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October 29, 2010

Homeschool Stats!

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — dailynews @ 2:00 am

The following statistics are from the National Home Education Research Institute:

  • Home-educated students typically score 15-30 percentile points above public-school students on standardized academic achievement tests
  • Homeschool students score above average on achievement tests regardless of their parents’ level of formal education or their family’s household income
  • Whether parents were ever certified teachers is not related to the students’ academic achievement

Good news!

And remember–fun learning is forever learning!

Ann Simpson

October 27, 2010

Standards? Do they Pertain to Homeschooling?

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — dailynews @ 2:00 am

Public schools follow state Content Standards.  Content Standards are an official guide as to what children of a certain age should be taught.  For instance, the Texas standards require that a first grader be able to identify upper and lower case letters.

Many homeschoolers follow state standards as they want to make sure their children are learning everything their public school counterparts are learning.

You can obtain a copy of your state’s Content Standards from the internet or from local or state support groups.

But here’s a thought.  Aren’t you homeschooling to give your children a BETTER education?  Why not far surpass your state’s standards?  See what private schools are teaching–in the United States and abroad.  Talk with your spouse and determine what your family wants to teach.  Talk to your children and discover their interests.

Standards are just the beginning.

And remember, fun learning is forever learning!

Ann Simpson

October 25, 2010

Top-Notch and State of the Art

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — dailynews @ 2:00 am

Interested in receiving dental care at 30-80% off the usual cost?  It’s possible, if you live near a college that has a dental school.   And there are more than 60 dental schools in the United States!

Dental schools offer exceptional, state of the art care.  Patients are seen by advanced students (always with a dentist/professor overseeing), by foreign dentists that are going through a U.S. required program, by dentists that are becoming specialists in their field and by overseeing dentists that have been in the profession for decades.   Entire floors are devoted to dentistry for children and to orthodontics.  Every type of dentistry procedure is offered–even cosmetic procedures!

Appointments do take longer at the dental school, so I don’t recommend it for small children–but it’s great for older kids and adults.  It’s certainly a way to get top-notch, state of the art dental care for a fraction of the cost.

Ann Simpson

October 22, 2010

Yellow, Orange and Red

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — dailynews @ 2:00 am

Children often ask “why” questions.  One “why” question typically asked during this time of the year is,  “Why do leaves change colors?”.  The answer to this question follows.

The process in which plants turn water and carbon dioxide into oxygen and sugar is called photosynthesis.  A chemical called chlorophyll helps make photosynthesis happen. Chlorophyll is what gives plants their green color.

During the fall and winter, there is not enough light for photosynthesis.   Without photosynthesis, the green chlorophyll disappears from the leaves. As the green fades away, the yellow and orange colors of the leaves become visible.  Some of these colors were already in the leaves, they were just covered up by the green chlorophyll.

Some sugar (glucose) is trapped in the leaves when photosynthesis stops. Sunlight combined with cool temperatures causes the glucose in the leaves to turn red. The brown color of leaves is made from wastes left in the leaves.

All of these conditions cause the change in fall foliage.

Why don’t you suggest the kids rake a pile of leaves, look at the varying colors, and then have fun jumping in, playing in and tossing the leaves.  Because after all, fun learning is forever learning!

Ann Simpson

October 20, 2010

Teaching Creative Problem Solving

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — dailynews @ 2:00 am

The website,  www.educationcreations suggests the following as one way to teach creative problem solving–

Read a book to your student that contains a problem and a solution to the problem but STOP reading right after the problem is introduced.  Now, ask your student to identify the problem.  After the student has identified the problem, ask her to come up with a solution to the problem.  Set criteria, such as “You must use the story characters to solve the problem”.  Allow your student to come up with as many unique solutions as possible.  Change criteria if you’d like, to broaden the number of possible solutions.

Now, read the end of the story and see how the author has solved the problem.  Discuss how your student’s solutions matched the ending or how they were different.  Maybe your student came up with a more imaginative ending!

If you’d like to take this further, you can have your student write out various endings, turning it into an English writing assignment.

And remember, fun learning is forever learning!

Ann Simpson

October 18, 2010

Play Chess, Become Smarter?

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — dailynews @ 2:00 am

According to elearningk12 and, “chess is a learning tool that just happens to be a game. Studies conducted over the last 30 years show that students’ IQs increase and test scores improve after less than a year of systematic chess study”.

“Chess is fun and motivational, turning problem-solving into a game.  It is also a thinking game, encouraging students to use patterns and logical deductive reasoning to solve problems.  Chess develops and improves memory and concentration as well as the capacity to predict consequences”.

“If you’d like brush up on the rules or to teach your kids how to play chess, visit for a kid-friendly introduction to the game and a series of lessons on game play and strategy”.

Fun learning is forever learning!

Ann Simpson

October 15, 2010

Rock and Mineral Activities for Kids

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — dailynews @ 2:00 am

TLC and the website has an interesting section on Rock and Mineral Activities for Kids.  You can learn how to make paint from rocks (my favorite) and how to make a crystal garden.  Parental assistance is necessary due to some of the ingredients.  There are activities that both girls and boys will enjoy.

Kids like rocks!  Use their innate interests to make homeschooling fun.

Because as you know, fun learning is forever learning!

Ann Simpson

October 13, 2010

Homeschool Support Groups

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — dailynews @ 2:00 am

There are two basic types of homeschool support groups: general, and those that have  a specific focus. Within these, there are many, many, variations. Understanding these variations can help you find the support group that is right for you.

As you can guess, general groups include members from different backgrounds, using a variety of homeschooling styles.  Groups with a specific focus have shared beliefs, methods, or activities that they believe are important to their homeschooling endeavors.  These include, but are not limited to religious convictions, cultural heritage, beliefs regarding specific methods of homeschooling (Unschooling, Classical, Unit Studies, etc.),  the use of certain curriculum, or the participation in certain activities, ie., a support group with a sports emphasis.

Many support groups are listed in our Local Homeschooling section. If you do not see one that meets your needs, you can always form one that does.

Remember, fun learning is forever learning!

Ann Simpson

October 11, 2010

The 11 Rule of Multiplication

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — dailynews @ 2:00 am

You probably know the 10 rule of multiplication (to multiply by 10, just add a 0 behind the number) but do you know the 11 rule?  It’s almost as easy!

To multiply any two digit number by 11, (in this case we’ll use the number 34),  just do the following–

  • Separate the two digits 3__4
  • Add these two digits–in this case it’s 7
  • This is the number that goes in between
  • So 34 X 11 = 374

The only thing tricky about this is if the sum of the numbers is greater than 9, then you have to carry.  For example — 11 X 59.    5__9    Put the 4 in the space and carry the 1, giving you the answer of 649.  You might have to practice this a few times on paper, but you’ll get the hang of it.

And remember, fun learning is forever learning!

Ann Simpson

October 8, 2010

New Web Address for the NY Times

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — dailynews @ 2:00 am

The New York Times has consistently been named in our Top 100 Educational Websites.  They changed their web address for homeschoolers to and they wanted to make sure we informed our readers of this change.

Katherine Schulten, the Editor of the NY Times Learning Network is happy with the switch to a blog format.  She writes, “Why is a blog better for homeschoolers than our old Website?  One huge reason–and the place that makes us aware how many homeschooled kids come on every day–is our daily Student Opinion question.  We invite anyone over 13 to post answers, and we choose the best every day for our “comments of the moment” slot.

Remember, fun learning is forever learning.

Ann Simpson

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