Sunday, February 24, 2013

Changing up the Math mid-year! Oh well, no biggie!

As all my faithful readers/followers know...MATH is our arch nemesis. And now that I am homeschooling high school boys....we are REALLY having to work on finding Math that works for them.
I spent a lot of last Summer researching different Math programs. Both book curriculum and online Math programs. I talked to a lot of people on our secular homeschool forum. I read review after review and still what I picked and paid for...sucked!
It did not work for us. We liked the program at first, but it ended up not explaining things well and my boys couldn't follow. After more research, we have used a modified book and workbook curriculum as well as our old tried and true Time4Learning Math! They always show it well, it is explained and laid out. If we have questions....we go and pull it up.
So far, this is working for us. Yes, I did waste some money on a program we ended up not using. Yes, I spent a lot of time researching. But....I will do it again this year. I think we are learning Math better, though not as in depth as I would like.
Do not be afraid to change up your program if it is not working! Even mid-way! Not everything works for every kid! And you might waste some money along the way but that happens and my kids are worth it!
Every penny!
Happy Homeschooling!

Word Match and Other Word Games!

As I have said in the past, we love word games! 
I firmly believe that words and knowing how to use words is extremely important!
I mean, we talk and use words. We write and use words. We type and use words!
I, as a homeschooling Mom am always on the lookout for new ways for my boys to have access to learning their spelling words!
Homeschooling high school kids is a challenge in itself, homeschooling high school kids who like variety makes it even more of a challenge!
We do most of our spelling on Vocab/Spelling City because it is our favorite site for this! And my boys current favorite games to learn their spelling words are hang mouse and word match! There is no arguments about work, there is no whining! 
Who says homeschooling high schoolers is hard! JEEZ!
So, what is your favorite word game to use in your homeschool? 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Homeschooling a dyslexic child!

Do you have a child with Dyslexia?
I can honestly say, I do not. I have a child with ADHD and a child with aggression issues.
And in all the years of being around children and doing childcare, I have never dealt with dyslexia.
Now, since we have started homeschooling....not only is my son's BFF Dyslexic but a very good internet friend of mine has a child who is AND I am beginning to wonder if the 5 year old girl in my care is. Both of my friends homeschool their dyslexic children.
She missed the school cutoff age here in Oregon by 16 days, so she is in my care until the Fall of this year.
She is really behind in her learning and I was hoping that maybe her parents would move her into a larger preschool or petition for her to get into Kindergarten. But they did not want to go that route.
And she is really behind in her learning. Despite working alongside the other kids, she is still not getting it. There is a learning disability that I cannot pinpoint.
We have started working on letters and recognizing them and she is confusing many and reverse writes. I am planning on researching how to do some simple tests here and then will sit down and have a talk with Mom and Dad about my feelings.
Right now, I am leaning towards dyslexia and will be picking my friend's brain on the subject.
I know that she needs to retrain her brain and how it thinks and I assume the sooner, the better.
Do you have a child with dyslexia? When did you find out? How has this created challenges in your homeschool?

Phonics Phobia!

OMG! I am sorry, but I HATE phonics! I cannot get it! I never have been able to!
Breaking down adjective, verbs, nouns, pronouns, etc. 
I understand how words are used. I can write and use the words correctly. I just cannot break it down and tell you(without a guide) what is what...for the most part!
I know NOUN;person, place or thing. That is about it!
So when we started homeschooling and got to the phonics part.....I felt like we had hit a brick wall. It SUCKED.
I mean come on, I am a Mom, I am a college educated woman.....but I had phonics in elementary school, I had them in high school and I even took them again in college because I STILL didn't get it. Then I get presented with my boys work and OMG! 
I have to say THANK GOD for the internet!
Thank GOD for Wikipedia and any other site that explains phonics curriculum in layman's terms so I do not feel like an idiot! Because as a Mom, I should be able to explain this to my child without looking or feeling like an idiot!
We still are not phonics proud but we can stumble along and I know that my high schooled homeschoolers will be able to find resources to figure it out! you get phonics? Any tips or tricks you want to pass along?

Family Game Night with Word Games!

We love word games in our house!
We love playing games like Scrabble, Word with Friends or Boggle for Family Game Night!
I am a firm believer that you need to keep your mind sharp by playing games that make you think. Doing brain teasers, hidden pictures, word finds, and word games....especially word unscrambles.
My boys are typical homeschoolers, they LIKE to spend time with their parents! And I LOVE spending time with them. I mean honestly....sooner rather than later, they will be grown and off to college and their own lives, so I want to soak up all I can!
We do Family Movie Night where we snuggle down in living room with pizza and watch a funny movie. We do Family Game Night where we sit down AFTER dinner and play a game of our choosing. Our favorites are Scrabble and Boggle because we love playing word games. And as a homeschooling Mom, I love the fact that my boys are learning in their off time!HAHA
During the rest of the week, they play with words on Spelling City doing word games to include word unscrambling! I love it for that reason! I think they learn and retain their words a lot more because not only are they pretested on it, but they play games with those words and then are final tested on it! They love it, I love it!
And they have learned so much, that Family Game Night has turned from Mom being the Queen to the Princes are gaining ground at creating words!
Happy Homeschooling!