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March 2013

by Mary Ann Kelley
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Teaching with Movies, Pi Day, Bedtime Math, Good Intentions Gone Wrong, and more

From the Editor

I hope the past month has treated you well and March finds you refreshed. March means Pi Day, and if you haven’t picked up our Pi Day notebooking unit, you can download it for free from our site. With any luck, Pi Day (3/14) will lead us — in Virginia at least — into spring with forsythia blossoms and crocuses peeking out of the ground.

Enjoy the newsletter!

Warm regards,

Mary Ann Kelley


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Time4LearningParents like hearing feedback from other parents. And although Time4Learning strives to provide families with as much information as possible, sometimes hearing about our program from those who use it can help in the decision making process. It also helps us stay current with the wants and needs of our members.Time4Learning wants to know what you’ve got to say about our curriculum. Checkout our review options for both new and current members, here.

Educational Resources

Good Intentions Gone Wrong (Stossel in the Classroom)

This FREE 77-minute DVD, includes ten segments from John Stossel television programs including topics like Lemonade Stand: Consumer Protection Gone Wrong, Job Creation Gone Wrong, Food Police: Regulation Gone Wrong, Income Disparity: Should Equality Be the Goal?, Police Accountability: Privacy Laws Gone Wrong, and more. You can either order the DVD or watch the segments as streaming video online. To supplement your 2013 Edition video segments, they also provide a free downloadable and printable Teacher Guide with suggested lesson plans, discussion topics, worksheets, and activities. A variety of streaming videos dealing with current events can also be found on the site.

Fantastic Flexible Foldables

Your kinesthetic learners will love these printables that present math in a new way. Factoring, multiples, fractions, decimals, and linear equations are covered in the free downloads.

Bedtime Math

Bedtime Math is a great way to incorporate math fun into everyday living. If you sign up for their email list you will receive the math problem of the day, or you can browse the site for problems that you think your kids will like. Each problem has details with a question suitable for wee ones, little kids, big kids, and “the sky is the limit” for older kids (and parents).

Get Organized With Post-It Notes

From “the Jen Hewett guide to managing it all”, the simplicity and flexibility of this great option for getting organized is perfect for busy homeschool moms. Because I homeschool, work at home, and serve on several boards/committees, my desk is a virtual Post-It Note graveyard. Jen’s “notebook to do list” solution is a fantastic way to integrate your notes into an easily organized to-do list that isn’t scattered all over your desk.

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Menus4Moms saves me a lot of money because if the meals weren’t planned we would be eating out a lot just to save time. I also love the calories per serving that is already calculated. Over the past year I have lost 45 lbs by counting calories. Since the calories are already calculated for me, I can easily eat what the family is eating because I already know what to put in my calorie counter.    ~ Molly C.

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I am using the Busy Mom Menu and really love it. If I can’t be home to fix supper, I know my husband can fix an easy meal in my absence. All the ingredients are there, and the recipe is there, so he doesn’t have to come up with something … I love that the menus include a shopping list! It makes meal planning so much easier to have the list all laid out for me.    ~ Dia G.

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Recent Blog Posts

Get Ready for Spring with Field Guides

Get Ready for Spring with Field GuidesA library of field guides is an important resource for homeschooling families, and with spring just around the corner, it’s a great time to make sure you have what you need on hand to help with identification of birds, trees, insects, spiders, snakes, turtles, frogs, toads, and wildflowers. Our field guides have always been among the most accessible books in our house. Rather than shelving them with other books, I usually keep them stacked — with their spines showing their titles — right on top of a low book shelf or table near the back door. Read more »

Resource of the Week: Journaling

Resource of the Week: JournalingDo you want to encourage your children (or yourself) to journal but it’s hard to stay on track? This Is Me Challenge is a website with writing challenges published on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of every month. You can learn about how it works here, or jump right in with any of the challenges. I really like the ideas for recording a personal history found in the 12 Ways To Record Your Life post — they are ideas that if done over a period of time kids will really love because there are so many options. Journaling can range from photos to collages/scrapbooks to index cards to traditional written journals, and there are ideas for every personality type. Read more »

When Homeschooling Means Losing Your Child

When Homeschooling Means Losing Your ChildChrister and Annie Johansson decided to homeschool their only son, Domenic, because, at the time, homeschooling was legal in Sweden. For almost a year and a half prior to his seizure, the family had been harrassed and investigated for their decision, because Sweden (which has since made homeschooling illegal) was hostile to anyone that did not enroll their children in the government-sponsored schools. In June 2009, the family boarded a plane in preparation for flying to Annie’s native country of India, when Swedish armed policed stormed the plane and seized Domenic from his parents. Domenic, who vomited from the trauma of it all, was immediately placed in stat

e foster care. The parents were never charged with any crime, nor did the police have a warrant. Officials originally cited homeschooling as the reason for taking Domenic into custody, only later adding in cavities in Domenic’s teeth (which the family was planning on getting treated in India by a dentist relative of Annie’s), and a failure to vaccinate to their justifications. Read more »

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Featured Article

Talking About Books By Talking About Movies

by Jeanne Faulconer

Using Movies As Part Of An Effective Homeschool Literature Curriculum

Elementary age homeschooled kids are often eager book group participants. They’ll describe plot and action and favorite characters, and they are enthusiastic about their recommendations. However, parents sometimes struggle to move their kids to more literary discussion about books as they grow into middle school and early high school years.

One useful idea to smooth this transition is to pair a book with its movie adaptation. I’ve found that kids frequently find films to be more accessible, and creating a scenario where kids will naturally compare the book and the movie is an easy way to create deeper discussion points. Additionally, while homeschooled kids are not known for hiding their smarts by opting out of talking about their reading, movies still do bridge a gap that may exist for some teens–movies simply may be perceived as cooler.

How To Use Movies

When my oldest kids were teens, we hosted a regular movie night for them and their friends, choosing a film adapted from a book — and recommending that everyone read the book first. Movie night was also a social draw, of course, which can be important for kids who are still learning at home at an age when many of their formerly homeschooled friends have begun attending high school.

We rarely even needed a conversation starter after the movie was over…

Read the rest »

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