Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Making homeschool work for your Visual Spatial Learner!

Do you have a visual spatial learner at home?
I do and I am one!
I prefer the hands on approach for ANYTHING I do. Show me, do not tell me or let me read it.
Most textbook approach to things is SO boring, I am lost. Forget it, done deal.
Give me the same thing on TV or hands on....I got it, I enjoy it and I will retain it.
My oldest son is like this.
Very rarely does he read directions, he can look at this 1,200 piece Lego kit and know EXACTLY how it goes together and completes it within a short time period.
It amazes me! I would at least have to look at the picture directions for part of it!
So...when it comes to his homeschooling we tend to switch things up so that it works best for him to learn at his optimum!
Homeschooling math is our biggest issue, as my readers know! It is my bane of existence and his as well!
So..... writing the problem down on paper does not always work.
Instead, we use objects or if I do have to write it down....I try to do it in relation to something he can relate to...like Legos.
Science, that is ALL experiments or I find an experiment that goes with the reading he HAS to do.
Social Studies....well, this one is harder. But, I do try to find videos that go along with as much as I can find.
So....if you have read this and realize that you DO have a visual learner and might need to shake things up to make homeschooling work better for them!
Jump on the old computer and find answers on how to do that!
I did!!
Happy Homeschooling!

Do you lapbook?

Are you and your kids lapbookers?
We are just starting to get into homeschool lapbook writing!
I first heard about this right after we started homeschooling in 2008, we were accidental homeschoolers and had NO clue about homeschooling and thought it sounded really cool to add to our curriculum!
Bought a ton of supplies and then we forgot......
Our goal this year, once the holidays are over....so one of our 2012 New Year's Resolution is to each create a lapbook.
I do not care what subject they pick, just that they each put their heart and soul into it and come up with something great that they enjoyed making!
There are lots of great sites out there to help you get started! Basically, if you have some paper, poster board or manila folder, scissors and crayons you can make a lapbook.
If you want to get even more creative....you can get sticky pockets, pop-ups, stickers, etc.
It is basically something that creativeness in your child is GREAT because they can get as crazy or as simple as they want!
So.... when you are stuck with what to do....bring out that art box and let them learn to lapbook!
Get creative!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

What are these phonics you speak of?

I dislike phonics! I would go so far as to say I hate them. Which I know isn't cool but that is the way it is!
I can read and write perfectly well since I write for 2 blogs, am published, etc. BUT.... when it comes to the breakdown of phonics...
I rely heavily on the internet, my Mom and many handbooks we have around the house!
Yes, I was taught phonics in Elementary school. I learned more in High School! I even took a course in College on phonics to see if as an adult, I could retain it better....NOPE!
Luckily there are great cheats on remembering phonics, helping with phonics, teaching phonics, etc. so as the homeschooling middle schoolers parent....you at least come across like you have some understanding!LOL
We do ok, we all 3 fumble along but usually between the 3 of us and unlimited long distance calling to my Mom(LOL!) we can get through any phonics lesson!
So, do not despair. If you are phonics challenged like I am, there is help out there! Just jump on your computer aka lifesaver and you will find some great places to help!

Things that are lost in public school education.....

You know, they say that Cursive is a lost art in public schools nowadays and I have a tendency to agree with them! But I also think that the importance of Spelling and things like knowing States and Capitals are too!
Therefore I make sure that in our homeschooling week, if not every day we do some of each! Their cursive is through the writing program my Mom does for them. Not only do they have assigned cursive from her but they take their Spelling words and because we use Spelling City, I can turn them in to practice cursive pages. I love Spelling City because not only can I make lists for my boys but I can also pick from a great bunch of popular word lists when we run out!
When I pulled my son's from public school, not only could my oldest son barely spell but neither of them could pick out easily identifiable States on a map, knew nothing about the State they live in and their handwriting was barely legible.
They now can sit and write a letter to anyone using cursive, it is spelled correctly about 95% of the time and given a map of Oregon, they can tell you a lot about it.
I am proud of our homeschooling choice! I am proud of what I have taught my boys and how far they have advanced in just a little over 3 years!

Algebra.....the Horror Story!

Who doesn’t cringe when you hear the word ALGEBRA! If you're hindered with a Math block in your learning like I am.... and my oldest son is.....the word ALGEBRA ranks up there with Zombie Attack, Head Lice and the sound of the dog throwing up next to your bed in the middle of the night! Basically all give me the shivers!
I knew when we started homeschooling in Fall 2008, that Math would be our biggest challenge! I took Algebra 6x in High School! Yes, you read that right. I took pre-Algebra in 9th grade and got it. Understood it, not a problem! Felt like a genius! Hit 10th grade and Algebra....big fat F. It didn't compute, I thought my brain had fallen out. I went down to a class that was Algebra in the most basic degree..aka baby Algebra. I took that same STINKING class for 10th, 11th and 12th grades BOTH semesters. And to this day... I still stink at Algebra. FF to the past 3+ years of homeschooling and homeschooling math to be more specific and building up to learning Algebra....YIKES!
I have to say thank goodness for the computer and ALL the smart people that create TONS of online algebra help! I swear I should send all of them muffin baskets or something!
Last year for 8th grade and this year for 9th, we have spent many challenging days working on Algebra and if it wasn't for GREAT search engines to help us find out answers on MANY great sites.... I am sure my son and I would both be bald from tearing our hair out, crying and ready to give up!
So, my word of advice.... if you have an albatross of any subject....do not despair! There are plenty of places online to assist you in wading through it. Maybe not enough to master it, but enough that you can get through it and learn a little bit while you are at it!