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July 23, 2014

Pep Rally Podcast Series

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

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Schools.com recently released their Prep Rally podcast series, which provides guidance from top university professionals. Recent segments feature professionals from Marquette University, University of Maryland and Pamona College and the Prep Rally podcasts cover such topics as:

  • Degree programs
  • Unique course offerings
  • Admissions criteria and tips

Certainly worth looking into if you have a high school student!

July 22, 2014

Home Education & Language

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How digital education in the homeschool setting can provide individualized learning

Author: Linda Noack, Homeschool Mom

Why do people home educate their children? It could be because of inflexibility in a family schedule. It might be for financial reasons. Maybe home education addresses an area of learning that is not available in the local public or private schools. It could be to allow a student to progress at a pace that is in-line with their unique abilities. But one strand that runs through all the theories behind parents choosing home education… parents want to make sure their children succeed no matter what the reasoning behind the educational delivery choice.

For me and my family, home education came about for a lot of different reasons. But one of the opportunities was to encourage my children to learn as much as possible about anything they desired. As a family, we wanted to travel and see the world, and rather than be tied down to a brick-and-mortar school, we could take the home education with us. We wanted our children to understand that English is one language, but the world speaks hundreds of languages. We understood that the cultural aspects of understanding another language open up opportunities in ways no one can understand until they experience it.

We chose to learn the Spanish language only because it was the language with which I was most familiar. At that time, we used books and CDs, but without fluency of the language in the home, it was hard to teach Spanish thoroughly. It required a lot more time and effort to achieve success. On the elementary level, it was not difficult, but when it came to fluency, the success only became measurable when my children enrolled in comprehensible college foreign language courses during their high school years to finally conquer world language.

Lately, I have been thinking and asking questions. How can a home educator cover all the bases to teach foreign language without being fluent or, in some cases, have never spoken a word of the language? How does the home educator deliver course work to excel the student to a level equal to the time required to spend on the specific course? How can a home-educated student ask questions on the pronunciation of a word they read in a book? How can the educational system address the individuality of students where a digital learning environment can assist?

This is the difference between when I was homeschooling my children and now: digital learning opens up avenues for the home educator in ways that were not possible a decade ago. We all know that every child is unique, and every child learns using different methods. With digital coursework, the educator no longer needs to be proficient in a specific discipline or foreign language to make it an educational success. And, with the digital world language courses designed by Middlebury Interactive Languages exclusively for K-12 students, a home educator can confidently provide a base knowledge of a foreign language that will benefit a student for the rest of their life.

Middlebury Interactive’s digital language courses are designed to educate students in a manner that is successful in its application. For example, there are audio, video and recording capabilities. The assessments are paired with practices, scaffolding at a pace the student can understand and absorb. Students learn culture and a language at the same time. There are no expensive books involved or that will become outdated. The digital course is economical, but more than that, the results are priceless.

In the progression of technology in education, more offerings are becoming available to educators on a daily basis. For an educational institution, whether it is a private setting, public school, charter school or as home education, technological advances make it possible for more individuality in the education of our children. With these technological advances, opportunities open up in home education, which result in a successful delivery for home educators of any teaching level.

July 21, 2014

What’s on Homeschool.com’s 101 Things To Do List?

 

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2. Buy several pairs of inexpensive sunglasses (think the Dollar Store) and decorate them.
http://www.bhg.com/crafts/kids/outdoor-projects/kids-summer-sunglasses/

14. Go camping—even if it’s in your backyard! If you happen to have a trampoline–trampolines make great sleeping surfaces.

26. Learn about compound interest and start a savings account. Check out What Happens When You Double a Penny Everyday for 30 Days .

33. Spoil your pet for a day. Give your dog a bath, play ball with him, and take him for a walk. Likewise, cuddle your cat, pet your hamster, talk to your bird, etc. Spoil your pet several times over the summer. Turn it into a habit!

And MORE!  For the entire 101 Things To Do This Summer, click here.

You can also check out our Summer Fun magazine–as every article is based on the 101 Things To Do This Summer list!

 

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July 18, 2014

Importance of the Fine Arts in Homeschooling

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

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As homeschoolers, we can make the time to teach those things that we think are important,  including the fine arts.  The website LanguageAndArtCenters.com has some really good info regarding the importance of including subjects such as art and music–

The importance of art in child development–http://www.languageandartcenters.com/#!art/c5xp

The benefits of music education–http://www.languageandartcenters.com/#!music/c1tyc

The benefits of dance–http://www.languageandartcenters.com/#!dance/czr3

And their benefits of homeschooling are right on the mark!  :)

July 17, 2014

Chocked Full – 101 Educational and Fun Things!

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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–

  7. Lie outside at night and watch the sky for shooting stars. Find out why shooting stars aren’t really stars at all. http://starchild.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/StarChild/questions/question12.html

30. Make S’mores. If you can’t roast the marshmallows over a fire, make BroilerS’Mores. OR, better yet, make Solar S’Mores! Be sure to get parental permission.

 41. Learn to skip stones. There’s a science behind it.
http://www.wikihow.com/Skip-Rocks
http://discovermagazine.com/2003/aug/featscienceof

51. Swing on a tire swing or a rope swing. Don’t have one? That’s an easy fix!
http://www.ehow.com/how_2085185_tire-swing.html
http://www.ehow.com/how_2105748_make-rope-swing.html

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.

 

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July 16, 2014

Lots of Free Stuff from Owl & Mouse

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

 

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I think I’m going into Summer Freebie Extravaganza withdrawal! Are you?

This site wasn’t part of the event–but they have lots of free resources–so I’d like to share it with you — YourChildLearns.com/Owl & Mouse–http://www.yourchildlearns.com/owlmouse.htm.

Fun–and fun learning is forever learning!

Ann Simpson

July 15, 2014

Homeschool.com’s 101 Things – Counteracts Boredom

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Homeschool.com’s 101 Things To Do This Summer list is a great antidote for summer boredom–and summer brain drain!

Examples of FUN things to do include–

11. Make (and eat) some butterflies! Yes, you read that correctly! Learn why a good breakfast benefits you the rest of the day.
http://www.snackpicks.com/en_US/recipes/details/waffle-butterflies.html
http://greenhalloween.org/blog/?p=3821
http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/most-important-meal

35. Have a neighborhood outdoor game day. Revisit 4-square; Red Rover, Red Rover; Duck, Duck, Goose; and Mother May I. Or better yet, learn some new games!
http://spoonful.com/family-fun/driveway-backyard-games-gallery

61. Make and fly a kite. There are 19 kite possibilities at http://www.howtomakeandflykites.com. Learn about lift, drag, and gravity at this link – http://www.gombergkites.com/nkm/why.html

66. Bake cookies on the dashboard of your car (with your parent’s permission, of course)! Learn the science behind this activity.
http://howtosmile.org/record/14660
http://www.scienceoffcenter.org/science/355-greenhouse-baked-cookies

Want some more ideas?  You can see the entire list here and/or you can read our Summer Fun (summer education) magazine here (every article in the magazine relates to the 101 Things To Do This Summer list).

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July 14, 2014

Make Your Own Kaleidoscope!

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In our Summer Freebie Extravaganza, KaleidoscopestoYou.com had a raffle-type listing where they gave away three make-it-yourself kaleidoscope kits.

That got me thinking….wouldn’t it be nice if everyone…..even those that didn’t win a kaleidoscope, could make one with their kids.  So, I googled–and of course I found something –

http://www.pbs.org/parents/fun-and-games/activities-and-crafts/kaleidoscopes-for-kids/

Making kaleidoscopes–it’s fun and educational!

July 11, 2014

101 Things To Do This Summer & MORE!

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Homeschool.com’s 101 Things To Do This Summer list is a great resource for combating summer boredom and summer brain drain.  But if you couple it with Homeschool.com’s Summer Fun (summer education) magazine--you have even MORE things to do this summer!

You can check out the 101 Things To Do This Summer list here and the magazine can be found here.

Isn’t summer FUN!?!

 

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July 10, 2014

The Value of Digital Language Education for Homeschool Families

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Why I chose an online world language curriculum to educate my children.

Author: Theresa Bruns, Homeschool Mom

 

As a homeschool mom of four, I have heard frustration in homeschool circles when it comes to choosing a world language curriculum. There are many options, but without expertise in that area, quite a few homeschool parents feel frustrated determining which option is best for their children. Even as a Spanish teacher, I had to do a great deal of research on how to provide the best world language education to my own children. Ultimately we chose Middlebury Interactive’s online curriculum, and our children have greatly benefited from it, continuing studying languages in high school and college.

One of the benefits of digital language courses is that they offer homeschool families flexibility. Courses are self-paced, offer individualized learning and are adaptable to many different learning styles. Additionally, they are a highly effective for the advanced, self-disciplined student. A good digital language program can compensate for the absence of a world language teacher and give students the start in second language acquisition that they need to be successful.

There are many proven benefits to exposing students to language and culture at an early age. Students in middle school and high school will become successful in their pursuit of second language acquisition through task-based activities that reinforce learned skills and provide immediate feedback, as well as videos featuring native speakers at native speeds. Some families have benefited from purchasing additional support from a language teacher, while others find that doing it on their own fits their child’s learning style.

The self-paced program is enticing to homeschoolers in that they can work on the program as slowly or as quickly as fits their learning style and interest. Because digital programs offer that freedom, a homeschool student who is highly interested in languages can work through a program quickly at their own pace. A student who needs to work a bit slower but still wants to learn the language can do so. Both types of students are able to learn the language at a comfortable pace.

Most homeschool families are comfortable with the core curriculum subjects and can dive right into choosing a program that fits their family; however, a second language is different because they don’t feel they can teach it if they don’t speak the language. It’s common for homeschool families to find someone who can teach their children the language if second language learning is important to the family, but that is not always convenient.

A digital language education program, such as Middlebury Interactive’s, gives students access to listening activities with native speakers, authentic materials to read that are created for the target culture, opportunities to write and speak, as well as instruction on grammar. Because the interactive online program is complete with computer-scored assessments, a homeschool parent can feel confident that they will be able to accurately monitor their student’s progress in the language. Because most homeschool students don’t have a certified world language teacher available, a good world language curriculum can still allow homeschool students to study a second language in their own home.

As a homeschool mom, I actually learned alongside my children. We enjoyed exploring and finding ways to reinforce what they were learning in their curriculum. Through the digital courses, a homeschool parent can find ways to reinforce the language, such as during dinner hours—where only the language is spoken, art and music exhibits that feature the culture they are studying, finding a native speaker with whom they can practice, attending a church service in the language, visiting cultural restaurants or volunteering within a community of people that speak the language.

When considering a language program for your children, consider the flexibility, accessibility and benefits that a stand-alone digital curriculum can provide for your children. Your children will have the flexibility they need to learn the language and have access to a curriculum that will hone their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. And remember, you don’t have to be a language teacher for your children to learn a second language.

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