In homeschooling, we're like explorers with almost no limits on what we can learn about! Absolutely, academic success matters, but we shouldn't forget that looking after our kids wholistically is just as crucial. When we weave mind, body, and spirit into our homeschooling, something magical happens. It gives them a deep sense of being whole and capable, setting them on a path of self-discovery and mindfulness that will last their whole lives.
The Power of a Wholistic Homeschooling Approach
Holistic homeschooling embraces the interconnectedness of mind, body, and spirit. By acknowledging and nurturing these aspects of our children's development, we lay the foundation for balanced growth, self-awareness, and resilience. Let's explore how we can integrate these elements into our homeschooling journey.
Nurturing the Mind: Expanding Horizons
Traditional education often emphasizes rote learning and standardized tests, but homeschooling opens the door to a wider learning range. Encourage your children to explore diverse subjects, rather than focusing solely on core subjects. Foster their curiosity and let them indulge in intellectual endeavors that ignite their passion.
Empower your kids with critical thinking skills. Engage them in thought-provoking discussions and encourage them to question everything, including the status quo. A mind that questions is a mind that seeks truth and understanding.
Strengthening the Body: A Temple of Power
Incorporate physical activities into your homeschooling routine. Whether it's yoga, dancing, sports, or simply playing in the great outdoors, movement not only enhances physical health but also releases endorphins, promoting happiness and well-being. Teach your children the significance of nourishing their bodies with wholesome foods. Involve them in meal planning and preparation, creating a connection between the food they eat and its impact on their health. Also, be sure to include lessons on herbs and other natural healing to help prevent, as well as heal from many ailments.
Nourishing the Spirit: A Journey Within
Introduce mindfulness practices to your homeschooling curriculum. Meditation, breathing exercises, and moments of reflection allow kids to find stillness amidst the chaos and develop a deep connection with their inner selves. Foster an attitude of gratitude in your homeschooling environment. Encourage kids to express appreciation for the little things, teaching them that gratitude is a powerful tool for cultivating happiness.
The Wholistic Homeschooling Curriculum: A Journey of Self-Discovery
Incorporate mindful journaling into your homeschooling routine. Encourage your kids to pen down their thoughts, feelings, and reflections. Journaling is a magical gateway to self-discovery and personal growth. Embrace the power of creative expression. Art, music, and storytelling are potent ways for kids to externalize their emotions and connect with their inner worlds.
Nature is a profound teacher. Plan regular nature walks, letting your kids immerse themselves in the wonders of the natural world. These moments of communion foster a deep connection with the environment and oneself. Turn mealtimes into mindful rituals. Teach your children to savor each bite, acknowledging the effort put into growing, preparing, and serving the food.
Empowering Your Homeschooling Journey
Show your children the importance of a balanced life by living it yourself. Embrace mindfulness, physical activity, and continuous learning, inspiring them to do the same. Foster your kids' independence by allowing them to take charge of their learning journey. Let them explore their interests and passions, guiding them along the way.
Each child is a magical being with unique gifts and abilities. Celebrate their individuality and encourage them to express themselves authentically. Homeschooling is a magical journey of discovery. Embrace the joy of learning alongside your children, and let the enchantment of knowledge and growth unfold.
In Conclusion: Empowerment Through Wholistic Homeschooling
Unlock the power within your homeschooling experience by integrating mind, body, and spirit. Embrace the wholeness that comes from nurturing all three aspects of our being, and watch as your children blossom into mindful, confident, and empowered individuals. As we embark on this journey of wholistic education, let us remember that by empowering our children to control their own future, we are empowering them to embrace life's wonders and create a world of boundless possibilities.
This is an amazing time for those hungry for wisdom and knowledge. We live in an era where education knows no bounds and can venture into the enchanting realm of the mystical and all-encompassing. Today, we set forth on a game-changing expedition that will spark curiosity, embolden families who educate at home, and foster a profound harmony with the world around us. Within this blog post, we reveal the incredible potential of herbal education, helping families seize control of their own fate and cultivate a new wave of budding herbal experts.
The Holistic Approach: Embracing the Wisdom of Nature
At the heart of our mystical journey lies the essence of holistic education. Far beyond textbooks and examinations, holistic learning integrates mind, body, and spirit, harmonizing with the natural rhythms of life. In this paradigm, the knowledge of herbs plays a pivotal role, and it is here that we witness the bloom of herbal education.
Holistic herbal education is not merely a lesson on the green wonders that surround us; it is an invitation to align with nature's wisdom, to rekindle a long-lost relationship with the Earth, and to find harmony within ourselves. Teaching our children about herbs offers a profound way to introduce them to the interconnectedness of all life, nurturing a sense of responsibility and reverence for the planet that sustains us.
Unleashing the Alchemist Within: Blending Science with Magic
Herbal education is a harmonious blend of science and magic, where the alchemist within each child awakens. As they learn about the chemical compounds that lend herbs their healing prowess, they also embrace the intangible magic that cannot be confined by equations.
In the garden, they experiment with combinations of herbs, witnessing the sparks of alchemy as they create herbal concoctions. They brew potions of relaxation, courage, and clarity, all the while instilling a profound sense of responsibility for the gifts bestowed upon them by the Earth.
The Knowledge to Mend: Healing the Earth and Beyond
As our young herbalists grow in wisdom and understanding, they recognize the potent role they play in healing not only themselves but also the planet. They grasp that the connection to nature extends beyond the garden fence, and that the choices they make impact the delicate balance of the Earth.
Armed with the knowledge of herbs and their ecological significance, our budding herbalists turn into eco-conscious warriors, guardians of the planet. They advocate for sustainable practices, protect endangered plant species, and embark on a quest to heal the Earth one seedling at a time.
Enjoy a comprehensive Kindergarten homeschooling journey with our month-by-month lesson plan outline! From language arts to math, science to art, explore a diverse curriculum designed to foster holistic growth and learning in your child.
Month 1: Introduction to Kindergarten Learning
Month 1: Introduction to Learning
Week 1: All About Me
Month 2: Exploring Our World
Week 1: Transportation
Week 2: Countries and Cultures
Week 3: Land, Water, and Air
Week 4: Our Community
Month 3: Early Literacy and Numeracy
Week 1: Letters E-H
Week 2: Rhyming Words
Week 3: Numbers 6-10
Week 4: Story Time and Imagination
Month 4: Exploring Nature and Animals
Week 1: Outdoor Adventures
Month 5: Creative Exploration
Week 1: Colors and Emotions
Month 6: Nature and Seasons
Week 1: Springtime
Month 7: Exploring Science and the World
Week 1: Outer Space
Month 8: Exploring Our World Further
Week 1: Farms and Animals
Month 9: Creative Arts and Expression
Week 1: Music and Rhythm
Month 10: Our Amazing World
Week 1: Exploring Habitats
Month 11: People and Their Jobs
Week 1: Community Helpers
Month 12: Reflecting and Looking Ahead
Week 1: Looking Back
In the pursuit of education, we hold the philosopher's stone—the alchemy that transforms mere knowledge into the golden elixir of wisdom. In the enchanting world of homeschooling, we have the power to wield this mystical art and guide our children on a journey of transformative learning. Join us as we unravel the alchemy of education and turning knowledge into wisdom.
Why Herbal Education Matters
1. Rediscovering Ancient Wisdom: Long before textbooks and online resources, our ancestors turned to nature for wisdom. Herbal education revives this ancient knowledge, empowering us to harness the healing powers of plants for holistic wellness.
2. Nurturing Sustainable Practices: In a world grappling with environmental challenges, herbal education teaches kids to live sustainably and respect the delicate balance of nature.
3. Enhancing Health and Wellbeing: Understanding the medicinal properties of herbs empowers kids to make healthier choices, promoting a robust immune system and balanced wellbeing.
4. Encouraging Curiosity and Inquiry: Herbal education ignites curiosity and encourages kids to explore the mysteries of the natural world through hands-on learning.
The Holistic Curriculum: A Journey through the World of Herbs
1. The Herbology Handbook: From Seed to Sip
The herbology handbook is the cornerstone of our botanical studies. Start by planting a herb garden together, nurturing it from seed to sip. Kids will be enchanted by the sight of tiny sprouts breaking through the soil, and as they grow, document this in your own herbology handbook. They'll learn the art of caring for plants responsibly.
2. Herbal Remedy Concoctions: Potions and Brews
Nothing captivates the imagination quite like the idea of making magical potions and brews. Through herbal remedy concoctions, kids can discover the power of herbal teas, soothing balms, and tinctures that have been used for centuries to heal various ailments.
3. Herb Identification Adventures: Nature's Treasure Hunt
Take the kids on herb identification adventures in nearby forests and fields. Armed with field guides and a curious spirit, they'll learn to identify different herbs, each with its unique story and purpose.
4. Herb and Kitchen Alchemy: Flavors and Fragrances
Incorporate herbs into cooking to explore the world of flavors and fragrances. Let kids experiment with aromatic herbs and spices, turning a simple meal into a magical feast.
Cultivating Green Minds: Encouraging Immediate Action
Holistic homeschooling extends beyond books and classes; it's about experiencing the magic of herbs firsthand. Here are some practical ways to cultivate green minds in your homeschool:
1. Start a Family Herbal Garden: Create a family herbal garden, and let each family member choose a favorite herb to grow and care for. Witness the wonder as the garden flourishes and children discover the joy of nurturing living beings.
2. Encourage Nature Walks: Take regular nature walks, and let your kids explore the natural world around them. From observing plants to spotting wildlife, these walks provide invaluable opportunities to connect with nature.
3. DIY Herbal Remedies: Involve kids in making simple herbal remedies, such as soothing balms for minor cuts and scrapes or herbal teas to boost the immune system. They'll take pride in creating these magical elixirs.
4. Herbal Arts and Crafts: Incorporate herbs into arts and crafts projects. Dried flowers can be used to make beautiful bookmarks, while herb-infused oils can be incorporated into homemade candles.
Empowering the Next Generation
In a world that's constantly changing, homeschooling with a focus on herbal education empowers children to take control of their own future. As they grow, they will carry with them the wisdom of the natural world and a deep appreciation for the magical realm of herbs.
Final Thoughts: Cultivating a Green Legacy
Holistic homeschooling with a touch of herbal education sets the stage for a transformative journey. Let us strive to raise a generation that cherishes the earth, respects ancient wisdom, and harnesses the power of herbs to thrive in body, mind, and spirit. Together, we can create a legacy of green-minded individuals who make a positive impact on the world. So, roll up your sleeves, embark on this magical adventure, and sow the seeds of herbal wisdom in your homeschool today!
[Note: This blog post is for informational purposes only. It is advisable to consult with a qualified herbalist or healthcare professional before using herbs for medicinal purposes.]
Welcome to a realm where metaphysics dances with science, and the quantum mind reveals its mysteries. In the captivating world of homeschooling, we hold the key to unlocking the quantum potential within our children. Join us on a transformative journey as we merge metaphysics with science in homeschool lessons. Get ready to delve into the fascinating world of quantum physics, alchemy, and the boundless possibilities that lie within the quantum mind.
Embracing the Quantum Leap
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." - Albert Einstein
In the quantum realm, reality defies our everyday perceptions, and possibilities are limitless. As homeschooling parents, we have the enchanting opportunity to bridge the gap between metaphysical wisdom and scientific understanding.
1. The Quantum Mind Unveiled
Exploring the Quantum Mind
In the depths of the quantum world, a mysterious intelligence governs reality. The quantum mind is a tapestry of thoughts, emotions, and consciousness entangled with the fabric of the universe. As we embrace this realm, we empower our children to understand their innate power as creators of their reality.
The Dance of Metaphysics and Science
Metaphysics and science twirl in a cosmic dance, revealing the interconnectedness of all things. By merging these two disciplines in our homeschool lessons, we ignite a magical spark of curiosity in our young learners.
The Quantum Leap of Education
Homeschooling provides the perfect launchpad for a quantum leap in education. With freedom and flexibility, we can venture beyond traditional boundaries and equip our children with the tools to explore the wonders of quantum physics.
2. Quantum Physics in Homeschool Lessons
The Dual Nature of Light: Embracing Paradoxes
Introduce the concept of light's dual nature—both a particle and a wave. Teach your children to embrace paradoxes, paving the way for open-mindedness and a deeper understanding of the quantum world.
Entangled Learning: Embracing Unity
Explore the fascinating phenomenon of quantum entanglement. Encourage collaborative learning and foster unity among your children, igniting a shared sense of connection and purpose.
Superposition of Knowledge: Embrace the Multiverse
Embrace the superposition of knowledge by delving into multiple subjects simultaneously. Encourage interdisciplinary studies, nurturing a quantum mind that transcends traditional boundaries.
Quantum Leap of Imagination: Thinking Beyond Limits
Stimulate your children's imagination with thought experiments inspired by quantum physics. Encourage them to visualize possibilities beyond the ordinary and explore the wonders of the multiverse.
Alchemy of Metaphysics and Science"Magic is believing in yourself. If you can do that, you can make anything happen." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
In the alchemy of homeschool lessons, we combine the mystical essence of metaphysics with the precision of science, creating a transformative educational experience.
1. The Philosopher's Stone of Metaphysics
The Power of Intuition
Encourage your children to trust their intuition—the philosopher's stone of metaphysics. Teach them to listen to their inner wisdom and follow the path that resonates with their souls.
The Elixir of Connection
Foster a sense of interconnectedness with all living beings. Through empathy and compassion, your children will discover the alchemical elixir that binds us as a human family.
2. The Scientific Elixir
The Alchemy of Experimentation
Nurture the spirit of experimentation in your homeschool lessons. Provide opportunities for hands-on experiences and scientific exploration, empowering your children to be bold in their quest for knowledge.
The Potion of Precision
Introduce the importance of precision and accuracy in scientific studies. The potion of precision refines their understanding of the world, enabling them to see the beauty of scientific principles.
Creating a Quantum Homeschooling Space
"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science." - Albert Einstein
As we embark on this quantum journey, we must create a homeschooling space that nurtures the emergence of the quantum mind.
1. A Sanctuary of Wonder
Foster a sense of wonder and mystery in your homeschool environment. Fill the space with inspiring books, cosmic artwork, and magical objects that spark curiosity.
2. Quantum Mindfulness
Integrate mindfulness practices into your homeschooling routine. Through meditation and reflection, your children will connect with their inner quantum potential.
3. The Alchemy of Dialogue
Encourage open discussions and dialogue about metaphysics, science, and the quantum mind. Embrace your children's questions and explore the unknown together.
4. Quantum Leap of Creativity
Cultivate creativity as a vehicle for the quantum mind to express itself. Provide opportunities for art, music, and writing, allowing your children to channel the mysteries of the cosmos into their creations.
The Quantum Shift: Empowering Your Children
"The universe is not outside of you. Look inside yourself; everything that you want, you already are." - Rumi
As homeschooling parents, we hold the key to unlocking the quantum potential within our children. Empower them to embrace the quantum shift and take charge of their destiny.
1. Quantum Visualization
Guide your children in visualizing their dreams and aspirations. Encourage them to see themselves as creators of their reality, wielding the power of the quantum mind.
2. Quantum Leap of Confidence
Instill confidence in your children's abilities to understand and navigate the complexities of the quantum world. With a strong sense of self-assurance, they will embrace the quantum leap fearlessly.
3. Quantum Connection
Teach your children the value of interconnectedness with the world and its inhabitants. By nurturing empathy and compassion, they will harness the quantum power of unity.
4. Quantum Manifestation
Empower your children to manifest their dreams through focused intention and belief in the quantum potential within. The universe is their canvas; let them paint their desires upon it.
In Conclusion: The Quantum Mind Unleashed
As we merge metaphysics with science in homeschool lessons, we unleash the magic of the quantum mind. Embrace the dance of interconnectedness, curiosity, and exploration. Create a quantum homeschooling space that nurtures the emergence of the quantum mind, and empower your children to take the quantum leap towards a future of limitless possibilities. Together, let us unravel the mysteries of the universe and unleash the quantum potential within.
[Note: The content of this blog post is for informational purposes only. The exploration of quantum physics and metaphysics requires ongoing curiosity and discovery, and it's essential to adapt your approach based on your child's individual interests and capabilities.]
In the realm of alternative education, homeschooling has been gaining popularity among parents seeking a more personalized and flexible approach to their children's learning. As families embark on this journey of self-directed education, many are turning to unconventional methods to enhance the homeschooling experience.
One such method that has been catching the attention of parents and educators alike is the use of healing crystals and gemstones to enrich the learning environment. In this article, we will delve into the world of crystal-infused homeschooling, exploring the potential benefits, practical applications, and methods of teaching kids about crystals.
So, gather around young learners and parents, and let's embark on a professionally fun and esoteric adventure that might just be the gem you were looking for!
The Power of Homeschooling
Homeschooling has emerged as a formidable force in modern education, providing parents with the opportunity to customize their children's curriculum to suit individual needs, interests, and learning styles. This educational approach fosters a strong sense of autonomy, enabling kids to explore subjects that intrigue them, pursue passions, and develop critical thinking skills. By creating a nurturing environment where students can flourish, homeschooling unlocks the potential for creativity and curiosity to thrive.
Unearthed Wisdom: Healing Crystals and Gemstones
For thousands of years, gemstones have been revered for their captivating beauty, cultural significance, and believed metaphysical properties. It is from this ancient wisdom that the practice of utilizing healing crystals in education stems. The idea is to recognize the powers that crystals possess and to appreciate their potential to support emotional well-being, concentration, and mindfulness.
Enhancing Concentration and Focus - Teaching kids about crystals can be a valuable tool in cultivating focus and concentration during homeschooling activities. Some gemstones, like clear quartz, are believed to help in clearing mental clutter, providing a clean slate for young learners to absorb new knowledge and tackle challenging subjects.
Promoting Emotional Balance - Amethyst, known for its calming properties, can be introduced as a support for emotional balance during intense study sessions or moments of frustration. By encouraging emotional intelligence, children can navigate the ups and downs of learning with a clearer perspective.
Creating a Soothing Environment - Placing rose quartz in the homeschooling space can foster a sense of warmth and harmony, promoting an environment where both parents and children can thrive. This loving energy can enhance the parent-child bond and contribute to a positive learning atmosphere.
Fostering Creativity - Gemstones like citrine, associated with creativity and inspiration, can be introduced during arts and crafts sessions, sparking imaginative ideas and innovative thinking among young minds.
The Crystal Curriculum: Teaching Kids about Crystals
Introducing crystal learning into your homeschooling routine doesn't have to be daunting. In fact, it can be an engaging and interactive experience for both children and parents. Here are some professionally fun and esoteric ways to teach kids about crystals:
Crystal Treasure Hunt - Create an exciting scavenger hunt where children can search for different crystals hidden around the house or in the backyard. Provide clues about the properties of each crystal, and as they find them, take a moment to discuss the unique characteristics of each gemstone.
Crystal Identification Game - Engage kids in a playful learning experience by presenting them with various crystals and encouraging them to identify each one based on the knowledge they have gained. This hands-on approach fosters memory retention and reinforces their understanding of crystals.
Crystal Crafts and Art Projects - Incorporate crystals into art projects and crafts. Children can create stunning crystal mobiles, crystal-adorned dreamcatchers, or even paint artworks inspired by the colors and shapes of different gemstones. This artistic expression instills appreciation for the beauty of crystals.
Gemstone Journaling - Encourage children to keep a gemstone journal where they can write about their experiences with different crystals. They can record their thoughts, feelings, and observations, providing an avenue for self-reflection and creative expression.
Storytelling and Crystal Legends - Unleash your storytelling skills by narrating ancient legends and myths surrounding crystals. Children will be captivated by tales of how gemstones were believed to possess unique powers and the cultural significance they held throughout history.
In the realm of homeschooling, the possibilities for enhancing the learning journey are as vast as the cosmos. Incorporating healing crystals and gemstones into your homeschooling experience can bring a touch of enchantment, mindfulness, and emotional support to the educational adventure.
By teaching kids about crystals in a professionally fun and knowledgeable manner, parents can inspire curiosity, creativity, and a deeper connection to the world around them. So, embark on this crystal-clear path, and may the gems of wisdom guide you on this empowering homeschooling odyssey.
by Phoenix Desertsong, Parent of Book Lovers
The need to recycle paper products becomes more important every day. As more old-growth trees are cut down every day, we rob our planet of valuable oxygen. We have to wait decades to replace these valuable natural resources. Of course, we don’t want our kids to pay the price for that!
While paper products are mostly biodegradable - nearly one hundred percent - a great amount of those include books and magazines. Why send them to a landfill when they’re easy to reuse and recycle?
The truth is that old books and magazines do have cultural and historical value. Not only is a good idea to pass them on, but some can even be valuable to collectors! As your kids are growing up, it’s important to teach them about the value of these printed materials after they are done with them.
Of course, you can also send old books and magazines to the recycling bin, especially if they are quite beat up. But,not all recycling companies accept them just as they are. So, what are some good ways to reuse and recycle books and magazines than simply throwing them away?
Donate Old Books and Magazines to Local or College Libraries
Have a bunch of books and magazines that your kids no longer use? Ask your kids which books and magazines they are willing to let go. All kinds of libraries, both public libraries and school libraries, will happily accept donations of old books and magazines in good condition.
The best condition copies of some of the books you donate will end up on library shelves. Others will be put out on racks for sale. These books will be also often used for running fundraisers to raise money for library improvements. In any case, it’s better than letting them gather dust in your home or storage unit
Sell Valuable Old Books and Magazines
There are many resources online to see what your old books and magazines are worth. Several websites exist that allow you to type in or scan the barcode numbers of mass-market books. They will pay you cash and even send you a shipping label to cover shipping costs. However, be aware they usually pay you a small percentage of what the item is actually worth.
Used bookstores still exist, of course. But, many are very picky with what they’ll buy and some don’t actively buy - but accept donations. Also, not everyone has them locally.
There are always flea markets, too. These can be great events to bring your kids to in order to teach them how to run a sale. But, you want to be sure that you’re actually selling something worth bringing and paying for the table space.
Then there’s garage sales, but they typically aren’t big sellers for books and magazines unless you get lucky. One thing that can sell, though, piles of classic magazines like Highlights, National Geographic, and Sports Illustrated.
Speaking of classic magazines, in great shape, they can be worth money. Covers featuring celebrities or sports stars can fetch good money on eBay. For example, you can find many Time Magazine and Sports Illustrated magazines for sale online.
eBay is your best bet for selling books and magazines with actual demand. It’s easy enough to find out - just check current listings and completed listings and see if your book or magazine is anything that sells.
Creative Ways to Reuse Books and Magazines
For books with illustrations or pictures and magazines that don’t have any resale value, you may decide to use them for creative purposes instead. Magazines in particular make excellent craft supplies for both kids and adults. They make great material for collages or scrapbooks. You can even make DIY hanging mobile art with magazine cutouts. You string thread through holes cut into the tops of the shapes and attach the shapes to a clothes hanger.
Another creative option is cutting out articles or pictures to create a vision board or dream board. These can help you visualize goals and dreams you want to achieve in your life - sort of like a visual bucket list. You can create one alongside your kids, as they are good activities for any age. These can include a dream career, a special vacation, or a fancy new car.
Throwing Unwanted Books and Magazines into the Recycling Bin
Whatever you don’t feel like donating, reselling, or reusing creatively, you can always throw into the recycling bin. This includes books and magazines that are in poor condition or ones you’ve already used for cutouts. You’ll want to check what your local recycling pickup or drop-off center accepts first,
Fortunately, there are more areas accepting books and magazines as-is all the time. This includes even magazines printed on glossy paper. Because glossy paper is in much lower demand than regular paper, recycling companies don’t get as much in return as raw material. But, now some companies will take it anyway.
In some areas, to recycle old books you still have to separate the paper from the bindings, whether there’s adhesive or staples - or both - involved in holding them together. There are companies who can remove these bindings with their machinery. But, having to deconstruct books and magazines just for recycling can be a major hassle. So, donating them may be a better option for you if this type of extra labor is involved.
So, if you and your family have some books and magazines you need out of your way, take these good ways to reuse them in mind. Not only is it a good idea to give people another chance to enjoy them, but keeping them out of landfills is great for the environment. Whatever you do, make sure to reuse and recycle whatever paper products you can to save as many trees as we can. Let’s be sure our kids have a very green future!
by Phoenix Desertsong, Parent of Three
There are many advantages to homeschooling your kids. Not everyone will do it the same, and in fact, there are many correct ways to do it. How you do homeschool is all up to how your kids learn best. But, there are some common homeschooling mistakes which can put your homeschool success at risk. The good news is that if you find yourself doing any of these five homeschooling mistakes that are easy to make, you can quickly learn how to avoid them.
Don't Set the Bar Too Low for Your Kids' Expectations
In traditional schools, research shows that teacher expectations have a direct effect on student performance. This is no different when it comes to homeschool. The main difference is homeschooling is that you as a parent are the teacher. Parents tend to have much stronger biases than school teachers when it comes to the perception of your child’s abilities.
Biases really become clear when you are homeschooling two or more children. Your son may be a math genius, while struggling to read aloud. Meanwhile, your daughter seems allergic to numbers, but reads aloud like a pro. The important thing is to not simply favor your children’s strengths. You need to set aside any preconceived notions you have about your child’s abilities in order to help them succeed.
The best teachers go into every lesson knowing that they will give every chance to succeed in that lesson. When you expect the best from children, you are far more likely to get their best effort. Sometimes what may be holding one child back in a subject is easily corrected. Be positive and encouraging, especially when a child is doing something he or she struggles at. You may be surprised that a child who appears bad at math just needs it taught in a slightly different way, only to discover that he or she is actually rather good at it.
Of course, don’t set your expectations so high that they are unrealistic. Allow your kids to work through things at their own pace. That’s a major advantage of homeschool: your kids don’t get left behind or get way ahead of the rest of the class. Use that advantage to their advantage.
Don’t Simply Teach the Way YOU Liked to Learn
It’s been said that certain types of teaching styles are better than others. While there is some truth to this, it’s more accurate to say that certain teaching styles are more effective with certain individuals than others. Yes, you may have learned just fine from lectures yourself, but some kids just get bored.
Just because something worked for you in your own learning doesn’t mean it will work for your kids. Even more importantly, if you have multiple kids, they may not learn as well by the same method as the other. The best thing to do is try different teaching styles, such as showing videos, doing hands-on activities, and using highly visual presentations. Then, ask your children for what they prefer and adjust accordingly. There is no one size fits all approach to learning. This has been known for years. That’s yet another advantage of homeschool you should help your kids use to their advantage.
Not Setting Rules For Learning Time (AKA Classroom Management)
This is where I partly disagree with many homeschooling experts: separating “class” time from other regular at-home activities. Some people feel that their own in-home system if discipline, rules, amd consequences are enough. I actually mostly agree with that.
However, it IS important to have some simple rules for learning time, especially if you are trying to have a more regular classroom setting. These rules can be as simple as not talking over others, paying attention, and doing the work in a timely manner. Some children do need that structure to stay on task. Really, it’s more about setting up a routine that kids know what to do and have respect for learning time. Plus, you want to teach your kids good work habits.
Of course, some parents don’t want to set any rules for learning time. They’ll just let their kids sort of wander sometimes. Honestly, if that’s happening, you should be trying to teach a different way. The beauty of children is that if you’re doing it right, you will know, and vice versa. The best rule of thumb is to not be strict and inflexible, but instead adaptable and flexible.
Only Teaching One Thing at a Time
In most traditional school settings, subjects are taught one at a time. This is how many homeschool parents schedule their days, often one subject per hour. It works, right? Well, it’s been found through the years that having an overarching theme throughout the day informing what you do in each subject is more effective. By each subject being interrelated, kids tend to retain what they’ve learned much better.
Some schools have done this for years. One day the class will have Bird Day and another day there will be Cat Day, and so on. This isn’t true everywhere, of course, especially when you get into middle school and junior high where students begin to have different teachers for each subject. But I remember having themed days and weeks in elementary school, and wow, does it make a difference having every subject relate to it. Unfortunately, they weren’t every day and usually had something to do with a holiday or event.
Some educators have made it a point to design curriculums with study units that have a theme that ties together math, reading, science, and social studies. Students have been found to retain more and have more fun with learning when they are taught with themes, even if those themes only show up in loosely related ways.
One great example I’ve found has to do with animals with predictable life cycles, particularly frogs. You don’t just teach about a frog’s predictable life cycle during science time. You can have a book about a frog during reading time that covers a lot of the same concepts through a story. Then, you can teach multiplication using frog legs, such as if there are 5 frogs with 4 legs each, how many frog legs? It’s a cute example, but even younger children will pick up on a lot of these concepts more easily because it was taught in a fun and interesting way.
Teaching is NOT Telling
Yes, even though this seems like a really basic mistake,teachers and parents alike still do the whole “tell, not show” thing. Yes, it is far more common for teachers to “show, not tell” even in a lecture setting, but the opposite is more common than you think. Yes, there are some students that are perfectly fine with being told about something. But, in many cases, simply telling about something isn’t enough to make it stick with your student.
Teaching is NOT just telling. Yes, telling is a part of it, but you have to show an example of what you’re telling for it to be most effective. Really, the best way not to fall into the “tell, not show” trap is to change up your learning styles. Switch up between using hands-on activities, visual aids, tech-based learning, and more. Also remember that as a teacher, you are learning, too. You might be learning a different way, in that you’re learning how to teach more effectively, but you are. As you learn and improve your teaching methods, you’ll see your children improve in their own learning, too.
We hope that you’ve found this advice helpful and hope that it can help you become a better homeschool teacher. Do you find yourself making any of these homeschooling mistakes yourself? How have you overcome certain difficulties in your own homeschool?
by Phoenix Desertsong, Parent of Three
Homeschool has become an extremely popular trend in education in recent years for many different reasons. But, if you ask most homeschool parents why they are homeschooling, the answer you’ll most likely get is they’re having fun with being such a big part of their child’s education. Still, there are some parents on the fence about homeschooling, even though they’re considering it. The main concern for parents unsure about homeschooling is they aren’t sure where to find the best homeschool resources.
Sure, the internet can be a great resource for homeschool lesson plans, tips and tricks, and more. But, a major part of the homeschool experience is making sure your children are an active part of getting what they need. After all, one of the main benefits of homeschooling is the ability to greatly personalize your child’s educational experience. So, read on for where to find the best homeschooling supplies.
Your Local Bookstore Can Be Your Homeschool Store
The first thing many homeschool parents will do is to type amazon.com into their browser. This is not a bad thing. After all, many communities no longer have a local bookstore anymore. But, there are other options besides Amazon, and you’d be surprised to hear some of them are less expensive.
Now, if you do have a local bookstore, it’s one of the best homeschool resources you can have. You may have a used bookstore. That works, too. In fact, if you don’t have a new or used bookstore nearby, you can even browse the books of your local thrift store. They usually have a lot, because they don’t typically sell that well. Thrift stores even have textbooks sometimes, so just be sure they’re fairly recent - teaching with out-of-date books is counterproductive, and yes, some public schools still do.
Whatever store you have that sells books of any kind (yes, even if it’s just the limited bookshelf at Walmart) arm yourself with a list of books to buy that fit with your homeschool curriculum. Turn it into a sort of a scavenger hunt. Of course, you have to be flexible. If you are lucky enough to have a larger bookstore in your area, there will be plenty of options to choose from - if you don’t mind paying full retail price.
Even living in a major metro area with several big-chain bookstores, I would still go the used bookstore, thrift store, and big box store route. Part of the fun of getting books is having a list of what you need but having fun and learning to be flexible. Also, used books are going to save you a lot of money and your kids get to be part of the process, which serves as its own homeschool lesson.
Of course, if you have a big chain like Barnes and Noble and they’re having a good sale, it’s a great place to round things out. You can always use Amazon for what you can’t find and need to cover - or even eBay. But, the more involved your child is in the book selection and buying process, the better.
The Magazine Rack Can Be a Great Homeschool Resource
Magazines are an old school way to find homeschool resources, but yes, they do still exist. I don’t recommend paying full retail price, because some companies practically give magazine subscriptions away these days. People also will post boxes of old magazines on classified sites like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. Thrift stores and used bookstores practically give them away, too.
Not only do magazines offer great reading material and exciting photography to stimulate your kids’ learning, but they also serve another purpose. Magazines are perfect material for arts and crafts projects, scrapbooks, poster boards, and more. The magazines you get should be on topics your kids actually enjoy.
Be sure to ask your family and friends if they have old magazines laying around they don’t want. At the very least you’ll have some material arts and crafts projects and save some money in the process. The best magazines for homeschool is a topic I plan to cover in a future article.
The Internet is the Most Obvious Homeschool Resource
Of course, with the internet, there are many websites offering help with supplementing or even creating your curriculum. You can find a lot of it for free through simple searches, and there are plenty of homeschool blogs out there with plenty of links and resources. Not everything online is free, though, especially if you’re looking for curriculum.
But while the Internet is an obvious homeschool resource, it can also be overwhelming and confusing. Plus, as I already mentioned, a lot of it isn’t free. Years ago, you could find a lot more for free, but a lot of the best homeschool resources are now stuck behind a paywall. Personally, I wouldn’t pay for very many of them, although there are a couple that I do like that are well worth your money. I’ll get to these another time.
In general, if you find something that requires a subscription, do your homework on the company. See if other homeschool parents have a lot of nice things to say about it. Of course, there are some shady companies out there that offer “free trials” but will later charge you if you cancel anyway. So, don’t pay for anything until you do your research.
The Public Library is a Homeschool Parent’s Best Friend
You can get more value out of a library card than ever. Of course, they have the books and references that your kids can take home and use as long as they return them by the due date. Libraries also have videos and educational CD’s. But, some libraries now also have streaming services, so just by signing in with your library card, you can gain access to a lot of the library’s resources - including many of those same videos, audiobooks, and even ebooks - from home for free.
Libraries also have computers with educational software on them. These computers are often going to be always in use in busier areas. Again, though, some of these resources become available to you online through the use of your library card - but it depends on where you live.
The other plus about libraries is the events designed especially for kids. Even smaller libraries in rural areas will have events like these. These include story time, book discussions, and more. Book discussions are especially useful for homeschooled kids as they not only help your child learn to read, but also help develop critical thinking skills.
Teach Alongside Other Homeschool Parents
Some homeschool parents will invite other homeschoolers to join them at their house and teach everyone together. Not everyone likes to do this, as teaching styles can be vastly different when it comes to homeschool. Of course, experiencing a different way of doing things can be good for both you and the kids. You can also offer to do this yourself if you feel comfortable doing so.
The other good thing about connecting with other local homeschoolers is many of them are happy to either loan or give you used materials that they no longer need for their own children. Homeschool parents are often happy to just pass on materials rather than let them sit around or be donated to a thrift store where they may not be found for a long time. Outside of the occasional textbook, homeschool materials don’t resell well. So, you save money, and other parents get satisfaction from passing it on to other kids.
A Trip to the Museum is Actually Underrated for Homeschool
Not everyone lives in an urban area - as we do - where there are lots of choices for museums. Some parents think that museums will just bore their kids. Of course, there are childrens’ museums and exhibits at many other kinds of museums such as art and science museums made just for kids. Again, not everyone has easy access to these, but if you can manage a trip once in a while, it can be very rewarding, especially for homeschoolers.
Trips to the museum do more than just help your kids appreciate art, history, science, and more. Because you are homeschooling, your kids can choose what exhibits to spend the most time with, whereas on a school trip you basically have to follow the crowd. Of course, the preferred way for many people to go to museums is to join group tours. I find most children get bored this way and their attention will wander.
If your kids are willing to be patient and pay attention to the guide, great, but I find this to not be the case. My experience is that you let the kids spend the most time with what interests them most rather than force them to try to take in everything. Many museums are huge and can be very overwhelming. Of course, there are local history and topical museums, too, and these tend to be easier for kids, since there’s a lot less to take in.
Your Everyday Errands Are a Great Homeschool Learning Opportunity
You may not think that trip to the gas station, post office, and supermarket are an opportunity to learn, but they are. At the gas station, you have the opportunity to teach about gas prices, how much gas your vehicle needs, and more. The post office can teach about what it costs to ship items and all about how mailing, packaging, and shipping work.
The grocery store is a perfect learning opportunity. You can teach kids about unit prices, how to identify good deals, how to shop sales, how to plan meals, how to budget… the list is almost endless. You can make a fun lesson out of any shopping trip, but grocery shopping offers some of the most valuable real-life lessons.
Find Homeschool Lessons In and Around the Home
Of course, one of the best resources for homeschooling is your own home. The trick is to find activities that don’t feel like lessons. It could be as simple as baking some corn muffins - there’s math involved with measurements and science in the actual baking. If you prepare yourself and drop little lessons during the process, it won’t feel like a lesson. Maybe you’ll plant a small garden in your yard. It’s a great little science project, not only teaching your kids about plant life, but also the responsibility of caring for those plants.
The most important part of homeschool in and around the home is to watch what interests your child the most. You’ll want to weave these subjects your kid already likes into your daily lessons. Almost anything can be turned into something educational that teaches reading comprehension, critical thinking skills, math, science, or social studies. Keep it fun, but make sure your kid learns something.
Are there any other places you would suggest to find homeschool resources? If you’ve never homeschooled before, do you remember anything that worked well for you in school? If you already homeschool, we’d love to hear about cool and unique things you’ve found that work well with your kids!
by Laurie Childree, Staff Writer
Whether you special needs child is in home-school or traditional school, there is still a need to supplement their education. This means that you have to get creative when it comes to the curriculum. Your child learns differently, so avoid the cookie cutter.
Yes, you will take the personality of your child into consideration BEFORE the disability. Personality is how you personalize education.
These and several others questions will need answering when it comes to supplementing the education of your special needs child.
How Do They Learn??
Traditional schools will teach all the children the same way unless they have an IEP or 504 plan. Even these do not guarantee that your child is getting the skills they need in life. Supplementing their education is more than reinforcing academics, it is teaching them life skills. You have to treat them as individuals and tailor lessons to the way they learn the best whether from reading, watching instructional videos, writing about it or doing it themselves.
Simple Is Best
You don't want to overwhelm your child or break the bank so keeping it simple is the best thing to do for both of you, especially in the early stages while you figure out what you are doing. You can supplement education with games, workbooks, printed materials, daily chores and everyday outings. Personalize the lessons to your child, and take advantage of situations that allow you to reinforce what they are learning.
by Phoenix Desertsong, Parent of Three
Ebooks can really help young children get involved with the literary world. Sometimes, it can be hard to get children to sit down long enough to actually read to them. Fortunately, there are many interactive ebooks available today to catch young readers with short attention spans. Learn about some of the benefits of interactive ebooks for homeschool reading activities.
Interactive Ebooks Give Homeschool Students Multimedia Reading Experiences
If you try to sit your five-year old homeschool student down and read him or her a classic book like Treasure Island, it’s likely you’ll encounter some resistance. Even if you are trying to read your child an adaptation made for kids, some children simply do not want to sit long enough to successfully read very much of it.
But, if you get Treasure Island as an interactive ebook, you get a multimedia experience that include cool pirate-themed music and animated pictures. The more of your child’s senses you can get involved in a story, the better. There are even interactive ebooks that can read the story aloud page by page. My own children enjoy the Dr. Seuss interactive ebooks available on mobile devices. Interactive ebooks will often highlight the words as they are read, allowing children to learn the phonics and tone of many words.
Interactive Ebooks Get Homeschool Children with ADD Involved in Reading and Learning
Interactive ebooks have become particularly popular for parents with children who suffer from Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). It’s been found that many children with ADD can benefit from interactive ebooks that would never pay attention to a standard book. In these cases, having ebooks available on a computer or other multimedia device such as a tablet get children who wouldn’t touch regular books a chance to read and learn.
With homeschool, you can have reading activities exclusively using interactive ebooks. Some kids that have been diagnosed with ADD or just have issues with paying attention may struggle with focusing during reading time in a traditional school setting. But, with homeschool reading activities, you can choose whatever will get your children reading. After all, as long as they read something they enjoy, it does the job.
Interactive Ebooks Involve Kids Who Need More Activity
Reading standard books may be too much of a passive activity to interest highly active children for long. But, with interactive ebooks, tapping a screen or clicking a mouse to make pictures move or change pictures will capture the attention of many otherwise hyper children. Children don’t even have to sit still to read a book if they are reading it on a mobile device like an Android tablet or iPad. The children still receive the benefits of being read a regular book and it keeps them busy.
So, if you're having trouble getting your homeschool kids to pay attention during reading time, interactive ebooks on either computer, tablet, or other mobile device is something you should definitely try.
Interactive Ebooks Are Great Educational Tools
Some people may think that interactive ebooks are too much like video games. But, the educational value of interactive ebooks can’t be overlooked, especially when it comes to kids seeing the words as they are read. The animations can keep a better hold on your child’s senses, something that still pictures in regular books can’t always do.
Interactive ebooks can help beginning readers learn vocabulary, phonics, context clues, and more. They can even help older readers improve their skills. In any case, interactive ebooks are fun and can teach children even more than just what’s said in the story. Interactive ebooks can be used by parents, daycares, and teachers alike
So, if you have a child who resists story time and wants nothing to do with letting you read him or her a book, try out interactive ebooks. You may just find that interactive ebooks are the key to getting your child to love reading. Who knows. After reading interactive ebooks for awhile, he or she may even pick up a regular book! Interactive ebooks are definitely worth a try, especially for homeschool reading!
Have you ever used interactive ebooks for your own homeschool reading activities?
by Phoenix Desertsong, Published Author
While harder to find than regular ebooks, interactive ebooks, also known as multimedia ebooks, can be lots of fun for children of all ages. Many of these ebooks are interactive books for preschoolers, but they exist for older children, as well. These interactive multimedia ebooks have audio and video features that can add lots of educational and entertainment value beyond the original book itself. While not all are educational ebooks, the interactivity makes them perfect for reading time or homeschool
“Old School” Interactive Ebooks for Kids
Interactive ebooks for kids have actually existed long before ebooks became even a thought on the internet. Some regular kids books actually came with a CD with an interactive version of the book or activities related to the book. They used to be only available at larger bookstores and by special order. Today, you can still buy them online, but some places allow you to download them.
What’s great about interactive ebooks is that your child not only can interact with the book, but can even sometimes alter events within the story itself. No longer are you passively reading the story, but actively being involved with it. Also, by being interactive, there are lots of opportunities for the story to reinforce other reading skills, such as vocabulary or phonics. This makes even older interactive ebooks good learning tools for students.
“Old school” multimedia ebooks either ran directly off of a CD or comes as an executable (EXE) file that you can download. This is because it’s not a document, but instead a program. Some of them even have the ability to have multiple users and allow the child to enter his or her name to personalize the experience. Some even allow you to put the child’s picture into the story, with adult assistance, of course.
Modern Interactive Ebooks
Today, there are still plenty of multimedia ebooks, but they are available today on Amazon KIndle or as apps from the Windows Store, the Google Play store, iTunes, and other similar software download platforms. They offer the same interactivity as the older multimedia ebooks, but often with a small download size and no need for a disc. These newer ebooks are much easier to find and much less expensive than the “old school” multimedia ebooks on CD.
It’s still possible to find some multimedia ebooks in the computer software aisle of big box stores or office supply stores. The ones you can find in these sorts of places tend to be very inexpensive.
Finding Older Interactive Ebooks For Download or Sale
Not every “old school” multimedia ebook has made its way into modern app stores. Some older ebooks may also not be compatible with newer computers. However, if you happen to come across them and you can get them to work, they are still a lot of fun, although they are limited to being run on a personal computer.
If you’re looking for multimedia ebooks not available in your local retail stores, you’ll have to turn to eBay, Amazon, and other online retail websites. This is where they can become expensive. But, it’s also possible to find them at thrift stores or even yard sales. Some of them are even highly collectible if the disc is in top condition.
Whether they’re old or new, multimedia and interactive ebooks can greatly encourage young readers by allowing them to be more actively involved with their favorite stories. Hopefully, by playing along with these interactive books, their interest in regular books will increase dramatically. They were effective back in the 1990’s and early 2000’s, and interactive ebooks for students and kids definitely aren’t going anywhere.
by Phoenix Desertsong, Parent of Three
Ebooks are a hot commodity on the internet. Many of them are given away for free to promote products and in marketing for companies. But, best of all, free ebooks are a great way for up and coming authors to gain an easier chance of discovery and name recognition. So, it's often possible to find great free ebooks for kids. Still, witheverything that comes for free, there will be some that won't be worth your time. So, here's how to find the best free ebooks for your children.
Find Free Ebooks from Up-and-Coming Children’s Authors
It’s quite common for aspiring book writers and novelists to turn to distributing free ebooks online to get their work out into the world. There are many reasons authors do this. Some are sick of being rejected by literary agents and publishers and decide to self-publish their work. By giving out a free ebook or two, up-and-coming authors can get people to visit their website and sign up for mailing lists. Many self-published authors have done extremely well this way.
Despite what some people may think, many authors who put out free ebooks are actually publishing quality work. Keep in mind that publishers tend to reject books before they even see anything of the actual manuscript. Publishers will typically reject anything that doesn’t fit in a certain genre or doesn't have an obvious market.
In particular, many children’s book writers have turned to giving away free ebooks for their first couple of books in order to build their audience. Sometimes, small presses and literary agents who are happy to take a chance on indie authors will discover them this way. Most of the time, these authors are happy to just build their own book business. So, if you discover a quality free ebook from an up-and-coming children’s author - or any author for that matter - be sure to share it with your friends and family.
Free Children’s Ebooks Are Easy to Find, But Which Are Good?
There are so many websites on which you can find free children’s ebooks. Of course, the major online booksellers like Amazon and Barnes and Noble are a great place to start. Kindle and Nook are happy to let authors offer ebooks for free just to build their sales rankings.
But, there are also plenty of independent websites that exist almost entirely for the purpose of distributing free children’s ebooks. One good way of getting free kids’ ebooks is to join kids clubs online. These clubs tend to send you free children’s ebooks monthly or even weekly just by signing up by email.
Most sites that let you download free ebooks will require that you register with the site by email. While most sites are safe, be aware that you may receive a lot of unwanted email due to sites that will sell your email to mailing lists. How sites plan to use your email address should be in the fine print so look at this before you sign up with any sites.
Don't pay subscription fees to any free ebooks sites because authors typically give everything away for free. Always beware of sites that ask you to sign up for a free trial to download any books. While many of these are also legiitate book clubs that are actually no obligitation if you cancel before the trial period ends, read the fine print.
Beware of educational websites that will be sneaky by asking for your PayPal email address. Do NOT sign up for these as they are trying to subscribe you for auto payments, which may still remain active even if you cancel. While PayPal is good about getting you your money back if you have proof of cancellation, it can take ten days for that money to be returned. Save yourself the headache and avoid them. it's a common scam, and even if you are willing to pay, they often don't provide what they promise.
Always Look Over Free Ebooks Entirely Yourself Before Reading Them With Your Child
Before reading any ebook with your child, definitely be sure there will be no unwelcome surprises. While discovering a book together can be fun, you never know what you'll find in something you downloaded for free from the internet. Unless you know the author, even if you got it from Amazon or Barnes and Noble, it's better safe than sorry to know the entire book’s contents before sharing it with your child. Most of the time it will be fine, but you never know what strange things a free ebook will have.
Be aware that some of these sites have educational ebooks with certain political or religious slants. You will want to review ebooks carefully before actually showing them to your children, of course. Sometimes these slants and agendas are hidden within the book and aren’t openly advertised. Keep this in mind when downloading free children’s ebooks, even from major retailers.
Free ebooks for kids are an awesome resource for homeschool or reading time. Just be careful what ebook sites you use and look over what you download carefully. You can find some great educational and entertaining resources for your child thanks to free ebooks.
by Phoenix Desertsong, Parent of Three
Many types of ebooks are available for children. While there are many great children’s fiction ebooks released every year, there are also plenty of new nonfiction, educational ebooks to check out. Educational ebooks aren’t just for teaching children about a subject they’re curious about. There are several other benefits that educational ebooks for kids offer.
Educational Ebooks for Kids Are Great Supplements for Homeschool Reading
Homeschoolers are happy to use educational ebooks to supplement their child’s studies. Not only are they less expensive than traditional workbooks in many cases, there are plenty even available for free. There are plenty of ebooks that are usable as teaching aids in subjects or topics that your child may be struggling with in school.
Like many children’s ebooks, many educational ebooks for kids are interactive. Some have silly songs or memorable, colorful animations. These can help children to memorize certain facts or better understand certain concepts.
Educational Ebooks for Kids Include Textbooks
To keep up with the exploding popularity of educational ebooks, some traditional textbooks are alsonow available in ebook form. Often, they are available at far cheaper prices than the hardcover versions. From composition to math to social studies, you can find online textbooks, sometimes even for free.
Not only are textbook ebooks great for homeschool, but also for supplemental learning. They also help for non-traditional schools or children with disabilities that may not be able to handle traditional textbooks.
Educational Ebooks Are Great for Small Kids
Small children love looking at and interacting with ebooks. Many of the ebooks designed for smaller children include music, slideshows, and other activities. Through having fun, small kids can actually learn a lot. These interactive educational ebooks are great for helping kids learn their ABCs, numbers, colors, shapes, and much more.
With the easy availability and portability of educational ebooks, it’s not surprising how popular they have become. Just using your favorite search engine, you can find plenty of free or inexpensive educational ebooks on just about any topic or subject your child likes or needs to learn. At any age, there’s an educational ebook that can help with something in your child’s continuing education.
Fostering Nature Appreciation in Children
For some kids, it may be instinct to get out and explore nature. However, in the age of video games and computer technology, the same cannot be said for all children. Some kids hardly play outside, let alone learn to love and appreciate nature. Fortunately, with creativity you can teach even the most unaware and unwilling kids to love nature. Generally, once they get out there and start enjoying it in various ways, it comes naturally.
Visit a Nature Reserve
Nature reserves can hold some of the most captivating wildlife scenery, especially to young minds. They often have a large amount of different plants and animals. Also, they are designed especially for the purpose of preserving and appreciating nature. Nature reserves can offer uniquely creative programs, tours, and classes you won't find anywhere else. One way to find a nature reserve in your area is to visit the Nature Conservancy at Nature.org. You also may want to check your local parks and recreation department.
Gardening is an activity that will allow kids to observe nature from start to finish. This makes an excellent candidate for creatively teaching a child to love nature. Many kids will enjoy various aspects of preparing, planting, observing, and (where necessary) harvesting a garden. Some great starter plants for kids include bean plants, sunflowers, bulb plants, and sprouted plants. Allow the kids to be creative and design the arrangement of plants. Also consider getting the kids involved in the community by creating bucket gardens for the hungry or homeless.
Family Nature Night
Ever thought of dedicating a special night just to nature? Holding a family nature night is one way to instill the love of nature. It also can create some great family bonding time and memories. Various activities can be done during family nature night, such as star gazing, bird watching, insect observing, nature crafts, gardening, and so much more. Nature crafts can be anything from bird and squirrel feeders to collages, handcrafted jewelry, and wreaths. Since it's about nature appreciation, be sure to stick to all natural and eco-friendly crafting. To take this a step further, consider making it a regular habit.
Last updated 2/17/2022
One way to appreciate nature or enforce previous nature appreciation lessons is to have a family nature night. Whether your family members are nature gurus or just getting started, this can be a fun activity. Adults and kids of all ages can participate in some or all ways.
Natural Observation & Sample Collection
When you have a family nature night, kids and adults can collect samples from nature to examine, talk about and treasure. These can be things like fallen leaves, pine cones, flower petals and more. Just be sure to choose only fallen items, as you're there to observe and enjoy nature, not destroy it. Insects, frogs, lizards and other small creatures are great to observe in their natural environments as well. Night time may reveal things you didn't see during the day. A nature scavenger hunt is one fun way to enjoy the item collection (leave animals and insects out of this part).
Depending on the season, some garden fun with the right plants can be a great addition to a family nature night. Pick out seeds or transplants ahead of time. You might even consider making small container vegetable gardens to donate to the homeless. Plant them in a bucket with irrigation holes at the bottom to create a sustainable food source that's also portable.If you're unable to plant outdoors, you can still use pots and plant indoors.
Photos can help create lasting memories, as well as beautiful displays. Take pictures of the family enjoying nature, as well as pictures of the nature itself. Nature pictures can be used later to create albums, posters, computer screensavers, puzzles, collages, other art projects, and so much more.
Speaking of collages, how about making a natural one? Compile collected items from nature, like leaves, dried flowers, small nuts and more. The items can be glued to recycled poster board or cardboard. Homemade glue using just flour and water works very well for this. The consistency should be thick, but not enough that it looks like dough. It takes a while to dry, but holds well afterward. The creation can then be placed in a poster-size collage frame to accent any room in the house.
Sky gazing is another excellent way to enjoy family nature night. Lie out on the lawn on blankets or beach towels. Stare up at the sky and discuss what you see. This could be the stars, moon, cloud shapes, birds, dragonflies, tall trees, etc.
Before or after the sky gazing, everyone can close their eyes and just listen to nature. Suggest a certain amount of time for everyone to be completely quiet and just listen. When that time is up, the family can talk about what they heard, where the sounds may have come from, and what or who may have made them. This is a good activity to end family nature night with, as it is relaxing and will get everyone in the calm mode shortly before bedtime.
by Phoenix Desertsong, Parent of Three
Taking full responsibility for your child's education through homeschooling can be fun and exciting. There are many choices to be made. While this freedom has many benefits, parents can also find themselves suffering from homeschool burnout.
Some common reasons for burnout aren't even directly related to homeschooling. These reasons can include a new baby or an illness. But, the changes in routines and added responsibilities of doing homeschool can also be factors that lead to homeschool burnout.
However, homeschool burnout doesn't need to be a bad thing. It should instead be seen as a wake-up call that you need to make adjustments. Here are 3 tips on avoiding homeschool burnout.
Be Patient with Homeschool and Yourself
Just as you need patience as a parent, you need to be even more patient in your additional role as homeschool teacher. Don't try to be perfect. Have realistic expectations for each day. It's easy to plan too much. Don't set the bar too high.
You're going to have good days and bad days. Everyone does. Even the best laid plans can go away. So, don't stress as long as you're making some progress everyday.
Be Flexible With Your Schedule and Teaching Methods
A major advantage of homeschool is that if you find one teaching method doesn't work, you can change it! In fact, this may be the greatest advantage over traditional school environments. So, if you're burnt out by doing things a certain way, you can try a different method. Also, you may find doing homeschool activities at different times and breaking things up could help relieve tension and stress. Being flexible helps you recognize when you're burning out so you can switch things up.
Don't Go Overboard with Your Homeschool Plans
Because you are in full control of your homeschool schedule, it can be easy to pack too much into a day. This is especially true when you're doing a lot of social activities. Even if your child seems to be able to handle it, you need to be able to as well. A burnt out parent isn't any good, as your child will feed off your frustration, which can increase your chances of burnout.
Also, whenever possible, it's a good idea to get homeschool support from your spouse, partner, friends, or neighbors. There are also homeschool groups that can help you with social events. Don't try to do everything by yourself if you don't have to and know your limits. Find that happy place where you feel that you can still teach your child effectively and still be an effective parent afterwards, too.
by Phoenix Desertsong, Parent of Three
Super Simple Songs has been around for a very long time. Along with Dave and Ava, they are the channel that I turn to most for simple songs and nursery rhymes for my daughters. For the longest time, my oldest daughter always wanted to watch "Baby Shark." While there are many versions of the classic "Baby Shark" song available online, the Super Simple Songs version is the best one out there, in my opinion. My daughters seem to agree.
However, while my younger daughter still really enjoyed "Baby Shark," my older daughter was growing tired of it. Fortunately, Super Simple Songs came out with a "follow-up" to "Baby Shark" called the "Ten Little Fishies" song. It features the ever so popular Baby Shark and ten very elusive little fishies. Both of my daughters really got into this one.
"Ten Little Fishies" is a nice simple song that always calms my children down that also promotes counting, which is always good for young kids and preschoolers. The singer, whose name is Caitie, is always very pleasant to listen to. I've noticed the videos she sings on tend to be their favorites. They like the guy, Tobee, too, who sings "Baby Shark."
Super Simple Songs always puts out quality work. This is only the latest in a huge library of kid-friendly and sneakily educational music videos.
Watch the "Ten Little Fishies" song on YouTube:
I was in no way compensated for this post. All opinions are my own.
by Phoenix Desertsong, Parent of Three
My daughters really love the Dave and Ava Nursery Rhymes animated series on YouTube. So, when they came out with a "Skidamarink" video in time for Valentine's Day, they were really excited. They were both already familiar with the song courtesy of Super Simple Songs. But, the Dave and Ava version, as usual, was much more exciting than previous versions they had seen.
The Dave and Ava version of "Skidamarink" is a magical adventure through a wonderland full of hearts. Dave and Ava even ride a hot-air balloon shaped like a heart. There's plenty of action, jumping and laughing through a magical world of imagination. I like how Dave and Ava is adding more imaginary elements to their videos, as they did with "Hush Little Baby." The little kids really enjoy the colorful 3D animations and of course the music and singing is top-notch, as always.
Watch "Skidamarink" and other beloved nursery rhymes rediscovered on YouTube by Dave and Ava:
I was in no way compensated for this post. All opinions are my own.
Learning doesn't have to be expensive. Kids can learn from the simplest of items. Many elementary learning essentials can be found at the local dollar store. You'd be surprised what you can find for a dollar. Whenever we are running low on learning materials or need to add to our collection, we hit the dollar store first.
Basic elementary flash cards can often be found at the dollar store. True they aren't generally more than $5. But if you can get them for only a dollar, why spend more? Flash cards help kids remember things like shapes, colors, numbers, addition, sight words, and so much more. We often find brand name flash cards for multiple subjects and grade levels at our local dollar store.
Yes, you can still find elementary-aged books for a buck. Borrow the expensive books from the library. Then head to the dollar store for the bargain books. You never know what you might find. While you can't go expecting a specific book, it's very easy to find great deals on books for the kids at the dollar store. We've scored anything from easy readers, to science textbooks, popular fairy-tales, children's novels, and more.
Worksheets and Workbooks
I love that we can usually find worksheets and workbooks for elementary grade levels . We like to laminate our worksheets to use over and over. But workbooks and reproducible worksheets can often be expensive. That was a dilemma until we started finding them at the local dollar store. We're a family who likes to learn. So we can never have enough of these. The dollar store has lowered our spending on this significantly.
General School Supplies
Pens, pencils, markers, colored pencils and other basic school supplies can add up quickly. We're always able to find every supply we need for our elementary drawer at the local dollar store. We have a special learning area that we keep stocked with all the basic supplies. Elementary kids are often destructive with their supplies. They also use them up quickly, especially paper and writing/drawing mediums. But when we get them from the dollar store, it isn't taking as much of a chunk out of the budget.
There is much more that we often find at the local dollar store. It varies from week to week. But it's always a fun adventure to find out what they have next. What essential elementary learning supplies can you save on at your local dollar store?
LAST UPDATED 2/17/2022
So, you've decided to homeschool your tween and don't know what you should be doing about social interaction? Maybe you're not new to homeschooling, but just curious about some methods other than your own. As a mom and homeschool teacher to kids in a wide age range, I've experimented with several different techniques. Learning how to keep homeschooled tweens social is not as difficult as it may seem. Learn how to keep homeschooled tweens social from a long-time homeschooling mom of 6.
The world is your classroom. Don't just teach at home. This is my number one rule as a homeschool teacher. Keeping my kids in public often has been the best method of keeping them social, hands-down. The kids and I learn in many different places. Parks, museums, the grocery store, the library, the post office, and so many more places in your city can all be your classroom. This enhances social skills, as well as helps provide a very diverse and well-rounded learning experience. Many homeschoolers follow this mantra. For this reason and others, some homeschooled tweens may actually have a more balanced daily social life than those in traditional schools.
Attend community events and other social gatherings. Most communities will have something going on just about every day. Also, remember that family gatherings provide great social experiences as well. Attend as many family and friend hosted gatherings as possible. If no one is hosting events, throw your own and invite as many people as you can handle. Look in newspapers, school listings, community bulletins and websites, and more to keep up with what's going o in your area. Attend as many of these gatherings as you can. Like the 'world is your classroom' mantra, this is much the same, as far as providing a well-rounded social atmosphere for your homeschooled tween.
Involve your homeschooled tween in sports. Athletics can be a great way for your tween to meet some new peers who have similar interests. Organizations like the Boys and Girls clubs and YMCA offer sports programs for tweens who are both homeschooled and in traditional schools. Your tween may be able to join sports teams from schools in the area, depending on your state's regulations and those of the school district. There are also leagues just for homeschoolers, church leagues, and other local leagues that anyone can join. Allow your tween to choose the sport that interests them the most.
Join a homeschool group. Most areas have groups and organizations created just for homeschoolers. Some involve sharing teaching duties, others may involve field trips and gatherings, and some may be a combination of both. Do your research and be sure to look for one that not only fits your preferred option, but also fits your educational style. Many homeschooled groups are geared toward a specific method or religion. For instance, you may find an unschooling group, a Christian Montessori group, an eclectic group, and more. It's important to know what a group is about before you join to avoid disagreements or heartbreak later down the road.
Invite your tween's friends over regularly. Just like any other tween, homeschooled tweens want to hang out with friends and relatives of their age group. Invite friends over whenever possible to help keep your homeschooled tween socially active. Slumber parties, friend fun days, and cookouts are also a good idea (when you can handle it) because this creates a larger social setting.
Keeping homeschooled tweens social is really about finding a variety of social and public activities to keep your tween busy with. Because homeschool is so versatile, it's actually quite simple to keep homeschooled tweens social. With some styles of homeschooling, it may just come naturally.
You can never start your kids' learning too early! One of the classic ways to educate babies and toddlers is the use of nursery rhymes! Today, there's a nearly limitless amount of resources when it comes to nursery rhymes. But, the one series that my older daughter has been most interested since she was 6 months old is Dave and Ava on YouTube. We discovered them through the use of the YouTube Kids app on Android. Here's the link to their YouTube channel.
Dave and Ava's slogan is "Rediscover Nursery Rhymes!" Compared to many of the other related cartoon series on YouTube, Dave and Ava is on the higher-quality side. The animation is excellent and the singing and music is generally top-notch. They have very long videos, too. While they repeat the same ones over and over again, it means you don't have to change the video for awhile. This seems to be the case with most of the nursery rhyme videos. But, Dave and Ava's are the nursery rhymes on YouTube that would capture my daughter's attention the longest.
"Dave and Ava" Nursery Rhymes (Image Source: Dave and Ava Facebook)
The animation is superb and the quality of the songs is pretty good. They also have educational videos that teach ABC's, counting, colors, phonics, and more. These videos can be great for pre-k homeschool. Besides the nursery rhymes, they cover a lot of good educational material. Some of the videos are especially amusing. After you hear them literally hundreds of times, they get old, but she and her younger sister still enjoy them.
If you have a child ages 0-6 and you're looking for a good video series on YouTube for your child to watch, I'd definitely recommend this series. Dave and Ava also have a mobile app for Apple and Android, which you can subscribe to monthly or yearly. The app also features some other activities, as well. For ad-free entertainment that can last your child months or years, it's a good deal for Apple or Android device users.
Dave and Ava currently put out new videos regularly on YouTube.
If you know any other really good YouTube video series for kids or other great nursery rhymes on YouTube, let us know in the comments!
Lyn Lomasi is founder and owner of the Brand Shamans Content Community. Services include ordained soul therapy and healing ministry, business success coaching, business success services, handcrafted healing jewelry, ethereal and anointing oils, altar and spiritual supplies and services, handcrafted healing beauty products, and more!
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