July 4, 2011

Teach Your Child How to Read – Young Children Learn Reading With Phonics

Teach Child How to Read - Teach Phonics Reading Want to teach your child how to read easily and effectively?

Then you’re going to love what I’ve discovered.

Just recently, I was introduced to Jim and his wife Elena, who have taught their 2 children how to read in only 12 weeks!

What’s really amazing is Jim’s daughter was reading when she was 2 yrs and 11 months old!

Jim has video footage of his daughter reading before she turned three years old.  I’ll show you the videos in just a minute.

Imagine teaching your child how to read SUCCESSFULLY in 12 weeks or less!  Just 10 minutes a day (over 12 weeks) is all it takes.

Reading helps your child develop a better understand of his surroundings, allows him to gather information from printed materials, and provides him with a wonderful source of entertainment when he reads stories and rhymes.  In fact, the ability to read (and comprehend information) is perhaps the single best skill you could teach your child.

Jim has developed a simple, step-by-step system for other parents to follow. It’s called Children Learning Reading and I highly recommend it.

Children Learning Reading is based on phonics (and phonemic awareness) and teaches children how to develop a knowledge of the sounds represented by the letters.  Phonics based reading emphasizes the connection between sounds, by combining letters together, until whole words are formed. This allows kids to “sound out” unfamiliar words that they don’t initially recognize.

Phonemic awareness is an essential part of mastering reading, and enabling children to become independent readers. By learning phonics and phonemic awareness, children gain the ability to pronounce new words, articulate words clearly, improve spelling, and develop self confidence.

Children Learning Reading is designed for children between ages of 2 (who can speak) up to 6 or 7 years old.  Click on the link below (and scroll down the page) to see the video of Jim’s daughter reading at 2 and 3 years old!

Discover More About Children Learning Reading Here.  Be sure to watch the video of Jim’s daughter reading.  This is an excellent method for teaching your kids how to read.  Highly recommended.

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August 4, 2009

Homeschool Methods & Choosing a Homeschool Curriculum

We’ve looked at some of the basic factors that you should consider when choosing a homeschool curriculum.  One of the biggest factors that affects your curriculum choice is the homeschool method you’re using. 

Certain homeschool methods (such as classical homeschooling, Waldorf, and Montessori) are very structured and require you to follow a designated path with an established curriculum.  Other homeschool methods are more flexible (relaxed homeschooling, unit studies, unschooling, eclectic homeschooling), and allow you greater freedom of choice when selecting books, materials, and curriculum.  

What method of homeschooling will you be following? This is the first choice to make after committing to homeschooling.  As mentioned above, certain homeschool methods follow a fairly tight curriculum. The classical method, for instance, dictates a lot of specific topics in each of the three stages of grammar, logic and rhetoric. It deals in the more traditional basics of reading, writing, spelling and math to build a good educational foundation in the grammar stage.  The classical homeschool method then progresses on to the logic stage where language, logic, history and science come into play. The last stage—the rhetoric stage—is more about working within the mind, using developed skills to form and defend opinions expressed in writing and speech formats.

Something else to consider is the amount of time the homeschool curriculum will require.  Certain homeschool curriculum programs require a lot more hands-on time by the parent-teacher, especially in the early years. This should factor into your decision on which method you’re going to follow. How much time do you have to devote to homeschooling? Reading about the various methods should give you a good idea of how much time will be required for each type.  Cross-match the amount of time needed with your schedule to determine when and how long you can teach.

Even in the most rigorous of homeschool methods, the time needed from the parent-teacher lessens as your child ages. Early elementary teaching can be just an hour or two a day, whereas high school students will need five or six hours. The difference comes into play when you analyze how much time you need to play a direct part. In the early years it’s going to be close to be nearly a 100% time commitment, whereas in high school teaching, you’re going to become more of a monitor of the work done, with very little time required by you. You will be mainly laying out the course work and assignments, checking on their progress, and grading the work when completed.

Some methods of teaching don’t require very much in the way of purchasing outside products and curriculum. These methods rely more on library books, Internet use, or fashioning their own learning tools. Some choose to buy certain learning aids to add a little variety to the school day. They want to mix it up a little to keep things fresh and keep the student from getting bored.

Some homeschool parents choose to take snippets from various methods of teaching and put them together to form hybrid methods of teaching. For example, these methods might take the basic portion of the classical method and add in some Internet studies or video aids.  Some parents like to add real-life studies like cooking, carpentry, computer science, or nature studies to their selected curriculum. There is virtually no end to the number of ways you can put together a homeschooling curriculum. It’s a matter of personal choice that combines your personal situation with the end goal of what you want your child to learn.

The most important thing is to have fun, enjoy your kids, and learn as much as possible.  Don’t stress too much when choosing a homeschool curriculum.  You can always change and adapt as necessary.

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July 31, 2009

Choosing a Homeschool Curriculum for Your Child

Choosing a homeschool curriculum can be challenging, since there are so many factors to consider and a huge variety of curriculum choices.   When considering a homeschool curriculum, we need to look at how our children learn best.  There is no "one size fits all" curriculum, just like there is no "one size fits all" homeschool family. 

When it comes to homeschool currriculum, it’s important to remain flexible, and realize that you can switch between different curriculum programs if the one you choose isn’t working out.  Be flexible and willing to try different options. Both teacher and student need to enjoy this journey.  Here are a few things to consider when choosing a homeschool curriculum for your child…

  • Your child’s learning style
  • Your homeschooling method (i.e. Classical, Charlotte Mason, Waldorf, Montessori, Christian, unschooling, etc.)
  • Your teaching style
  • Your budget
  • Ages, stages, and number of children you’re homeschooling
  • Your home enviroment
  • Your opinion on the use of technology in your homeschool
  • Whether or not your may send your children to public or private school in the future.  If sending them to school is a possibility, you’ll want to stick with the language arts and math curriculum that the school is using. This way there will be a seamless transition.

No one can teach their children everything, so don’t get too overwhelmed with the many curriculum choices.  If something’s not working, don’t be afraid to switch things around, or try a different curriculum.  Sometimes no matter how much a resource might seem like a good fit on paper — it may not work for your child.  When possible, request sample materials and test them before ordering a full curriculuIm.  In part two, we’ll look at how your choice of a homeschool method affects your homeschool curriculum options. 

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May 24, 2008

Homeschool Language – Best Homeschool Language Lessons Online

Looking for homeschool language lessons?   I’ve discovered an excellent website that can teach your child a foreign language—even if you don’t speak the language yourself.  Even better?  Most of it’s free.  The website is called "Mango" and it’s one of the best resources I’ve found for teaching homeschoolers a foreign language.   Here’s how they describe themselves…

Mango is the world’s first enterprise language learning system being offered mostly free to everyone.  When we launched on August 31, 2007, we gave away every feature in every lesson in every language for free.  

Mango has now moved-out of beta (testing stage), and the main features are still free.  However, they do charge for "premium access."  I know that teaching a foreign language as a homeschool parent can be tough.  Many parents choose to hire a native speaker, or enroll their child in an enrichment class or community college course—both of which can be pricey. 

I am continually amazed at how the internet is revolutionizing education, and specifically, homeschool education.  We have a wealth of information, resources, and online curriculum that wasn’t available to homeschool parents just 10 years ago.  With the availability of online courses, it’s so much easier to homeschool today than it was 10 years ago.  Technology keeps making curriculum options easier.  If you’re looking for a foreign language program, be sure to check out Mango.  It’s a great resource for homeschoolers, and people wanting to brush-up on their foreign language skills.

A Personal Note:

I want to make Homeschooling Your Child an excellent resource for homeschooling parents.  Unfortunately, due to family commitments, I haven’t had the time to write as frequently as I would like.  I am exploring the possibility of partnering with another homeschool parent, to help me manage and update this site.  I’ll keep you posted! :-)


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October 3, 2007

Do Schools Today Kill Creativity & Create Conformity?

I came across a thought-provoking (and humorous) speech given by Ken Robinson.  Robinson believes that the current education system stifles creativity and suppresses children’s individuality (in the interests of conformity). 

He argues that there are many different forms of intelligence and that we should not force children to submit to narrowly defined standards of who is "intelligent" and who is "creative."  Funny and thought-provoking, this video emphasizes that children are unique—and a rigid, "one-size-fits-all" approach to education is a recipe for disaster.



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August 5, 2007

Free Online High School Courses & Homeschool Curriculum

Looking for homeschool curriculum and free online high school courses? I’ve discovered a great website that includes links to:

  • Interactive Geometry courses with online video.
  • Online Algebra I courses with free homework, quizzes, and tests (with key).
  • American History and Western Civilization courses with video instruction.
  • Online Pre-calculus and Calculus courses (including AP) with video.
  • Interactive AP Biology I and AP Biology II with homework, quizzes and tests (with key).
  • Physics, Environmental Science, and Chemistry courses.
  • Online English grammar courses, writing assignments, principles of composition.
  • Online journalism, newswriting, and screenwriting courses.
  • Online Advanced Placement (AP) Courses.
  • Literature Unit Studies for Grades 9-12.
  • 13 free Computer Science courses from MIT.
  • Free programming and web design courses.
  • Free Video Series on How to Debate, and Fundamentals of Debate.
  • Free Online courses on probability and statistics.
  • Free Science, Social Studies, Health Education, Math, English, & Foreign Language Courses.
  • Music Theory (including instruction, assignments and sound files), and Music Appreciation courses.
  • An introductory statistics course complete with 12 thirty-minute video lectures, assignments, quizzes, online calculator, and exams with answer keys.

All of this (and more) is listed at Hoagie’s Gifted Free Online High School Courses. Odd name, but it’s a great collection of online courses and curriculum. Frankly, this is one of the best free resource sites I’ve discovered for homeschool parents and educators. Enjoy!


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March 8, 2007

College Application Process Changing to Accommodate More Homeschoolers

As the number of homeschool students grows (currently 1.1 million), colleges are revamping application policies to accommodate them.

According to a recent news article by the Associated Press, 83% of colleges now have a formal evaluation process for homeschooled students. This is up from only 52%, just 4 years ago. As the number of homeschoolers increases, many colleges—including UC Riverside and MIT—are actively encouraging homeschoolers to apply. This is good news.

Partial excerpt from the Associated Press article:

Some private colleges have eagerly recruited those students [homeschoolers] for years and tailored application processes to include them.  Homeschoolers still face challenges when applying to many public universities, but their chances of being considered are improving.  

In 2000, 52 percent of all colleges in the country had a formal evaluation policy for applications from homeschoolers, said David Hawkins, director of public policy for the National Association for College Admission Counseling.  Four years later, the number jumped to 83 percent.  During that time, 45 percent of colleges reported receiving more applications from homeschoolers, he said.

Major schools that now post application procedures for homeschoolers on their websites include Michigan State University, Oregon State University and the University of Texas. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is also willing to consider homeschoolers. The highly regarded school does not require a high school diploma.  As part of its admissions process, it considers scores from college entrance exams and asks applicants to submit a 500-word essay, detail five extracurricular activities and offer two teacher evaluations."

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January 17, 2007

How to Take College Courses For Free Online

Don’t you wish you could put your child through college for free?

Well, MIT and UC-Berkley now allow you to teach your high school student (or college student) for free using online lectures and video courses. Of course, your child doesn’t receive college credit for these courses, but they can learn the material without having to pay tuition fees.

I’ve also found a website that lists free college classes, documentaries, and language courses. The Elite Skills website has compiled a massive list of free college courses for autodidacts (self-taught learners).

A junior-high student could benefit from the documentaries, language learning lessons, and educational videos found on this website. If you’re homeschooling a junior-high student, you can use the documentary videos and do a unit-study, or require a written report (research paper) based on the video documentary. This website is a fantastic resource for homeschool parents—I wish I had found it earlier. My oldest son was particularly fascinated by the physics documentary on The Elegant Universe (string theory).

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December 22, 2006

Homeschool Christmas Humor

This “Homeschool Christmas Song” been passed around the web, and it’s quite funny. Almost all homeschool parents can relate to this. Merry Christmas, and I hope this song makes you smile.

The 14 Days of Homeschooling
(sung to the tune of “The 12 Days of Christmas”)

On the first day of homeschool my neighbor said to me, “Can you homeschool legally?”

On the second day of homeschool my neighbor said to me, “Are they socialized, can you homeschool legally?”

On the third day of homeschool my neighbor said to me, “Do you give them tests, are they socialized, can you homeschool legally?”

On the fourth day of homeschool my neighbor said to me, “What about P.E., do you give them tests, are they socialized, can you homeschool legally?”

On the fifth day of homeschool my neighbor said to me, “YOU ARE SO STRANGE! What about P.E., do you give them tests, are they socialized, can you homeschool legally?”

On the sixth day of homeschool my neighbor said to me, “How long will you homeschool, YOU ARE S0 STRANGE, what about P.E., do you give them tests, are they socialized, can you homeschool legally?”

On the seventh day of homeschool my neighbor said to me, “Look at what they’re missing, how long will you homeschool, YOU ARE SO STRANGE!, what about P.E., do you give them tests, are they socialized, do you homeschool legally?”

On the eighth day of homeschool my neighbor said to me, “Why do you do this, look at what they’re missing, how long will you homeschool, YOU ARE SO STRANGE, what about P.E., do you give them tests, are they socialized, do you homeschool legally?”

On the ninth day of homeschool my neighbor said to me, “They’ll miss the prom, why do you do this, look at what they’re missing, how long will you homeschool, YOU ARE SO STRANGE!, what about P.E., do you give them tests, are they socialized, do you homeschool legally?”

On the tenth day of homeschool my neighbor said to me, “What about graduation, they’ll miss the prom, why do you do this, look at what they’re missing, how long will you homeschool, YOU ARE SO STRANGE!, what about P.E., do you give them tests, are they socialized, can you homeschool legally?”

On the eleventh day of homeschool my neighbor said to me, “I could never do that, what about graduation, they’ll miss the prom, why do you do this, look at what they’re missing, how long will you homeschool, YOU ARE SO STRANGE, what about P.E., do you give them tests, are they socialized, can you homeschool legally?”

On the twelfth day of homeschool my neighbor said to me, “Can they go to college, I could never do that, what about graduation, they’ll miss the prom, why do you do this, look at what they’re missing, how long will you homeschool, YOU ARE SO STRANGE, What about P.E., do you give them tests, are they socialized, can you homeschool legally?”

On the thirteenth day of homeschool I thoughtfully replied: “They *can* go to college, yes you can do this, they can have graduation, we don’t like the prom, we do it cuz we like it, they are missing nothing, we’ll homeschool forever, WE ARE NOT STRANGE!, We give them P.E., and we give them tests, they are socialized, AND WE HOMESCHOOL LEGALLY.

On the fourteenth day of homeschool my neighbor said to me, “How can I get started, why didn’t you tell me, where do I buy curriculum, when is the next conference, WILL PEOPLE THINK WE’RE STRANGE?. I think we can do this, if you will help us, we’ll join a sports team, and we’ll homeschool legally.

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November 20, 2006

Homeschooling to Build Character–Book Review for Moms Raising Sons

Homeschooling to Build Character

Book Review for Mothers Who Are Raising Sons

My husband and I homeschool for a number of reasons; however, one of the biggest is our desire to teach character, and influence the values and morals of our children.

I want to share three "must-read" books for all homeschool moms who are raising sons. The name of the first book is That’s My Son: How Moms Can Influence Boys to Become Men of Character by Rick Johnson.

This book helps mothers realize how to train boys to become responsible men who will lead with courage and integrity. Rick Johnson speaks very frankly–especially to mothers about their role in their sons’ lives.  Johnson realizes that many mothers are raising sons single-handedly, in the absence of the father.  Unfortunately, Johnson says, many fathers are either absent physically or mentally from the home.  Johnson addresses the need for positive male role models for our sons today—because many do not have this within the home.  The author provides practical insights and strategies for teaching integrity, perseverance, courage, loyalty, manners, and respect.

The author’s premise is that it’s easier to raise a boy, than to change a man’s character once he’s older.  Johnson says he senses a desperation in many men today and questions what men are passing on to their sons.   I encourage all moms—and especially single moms—to read this book.  The author encourages you to seek situations where your sons can interact with positive male role models. 

Two additional books on character-building (for young men) that I recommend are: Boyhood & Beyond, and Created for Work: Practical Insights for Young Men, both written by Bob Schultz.  These 2 books are excellent for mothers to read out-loud and share with their sons.  I am currently reading these books out-loud to my 12 year old son and my 7 year old son.  Schultz includes questions at the end of each chapter, and these books have really spoken to both of my boys.  

In Boyhood and Beyond, the author addresses authority and good attitudes, forgiveness, industry vs. sloth, leadership, temptations, jealousy, and how to overcome fear.  The author is very transparent in describing difficulties that he has struggled with—yet despite this, he still manages to writes on a boy’s level, and maintain interest.  Boyhood & Beyond is an excellent book for mothers and sons to connect with.  It is told in stories, with humor and a good dose of practical humility.  The stories teach timeless principles and morals, and Schultz has a real personal touch.

Created for Work, is the sequel to Boyhood & Beyond, and discusses how responsibility and a strong work ethic develop confidence, initiative, continual learning, and appreciation for what you have.  Schultz addresses the importance of how boys spend their time, and argues that habits set in childhood will set a precedent for the future. These 3 books go hand-in-hand—speaking, helping and encouraging moms to raise sons with strong character and good leadership skills. 

I hope you enjoy these books as much as I have.


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