Sunday, December 29, 2013

How to teach art when you are NOT artsy fartsy!

Is that a horrible word for you?
Are you one of those people that doesn't doodle, avoids crayons, thinks Michael's is a kitschy restaurant and that your kids asking you to color with them is the worst ever!?!
You are not alone! Not everyone is artistic or likes art or deals with it.
Some people just do not get it.
I myself am an artsy fartsy person. I love art. I would have gone into art, if there was a job in my area.
Glitter is in my blood, kohl runs in my veins and I love the smell of fresh box of crayons! If they made perfume of that, I would wear it!
I love to draw, I love to create crafts with the kids and I love to read about art.
Yep, I am a little cuckoo....
But, if you are not..... no worries. You can still teach your kids about Art!
There are lots of ways.
Art games, online art websites, artist links if your child has found someone they like. Just learning about materials and the different kinds used for art is a whole lesson or group of lessons!!!
Never fear! Not artsy fartsy, there are apps for that! :D

Happy Homeschooling!

Homeschooling a High Schooler is NOT a bad word! HONEST!

You are a homeschooler!
You have a child that is about ready to enter high school level!
Send them to school or continue to homeschool them?
Your mind is saying send them to school.....
I cannot do it......
High school was SO hard, I barely made it through.....
You can do it!
I am in my 3rd year of homeschooling high school level and I haven't failed my boys yet! If I can do it, anyone can do it!
Now, I won't say we haven't had our struggles and I wish we could go back and change a few things but I have had that every year with I don't count it as an issue from teaching high school level.
I will say I am EXTREMELY thankful for Time4Learning adding the high school levels this year! That saved my sanity! And yes, we had to add a few more science tools because we are doing a bit higher level of biology and earth and space....but it is worth it overall.
My boys are avoiding the crap that seems to come with high school these days. They still have a lovely group of homeschool teens they get to hangout with plus we attend a homeschool teen PE class once a week put on at our local community center. And a prom is put on in our area for homeschoolers, so they CAN attend that if they want. All the comforts of high school without all the crap! No long hours of homework. No riding the bus for hours a week. No overcrowded classrooms of 60+ kids per class. No drugs. No peer pressure.
My boys are learning MORE I feel than most kids their age that are attending public school AND learning less of the bad stuff that I would prefer they not deal with anyways!
So, can homeschool high school!
If you have doubts, I say try it for a year! I bet you will surprise yourself!!
Happy Homeschooling!!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

What kind of learner is your child?

Right-brained, left-brained, visual, auditory or kinesthetic! What kind of learner is your child?
Right-brained visual learner? Left-brained auditory? No worries, you can learn how your child learns best!!
Do they learn differently from you, not a problem!
My boys are both kinesthetic and visual learners. We do a lot of hands-on learning, especially learning about science. I am that way too, so teaching them has been a snap overall since we all learn the same way.
If either of them were different types of learning, I would do what I have always done.... learn the best way to teach them!
If a child isn't just getting it, despite your best effort and theirs..... maybe their learning style is different!
There are many places online to take a test to LEARN how they learn best. And then learn, as the homeschooling parent how to teach them!!!
You can do it! No worries!!
Happy Homeschooling!

Learning syllables!

Does anyone remember learning about syllables in school where you put your hand flat under your chin and then said a word and every time your chin touched your hand, that was how many syllables were in that word?!!! I still use that for teaching because it works! Try it!
Why do you have to know what a syllable is? Or teach it?
It is a crucial prereading skill to learn how to break down a word! Once you can break down a word, you can make it into more manageable parts to learn to spell it, how to pronounce it and to understand the word in general. Once kids learn this part of words, reading is the next step!
There are many ways to teach syllables and you, as their teacher needs to find the best way that works for you and them!
I still use the hand under the chin because I have found it to be the best way to learn and teach!! Plus kids have fun with it that way.
If your kids are into animals, use animal lessons for teaching syllables! If they like a cartoon character, then you that to teach them. You know your child best and what gets them working!!!
Hang in there, anyone can teach syllables!
Happy Homeschooling!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Just how important is SPELLING?

Well, in my book....REALLY IMPORTANT!
Good spellers have a background for everything!
If you suck at spelling..... well....
I was really surprised when my boys were in public school, that Spelling is not pushed like it was when I was in school! WHAT?!
Needless to say, when we became homeschoolers.... Spelling was at the top of our list!
And nothing better to add to our online curriculum than spelling test online! Love it!
Right now, we are really studying Earth and Space and I love being able to create spelling lists with words they are learning! It covers 2 things at once! They get their science in and spelling words, DONE DEAL!
Next, we will move onto animal lessons and I will have fun creating funky lists with animal names!!
I can tell you, that in the 5+ years of homeschooling.... my oldest son has gone from being a HORRIBLE speller to one that can spell most things the 1st time. I am really proud of him!
Happy Homeschooling!
Saw this online this morning and had to add it! Just adds my point. Everyone thinks they have spell check, no biggie on spelling! WRONG! These are all legit words, just used in the wrong context despite sounding correct!

Dreaming of SUN!

Well, we are 2/3 of the way through Fall and quickly approaching Winter!
While we have been lucky where I live and had a mild Fall for the most part, we have had several cold snaps and blustery, rainy days.....
I am quickly missing our heat and Sun of the Summer!
The heat energy of the Summer makes me happy! It grows my vegetables, it makes my chickens lay eggs, it makes the trees green and pretty and my ecosystem is good!
Winter makes me crabby, tired and dreaming of Spring!
How do I combat those days in our homeschool? Well, we use Natural Lighting that gives off UV rays to combat the effects of SAD. It helps on those dark, dreary Pacific Northwest days. We get outside whenever we have a few moments of sunshine! And we use this time of year to do things that are inside!
Needless to say, we get a lot of schoolwork done during the long Winter! Science projects abound!
What do you do during the long, dark days of Winter?
Happy Homeschooling!