Friday, March 29, 2013

How do you Inspire Your children to Learn?

Let’s face it. Sometimes what we should learn is really boring! See Jane run is not much fun! Learning to read was a challenge for my daughter until I found a fantasy book that she connected to. She has not stopped reading since, her house is littered with her current novel and the kindle is her favorite tool! My youngest son liked snakes and dinosaurs. He went on to devour such classics as Shakespeare and Alexander Dumas. Currently he is still in college learning to be a Chinese Medical Doctor. Finding what they were interested in inspired them to read and expand their horizons.
How many of your homeschool children really want to dissect a frog? My children wanted to know what he had done wrong. Instead we used the resources available to us. We regularly butchered our own livestock and the children were included in the process. My daughter would stand at the kitchen sink for hours and study how the heart pumped blood. She was also fascinated with the muscle structure and how the tendons helped move the feet. She is now a veterinarian.
By finding things they were interested in they forgot that they were learning. It was fun. Which is what learning should be. Math can be taught through cooking or in a  building project.   Science is also a part of cooking. Just add some vinegar to baking soda and see what happens! Have you experienced an earthquake or tornado in  our area?  Were your children afraid? Finding information on what causes those earth events and sharing it with your children will help them to understand and through understanding fear is lessened. Plus it will spark their interest in further investigation. Science in real life!
Open up your own imagination.  You have many skills that can be taught to your children. If you work away from home let them in on how you spend your days.  If you work as a sales person then you can show them how important it is to learn to communicate with different types of people and how about giving change back after a sale.  Stay at home Mom, how do you balance the budget? What does the electric bill run? Help them to understand why it is important to turn off the lights when not in the room.  How do you plan a week's meal schedule?   Is there a reason you cook a great big roast on Sunday and then serve hash on Monday?.  All of these are skills that will help you children be better prepared for adulthood!  Inspire them to want to learn. Have fun!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Learning new Languages

  We live in a multi-cultural world. Daily our children, as they journey into adulthood, will come into contact with people from different countries and cultures. Having a basic understanding of how those people speak and their customs will help them to reach a better level of understanding.

  Earlier this week I was in a supermarket purchasing needed supplies. A woman and her children were trying to find some items and having difficulty because of the language barrier. They were visiting in our country and almost overwhelmed with the amount of grocery options available to them. After much gesturing and laughter I guided them to the milk section and they grabbed a gallon of milk. Before leaving me the mother quickly hugged me and said something to me that I hope was Thank-you. How much easier this would have been if I could have spoken even the beginning phrases of their language!

  It is not unusual for me to come into contact with people who speak limited english. Their native tongue is most often Spanish. Misunderstandings occur because of the lack of ability to communicate effectively! I do not want our children to experience the same difficulty. Most cultures speak either english or one of the latin based languages. With a grounding in one of the romance launguages the other ones of the european countries are easier to learn and reading becomes possible. Spanish is a fun one to learn and can be done on the computer. Italian is another possibility.

  There is a growing need for learning sign language. Think of how much fun you can have communicating with family members and not letting anyone else know what you are saying! By learning sign language your students can talk to scientist from many cultures. Expand your homeschool children's ability to communicate with others! Have some fun.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Homeschool Plans for Next Year

  What are your plans for next year? There are so many choices that sometimes it is difficult to make a choice. We used a very unschooled method with our three children. Our house has always been littered with hundreds of books. Everything from dictionaries that were heavy enough the little ones couldn't pick them up to encyclopedias and how-to-books. Lots of fiction and history books and ones that centered on fish, herbs, and livestock. It wasn't unusual to find a child curled up in a chair with a book on how to build a rock wall.
  We were also blessed with the ability to have lots of animals. The children helped birth lambs and baby goats. Puppies and kittens were a regular event. We raised calves and pigs and the kids helped at butcher time. My daughter would stand on a stool at the kitchen sink for hours exploring how the calves heart worked. This gave them their science classes in reality!
  When one of the children exhibited an interest in a subject we made sure that the information was available. We helped them learn responsibilty and math at the same time when they raised 4-H animals and had to keep and justify expenses. For History we explored our own area. They crawled in caves where Native Americans once lived, viewed petroglyphs, and talked to the elderly about their life experiences.
   A teacher friend of mine was horrified at the way our children were being educated. Now she laughs at herself and is encouraging her son to use the same method for his daughter. Everyone has a different idea of what is correct for a child. Talk to your child, what works for them? Do not be afraid to expand yours and their horizons! Have fun! Learning should be a joy that is practiced throughout a life time.


Friday, March 8, 2013

Public School, On Line School, Or Home School?

  It is important to establish how your children are going to be educated. Picking the right avenue for you and them will insure their futures! There are many things to consider about all of the choices available to you and them.

Public School
  A majority of children are going to public school. For some parents this is an obvious choice mainly because of convenience. In most areas you are paying for the school system through your taxes. The education they receive there is in line with the state mandates. You are fairly sure of the childs' location for several hours of the day freeing up your time to work.
  The down side of this arrangement is what are your children being exposed to? Predatory teachers, gun violence, and bullies inhabit this system. Are your children being educated in subjects that you want them to know because of your belief system? National statistics show that public school system students are falling on their SAT scores. This indicates that they are not learning enough to have a sustainable future for themselves. The United States of America is steadily falling behind other nations in academic standing.

On Line School
  On line schools offer a viable alternative to the attend public school educational system. Many of them are free and will provide a graduation diploma at the completion of all of the levels. If your child is able to operate a computer and follow instructions then this is worth your time to look into. By using this method you monitor and protect the child from influences that are detrimental to their well being.
  The down side of this program is that the student is still being instructed in whatever the system requires. This could come into conflict with your religious views. Careful monitoring of the student's material should be a part of your daily attention. Does your child respond well to what is being presented to them?

Home School
  Homeschooling puts you in total charge of what your child is learning. This can be a time consuming process. The rewards are that statistically home school students out rank their public school counterparts in all levels of the SAT tests! They are better prepared to enter the job force or go on to college. Home school students show better aptitude on self guided learning. They are more independent. They have more opportunities to participate in volunteer activities and on the job experience.
  The down side of home school is that it takes more of your time, however this can be viewed as a good thing. Working daily with your child ill build a stronger relationship that will last a lifetime! Guiding them through various subjects will improve your own skills right along with theirs.

  These are not the only things to be considered when looking at your children's future. Where do yours and their priorities lay? If you are not happy with what is happening in their education then it is time to study the options!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Expanding Your Child's Future Earnings

  We all hope that our children are able to earn enough money to live a comfortable lifestyle as adults. Part of our job as parents is making sure that they get the education they need in order to do just that! Many of us have taken on the responsibility to teach them and guide them through this process. Even if your children are still attending public school there are many things you can do to improve their future!

  Our lives are filled with computer programs. They are present in our cars, phones, tractors, TV, and obviously our computers. Your childs' future may very well depend on knowing how to deal with those programs.

  A group of very intelligent people have come together to help everyone learn how to write programs. Their desire is to establish the ground work for success in people who are willing to learn. If you go to you will find basic lessons in how to write programs. The process is painless. The site is full of simple beginning steps to get you started.

  I suggest starting this learning experience if you are six or sixty! The more we know the better able we are to cope with todays world. We encounter these programs on every level of our lives. Knowing how to look at them and find problems embedded in them is important. Whenever you need to create something you will have the knowledge to make it happen. Both of those will save you money by not having to hire an expert to do it for you.