Friday, April 28, 2017

The Joy of Journaling

Writing. . . it can be almost be a bad word among home educators.  It is easy to feel you are not doing enough, and it can be a struggle with our students.   I want to share about the benefits of your student keeping a journal.  It is an old idea that might be a great fit for your student. 

First, there are some universal truths about writing and writers. 

1.  Few people are born great writers.  Really.  Most writers work very hard to develop their craft over time.  It is a tedious process.  To do this. . .

2.  Writers must write.  You can not become a writer by thinking about writing, dreaming about writing, or even reading others writing.  Though any of those things may help, you must write to become a writer. 

3.  Many famous writers have kept a journal or diary.  For instance, Franz Kafka, C.S. Lewis, Ray Bradbury, Mark Twain, Virginia Wolf, George Lucas, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Isaac Newton, Anne Frank, Madeleine L'Engle. . . 


“You want to write, you need to keep an honest, unpublishable journal that nobody reads, nobody but you,” 

~Madeleine L'Engle



Having your student keep a journal is an excellent strategy to improve their writing.  A simple notebook or word processor is all you need to get started.  For most students I would simply set a timer for 15 minutes and tell them to write until it buzzed. 

Decide ahead of time whether this will be a journal that is only for the student, if it is one they plan to share with others, and if they want you to give feedback.  My daughter and I wrote back and forth in a journal to each other for many years.  My feedback kept her writing.  It also deepened our friendship

So whether you grab a loose-leaf notebook and fill it with paper, a composition book or a fancy journal, having your student keep a journal is a valuable way to encourage them to write.  

P.S.  Below I have included some fun ones I found on Amazon.  Just for fun.  
  











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