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TriumphLearning Homeschool

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

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TriumphLearning Homeschool Product Review

TriumphLearning Homeschool offers educational materials for children in grades K-12, covering English Language Arts and Mathematics. Their resources can act as a supplement to daily lesson plans to reinforce homeschool instruction, or function as the main instructional vehicle throughout the homeschool year.

TriumphLearning Homeschool offers MANY educational options. I reviewed their Kidstart activity book and teacher’s manual. Kidstart provides kindergarten instruction with age-appropriate skill-based activities. In particular, Kidstart offers:

  • An Activity Book which includes blended activities that incorporate language, vocabulary and math. The Activity Book also includes a Picture Dictionary, perforated number and letter cards, grasshopper and ladybug character cards, and a storage envelope.
  • A Teacher Edition which includes instruction that supports the activity-based lessons.
  • A free and reproducible download, Kidstart Home-School Connection for additional practice.

If you’d like to see what a Kidstart lesson looks like, you can download a sample lesson here.

I enjoyed the Kidstart materials. I especially liked:

  • the general look and feel of the books. I like the laminated cover and the attractive, colorful pages. I can see a Kindergartener loving their activity book – and being very proud of their first ever “big kid” homeschool book.
  • the coordination within a lesson between math and English. Everything flows well and makes sense.
  • the skills-based practice pages. These pages require children to write letters and numbers, and a variety of responses are required in both math and literacy, including matching, sorting, completing words, sentences, or number equations, drawing and writing. A little of everything!
  • the use of manipulatives. Many activities involve manipulatives so that young children use both visual and kinesthetic modalities in the learning process. I love manipulatives!
  • the Little Books. Some activities allow students to create their own Little Books based on the concepts of the lesson. These Little Books give children an opportunity to “own” and share their work. Again, I can image a kindergartener being proud of their Little Books.
  • the Teacher’s Manual. It is very thorough. I first looked at the student manual by itself. When coupled with the Teacher’s Manual, I easily understood how to conduct a lesson, and how to get the most out of the materials.
  • The price. The product is very affordable – $12.99 for a student workbook and $29.99 for a teacher’s manual. Plus, there is a special package price for homeschoolers. You can purchase both books for just $34.99. I sure appreciate affordable!

After using Kidstart, I look forward to using other TriumphLearning Homeschool products. These include Number Pals (K-2), Best Practices in Reading (grades 1-5), Support Coach (grades 3-5, and a Teacher’s Choice Award winner), and Just Right Reading (K). Selection – another thing I appreciate!

5 Life Skills Parents Teach Their Homeschoolers

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

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5 Life Skills Parents Inadvertently Teach Their Homeschoolers

 

Education, whether received in a classroom or at home, consists of much more than math problems and reading assignments. Sure, there’s science and history too, but children soak up so much more than the content covered in their homeschool curriculum throughout the course of a homeschool day.

From the moment they’re born, children learn by observing the world. They imitate actions, repeat words, and ask for help in an effort to learn from those around them. Check out this list of five traits your children are likely learning simply by observing you throughout the homeschool day. By practicing them with care and concern, you’ll equip your kids with some incredible life skills by the time they graduate.

1. Unconditional Love. Fortunately for the teen who refuses to complete an assignment or the toddler throwing a temper tantrum in the grocery store, earning undying affection from parents isn’t a child’s responsibility. However, those frustrating moments are a great opportunity for parents to teach their children about unconditional love by practicing patience and responding in a cool, collected manner.

2. Accountability. Set a homeschool schedule for your children, create a grading routine for yourself, and stick to your deadlines! Following through on your deadlines helps your children understand and appreciate the significance of due dates, while giving them incentive to return the favor.

3. Empathy. Everyone has an off-day someday. When a child is struggling with a difficult subject or feeling a little rambunctious on a warm spring day, put yourself in his or her shoes as you talk through a solution together. When the tables are turned and you’re exhausted from an illness or a night of crummy sleep, your children will know what it’s like to be listened to in a situation of frustration, and you can work together to find a way to conquer the homeschool day.

4. Listening Skills. As easy as it is for parents to get frustrated with children who don’t listen, sometimes parents aren’t the best listeners either. Take a day to track how often your mind wanders as your children tell a story or how often you use phrases like, “Just a minute, I’m busy.” Listening to everything from frustration to fun stories with intention shows your children what good listening looks like and equips them to listen up in return.

5. Work Ethic. Whether your least favorite household chore is cleaning out the garage or giving the dog a bath, the way you choose to approach those dreaded to-do list items is a first-hand lesson in responsibility for your homeschooler. Your attitude plays an important role in displaying that even tasks or assignments you don’t enjoy can still be completed with a joyful spirit.

 

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.aophomeschooling.com or call 800-622-3070.

Do You Fear Fear?

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

flaggggg

FEAR IS A FLAG SO LAY HOLD

AND LIFT IT HIGH

 

This is a guest blog post written by H.D. Anyone

I think that sometimes we never try because of fear.  But where did we get the idea that failing or falling is bad?  When the baby learns to walk or the child to ride a bike…if they were too afraid, then what?  So….what is it that you most fear?  Public Speaking?  Failures in your spiritual walk?  A health resolution? A challenge of some sort?  A change?

You have to fall and you have to fail at anything worthwhile to learn and earn balance.

The only thing you should be afraid of is fearing fear.  If you welcome fear as a signal, then you recognize fear is pointing to something important.  Fear will give you energy.  Fear will tell you that it is because you care, you fear.  But it is that very fear that is your flag SHOUTING this thing that unsettles you is the very thing you must face.  If you sense fear, be thankful.  It is pointing out something important.  Something you must confront.  Something that if it defeats you a few times, you will garner the ability to conquer.  What that conquering will look like, only you will discover.  But it is confrontation that brings transformation.

In the trilogy,”The Parables of Ancient Earth,” the Pangeans have a saying:  “You can’t fashion iron with feathers.”

Well…you simply, cannot.

 

About the author – H.D. Anyone is an Insurance Claims Manager by day and a lifelong lover of literature.  She began writing novels in her closet at the age of 9 and continued on to study English Literature in College.  Her recent release is book one in the fantasy fiction trilogy, The Parables of Ancient Earth.  Incidentally, she is also a lover of cats.

Doodles Ave

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

 

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3 ways to incorporate Learning Activities in homeschool lessons

By Setria James, Doodles Ave

Remember back to school days when your teacher would give a lesson and assign a lab activity or a project to the class? Me too…and I always looked forward to working on them! Though the actives were fun, they were also educational.

It was those very assignments that drove home the lessons found in our textbooks.

As homeschool parents, you have the opportunity to find fun activities and assignments that support your daily lessons. Below is a list of ideas that can be used to help reinforce lessons learned and keep your child engaged.

1. Incorporate Real Life — People, household items, and everyday scenarios

When teaching all subjects the incorporation of real life is helpful, but it’s particularly useful when explaining mathematic concepts. Imagine turning your meals and car rides into learning experiences. Sounds awesome, right? One of the best places to incorporate math is in a grocery store. When shopping there are countless opportunities to integrate mathematics: counting of products, adding up prices, calculating discounts, and even budgeting. Next time you are at the grocery store, try to discover new ways to challenge your children.

2. Implement Interaction — Games and outdoors

Kids love getting up, moving around, and getting involved. When creating lesson plans, look for occasions to incorporate interactive activities. For example if you are teaching something as basic as colors and shapes consider playing the search and discovery game.

Things you’ll need: note cards, crayons, or colored pencils

Directions: Write or illustrate the color or shape on the note card, then have your child locate the shapes and colors around the house or outside.

I promise this never gets old.

3. Integrate Creativity — Arts and crafts
People have a natural affinity for art. With this affinity, homeschool parents have an amazing opportunity to use this innate interest to enhance their children’s learning experience. Getting creative can consist of experimenting with paints, pastels, clay, and other mediums or even something as simple as crayons to illustrate the lessons.

Creating or coloring related images and diagrams while learning is a great way to enforce assignments.

Click here to download free educational coloring pages.

 

 

About the Author

Setria James was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. She is a graduate of Texas Woman’s University, where she earned a Bachelors in Fine Arts and a Masters of Art. During her graduate studies, Setria explored the effects of imagery on children and their development. It was this research that brought her to “Doodles Ave”; A place where teachers and parents can go to locate coloring related learning resources.

Since graduation, she has worked as an in-house senior graphic designer, while also exploring her creative voice through drawing, writing, and painting. Setria is extremely active in her community; as a board member of a grass roots DFW non-profit organization, she spends much of her time giving back to less fortunate families. Her life’s goal is to positively affect change in her community through cultivating her own artistic expression as well as assisting others in finding their creative voice.

 

Problem Solved! Product Review

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

 

ProblemSolved

 

Problem Solved! offers online, real-time collaborative classes which focus on the teaching and learning of mathematics.

With Problem Solved! classes, you as the teacher learn how to guide your child as s/he constructs his/her own knowledge and discovers that there are different strategies to solve math problems. You explore how asking questions can help support your child in developing a deep understanding of the concepts. In fact, there is a session that teaches parents how to adapt a typical textbook math question into an open-ended problem that facilitates learning. This type of teaching and learning has been proven to be much more effective than the typical memorization of procedures and formulas. It’s certainly more fun and engaging!

Problem Solved! offers many different classes, and they are adding new classes all the time. There are even group sessions for homeschoolers to ask questions related to teaching and learning, and parents can request classes as well. The classes are an hour long, usually in the evenings, but they can be modified to adapt to your schedule. The classes can be taken with a smart phone, tablet or a PC. If you take the classes on a PC, you have the option of using the whiteboard along with the instructor. Headphones are required in order to produce a crystal clear audio for all participants. For $20, you can have access to all of the classes for 4 months! That’s certainly affordable!

The classes are especially helpful for homeschool parents that are frustrated with their current math instruction. The owner of the site has been a public school teacher and administrator, and he and his wife have homeschooled their children for many years. He understands the difficulties in teaching math in today’s rapidly changing technology…and he understands and supports homeschooling parents. Really, you get the best of both worlds – his knowledge from years in the classroom (behavioral research and years of classroom-tested strategies)…as well as his knowledge of home education.

If you’re looking for better ways to support your children is math, Problem Solved! might be the answer!

Problem Solved! Empower & make CONFIDENT!

TutorMing!

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

tutorming Homeschool graphic

Reasons Why Your Children Should Learn Chinese

Should you be teaching Chinese to your kids? (Or having someone else teach them Chinese?) The experts at TutorMing say, “Absolutely!  And we’ve summarized a few reasons why your kids should be learning Chinese.”

1. Gaining a useful skill

China has surged forward to become the second largest economy in the world. With over 1.3 billion speakers of the language, knowing Chinese will always be a valuable skill. In today’s economy, knowing how to speak Chinese will give you a leg-up on the corporate ladder. Whether or not China actually ends up becoming the most powerful nation world is irrelevant to the fact that if you do anything in business or entrepreneurship, you will be working with China.

2. Developing Cultural Intelligence

Language is an integral part of culture, and Chinese is no exception. Only through learning the language with a native speaker can you pick up on cultural differences between East and West. For example, in Chinese people rarely say “please” with their friends or colleagues, as being too polite can be viewed as creating distance between them. Furthermore, China has a deep history and rich cultural background that is sure to inspire and interest your kids.

Ultimately, having a better understanding of a different culture will help your children to grow up to be more considerate, more open-minded, and more intellectual.

3. Enhancing other skills.

Learning a language that is radically different from English, such as Chinese, gives children a unique insight to the overall concept of language. This exposure to a different language enhances their cognitive development, helping them gain a better understanding of different language rules and structures. A study conducted in Canada revealed that children who are bilingual tend to score higher on standardized tests, even in the English portion. Studies also show a link between speaking Mandarin Chinese and musical inclination. Since Chinese is such a tonal language, children who speak it are more likely to develop absolute pitch.

What are the best methods to learn Chinese? Well, the fastest way to learn is to be immersed in the culture and language completely. However, unless you are willing to uproot your life and move to China, these options are few and far between.

There are many resources and websites that allow you to learn Chinese online. However, only TutorMing offers certified, world class Chinese consultants that specialize in teaching Chinese at the K-12 age. With fun and challenging courses in our virtual classrooms, our encouraging teachers will guide your kids to Chinese fluency.

 

About the Author

Sara Lynn Hua is a Chinese language researcher for TutorMing. She grew up in Beijing, before going to the University of Southern California (USC) to get her degree in Social Sciences and Psychology.

About TutorMing

Founded in 2004, TutorGroup, the parent company of TutorMing, created the first commercially available synchronous learning portal in the world. TutorGroup offers TutorMing for Chinese learning. For English learning, it offers VIPABC, TutorABC, and TutorABCJr. The company is backed by Alibaba, Softbank, Temasek, and Qiming Ventures.

 

Turtle Diary Product Review

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

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Turtle Diary is a free site that makes learning fun for little ones (pre-K-3rd grade) by providing online games and activities, videos, stories and more. There are over 1,000+ activities to choose from (wow!). All of the Turtle Diary offerings are created by a team of educators and child psychology experts – they ensure the content is both enriching and fun (I appreciate that).

The online games and activities cover a wide array of subjects including math, science, language, social studies, creativity and logic. They are categorized by subject, by topic, and by grade–it’s easy to find just what you want. The activities provide a fun and easy way for kids to develop a comprehensive understanding of concepts in the above stated areas.

The online educational videos span the subjects of science, math, and English, and are categorized by subject and by grade. Kids love videos—they’re great for visual learners. Really, I don’t know a child that doesn’t like videos!

The short stories are both fictional and non-fictional (I like that they’re both). They have a definite beginning, middle, and end with story elements such as problems and solutions, cause and effect, and much more. The stories are available for various reading levels. This allows for differentiation of instruction and adapting different texts to different readers.

Turtle Diary also offers printable worksheets. I like this option. The worksheets include coloring sheets, number and letter writing worksheets, and counting worksheets for all grades. They’re good for at-home, and on-the-go.

In addition to the above, the site also offers Arts and Crafts (which I like!). The online craft activities include online coloring pages, finger puppets, paper craft activities, themed crafts, origami, etc.

Really, I like everything that Turtle Diary offers.

I can use it in my homeschooling endeavors – and you can use in yours.

Why Study Cursive in the Digital Age?

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

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Why Study Cursive in the Digital

Age?

 

In today’s technologically-driven workforce, being able to type may be more valuable than writing in cursive. But learning handwriting provides measurable rewards and benefits, and should still be taught to students.

The following video is a clip from Q&A 4 of Hillsdale’s Online Course: “A Proper Understanding of K-12 Education: Theory and Practice,” featuring Daniel B. Coupland, Associate Professor of Education, and John J. Miller, Director of the Dow Journalism Program.

Transcript:

John Miller: Obviously you are a teacher; you need a chalkboard. You write on it, people need to be able to read it. Typing, though, is incredibly important, more than it was a generation or two ago possibly. I sometimes say, only half jokingly, that the most important class I ever took in my K-12 education was typing in middle school. Does that mean handwriting matters less today than it once did?

Daniel B. Coupland: I understand the argument that we are moving much more in a technological direction and we are using handheld devices and computers in order to express those ideas, but I am concerned about the loss of other things connected with handwriting, as I talked about in the lecture, even of the development of the motor skills that kids develop by actually holding a pencil and actually being able to write. In addition to that, I think it’s a great learning tool as well, in that if you have to form the letters with your hands … Even now when I talk to undergraduate students, I ask them how do you prepare for a particular test or exam, and they say that they’ll often write out their notes or rewrite their notes out, because there’s some kind of connection with using your hands to form those letters. It cements it in your mind a lot better. I understand that we’re moving in a particular direction in terms of technology but I mourn the loss of those things if we move completely away from it.

 

Why Colleges Recruit Homeschoolers

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

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Why Colleges are Recruiting Homeschoolers

As their numbers continue to surge, homeschool students are catching the eyes of college admissions advisors and recruiters, who are viewing today’s college-bound homeschoolers with growing attention and new found respect.

Bright homeschoolers are in demand on campuses across the nation where colleges and universities have finally realized that these well-mannered high achievers are a boon to academics and student life.

“Those who prepare thoroughly can be admitted with full scholarships at those selective colleges that some parents daydream about their children attending,” said homeschool dad and educational consultant Karl M. Bunday, who compiled an online list of over 1,000 colleges that admit homeschoolers.

From Ivy League schools to Christian, public, and private colleges, schools have caught on to the fact that homeschoolers represent a desirable pool of talent, often possessing impressive reading lists, letters of recommendation, AP credits, and experience in volunteering and the arts. According to Bunday, every year homeschoolers are admitted to hundreds of colleges in at least five countries.

In his article on the rise of homeschooled college applicants, author Bruce Hammond advises homeschool parents and college-bound homeschoolers to be prepared for wide variation in how their credentials are reviewed. Hammond offers six ways in which these students can increase their chances of getting into the schools of their choice:

  1. Strive for a balanced curriculum. Colleges will probe for areas of weakness, especially in math and foreign language. Many colleges have graduation requirements in one or both of these areas.
  1. Create a portfolio. Students should assemble examples of their best work across the widest possible range of subjects. A portfolio allows admissions officers to see the quality of the applicant’s work rather than grades or course descriptions.
  1. Attend a residential summer program at a college. Such programs provide a nice introduction to college life and proof that a homeschooled student can function well in a conventional classroom. As an alternative, students might consider enrolling in classes at a local college during the academic year.
  1. Prepare diligently for standardized tests. In the absence of a conventional academic record, SAT scores become more significant. Consider taking the SAT II Subject Tests and the ACT for additional opportunities to score high.
  1. Schedule a campus interview. Not all colleges routinely offer campus interviews, but I recommend that homeschooled applicants make every effort to get one. If the secretary who answers the phone does not seem receptive, ask to speak to an admissions counselor. If you call far enough in advance, most colleges will accommodate.
  1. Let the student take center stage. After playing the role of parent and teacher for so many years, some homeschooling parents have a difficult time letting go. A relationship that seems overly dependent will set off alarm bells in the admissions office. Each applicant must step forward and make the case for him or herself.

“Success in college admissions comes to those who keep an open mind and explore a variety of options,” Hammond said.

 

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.aophomeschooling.com or call 800-622-3070.

Homeschooling Children with Special Needs

 

NYA

Although we have come a long way since the days of educational segregation, it still goes without saying that we humans tend to shun that which is different from the norm. When it comes to the education of children with special needs, one need only look at our collective past and present to realize that this is all too true.

For most of the 20th century, children with special needs were sent to special schools and segregated from the rest of the student population. Parents had very little support from school districts and government officials, if any assistance at all, and so a significant percentage of our youth became increasingly more isolated. These children and their families had no welcoming place in the educational arena and so, they either remained at home or were sent away to group homes. With virtually no government
financial assistance, parents struggled to advocate for their children – where would they get their school books? Where were their educational resources? Sadly, it was the societal mindset at the time, that children with disabilities were ineducable and therefore parents were all but left on their own. As human nature seems to be, the more isolated people are, the more they are feared and/or shunned and this ignorance has proven devastating.

In 1975, the Education for All Handicapped Children Act came into effect, mandating public schools to provide equal access to education for all children and this truly acted as the catalyst for educational reform vis à vis students with disabilities. It has since become known as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, (IDEA) mandating all public schools in the United States to provide free, appropriate, public education to all students in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE).

Throughout the 70′s, 80′s, 90′s and the first decade of the 21st Century, the United States has continued to make gains in the area of Special Education thanks in great part to the growing number of advocacy groups bringing awareness of children with special needs to the front line and to parents who continue to strive for the well-being of their children – mind, body and soul. Changes, tweaks and improvements in educational reform continue to be made thanks in large part to these amazing individuals and groups who,
throughout history, have been and continue to be brave enough to step away from the crowd when they feel something is gravely out of balance and negatively impacting on the health and well-being of our youth. However, we still have a long road ahead.

One area in particular that deserves attention and respect is the strange and mysterious world of homeschooling.

Do families really have the right to educate their own children? Do they really have the right to homeschool their children with special needs? And why would they want to if all of these strides have been made in the public school system?

The world at large is still vastly unaware of the homeschooling underworld and because of this ignorance, families who choose to homeschool their children feel as though they are reliving the educational dark years of the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries.

To answer the first question, Do families really have the right to educate their own children?, the answer is unequivocally, Yes. To the second question, Do they really have the right to homeschool their children with special needs?, the answer is indubitably,Yes. And finally, to the last question, …why would they want to if all of these strides have been made in the public school system?, the answers vary greatly, are personal, and could either be complicated or quite simple. So, although we are told time and time again not to answer a question with a question, my answer truly is, Why not?

Just like the world of public education, homeschooling has been growing by leaps and bounds. Once shunned and treated as strange and weird, it is now becoming more commonplace and accepted, not that the vast majority of homechooling families worry about how they fit in, per se. The homeschooling world is a mixture of individuals from free-thinkers to Christians, unschoolers and traditional homeschoolers, families who follow the Waldorf philosophy, the classical path and even the Montessori approach, just to name a few. In other words, the sky’s the limit when it comes to homeschooling. So why do people choose to homeschool whether or not their chilren have special needs? I suppose the mother of all answers, the umbrella under which all homeschooling families fall, is simply because homeschooling families feel it is the best approach to education for their children. And just as we all desire and deserve respect for the proactive decisions we make with regard to ourchildren’s well-being – mind, body and soul – homeschooling families are certainly no different.

So, if you have been one in the past to shun the homeschooling world and have looked upon them as different and therefore, weird, you may want to re-think your attitude, open up your mind and heart and learn about the amazing world of homeschooling!

Here are wonderful resources for parents who are thinking about or who are already homeschooling their children with special needs:

TIME 4 LEARNING

AUTISM KEY

HOMESCHOOL CENTRAL

HSLDA

BAYSHORE EDUCATIONAL

AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

 

No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit

Helen Keller

 

Carreen Schroeder of New York Adventures in Homeschooling, has been a certified teacher in Ontario and in New York State since 1999, holding an Ms.Ed in Elementary Education, a B.A. in French Language and Literature and a Specialist in Special Education. She has been homeschooling her youngest of three daughters since 2012 and is passionate about assisting homeschooling families with free resources and homeschooling services. Visit Carreen at: www.newyorkadventuresinhomeschooling.com

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