Sunday, May 22, 2011

State Testing.....

Well, after a week of emails, forum postings, more emails and forum postings.... I think.... I have an idea about my son's State testing!
WHEW, I am exhausted. It hasn’t been easy, as this is our first time testing so while we are experienced homeschoolers of 3 yrs.... we are new testers.
I found sample tests online, just to see where he was. He did GREAT in Science, Social Studies and Language Arts but Math was a different deal. UGH!!
I knew this and he knew this. Math as I have previously posted is his hardest subject. Luckily, they grade the tests overall and add them up... and he only has to be better than a low percentile number to pass! So, even if he does poorly on his Math... if he stays strong in his other subjects he should be ok.
Though because of his Math issues.... in hopes to get him caught up or at least a better start.... I am considering private tutoring as a solution. Maybe hearing it presented from someone else besides good ol' Mom, he could understand the Algebra part of it better. It was NEVER my strong subject.
Has anyone else used a private tutor as part of their homeschooling to help their child boost a subject? If so, I would LOVE to hear how it worked!
And check back for updates on his testing!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Proper writing..... a good foundation!

My boys are Middle Schoolers..... at least for a few more weeks..... then my oldest will be a 9th grader! JEEZ
Writing for this age is a lot more important than it was in Elementary school. Elementary was learning your letters, pronunciation, how to write and eventually cursive. They would learn how to create stories but it was just the basis for expansion!
Middle School is the stepping stone to High School which is the stepping stone to College. And in the age of computers, typing or keyboarding is important. Because how you use your computer efficiently will either make your writing harder or easier! Your child may be a natural at typing/keyboarding or they may be like my husband and a hunt and peck person! Either way, a good typing game or keyboarding program is an easy way to get them up to speed.
Middle School writing is where they learn to really write. How to create stories that bring the reader in, how to do proper research to support their stories, how not to plagiarize, etc. It is not easy, your kids will complain..... at least mine do. But, they will get over it! I promise because teaching them to write correctly NOW means that in High School and eventually in College... they will have a good foundation for writing A+ papers, resumes, business propositions for loans, etc.
So..... even though your kids might whine, complain, pitch a fit...... giving them a typing or keyboarding class as Middle schoolers will improve their writing throughout their life.
Just buy yourself some earplugs so you can avoid listening to their whining!LOL

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Spelling supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

As the 2nd best Speller in Siskiyou County, CA. during my 6th grade year..... I feel Spelling is important. I am one of those people that will redo an article, letter, etc. just because the spelling and punctuation is wrong OR I am the kind that gets an email or letter and the first thing I notice is the spelling mistakes. It is a sickness!LOL Makes my husband and kids crazy but I feel that in the 18 yrs of marriage my husband has greatly improved his spelling and the way her writes. Now, the USAF could take credit for part of this but I like to think it is my nagging!LOL
It does make my boys crazy because Mom insists on Spelling every year as part of their homeschooling curriculum. No ifs, and or buts about it. I lecture them and tell them the importance of Spelling and how it gets them further in life to be a decent speller.
Not only do we use Time 4 Learning spelling section, I then transfer those words to our program at Spelling City! I love Spelling City, if you have not checked it out.... do so. It is SO worth it. I have passed it onto many homeschoolers as well as public school parents. As part of their spelling curriculum AND their writing program via Grandma... they have to do handwriting worksheets. The best part is, you can take your word list and have it printed out in cursive so they can trace the words and then use cursive to write them themselves. Not only does this help them with their handwriting practice but it also drills those spelling words a little more into their brain! Double duty! I love things that do double duty, esp. as a homeschooling parent!
Now, sit down and see if you can spell: supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

Good luck!LOL

Teaching an old dog new tricks!

A few weeks ago, or even a month plus I wrote about learning to blog. I have been taking a blog writing course, in my spare time.... insert maniacal laughter here since spare time is a rare thing for me! After spending a couple of days feeling like I should pull my hair out, wanting to cry, throw my computer across the room and decide that I have no brain cells to spare for something like this...... I pulled myself up by the bootstraps and am slowly but surely figuring it out.
I mean, WTH is a widget and where do I put it and WHY? I am an educated woman. I run my own business, I made my own business website, I homeschool my boys(one would be considered homeschooling special needs with his ADHD) and yet I am letting something like a widget take me down.
Not today, not ever!
You see, as I am learning to write a blog... I am also learning how to set up my blog site. At one point I was pretty sure it was a bunch of symbols, numbers and letters that only a Native American Code Breaker would understand because I sure as heck didn’t! In fact I sent several emails to the site teacher telling her this was suicide! I had no business doing this.
But, several deep breathes later..... inserting and uninserting stuff, checking out my homepage and just sheer practice has led me to believe that I can do it. I can be a viable person on the 21st century and I can hold my own in a conversation about blog writing!

Not to toot my own horn or pat myself on the back.... but I have learned that you can teach an old dog new tricks!LOL
Stay tuned for the next adventure in my blog writing saga.....