Thursday, October 19, 2017

Homeschool Writing - What about apathy?

I just received the nicest email from Time4Writing. Not that it was a personal email but they seemed to really describe and understand my challenges:

Dealing with "Writer's Apathy?"

 Occasionally, you probably hear things along these lines from your child or teen:

How to Help a Child with Writer's Apathy
  • "Writing doesn't really matter, anyway." 
  • "Writing is boring." 
  • "I'm not good at writing, so why should I bother?" 

As a parent, you recognize that your child needs to be well-grounded in the basics of writing to have school and career success. Yet, you may be hard-pressed to convince your child of the importance of improving writing skills. How to Help a Child with Writer's Apathy

If you have a child who puts little to no effort into writing assignments or even balks when it's time to practice writing, this month's writing blog on   battling writer's apathy  will be a welcome read! No parent wants to have to cajole, coax, bribe, or nag their student into doing something as basic as becoming a good writer. Instead, help your child find his or her internal writing motivation with our helpful tips.

 Now I know some kids who have taken T4W homeschool writing courses and they all seem to say the same things: "Useful" - "Not too hard or awkward" and "really helped"etc. Basically, they get a chance to work with an experience writing teacher who gives them positive feedback on their interesting thoughts, use of language, and writing techniques. And helps them understand where better structure, clearer word choice, or a different sentence structure would work. Parents particularly like that someone else does the heavy lifting of giving feedback to their kids about writing.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Third Grade Resources Focus

Guess who has a third grader? Yes, I do. Actually, I have some children. They are people first.  But they have certain attributes such as what grade level they are working at. Mine are working at the third grade level. Of course, I'm writing facetiously here but the People First movement is actually something I leaned about from Kelly S when I one day spoke or wrote without paying attention and put myself in a category of people that categorizes people unsympathetically. Since then, I can't even say "I have a third grader" without my inner voice coming after me.

Betthatasitmay, in third grade:

Collection of Third Grade Spelling Word Lists and Vocabulary Lessons

From there, you can find and I quote:
Third grade vocabulary lists are also available on VocabularySpellingCity. Vocabulary lists include antonyms and synonyms; homophones and homonyms (multiple meaning words); and third grade content specific lists. Content area vocabulary covers concepts, such as third grade science vocabulary words (matter, motion, and scientific inquiry) and third grade math vocabulary (fractions, base ten, and weight/volume).

Lookign elsewhere, there's Time4Learning's third grade homeschool program and Time4Writing's Third grade writing program for homeschoolers.

And again, I quote from T4W this time:

What is 3rd Grade Writing?
In third grade, writing becomes a key component of school curriculum. Third grade students write more independently than in any previous grade and spend significant blocks of time engaged in writing on their own, as well as in assigned projects. Students hone their paragraph writing skills and write multi-paragraph compositions. As specified in third grade writing standards, students learn to organize their work using a beginning, middle, and end, focusing on sequence of events. Students are also taught to use descriptive detail and literary devices, such as dialogue, point of view, and figurative language (metaphors and similes). Third-graders continue to expand their knowledge of grammar, spelling, and mechanics, as well as how to evaluate writing and conduct research.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Art & Beauty Everywhere

One of the opportunities in homeschooling is for parents to help their children see the art everywhere.  In nature, in people, in society, even in the jokers of decks of cards.

What? The beauty of jokers in the decks of cards? In fact, yes, Check it out. These jokers are from the best online joker collection.  I think collecting is a great way for kids to learn about the world. My generation and the generations before me learned about the world and history through stamp and coin collecting. We built organizational skills. We socialized and learned a little bit about commerce.  Today, that's much less interesting but I still think collecting has a role to play in education. Anybody out there with a homeschool collections website, community, or facebook group?

These next two jokers are by Peter Wood from his 2000Pips transformation deck.

Thats the highlight of the first 9 jokers in the art section. They are colorful and imaginative, some are abstract.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Spelling Practice!!!

Despite all the excitement about big ideas and constructing knowledge and understanding, there is still some places where rote memorization for rapid fluency and total automaticity is important.

Math facts and sight words. We need to practice these so that there's not a slight hesitation and so we can really think quickly about other things.  This requires practice practice practice practice.
Fortunately, there's technology to help us practice and practice and practice.

To help practice, there's VocabularySpellingCity with lists of words by grade level and over 35 different learning games to practice with. Take a look? YES!

1st Grade Word Lists
2nd Grade Word Lists
3rd Grade Word Lists
4th Grade Word Lists
5th Grade Word Lists
6th Grade Word Lists

It's free. Free. Well sort of free. The saving of lists and setting up of parent homeschool accounts is free. The vocabulary and writing exercises and the student login cost some money, around $35 per year. So, a good deal. Enjoy