Sunday, December 23, 2012

I so want to ROADSCHOOL! ULTIMATE homeschool fantasy is ROADSCHOOLING!
It is my dream to buy a nice RV, have enough funds to load up the hubby, the kids and the pets and hit the road for a year or two. Stopping wherever we want in the USA, following every one of those historical plaques, driving the Oregon Trail(as close as possible), seeing where the Civil War was raged, where Custer took his last stand, etc.
Making the time between each stop our lesson from the previous stop...
Since we became accidental homeschoolers in Fall 2008...I have devoured every article, blog and post I can find about Roadschooling! I am envious of those that can pick up and do this! My boys are high schoolers now and there is very little time left TO homeschool them. Maybe at some point we can get a chance to do this.
How many of you roadschool? How many of you WANT to roadschool but cannot?
One place you want to go? One thing you want to do most of all while on the road?
Mine is to travel and stop at EVERY one of those historical plaques you see on the side of the road. I am sure there are thousands but it still would be the ideal roadschool trip!
Happy Homeschooling!

Using Contextual Clues for your Spelling Practice!

My boys, despite being high schoolers still love to use Vocabulary/Spelling City for their spelling words! 
They love the fact that I get to plug in their words, line up the practice test, several games daily using their words and then their final test on Thursday(our last day of the schoolweek)! Over the past 4+ years since we became accidental homeschoolers....I feel my boys have learned MORE with Spelling City than all their years in public school!
Out of all the games offered at VSC, their 2 favorites are Hangmouse and WhichWord Sentences! I love the WhichWord Sentences because it gives contextual clues for the identification of their spelling or vocabulary words! And the fact that they can play it online OR I can print it out! Win Win for me and for them as we can switch it up!
Any homeschoolers that ask me for spelling advice, I send them to VSC because you can get free membership OR for a low yearly price...get the premium membership which is what we do! The price is worth it, we MORE than get our $$ worth!
Happy Homeschooling!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Teaching evolution in your homeschool!

We, as homeschoolers are believers in Evolution.
We believe we started as ameobas and evolved to land creatures and we are relatives to apes.
Charles Darwin is one of our heroes!
Understanding evolution and how to teach it, is one of those things that differs for every homeschooling evolution family!
Some want to do it by the books, some by videos, some by visiting history and nature museums and some just want ideas on how to do it.
Our house has high schoolers now and we are hitting the whole biology, evolution, genetics!
We are reading Charles Darwin, we are studying the evolution chain and I am researching the best way myself on how to present it!
How have you taught evolution in your homeschool? I would LOVE to hear about it!
Happy Homeschooling!

What is phonemic awareness?

phonemic awareness

Let me have no clue WHAT that means? Right?
Well....neither did I....until I did a little research!
There always will be new sayings, theories and things to learn about!
To me that is what makes like worth living....never running out of new things to learn!
AND a mega benefit of homeschooling is that we are always learning!
So...what is phonemic awareness you ask?
According to Wikipedia:

Phonemic awareness is a subset of phonological awareness in which listeners are able to hear, identify and manipulate phonemes, the smallest units of sound that can differentiate meaning. Separating the spoken word "cat" into three distinct phonemes, /k/, /æ/, and /t/, requires phonemic awareness.
The National Reading Panel has found that phonemic awareness improves children's word reading and reading comprehension, as well as helping children learn to spell.[1] Phonemic awareness is the basis for learning phonics.[2]
Phonemic awareness and phonological awareness are often confused since they are interdependent. Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear and manipulate individual phonemes. Phonological awareness includes this ability, but it also includes the ability to hear and manipulate larger units of sound, such as onsets and rimes and syllables.
Studies by Vickie Snider have shown that phonemic awareness has a direct correlation with students’ ability to read as they get older. Phonemic awareness builds a foundation for students to understand the rules of the English language. This in turn allows each student to apply these skills and increase his or her oral reading fluency and understanding of the text.[3]
Phonemic awareness relates to the ability to distinguish and manipulate individual sounds, such as /f/, /ʊ/, and /t/ in the case of foot. The following are common phonemic awareness skills practiced with students:

  • Phoneme isolation: which requires recognizing the individual sounds in words, for example, "Tell me the first sound you hear in the word paste" (/p/).

This is VERY interesting to me. I have high schoolers now, but my older son had a VERY hard time learning to read. We THEN attributed it to his ADHD and issues with public school in general. Even when we pulled him to homeschool in 6th grade, he still was not a strong reader. BUT, by the end of his 1st year of homeschooling he was a very good reader and actually liked it.
Now...that I have read this on phonemic awareness....I am wondering if early issues were part of this with him.
Like I said, never to old to learn something new!