Connect with us
Like Homeschool.com on Facebook Follow Homeschool.com on Twitter Pin Homeschool.com on Pinterest Add Homeschool.com on Google+ Visit Our Homeschooling Forum Visit Our Youtube Channel

Make Music This Holiday Season

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

 

15094872_10153918464921044_1634387291183794723_n

 

Important Reasons to Make Music with Your Family This Holiday Season

By Susan Darrow, CEO of  Music Together LLC

This time of year, music often plays a bigger role in many people’s lives than it does during the rest of the year. School concerts, religious choir performances, seasonal community events, holiday hits playing on the radio — all offer abundant opportunities to take advantage of the physical and emotional benefits of music.

The magic of music shines exceptionally bright during the holiday season. It is important to encourage people to use this wealth of musical opportunities as a springboard for making music throughout the entire year.

Music can help families on many levels. It promotes development in babies and young children, bonds families across generations, and stimulates areas of the brain involved with motivation, reward, and emotion. Making or listening to music can actually result in increased levels of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that stimulates the brain’s reward system.

Here are five reasons you should be making music with your family this holiday season:

  1. Music-making is beneficial to development. Music stimulates social, physical, cognitive, and emotional development and promotes language and concentration skills, confidence, and self-esteem. During the early years, active engagement with music promotes brain development and naturally supports growth essential to life and learning, as well as increasing the bond between children and their caregivers. It’s easy to get started making music with children during the holidays: Sing your favorite carols in the car, dance to holiday songs, take children to a holiday concert or musical.   A 2014 Harris Poll commissioned by Music Together revealed that only a low 17 percent of parents sing to their child daily. Music development is similar to language development. Imagine if you only talked to your child once a day! We teach children language by continuously talking and reading to them. Similarly, the best thing parents can do to support musical growth is to sing and dance with their children, as often as possible. And what better time of year to bring more music into your child’s life than the holidays, when music is in abundance?
  1. Music helps us create and recall powerful memories. Music can spark the recall of past experiences. It helps the past “come alive,” giving us access to deep feelings as we remember an event or moment from the past. Singing while you decorate the tree, at a holiday party, or at a religious celebration can help form memories and bonds with extended family and friends that will be recalled for many years to come.
  1. Music relieves stress. The holidays, while joyful, can also be stressful. Singing can actually relieve stress. Studies show that singing has the ability to slow our pulse and heart rate, lower our blood pressure, and decrease the levels of stress hormone in our bodies. Play music in the car while navigating the mall parking lot or sing along to a holiday recording while getting ready for company. It will help you stay calm and, most importantly, model for your children a healthy way to deal with the stress of everyday life.
  1. Music connects us. The holidays can be lonely for some people. Singing, especially in groups, can relieve this loneliness by connecting us to others in ways that no other activity can. Recent research indicates that music-making as a shared experience can activate and synchronize similar neural connections in all those participating. This synchronization can result in feelings of empathy and shared intention that can promote positive social interaction and bonding. When you sing with others this holiday season, whether it’s during a religious service, at a community event, or at a family gathering, everyone benefits.
  1. Singing is intergenerational. Music is an ageless way to connect with older relatives and create ties between youngest and oldest family members. Plus, music supports the aging processes. In later years, participating in music activities helps keep the brain active and engaged and supports us physically, socially, and emotionally. Sharing memories of holiday music-making from their past and teaching those songs to future generations can be joyous for both the elderly storytellers and the family members listening, forming new, pleasurable memories.

Susan Darrow is the CEO of Music Together an internationally recognized, developmentally appropriate early childhood music and movement program for children birth through age seven. First offered to the public in 1987, the Music Together curriculum, coauthored by Kenneth K. Guilmartin and Dr. Lili M. Levinowitz (Director of Research), is based on the recognition that all children are musical. All children can learn to sing in tune, move with accurate rhythm, and participate with confidence in the music of our culture, provided that their early environment supports such learning. Music Together offers programs for families, schools, at-risk populations, and children with special needs, in over 2,500 communities in 41 countries. The company is passionately committed to bringing children and their caregivers closer through shared music-making and helping people discover the joy—and educational value—of early music experiences.

More at www.MusicTogether.com and www.facebook.com/MusicTogether.   

Authentic Feedback and the “Feedback Sandwich”

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

405422_10150571822406009_1551828001_n

 

Authentic Feedback Changes Everything – a guest article from Laurel Springs School

 

How do children learn? A central part of the learning process is feedback. Children need feedback to affirm their areas of strength, and help them address their areas of challenge. But there are different kinds of feedback. Consider a typical classroom environment, where a teacher puts a letter grade at the top of a worksheet, and perhaps writes “good effort!” This type of feedback is incomplete, and misses many opportunities to guide children toward mastery of the material. However, authentic feedback provides a comprehensive approach to helping children learn.

Authentic feedback consists of certain key elements. It must reference a learning goal, and identify tangible aspects of that objective. It should be actionable; in other words, it should be feedback that prompts a child to do something specific in order to improve their understanding of the topic. Authentic feedback is personalized and user-friendly. Finally, authentic feedback is not effective if it is random; children benefit when it is timely, ongoing, and consistent. Authentic feedback can be given in a variety of ways: via written notes, phone or video conversations, or in a face-to-face discussion.

Laurel Springs School, an accredited online school that is popular with many homeschoolers, emphasizes authentic feedback. Laurel Springs teachers have made it their mission to deliberately change how teaching and learning work through the use of authentic feedback. Unlike traditional schools that are not designed to recognize the unique learning style of each child, Laurel Springs provides personalized, collaborative, and interactive instruction. Their teachers work with academic department chairs to continually improve their approach to feedback with regular coaching meetings. Teachers challenge each other to look deeper into the feedback they provide children to see if it is truly meeting each child’s needs. This system, which is part of the Laurel Springs teacher culture, ultimately benefits each child, who receives meaningful responses to academic work that can be used as a basis for understanding and improvement.

How does Laurel Springs succeed at providing children with authentic feedback? First, their personalized learning environment allows parents, children, and teachers to share how feedback works best for them on an individual level, which enables teachers to modify their approach for each student. Next, teachers understand that children want to be acknowledged. Children put time and energy into their work, so it is extremely important for teachers to recognize and affirm that. When teachers find something personal to connect with in a child’s assignment, it shows the child that the teacher took the time to focus on that specific work in order to provide guidance that is unique to that child. In addition, children receive feedback that is timely and motivating, which enables them to apply advice to future work, or to ask teachers additional questions if needed.

It can be difficult to provide feedback for children who excel academically, because sometimes there are no major areas of challenge in a given assignment. However, authentic feedback prompts even gifted students to stretch their abilities. Consider one of the best practices used at Laurel Springs School, the “feedback sandwich.”

  1. Start with something positive.
  2. Focus on the product, not the child, but personalize the comments.
  3. Provide specific examples for change.
  4. Encourage improvement or offer a challenge.

The “feedback sandwich” approach is useful with all children, but is especially helpful when adapted for high-achieving children. These children will enjoy figuring out how they would re-frame the current assignment from a different perspective, or brainstorm ways to take a deeper dive into the topic by thinking differently about it.

Authentic feedback has a core question that can be used as a litmus test: is this feedback providing a meaningful learning opportunity for the child? Authentic feedback focuses on the connection between the teacher and child that honors the child’s academic journey. Laurel Springs teachers believe in the power of authentic feedback, which is central to providing personalized learning for each child.

To learn more about how Laurel Springs’ teachers help their students succeed with authentic feedback, contact our admissions office 800-377-5890.

 

 

 

Holiday Spice Sachets

spice 1

Holiday Spice Sachets

Written by Renae C.

 

Instead of throwing out old spices, re-purpose them!  There are many things that one can do with old herbs and spices but this time I have decided to make sachets.  This is a super easy project that anyone can do with materials that most of us already have around the house. With the holidays approaching, now is the perfect time to get creative and festive!

First, go through all of your old spices. Find the scents you like best, and try to determine which ones will go well together.  I had some cinnamon sticks, which I broke apart (careful – These things are sharp; I cut my finger doing it!). Sage and Rosemary are also great spices to use in your sachet.

Next, you will need some cloth.  This can be scraps from a sewing project, an old t-shirt cut up into squares, or even old socks.  You won’t want to use anything that is too thick as the smell needs to be able to penetrate the fabric, and you need to ensure that it will be large enough to hold the spices that you will add to it.  I used a sash from one of my daughter’s old dresses that I cut up into squares.

spice2

Now all you have to do is place your herbs or spices in the middle of the cloth, bring the sides up to enclose the spices and tie them together.  Any type of ribbon, string, or even a rubber band works really well for this.  I used some wrapping paper ribbon for mine.

Voilà!  You have a homemade, nice smelling sachet for free! You can place them in your dresser drawers or hang them in your closet to give your clothes a nice fresh scent.

spice3

 

Renae C. and  her family are on a homeschooling journey that is very much a part of their everyday lives. Renae is happy to report that they are enjoying (almost!) every minute of it!  Renae created and writes for More Than Mommy (www.mtmommy.com).

6 Unique Ways to Include STEM in Your Homeschool Routine

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

 

The hands of two girls getting ready to plant squash seeds in pots for a school science project.

6 Unique Ways to Include STEM in Your Homeschool Routine

 

Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (or STEM) education is frequently in the news—for good reason. STEM provides students with a foundation in critical thinking and problem-solving. This can be invaluable, even if a student does not intend to pursue a STEM career.

Some homeschooling families, however, may be intimidated by the thought of teaching STEM. Others are not intimidated by STEM subjects, but are instead seeking different ways to incorporate STEM into their homeschool curriculum. Whether you come from a STEM background or not, here are six unique ways to include STEM in your homeschool routine:

  1. Literature

Consider reading STEM-themed books with your homeschool student. You can do this as part of a book club, as an independent reading assignment, or as a bedtime story. STEM-themed books can be found at all reading levels, and they do not have to be non-fiction to generate discussion and exploration.

  1. Hands-on museum experiences

If you are lucky enough to have a hands-on children’s or science museum in your area, you may wish to purchase a membership and become a regular. These types of organizations have exhibits that students and their parents can explore on a monthly or even weekly basis. In addition, they typically have special offerings, such as classes or demonstrations, robotics clubs, and summer camps.

  1. Lab activities and STEM kits

If you are not yet comfortable with STEM, searching for pre-written lab activities or purchasing pre-made kits that contain all the necessary materials can help you to ease into more complex endeavors.

  1. Open-ended play

A great way to encourage STEM thought processes (and to let students see how engaging STEM can be) is to allow your student to simply play. Encourage him or her to build forts and LEGO creations, to mix ingredients in the kitchen, to take apart the toaster, to create objects from piles of “junk,” and to otherwise let the creative juices flow. Create a “makerspace” in your home (or find one at a nearby university or museum), and then schedule in “tinkering” time. If he or she has ideas of what to build, let him or her go for it. If he or she has trouble getting started, assign a task to solve. (An Internet search for makerspace tasks or task cards can give you some ideas.)

  1. Real-life inquiry

Nothing brings STEM to life like trying to solve a real-world problem. A quick Internet search can find a number of real-world problems for students to solve. There are also organizations and competitions that bring together students from all over to literally “solve the world’s problems.” Engaging in a STEM education does not mean that you give your child all the answers; it means that your child will be able to brainstorm and experiment with different potential solutions. If one idea does not work, take what you have learned, tweak the idea, and try again. Project-based learning is another way to find meaningful problems for your child to explore. He or she can also look around and come up with their own problems to solve!

  1. Career exploration

Exploring careers can be a great way to see the usefulness of STEM skills. Shadowing someone in a STEM career, doing volunteer work, or participating in an internship are all ways to incorporate STEM into your regular homeschooling routine. Since homeschool students are not restricted during traditional school hours, they are able to explore more careers in a realistic setting.

STEM has become a buzzword in today’s educational circles because of the need for STEM skills in today’s world. Whether you are STEM-skeptical or just looking for better ways to help your child explore STEM topics, there are a number of unique methods for including STEM in your homeschool routine.

 

Dana Elmore is a contributing writer for UniversityTutor.com, the world’s largest global marketplace for finding independent tutors.

 

 

How Long Does Thanksgiving Pie Last?

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

 

MH900422850

 

How long does Thanksgiving pie last?

 

Here is the answer from eatbydate.com

pieLots of good info can be found on this page –

http://www.eatbydate.com/grains/baked-goods/pie-shelf-life-expiration-date/.

Just thought you’d like to know!

Thankful Poems

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

thankful_poem_N

Interested in a Thanksgiving project that will focus on gratitude and giving thanks?  How about Thankful Poems.

Amy from the website Let’s Explore writes,  “Doesn’t Thanksgiving fall at a perfect time?  Just when my girls start rattling off their extensive Christmas wish lists, I can pull out some Thanksgiving books and crafts and we can all reflect more deeply about what we are truly thankful for.”

Thankful Poems – a great way to get your kids to focus on what really matters.

thankful_poem_D

 

Thanksgiving Jokes

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

Kids love jokes – so why not surprise them with a few Thanksgiving jokes from the website Enchanted Learning.  There really are some good ones!

For instance –

What’s the most musical part of a turkey?  The drumstick!

If fruit comes from a fruit tree, where does turkey come from?  A poul-tree!

Why did the turkey cross the road twice?  To prove he wasn’t chicken!

Fun!

 

 

The Official Adventures – A FUN (and socially important) Early Reader Series

 

351a31_f0d8fae4221b43868e2c11c2036062db~mv2_d_1924_1924_s_2

 

The Official Adventures” is a new children’s chapter book series that teaches the importance of sportsmanship, persistence, discipline, and respect – for referees, each other, and individuals with special needs.

The series tells the tale of two hockey loving brothers, Blaine and Cullen. On and off the ice, they have deep love for the game and also each other! Cullen is the all-star team captain and Blaine, who has Down syndrome, is the team manager and clearly the “unsung hero” of the team. The brothers join Rylee and Rosee, America’s favorite referees, in game day adventures filled with laughter, love and lessons.

“This is a rarity in children’s literature. We’ve seen characters with special needs on stage, film and other artistic expressions. But in books such a character is almost non-existent. It really is ‘ice breaking,’” states Katrina Dohm, Illustrator and Co-Creator, The Official Adventures Series.

The storyline doesn’t hide Blaine’s challenges; instead the text proudly displays Blaine’s heart-warming perseverance, his discipline and love for the game, his family and life. Blaine’s leadership and unselfish actions speak louder than any textual words. Through detailed illustration young readers are able to learn respect and a better understanding for the challenges individuals with special needs face on a daily basis.

 

hockey

Praise

The book series has received the endorsement and support of NHL greats:

This is a very worthwhile read that contains life lessons beyond the rink. It’s a great pickup and I especially appreciate that it includes Blaine, a special needs character.” –Mike Hickey, President, American Special Hockey Association.

“Drop the Puck, Shoot for the Cup is a great book with a very important message for kids everywhere – Everyone deserves the chance to play hockey, no matter what their capability.” –Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals

“The Official Adventures Series books are terrific heart-warming stories that celebrate hockey, family and children with special needs! Our family loves these hockey tales that teach life lessons and encourages everyone to treat others with respect.” –Bridget and Matt Cullen (Pittsburgh Penguins Center)

“This book teaches real life lessons through sport, through victory and losses, and emphasizes the importance of hard work regardless of the score.” –Jocelyne Lamoureux, Team USA, Silver Olympic Medalist

“Playing hockey is awesome and reading about it can be just as fun. It’s important to learn fundamentals on and off the ice!” –Claude Giroux, Captain, Philadelphia Flyers

To learn more, you can go to http://www.officialadventures.org/.

 

Jayne. J. Jones Beehler and Katrina G. Dohm

About the Authors

With a shared love and energy-driven passion for outstanding academics, stellar athletics and innovative arts, Jayne Jones Beehler, a college professor, and Katrina Dohm, a high school educator, have teamed up and joined forces as co-authors and co-creators of “The Official Adventures.” Jones Beehler, a graduate of William Mitchell College of Law, is passionate about children, education, foster care and adoption, and child abuse/prevention public policy. Jones Beehler worked for US Senator Norm Coleman from 2002-2006, then headed to the Minnesota House of Representatives, where she was the Executive Assistant to the Speaker of the House, Steve Sviggum. Jones Beehler teaches political science classes at Concordia University-St. Paul where her students have gained national attention and praise for their legislative activities and involvement.

Dohm was exposed to hockey growing up in Minnesota and Wisconsin, but her true love of the game began when she went to college in January of 1987 at the University of North Dakota. She arrived just in time to cheer on her future alma mater as they skated their way to an NCAA Championship. Dohm graduated from the University of North Dakota with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Visual Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Education.  For the past twenty-two years, Dohm has dedicated herself to being an art teacher and all the “extras” that go with it.  Her classroom is filled to the brim with personal touches (especially her favorite color, PURPLE) student projects galore, yearbook publications, shelves filled with art and design books, school spirit signs, and memorabilia.

Jones Beehler and Dohm, have earned “Hall of Fame” status for their real-life story-telling, colorful fresh illustrating and combined natural zest for helping young learners enjoy reading, appreciate the arts, while ensuring their writing and books instill life lessons and reader’s adventures of their own, while inspiring and reaching educational goals.

To learn more, you can go to http://www.officialadventures.org/.

Thanksgiving Breakfast – and Google Images

pancakes turkey

Thanksgiving Breakfast – Ideas from Google Images

 

I really like Google Images.  I use it as others use Pinterest.  I decided to Google-image Thanksgiving breakfast ideas – and so many lovely pictures came up!

The picture above is from littlenummies.net – Banana Gobble Pancakes – very simple, and the pic below, is a more extravagant affair, from keanxchange.com.  Whatever you do, make the entire day fun.

 

tablethanks

It’s a holiday, so enjoy!  Even delegate!  There’s still time!

 

 

 

FUN Toys from Hasbro

hass

 

FUN Toys from Hasbro – just in time for the Holiday Season!

 

Baby Alive Twinkles ‘N Tinkles Doll

baby

Children can feel like responsible parents pretending to feed, clean, and take care of this cute little baby.

The doll makes real drinking sounds when kids feed her the included bottle. Plus, she has over 20 phrases and sounds in both English or Spanish. See what she says when her belly is tickled!

Was that a twinkle? Then it’s time for a diaper change.

The package includes the doll, an outfit, one bottle, a diaper cream bottle, one wipes box, one wipe, and instructions.

For ages 3 and up.

Powered by 1x 1.5 AA Duracell Alkaline Batteries – demo batteries are included.

A variety of dolls are available.

 

My Little Pony Equestria Girls Legend of Everfree Sunset Shimmer Doll

shimm

 

Children can discover the legend of Everfree with this Sunset Shimmer doll. Figure scale: 9 inches. She’s attractively dressed in her boho best, which includes her outfit, one pair of shoes, and a necklace.

Kids can scan the code on the doll’s necklace to unlock the Equestria Girls app. The app is available through June 30, 2018 and works with select iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Android devices.

For ages 5 and up.

Additional dolls are available.

 

DreamWorks Trolls Wild Hair Assortment

trolls

Children can enjoy fluffy-hair fun with these cute trolls.

The set includes 4 troll characters from the DreamWorks Trolls movie: Guy Diamond, Smidge, Harper, and Fuzzbert. The set also includes 1 comb and 1 headband.

For ages 4 and up.

Additional trolls are available.

 

All of the three toys = lots of FUN!

Older Posts »

© Copyright, 2014 Homeschool.com, Inc. All rights reserved.
Web Hosting by Midtown Micro, Inc.