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Alpha Omega Publications – Help Your Homeschooler Become an Independent Learner

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Help Your Homeschooler Become an Independent Learner

This is a guest blog post from Alpha Omega Publications

 

While independent learners tend to blossom in the homeschool environment, it’s a fact that not all children (or adults for that matter) are independent learners. Some kids naturally become independent learners based on life circumstances and learning style. They just take the bull by the horns. It’s also true that dependency on instruction is tied closely to a child’s age and maturity. The older children are, the more independent they tend to be.

The good news is homeschoolers who depend on parents for instruction can begin developing independent learning traits no matter their age. Encouraged growth of these traits can foster self-reliance and responsibility, both now in the homeschool environment and later in college or the workforce.

Traits of independent learners include:

  1. Curiosity Independent learners want to find out more about the world. They seek out ways to explore. They learn from various angles and formats, not just traditional instruction. They are proactive and find ways to access additional lesson supplements on their own.
  1. Self-motivation Forget bribery. Intrinsic motivation far surpasses any prize or reward system. Independent learners are motivated by setting internal goals to achieve. They are driven by their own personal achievement.
  1. Self-examination Where have you been and where are you going? Independent learners know how to evaluate themselves. They can see their strengths and weaknesses. They strive for measurable progress and often chart their accomplishments and failures.
  1. Accountability Responsibility means knowing what you have to do and doing it without anyone telling you to. The sooner a child becomes responsible for consequences, the less dependent he will be on outside sources for discipline or motivation.
  1. Critical thinking Independent learners think critically of a situation. They examine all possibilities and often come up with multiple solutions. They don’t just memorize. Rather, they ask “why?” and formulate answers based on real-world observation and intelligent deduction.
  1. Comprehension with little or no instruction – Independent learners have an uncanny ability to read, visualize, or kinesthetically instruct themselves. No matter the topic or subject studied, an independent learner finds ways to understand material through application (generally trial-and-error).
  1. Persistence – Independent learners don’t give up. They strive to understand a concept as much as possible on their own before asking for help. They also apply self-discipline in not finding the easy answer to a problem. They teach themselves and generally only ask questions after failure to find a solution on their own.

Kids with high self-esteem and a strong academic record are more likely to become independent learners, while those who struggle with esteem issues or have chronic poor academic performance are less likely to convert to independent learning. It all starts inside the mind of your child with a positive attitude and true self-belief. That’s why it’s so important as a homeschool parent, to help your child become more independent by building a positive self-image and encouraging the traits listed above.

 

Alpha Omega Publications is a leading provider of PreK-12 Christian curriculum, educational resources, and services to homeschool families worldwide. AOP follows its mission every day by creating and providing quality Christian educational materials to thousands of students through curriculum, educational books and games, support services, family entertainment, and an accredited online academy. To learn more, visit www.aop.com or call 800-622-3070.

Summer – a fun and educational season!

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — Tags: , — dailynews @ 9:25 am

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Are you starting to plan summer activities?  Are you looking for some fresh, new ideas?  Maybe our 101 Things To Do This Summer list can be of help!  It’s chocked full of summer fun.  Plus, all the listings are educational!  Click here to see the list.

You might also want to check out our Summer Fun magazine – many of the articles go hand in hand with the 101 list.

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And it wouldn’t be summer without a Homeschool.com Summer Freebie Extravaganza! This year we’re focusing on info and listings to combat summer brain drain.

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Summer – a fun and educational season!  

5 Educational Benefits of Minecraft

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

 

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Many parents are skeptical of their children playing video games. This is certainly understandable—the educational benefits of many video games are dubious. But not all video games are created equal. One game is increasingly integrated into classrooms and homeschool curriculums: Minecraft. Minecraft is a uniquely engaging game with a host of educational benefits and applications. Let’s take a look at a few.

Creative expression

Minecraft is different from many video games in that it’s a “sandbox” style game: Kids enter a 3D environment where they are free to build and do whatever they want. This unique experience inspires kids to think creatively, and rewards creation in the many forms it can take, from designing and building their dream house, to collaborating with friends to build their own worlds.

History

Minecraft can help engage students who might be turned off by the memorization of historical facts and dates. With Minecraft, you can import fully-reconstructed versions of famous buildings and landmarks, or build your own. What better way to bring history to life than going on a virtual tour of the Great Pyramids, the Globe Theatre, or the Coliseum? When kids get a closer look at these buildings, they can develop a greater understanding of the architecture involved, and compare and contrast how different structures were built.

Engineering

Kids can learn the basics of electrical engineering with Redstone, the Minecraft equivalent of electricity. In Minecraft, you can dig and discover Redstone dust, and when you learn how to combine signal producers and signal consumers, you can power all kinds of devices and contraptions. Kids can use Redstone to build their own circuits and learn the basic principles of electrical engineering.

Programming with Java

One unique aspect of Minecraft is how customizable it can be. One popular way to customize is Modding, or altering the original programming code of the game. Kids can create their own blocks, ores, and other items, and share them with friends. Kids create their own tools and objects while coding and learning the fundamentals of Java, one of the most widely-used programming languages out there.

Math and Geometry

Minecraft has many natural applications to mathematics, and it has been used by many teachers to improve engagement and boost results. Teachers allow kids to manipulate blocks, construct more complex shapes, and solve geometric problems in Minecraft. One teacher in Los Angeles found his “Mathcraft” program “helped increase the math performance of his class from 18% correct at the beginning of the year to 83% correct during the end-of-year retesting, while drastically improving the academic culture of his class.”

Over 100 million copies of Minecraft have been sold— it’s a bonafide phenomenon, and many kids are already spending lots of time playing it. Why not harness some of this enthusiasm and apply it to your child’s education?

 

James Knutila is Editorial Lead at Tech Rocket, a great destination for kids and teens to learn coding, game design, and graphic design.

Summer Fun at Homeschool.com!

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Have you seen our 101 Things To Do This Summer list?  

 

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Or our Summer Fun Magazine?

Lots of fun at Homeschool.com this summer!  

Create Math Worksheets for Free with Math-Aids.com

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

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Create Math Worksheets for Free

Math-Aids.Com is a FREE resource where you can make an unlimited number of printable math worksheets for the use in the classroom or at home. The flexibility and the text book quality of the math worksheets make Math-Aids.Com a very unique resource for people wanting to create and use Math Worksheets.

You can check out a video about Math-Aids.Com here.

101 Things To Do This Summer – lots of fun activities!

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Homeschool.com’s 101 Things To Do This Summer list is chocked-full of educational and fun things to do.  Maybe your kids will be interested in some of the following–

1.  Make YOUR OWN list—what do you want to do this summer?  Go camping?  Swim weekly? Learn to ride a horse? Now share your list with your parents. Our list is great – but your list might be even better!
http://www.homeschool.com/Magazine/Volume01/Issue05/ (page 8)
2.  Choose a day – or two – and perform random acts of kindness. See how others respond. Browse Kindness Ideas, and share your stories as well.
http://www.randomactsofkindness.org/ 
20.  Blow bubbles with bubble gum – have blowing contests with your siblings. You can even learn how to blow one bubble within another!
http://www.answers.com/Q/How_do_you_blow_a_double_bubble
21.  Learn about bats – why they are important and why they are beneficial. Did you know that a bat can eat as many as 1,200 mosquitoes in an hour? Try building a bat house.
http://www.bats4kids.org/
http://www.batcon.org/
66.  Bake cookies on the dashboard of your car (with your parent’s permission, of course)! Learn the science behind this activity.
http://www.instructables.com/id/Dashboard-baking/
67.  Engage in an old fashioned sack or wheel barrow race.

Want to see the entire list?  It’s here

And you might want to check out Homeschool.com’s Summer Fun magazine as well – as every article ties to the 101 Things To Do This Summer list.

Summer freebies can be found here.

5 Computer Skills Everyone Should Master

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

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5 Computer Skills Everyone Should Master

To be relevant in this digital age, it is absolutely necessary to have certain computer skills. They will not just come in handy for your career but they will be helpful in your daily life as well. In this regard, there are 5 computer skills everyone should master. With them, you will feel more confident and at ease at your place of work. Below is a list of the skills you should have on your fingertips at all times. Keep in mind that you do not have to be a genius; these are basic skills that are necessary in any office or home set up.

  1. Touch typing

Many people who have used computers for a long time have still not yet mastered the art of touch typing. It does not just make typing easier but it also helps to save time and increase accuracy. In addition, it allows you to use a keyboard optimally in a desired manner. The first thing to know about touch typing is that every finger is supposed to have an area in which it is based on the keyboard. In this regard, it is actually possible to type when you are not looking at every key. Through muscle memory, the fingers can learn how to touch the right key accurately. This will need a lot of practice though, so that you can master the skill.

To master touch typing, you must be in the right posture for optimal results. Your back must be kept straight at all times. In a right angle, your elbows must be bent ensuring that your fingers are properly anchored on the keyboard. Your head should be tilted forward with your face on the screen. Avoid shifting your body weight to the wrists so that you can be as flexible as possible while learning. For details on how to acquire this vital skill, visit Ratatype and get started. The good news is that you get a chance to take free typing tests as you gauge your progress with touch typing on the website.

  1. Word-processing

This skill is not just about typing but it covers many areas that should be mastered accordingly. You must be in a position to understand the features of a word processing program. It touches on knowing how to format documents as well as putting layouts together to achieve the desired results. Mail merges are also a big part of this skill and knowing how to do this effectively is ideal. For any program, it is absolutely necessary to know how to navigate around the spelling and grammar check functionality.

This way, you are able to create documents that are correct, well formatted and accurate; free from grammar errors. Some people do not do a thorough job with this skill and in this regard, there is need for more training so that mastery can be achieved. Among other programs WordPerfect, Microsoft Word and Apple Pages are common word-processors.

  1. Spreadsheet

This is yet another program that needs to be mastered accordingly. Unlike what many think, it is not just about entering some data into different cells. The skill is also about understanding how data works and how it can be interpreted to make sense. In addition, it is also about manipulating data so that it can serve a given purpose. In this regard, understanding formulas and functions therein will be critical. Knowing how to copy and paste different data while transferring is also important. This is a wholesome skill that has a lot of depth. Some of the most common software applications include Apple Numbers, Quattro Pro and Microsoft Excel. Therefore, if you just know a few elements, it is time to learn and master the skill wholesomely.

  1. Email

Most people use email but not many have explored the depth of emailing and the functionalities therein. It is not just about typing because there is so much to learn. First, you must know how to set up an email account as well as troubleshooting various errors that may arise. Email etiquette is another element that plays a key role in distinguishing those who have mastered the skill and those who have not. There are a ton of features like auto-reply and other rules that should be understood. You will be surprised about how much more there is to email and getting this skill is not just helpful but it is a lot of fun as well. Email applications include Apple Mail, Web-mail, Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express among others.

  1. Internet

Going to Facebook and other social media sites does not make you an expert on Internet usage. This is an important skill that touches on a world of elements that should be mastered. With this skill, you will learn how to conduct effective and relevant searches. Another element is how to uphold safety on the Internet where you can avoid vices like viruses and online scams. Uploading and downloading different items and saving them online is another area that is highly important. Browsing applications that help implement this skill include Firefox, Apple Safari and Internet Explorer.

These are 5 basic computer skills; they are pivotal in having a fruitful experience with your device. When you have mastered all the above, you are able to become a highly productive person in your work or in any other area of life.

 

Bio – My name is Adam Fort, I’m an education strategist at Ratatype.com. This project helps children and adults to learn touch typing via online typing tests and lessons. I am in charge of developing the proper typing lessons and exercises for typists who want to improve their typing speed. I also have a commercial pilot’s licence which I’m proud of.

 

Homeschool.com’s Summer Freebie (Summer Fun!) Extravaganza

 

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Guess what? Homeschool.com’s Summer Freebie (Summer Fun!) Extravaganza is in full swing!

During our month long event, we’ll be offering lots of great information on:

o    Summer learning loss

o    Summer homeschooling

o    Summer bucket lists (fun!)

o    The importance of play

o    Free website trials

o    Free courses

o    Summer reading suggestions

o    Summer science experiments

o    Summer math

o    Summer arts and crafts

o    Summer recipes

o    Father’s Day ideas

o    And MORE!

Also of interest – our Great Summer Resource: 101 Things To Do This Summer and our Summer Fun (Summer Education) magazine!

Check Out Homeschool.com’s Summer Fun Magazine

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

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Our 101 Things To Do This Summer list went live on Homeschool.com yesterday – and today, our Summer Fun magazine was added !  The magazine is centered around the 101 Things list – so make sure you check both out!

Articles include –

  • Summer Learning Means Summer Fun
  • It’s Back! The Summer Bucket List Challenge!
  • Journal Your Way to Lasting Memories this Summer
  • 5 Benefits of Taking Summer Enrichment Workshops
  • Summer Vacation with a Charlotte Mason Flair
  • Explore a Castle of Light
  • Homeschooling on the Beach
  • Art at the Beach or Anywhere (tutorial)
  • Make Your Own Sidewalk Chalk
  • Summer Reading Inspires Summer Learning and Fun
  • Make Freezer Bag Ice Cream
  • Soaking Up Sun Science
  • The World’s Safest Potato Launcher
  • Go the Day without Electronics
  • Gardening: A Summer Family Experience
  • Welcoming Birds into Your Backyard
  • Will You be Homeschooling Through the Summer?
  • Music can Keep Kids Learning Over the Summer
  • 101 Things To Do This Summer

Summer fun?  You bet!  :)

Homeschool.com’s 101 Things To Do This Summer

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Can you believe that summer is right around the corner? Summer – full of hot dog roasts, swim parties, fireworks, lightening bugs, family vacations, lazy mornings…and at some point, that spoken statement that almost all parents dread, “I’m bored”!

In response to this age old conundrum (really, how can they be bored when there is so much fun to be had?), we’ve compiled a list of 101 ideas to keep your children’s minds and bodies busy during the summer months. Many are suitable for kids to complete on their own, some require parental permission and others can be completed as a family.

Kids can choose any activities they are interested in and complete them in any order they’d like. The list includes check- off boxes, but if you (or your kids) prefer a little more structure, please note the Summer-Boredom-inator and the Boredom-inator Weekly forms that go along with our 101 Things To Do list. These forms were submitted by one of our loyal readers–and we think they’re a GREAT addition!

Click Here for our Great Summer Resource: 101 Things To Do This Summer list!

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