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Why we chose to homeschool

 

 

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Why we chose to homeschool

How did we come to the decision to homeschool our son? It was a long process, I will tell you that! I started talking to friends who are homeschooling their children at least a year ago. One friend, who started her son in public school, and then chose to homeschool after he completed kindergarten, came over for coffee to discuss why she chose to homeschool. I went to another friend’s house and spent time talking about the logistics of homeschooling and life. Then my husband and I spent many hours discussing what homeschooling would look like for us, how we could do it, and why we should do it. I also watched my son, and how he began to learn, and his personality, and I began to realize that this could be a great option for us.

Something else that led to our decision was that kindergarten has changed significantly in the last several years. I don’t know about other states, but here in Texas it has become an all day class, rather than half day. They have also pushed a lot of material down from upper grades into kinder. In our district, the kids come home from school on Mondays with a folder of homework for the week. My son will only be this age once, and I hate to send him away all day, then have him come home tired and have homework to do. We are excited to spend time learning every day, as well as getting to explore and grow in ways that can’t be replicated in a traditional classroom setting.

– Meredith

My name is Meredith, and I live in one of the many suburbs of Houston, Texas. I was homeschooled from 2nd grade through high school, and went on to graduate from Texas Tech University with a degree in Agricultural Communications. (No we didn’t learn to talk to cows! Haha!) My husband and I have been married for almost 11 years and we have two wonderful children! Our son is 5 ½ and will start kindergarten this fall, and a daughter who is 2 ½. In my spare time I love spending time with friends, traveling, listening to music and reading. I am excited to share our experiences as we begin our homeschooling journey! 

Meredith is blogging for PearsonHomeschool.com!  Interested in Pearson products?  Click here to see their catalog.

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Meredith_Wilson_Homeschool_BlogMy name is Meredith, and I live in one of the many suburbs of Houston, Texas. I was homeschooled from 2nd grade through high school, and went on to graduate from Texas Tech University with a degree in Agricultural Communications. (No we didn’t learn to talk to cows! Haha!) My husband and I have been married for almost 11 years and we have two wonderful children! Our son is 5 ½ and will start kindergarten this fall, and a daughter who is 2 ½. In my spare time I love spending time with friends, traveling, listening to music and reading. I am excited to share our experiences as we begin our homeschooling journey!

- See more at: http://blog.pearsonhomeschool.com/about-meredith/#sthash.NUPhAJ5R.dpuf

Doodles Ave Product Review

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — Tags: , — dailynews @ 4:00 am

 

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The Doodles Ave™ website offers a wide variety of interactive coloring books, free printable activities, and educational games for children, ages 3 and up.

Their coloring fun books advance artistic expression, literacy development and a child’s overall learning experience while introducing the following topics:

  • Mathematics
  • Healthy Eating
  • Animal and Plant Life
  • Safety Awareness
  • World History
  • Diverse Cultures
  • Penmanship
  • Career Opportunities

 

Each book is approximately 42 pages in length, and is priced at $5.99.

I like the coloring fun books for the following reasons:

  • The laminated covers are attractive and inviting.
  • The books feature original illustrations, interesting facts, and games.
  • The books are thorough. For instance, the book Anatomy Coloring Fun includes the following systems – the auditory, digestive, respiratory, skeletal, muscular, cardiovascular, and integumentary systems, as well as the nervous system.
  • The author of the books understands the importance of coloring in childhood development, as coloring offers kinesthetic and visual learners an outlet for self-expression.
  • The act of coloring also strengthens a child’s grip/control, coordination, motor skills, and color recognition.
  • The price! You can’t beat $5.99!

In addition to the coloring books, Doodles Ave™ offers many free printables, covering the topics of:

  • ABC Activity
  • Crafts
  • Days of the Week
  • Diagrams
  • Number Activities
  • Shape Tools
  • Word Finds
  • Word Scramble
  • Writing Activities

 


 

 

Doodles Ave™ – for your budding artist/scholar!

The Homeschooling Boom

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — Tags: , — dailynews @ 4:00 am

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The Homeschooling Boom

There are more than 2 million homeschooled students in the United States today. That’s a little more than 3% of the student population. How did this growing movement gain momentum, and what does its growth say about the state of education in America?

The following video is a clip from Q&A 2 of Hillsdale’s Online Course: “A Proper Understanding of K-12 Education: Theory and Practice” with Jon Fennel, Professor of Education and Chairman of the Education department at Hillsdale College, and John Miller, Head of the Dow Journalism Program.

Transcript:

John Miller:

What do you think accounts for this new interest, this explosion of interest in homeschooling?

Jon Fennell:

Well, the point I was trying to make in the lecture is that when education is conducted intelligently, we have an idea of what we want to arrive at. We know, more or less clearly, what kind of person we want to have result from the educational activity. If you have that vision as a parent, and then you have your child in a school that can’t allow him to arrive at that destination, then you are going to be tempted to take him out of that environment and put him in one where the educational activity will, in fact, result in that vision that you have.

John Miller:

A lot of our viewers, I’m assuming, are maybe homeschoolers themselves, or their parents were thinking about homeschooling. They sense what some of the attractions might be. They also probably have a few concerns about home schooling, they worry about social isolation, they worry about, [00:02:00] “Do I need to be a master of every subject from Quantum Physics to the metaphors in Macbeth, and all that. What’s the … Why is home schooling a good option? Would you encourage it?

Jon Fennell:

I would encourage it for many people. It’s a very large burden. Anybody who does it knows that immediately. It is almost a full time job, especially if you have multiple children. I certainly am a supporter of it to the degree that the parents have the time and the expertise do it properly. What is disturbing is that so many parents feel they must do it, because they look at the schools as actually doing harm to their children. Sometimes, because they are so concerned about the harm, they will engage in home schooling without being altogether properly prepared to do so. Now, an entire industry has built up around home schooling, and so you can buy packaged curricular and so forth. There are support groups. There are even athletic support groups, where you can find places for your children to play sports even though they don’t go to a school. A large supporting community has developed for home schooling parents.

 

Struggling Readers? Visual Stress?

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — Tags: , — dailynews @ 4:00 am

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Struggling Readers?  Visual Stress?

Have you ever asked your child what the text looks to them?

It has been discovered that many of us see text differently – for some the words themselves may move or jump on the page, others describe color appearing on the page, while others say the lines “scrunch” or jumble together, as just a couple of examples! Would you not agree that being able to see text clearly is a fairly basic prerequisite of reading effectively?

This is where we should look towards our British counterparts, where this condition, known as visual stress is now widely known and recognized. Visual stress is a neurological condition characterized by hyperactivity of the brain’s visual cortex, whereby improper processing of visual information causes perceived distortions when viewing text. Amazingly it has been found to affect nearly 20% of the population; however the percentage is much greater in those with other learning disabilities such as Dyslexia.

This over-stimulation occurs when looking at text as a result of two things: firstly, the high contrast of the black text on a white page, and secondly the patterns that the lines of text create. The two combined cause what is called “pattern glare”. This pattern glare creates excess electrical activity in the visual cortex, which can creep into other areas of the brain, which in turn, creates the distortions.

For many, visual stress simply means that they do not like reading for prolonged periods, or they may get a headache after a while when reading, however for 5% of the population, visual stress can have such an effect that reading can become very difficult indeed.

Symptoms of visual stress vary, but can include headaches and migraines (especially when working at the computer), eyestrain, and words or letters appearing to “jump” or move on the page.

Some, or all, or the following can be noted while reading. Sufferers may:

  • Fatigue quickly when working with text, or seem to experience increased difficulty after an initial period of about 10 minutes
  • Skip words or lines when reading
  • Read slowly and haltingly and have difficulty absorbing information
  • Track with the finger
  • Yawn while reading or frequently rub their eyes
  • Keep moving their head or body position, or moving closer to or further away from the page

Visual Stress typically causes the following distortions of print, although not all of the following will necessarily be experienced by one person:

  • The print appears to jump or otherwise move on the page – sometimes appearing to move off the page altogether.
  • Swirling effects appear in the text.
  • Whole lines of text may appear to move.
  • Shimmering colors may appear on the page.
  • White “rivers” may seem to run down the page, where the white background, as opposed to the black text, has become the dominant image perceived.
  • Letters may double, reverse, fade or blur.

Basically the image of the letters and words is unstable against the white background, and this instability can be experienced in a number of ways.

So what can be done? Well fortunately there is a simple solution, which is to read in color!

It has been found that for each of us there are specific wavelengths of light which cause the most stimulation, and when these are filtered out by reading through the correct color overlay, it “calms” the brain down enough to process the information correctly, and fix the text in place – simple! The effective color is different for everyone, so assessing correctly is very important, as where yellow may help Jack, it may make things worse for Jill. Fortunately all that is required is a set of 10 overlays or Reading Rulers, of different colors, to systematically work through.

You may want to ask your child what the page looks like, and try reading through color!

 

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Letz Talk Now Product Review

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — Tags: , — dailynews @ 4:00 am

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Building relationships with children through innovative communication

The founder of letztalknow.com believes the natural tendency of adults is to talk to our children more about what we want to know and less about what children want to say.  She believes it is time to talk to our children about what is really on their minds.

To facilitate this, she has developed the age appropriate products mentioned and pictured below.

The CareMail™ Mailbox – (ages 5-8, 9-12 and teen)
Individual CareMail™ Question Card Sets – (ages 5-8, 9-12 and teen)
Individual CareMail™  Combination Card Sets – (ages 5-8, 9-12 and teen)
CareMail™ Shopping Magnets
CareMail™ Sport Magnets
CareMail™  Words and Letters Magnets
CareMail™ Art and Music Magnets

How can you use CareMailTM ? In many ways! You can:

Let Their Thoughts be Known — Take the deck of 40 age-appropriate question cards and have each student or group member pick a card and keep it face down. One by one have each child/teen turn the card over and answer the question and let his/her thoughts be known.

Take the Challenge — Select the challenge cards from the combination deck. Choose a group of students to pick a card and read it aloud. The students are given 24 hours to take the challenge and report their accomplishments.

Getting to Know Them  — Ten question cards are selected at random. Each card is revealed one at a time. The child/teen answers the question based on his/her feelings. The adult writes down what they think the child/teen will answer.  After all ten questions have been answered, reveal your answers and begin getting to know them.

Let Them Know You Care — Pick a partner (Parent/Child, Mentor/Mentee, Counselor/Student, etc.). Read each of the write-on cards aloud. Answer each question as it relates to your partner. Share your answers and let them know you care.

Be a Good Listener — Sit in a quiet place with that special child/teen. Let them read and answer the questions one by one. The adult role is to be a good listener and make the child/teen feel worthy of your time and attention.

Becoming a Hero — Have the child/teen choose five challenge cards. Read all of them aloud. They have seven days to complete all challenges and write down the results. Watch them become a hero.

Writing Their Way to Happiness  — Have the child/teen select a question card.   Allow the child/teen to use the question as the first part of his/her journal entry. This method has been widely used in the classrooms. Watch them begin writing their way to happiness.

I like these products because:

  • They build relationships between parents and children.
  • There are many ways to use them, as mentioned above.
  • They are very attractive. The mailbox….the magnets….they are very appealing.
  • The magnets encourage self-expression.
  • All products are age-appropriate (ages 5-8, 9-12 or teen). This is a product that grows with your child or works with multiple children.
  • The blank cards allow the parent (or other individual) to write positive comments for the child. These can be very meaningful.

 

Innovative communication…..innovation is always a plus!

Top 10 Choices of Higher Education

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — Tags: — dailynews @ 4:00 am

 

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Top 10 Choices of Higher Education Institutions in the World

Every year, an organization known as Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), considered to have the most reputable and reliable university ranking system, rates universities from around the world based upon a number of factors. It ranks in several categories, such as by academic discipline and by country, but, in the end, it has an overall ranking of top universities based upon a combination of factors. These factors include:

  1. Research
  2. Teaching Quality/Teacher Credentials
  3. Graduate Employability
  4. Facilities
  5. Internationalization (commitment to enrolling a study body from all over the world)
  6. Social Responsibility
  7. Innovation

2014-2015 Top 10 Rankings by QS

All of the top 10 universities are, just as they have been for several years, from the U.S. and the UK. While they have switched spots among that top 10 over the years, they have maintained their excellence in the 7 rating factors to be continually on the list. The order in which the rankings occur for the latest ratings are as follows:

  1. MIT: MIT is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with a student body of approximately 11,000, and is most acclaimed for it science and technology programs. Another quite famous school within the Institute is its Sloan School of Management for graduate business majors. It is a top research institute in the world and very heavily endowed.
  2. University of Cambridge: Cambridge is the 2nd oldest university in the UK and is most well-known for its colleges of law, sciences and economics. It is a part of the Russell Group and the Golden Triangle, two inter-collegiate organizations, the members of which are highly reputable research institutions. Cambridge actually has 31 separate colleges within its university system, each of them self-governing with their own admissions and degree requirements.
  3. Imperial College of London: This is a public research institute supported by the government of the UK and is best known for its science, engineering, and medicine programs. It has several campuses throughout London, is a member of both the Russell Group and the Golden Triangle, and most recently has been recognized as a leader in biomedical research. (To reach more information about UK universities click here)
  4. Harvard University: Located in Cambridge Massachusetts, along with MIT, Harvard is a world-renowned research institution, but also is known for its schools of business and law. A number of prominent government leaders in the U.S. throughout history graduated from the Harvard School of Law, including John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama. (To reach more information about U.S. universities click here)
  5. University College of London: While this institution has traditionally been acclaimed for its schools of medicine, law and science, it is currently moving into a rigorous school of international studies, as it prepares students for increasing globalization in all content fields. Its faculty comes from around the world, and it currently has approximately 20,000 foreign students enrolled.
  6. Oxford University: Also in the UK and also a member of both the Russell Group, and Golden Triangle, Oxford is perhaps best known for its humanities and law colleges, as well as its graduate school of business.
  7. Stanford University: Stanford is a private research university with highly acclaimed schools of medicine, business, energy and environmental sciences, engineering and law. Its graduates are among some of the most prominent business, science and medical leaders in the U.S. Current enrollment is about 16,000 students spread all over the town that bears the same name as the university.
  8. California Institute of Technology: Cal Tech is one of the smaller universities among the top-ranked institutions, with an enrollment of only 2200 students. It is a science and engineering research university which garners huge endowments for its work. Cal Tech is located in Pasadena, California, just outside of Los Angeles.
  9. Princeton University: Located in New Jersey in the town of the same name, Princeton was the 4th chartered university in the colonies, founded in 1746. It is private, heavily endowed school, with the largest endowment per student in the United States. Most prominent fields of student include engineering, natural sciences, and social sciences. Most notably, Princeton is home to the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Many U.S. political figures have graduated from Princeton over the years, 4 of whom currently sit on the U.S. Supreme Court.
  10. Yale University: Located in New Haven, Connecticut, Yale is the 3rd oldest university in the United States. It was originally formed as a school of theology but obviously has significantly changed over the years. Today, Yale has undergraduate programs in virtually every academic discipline but is perhaps best known for its graduate and professional schools in management, law, medicine, architecture, music and drama.

While there are other organizations that rank colleges and universities around the world, these 10 schools continue to be among the top-ranked by all of them, although the specific positions may be somewhat different.

 

John Unger is a blogger, writer and editor. In his free time he contributes his posts to various websites. Currently, he writes his own blog at Assignment Mountain. His main topics of interest are education, self-improvement and business issues.

Homeschooling? Me?!

 

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Homeschooling? Me?! Never in a million years did I see myself homeschooling my child! A little background for you… I was homeschooled from 2nd through 12th. My mom began homeschooling me the fall of 1987, pretty much just as it became legal in the state of Texas. She was a pioneer, searching high and low for curriculum. She kept us in the house because she was afraid neighbors would call CPS or the police! I didn’t always like homeschooling (especially in high school,) and it wasn’t until college that I saw what a true benefit it had been for me. I never planned on homeschooling our kids, I always thought I would just send them to public school. It wasn’t until about two years ago, when I was starting to contemplate sending my son to kindergarten, that I began to rethink my position on teaching him at home. Luckily, homeschooling is MUCH more common today and there are many options available to homeschool parents: lots of curriculum, conventions, homeschool co-ops and more!

We live in an award winning school district, so when I tell people I going homeschool they tend to look at me like I am crazy. However, there are many reasons I have made this decision, and I will unpack those in upcoming posts, but the most important one in my book is that I know it’s what is best for my kid.

All schools have their own lists of positives and negatives, but I am looking forward to the freedom that homeschooling will allow us. We can travel when we want, we can go to Disney in October when NO ONE is there. Or, we can begin school the first of August (when it’s still hot as hades here) and then take some time off in the fall when the weather finally gets nice! I look forward to sharing my homeschool adventure with you this year.
– Meredith

Meredith Wilson is a homeschooling mom in Texas and is blogging for PearsonHomeschool.com .  To see the Pearson Homeschool catalog, click here.

 

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A Day In the Life: A Homeschooler’s Story

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — Tags: , — dailynews @ 4:00 am

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A Day In the Life: A Homeschooler’s Story

written by Brian Baublitz 

As I walk into the living room, my mother is sitting in her recliner reading to my younger brother who is listening intently. Her pajama pants and t-shirt are visibly wrinkled from a night of sleep. In the other room, the sound of toddlers fills the air with horns, bells and whistles from a wide assortment of noisy toys. As she is trying to read, the dogs start barking at a nonexistent knock on the door then paces around her feet waiting to be let outside. One of her daycare kids, my niece, comes walking out asking for juice while yet another child cries and complains about getting something taken from him. This is just a typical day in the life of my mother who has to face the task of being a homeschool teacher and parent at the same time.

The hallway is lined with pictures of family memories and have been moved higher so that the multiple youngsters that she babysits cannot wreak havoc on them. Most of the schoolwork is done in our dining room. The “classroom” sits in the middle of the one floor rancher, and is the central hub for everything in the house. To one side sits the kitchen, shimmering in the morning sun on the white linoleum tiles. The other leads down the hall, towards the bathrooms and bedrooms. In the front of the room, key chains dangle from a hook, representing our Christmas tree ornaments and mementos from vacations of the previous calendar year. Once the reading is done, my mother and brother traipse into the dining room to begin “math class”. Behind my brother, who works diligently on his algebra lesson for the day, the kids have now taken their coats and scurried onto the deck to play with their outside toys for the last time before the winter winds force the toys into storage. The walls are adorned with custom made paper turkeys and pictures of colorfully drawn flowers. The kids may have just arrived and the day is just beginning, but the chaos will only continue to grow as the hours roll by.

“You have to want to spend time with your kids. Cindy Baublitz, homeschool teacher and parent said. “Homeschooling isn’t easy.  It’s a 24/7, 365 day-a-year job because it is tied in so closely with parenting.  The rewards, however, are enormous.  My homeschoolers are very family oriented, kind and comfortable in almost any situation.” “They believe their peers are everyone in the world!  If you are willing to make the sacrifices (and there are many!) and you honestly enjoy spending time with your child, I would say to do it!  You’ll never regret it!”

My mother has homeschooled her kids for the past twelve years and she has played an even more vital role than most parents in her kids’ lives because of it. To her, this is what makes the hard work and stressful planning worthwhile. “For me, it’s the closeness it brings with my children and the chance to be a part of their every day,” Cindy said. “I am there for the highs and the lows, all the milestones and on the quiet days when there it’s just us and we lock away the world to just be us.”

Homeschooling was something I looked forward to doing every morning. The way that I was taught, learning turned into an adventurous game and we would have a theme for each day. For example, during the Chinese New Year we would make paper lanterns and watch Chinese documentaries or order pizza on national pizza day. There was always an interesting twist added into every lesson that made me want to learn more. There was just a certain comfort in being able to watch movies, eat pretzels, do work in pajamas and choosing your own topic to study. After homeschooling me for seven years, 3rd – 8th grade, and enjoying it as much as I did, I wanted to go back to my roots and see how her experience with my little brother has differed. My brother, 10-year-old Dakota Baublitz, enjoys homeschooling and if he had the choice to go to public school, he would still rather stay home. “Getting to sit on my bed under the covers doing my school work” is the best part of his experience. Obtaining an interview from him was extremely difficult because he would always blow me off to play Minecraft video games or just ignore me completely. It was a struggle just to have him answer that one question. I found that it has been much more difficult to teach my little brother since he does not have the passion for learning, attention span, or desire to do anything productive like I used to. He gets distracted easily by the daycare kids or the dogs, and once he gets off track, it becomes a lost cause for the rest of the day. As of the 2012 Statistical Abstract, three percent of children in the United States are homeschooled. “As the dissatisfaction among parents with the U.S. education system grows, so too does the number of homeschoolers in America,” said Julia Lawrence of educationnews.org. “Since 1999, the number of children who are being homeschooled has increased by 75%. Although currently the percentage of homeschooled children is only 4% of all school children nationwide, the number of primary school kids whose parents choose to forgo traditional education is growing seven times faster than the number of kids enrolling in K-12 every year.”

A normal homeschool day would usually go along the lines of this. I would be required to wake up in the morning to a dog sleeping on my bed and a baby crying in the room beside me. The sun rays peak through the curtains of my small closet-sized room as I make my way down the hall towards the smell of cinnamon rolls. My mother/teacher is already wide awake as she gets up at the crack of dawn each school day to get a bath, watches the morning news and prepare her lesson plan for the busy day ahead. Once the clock struck nine, the school day would begin and I could choose what subject I wanted to start with. I despised any kind of math so I chose to get the worst out of the way most days. Because my mom homeschooled me, she couldn’t maintain two jobs, so and was a daycare provider on the side. The kids were 1, 3, 5, and 7 years old. They all tended to arrive painfully early and the peaceful mornings went up in flames when they walked in the door. The house was filled for the rest of the day with screeching kids and toys scattered around every room. After the kids were all fed, she bundled them all up in frilly scarves and fluffy coats, put them in their respective car seats and we all headed out to run errands. It was very rare to have a day where we got to go an entire school day without having to run an errand or have something unexpected pop up and disrupt our plans. Once we arrived back home, my mom and I would finish building our volcano science project that was halfway done and would get overly excited when our baking soda lava flooded the cardboard village of Pompeii. Around noon I would take an hour long lunch break. I raced to my room, tucked into the corner of the house, to play Super Smash Bros Melee on GameCube and let my guinea pig roam around my room. My pig always looked forward to this as he squealed and kicked his feet up joyously while zipping back and forth. By the end of the day, I snuggled up under a blanket on the couch and would normally watch a movie related to the subject that was being taught that week.

No day is exactly the same way. Unlike public schooling, where there is a certain time limit and way of running a classroom, homeschoolers have free range and can go about their lesson plans however they so please. “I would say there is no typical school day,” former homeschooler Erin Carnell said. “There is math and science and history that needs to be done and things like that, but there are always field trips and fun new ways to do things.” Erin was one of the more dedicated homeschoolers as she went from the start of elementary school through high school without going to public school. “I love the freedom it gives you and the bonding time with your children,” she said. “My favorite part was the freedom to build a curriculum that works best for you and what you are interested in.”

Homeschoolers are a rare breed of families because they go against the traditional ways of educating their children and try to recreate the school atmosphere while advancing their children’s academic careers. Despite the lack of social interaction opportunities, learning in a one-on-one environment can be more beneficial to a student’s success, since the teacher/parent can focus all their attention on making their child a better student.

For some, homeschooling is not a desirable method and it can be miserable if you don’t have the right frame of mind. Jordan Hendricks, who currently attends CCBC Catonsville and was homeschooled from first to tenth grade, is someone who hated it and found it an uncomfortable experience. “I would never homeschool my kids. I believe the public school system is not perfect, but it is very important for a child’s social skills and development,” Hendricks said. “I would never want my child to be or feel like the ‘weird one’.”

“Homeschooled children are more apt to go with the flow,” my mom said as she relaxes in front of the fire after a long school day. “They know that routine often means nothing and that we work with what we have on any given day.  They make friends easily with both adults and children of all ages.  They go on a field trip or into a class and there may be a familiar face or two, or there might be a group of kids he has never met, homeschoolers usually have no problem with walking up, saying hello and joining in….and the homeschoolers he is joining will welcome him readily.  I believe they are family oriented and very close to their family members because they grow up in the home.  They see what it’s like for a parent to juggle family and responsibilities and they are a part of making it all happen.”

 

Source List

Cindy Baublitz

Dakota Baublitz

Erin Carnell

Jordan Hendricks

Julia Lawrence of www.educationnews.org

2012 Statistical Abstract

 

Super Teacher Worksheets

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — Tags: , — dailynews @ 4:00 am

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I think just about all homeschooling educators love worksheets/printables. We can easily spend hours looking through the multitude of worksheets and printables offered by different companies and blogs– but that can be so time consuming! Having a TON of worksheets and educational activities in one place is a huge time saver! That’s where Super Teacher Worksheets comes in. Super Teacher Worksheets is a website with printable resources for preschool and elementary school students. They offer more than 10,000 printable activities on their website. The website includes hundreds of free worksheets as well as thousands of member-only resources (a subscription to Super Teacher Worksheets costs only $19.95 per year). Super Teacher Worksheets offers resources for virtually every elementary school subject area. The worksheets and printables include: reading comprehension passages; math card games; phonics word wheels; early literacy mini-books; flashcards; printable board games; spelling lists; cut-and-glue crafts and activities; holiday craft projects; science experiments; animal articles; blank maps; brain teasers; awards for students; generator tools; and much more!

I explored many worksheets and printables offered by Super Teacher Worksheets, and here are just some examples of the ones I really liked:

Reading Comprehension Passage with Questions – The website offers dozens of reading comprehension passages for grade levels one through five. Each grade level offers fiction and nonfiction selections, as well as poetry and reader’s theater scripts. After each passage, the worksheet includes reading comprehension questions that intersperse multiple choice questions, short answer questions, and matching. Each reading comprehension also includes a selection of vocabulary words which is reinforced through matching, unscramble-the-word activities, or fill-in-the-missing letters exercises. Finally, the majority of the reading comprehension worksheets includes a writing prompt activity based on the reading passage. Check out the reading comprehension passages here:
http://www.superteacherworksheets.com/comprehension.html

Math Mystery Pictures – Super Teacher Worksheets has a wide selection of math mystery pictures of varying difficulty. These puzzles allow elementary students to practice their basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division skills while coloring in each segment of the mystery picture based on the answers to each problem. Students will really enjoy revealing the mystery picture (whether it is a sailboat, castle, clown fish, parrot, or airplane). These activities make math practice fun and creative! Check out the math mystery pictures here:
http://www.superteacherworksheets.com/math-mystery-picture.html

Phonics Mini-Books – This website has tons of phonics mini-books for children to practice their vowel and consonant sounds. The phonics mini-books are written for a kindergarten or first grade reading level. Each of these mini-books includes eight illustrated pages. What a great way for young learners to practice, practice, practice! Check out the phonics mini-books here: http://www.superteacherworksheets.com/mini-books.html

Holiday Crafts – One of the great things about Super Teacher Worksheets is that this website has so many holiday crafts for elementary students. Holiday cut-outs, bingo games, crosswords, word searches, word scrambles and riddles are just some of the exciting holiday crafts, activities, and puzzles I found on this website. Check out the holiday crafts and activities here: http://www.superteacherworksheets.com/full-holiday.html

In general, I also discovered several aspects to the Super Teacher Worksheets site that I really liked:

  • They offer hundreds of free worksheets, so you can try before you purchase.
  • The subscription fee is reasonable. Being a member saves so much time, since more than 10,000 worksheets and printables are available to you in one place.
  • I particularly like the variety and quality of their science worksheets, holiday worksheets and activities, and brain teasers.
  • The site provides useful options for printing worksheets, such as formats with or without labels, black and white vs. colored, etc.
  • I really like the worksheet generator tools that allow me to make my own worksheets.
  • I appreciate how cute/attractive the website is. I know content is important, but I’m also keen on aesthetics.
  • I enjoy the new Super Teacher Worksheets blog. It’s a source of fun teaching ideas, which is great when I’m searching for new ideas.

And guess what? Super Teacher Worksheets has a sister site — ModernChalkboard.com, a site that contains Smartboard Notebook lessons.  Everything on Modern Chalkboard is free. Homeschoolers love free! 

Most of the Super Teacher Worksheets printables are Common Core aligned (teachers do use the site), but the website understands and appreciates that homeschoolers strive to go beyond the Common Core.

FREE – DIY Lake Science App

 

lakescienceeeee

 

Plunge into the fun science of lakes, rivers, creeks, and ponds with a new, free DIY app that lets you investigate freshwater ecosystems anywhere you live. DIY Lake Science explores Earth’s freshwater, and its importance to all life on our planet, in 12 hands-on STEM activities.

Created by UC Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science, the new app for the iPad and iPhone takes you outdoors to find what’s below the surface of bodies of freshwater. The app’s field adventures include making a viewscope and looking for underwater plants and animals, and crafting a Secchi disc and measuring how clear or murky a body of water is. Using such tools helps show how scientists test water quality, monitor pollution, track the populations of species, and even discover new life forms.

The app’s indoor activities guide you to build models of landscapes and bodies of water to see how rain washes soil through a watershed, how lakes freeze in winter, how pollution seeps into hidden groundwater, and where most of the world’s freshwater is found. Funded by the National Science Foundation, DIY Lake Science uses inexpensive, everyday items like food coloring, ice cubes, potting soil, straws, and newspaper. The app can be used for learning at home, at school, after school, and at community environmental events.

“A growing human population uses freshwater for drinking, farming, bathing, cleaning, and generating electrical power,” said Chris Keller, who led the team that developed the app. “We need to better understand how we can maintain sources of freshwater for human use while also maintaining enough freshwater for aquatic plants and animals.”

DIY Lake Science is the fourth DIY app from the Lawrence Hall of Science, following DIY Nano, DIY Sun Science, and DIY Human Body. DIY Sun Science was featured by Apple as one of the Best New Apps on the front page of the App Store, and was tweeted by Apple’s App Store Twitter Account to its almost 2.5 million followers.

Download DIY Lake Science for free from the App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/diy-lake-science/id973319218

For more information visit the DIY Lake Science webpage: http://www.lawrencehallofscience.org/do_science_now/diy_lake_science

 

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