Friday, April 21, 2017

Guest Post: The Sound of Emeralds Birthday Blog Tour by Rachelle Rea Cobb

Hello and welcome to The Sound of Emeralds birthday blog tour! I’m posting today about Rachelle Rea Cobb’s third installment in the Steadfast Love series, an inspirational historical romance set during the 16th century! Some of you remember Rachelle is a homeschool graduate. Scroll down to enter the contest.



ABOUT The Steadfast Love SERIES


In 16th-century Europe, the Reformation rages between Protestants and Catholics. Gwyneth, half-Dutch, flees from England to Holland to escape the man who murdered her parents. When he follows her there and insists he came to rescue her, will she trust this man called Dirk? When tragedy strikes, will their steadfast love erode?

ABOUT The Sound of Emeralds


What once was blazing hatred has turned to lasting love, but could the union of a wild heart with that of a lady ever result in more than heartache?

With the help of an old friend with uncertain loyalties, Dirk inches ever closer to clearing his name. Gwyneth throws her faith into good tidings and the promise of a future as a family. But an old evil comes to call, just as tragedy rips apart a fledgling truce. Enemies from the past and grief for the future threaten to tear asunder what God had brought together…

As the date of Dirk’s trial approaches, his fate and his family hang in the balance. Will he be proven innocent of Gwyneth’s parents’ murders—or separated from her forever? How much pain does it take to erode a love steadfast?


Find The Sound of Emeralds on…
Amazon Paperback: http://amzn.to/2ooTaWJ
Barnes & Noble: http://is.gd/RguS9l
Books a Million: http://is.gd/NdMWGr
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Times gone by snatch Rachelle Rea Cobb close, so she reads and writes about years long ago--her passions include the Reformation, Revolutions, and romance. Rachelle wrote the Steadfast Love series during college. Five months after she graduated, she signed a three-book deal with her dream publisher, WhiteFire. She's a homeschool grad, Oreo addict, and plots her novels while driving around her dream car, a pick-up truck. In June 2016, she married a man with the same name as her fictional hero, and they live happily ever after in Small Town, South. She is also the author of Write Well, a guide for writers, which released on March 4th!


AUTHOR LINKS


Instagram: @RachelleReaCobb

Friday, April 14, 2017

School Inc. Something to watch...

When I was in high school I had a wonderful friend who sat by me in all of my science classes.  She was automatically my lab partner due to our last names.  I was very very lucky, because she was a great lab partner and super smart.  I was able to reconnect with her on Facebook a few years ago.  She shared that she and her husband Andrew Coulson had produced an amazing series called School Inc.  I have watched the series and greatly enjoyed it.  The show talks about the history of school in the US, investigates why education doesn't use innovations to grow like a successful business, and travels to explore education around the world.
 
School Inc. has been on PBS and the episodes can be streamed through May 1, 2017.   I am posting them here in case you would enjoy watching them.  I found them helpful in understanding how schools were formed and the reasoning behind that.  Andrew Coulson has a wonderful way of presenting material and had a neat sense of humor.  Unfortunately, Andrew Coulson passed away last February after battling brain cancer.

I hope you watch the show.  Let me know what you think about it if you do.


Episode 1   The Price of Excellence

Episode 2  Push or Pull

Episode 3  Forces and Choices  (This episode talks about science and religion) 





Friday, April 07, 2017

Guest Post: 5 Reasons You Should Consider Homeschooling Your Child With Autism by Penny Rogers

April is Autism Awareness month.  My sweet friend Penny Rogers from Our Crazy Adventures in Autismland is visiting today.  She is a  wonderful and  insightful home schooling mom that I am honored to know. 

We didn't always homeschool our child with autism. Logan attended public school all the way until the end of his second grade year. It was at that point that my husband pointed out to me that I was spending so much time at school demanding that his IEP be adhered to that I might as well teach him at home. What did I have to lose at this point? I couldn't do any worse than the school system . In hindsight, we should have done it sooner. Try not to linger on that fact for very long. Move forward not backward. 


5 Reasons You Should Consider Homeschooling Your Child With Autism
  1. You can work at their developmental level as opposed to their grade level. Lots of children with autism are developmentally behind their same age peers. Working at their actual developmental level as opposed to their grade level or chronological age gives them the opportunity to learn at a pace that works best for them . In addition, it helps to fill in the gaps they may have in their education.  Which brings us to #2.
  2. You are able to fill in the gaps left by the public school moving at a pace that they couldn't keep up.  When you have a class of children to teach, you move on to the next concept when the majority of the class has mastered it. This fact usually leaves our children with autism who process things differently that most children in the dust. 
  3. You can work at individual levels according to their strengths and weaknesses. Logan excels in math so he will always be working above grade level in it. He loathes writing as his sensory issues make putting pencil to paper. physically painful.  He is behind in that area so we work at below grade level. His entire education is individualized in that respect.  He has flourished in this environment.
  4. You can customize their education to their interests.  We all know that children with autism can hyper focus on  items. We went through the dinosaur phase, the train phase and are now entrenched in the reptile phase. I was able to use his love of these items to help him to learn.  We used train cars to learn skip counting. We learned about botany by learning what plants dinosaurs eat.  We have used his love of reptiles to tailor his high school education in an effort to turn it into a career .
  5. Your relationship with your child will flourish.  With less outside demands, you will get to know your child again.  You will see their quirks and will learn to appreciate how hard they work to do everyday tasks.  You will become a team in which you can conquer anything. You will make memories that will last a lifetime. 
Homeschooling your child with autism will not be all rainbows and unicorns.  There will be hard days in addition to long ones. Some days, you will throw in the towel minutes after getting started.  I don't want to deceive you into thinking it will be easy.  It may indeed be one of the hardest things you will ever do in your lifetime. It may not be easy but I guarantee you it will be worth it. Your child will grow and flourish right before your eyes.  You get the satisfaction of knowing you had a hand in that. 


Call me Penny, wife to Michael as well as mom to Logan who has autism and Madison who is pursuing a dance career. Based on my own personal and often difficult experiences with autism, I hope to educate families of children with autism on how to navigate their world from pre diagnosis to adulthood.You can find me at ourcrazyadventuresinautismland.com

Friday, March 31, 2017

Homeschooling Students in Multiple Grades


One question I hear from families often is "How do you home educate students in multiple ages/grades?"  Currently I am home educating students in grades 11, 10, 7, 5, 2, and preschool.  I am going to be honest, it is not something I always feel I do well, but I have been at it for 11 years and am improving.  In this post I am going to share a few ideas that have been helpful for me.

1.  I work to make my students as independent as possible at their level.  I am always trying to move forward in this area.  With little ones it is stepping away for a second to put things away while they continue working, with older ones it is checking work after they have completed it so I am no longer sitting next to them.  Taking steps each day to foster independence is my goal.

2.  I try to schedule our days and think in terms of blocks of time.  For instance, if one student is on the computer and and another one is working independently then I can work directly with a third.  Sometimes I will say we have 20 minutes we need to make it count.  Here is a post where I talk about homeschooling with preschoolers and here I share scheduling with high schoolers.  Both posts share more of my schedule.

3.  I have found having a system for older kids to check in with you on what they have completed is key.  It is easy to miss something with your student.  In this post I talk about my notebook.  It continues to work well with my high school and junior high students.  I feel I have a better grasp of where each student is in their work.

4.  I look for computer programs or online classes that allow a student to learn successfully.  We have had good luck using the Homeschool Buyers Co-op for products.  SHOP AT THE CO-OP on award-winning Curriculum and Supplements & Save up to 93% Thinkwell has been helpful, as well as Veritas Press Self-Paced Courses, and Quarter Mile Math.

5.  Lastly, I also try to remember that one of my goals in home education is to help my kids become independent adults who love learning.  Having to share mom and try to figure things out on their own helps to achieve that goal.

I would love to hear any ideas you have.  I also found this post by Renee at Great Peace Academy.  She has compiled many helpful ideas and blog posts on how to home educate multiple students.   The post has excellent resources.

Thanks,