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!