Sunday, July 22, 2018

Under Construction . .

I am doing a blog redesign at Ohio Homeschool Assessments!  I am excited for a new look.  During the next week things will start to look different.  Let me know what you think!

Becky




Thursday, July 19, 2018

Repost: Assisted Reading with Developing and Struggling Readers.

I always get questions about how to help students with reading.  This is one of my favorite's for helping with reading.  

I have been reading a very interesting book called The Fluent Reader by Timothy V. Rasinski.  He has an interesting chapter on how to help students learn to read who are developing readers or struggling readers.  I knew all of the methods that he mentioned, but he backed up his methods with research and more effective strategies then I have seen in the past.



He discusses Paired Reading.  Paired reading is essentially where a more proficient reader, either a parent/teacher and child, older student and child, or two children read together.  Paired reading should be about 10-20 minutes at a time at least five times a week. It is recommend that the less proficient  student should be able to read 90-95 percent of the material accurately for this instruction to be the most effective.  The student and teaching reader read to together side by side.  The student follows along with his/her finger.  It is recommended that if the text is harder the teacher should read a little louder and match your reading rate to push the student.  If the text is easier then the teacher should use a quieter voice and provide less support.  When the passage is finished the teacher and the student should chat about the reading. The student should be allowed to read independently if they would like during this process.  This is really nothing new to home educators.  But what excited me was where he talked about a research study where the majority of students who participated in paired reading at least five times a week made 6 months of reading progress in six to ten weeks. (Limbrick, McNaugthon, & Cameron, 1985).  I have a video below that demonstrates this.

   The other interesting study was that which revealed the positive gains that students made when listening to audio books while following along in the text.  Students who did not follow along in the text did not make the kind of gains as those who did.  Here is an article that discusses the gains students made and some resources for audio books.  Here is another article that discusses the benefits for all readers. With many kids at many different reading levels my students often listen to audio books.  We mostly use the public library for their audio books and downloadable digital books.  I renewed my commitment to having them follow along in the book after reading these articles.

The last intriguing idea was that students who watched closed captioned programming made gains in reading.  At my house we turn on the closed captioning because there are so many loud people in our house making it challenging to hear a movie or show.  My students were pretty excited about this!

I am hopeful this helps you with some specific ways to help your struggling or developing readers.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Homeschool Planet

When two of my friends who quite honestly are vastly different told me that they used Homeschool Planet I thought that was interesting.  I should have stopped right at the moment and realized that this was something I needed to take notice of.  Instead, I foolishly delayed looking into it.

But luckily, I am no longer foolish.  This spring I took the plunge and did a free trial of Homschool Planet.   Within 3 days I purchased a year subscription which they added on to my 30 day trial.  It changed my life. Truly!

The Homeschool Planet is an online planning, calendar, and scheduler.  It is a way for you to post the lessons that your students need to complete AND more importantly at my house, know whether people have actually completed them!

I love this!  I pull up my view and say things like. . . Why is math not completed?  I am confused as to why you have not done that for two days?  Hmm, it looks like you will be doing math on Saturday.   I also say things like, WOW!  You completed all your work today. Look at how close we are to the end!  I am so proud of you!

The other part that has been powerful for my students is that it has the feature of moving all the assignments forward.  My students began to understand that not doing something adds it on to the end of the year.  It was a good visual reminder.

You can also add music practice, track grades, put your vacations in, send your students an email with their assignments, and much more.


So this would be a great time to try a free trial.    I HIGHLY recommend it.


Try the World’s Best Homeschool Planner for FREE!


Thursday, July 05, 2018

Create! A Girl's Guide to DIY, Doodles and Designs by Ashley Mays

Ready, set, create! Whether you’re an aspiring artist or a just-starting-out doodler, Create! A Girl’s Guide to DIY, Doodles, and Design is the perfect book to inspire your creative side. From coloring pages to quick-and-easy crafts—like photo frames and duct-tape bags—and everything in between, this full-color book from the trusted Faithgirlz brand provides step-by-step guides to more than 50 fun and easy projects. Learn how to make your own DIY projects, create one-of-a-kind jewelry, and draw like a pro. Perfect for individual use or for sleepovers, birthday parties, and more, Create! is sure to bring out your inner artist.


I saw the cover of this book, and I had to know more!  Create is a crafting books for girls ages 8-13.  The book includes d├ęcor crafts, frames, duct-tape projects, jewelry, designs, doodling, and coloring.  The book includes crafting ideas with pictures, step by step directions, and ideas to elaborate on the crafts called “Jazz It Up.”  It is part of the Faithgirlz series.  

My girls are crazy about this book, and it already looks well loved.  They like the variety of the projects included in Create.  The book includes projects that you can easily do with supplies at your house, and other projects that require some basic supplies you would get from a craft store.  I told them to start with what they were able to do and make a basic list of what they would like to buy.   That has worked very well.   I felt like the crafts were realistic for this age group.  

The pictures are wonderful and give you a good idea of what the craft will look like when completed.   I enjoyed looking through Create and my daughters have spent hours gazing at the book.   It would be a great gift with a few supplies from the book included. I would highly recommend Create to anyone with tweens.  


  I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review

Some pictures of the crafts made by my daughters.  














Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”