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Rebecca Capuano

Rebecca Capuano is the stay-at-home mom of three children (one of whom is in heaven) who also makes attempts at being a homeschooler, writer, photographer, scrapbooker, and truth-seeker. She earned her Master of Social Work degree from East Carolina University, and has worked in a variety of capacities (including group homes, day treatment centers, and public schools) with at-risk children and staff, including developing a therapeutic and educational day treatment center for delinquent youth in Wilmington, North Carolina. She currently resides in Virginia, and has written on a variety of topics for both Examiner.com and Home Educators Association of Virginia. Rebecca believes that family is created by God as the most fundamental institution in society, and she is dedicated to helping families nurture their children to become responsible persons of character and integrity. In addition to reading her posts at TheHomeSchoolMom, you can follow her search for truth (and blunders along the way) in family, faith and culture by visiting her blog, seeluminosity.com.

Right-Brained Reading

by Rebecca Capuano

Kids with right-brain characteristics have hit the jackpot when it comes to homeschooling! Although students with a right-brain orientation often struggle in traditional school environments, homeschooling provides the perfect flexibility and individualization to help these children shine! Previous articles explore specific techniques and strategies to help these learners be successful in math. But what about reading? Continue reading »

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Right-Brained Reading Strategies, Part 2

by Rebecca Capuano

Children with right-brain characteristics can learn to read effectively! These holistic thinkers often just need a different approach – one with plenty of visual and kinesthetic stimuli, and a whole-to-part perspective. A previous article provided an overview of the characteristics of the right-brained reader, and Right-brained Reading Strategies detailed a variety of approaches and resources to help these kids read effectively. Don’t stress out, homeschool moms – use some of these additional strategies to help your right-brained reader maximize his or her potential. Continue reading »

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Right-Brained Reading Strategies

by Rebecca Capuano

Children with right brain characteristics often need a different approach to reading. These children, who tend to be visually-spatially oriented, holistic, and “big picture” rather than detail-oriented, and tend to create meaning from words by developing three-dimensional pictures in their minds. It is not unusual for traditional decoding phonics programs or decoding strategies to be ineffective for right-brain oriented kids. Previous articles provided strategies for helping right-brain learners with math, and gave a general overview of how the right-brained student processes information for reading. If you have a right-brained reader, consider the following curricula and strategies Continue reading »

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Right-Brained Math Curriculum

by Rebecca Capuano

Arithmetic operations are foundational to future math learning, so it is critical that kids master math facts. Yet often homeschoolers find that at least one child has difficulty with math, and that they have hit a wall. For a large majority of children who find arithmetic difficult, it is simply a matter of how the child processes information. Learning specialist Dianne Craft has found that 80% of struggling learners are right brain dominant, due to the fact that most curriculum and learning settings are oriented toward the left-brain oriented individual. Continue reading »

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Right-Brained Learners

by Rebecca Capuano

Does your child skip around when doing math problems? Have trouble reviewing work or checking over details? Find spelling challenging? Require a tremendous amount of interaction during homeschooling? If the answer to many of these questions is “yes”, you may have a right-brain oriented child! Continue reading »

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More Right-Brain Math Ideas

by Rebecca Capuano

While arithmetic may seem simple to children with left-brain characteristics, right-brain oriented learners often struggle with basic math in traditional classroom settings, which are more geared toward left-brained learners. Fortunately, math does not have to be difficult for these learners! Homeschoolers can use curricula, techniques, and strategies that can help the right-brained child learn math effectively. Continue reading »

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Thanksgiving Family Traditions

by Rebecca Capuano

Turkey and stuffing might be the staples of Thanksgiving, but for many families the holiday means much more. Homeschoolers often seek to go beyond simply a festive meal to create a culture within the home that encapsulates a sense of belonging, security, and love. One important way families do this is through creating Thanksgiving traditions. Continue reading »

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Is Your Child Right-Brain Oriented?

by Rebecca Capuano

While research has demonstrated that we use all of our brain in processing information, children tend to display characteristics associated with the different hemispheres of the brain, depending on whether they are more right-brain oriented, or left-brain oriented. Understanding these different characteristics can have a strong impact on how children learn. Fortunately, homeschoolers have endless opportunities for being creative, individualized, and effective at meeting the needs of children with right-brain characteristics. Continue reading »

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Fun Thanksgiving Unit Studies for November

by Rebecca Capuano

Well, it’s already into the first week of November, and I’m realizing that I am supposed to be doing something Thanksgiving-y with my kids. I mean, I even write for TheHomeSchoolMom on creative ways to celebrate the holiday with the family, fun Thanksgiving activities, and ways to express gratitude. You’d kind of think that I would have this whole Thanksgiving-focus-during-the-month-of-November thing down. But, here I am, already into November, and realizing I’m not prepared. Have no fear, Thanksgiving homeschooling procrastinators, all is not lost. Continue reading »

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An Answer For Our Constant Christmas Quandary

by Rebecca Capuano

We have always struggled, like many homeschoolers, with the gift-giving part of Christmas. My husband comes from a huge gift-giving family. I come from a family in which money was always tight and gifts tended to be few but meaningful. We both have a faith that leads us to condemn unmitigated materialism, convicts us about our prosperity amongst a world of poverty, and challenges us to find a balance between the joy of giving and the selfishness of indulging. Continue reading »

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Playing Music By Ear: The Hidden Problem (and what to do about it)

by Rebecca Capuano

It’s a skill we’d all love to have – the ability to play music by ear, and not need the actual musical score. You know, sit down at the piano, and just start playing whatever tune is in your head. There are so many benefits to such a talent: the freedom to express oneself musically, versatility in being able to put one’s music to good use for economic or artistic purposes, the ability to entertain and please others…and if we see the talent of playing by ear in our children, we are usually thrilled. And why wouldn’t we be? Continue reading »

TheHomeSchoolMom Blog: The hidden problem of playing music by ear (and what to do about it) />

Deschooling: More School Rules You Need to Break

by Rebecca Capuano

Do you think of yourself as a rule breaker?

Well, if you’re starting to homeschool, I’ve got news for you…

You will be.

Home educators take pride in the fact that we violate some of the most sacred (often unwritten) rules of school – and we do it with gusto! Part 1 detailed the first 4 rules we like to eschew, in the efforts of giving our kids the most effective, individualized education possible. Although it can feel daunting to break out of the box when you embark on the homeschooling journey, it won’t take long before you begin to revel in the freedom of loosing the large-scale schooling chain of expectations and creating your own way — a path unique to your special student. Continue reading »

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Deschooling: The School Rules You Need to Break

by Rebecca Capuano

If you’re new to homeschooling, you’re going to have to think differently. Yes, you’re going to have to be willing to break the unwritten “rules of school” and forge your own, often uncharted, path. And although this can be nerve-wracking and downright terrifying at first, it is the key to an effective, individualized, fulfilling homeschool experience. Continue reading »

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What to Tell Yourself When You Want to Quit Homeschooling

by Rebecca Capuano

It’s highly likely that at some point in your homeschooling career, you’ll get to the place where you feel like you are done. If it hasn’t happened yet, it will. That moment, in homeschooling, when you are sure you Can. Not. Do. This. Any. More. Continue reading »

4 Things to Tell Yourself When You Want to Quit Homeschooling: Discouraged woman with hand on her forehead />

What Making Messes Can Do For Your Homeschool

by Rebecca Capuano

I am sitting here, on the computer, listening to animated voices, slams and bangs of metal and ceramic above — and I am very afraid. The snow may be falling outside, but it is the potential mess within that has me huddling over my work in the basement like a besieged citizen in a bomb shelter…anticipating in trepidation what I might discover when I emerge.

The girls are baking. Continue reading »

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3 Ways to Help Them Have Good Heroes, Part 3

by Rebecca Capuano

You’ve probably heard the adage, “Heroes are made, not born”.

Not surprisingly, the sentiment applies equally well to how children come about admiring the right kinds of heroes.

Parents have a significant role in helping to create an environment in which children are drawn to choose role models who exhibit lasting, valuable qualities — by putting into place elements that encourage kids to value those qualities for themselves. Continue reading »

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How to Help them Have Good Heroes, Part 2

by Rebecca Capuano

Henry David Thoreau wrote, “The hero is commonly the simplest and obscurest of men”.[1]

His understanding of the hero is quite a contrast to the money/sex/power-driven entertainment icons that commonly become the objects of admiration by modern children. I believe that it is parents who have a very important role in changing that — and a responsibility to create a culture in which their children want the right kinds of heroes. Homeschooling parents are in the prime position to do this, through a combination of monitoring the negative, exposure to the positive, education and modeling. Continue reading »

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3 Ways to Help Kids Have Good Heroes, Part 1

by Rebecca Capuano

What kind of heroes do I want my kids to have?

It’s a question I’ve been pondering, lately. Because children do have heroes — people they admire, desire to be like, emulate. I know, we homeschoolers tend to hope that we will be our kids’ heroes, but it is pretty inevitable that somewhere in their tween years our offspring will become fans of someone other than just Mom and Dad.

Who children idolize can significantly influence the kinds of people they become in the future. Continue reading »

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How I Fell in Love with Homeschooling

by Rebecca Capuano

I have a Valentine’s Day confession.

Yes, on that day when we send out cards and candy, show our “special someones” how we feel about them, and extol the virtues of true love, I feel the need to, well… spill the beans on the truth about a love in my life.

You see, it’s only recently that I have fallen in love with homeschooling. Continue reading »

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Keeping It New in the New Year

by Rebecca Capuano

The reality is that when you homeschool, it can easily seem like an endless treadmill. Often there aren’t the same demarcations in the school year that public school students experience, as many homeschoolers follow non-traditional schedules and do academics year-round. Moving from one “grade” to another becomes an issue of “in which subject?” and summer “break” can simply be a matter of shifting academics from traditional book work to more experiential learning. Homeschooling, like parenting, never ends while the kids are still at home. Continue reading »

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