Friday, February 19, 2010

Skip Counting~ for visual learners

I was looking through a few ideas I had tucked away for a few subjects and since we are working hard on our Times Tables I wanted to try and find something more to keep the enthusiasm going, he is still having fun with all the different games but I wanted to find something even more hands on, I found this at Over the Cresent Moon.

A really neat project to create when learning skip counting.

Here is one more neat source to share, patterns with the times tables using tic/tac/toe ~
Right Brained Math

Happymath learning & skip counting~

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Practicing the Multiplication Tables~ the FUN way~

A GREAT math site Multiplication.Com ~
We have been practicing our multiplication tables and working really hard~ Peyton has been practicing with Times Attack which he absolutely loves, but he needed a bit of a change so I found these neat games online for him to practice. They are SO much fun ~ try these out if you have a chance, you will be very happy you did.
So far, the car wash is a real favorite of his~ but try the others out too for fun~ they have fun and are learning all at the same time.
Goodbye to drill and hello to Happy practicing!

Monday, February 15, 2010

A Multiplication Clock~ from Robin Sunne

Created and designed by Robin Sunne

We are working hard to learn our multiplication tables with our youngest and also making some big changes, once again in our home learning experience.

While chatting with a teacher from the Oak Meadow Program she passed along a wonderful site that could help us as we study the multiplication facts.
Our boys are very creative and artisitc and they also are helped by little visual cues like the ones on this clock to help them remember ~
I absolutely loved this idea and it just reinforces our choices for what we are using now for our learners at home.
Happy Learning!~

Friday, February 12, 2010

Homeschool Happenings~ Recycling and Creating from Clay~

We worked this week on the Sumerians and their contributions and made clay coiled pots. They came out really good and we were very surprised to learn about all the contributions that the Sumerians gave to us ~
This week we also talked about recycling and had some nice sturdy boxes laying around the Studio so we decided to make some recycled book holders for Peyton's books. They came out wonderful. He was very pleased at how we could use every day things around the house and make them into useful things.
He even made dad one for his office to hold his books :)
We had a great week and look forward to what next week will bring~ Happy Friday !

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Ponderings of Spring and Plein Air Painting~

I started thinking of Spring the other day~ and a some things I wanted to do with the boys when the warmer weather is upon us... one thing we love to do is go outside and enjoy the nice weather and do some crafts and painting.. this year I am going to introduce the boys to Plein Air painting.. I would like to bring them right out in our back yard and set them up and get them painting... I think we will have lots of fun and experience some unique abilities they have shown that they have.

Here is a neat blog I found that has some information and videos pertaining to painting:

Hopefully, we will have an early Spring ~ I am looking forward to the warmer, longer days when we can walk around on the grass in our bare feet and hope to set up easels in special spots for just the right angle for some great pictures to paint.

Happy Painting~

Monday, February 8, 2010

Lessons Learned ~

Most recently, on our AKOL group we had someone ask about Dr. Ruth Beechick and if anyone had ever heard of her~ I wanted to share some personal thoughts on how Ruth Beechick helped our home learning to be as successful as it has become~

Having heard about Dr. Beechick way back when I first started homeschooling I have to admit I was a bit skeptical. Having tried Charlotte Mason methods, I found that while some worked and really helped many did not for my children and their learning style~ so I thought this was just another homeschooling method to add to my list. I checked it out but was concerned it seemed to much like CM again, not having read any of her books or speaking with her I decided it may not be for us.

To make a long story short, I decided to pick up Dr. Beechick's book You Can Teach Your Child Successfully and give it a chance and a read to see what all the talk and spin was about.... well, sigh, I could not put the book down. I tried some of the examples Dr. Beechick gave in her book and instantly saw how this was IT for us.

I am so happy I gave myself the time and patience to consider Dr. Beechick once again. She has been a gift to our home learning and so have a few others who have worked with Dr. Beechick who I have come to know and consider mentors for me in my home teaching.

some things I have learned:
* just because we may have special needs children, they do not have to have all the "special" curricula that textbook publishers try and sell to us. While some can be very needed for remediation others may not be the best and can hinder their learning in certain areas.

* there are teachers out there who honestly believe and feel that parents can be our children’s best teachers.

* Programs and curricula are fine as long as they meet the needs of the child and the home they are used in.

* using an integrated language approach can be very successful for children with special needs or struggling learners.

*Hands on learning for areas like Mathematics can be key to achieving a solid base for all mathematical reasoning.

*Teaching our children does not mean we are the “know all” person to sit and lecture to our children. We are the facilitators and at times can sit and learn, explore and have fun right along side our children we are teaching in our homes. Children can learn best when they are not preached to or direct every minute of their day but left up (at times) to their own thinking and reasoning to mold a more well –rounded, independent, life-long learner.

I am sure I will have many, many more things to add to this list along my way~ but these things stand out the most for me as I have been teaching my boys at home.

I continue to learn from them and they continue to teach me more about myself than I could have ever realized. Our children are such gifts to us ~ they need to be taught with patience, love and understanding, respected for their uniqueness and cherished for what they stand to teach us about ourselves.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

New Curriculum~ Trailguide to Learning

We really enjoy learning at home using Dr. Beechick's teaching methods. I have been able to transform our home learning to a delightful experience in all areas of studying.

Recently, I had been talking about our favorite Language Arts program that we have been using~ called Learning Language Arts Through Literature. We really LOVE it, (both boys do actually )and I find it very thorough and comprehensive, yet gentle and easy to fit into our daily routine of learning.

Since I have found these methods to be so helpful, I had mentioned a comment our youngest had made while working his LA " mum, I wish all my programs were put together like this". I sighed and agreed. While posting this on a yahoo group I help moderate: Simply Beechick, a wonderful person (who also is the one of the authors of LLATL) mentioned to me about this new program she just finished up writing~ . She provided some information I found most helpful so we are now considering using this program next year ~

it is called Trailguide to Learning, they have created a yahoo group where you can ask questions and learn and share from others who are using the program.

The link provided above will also give you samples and more information about the program.

I also had found this review from Cathy Duffy as well.

While I enjoy reading reviews from Cathy and others what I really like is to hear about the programs from others who are actually using it, which is why things like e-groups and other places like Choosy Homeschooler and Homeschool Reviews are so nice to be able to check out.

I plan on learning more about this program over the next few months- our youngest seems to be quite interested in this so we will spend some time looking at it and learning as much as we can to see if this might really be something that could be as successful as our LLATL has been.

Currently there more volumes coming and one is set to be released later this summer and then the following year again in late August of 2011.

I have never been a big fan of pre-made curricula or boxed curriculum but neither would fit this kind of a program. It is truly unique and I think could be such a gift to many home learners who work well using the RB or CM methods of learning in their home.

I hope to learn more and as I do I will write more about what I have learned about the program and if we do plan to begin using it, I tend to be a bit cautious with new programs now, and ask many questions so I will keep you all updated on how things go~
Happy Learning Trails!

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