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Importance of Spelling

Do you teach spelling in your homeschool? Spelling instruction has fallen out of favor in many classrooms in the last several years. I was never a great speller. I vividly remember being held in during recess to write my missed spelling words over and over. What a waste that was for me. Spelling is very visual for me. Simply writing the words over and over did nothing for me. If my teacher had known about learning styles, she would have encouraged me to write the spelling word in colors (consonants in one color and vowels in another) on one side of a blank card, and then have me draw a picture of how I visualize that word on the other side of the card. My daughter and I are both right-brained visual learners and that is the way I helped her learn spelling words. It works very well. I eventually conquered my spelling demons, no thanks to my fourth grade teacher.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Have you ever spent time wondering about the importance of spelling?

Over the past decade when spelling education seemed to fall out of favor, teachers, administrators, and parents all across the nation learned just how important spelling is for literacy education. The proof was in the classroom! In places where teachers stopped paying attention to spelling, test scores dropped and schools began to experience failure with literacy education (Colvin, 1995).

I hate seeing misspelled words in print. Have you ever found mistakes in newspaper articles or magazines? What does it make you think about their editorial department? Have you ever looked at ads on Craigslist? My husband and I read ads on Craigslist for laughs. You will not believe the poor spelling and grammar. It is a great tool to use to help your child learn to spot and correct mistakes. If you use Facebook, read posts from your friends a little more carefully. I bet you will find small spelling mistakes. I see them all the time. You might not see them because your mind will correct many of them for you. Are you thinking those folks are just not using spell check? The truth is that spell checkers only catch between 30 and 80% of reasonable spelling mistakes. If you are a very poor speller, spell check is not going to be able to decipher what you are trying to spell. Spell checkers only catch about 53% of misspellings of students with learning disabilities.

Here is an excellent article from LD Online about how spelling supports reading. Bookmark this one for future reference.

 

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Constitution 101

 

Hillsdale College is offering a free course to anyone interested.

Here is the information:

About Constitution 101

“Constitution 101: The Meaning and History of the Constitution” is a 10-week online course presented by Hillsdale College.

Featuring an expanded format from the “Introduction to the Constitution” lecture series with Hillsdale College President Dr. Larry Arnn, Constitution 101 follows closely the one-semester course required of all Hillsdale College undergraduate students.

In this course, you can:

  • watch lectures from the same Hillsdale faculty who teach on campus;

  • study the same readings taught in the College course;

  • submit questions for weekly Q&A sessions with the faculty;

  • access a course study guide;

  • test your knowledge through weekly quizzes; and

  • upon completion of the course, receive a certificate from Hillsdale College.

 

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How To Homeschool Part 2

Last week I shared an e-book about how to homeschool. I think it is big help to families new to homeschooling. This week I found a neat webinar on You Tube called 5 Things I Wish I Had Known When I Started Homeschooling.

5 Things I Wish I Had Known When I Started Homeschooling

The video offers great insight from veteran homeschool Moms. I like hearing from others what has and hasn’t worked for them in their homeschooling adventures. I have tried things that didn’t work for others, and lo and behold, it worked for me.

It is okay to experiment with different homeschooling techniques, curriculums, styles… That is the only way you will ever know what truly works for you and your children. It is also a great way to discover new techniques you never would have dreamed would work for you. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Don’t be afraid to fail…failure simply means you discovered something that doesn’t work for you and helps you pinpoint what does.

Dare to be different this year. Try something that is not in your homeschooling comfort zone. Share your experiences with others so we can learn from you.

If you have tried new and different things this year, please take a minute and leave a comment for the rest of us who are eager to learn from you!

 

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How To Homeschool

If you are new to homeschooling, then you might find this e-book about how to homeschool a valuable read. It was written by homeschooling families for homeschooling families. It is comprehensive without being overwhelming at only 12 pages. It is not a big download or a long read.

  • Learn Your Reasons for Homeschooling
  • Understand Your Child Academically
  • Learn the Laws
  • Learn About Learning
  • Get Connected
  • Go Online Your Year
  • Plan Your Day
  • Use the Right Materials at the Right Time… And For the Right Child
  • Keep a Portfolio
  • Learn the Lingo – A Homeschooling Glossary
  • Have Fun! 

AND MORE

Leave me a comment after reading the e-book telling me whether or not it helped, and why or why not. I am really interested because I recommend the book to new homeschooling families quite a bit.

 

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Giveaway

Five in Training For Him is hosting a fun giveaway for reaching 50 followers. Congrats to Brandy and her awesome blog!!

Brandy is giving away a homemade set of Tunisian crochet wash clothes that she herself made. They are very pretty. She is also throwing in a super $10 gift card to Micheal’s.

Stop by her blog today and sign up.

 

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Poll: What Type of Homeschooler Are You?

I was wondering about my readers today and thinking about what type of homeschoolers you are, if you homeschool. We are eclectic semi-unschoolers and really like it. Eclectic homeschooling was easy to love, but I did not have a love for unschooling at all. There was no love at first sight for something I viewed as scary. I didn’t believe in unschooling. I eventually came to love it once I stopped pushing, nagging, and trying to teach everything myself. I finally realized my daughter does indeed have a natural desire to learn some things. Yes, I said “SOME” things. She doesn’t desire to learn about anatomy, bugs, chemistry, diagramming… right now. She might not ever want to learn about them. She might not ever need to learn about them, but if she finds she has a desire in any of those areas, I am confident she will seek information on her own. You can bet I will be right behind her offering my support.

              VOTE NOW!

 

 

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February Fun–Freebies

Thought I would post a few neat freebies for February fun.

Funnix is offering their beginning reading program for free until February 16th. After February 16, the price goes to $38.00.

                   

 

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Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers

Susan Kilbride is a homeschooling Mom who happens to have a degree in biology. Early on in her own homeschooling journey, she noticed many parents were either intimated by trying to create their own science curriculum, or simply didn’t have the time. Susan began a quest to put together a resource for parents, teachers and kids that would not only be educationally sound, but fun for kids. The result was “Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers”. It is perfect for homeschooling families and classroom teachers alike.

If you are looking for quality science units, but simply don’t have the time to put a unit together, Susan’s book is perfect for you. If you want to supplement your existing science program, I definitely recommend taking a close look at the book. Those of you who might be a little scared of trying to put together your own science lessons for fear you might get something wrong, fear no more, the answer is just a click away.

Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers” is geared for ages 4-13 and is broken up into two different age ranges: 4-7 and 8-13. As the parent, or classroom teacher, you know best where your child or student fits regardless of age. There are ten chapters for ages 4-7 and 10 chapters for ages 8-13. The book also includes tests, answers, and worksheets. The back cover of the book has six full color camouflage pictures as a challenge for your child. I had to look hard for a few of them!

Each chapter is broken up into digestible parts, and includes needed information about the topic as well as supplies to carry out each  experiment. The learning activities are clearly scripted for you should you need that extra help. Each lesson has pictures and worksheets to help further explain the lesson.

Examples:

The Human Body (ages 4-7)

  • Part 1: Digestive System
  • Part 2: Respiratory System
  • Part 3: Circulatory System
  • Part 4: Skeletal System
  • Part 5: Nervous System
  • Part 6: Recommended Movies

Atoms and Molecules (ages 8-13)

  • Part 1: Definition of an Atom
  • Part 2; Definition of a Molecule
  • Part 3: Crystals
  • Part 4: Characteristics of Molecules
  • Part 5: Parts of an Atom
  • Test

My daughter and I have used Susan’s book this semester. It is easy to follow because everything is laid out very well. My daughter is enjoying the experiments and learning at the same time. That is a plus for us both. Another reason I like this book is because it fits the learning style of my daughter.

The lessons build upon each other, so you might want to follow the order they are listed, however, if you have already learned about a particular topic, feel free to move forward or skim the lesson before moving on.

Most of the supplies needed for experiments are easily found around your house, the grocery store, or craft store. They are not expensive items at all. The lessons are not intended to be done independently by the child, but rather with a learning coach.

Here are links to free downloads for two different lesson samples:

Plants for ages 4-7

Check out Susan’s site for more freebies. *Note–the site doesn’t open in Google Chrome.
 Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and TeachersSee book at Amazon
 

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Weigh In

Today’s post might stir you just a bit. No ill will is intended in any way, shape, or form. I am just expressing my thoughts and hoping you will weigh in with yours. I am open to what you have to say.

I belong to lots of online forum groups. I find the groups provide support, ideas, tips, links to great resources, new friendship opportunities and so much more. Some groups are Yahoo groups and the rest I have bookmarked. I think I have a pretty good balance or variety of groups from which I draw…special needs, unschooling, right-brained visual learners, Christian homeschool groups, creative thinkers, eclectic learners, singles (meaning only children) and so forth. One group I have not visited is the secular homeschool circles. I have lots of friends who do belong to secular homeschool groups for various reasons. I know many, not all, but many secular folks do not want to utilize a Christian curriculum, they desire to keep that part separate, focusing on a totally secular homeschool curriculum. I respect their decision. Many don’t want any references to God or religion in forum posts either.

                   

I integrate the Word of God into our schooling. However, I choose curriculum based on how well it meets my daughter’s learning style. We have used and continue to use various Christian curriculums with great success. We also use programs that do not focus on any form of religion. I am a Christian, so I believe it is my job as a parent to train my daughter in the way God directs me. My bent is certainly toward a Christian world view. I select quality Christian resources whenever I can. In other words, I am not going to go out of my way to select a secular curriculum, and I am not going to select a Christian curriculum simply because it is Christian. Sometimes curriculums are “labeled” in hopes of attracting certain customers. I look for quality AND what I believe.

              

I think I have shyed away from secular homeschool groups in general because I had a crazy notion they were all atheists or wiccans of some sort. I am sure there are many who are and more who are not. As I dig a little deeper into these groups, I am finding most simply want to have a support group where religion is not discussed as a part of schooling. I have also come to realize that there are Christians in secular homeschool groups just as there are secular folks who belong to Christian support groups. Sounds like the makings of a healthy balance of ideas.

I am learning that some folks simply prefer to teach academic subjects without any references toward one religion or another.  That makes sense in that some religious and secular curriculum may have a slant. I know I am picky about religious curriculum and secular curriculum. Whenever we come up against something that goes against what we believe, we simply discuss why we believe as we do. Reading and discussing things we don’t believe helps my daughter answer others when asked why she believes as she does. 

It is important to choose any curriculum, not just Christian or secular, very carefully. You have to make sure it matches up with what you as a family believe, and it is important to make sure it is academically solid. I have to say it is also important not to isolate yourself from others because of a preconceived notion such as I held about secular groups in general. 

What about you? How do you feel about Christian curriculum or Christian homeschool groups VS secular curriculum or secular support groups? Weigh in with your comment.

 

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The Very Hungry Caterpillar Set–Free

1+1+1=1 is offering an update to their printable pack for The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

New items added are:

  • 3 Part Cards
  • 1-10 Puzzle
  • Read & Write the Room Cards
  • Graphing
  • Tracing
  • Matching Activities

If you don’t have the original set, don’t worry, you can download it at the same site. I believe the original link was actually going to Brown Bear. Here is her corrected link.

 

 

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