool, so please don’t be shy! If we all share ideas and techniques, we have the chance to learn something new. I would love to get some dialogue going.

 

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A Jig a Jog, Wanna Start a Blog?

O.K., the title is somewhat corny for sure, but have you ever considered starting a blog? Maybe you do not think you have what it takes. Age does not matter, where you live does not matter, money is not a factor, gender is not important…so what is a factor? What does it take? It takes passion and consistency. Many folks really want to write a blog, but they complain they do not know what to blog about. You should blog about your passion. What do you love? What are good at doing? What is your expertise? What is something you have a good handle on? Brainstorm a little to help you answer this question and begin to lay the groundwork for your blog. Consistency simply means you should post at least once or twice a week if you expect to have any type of following, and you know you want readers. You want readers who not only read your blog, but leave comments for you as well. It is so fun to read the comments that are left.

BlogWriting.Com offers a free blogging pre-course that is well worth your time. You work at your own pace, so you can go as fast or as slow as you want. Now you might be thinking you do not have time for a blogging course, or that you do not need one. You would be wrong. You can always make time for a 10 or 20 minute lesson, and everyone can use a little help improving their blog. After all, there is so much more to blogging that just posting!

Perhaps you have a home business that would benefit from a blog. Blogging is a great way to drive a little business traffic your way. If you want a top-notch blog with many readers and lots of action, you must learn how to create one.

Blogging is also a super way to encourage students to practice their writing skills. Having your own blog is all the rage these days. Knowing others will read what you have written encourages blog writers to give more thought to their writing. It is also a fun way to improve writing skills.

Maybe you have a friend or two that can help you with your blog, if you can actually get them to sit down with you and show the ropes. Friends mean well, but most simply do not have time to teach blogging skills because it takes more than one lesson to learn the ropes. Invest in yourself if you want to reap a great reward.

 

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Here a Blog, There a Blog

Blog writing/reading doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon, rather it seems to be picking up more steam. How many times does someone talk about something they read on so-and-so’s blog?  Do friends recommend blogs to you? Do you visit favorite blogs on a regular basis? Peter Merholz coined the term “blog” in 1999 after shortening Jorn Barger’s (1997) term “weblog”.

Anyone can set up a blog. There are lots of free blog hosting sites such as Word Press, Typepad, Google, Blogger… Have you ever considered starting your own? If not, why? If lack of knowing what to do is part of the problem, then today is your lucky day. You can register for a free blog writing course.

Blogging is a fantastic way to encourage kids to write. What does your child love? Horses, Nascar, sports, literature, cooking, sewing, astronomy, singing/music, art… They can begin a blog devoted to their love. What a fun way to merge essential academic and future work skills into their life! Technology use is a must for kids today if they hope to be successful in the workforce of tomorrow. Blogging uses many techie skills. Writing a blog involves using basic writing skills, editing skills, computer skills… They also learn to interact with others via comments readers leave. Having a blog allows kids to have their voice heard. Perhaps you are worried your child doesn’t have the best writing skills. Not a problem. There are great online writing courses that focus on basic sentence writing to SAT essay writing. Who knows, your child may become a blogging aficionado in no time at all!

 

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