Sunday, November 18, 2012

You should know the country you live in!

That is my opinion!
You should know whatever country and then State or area you live in!
We live in the USA, specifically in Oregon!
Knowing important information about the world is great but there is LOTS to know about the place we physically live!
So....for the past 2 years, we have focused on US History and learning about the 50 states! As well as learning all about Oregon! There are a lot of great US States games out there, both on the internet and at the stores!
I remember being drilled in 5th and 6th grade about States and Capitals. We had to use our writing skills and write to the State Capital for an information packet about that State. I had New Jersey and Hawaii! It was fun, it was AWESOME and getting a packet in the mail was great! I learned a lot! We traveled all around the State of California on family vacations and I learned a lot about the State I lived in! One of the benefits of having a teacher for a Mom!
So, when we started homeschooling.....I knew that a big part of our learning would be about where we live.
2 years ago, the boys each picked 25 States and had to fill out a 4 sheet paper on each that I created! They learned a lot about those States.
For the past 2 years, we have had mega influence of US History at a high school level as well as constant information about Oregon. We do both on a daily basis!
I love watching TV or hearing something on the radio or newspaper or magazine and my boys KNOW where it is. They can pick it out on a map and have a general idea about that area!
Love that about Homeschooling!

Writing....especially essay writing!

UGH! Remember how I used to pitch a fit about Math....?
Well, now it seems to be WRITING is our arch nemesis....BLECH! This is with my younger son! He HATES writing. It is a battle daily, despite curriculum changes, help from his Grandma, etc.
And the issue is, at some point in our Standardized State Testing especially now that we are in high school...he may or may not have to write an essay.
So, I got to go visit my favorite store and spend lots of $$ and get some new writing ideas!
I found a great bunch of journal ideas for story starters!
I have a few leads on writing assistance and they are both looking for a subject that they want to utilize the library for and start doing a report and essay on it!
I am hoping that we get over this hurdle and when/if essay writing on the standardized testing comes up....we aka HE or THEY are more than ready for it!
How have you helped your child with writing? I would love to hear from other parents who have had similar struggles!
Happy Homeschooling?

S-P-E-L-L....what can you spell?

Is Spelling part of your curriculum? If it isn' should be! Spelling is a fundamental that is another thing disappearing in the public school classroom and yet, it is an important part of learning!
It made no sense to me that my children did not bring home spelling words to study and learn at any point in their elementary school career. Especially when my older son was a HORRIBLE speller....even for small sight words!
One of the first things I did when we became homeschoolers, was add a spelling curriculum to our day! And we are on our 5th year of homeschooling and while they are high schoolers now...we STILL do daily spelling!
And my older son has become a decent speller, he still is not great but then neither is his Dad and some people just do not end up great spellers. But, rather than ask me for help for EVERY word, he either knows the words already OR will attempt to sound it out and figure it out before he asks for help!
We do daily spelling tests, games and fun 3 days a week and then on Thursday, they have handwriting practice WITH their spelling words! This will continue throughout their high school years in hopes to make the better spellers as future college students and/or adults!
Happy Homeschooling!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Reading is fundamental!

Ok, we all know reading is fundamental! But did you know that reading is very important to your child's vocabulary!?!
It is, I am sure of it!
Let's put it this way....if your child only reads Run Spot Run...they will never get past a speech and vocabulary part in their lives.
But, if you create strong readers.....ones whom excel and grow with their reading.....they will have a world opened to them. Their reading vocabulary will grow with them as they learn and read. Their overall learning will as well. Their reading fluency will grow, their reading vocabulary will grow and THEY will grow as a person!
Read to your child, have them read to you. If they do not understand a word, look it up together. Help them pronounce the harder words and chances will both learn!
AND you get some great parenting and one on one time with your child!!! That is a BONUS!
Happy Homeschooling!

No, your son didn't call you an idiot...he said idiom!LOL

Relax Mom! You son didn't call you an idiot...honest! He asked you what is an idiom! Funny how 1 little letter can really get someone in trouble....isn't it!LOL So Mom....what is an idiom?

1.A group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from those of the individual words (e.g., raining cats and...
2.A form of expression natural to a language, person, or group of people: "he had a feeling for phrase and idiom".

Examples and Observations:
•"Every cloud has its silver lining but it is sometimes a little difficult to get it to the mint." (Don Marquis)
•"Fads are the kiss of death. When the fad goes away, you go with it." (Conway Twitty)

Functions of Idioms "People use idioms to make their language richer and more colorful and to convey subtle shades of meaning or intention. Idioms are used often to replace a literal word or expression, and many times the idiom better describes the full nuance of meaning. Idioms and idiomatic expressions can be more precise than the literal words, often using fewer words but saying more. For example, the expression it runs in the family is shorter and more succinct than saying that a physical or personality trait 'is fairly common throughout one's extended family and over a number of generations.'" (Gail Brenner, Webster's New World American Idioms Handbook. Webster's New World, 2003)

So....these are great for creative writing works! To get our kids to understand those quirky sayings they sometimes here. Any grade level will encounter these at some point in their writing! And to better understand them, you can google them as I did or check out more information at your local library or even go online and find idiom games to play......and then you can be an IDIOM not an idiot!