Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Where Can I find Teaching Materials For Homeschooling?

How do you successfully determine what method of teaching to use, what lessons to teach and at what speed?

Having decided to educate your kids at home for the purpose of giving your children the needed attention they require, do you still follow the school's standards of what subjects to cover and when? Trying to keep up with the rules and standards of the government schools often means hurrying your children through "the material" so you can say you kept up, or even were Ahead of them.

If you have done this, you have probably forgotten why you decided to home school in the first place. Exploit the benefits of what homeschooling will permit you to accomplish and that is choosing your objectives and goals and setting the pace in relation to your children’s specific needs.

By far, the biggest challenge that a homeschooling parent encounters is making a homeschooling schedule. While some make use of software programs, some parents write their notes in notebooks or in computer programs such as Microsoft Word; some plan the activities as the day goes and others do the planning ahead; there are some who do not make plans at all (not recommended!). It really depends your personality and the personality of your child.

However, making a yearly plan of objectives consisting of goals which you have established for your child is most effective. This way you can match the needed materials with your goals.

You can acquire homeschooling teaching materials on the internet, and it is important that you become well acquainted with the teaching materials so that you are organized and do not waste valuable learning time trying to find what you need.

1. Group materials for the whole school year by topic.

2. Sort out the teaching materials that will be used by you from the materials that will be used by your child.

3. Place the materials in such a way that it is accessible to the kids when they need to refer to it.

4. When organizing the educational materials for every subject, keep the primary alongside the supplemental materials, as well as make certain that extra materials, like additional readings and tools, are readily available when needed.

6. Take into account making a listing of educational materials that you have. This is useful especially when you are teaching two or more children as the list can keep track and organize the materials that you have through the years.

7. After obtaining the materials for a certain subject, study and spend a lot of time familiarizing yourself with everything. You can inspect the materials through answering the following guidelines:

How much teacher preparation will be required before the lessons?

What is the expected time frame for each session?

What type of performance is expected for the child?

Do I have all supplemental materials that I need, such as the teacher's guide or student workbooks? If not, you will need to get them before the school year starts.

Do supplemental materials, like the answer key and teacher's guide fit in and conform with it?

Do the materials actually match your expectations? At times when you were not able to directly examine the materials, when you receive them, they are not what you really have expected. Return and replace the materials with what really matches your needs.

The technology of today, especially the internet has made homeschooling curriculum and homeschooling supplies readily available to all individuals. With a lot of research one can surely find homeschooling educational software, lesson plans, curriculum, programs, educational games, activities, and a lot more!

The internet is overflowing with information so searching for and looking for resources is not a problem at all. Also, there are a number of support groups and forums to ensure an effective homeschooling experience for you.

Monday, June 19, 2006

When Your Child Marches to a Different Drum

From Cure for the Common Life by Max Lucado - "Decoding Your Kid's Code"

"A gardener gave a seedling to his friend, the orange grower. 'Consider this a gift.'

An orchestra conductor presented a package to her favorite cellist. 'Just because I appreciate your work,' she told her.

An artist thanked a plumber for his neighborliness by giving him a present.

And so the orange grower, the cellist, and the plumber unwrapped their gifts.

The orange grower planted the seedling, anticipating oranges. After all, he grew oranges, so this must be an orange-tree-to-be. But the plant spread into bushy, clustered branches. The orange grower couldn't coax a single orange out of his grove. He sprinkled it with orange-tree fertilizer, sprayed it with orange-tree bug spray. He even poured orange juice on the soil. But, alas, no oranges. Tomatoes, yes. But oranges, no. He felt like a failure.

The cellist empathized. She had expected a cello. She was somewhat correct. The package contained an accordion. She treated the accordion like a cello, setting the base on the floor and running her bow across the keys. Noise came forth, but no music. She was less than enthused.

As was the plumber. He expected a gift of wrenches and hammers, but he was given a brush and palette. Puzzled, he set out to repair a leaky pipe with his new tools. But brushes don't open valves, and a palette won't tighten joints. He painted the plumbing and grumbled.

The orange grower raised the tomatoes, but preferred oranges.

The cellist made sounds, but not music.

The plumber painted the pipe, but didn't fix it.

Each assumed the gift would be what they knew rather what the giver gave.

Each year God gives millions of parents a gift, a brand-new baby. They tend to expect oranges, cellos, and plumbing tools. Heaven tends to distribute tomatoes, accordions, and paint supplies. Moms and dads face a decision. Make our children in our images? Or release our children to follow their God-given identities?

.The archer arches the weapon, setting his aim on a target. By the time your child is born, God has done the same. He has already "bent" your child in a certain direction. He hands you a preset bow that you secure until the day of release. Raise your child in the way "he should go." Read your child's God-designed itinerary. Don't see your child as a blank slate, awaiting your pen, but as a written book awaiting your study.

In every child God places in our arms, there is a bent, a set of characteristics already established. The bent is fixed and determined before he is given over to our care. The child is not, in fact, a pliable piece of clay. He has been set; he has been bent. And the parents who want to train this child correctly will discover that bent!

God prewired your infant. He scripted your toddler's strengths. He set your teen on a trajectory. God gave you an eighteen-year research project. Ask yourself, your spouse, and your friends: what sets this child apart? Childhood tendencies forecast adult abilities. Read them. Discern them. Affirm them. Cheerlead them.

.Pine trees need different soil than oak trees. A cactus thrives in different conditions than a rosebush. What about the soil and the environment of your child? Some kids love to be noticed. Others prefer to hide in the crowd. Some relish deadlines. Others need ample preparation and help. Some do well taking tests. Others excel with the subject, but stumble through exams.

.Don't characterize loners as aloof or crowd seekers as arrogant. They may be living out their story. You've been given a book with no title - read it! A CD with no cover - listen to it! An island with no owner - explore it! Resist the urge to label before you study. Attend carefully to the unique childhood of you child.

.What gives your children satisfaction and pleasure? What makes them say, 'Yes!' Do they love the journey or the goal? Do they like to keep things straight or straighten things out? What thrills one person bothers another. The apostle Peter liked to keep the boat steady while Paul was prone to rock it.

.Learn to love tomatoes, appreciate the sound of an accordion, take art supplies to the canvas, not the sink, and view each child as a book, not to be written, but to be read.

.God doesn't give parents manuscripts to write, but codes to decode. Study your kids while you can. The greatest gift you can give your children is not your riches, but revealing to them their own."

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Max Lucado has a way of telling you things you need to hear in a way that is convicting and liberating at the same time. You can read more of his books here:

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Sunday, June 11, 2006

Don't Let Your Child Be a Kangaroo!

Come with me to a delightful website with a movie that should be a wake up call to any parent with a child in school, or a child you are teaching at home.

"The Animal School" will make you think about how your child's learning style and personality affect his future success, and make you RE-think what you mean when you talk about "success".

Ellen Braun has a newsletter. Consider subscribing to "Raising Small Souls."

If you are unable to view "Animal School" in its flash format, here is a link to the text only version.