Monday, October 4, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Making the Most of the Homeschool Experience:
Four Time and Lesson Management Tips
Four Time and Lesson Management Tips
For about three years, my two siblings and I were schooled at home by my mother. I'm convinced that the experience was a positive one, as we received nurturing attention from the one woman who was best equipped to teach us lessons in both academics, life, and love--our mother.
It was not, however, always easy. When you homeschool your kids, it's easy to let other things get in the way of daily lessons, since there isn't the rigid structure of a traditional school with attendance policies, class periods, etc. Here are a few tips so that you can make the most of your homeschooling experience.
1. Prepare your lesson plans well in advance.
Although you may have a lesson plan manual with everything you need, you still need to go through every lesson yourself and prepare. Read through each lesson at least a day in advance and make notes. Consider what you can do to make lessons come alive. Whatever you do, don't read through the teacher's manual when teaching. Children need as much stimulation and engagement as possible, and this can be accomplished only by modifying and adding to lesson plans that are fairly static in their manual form.
2. Set a routine, and stick to it.
While this is easier said than done, make sure that you begin and end at the same time each and every day. Always remember that tasks take longer than you think they will, so allow for extra time when planning a school schedule. Set up regular break periods, including a morning break, a lunch break, and a short afternoon break, too.
3. When teaching multiple children of different grade levels, be sure to set aside time for each child.
If you are homeschooling several children, chances are they are of different ages and different grade levels. In this situation, it's more important to dedicate private teaching time for each child. While you are working with one child, make sure the others are occupied with a task that doesn't need your individual attention.
4. Make "after school" activities correspond with lessons learned in school.
This was my favorite part of being home schooled. Unlike traditional schools, learning doesn't stop once the school days end. My mother made it a point to take us on outings that complemented our lessons. For example, when we were studying astronomy concepts, she took us to the local science museum that had a planetarium. When we were studying Greek civilization, she read us Greek myths at night before bed. In this way, we my mother made our lessons come alive, which sparked a love of learning when I began attending regular school, at a time when most of my peers were bored and unmotivated.
These are just a few ways to make the most of the inimitable experience that is home schooling. It's always a challenge placing your children's education in your own hands, but in the end it's a rewarding one. I wouldn't have traded my home school experience for the world.
This guest post is contributed by Alisa Gilbert, who writes on the topics of bachelors degree. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: email@example.com.
Monday, September 20, 2010
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Apples For Teachers - No Time for Flash Cards
Paper Plate Apple -Ramblings of a Crazy Woman
"No Bake" Apple Pie - Chasing the Goose
Apple ABC Letter Match - Learning and Teaching with Preschoolers
Packed with Apple Ideas - Learning and Teaching with Preschoolers
Apple Play-Doh - Pink and Green Mama
A is for Apple vs. B is for Ball - Preschool Daze
Lots of apple links - Bo the Bookworm Resources
Apple Picking Time Ideas - Dr. Jean
The Star (an apple story) - Dr. Jean
The Itty-Bitty Bookworm has a "Ten Apples Up On Top" unit as part of their curriculum for October (Year 1). They also have a "Apples and Pumpkins" unit as part of their curriculum for October (Year 3).
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
fI have created a few more free Fall Printables using clipart from Lettering Delights.
Here is a booklet of Fall vocabulary words.
Ideas for using these:
- Display the word cards in a pocket chart. Give the child the Printing Practice sheet on a clipboard. Have the child use the word cards to locate the correct word for each picture on the printing practice sheet, and print the words beside the corresponding pictures.
- Use the word cards as labels.
- Older children can complete the Printing Practice sheet using inventive spelling (without using the word cards).
- Laminate the word cards. Allow the child to trace the words with a dry erase marker.
- For older children - Display the word cards and challenge them to write a Fall-themed story in which they incorporate all of the words.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
We have just uploaded a set of Free Printable Calendars for the 2010-11 school year. They are perfect for homeschool and classroom use. Be sure to check them out.
We also have an amazing Fall and Farm Supplemental Packet designed by Karen from Prekinders.com for sale. It includes printable name tags, stationary, games, activities and much more. It can be purchased on CD or as a download. Here is a sneak peek.
Don't forget to bookmark our Free Printables page as a helpful planning resource for the fall months.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Being a fan of Bob Books, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to host a Q&A with Bob Books brand manager, Lynn Maslen Kertell, the daughter of Bob Books creator Bobby Lynn Maslen.
Tell me a bit about how the Bob Books series came to be.
The Bob Books started when my Mom, Bobby Lynn Maslen, was a teacher of three-, four-, and five-year-olds in Portland, Oregon. Bobby introduced very beginning reading to her students by sitting at a table with a child, and writing a story with him or her. The tale was very simple, the two of them sounded out the words together, and Bobby made drawings for the student to copy or color. Often, other young students gathered around to watch. When the child had finished reading this hand-made book, he could bring it home to share.
After several years of hand writing many little books, Bobby developed them into the first set of Bob Books and enlisted award winning artist and husband (and my Dad), John, to illustrate them.
Right from the start, the books were a big success. Word of mouth spread the news, and soon my parents had many customers and a demand for more books. Bobby soon wrote two sets of books, then two more, until the series had grown to five sets.
The two newest sets of books - Bob Books Sight Words – are written by me, their daughter Lynn Maslen Kertell, and are available this month.
What makes this early reading series different from others?
Bob Books were the first books-in-a-box reading program, developed over 35 years ago. There are several real differences from other beginning reading systems:
The books are real stories with a plot, humor, empathy and warmth. Children learn to read, and they have pleasure of reading a story they enjoy.
The books are written with consistent letter-sounds, so all words can be sounded out, except the sight words. Children don’t have the unhappy surprise of long words or complicated spellings they are not ready to read.
They progress gradually, so children feel success with each book.
To what do you attribute the success of Bob Books?
They work! Bob Books have grown by Moms telling Moms, teachers telling parents, librarians passing on the word, and of course bloggers writing about their experience with their own children.
The magic of Bob Books is when a child can excitedly exclaim, “I read the whole book!”® It is that simple.
What are some signs that a child is ready to begin with the Bob Books series?
Every child is different, so there is no specific age when your child will be ready to begin reading. Instead, look for signals that he or she is ready.
- Can she or he recognize and name most letters?
- Does your child know which sounds go with which letters (which sound does a letter “make”)?
- Can your child recognize words on everyday objects such as STOP and Open signs?
- Can your child spell his or her own name?
- Is your child interested in books and reading, and excited to sit down with you to read?
How can parents determine with which set they should start their children?
We always recommend that children start with Bob Books-Set 1. To read the first book, children only need to know the letters M, A, T and S. With the early success of reading a whole book themselves, children are excited and confident to try more.
Every child is different. Some children move directly from Bob Books-Set 1 to Bob Books Sight Words-Kindergarten. Others benefit from a more moderate pace by reading Bob Books-Set 2 before tackling Sight Words.
Bob Books Sight Words-First Grade continues with simple, phonetic spelling and but more complicated sight words. Then you should continue to Bob Books Set 3, which introduces longer stories and words, Set 4 that presents multi-syllable words, and Set 5 which focuses on long vowels.
What are some extension activities that you suggest?
There are many great games you can play to prepare children for reading:
- Play sound games: Ask your child to think of a word that begins with M. Mmmmmm. Mop, map, man, moose. Now try a different beginning sound.
- Word families: Use magnetic alphabet letters or blocks to spell words for your child. Show that changing the first letter changes the whole word. Map, tap, lap. It works with ending or middle letters, too! Lap, lad, lid. Make up nonsense words.
- Draw giant letters with sidewalk chalk. Follow them with feet or fingers.
- Make letters in sand, with clay, or cut them from sand paper.
- Go on a sight word “hunt.” Give your child one or two flash cards (included in Bob Books-Sight Words). How many times can she circle the sight words on a page of an old magazine?
- Using cut-out pictures from magazines and flash cards, make up sentences or stories.
- Have flash card races – how many flash cards can your child read in 5 seconds? 15 seconds?
Enter to win a Bob Books Back to School Pack, which includes a Bob Books lunch box, Bob Books Sight Words Set for Kindergarten, and Bob Books Sight Words Set for First Grade.