Thursday, February 25, 2016

Interesting Articles

I have read the most interesting articles on home education this week that I wanted to share.

The first was written by a college professor.  He tells how having a home educated student in one of his classes changed how he thought about homeschooling.

The second article is about homeschooling and the Myers-Briggs.  If you are not familiar with the Myers-Briggs you can take the test here.  If you are familiar with personality tests then go to this post on What's Your Homeschool Personality.  I am an ESFJ.  I was taken aback by how much my personality reflected my ideas of home education. 

What homeschool personality are you?  

Friday, February 19, 2016

Repost: Hands On Spelling Strategies

This was posted in 2013.  I was working with one of my kids this week on spelling, and it was a good reminder for me.  Enjoy your weekend. ~ Becky

Sometimes it helps kids if they can use some hands-on strategies to learn their spelling words.  There is something powerful about moving your hands, engaging your brain, and visually taking in a word.  Here are a couple of ideas I have had good luck with. 

Magnetic letters. They just work well.  You can have your kids spell the words on the refrigerator, a cookie sheet, or some other type of metal board.  

Stamping the words with alphabet stamps also works well.  I think it is powerful to see the word, find the letter stamp, stamp it, and then have to put the stamp back in the correct place.  
If you have Montessori letters they are a good resource.

Another fun way to learn is to use American Sign Language to spell out your spelling words.
Some other ways:
writing them in shaving cream,
writing them in sand, or 
writing them 5 times each on paper. 

Happy spelling!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Stating what you are going to learn!

It sounds so incredibly simple.  Tell students your learning objectives before you start a lesson.  Have them repeat it throughout the lesson, and then make sure they have learned this at the end.  Yet, for me it is something that gets lost in the shuffle.  So many times I launch into a lesson with my students as if they are coming in the middle of story.  I assume they know what we are doing, and just launch into an explanation.  That is far from helpful.  

I have been taking a technology class and one of the points in the book I am reading states that Providing Clear Learning Goals and Scales helps students to learn.  They recommend doing this at the beginning throughout and at the end of the lesson to check for understanding.  Having students rephrase the learning goal helps as well.

So my February goal is to remember to do this with my students.   Have you had any luck with this?  Do you clearly state learning goals?

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Homeschooling on a Budget: The Library Part Two

Last week I talked about the library and many of the wonderful resources there.  But I did not get a chance to share about the wonderful relationship I have cultivated with our librarian, and she has helped us to home educate.

My wonderful Children's Librarian is Amy.  Amy is so nice and helpful.  Like most librarians, she helps us find books, she helps me search shelves for books I say have been returned and are still on my card, and is always excited to see my children.  I also find her an excellent resource on all things library.  She helps me use databases from the library, tells me of resources in the library, and is generally interested in my kids' learning.  She has shown me a library resource to help students prepare for the PSAT, ACT, SAT, and AP tests.  Things that would have taken me much longer to find on my own if I even found them.

But the best thing is the awesome homeschool programs she now plans.  Our library has many programs and they were usually scheduled around school kids schedules.  One day I asked Amy if she would be willing to schedule library programs during the day for homeschoolers.  She was like "during the day?"   I said yes I think they would come. . . if you program they will come!  She decided to give it a try and it worked.  The best part was she asked me what kind of presentations I would like and she goes about finding them.  She has had a coin collector come and talk about history, a park ranger with animals from the park, science programs, recycling programs, chemistry programs, the Japanese society, and one on internet safety.  She is open to anything.  So many wonderful free opportunities for my students.  I suggest things and she does the leg work.  I advertise to our local group and most people are excited to come.  What is there not to like about a free library program?  I am glad I reached out to her and asked.

How has your librarian helped you?  What unusual resources have you discovered at you library? 
I believe every home educator should make the librarian their best friend.