Elementary

Opportunities for Struggling Readers

As a reading specialist, I am always looking for great resources and opportunities to assist students with reading and print disabilities. Recently, I came across a couple of great opportunities through the organization, Learning Ally, (Formerly Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic).

Home school parents, if you have a child who struggles with reading, is dyslexic, or is impacted by a print disability, I hope you will check out these opportunities!

Supporting Persons with Disabilities through the Holidays

I am so thankful for the wonderful resources available to families who are teaching children with special needs. Technology tools, low tech adaptive equipment, multi-sensory curriculum options―these are just some of the resources that make it possible to successfully teach a child with special needs at home. In addition to those tools that you can ‘buy’ are the wonderful people resources that homeschooling families can access. One such person is Barbara Newman who is a church and school consultant for the great folks at CLC Network. She is a special education teacher, author, and speaker who has a passion for creating environments that include, support, and celebrate people with disabilities. This week, I am pleased to introduce Barbara as a guest blogger. Enjoy! 

February Is National Children's Dental Health Month

"Be sure to brush gently, okay?" I reminded the twins as they scrambled from the lunch table that afternoon. I walked upstairs and looked into the bathroom where the twins faced each other like mirror images, and pulled out their bright toothbrushes (from the pretend sheaths) and started scrubbing―as if  they were in some kind of dental competition to out-do the opponent to win the incisor-polishing contest. Just then, they both looked over at me with those toothy, second-grade grins―and giggled...

Don't Balk - Encouraging Moms to Move Forward Confidently as Homeschool Teachers

 

I never liked when the coach put one of the twins in as pitcher during those baseball games. I sat in the stands on the edge of my seat watching those husky batters step out, one by one, amidst cheers and chants, "Knock that ball outta here! Homerun!"

 

These Are The Best Years

 

There are a million little details to orchestrate each day when we manage our households and teach at home. Whether we review those multiplication tables with our third-grader for the hundredth time, stock the fridge for the thousandth time, or taxi kids to music lessons for the thirtieth time―life can be mundane, wonderful, and/or overwhelming at times―sometimes all in one day!

Artistic Flair

This winter and coming spring, let's remember to add a little art to our repertoire as teachers. In Take Time For Art, we talked about setting aside a few moments for fun, creativity, and inspiration. I gave several (practically free) ideas of things to do in order to build kids' imaginations―whether it's drawing, painting, or simply working with color...

The whole thing about art is to make it a fun activity―something that's not stressful.

Come Fly With Us

It was a cool Monday late September when Jay called to let me know that a series of vintage (1920's and 1930's) airplanes were on exhibit at Frederick's Regional Airport for the "National Air Tour". I looked out our school room window, propellers already spinning in my mind.

"Hmm... I'm not sure that I can re-arrange things, but I know that the twins would love it. And I would love it!" But I hesitated as I looked down at my planner...

The Snow Day!

I always thought it was funny when people learned that we homeschooled, and asked, "What do you do when it snows? Do you take snow days?" And my response was always the same. "Of course we take snow days! To sit in that upstairs room doing school all day long when that gorgeous snow is falling, well, that's hard for two active boys. So, yes―we believe in fresh air, exerciseand snow days!"

Merry Christmas!

As schedules become increasingly busy, I think we need to give ourselves permission to say no to things that may make the family schedule too full. In other words, it's okay to look at the family calendar and decide when and how much the family can handle. During the elementary years especially, it's important for the kids to stay rested and well. And the same goes for us as moms and dads, too! When we pack the days with never ending commitments―something's sure to give...

The Homecoming

The twins are coming home! Okay, "the boys" are now 19-year-old college sophomores at Liberty U, and although they're definitely young men, they'll always be my boys. And they're heading home after finals!

There's something so special and wonderful about a homecoming, especially about welcoming home a college student, or in my case, students, after a long and challenging semester.

HSLDA on Pinterest

Well, we've done it. HSLDA has started a Pinterest account! Head on over to our Pinterest page and check out all the goodies we've collected for you! There's a board for everyone! Are you new to homeschooling? We've got you covered! Looking for some delicious, yet budget friendly recipes? We've got those recipes! How about some Christmas crafts or activities to do with your family? You'll find all that and more over on HSLDA's Pinterest page!

Music, Movement and Learning!

 

We love to sing and dance and move at our house. My kids are such tactile, kinesthetic (wiggly) learners! I continue to learn that rather than fight against this natural bent in their learning preferences to incorporate music and movement into my teaching times, be it acting out Bible stories or putting motions to poems, to singing directions during important routines and transition times. 

Have A Wonderful Thanksgiving

I love the fact that Dr. Ben Carson always speaks so highly of his mother's strength and influence in his life. I've heard him say that his mom often reminded her young boys that God gave them brains, so they needed to use them. That reminds me of...

...our eleven years of homeschooling, and how I often told my boys, "God gave you a voice, and He wants to hear it." So I related that to prayer, and how that  God wants all of us to praise Him, no matter what our age...

My Father's Wings

We swung the glass doors open, and stepped inside the bright entrance of the National Air and Space Museum / Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia. As we walked down that main corridor, I remembered all the times we took field trips to this place, and thought about how much I missed the twins now that they were in college. How many times had we visited?  At least three, probably four.

Honoring Our Veterans

 

Especially today, it's important for us to acknowledge our appreciation for veterans. And as homeschoolers, we have the unique opportunity to cultivate that honor -- to hold our military in the highest esteem -- to teach our kids to truly appreciate those who've served in the military, and those who are currently serving, too... 

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