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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Long time!

I never realized I was quiet and did not post in a while .Time just got ahead of me.I think of posting everyday but its been 1 thing after another.As the school year progresses we go  through a transition of sorts for school and add more material and sometimes set aside some curriculum that the kids had enough off!
I go  through a big buying of books for the new school year in the 1st week of August .I research all year long and have mental notes of what my kids might like somethings don't change .But I do add a lots of hands on material every year I seem to adding more and more of hands on activities.
We do a lot of hands on Science,Art and Craft and History! Studying Egypt has always been a favorite here and we have made all the ooey and gooey science experiments and have made our fair share of volcanoes! 
 So this year After the big purchase in August I bought some more books in January and then a little bit of online classes this month!
I make use of trail 2 week or 1 month subscription of most sites that look interesting to my kids and they are great reviewers anyway so that works wonders when they have to review and critic the curriculum I buy them!
       I do get a lot of books from I have a lot of things in my wish list where I keep all the books I think my kids might enjoy and nothing in my opinion beats their customer service.
   For anyone interested  here is an awesome resource follow the return of the migratory birds throughout North America

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Not Reading Yet?

1 question I have been asked a lot is ,"How do you teach a child who knows letters and sounds but isn't  reading yet "?
I did not do anything very formal with my children.What I did do was to incorporate fun activities and used books and products to help me instead!
So if your child knows the  letter sounds already, learning to blend them to make words is really the next step. Using something like  a free reading program that sounds out words for kids,might be useful.
And then there are other things you can try like a Tag pen and the Learn to Read set one.Lots of children love it, and it has the option to read  the story, read each word as he/ she touches it, sound out the words, or spell the words little workbooks, games, etc. that asks what sound pictures start and/or end with, etc. Also, some that practice rhyming, which will be helpful, if you plan on using phonics.

Also Leapfrog Letter Factory Dvd (should be on instant streaming on Netflix)

1 product both my kids loved were  refrigerator magnets to reinforce letter sounds and start some short-vowel words (like "mom" and "mop")
Alphabet puzzles, Making play dough words, lots of alphabet coloring,Lauri Lace and Link letters are all easy to use and teach with!
You could use flash cards, like these well-done Phonics Made Easy ones.

Early reader books like this Berenstain Bears  ,Big Dog, Little Dog,  are good to read at this stage.
 Playing phonemic awareness games. " word with the sounds /c/ /a/ /t/" and the child shouts "CAT." (...and so on)
        There are many great apps be sure to check them as well. Reader Rabbit has been around very long and now has apps,Here is 1 for Phonics   that appears to be free.Until next time!Happy teaching!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

School shootings

Last week's school shooting in Ohio and the many other's that happened before make me more thankful to be homeschooling my children!
As I was thinking about this week's post I read this article

Wow!Now they may not happen at a school near you,but I am just thankful we do what we do!
Speaking of safety here is an awesome resource I have used it covers safety and health .

Same site has a lot of cool stuff for the kids don't miss how the human body works interactive activity

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Easy Ways to Teach Numbers and counting

Looks like a double post Thursday.I hope you all like the resources I have put together.My daughter was always fond of numbers.Most kids learn their ABC's 1st she learnt numbers first .
Her favorite product was a sesame street electronic number learning toy.Then as she grew she started to love coloring sheets ,dot to dot activities and mazes.It was easy making a book of her favorite printable activities esp on days when we knew she had to be busy like the Dr's office or a boring weekend party! So here are some ways to introduce numbers to your young child

Easiest way to teach is when you go up and down the stairs start to count
and very soon your child will do it with you.
Count and eat blueberries,raisins, marshmallows,cheerios and m&m's,Of course the advantage with m&m's is you can even teach color's.

Find some connect the dots printable where there are plenty of numbers,
here is a source I have used extensively

You can teach number counting with these sheets and then let you child color it
in then you teach them colors too !!!
Here is another printable for tracing numbers

Here are some neat books .
This one for a under age 2 ,remember to choose colorful sturdy picture books .I love the colorful foam shapes of this

Here is 1 for the above age 2 set that my daughter especially enjoyed

Here is 1 for the 4 and up age group

Again there are many many books to choose from, I don't list popular character books because
I find the general books to be more long lasting ,less gender specific esp if the favorite character is not so much of a favorite after a while or with your other kids and if you are like me and tend to keep the books forever and ever ,most character books I have found lose their novelty factor very fast.
In my many years of book buying esp the character ones its only Blues Clues that held up high interest at our house!


I want to homeschool my preschooler!

I have heard this remake a few times and it always made me want to correct the person saying it!No your not homeschooling a toddler or a preschooler you are just teaching them.
I think there is some kind of a difference, it's very common for infants/toddlers/preschoolers to be at a library story time, playgroups, learning . Then at age 5, most of those kids are enrolled in kindergarten, and the others whose parents choose to teach them at home are home schooled. Wouldn't it be odd if the parents who enroll their kids said they home schooled for five years?
On the other hand there are some families who decide to home school their children much before the kids are school age and they want to plan and implement a home school program for their young kids.
Generally speaking (YMMV) you can start the term,"homeschooling" at the age a child is legally required to go to school and doesn't include preschool or pre-K activities!It's really not a very big deal but it sure is annoying when people say that!I'll get off my soap box now.
Happy Thrusday!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Bird watching weekend!

We are hoping to do some bird watching and participate in the great backyard bird count.The description is below.

The Great Backyard Bird Count is an annual four-day event happening from today 2/17 to 2/20/2012 that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are across the continent. Anyone can participate, from beginning bird watchers to experts. It takes as little as 15 minutes on one day, or you can count for as long as you like each day of the event. It’s free, fun, and easy—and it helps the birds.
There are many interesting books to read about birds and this 1 book is about John James Audubon, The French-American ornithologist known for his expansive studies of American birds.

And if you are looking to add an activity to this book here is a fantastic coloring book.This 48page and 10 inch book by Dover publication has very nice images to color.There is a description on each page to tell you more about the bird you are coloring.

Here is 1 book we use also by Dover this is a 64 page coloring book ,with a slight difference than the one 1 listed above.Its birds and flowers of all 50 states and of course includes the Bald Eagle.

And if you want something free here is a link to a few free worksheets!


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

One goal different methods

One very big important thing home schooling has taught me is there is more than 1 way to teach and more than 1 way to learn.I am not bound by following any 1 curricula. I can use any book software, and method I desire to teach my children with.If 1 method fails we move on to another and another.Or stop teaching that topic for a while and go try with something entirely new. I am also trying to integrate projects with the curriculum.
I also do a lot of research on what my children might be interested in adding to the books we use.I like to read everything that I find useful and find the product that works for the kids.Well some have been a huge hit some not so much but the good part of this is we never stop trying .
I hope to talk more in future posts about all that way have used and what worked for us and what I tweaked to make it our own!