Working with electronic circuit boards may sound ambitious or advanced, but my kids enjoyed playing with these as part of their science and technology learning when they were in their early elementary years. They learned many concepts about creating circuits from hands-on play, in particular by using a kid-friendly Snap Circuits® Kit from Elenco. Continue reading »
As you may have read over on my personal blog, I’m thinning my library of homeschooling books, and it’s an occasion for reflection. One of the things I finally feel free to do is to pass along my copy of Saxon Math.
Saxon didn’t work for us. In fact, it didn’t work in dramatic ways. We had multiple reasons for beginning homeschooling, but among the academic reasons was that the math taught at school was a poor fit and created a lot of stress and little math learning. Continue reading »
I recently wrote about how homeschooling parents can use a dialogue-based approach to education, which I see as a big potential benefit to home education. While many public schools have been forced into test-prep mania that defines success very narrowly, homeschoolers can use this educational approach to develop critical thinking and evaluate learning.
Scientific American has a recent story that reflects my thoughts on the unfortunate increased emphasis on standardized testing in public education. Continue reading »
It takes some creativity to teach right-brain oriented children effectively.
These holistic, creative thinkers can keep us on our toes to find the best means to help them learn and remember. Intuitive, contextual, and visual, right-brain oriented learners often have difficulty learning concepts that are word-oriented, logical, and detailed. Therefore, like Reading and Math, vocabulary words can pose a challenge for right-brain oriented kids – especially when the traditional method of looking them up in the dictionary is used. Continue reading »
Homeschooling parents can pique their kids’ interests by incorporating educational information right into the decor. One of the easiest ways to do this is to make use of the large block of space that is your shower curtain. The easiest-to-find educational shower curtain is the world map. These are commonly available at discount department stores. Our current world map shower curtain came from Target, but you can frequently find a similar world map shower curtain at Walmart, JC Penney, or Amazon. Continue reading »
I realize that many of you reading this are free-spirited, artsy, Pinterest-devoted die-hard project people, and that the best part of your homeschooling lives involve doing hands-on activities with your kids. Good for you – I applaud you. And I hate you. Just a little bit. Continue reading »
What drives big thinkers, creators, and leaders who achieve success on their own terms? Jamie McMillin wanted to find out, hoping her quest would help her raise and educate her own two children. She delved into biographies of luminaries including Margaret Mead, Pearl Buck, Marie Curie, Louis Armstrong, Theodore Roosevelt, John Muir, and Beatrix Potter looking for educational similarities. She found plenty. Continue reading »
She got me thinking. My friend, who, for the first time, was questioning some of the values, methods, and efficacy of public school and began investigating the idea of home education for her family. By asking me questions about this whole “homeschooling thing” that we do, she brought to my attention something with which we homeschoolers ourselves struggle. My friend didn’t even realize it, but with her questions about what we did and why we did it, she displayed what is a very common misperception about homeschooling: that homeschooling is some kind of a microcosm of the public school classroom, transported to the home environment. As I thought about it, I realized that many of us homeschoolers struggle against the very same misconception. Continue reading »
Before notebooking, our school days were chocked full of a variety of learning activities and curriculums, but the learning was so dry and dull. By the end of the day, and I mean the-END-of-the-day, the kids were wiped out and so was I. Do you have days like these? Notebooking will refresh and rejuvenate your homeschooling. It opens the door for meaningful learning while saving you time, money, and those precious hours you currently spend (if you’re like most homeschooling moms) trying to tweak everything that you currently do to make your day better. Continue reading »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
This is part 2 of 4 in a series about learning styles. You can read part 1 here. Does your child like bright, stimulating colors? Does she scribble or doodle during homeschool lessons? Do you find your child always wanting to watch someone demonstrate how to do something before he tries it? If so, your Continue reading »
Homeschoolers have the same challenge as any teacher; how to best teach children according to the ways they best learn. One popular approach to helping children grasp educational material most effectively and retain that information is through understanding the child’s learning style, or approach to learning. Learning styles have been the basis for best-practice teaching Continue reading »