Learning Activities by Age and Grade
Homeschool Podcast: A Brave Writer’s Life in Brief - I am honored to be a guest on Julie Bogart’s podcast, A Brave Writer’s Life in Brief. Join us as we discuss homeschooling using diverse experiences, child-led learning, curriculum modification and much more. You can find this homeschool podcast, and all the others in the series, on iTunes.
February is Make-Homeschool-Easy-Month! - February has a reputation in the homeschool world. A bad reputation. The newness of that shiny curriculum and your best-made plans is long, long gone. Daylight is on short supply. Kids tend to bicker. If you live in a cold climate, you’re stuck indoors more. You all long for Spring. You just want to get through math and be done with it, for goodness sakes. I’ve been there, my sisters. And I’ll probably go there again. And again. So I got a wild idea. Let’s make it easier. Easy homeschool. I like the sound of that. So I’m going to give away the stuff I have for free and spread a little good homeschool mojo around.
Easy Trick for Kids Who Hate Math Word Problems - Do you have a child who struggles with word problems in math? Even kids who quickly solve equations can get stuck with word problems. One easy trick for kids who hate word problems or struggle with them, is to act them out. You can use objects or mime movements to create the problem. You can also teach kids to visualize acting out word problems. It sounds simple but there’s science behind it. Multi-sensory learning, using two or more senses to process information, helps the brain learn new information and recall it faster for future use.
Positive Thought Cards for Kids - Here’s an awesome way to turn your day around when things aren’t going well with homeschooling or homework. It’s a total reset button. Because sometimes learning is frustrating and challenging. Kids bicker, math is too hard, they get overwhelmed. Learning becomes unproductive or stops altogether. It happens—in every single family, whether you homeschool or are trying to get through homework. It happens in every classroom, too. Positive Affirmation Cards are one of my favorite go-to resources for when my kids get super frustrated or upset with school work.
Late Reader or Learning Disability? - Why the wait-and-let-them-learn-to-read-naturally approach can be harmful to some homeschooled kids. My oldest child was nearly 8, and still, he couldn’t read beyond cat-sat-hat. We made our way through reading curriculum but by age 7, he was still not reading and I was worried. And then one day, he picked up a Harry Potter novel and slowly but most certainly, he read. It was a beautiful moment, one that caused my jaw to drop. I quickly recovered so that I could summon my husband into the room to show him this amazing event. Then I waited for our daughter to do the same, but by age 9, she was clearly memorizing short books, not reading them. And her confidence was plummeting.
Voting Booth for Kids for the 2016 Presidential Election - Ready or not, the 2016 Presidential Election is almost here. If you’ve been following along with your children or students, learning about the candidates and the process of electing a new United States president, having a kids voting booth is a great way to extend that learning. This activity also incorporates math skills by tallying votes, collecting statistics of voters and averaging those stats to figure out the demographics of your polling place. The ballots, tally sheets, “I Voted” stickers and poll worker badges are free to download in a pdf file below.
Motivational Learning Quotes - This quote by Carol Dweck was so popular on the Creekside Learning Facebook page, that I made it into a pretty printable that you can download, print and hang up in your home or classroom. This parenting gig often calls for a lot of cheerleading–enthusiastic encouragement when our kids need it most.
Homeschooling is a “Road Less Traveled” - Homeschooling is a “road less traveled.” It’s that simple. Everyone has something about their life that is just a bit different than everybody else, just a little outside of the main stream. Think about it. You choose a career path that was different or didn’t go to college right after high school. You married someone that others thought was not going to be a good match for you. You have identical triplets. You chose not to have kids at all. You’re vegan in a family of meat eaters. Whatever it is, think of this thing that you chose, or experienced, that was a bit different than most of your friends and family. How did others react?
10 Tips for Starting the Perfect Homeschool Group - You’re searching for that perfect homeschool group. That co-op that will fit perfectly like your favorite pair of shoes. That class that will be just right for your child. The perfect book club. A group build around your child’s passion for art, Minecraft, sports or– I don’t know– basket weaving. But you just can’t seem to find it. Can’t find it? Then start it! If you build it, they will come. And it doesn’t have to be time consuming.
What Every Homeschool Mom Wants to Hear - As homeschool moms, we get a lot of questions and comments. Well meaning folks often don’t understand. Others are kind of mean. “How can you stand being with your kids all day?” “How will your kids be socialized if they don’t go to school?” “Do you think you’re qualified to teach your kids?” That got me thinking. If I could choose, what would I want people to say?