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June 29, 2012

P.E. CENTRAL

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

P.E. CENTRAL–”the premier web site for health and physical education”.

Well, they certainly have lots of ideas and lessons!  You might want to check it out!

Physical activity if fun–and fun learning is forever learning!

Ann Simpson

June 27, 2012

A Fun Summer Field Trip–a Candy Factory!

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

Many candy factories have field trip/tour options designed especially for children.  The Cerreta Candy Company in Glendale, AZ and the Jelly Belly factory in Fairfield, CA are just two that come to mind.

Are there candy factory tours near you?  Check out this helpful list.

Fun–and fun learning is forever learning!

Ann Simpson

June 25, 2012

Giant USA Foam Floor Map–How Fun!

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

Saw this map/puzzle–and wanted to share it with you.

Our kids need to know geography–and what a great way to start the learning process!

It looks fun–and fun learning is forever learning!

Ann Simpson

June 22, 2012

Drowning Stats & Swim Safety Tips

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

Drowning stats–
·    According to the Red Cross, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children ages 1 to 14 years old.
·    Statistics show that children ages 1 to 4 drown most often in home swimming pools.
·    Children are often out of sight less than 5 minutes and under the care of one or both parents at the time of many home pool drownings.

Safety tips from the Red Cross:
·    Home Pool Safety Tips
·    Swimming in Lakes, Rivers and Streams Safety Tips

Additional resources, including information about pool safety, tips and products for teaching children to swim, and downloadable reward and progress charts for kids, are available on the TeachMeToSwim.com website.

Swimming is fun….and our kids need to be safe.

Ann Simpson

June 20, 2012

How to Evaluate Math Textbooks/Math Materials

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

Many of us are determining the books, etc., that we will use next year in our homeschooling endeavors.  Because of this, I’d like to share an article I found online which explains the steps necessary in evaluating a math textbook.

Hope it’s informative.

And note the free Random Math Facts Calendar.  Sounds fun.

And fun learning is forever learning!

Ann Simpson

June 18, 2012

I LOVE a Colored House!

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

Or a colored rocket ship, tree house, or enchanted castle!  RoseArt offers many versions.  You can find them online.

A Theme Learning Center also offers a darling house (pictured above)–and with their house, your kids can color both the interior and the exterior.

Your children will have fun for HOURS with these products.  Mine sure have!

Fun!  And fun learning is forever learning!

Ann Simpson

June 15, 2012

Study Hall 101 and MORE

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

The Center for Learning Development has a number of products geared towards the homeschool market.  These include–

  • Learning Profiler, a 30-minute assessment that can determine the strengths and weaknesses of your student and will generate specific strategies to help accommodate his or her needs.
  • Study Hall 101, their most popular software, has the capability to teach children nearly any subject in a game-like format that they enjoy.   SH101 is also completely customizable and can be used year after year for any number of children of any age.
  • Spellbound for Success is a user-friendly program designed to break the monotony of weekly vocabulary and spelling lists while providing an engaging and effective way to teach up to 24 words at a time.  This software is completely customizable as well.

Fun–and fun learning is forever learning!

Ann Simpson

June 13, 2012

Learn Photography from a Homeschooled Professional!

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

Does your child enjoy taking pictures?

Does your child wish s/he could take better pictures?

Do you have trouble finding electives that pique your child’s interest?

Photographic L.I.G.H.T. offers Beginner Photography & Photo-Editing Courses–and the courses are available from home, over the Internet.

There are many reasons why you and your student will enjoy Photographic L.I.G.H.T. courses.  A few of them include–

1-    Christian Based!–Have you ever flipped through a photography book and been stunned by the flash of nudity or other inappropriate image in front of your eyes?  You won’t have to worry about that with Photographic L.I.G.H.T. — all images and content are completely pure!

2-    Course materials are easy to read and understand!–Have you ever read through a photography or photo-editing book and found your eyes starting to glaze over from all the technical jargon?   Photographic L.I.G.H.T courses are simple and to the point — and use layman’s terms rather than complicated jargon.

3-    No time constraints, your child can even take a course over summer break! — Most other courses make you start at a specific time, stop at a specific time, or give you a time limit in which you need to finish.  Not Photographic L.I.G.H.T.!!

4-  Photographic L.I.G.H.T. courses are specifically designed for home educators,  and incorporate learning from home with personal tutoring from a professional photographer via “send-in image assignments”.

The Photographic L.I.G.H.T courses were written by a homeschooled successful professional photographer who knows about the struggles of trying to find a way to learn photography without being exposed to inappropriate content, time constraints or having to leave home while still getting a high quality education!

Visit the Photographic L.I.G.H.T. website for more information and to get you or your child started on a craft and education that s/he will use throughout the rest of her life!

Photography is fun–and fun learning is forever learning!

Ann Simpson

June 11, 2012

Father’s Day

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

Father’s Day is almost here!

For fun Father’s Day activities, check out–

http://www.apples4theteacher.com/holidays/fathers-day/

http://www.dltk-holidays.com/dad/index.html

http://seasonal.theteacherscorner.net/fathers-day/

Make Father’s Day special this year!

It will be fun for the kids–and fun learning is forever learning!

Ann Simpson

June 8, 2012

An Amazing and Fun Story about a Gifted Homeschooler

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

The following was written by Philip’s Dad–

It had never occurred to me to homeschool my son. I always thought that was an option reserved for odd people. Between my wife, my mother, my brothers and sisters and my in-laws, there’s more than a dozen teachers or former teachers in our family, so of course we would send Philip to school. So we did. But I noticed that he got uncomfortable when I’d ask what he learned in Kindergarten today. After being asked to volunteer in the class I realized why Philip had problems answering that question. He wasn’t really learning anything because he arrived in Kindergarten already knowing how to read, write, add, subtract, multiply, and divide. He could draw a map of the world freehand that his pre-K teachers marveled at. He could give directions in the car better than my wife, could read a street map, and tell time. We’d made a game out of scientific notation. We had a game for learning everything. Even at stop signs  I couldn’t resume driving until he translated a number I gave him into Roman numerals. Didn’t everybody do that sort of thing with their kids? Apparently not.

He was enjoying the novelty of the school bus and the half-day routine of Kindergarten, but we started asking the school district about the future. What do they do with kids so far ahead of the curve to keep them from getting completely bored and eventually acting up?  The short answer is not much. There’s no mandatory gifted education laws in our state so the school district had no legal obligation to give him a challenging education, and they knew it. They wouldn’t even tell us if there was anyone in the district with any background or experience with the gifted. We had him tested privately, and the psychologist strongly urged us: no matter what, don’t leave him in a regular classroom, to be taught by a teacher who doesn’t “get him”.

But the district said their plan next year was to put him in with the first graders and pull him out for math with the second graders, and they could give him extra assignments and maybe the school librarian could work with him, “schedule permitting.” I said “…but he already knows second grade math, and he already knows everything you’re planning to teach him in first grade. Making him sit there all year without learning anything would be torture for him.” This was the best school district in the county. After all of the thousands of kids that passed through their doors over the years, they still had no plan for the gifted? The district backed us off by saying that’s what we’re getting and any further discussion about it would be through their attorneys.  We thought about it.  We could fight the district, but then, even if we won, would they take it out on Philip? He deserved an education that didn’t insult his intelligence, we decided.

Meanwhile I was reading all of the research I could find on gifted education. “A Nation Deceived” by the John Templeton Foundation cited all of the known research on gifted education, and then clarified for me what the research was saying. Jan and Bob Davidson’s “Genius Denied” gave me the pep talk I needed to attempt to try educating Philip at home. They said that there may not be a perfect solution available, and that we didn’t have to have it all figured out years in advance. I worked second shift, so I could do it, but would Philip let me? Would it work? We set a simple goal of keeping Philip as enthused about learning by the end of the year as he was at the beginning. He was already learning at a phenomenal pace, so something we were doing already was working pretty well.  We just had to make sure that no one turned him off to learning, because  that was what we considered the eventual outcome if we left him in public school.

Local homeschool groups that we found online provided us with strategies for complying with the state’s homeschool requirements. And then …poof, we were on our own. The school bus would come around the circle, but we stopped noticing. Fast forward two years, and Philip is thriving. The only real difficulty was trying to decide what grade to call him when people asked. Hmmm…that depends; what subject? We quickly decided that details about his education were on a need to know basis. It seemed that saying we homeschooled put the institutionalized families on the defensive, trying to justify their decision by criticizing ours. To each his own.

Philip’s appetite for knowledge continues unabated, thank goodness! He wants to know how everything works, from the tiniest molecules to distant galaxies. Geology,  astronomy, physics, chemistry, DNA, anything science. We quickly reviewed K-8 math and then we started high school geometry. We asked the district if Philip could sit for the end of the year state Regents exam, thinking a state high school diploma was important. No. He’s too young (he was eight), and it would make the other kids uncomfortable to have him in the exam room. So we appealed that decision, but rather than waste all of that studying with nothing to show for it, Philip enrolled online for an intro University math course. He aced it. Then he aced college level geometry in 3 weeks time. The Appeal is still pending, but Philip has enrolled in his 3rd college math course. We eventually realized that he can easily get his first college degree online at home without a diploma. In homage to the school uniform, he named his home school Pajama Prep. “Where we get something done, and still have fun!” That’s our deal. We make sure we take time every day to enjoy. I’ve appointed Philip my personal trainer, and he gets us up hiking or biking or tossing the frisbee, or some kind of fun just about every day. His friends think he’s in 4th grade, and they don’t know about the 4.0 in college yet. It’s not relevant. But he framed his first transcript  for his classroom wall.

His favorite subject remains science. He’s found factual mistakes in 2 science books so far, emailed the publishers, and gotten acknowledgements. He found a discrepancy on NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab website, and emailed them too. He won a talent search from Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Talented Youth, and was named a Davidson Institute Young Scholar.  He owns a copywrite. He’s gotten a Roald Dahl reading medal. He loves birds, and participates in Cornell’s Project FeederWatch. He’s a brown belt in Karate, and a great gymnast. He seems to have perfect pitch and can play music by ear, yet hates to practice. He has a poster of Rosa Parks on his classroom wall (a converted bedroom), and he knows that just as Rosa had a right to a seat on the bus, Philip had a right to that seat in that geometry exam. If we win that case, Philip will be making it easier for the next gifted kid that shows up at a school district, and says “I love to learn. What can you do for me?”. Hopefully, that next kid will have better choices than we did. But we’re happy with the choice we made, and we wouldn’t change it.

Amazing, isn’t it?  Inspirational too.  Longer than most of our posts, but I didn’t want to shorten it.

And yes, fun learning is forever learning.

Ann Simpson

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