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How Do I Evaluate My Teen’s Writing?

You’ve given your teen a writing assignment and the composition is completed. Now the sweating begins.  I’m not referring to your teen’s sweat glands, but yours!  How do you evaluate what your teen has written? 

   I remember when my children would give me their compositions and I would not know where to begin to critique and analyze them.  I could handle science and math – it was easy for me to evaluate their knowledge and progress in those courses. But, evaluating their writing was a different animal.  Let me provide you with some tips I learned along the way that may be helpful to you.

Running on Empty?...Resources for Spiritual Strength and Encouragement

I recently spoke with a dear, homeschooling mom, who is teaching a child she suspects may have dyslexia.  As I also have a child who struggles (with attention, focus, and math processing difficulties), we both acknowledged that many days can be draining and discouraging.  Doris shared how one day she was praying and crying out to the Lord, “Some days I just feel like I am running myself crazy.”  She sensed His wonderful Spirit leading “You can either run yourself crazy or run to Me”. Truly,“The Name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run into it and they are saved.” 

Teach Me To Listen

 

Have you noticed how ultra visual our society is becoming? Everywhere you go, there's a screen of some sort—Walmart, the bank, even doctor's offices. And everywhere you go, there are younger and younger people with hand-held screens in their hands! Heads down, eyes glued to a screen.  

 

Growing in Relational Wisdom

How well are you growing in relational wisdom? “What is that?” you might be asking. Before last week, I didn’t know what relational wisdom was either. As long as there is relational conflict, breakdown in communication, God’s call to grow in how we relate to one another in godly wisdom will be there for us as parents. The really good news is that He is there to give us grace and help in time of need in this area. Here are some helpful truths I gleaned from HSLDA’s national leaders’ conference last week in Orlando.

Homeschooling On The Difficult Days

Homeschooling would be easy if...

If I didn't have all this laundry to do, if I didn't have to prepare dinner, if I didn't have to juggle the family calendar, if my kids were older, if we didn't have these pesky appointments, and so on!  

Just when we get on a schedule and things start to run somewhat smoothly -- one (or several) of the children need to go to the doctor...

Teaching Vs. Assigning

You will need to remind yourself that even a robot can "bark out" assignments: "Work page 32 in math book. Do page 25 in your language workbook. Reading textbook: Read the story beginning on page 40 and answer the questions at the end of that story." In that sort of setup, you would simply function as a study hall monitor who would peek in occasionally to see if your child appeared to be on task. 

Teaching, however, is in stark contrast to that kind of arrangement. As one homeschool mom quipped, "Teaching is not just checking off pages and clocking in time."

Recordkeeping for High School

By now, most of you have begun another school year and I hope you are off to a wonderful start.  The beginning of each school year is a great time to take a few minutes and lay out a plan for recordkeeping that will save you valuable time in future years when these records will come in handy.  What records do you need to keep?

The answer to this question will vary depending on the state in which you live, so be sure to check out the HSLDA legal analysis for your state and note any recordkeeping requirements such as attendance, hours of instruction, testing requirements, and so on.

Reading Aloud

   I'll never forget being in Mrs. Clark's third grade class. I was in one of the lowest reading groups ---the Sparrows. Who were they trying to kid? All the students knew that the best readers were the Blue Jays and Cardinals! It was embarrassing seeing the other kids try to keep from giggling as I mispronounced words and got tongue- tied.  I needed patience, time and encouragement -- something Mrs. Clark didn't provide -- but something we can give to our kids as homeschooling moms!

Lessons from The A-Team

Our children loved to watch re-runs of the 80’s TV series The A-Team. You may remember the band of misfits led by Colonel John “Hannibal” Smith. Even though the team was in hiding while waiting for amnesty from a false indictment, they went around helping people out of trouble. They always faced overwhelming odds with no way out, yet they always came through with a creative solution by putting their heads together and never giving up.

Is Your Teen Ready for the SAT/ACT?

Parents are always interested to know when their teens should begin taking these tests. There is not a hard and fast rule. Often you can gauge when your teens are ready to tackle them. Since the math section covers material from basic math, Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, and some Trig, your teen will need to realize that these scores may be lower if he/she has fewer math courses completed when starting to take the tests. In light of that, it may be wise to consider completing at least Algebra 1 and Geometry before taking the tests.

Making Connections

  

   I enjoy the challenge of being an HSLDA Special Needs Consultant. At the end of a work day, my brain feels stretched~like I've had a terrific mental workout. I receive a wide variety of questions from our members. Anything from 'What's a good math program for a child who has dyscalculia?' to 'Can you tell me why I may need an IEP?'. 

Helping Your Teen to Balance His Schedule

I remember my children’s teen years, and sometimes I wonder how we lived through them. Someone always had to be somewhere, and as much as I tried to keep a rein on activities, many times I felt like screaming, “WHOA!”

   How do you help your teen to bring balance into his schedule? How do you train her in time management skills that will be useful now and the rest of her life? We’ve found some helpful resources for you.

Have Fun Homeschooling - 3 Tips For A Wonderful Year

Right now I'm sitting at my desk in the room upstairs that used to be our "homeschool room" --- a small guest room that we converted into a cozy school room. I remember during our early days of home teaching when the morning sun would pour in the windows, warming the carpet, making it comfortable to prop a few fluffy pillows on the floor for reading. I would read aloud; then I'd have Austin and Justin take turns reading aloud too. 

Studying the Scriptures

As a child, I loved reading and listening to Bible stories. This led to memorizing Scripture. I did not realize that children memorize the easiest when young until my own children came along. I took the opportunity to continue memorizing verses with my children as we studied the Bible. These are the verses the Lord often has brought back to my mind and heart over the years to encourage and speak to me.

  

Introducing an Exciting Opportunity for Young Musicians

Seeking instumentalists ages 16-19 for a tuition-free experience of a lifetime

   Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute will to bring together the brightest young players from across the country in the summer of 2013 to form the National Youth Ochestra of the United States of America.

   Following a comprehensive audition process and a two-week training residency with leading professional orchestra musicians, these remarkable teenagers embark on an international tour to some of the great music capitals of the world, led by a different conductor each year.

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