Homeschooling

What to use in your homeschooling?

Reading is a very important part in homeschooling. There are so many options to choose from, such as Kindle, iPads, Audio books or traditional books.
There is a perception that kids read more likely if it is on a digital devise such as an iPad or Kindle. Actually studies have proven that it is not the case.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not trying to talk you out of using the kindle if your child is an engaged and active reader. If that works in your family, then continue what fits your homeschool journey.
Kindle and iPads can come in really handy, especially when you travel. Instead of bringing all the books with you, they can all be stored in one single device. And lets be honest, when Homeschoolers travel, we tend to take half of our books with us. So doing this method is very convenient.
When kids encounter new words, they can simply click on them and find out the definition. That is a big bonus in improving their vocabularies. Kids with visual limitations might benefit as well because the font and contrast can be customized.
But sometimes there are too many choices for our littles ones and too many distracting things on the device that it can distract them.
Now we are in a pickle. The technology and digital world is faster developing as we want to and we need to get our children ready for it. More than 50% of jobs now days require some degree of technology skills and it will rise up to 77 % in the next decade. Finding a balance is the key.
In our house we love the “old fashion” books. The kids still enjoy going to the library and picking out books, but they also appreciate the technology course I included this this semester.
There is something special about real book. From the texture of the pages, checking out the cover to the smell of newly printed pages. Also there are no distractions. It is just you and the story. This furthers the ability to focus and develops a habit. It doesn’t always come natural for kids or adults to focus. It is a practice that develops and over time, especially in kids.
I myself have books on my iPad and I have lots of books in on my shelves at home. And I realized that I have a different connection to them. There is an emotional attachment that you develop holding a book in your hand, flipping each page, writing your personal notes in them. And sometimes when I find an old book I used to read as a child, all those memories come rushing back. Now I don’t know how it would be if I read it on the IPad 25 years ago, simply because we didn’t had any back then:)

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Homeschool Resources, Homeschooling, How To, Uncategorized

8 Tips for a Successful Homeschool Co-op

Homeschool Co-op

What is a co-op? A co-op is simply a group of two or more families meeting together to share their collective efforts in teaching their children.

Co-ops can range anywhere from adding socialization and hands on activities to your children’s education to a reflection of a strict private school and everything in between.

Often you personal experiences in your past as well as your desire for your kids future, have part in shaping your idea of what a successful education for your children should look like, to include a homeschool co-op.

For us, being part of a personal co-op has enhanced our academic studies, but more importantly allowed my children to learn alongside others, as well as learn to develop their own ability to think as they are introduced to different views as well as different ways of working through problems. With each teacher specializing in one field, it has greatly enhanced studies in fields that often fall short. It has allowed my children to gain confidence in standing firm on their believes as they are encouraged and shaped by other strong believers.

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Here are 8 TIPS to consider before you start or join a co-op

  1. Pray for direction in making a decision on whether to move forward as well as God’s leading as He brings together families of same values and commitment.
  2. Don’t rush it…wait on God’s leading! He may be guiding you towards a co-op but He may lead your family towards a year of peace and quiet
  3. Develop and understand your purpose for building or joining a co-op Socialization and fun, extra curricular activities or in depth studies of a specific subject
  4. Define expectations Refreshing midweek break or high level of additional academics
  5. Define Structure Scheduled classes or flexibility, homework assignments and deadlines or no required additional work
  6. Extend grace We are all human and have our strength and weaknesses, this includes our very own self;)
  7. Develop a culture in which you can openly encourage, share and develop new ideas, but also address problems Problems will arise, it is inevitable: It may be the students not participating, parents expectations not being met and everything in between. If we have the ability to openly share in love, only then can a co-op succeed
  8. Continue to prayerfully give your co-op into God’s hands
Government, Homeschool Resources, Homeschooling

Read, read, and read again!

We have been blessed with a beautiful co-op that encourages each of us to thrive. One of our recent assignments was to read the book Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury and write a critique about it. While we always have put a great emphasize on the importance of reading, this book opened the eyes of the kids on many different levels as well as reminded us parents why we teach what we teach.

Fahrenheit

The book describes a society in which government control is at its highest and the existing censorship prohibits citizens to own or read books. They are flooded with propaganda, entertainment, noise, technology and instant gratification until they are unable to make decisions on their own, stand for truth or even know truth. Disobedience to the law is punished by burning down houses with death not being an obstacle. Ray Bradbury puts it well, when he said: “You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.”

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If we look around us today, we can see how quickly we can erase history, truth, knowledge, courage, and initiative to thrive. If we stop reading books, we won’t learn about our past or from our past. We won’t understand what the rest of the world is like or why it is the way it is today. We are unable to learn about other ideas. We are not able to enjoy the beauty of various literatures. We have to be able to understand the world of those who walked before us and see God’s goodness and His plan in the past, present and the future. If we don’t read and research ourselves, we are forced to trust and believe what we are told and exposed to.

Today, we can see this trend and its affects on our culture.  Ray Bradbury was pretty close. But rather than dwell in these thoughts, why don’t we encourage our children to read more. Educate them about the importance of reading and influence them to be life long readers and learners.

While our children are at so many different reading abilities and levels, a tracker never gets old. Please feel free to download these punch card bookmarks below we recently created for our children.

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FREE Printable Punch Card Reading Bookmarks

We printed 2 on one page, which made the perfect size bookmark. There are 20 spots to track their reading for each day of the school week. Each day they read for a specific amount of time (dependent on reading level and age), they receive a punch on their bookmark. If all are completed by the end of the month, they can earn a fun adventure, a special privilege, a treat or another small surprise.

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In addition to the benefit of reading to our society, we truly enjoy this quiet time in the day. Often by the fireplace, with a tea and a blanket:)

– Counting it all Joy –

Faith, Government, Homeschooling, Live Alaska Approved

TeenPact Recommendation

We do not take it lightly to recommend programs or curricula, but when we first learned about TeenPact a year ago, God immediately placed in on each of our hearts to be involved in this ministry.

TeenPact is a ministry that teaches leadership through the venue of government. Their mission is to build up a new generation that changes the world by teaching them the political process, value their liberty, defend their Christian faith and engage the culture.

We are excited to have the privilege of bringing together a local community of youth that would love to participate in the program. Please contact us with any questions you may have regarding TeenPact or to learn more about upcoming local community events.