Organization Part 2: When Life Happens... School Can Still Go On
Imagine your perfect homeschool day. You've prepped your lessons, you've brewed your coffee, and if you're really on top of your game, you've even surfed the web for a few minutes and came across your favorite blogger (me, right?)! Your kids are getting along, the sun is shining, the birds are chirping and you could almost hear the Hallelujah chorus (or something akin to Cinderella and her animal helpers). Yes, all is right with the world.
Then it happens!
You've mashed it! Squished it! Rolled it! That wonderfully soft, brilliantly colored dough that is "play"! The essence of most childhood memories will included the stuff and for as little as $0.50 a container at Wal-Mart, you can almost always afford it... Clean up is another story, and another post entirely! But today, I want to remind all of us old' fogies of how much fun play-doh can be. But I'm going to let you in on a very nice little secret!
Shhh! Don't tell anyone!
Playdoh is a wonderful learning tool and manipulative for more than just odd-makings. I decided that our kindergartener needed some extra development in learning her letter shapes and what better way than with play-doh?!
Using our word processor, I created some large cards with each of the letters of the alphabet, both in capital and lowercase. I laminated them (because we will use them for our daily letter practice, too, and they need to last a while).
Using Play-doh, she rolls out little snakes, and then places the doh on top of the shape to make the letter -- Viola! Instant manipulative.
It doesn't stop at letters. You can incorporate this same method into numbers, punctuation marks, 1:1 counting, patterns, shapes, oh gosh - now that I think about it, you could even use the dough as a "calming tool" for when you've just found a mess of doh mushed into your carpet!
Yes! Doh, even in its worst form, is a great way to learn!
Here's our adventure this week.
Find out how great her second week of school went - visit our Youtube Channel for videos and updates!
I sat here tonight looking over our lesson plans for Monday and started thinking, “Jeeze, we cover a LOT of stuff. Even in just the first week back to school, we are busy, busy, busy!” Then I look at the curriculum I created and I’m so thankful we are not tied to too many textbooks. Which in turn got me to thinking about how much work we do, and how many ways we learn that are NOT attached to the traditional way of learning. If you are just starting out homeschooling, or if you are a veteran looking to break away from the chains of textbooks, I give you Generation Homeschools Amazing Alternatives to Textbook Learning!
After a horrible start to the 2017 year, (my broken leg, a busted vehicle, daughters mumps and divorce, and I nearly quit grad school), I used the summer to refocus. I mean, who wouldn't need to after all of that nonsense, right?
In May, I began working on the next school year - because if there is one thing that grounds me, that provides solace on those "unsure" days, it's that I made the right decision to homeschool our children.
In the classroom, I pored over curricula, trying to decide whether we should continue with what we used last year, or risk something new. Was I capable of working with something new when I wanted the certainty of something I knew worked? What was making me consider a new curriculum? Would my goals for this homeschool year be the same as last year or would I update them to include better mini-goals?
Good Morning fellow homeschoolers,
Today, I realized just how quickly a school year goes by. Even as I am surrounded by my children on a daily basis, the school year flies by. Before I know it, it's time to start planning the next school year, finding activities to keep them busy through the summer, and well... finding time to breathe as a mom, wife, and grad student.
It can be done. But it is also important to remember the basics.
Curious? Read on.
Hello faithful readers,
My apologies for having not posted in a while. The year is rounding out and we are reviewing all of our materials for the comprehensive test that I will administer to our kiddos toward the very end of the year. It's more or less for me to gauge where they are and to determine what areas, if any, I need to focus on for the remainder of the year.
But, today I wanted to talk to you about learning. There are a number of ways of learning. From visual to audio to kinesthetic learning, each person learns in one of- or a combination of these methods. Where our oldest was always an auditory learner. Our second born values both auditory and kinesthetic. Our two smaller boys have an appreciation for all three. Little bit (a.k.a. Shortcake) is so young, she is all about visual learning right now and that is excellent. This approach allows me to get down to her level - literally.
Today, I lowered one of our dry erase boards to be just her height. Then, with markers in hand, I drew a letter and she mimicked it. She did very well, but had difficulty with a couple -- to be expected: She is FOUR! But then we broke out our homemade felt board and went to work on numbers and counting. Ahead of time, I traced the numbers from 0 to 9 on a white piece of felt. Then, I cut up some yellow felt to make counting pieces (in the future, we will use them as one's blocks for base-10 counting). For now, they are excellent pieces to count!
She really enjoyed this and I cannot wait until tomorrow when we do it all over again.
Changes are also happening at Generation Homeschool. We have adopted a new approach to our spelling studies. Where lecture is a thing of the past when it comes to learning how to spell, there is nothing better than repetition. Each day of the week we do the following spelling assignments:
Hello faithful readers,
Today was a great day! We did some learning, we had some fun. And by fun, I mean to tell you: we jammed to some hard hitting licks from our very own little ones.
I am constantly amazed by their independence, their yearning to learn something new. Thank goodness my husband is musically inclined, because if my kids depended on me for music, it would be the clarinet! Great instrument, but not something that typical boys would be inclined to play.
No. They love the guitar! So sit back, hang on and enjoy these little clips from their impromptu music show!
Until next time,
Hello Homeschool moms and dads,
It's a New Year! It's a new semester (for some), and for us, it's a new day! We are two days into our new homeschool semester and the tempers are flaring! I kid you not, yesterday, the boys carried on like I had taken away every fun thing they have ever known or experienced when I said, "it's time for lessons". The displeasure of their assignments dwelled well into the evening, and the only one who seemed remotely happy was the dog!
Little Bit was eager to get to the telly while the boys were slugging through their work, aimlessly and without intent to learn.
And here I was thinking we were going to start the new year in a pleasant way! What was I thinking? Where did I go wrong?
The answer might surprise you!
Hello lovely readers,
I am excited to show what we've been working on at Evans Homeschool Academy!
We all know that life is full of charts, graphs, cycles, and images. We also know that "reading" information can be one of the most mundane tasks we've ever had to fight through. But what if I told you that you can create some spectacular graphs, awesome data, and incorporate computer skills, mathematical terminology, equations, and conversions in one project?!
Would you be surprised to know the data is as easy as checking the weather?
AR Reading. No, that isn't reading for Arkansans. AR Reading is accelerated reading and is a term used in the public school system to evaluate the reading levels of children in elementary and middle school. Because AR Reading was not in use when I attended public school, and because very little information was provided when my children attended public school, I used Google...
According to the online genius: "The Accelerated Reader program is a computerized program that tests reading comprehension. Students select books on their reading level, read independently, and take an independent comprehension test on the computer. Each book is worth a certain number of points based on its length and reading level."
Well, isn't that special?!
Welcome! My name is LaVonda. I am the wife of Rodney, the mom of 5 remarkable kids (well, 2 are adults now), an avid homeschooler, blogger, and sociologist. I am blessed with the ability to spend my time sharing our homeschool and life experiences with you. It is my hope to provide you with motivation, ideas, and some candid stress-relief through my blog - Mom's Scribe! Grab a cup of coffee, sit on down, and make yourself at home!