Thursday, February 22, 2018

The Best Seat In the House

This is a reflection on homeschooling and having a senior.

Time . . . .I remember when my 17 year old son was young.  I remember when I had 4 children 4 and under.  The days were so long and I honestly thought they would last forever. . or maybe they just seemed like they would last forever.  I got up, got people dressed, fed everyone, cleaned up, played with everyone, fed them again, cleaned up again, more playtime, nap time (yeah!!), quickly ran around and tried to do laundry, cleaning or anything else I could do all the while watching the clock, put dinner together, survive the worst hour of the day between 4:00pm and 5:00pm and would wait for my husband to come home.  I added in home education, and I was convinced my life would go on forever in about the same way.

I have this feeling lately that I am looking at an hourglass that is emptying.  My son is a senior in high school.  I am not sure how that happened.  I am watching the end of the sand run out.  Though I am thrilled to see him grow up, and become a young man I can't help remembering that little guy I helped with math.  The one who danced with his sister just home from China on the train table.

I watch him interact with others, write essays, and explain his home education with pride at college and scholarship interviews.   He has embraced his uniqueness and he is happy.  Everything I could have hoped for I am watching play out.

Now to watch the last of the sand run out, and know another part of his life will begin.  Hoping and praying I have prepared him well.  So glad I home educated and had so much time with him. Glad I got to watch him become the person he was created to be. Glad I endured those long early days so I could I rejoice with him now.

So hold on friends.  The journey is worth it, and you will be so glad you stuck it out.  You have the best seat in the house.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Concepts Of Print. ..

I get many questions every year from families about reading.  How to know if their child is ready to read, how to help their child read, and tips for struggling readers.  My Masters is in Reading, and I am currently taking a reading class to keep my teaching certificate current.  I am hoping these posts will be helpful for families.   If you have a question you would like answered in a post please write it in the comments.    

Concepts Of Print (COP) or Concepts About Print (CAP) can be defined is a set of understandings about how print works.  A child acquires CAP before they are able to read.  Children who have CAP know which way to hold a book, know text has meaning, know words are made of letters, that text is read from left to right, and that there is punctuation at the end of sentences.

Students who grow up in print rich environments and are read-aloud to will usually pick these skills up naturally.  Below is a short video that is directed to parents explaining CAP.

This video is done by a teacher assessing if a child has CAP. You can teach these to your child each time you read a book to them.  Ask them different questions each time.  "Where is the title?  Where is the first page? Where do you start?"  The video will show you more.

If you want to check if your younger student has CAP here is a checklist assessment that will help you determine that.  You ask your student some basic questions and check them off on your paper.

Here are some apps that are helpful for building CAP.

The following are based on the Bob Books.  Bob Books Reading Magic Lite which is free at GoogleAmazon, and iTunes.  Bob Books Reading Magic #1 Reading Magic is 2.99 to 3.99 at GoogleAmazon, and iTunes.

Disney Story-time at iTunes.

The popular online program Starfall has a free app at GoogleAmazon, and iTunes.

 Let me know what you think, and any reading questions that you have!

Friday, February 09, 2018

Repost: Erzra Jack Keats books

I have fond memories of reading Ezra Jack Keats books as a child.  I still remember seeing the short film for The Snowy Day.

Keat was a fascinating man.  The Ezra Jack Keats foundation is  set up to use the royalties from Keat's books to make the world a better place for children.
Keats has written many books.   There are several wonderful activities on Pinterest using his books.

Happy Reading!

Friday, February 02, 2018

Go Figure. .. math web site.

  I was thrilled to learn about a wonderful new math web site by Kimberly, a homeschool student.  Go Figure is a project she has been working on. It is an wonderful site filled with the "elegant side" of mathematics.   Read below to learn more!  I love seeing what our fellow homeschoolers are doing. 

First Stop

Welcome to Go Figure! This is a website dedicated to showing the elegant side of math, the kind that gets less attention than it deserves. Math is not just about rote calculations: it’s about analytical thinking and creative problem-solving, and that’s what makes it so fun! This website is still growing, so there’s more to come. To subscribe to our email list and hear when new content is posted, click here.

More Information:  

Go Figure is a project designed to boost mathematical interest in middle school and junior high school students. Not only is math becoming increasingly important in an ever more technological world, but it also has a playful and elegant side that is too often overlooked. A lot of students see math as dull and difficult, and this mindset can artificially sway students who are on the fence about math. My goal is to promote an alternative approach: one that celebrates the beautiful side of mathematics and provides a path to learning the invaluable lessons – such as analytical thinking and creative problem solving – that it teaches.

I really only started seeing the beautiful side of math in middle school, when I started participating in math competitions. In my contest preparation, I ran into elegant math concepts I hadn’t encountered before, and I really enjoyed exploring them. Around the same time, I saw my friends starting to like math less and less, and I thought it was sad that they were turning away from it just as things were getting interesting. Over time I read more about the non-math culture in the United States and the way most students see math, and I wanted to do something to change this mindset. When I attended a Julia Robinson Math Festival in my area and saw volunteers helping students explore beautiful math problems, the atmosphere galvanized me to get involved in showing students that there’s a lot to like about math.
Quoted From The Davidson Website.