Sunday, January 31, 2010

FREEbie for elementary kids~POST 100~whooohoo!

I just have to say that this FREEbie comes from a friend of mine who's developing curriculum now, Stephanie Ruby along with Christy Gifford.  You can get a GAMES book download!  

Egghead Academics is all about fun~go check this out~you can get 15% off an order by signing up for their FREE Newsletter!

POST 100~CELEBRATE good times~come on! It's a celebration!!! I am quoting a song from the 70' don't let that fool ya... HA HA!! OK...Glad you stopped by~hope you enjoy!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Download N Go Unit Studies~Pizza Party! Fun-Fun!!

The Download N Go series by Amanda Bennett and The Old Schoolhouse are offering a fun new study sure to have our mouths watering~Pizza Party! Just the thought of some hot cheesy chewy pizza~my fav is taco or veggie, but you envision your own...does your child love it?...MAKES MY mouth water!  This week long unit study for ages K-4th grades will take this subject to interesting heights.  Each day is a list of objectives that your child will be learning.  The format is lapbooking which is a great way to teach littles any subject with a hands-on approach.

With Download N Go™ unit studies, each is one week in length, having five daily lessons with lapbook components for each day. The name, Download N Go™, comes from the concept that these studies are ready to use as soon as you have downloaded them. No preparation or waiting time or other expensive resources are required. A few inexpensive items are needed for the lapbook—a simple file folder, a glue stick, safety scissors, brass brads, and crayons or markers. That’s it—simple, effective, and what a way to learn!

I am finding this to be very true of these studies.  I reviewed Amelia Earhart earlier in the month~it's great!

Included is the history of pizza, how mozzerella cheese is made as well as famous Italians and information on Italy. You'll find a reading list included with ISBN as well as activities you download, print and use for the lapbook. The activity graphics are colorful and interactive.  Your child will be increasing motor skills as he cuts, folds and glues each part while learning in the areas of reading, listening, vocabulary, science, history, geography, character and more!  

Pizza Party is five days of fun!

Check out these NEW NEW NEW and this NEWEST in the series!

SisterTipster <3
(Please see my discolosure concerning reviews in the bottom left of my blog. Thanks.)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Little Help From MY Friends~

Having a good friend can help in so many ways, especially with homeschooling.  Having support from a personal friend as well as friends who we can access on line in groups such as yahoo groups where folks who have a common interest such as a common curriculum or age group brings us together in a "virtual" way so that we can gain the experiences of others.  Homeschooling groups are another valuable friend finding outlet for homeschoolers, as well as our families. Often though, unless we can find those who are understanding or accepting of home education there can be misunderstanding which might lead to conflict.  An example would be extended family such as grandparents who are not in favor of homeschooling who will "hammer" to get the practice changed in the home...whew~who needs that? NOW we can't throw out our families, but we can limit what negative influences they can have IF in fact it's negative.  I take all comments on advisement generally, and look within to see if there is what and any truth within.  If there are valid valuable points, I consider what is said.  This can be a good rule when dealing with this kind of criticism and negativity regarding this area.  Everyone isn't going to like what we do.  In time though, as often has been the case, respect and possibly a change of opinion or response might be gained from the opposition.

Since we ALL need encouragement, to find it IS ESSENTIAL!

Look for those like-minded folks out there who share your values~NOT that they have to "agree" with us totally, OH NO! But we do need to see, and experience the collective wisdom of others who have gone on before us in home education as well as those STILL in the trenches!

I want to encourage us all to find someone who will stand with us in this endeavor~our spouses, families and friends to encourage us...and of course the Lord of Heaven who graciously gave us our precious children to raise up as Christ-like citizens of this great nation~EVEN on a day I want to "pinch their heads off!" LOL! friends, I am thankful for you.  You keep me thinking, growing and striving onward!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Delightful Music~

Girl Thing One and Boy Thing One both love music.  It's amazing how much they've taken to it.  This year, they are honing in their musical skills with their chosen instruments.  Our girl loves piano and bass, while boy loves his trumpet but has been "seen" discretely playing the piano.  Today, I listened as daughter played her piano keyboard in various tones~music box was one that really was soo nice.  She's amazing and this it totally DELIGHT DRIVEN.  The idea is a child delights in a subject area and just feasts and feasts upon the subject matter at their own pace and desire.  She's taken to Japanese the same way for her foreign language study.  I have NO IDEA how many books she's purchased or borrowed from the library to study her desired culture and language.  She's so amazing in this way, and NOW she's looking for a monologue to do for drama club.  I guess we'll have to say she's into the "arts."  My boy is also into his trumpet that each day I get a concert of his playing.  He too is doing delight driven learning in this way.  While we encouraged the trumpet initially, and it's on his curriculum list for each day, it's not THERE ON THE WEEKENDS which proves that a kid who loves something will pursue it! Delight driven learning is the best; while I am not an advocate of exclusive delightly driven learning, it's a powerful tool! Hey, if everyone just did what was "delightful" how many of us would have taken SOME of the stuff we did that has well rounded us in our adulthood?  So in my humble, yeah, I'm humble~LOL~opinion, delight driven learning is a PLUS but not a total style of teaching for the homeschool.  It's good that children find delight in at least SOME of the subjects studied, but if not, it's OK too~functionality is really more the goal for the total process.  Functionality means so much in this age of education and life.  Listening to the radio the other day about the challenges of educating to the present age made me consider that homeschooling STILL is the best option.  What better natural and normal environment for life learning~learning that will prepare for the home and work world than HOME?  Home, a place of refuge and challenges~if you think there are no challenges, think again.  To LIVE together and harmoniously live within the constraints of family and then to reach out into the world is no small feat!

Delightful music is at my house today, and I am enjoying the process~
What delightful learning is occuring in your home?  Do you have a child naturally drawn to a subject area where they can soar?

SisterT <3

Monday, January 4, 2010

Math~STILL WORKing IT at Our House!!

Are you confident and satisfied with what is going on with MATH at your house? I am well known to have MATH TERROR myself, so teaching this daunting subject is just that for ME~so I look for well designed and formulated materials to teach with.  Believe me, I've been "through" quite a bit, and by far the VERY best for ME in the lower grades was using Abeka Book Arithmatic K-6th grades.  Now we have tried a couple of supplementals that I liked to boost up skills that needed MORE practice than what is offered in the curricula~We had difficulty with long division, so we needed extra work to cement the process so we could move on.  I used things I found online and even a workbook from Wal-mart! So it's the skill building that's so important.  Today, I am known to make up my OWN worksheets too to practice a skill.  Also since we are much older, we are using Teaching Textbooks for Pre and Algebra. To explain using this curricula, let me say that it has DVD instruction,  but it's step by step and for my children, they complain it's TOO detailed~HA! HOW CAN MATH instruction be too detailed? Soooo I have them do it, but  I also supplement with things that help them.  We are doing fractions so I have used Math Tudor DVD for additional visual instruction.  I also want to BRAG on Maria Miller for her work in math and introduce her blog to you, 
Homeschool Math
There are some unique features to Mrs. Miller's math approach. She had LOADS of freebies ( a HUGELY informative monthly Math Newsletter!!) as well as VERY affordable workbooks for various grade levels.  She does YouTube videos and has her own math YouTube channel! You will appreciate her style and work.  She's very knowledgeable, and if you want to contact her, she will help! I have used her curricula for supplement for some time now.  You may want to give her a try as well!

I think MATH is one of those TERROR things that is a work in progress~so I keep working the process! This is a subject that needs a LOADED GUN APPROACH so that a strong knowledge and understanding is achieved so that high math is attainable!

WHAT DID NOT work, was ALEKS.  It's a great math system possibly for some kids, but we found things like my daughter's work not being recorded on the "pie" but also that while she made progress, the assessments drove her backwards. Also the way to do the math was all screen driven with no workbook and limited practice.  I did not like this, and found that if MORE practice is needed it's almost impossible to figure out how to give it.  Also math IMHO is one of those pencil to paper skills~PERIOD.  You can't really do math without this method.  So ALEKS was not for us.  We left Abeka because we went with Teaching Textbooks so that we could take advantage of the step by step simple instructions for the upper grades~it goes throughout all of high school.

SOOOOOOOOOOOO here ya have it~my math TAKE~
If it's not working or needs a tweak~try something new!