Tag Archives: Homeschool

Deal of the Day: New Testament Copywork

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New Testament Copywork is the deal of the day at Currclick! You can get thirteen Bible stories, with almost 60 pages of copywork for 60% off! But the deal only lasts until 10AM CST tomorrow, so get it while you can!

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Handwriting, grammar, spelling, sentence structure, mechanics, AND Bible, all in one easy lesson? It’s simple with New Testament Copywork. With almost 60 pages covering 13 Bible stories from Jesus Birth to The Parable of the Net, New Testament Copywork will give your students language arts practice while instilling important Bible stories in them as well. Simply print off each page and let your student copy from the model onto the provided lines.

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New at Currclick: Christmas Carols for Copywork!!

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With some snow on the ground and our decorations up, it is definitely beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here! In keeping with the Christmas spirit, Crestview Heights Academy’s newest product is designed to help celebrate the season while keeping the learning going.

Check out Christmas Carols for Copywork.

 

Handwriting, grammar, spelling, lyric/poetry structure, mechanics, AND music lyrics, all in one easy lesson? It’s simple with Christmas Carols for Copywork. Christmas Carols for Copywork has more than 60 pages of copywork from well-known Christmas carols that we all love. Simply print off each page and let your student copy from the model onto the provided lines. What a great way to celebrate the Christmas season!

Chores for Pay

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I’ll be honest. Between homeschooling and working at HEDUA, plus my myriad of other responsibilities, housework sometimes gets put on the back burner. However, I have also discovered that both my husband’s and my attitudes are much better when our house is neat. There just aren’t enough hours in the day. While my kids have always had some chores, they sometimes cause more work for me than they are worth. We started a new chore plan that seems to be helping. So far, it has developed independence in my children while also creating, dare I say it, enthusiasm for doing chores.

How to Set up a Paid Chores System

It all started with my son, who complained that there are no jobs available for eleven-year-old boys. While his fourteen-year-old sister can babysit for extra cash, he has yet to find a money-making venture that has panned out-though he has tried. So he had a proposal for me. Would I pay him to do some special chores around the house so he could have some money to buy a gift for a friend? After thinking it through, I agreed-with the following stipulations:

  1. All of his regular personal chores and schoolwork needed to be done before he did the chores for pay.
  2. I had a budget of a certain amount per month I was willing to spend. Once the paid chores were done for the month, that was it.
  3. Part of the deal was that he needed to have a good attitude with his sister. Just like in real life, certain infractions could result in a “fine”.
  4. He needed to pay a tithe on the money he earned.

Here are a few of the chores that I have paid him to do:

  • >Vacuum and scrub the entry floor
  • Wash the entry and hallway woodwork
  • Clean the kitchen junk drawer
  • Wash the kitchen chairs
  • Wipe the kitchen and bathroom baseboards
  • Wash the trash can basket and wipe down the outside of the trashcan
  • Straighten the bathroom drawers and cupboards
  • Clean the garage fridge and wipe it out

My system isn’t perfect. I do have to take time to make an inspection of the chore that has been done. And the paid chores are a whole lot more interesting than school or personal chores. But so far it seems to be a good balance between the requirement of doing chores just because you live in our home, and doing something for pay.

Originally posted at hedua.com.

Providing a Place Where Everyone Wants to Hang Out

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I am never sure from one day to the next how many children might be hanging out in my family room watching a movie or playing board games in the kitchen. Early on in our parenting, my husband and I made it a priority to make sure our children and their friends were comfortable here. There is a very good reason for this: If they are here, we know what they are doing! And because we so frequently have our children’s friends in our home, we have gotten to know them well, which makes us more comfortable when our children ask to spend time with them away from our home.

7 Tips for Encouraging Your Kids and Their Friends to Spend Time at Your House

Over the years, we have learned several lessons about entertaining our children’s friends. Here are some of our tips for providing a safe place for your kids and their friends to spend time together:

  1. Spend some time with your spouse hashing out what the house rules are going to be. Then make sure that your children and their friends are aware of these guidelines. Decide if the rules that apply to your children when they are home by themselves are the same ones that will apply when they have their friends over. For example, do you want them to ask before they get something out of your refrigerator or before they use a video game system? Are the same limits for TV time in effect when friends are over?
  2. Try to be respectful of the rules friends’ parents have imposed, as well. My children have friends who are not allowed to watch PG movies, and others who are not supposed to have sugar. If I am in doubt, I call and ask. It’s a good idea to make a list of parents’ names and phone numbers to have on hand for these occasions (as well as if any emergencies come up!)
  3. Be aware of any allergies. Certain food allergies, such as nut allergies, can be deadly.
  4. Stock up on snacks! Kids like to eat, and providing food will keep them coming around. I stock my freezer full of popsicles for the summer and keep fruit, crackers, and granola bars in the cupboard at all times.
  5. Board games and puzzles can provide hours of screen-free entertainment. We purchase some for our kids for birthdays and Christmas, but I keep a lookout at garage sales and online auctions, too. Balderdash, Hullaballoo, Aggravation, and Group Solitaire are favorites.
  6. Ignore the noise. I’ll be honest, I need an hour or two of quiet time in the morning or at night, but other than that, noise doesn’t really bother me. If your personality is one that really doesn’t like noise, you are going to have to let that go to provide a place for your children’s friends to gather. Somehow, while we may only add two or three children to our own two, the noise intensifies ten-fold!
  7. Invest in some fun outdoor toys. We have a collapsible outdoor pool that provided hours of enjoyment last summer. We also have a variety of balls, badminton equipment, ladder ball, and other outdoor games. When the weather is pleasant, our yard is a great place for the kids to gather!

While having a bunch of extra kids in your house can sometimes be inconvenient, the rewards are well worth the effort. Guiding your children in making good friends now will reap many rewards when they are high school age.

What has worked well for your family to encourage your children and their friends to spend time in your home?

Originally published at hedua.com.

Free and Inexpensive Math Manipulatives You May Already Have at Home

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If you poll any group of homeschool moms about which subject they dislike teaching the most, I would guess that math would come in high on the list. So many of my friends, many of whom found math confusing themselves, dread teaching it. I have always loved teaching math, both as a public school Kindergarten teacher and now as a homeschooler. One of the ways that I keep math fun for all of us is to use a variety of fun manipulatives when teaching math lessons.

Math Manipulatives for Learning

Even if you have never heard of “manipulatives,” I’m certain you have used at least one — your fingers! A manipulative is anything that a learner can use to help them learn a math concept by manipulating it. There are tons of fun, colorful manipulatives that you can purchase at school supply stores or online, but they can be expensive. Instead, why not try some of the following math manipulative ideas, many of which you probably already have in your home:

For Creating Patterns or Sorting

  • colored cereal
  • candy
  • colored pasta (instructions below)
  • buttons
  • leaves
  • Legos
  • sponges cut into small pieces
  • flat marbles (found at craft stores with the artificial plants)
  • sequins
  • beads
  • seeds
  • stickers

For Counting and Operations (Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, Division)

  • Cheerios
  • pennies
  • cotton balls
  • beans
  • rocks
  • small toys
  • bottle caps
  • craft sticks
  • straws
  • pieces from old board games
  • small squares cut from construction paper
  • popcorn
  • golf tees

For Probability and Fractions

  • lima beans spray-painted on one side
  • playing cards
  • colored mini marshmallows
  • Hershey’s chocolate bar
  • coins

For Geometry

  • toothpicks and mini marshmallows
  • pony beads and pipe cleaners
  • homemade geoboard (instructions below)
  • Legos
  • Blocks
  • homemade play dough
  • square crackers

Making Colored Pasta

To make colored pasta you will need uncooked pasta, rubbing alcohol, and food coloring. You can use either the simple, dropper food coloring found in the baking aisle or the gel food coloring that is sold in the cake decorating section. Put your pasta in a bowl or baggie. I like to use a variety of pasta shapes. Mix about ⅛ to ¼ cup of rubbing alcohol with food coloring. I like my pasta bright and colorful, so I make sure to use enough food coloring to make a pretty, dark liquid. Pour the food coloring mixture over the pasta and stir or (carefully) shake the bag. After all of the pasta is colored, dump it out to dry on a cookie tray or cake pan covered with paper towels. Note: the rubbing alcohol makes the pasta inedible, so make sure your children know not to sample!

Making a Homemade Geoboard

Purchased geoboards are made of either a wooden or plastic base with a grid of nails or pegs on top. You can easily make your own. For a more durable version, cut a board into an 8” x 8” square. Cut a piece of paper in the same dimensions, then create a pattern by making a dot at 1”, 2 ½”, 4”, 5 ½”, and 7” both horizontally and vertically to make a grid. Tape the paper to the board, then hammer a nail into each dot. Rip off the paper, and you have your own homemade, long-lasting geoboard for a fraction of the cost of purchasing one. If you want an even simpler, but not as durable, version, use corkboard and push pins.

What fun manipulatives do you use to make math more meaningful? Share your ideas with us!

Originally published at hedua.com.

10 Skills to Teach before High School

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It’s hard for me to believe it, but in just over a month I will officially have a high school student!

I miss my little pig-tailed tooth-loser, but I have to admit that I am enjoying the young lady she is quickly becoming. I have been telling her that high school will be different.

Before we started school last year I thought through some ways to make it easier for her to transition into high school course work. Here are some of the things we did:

1. Time management. We regularly met to discuss questions and make sure she was on track, but I also gave her a list of assignments with due dates that were days to weeks out. I taught her how to divide assignments and projects into smaller sections, and to make sure she was done on time.

2. Scheduling. Along with teaching her how to manage her time, I also worked on allowing her more freedom in setting her own schedule. Except for our meeting time (which had to be scheduled around her little brother’s school schedule and my work schedule) she was allowed to decide which subject and activities to do when.

3. Writing. Over the past two years my daughter has worked through two different writing programs, learning how to write an essay and a short research paper. I also taught her how to write several types of speeches. These are skills we will continue to improve upon in high school.

4. Relationship with the Lord. During these middle school years, we have been guiding her into developing a relationship with God that is independent of ours. It has been delightful to see her grow in this area, including asking to go to the adult Bible study.

5. Making choices. We have always believed in allowing children to make choices when appropriate, but as our daughter has gotten older, we have been allowing her choices in more important areas. (Tweet this!) For one example, we allowed her the choice of homeschooling full time or going to our local high school part time so she could participate in sports (something that is required in our state). For this year, our daughter chose to stay at home full time.

6. Grading. Not everyone chooses to use traditional grades in high school, but to make completing a transcript easier, we will. So, I started grading some subjects this year to get her used to how it worked.

7. Keyboarding and word processing. As she heads into high school, our daughter will need to be able to type her own reports and papers. This year she worked on how to use a word processing program and spent some time using keyboarding software.

8. Taking notes. Because we used less traditional methods in our homeschool for the elementary years, listening to lectures and taking notes was a skill my daughter didn’t really need. Last year I taught note-taking procedures so she will be prepared for outside high school or college courses. She was able to practice these skills by taking notes during our pastor’s sermons and at Bible study.

9. Tests. The style of homeschooling we used in elementary school did not include taking traditional tests. I assessed my daughter’s learning on the go and kept lists of what she needed to work on. Last year, along with the grading, I occasionally started giving tests. While I am still not convinced that traditional tests give us the best information about what a student knows, she will have to take them eventually. Tests made her nervous, so I was glad we started working on test-taking skills early.

10. Library skills. Finding a book, using dictionaries and encyclopedias, internet safety and use, research skills. All of these are important for a successful high school student to know. Several of my daughter’s assignments over the past year included a library skills component.

While it would be impossible to cover every single skill that my daughter might need, the previous skills will help her be more successful in during her high school years.

How are you prepping for high school? Share your questions or advice in the comments below!

Originally posted at Hedua.com.