Tuesday, November 17, 2009

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/MahoganyHomeschooler.rss

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/MahoganyHomeschooler.rss

Yes I am taking my blog to the next level. I will be airing in the coming weeks on blogtalk radio talking about various subjets pertaining to homeschooling.

COMING SOON!!! ~Peace~

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Homescholing on a Budget

With all the boxed curriculum's and programs out you start to wonder if you can afford to homeschol. I will say that after homeschooling for the past 61/2 years I have spend very little money. You can spend as much or as little as you like depending on what you want to use. I will list a few resources and techniques we have used over the years that have saved us lots of money.

1. PUBLIC LIBRARY the library can be one of your most vital resources. It's free! You can find any book on any subject that you are working on. Most libraries are also accessible online and that's a time saver. Instead of taking hours physically searching in the library, you can find the books you want online and place them on hold so that you can go and pick them up. Alot of libraries also give homeschoolers the same advantages as teachers allowing you to tap into more resources not generally available to the public. The library is also a great way to meet other homeschoolers. You can take the opportunity to print out worksheets, make copies and some libraries have laminators. Your tax dollars help maintain this vital resource so take full advantage.

2. INTERNET The educational possibilities are endless. There are dozens of websites that offer free worksheets on every subject in every grade. A lot of the material you will find in some of the workbooks on the market can be found online. There are a lot of sites that offer memberships which allow access to thousands of worksheets, lesson plans, unit studies etc. Most offer a one time fee between $20 and 40 for the entire year which is not much considering all the frivolous things we spend our money on at a moments notice. The only downside (if you want to call it a downside) is that you will consume a of of paper and ink. I would only print out what I know I would use so that unnecessary paper and ink are wasted.

3. Building an In Home Library I posted a blog about this in my earlier postings. You can purchase books used and save a lot of money. There are some reference books that you may want to keep in your home such as a dictionaries (1 child, 1 adult), thesaurus, spelling aides, encyclopedias and books of that nature. You can also purchase books based on the subject matter you are working on. The more literature you have in your home, the more they will want to read.

4. Your Community I'm sure there are a lot of places that you have never thought of visiting or even knew were there. You may want to take your child on a field trip to your local recycling plant, or volunteer at a nursing home. If you live near a farm, that is a great place to take you children so they can see how food grows and the hard work it takes to make the farm function. Most towns and cities have a website providing information on activities that are being held (most of them being free) or very inexpensive. If their are no activities being offered in your area and you have neighbors and friends with children, try coming together and planning activities. There are many learning opportunities within our own neighborhoods, we just have to be creative and resourceful.


EBAY If you choose the boxed curriculum route, you do not have to spend large amounts of money. If you go on Ebay, there are many people who have complete boxed curriculums, text books, workbooks etc, that they have not used or slightly used and want to get rid of at a fraction of the retail price. Craig's list is also has a wealth items for sale. Some boxed curriculums can even be bought in segments instead of all together so you can purchase as you go along if you can't afford to purchase all at once.

THE DOLLAR STORES Don't sleep on the dollar stores because they have really upgraded in the past few years. Dollar Tree carries educational posters along with most of the supplies you will need.

When it comes to homeschooling on a budget, money management, it crucial. If we can spent $100 on sneakers, $30 on nails that only last a week or 2 and things like that, we can invest in our children's education and not break the pockets. ~Peace~

Monday, November 2, 2009

Tapping Into Your child's Learning Style

Knowing your child's learning styles will help you in deciding how you want to homeschool your children. Once you know the best ways your children are able to learn, you can then custumizr your lessons to better suite the child. YOu can then help your children to strengthen the areas they may not be as strong in. If you have multiple children, creating a one size fit all lesson plan may stunt a child's growth. You may have a set of identical twins and need to manipulate your lessons to accomadate their very different learning styles. One of the ways you can tap into their learning styles is by watching them play and how they communicate. I will list the various learning styles and how to pick upon them. (This informaton on learning styles below originally ran in the Parent to Parent column)

SPATIAL VISUAL LEARNER -- Needs and likes to visualize things; learns through images; enjoys art and drawing; reads maps, charts and diagrams well; fascinated with machines and inventions; plays with legos; likes mazes and puzzles. Often accused of being a daydreamer in class. MOTIVATING TIPS -- Use board games and memory devices to create visual patterns. In reading suggest visual clues. Offer picture books of all types; when reading chapter books together, encourage visualization of story and scenes at intervals. Promote writing via colored pens, computer or drawing.

KINETIC LEARNER -- Processes knowledge through physical sensations; highly active, not able to sit still long; communicates with body language and gestures. Shows you rather than tells you; needs to touch and feel world; good at mimicking others; likes scary amusement rides; naturally athletic and enjoys sports. Often labeled with attention deficient disorder. MOTIVATING TIPS -- Physical action is the key ingredient to stimulating this student. While reading, let child chew gum, walk around, rock or ride stationary bicycle. Use numerous hands-on activities and experiments, art projects, nature walks or acting out stories.

LANGUAGE-ORIENTED LEARNER -- Thinks in words, verbalizes concepts; spins tales and jokes; spells words accurately and easily. Can be a good reader or prefer the spoken word more; has excellent memory for names, dates and trivia; likes word games; enjoys using tape recorders and often musically talented. MOTIVATING TIPS -- Encourage creation of own word problems. Have child dictate a story to you and watch while you write it or type it out on a word processor -- then child can share it with you. Read aloud together and tape session for later playback. Consider purchasing some book/tape selections.

LOGICAL LEARNER -- Thinks conceptually, likes to explore patterns and relationships; enjoys puzzles and seeing how things work; constantly questions and wonders; capable of highly abstract forms of logical thinking at early age; computes math problems quickly in head; enjoys strategy games, computers and experiments with purpose; creates own designs to build with blocks/legos. MOTIVATING TIPS -- Do science experiments together and have child record results; use computer learning games and word puzzles. Offer context clues as a reading aid. Introduce non-fiction and rhyming books. When reading fiction, discuss relation of story to real-life situations and people.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Unit Studies

Peace,
Unit studies are a great way top include all of your children while teaching around a certain topic. I incoporate a lot of unit studies in my lesson. Because of the range of ages in children, I am able to provide a themed lesson that all of my children can participate in on their own indivual level. When creating your lessons you are taking that theme and incorporating every subject from math and science to geography and art. We are currently working on an autumn themed unit study which I will be sharing in the coming weeks.


This video is a homeschooling mom giving a brief example of a unit study and lapbooking project on butterflies she has prepared for her children. I wanted to share this video as a visual example of what a unit study may consist of.