Curriculum, Learning Styles, and Choices… Oh, My!

Curriculum learning stylesAs a new homeschool mom with an arsenal of degrees and certifications to show for my years of college and experience in the preschool and special education arena, I thought I was prepared. I handled a class of 25+ students in the sixth through ninth grades of Specific Learning Disabilities classes. Surely I could handle two children who were my own.

So I set off as many of you do, to recreate the school within the home, only to find it was a dismal failure. Well, not totally. We loved waking up each morning to a hot breakfast, and then I’d take my second cup of coffee and my two little ones to my room where we’d snuggle up and I’d read the Bible, a biography, and often we’d end up back there again to read after lunch. My oldest child had some learning struggles and he was not getting math. Simple facts were beyond him and asking him to memorize the multiplications facts in later years was like asking him to recite the Pythagorean Theorem.

That’s when I discovered that while I could read most things and remember them, I had hands-on learners who loved exploring and delving into things, getting their hands dirty, and loving it! So instead of just talking about rockets, we turned the refrigerator box into a space ship, complete with countdown to blast off music. My children wore bicycle helmets and pretended to be astronauts.

When our lot flooded, I would have been happy to read about the flood plain, and use words like – “cypress slough” in a sentence or learn about all the animals that like the flood water habitat using an illustrated children’s nature book, but, nooooo, not my children! They had to don boots and drag their brand-new red wagon my parents purchased for them around our flooded yard. They would play outdoors for hours. One day my son ran in all excited and asked, “Is it red-on-yellow kill a fellow, and red-on-black friend of Jack?”  Do you see a recurring theme here?ChristinaSpaceShip

These two were not happy to read about nature in a book, they had to experience it, and so when I happened upon Cathy Duffy at a homeschool conference, it finally made sense! Learning styles, yes – I remember learning about those in my special education classes and then it hit me! Our styles were completely different and not only those of my children, but mine as well.

That doesn’t mean it happened overnight, nor does it mean that I couldn’t encourage my strong visual child to learn things orally as well. It just meant that I wasn’t trying to fit a square peg into a round hole any longer. I finally was able to hit on some compromises that worked for our family and we happily became a unit study, Charlotte Mason, textbook, workbooks, biographies, fiction author, eclectic type of family. One size does not always fit all – and I’m a case in point.

Have you struggled finding curriculum that works for your family? Or did you finally have an, “Aha!” moment like I did?

 

Felice Gerwitz is the host of Vintage Homeschool Moms show that airs on Monday at noon eastern time. Her guest is Cathy Duffy.

Ron Paul thinks Homeschooling is the Answer

Ron Paul and Homeschooling

Ron Paul and Homeschooling

Ron Paul is known as a congressman and an outspoken libertarian, but did you know he is a homeschool advocate? Who would have known? I recently read his latest book, “The School Revolution: A New Answer for Our Broken Education System.” It touted homeschooling as the answer to the failed educational system. I couldn’t agree more.

You see, I’m a long-time homeschool parent. In 1986, after a failed attempt to have my special-needs son correctly placed in a special-needs class, I decided he would never go to public school. I enrolled him in a preschool and then a private school, only to lose a year and have to begin all over again when I took him “home.” I began homeschooling to give my high-functioning special-needs son a fair chance in a system I saw as broken.

My tax-payer dollars were not being used for the special-education program; they were being used for whatever the school principal mandated. I knew this because prior to marriage and kids, I was a special-ed teacher in a school that lacked the funding for books or manipulatives much-needed by my students. As a young idealist, I brought in popcorn as math manipulatives, taught students to string popcorn together as practice in fine-motor training, and created my own incentives. I even took the initiative to meet my students’ parents and caregivers, going to their homes when they could not drive to the school to meet me. You see, I cared. Some may say that I am bitter about my experiences with the public education system. I’m not.

Ron Paul made a case for homeschooling to replace the failed education system. He made a comparison of the way the postal service has been usurped by private enterprise such as UPS and FedEx. He believes homeschool and online services such as classes and schools will be more effective than the federal government in servicing students throughout the US.

I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that homeschooling is far superior to public education. I care about my children; what teacher will care about them as much as their mother does? There are a few. Many teachers give their hearts and resources to help students learn. My sister-in-laws, as well as my brother-in-law (co-host of the Current Issues and the Constitution class), are evidence of this fact! It isn’t the teachers (for the most part); it is the system that is broken. As with many other good teachers, I left the system and created not only this network, but my own curriculum, for my children as well as generations of children to come.

The public school system is overrun with bureaucracy as well as mandates that have little to do with reading, writing, or arithmetic. It is more concerned with liberal fairness, teaching evolution, and creating a group of twenty-somethings that want the state to support them in health care or any other entitlement program. Handouts come with a price: freedom.

My children understand the Constitution of the United States. They are articulate and bright. They have overcome obstacles set up as a detriment to the fact that they are “homeschoolers.” They have risen to the challenge and surpassed even my wildest expectations. My adult children have graduated from college with honors or gone into the workplace as American citizens that understand the value of hard work and family. They are not a product of an educational system that looks at them as a statistic and pigeonholes them into a class based upon age rather than ability.

As you may have guessed, I am an advocate for homeschooling K-12, and I agree with Ron Paul (even though I would not consider myself a libertarian) that homeschool students are important to our future liberties! I believe you will see many more homeschoolers becoming leaders in politics in the near future. If the United States is to have any Christian future it depends on homeschooling. Do you agree?

Listen to the original podcast interview with Ron Paul here.

 

Stress-Free Celebrations

 

Stress-free celebration

 

Regardless of the holiday you’re celebrating, there’s always a certain amount of stress to go with it. There’s no magic wand to make that disappear, but some thinking ahead can go a long way. Here’s what Felice has to say …

 

Is stress-free enough? Every year, I dream of a stress-free celebrations. I’ve created seminars on the topic for my Thanksgiving and Holiday Expo, I’ve drilled down to the things that really bother me during the holiday, and I plan ahead. Throughout the year, I keep an eye out for holiday bargains that won’t break my budget. But I’ve realized that during the holidays, there is going to be some measure of stress that just can’t be avoided. The strategies below keep me sane: enjoy this list from my Stress-Free Seminar.

Which one of these things can you implement in your holiday planning?

  • Plans with Prayer
    • Make a Plan
    • Plan to Break It
    • Cross Out
    • Add To
    • Discuss
  • Adult Privileges
    • Just Say No!
  • Exceptions:
    • Brings you peace and joy
    • You want to do it
    • You are obligated
  • Mommy Time Out
    • Meditations
    • Focus – 60 seconds
    • Praise music
  • Revive Your Soul
    • Music
    • Reading
    • Praying
    • DO the ONE thing
  • Gift Giving  –card wrap
    • Time
    • Creativity
    • Exchange
    • Encouragement
  • Back Up Plan
      • You aren’t in control
      • Take out the List and cross out
      • Enlist help
      • Regroup
    • The Reason for the Season
      • CHRISTmas (or THANKSgiving)
      • Attitude Check
        • Expectations – yours?
        • Expectations – family?
        • Others WORSE off
  • Permission Granted
    • Neck rub
    • Foot soak
    • Hand massage
    • Family snuggles
    • Eat chocolate or cookies!
  • Affirmations
    • You are loved
    • You are a child of God
    • You are special
    • You are unique
    • You are treasured

 

Regardless of the holiday (or holy day), with a little advanced planning you can make your celebrations more stress-free.

How do you plan to avoid stress during family celebrations? I’d love to hear from you!

Felice Gerwitz is a wife, mother and author who strives to keep stress out of her life — but knows that only with GOD are all things possible! Here is a handout she hopes you enjoy: Vintage Handouts Stress Free Holidays

How do I Teach Politics to My Kids?

Politics today | How do I teach my kids politics? |homeschooling

Politics today | How do I teach my kids politics?Raising homeschooled teenagers in this current political climate is not fun, and that, my friends, is putting it mildly.

I’m frustrated. No, wait. I’m angry! Just think of all the years, I have spent as a parent raising children to love the Lord, do what is right, play fair, share, compromise, and think of others.

I teach my children to think, to form opinions that are sound. If they disagree, they can state these politely and without malice. It is the art of rhetoric and argumentation that is based upon evidence whenever possible. I work at modeling character qualities, not always successfully, but I try, because I know that character is caught more so than it is taught.

And what does the government do? It undermines my parental authority because I care. I care about my rights as a citizen… and my children have watched and listened as I’ve taught them how I feel about the following:

  1. The new health care plan.
  2. The raising of the debt ceiling only to hand a future generation the bill.
  3. Non-compromising politicians on both sides who use well-orchestrated press releases, and  buzzwords that incur the wrath of my remote control to change the channel.
  4. The disregard for many of the articles of the Constitution that leaves me stunned.
  5. The repayment of a fallen soldier’s loyalty with total disrespect of memorials and funds.

Who is to blame? We are.

As we waste our time blaming sides, our rights are being stripped away one by one, and my children see this, clearly. They ask: what can we do?

My parents were Italian immigrants who fled to this country because of Mussolini; they came to the United States of America, because it was the Land of the Free. My parents insisted I speak English and were happy they became American citizens. They taught my brothers and me that education was important and entrepreneurship was the key. They owned a bakery, ran a dress shop in the basement. My father finished the dresses in our home, for those who did not want to buy off-the-rack clothes. My parents  later purchased and ran a very successful restaurant. We lived many places: New York, outside of Ontario, Canada, and in Winter Haven, Florida. My parents were not afraid of hard work; they taught me that very well. They taught me that freedom was won with integrity and honor – and most of all we must be informed.

So can you imagine my chagrin when I heard my smart, beautiful, happy go-lucky, softball-playing teenage daughter told me, “I just don’t care anymore, Mom. I’m tired of being angry.”

What!

This was her response to an invitation to watch the news with me, and, it was a conservative news station. She doesn’t care? How did that happen? Didn’t I teach her better? Didn’t my carefully-selected history and government classes with God as the focus and the Constitution as a pillar show her time and time again that if you don’t care your rights will truly be stripped?

Yes, I did teach her better, and I know her response was a defense mechanism because she was weary of hearing the bickering on T.V., and so am I! As a Christian I know my hope is in God, not politicians, but I will not stand idly by. I will be praying. Every single one of those politicians has my prayers, because my God is a righteous one and His ways are not mine. I continue to hope for my children and for my country, the Land of the Free.

How are you encouraging your children with our current political mess? I want to know.

 

Felice Gerwitz is the moderator of Current Issues & the Constitution with her brother-in-law, Professor Wilson. The show airs in the archives.

Sponsored by: Media Angels Membership Site

media angels membership

 

Rekindle Your Romance

rekindle your romanceLet’s Talk ~ Rekindle Your Romance with Felice Gerwitz Podcast #179

Rekindle your romance no matter how long you’ve been married! Felice shares some tips for keeping the romance alive after thirty-seven years of marriage, five children and busy schedules. Taking time for each other and private jokes, remembering happy moments in the past is a start.

Show Notes:

Romance Killers

  1. Theatrics
  2. Work
  3. Kids
  4. Extended Family

Rekindle your romance, giving of yourself for others – how do you do this? By filling up at the well – for me that is time with the Lord it is giving the Lord permission to be the LORD of my life – to give him my time and give him my business

Anger management

  1. Promises that are broken
  2. Unforgiveness
  3. Irritation of the little things
  4. Kids interrupting

Guidelines

  1. Time for you – even if it means in the evening or early mornings
  2. Time to talk
  3. Time to listen and be interested – friend learned about her husband’s biz so she could talk to him about it – I still don’t know what a hip or roof is =

ASK the Lord to rekindle your romance

Remember those past stories, those insider stories, those things that remind you of happy times and encourage you to spend time together.

Vintage HS Moms – Time Boosters

Let’s Talk About Time! Time Boosters to Increase Your Time Daily

with Felice Gerwitz

Time Boosters

with your host Felice Gerwitz Everyone lives under the impression that there is not enough time to complete all the things you want to do each day, and I know, because I’ve lived with this concept for years. However, with the time boosting strategies I’m about to share with you – you will learn how to be the master of your own time, increase your productivity and never let the lack of time get the best of you!

Handout: TimeBoosters_Handout_VintageHomeschoolMoms

Show Notes:

Books I recommend:

Mary Jo Tate: Flourish at Home

Crystal Paine: Goodbye to Survival Mode

Vintage HS Moms – WAHM with Leah Nieman

LeahNiemanLet’s Talk About Working from Home
Trial, Triumphs & Truth with

Leah Nieman and Felice Gerwitz, you host!

Leah began a idea with a friend, around 2005 and never guessed her group would grow from 12 to 250 to over 200,000 today! Currclick is known throughout the homeschool world as a place to purchase eBooks from curriculum providers as well as attend classes – which is a new feature that was added a few years ago. Listen as Leah shares tender moments with her children, keys to success and answers questions at the end of the broadcast. Leah can also be found at http://www.LeahNieman.com

If you’ve enjoyed this show check out the The Homeschool Sanity Show! 

Sponsored by Felice Gerwitz – MediaAngels.com

Share with a friend!

Vintage Moms – Teaching Art

Teaching ArtLet’s Talk About Teaching Art

 

Felice Gerwitz & Sharon Jeffus

 

Listen Now! 

 

Would you like some quick tips on teaching art with techiniques from a Master Artist, Sharon Jeffus? Felice and Sharon have been long-time friends. They met when Felice asked her husband to do the art work on a book she was publishing. They quickly became friends! Sharon shares her passion for teaching art using the elements and principals of art in a cohesive way. She loves to work with budding artists!

Here is the FREE EBook over 30 PAGES  From Sharon Jeffus of Visual Manna — VisualMannaBasicArt

Travel Brings Online Friendships to LIFE!

If you’ve heard my podcast, Destination: Inspiration, here on the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network before, you know I LOVE travel. Not just for the adventure and excitement, but truly for building world changers.

And, I guess I’ve traveled so much that I consider myself one of those world changers. I really don’t fit in a box, and travel helps me express my identity. I believe it can help form yours, and those of your children. (Keep reading ’til the bottom to see how YOU can have an amazing travel experience, too!)

It really is my life’s purpose to inspire others, and to get them to GO! After all, Jesus said “Go!” into all the world and share the good news! Even though we “homeschool,” He tells us to GO! This burning passion fueled me to found the new Non-Profit Social Enterprise, Word Traveling.

Throughout all of the significance and blessings experienced through travel, none can compete with forming strong relationships. In fact, I met Felice, our visionary and founder here at UHSRN while traveling! And, we’ve met together in person since then- traveling!

This past weekend, I was blessed to sponsor and attend the 2:1 conference, especially for other homeschool bloggers.

Though the keynotes and blogging tips were fantastic, nothing was more impactful than the prayer and real friendships we were able to continue, and begin, “IRL” (in real life!) I met so many blogging mentors, sisters and friends, continued to develop friendships from  last year’s travel, and was even able to meet my fabulous media director, Amy,  in person for the first time, I’m only bummed we forgot to take a picture together!

Perhaps some of the most special are those ladies I got to hug in person that have become dear sisters through this network. After all, it’s really God’s network. And it yours. And He values family.That means we are family, too!

UHSRN pin

I’m blessed to have the extended family here at UHSRN,  and it’s our pleasure as hosts to share our blessings with you! Here’s a quick snap of Kendra of Homeschooling IRL, Amanda (our behind the scenes rockstar,) Katie, Educando en el Hogar, and me- Jen:)

RadioNetworkGirls

UHSRadio sisters! (L to R) Kendra Fletcher, hostess of Homeschooling IRL, Amanda Pelser, tech queen extraordinaire, Katie Hornor of Educando en el Hogar, and Me- Jen Reyneri, Destination: Inspiration

Make sure you sign up for the newsletter here and see where we could meet IRL, too!

Check out this video we premiered last weekend to catch the vision at Word Traveling, and how it’s really my dream to help others travel, too! 

Until next time- click on the giveaway graphic and the flip flops below to enter the contest, and a chance to meet IRL ourselves! Share some love on social media, and ~ bon voyage! 

Throughout the month of May, a group of these friends and more will be celebrating the travel effect with posts and a fabulous Florida vacation giveaway! Keep reading to find out more.Click the “WIN” graphic to be taken to the giveaway.

Come celebrate the travel effect with us -- enter our giveaway and find out what our friends are sharing all month long!

Find out what our blogging friends have to say about the Travel Effect!

5-1 Jen at Word Traveling shares Come Celebrate the Travel Effect with Us. (You are here!)

5-1 Amy at Homeschool Blogging shares about Traveling to Conventions.

5-2 Stacey at I’m A Lazy Mom shares My Newest Lazy Mom Travel Essentials.

5-3 Jen at Word Traveling (that’s me!) shares NTTW Kickoff! Infographic & Video Contest Announcement

5-4 Amy at Homeschool Encouragement shares Free Travel Printables for Kids!

5-5 Katie at Paradise Praises shares Large Family Travel Tips

5-6 Jen at Word Traveling shares Travel Effect- The Effects Travel Has on Family.

5-6 Jen at Conservamom shares the Dave Ramsey School of Traveling with Your Family.

5-7 Jenilee at Our Goodwin Journey shares Tips for Surviving Well in Small Spaces

5-8 Jen shares on the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network. (you are here!)

5-9 Suzette from Godly Rose shares Disney on a Dime.

5-10 Marcy from Ben and Me shares 10 Tips for Saving Money on Vacation.

5-12 Kendra from Homeschooling IRL shares Traveling With Kids Is Worth All the Effort!

5-13 Wendy on Word Traveling shares The Great Escape to Italy: Planning Our Getaway.

5-15 Trisha at Intoxicated on Life shares 4 Passes to Access Over 3,300 Educational Family Adventures

5-15 Jen at Florida Parent Education Association shares Making Memories at Your Homeschool Convention.

5-17 Tonya shares Practical Ways to Save Money on Your Next Road Trip

5-20 Susie (age 6) shares Flying as an Unaccompanied Minor.

5-21 Leslie shares Getting Outdoors While Traveling with Kids.

5-23 Phyllis shares Do You Travel With Children?

5-28 Kathy shares Boredom Busters For Road Trips

Ready to hear about the big Travel Effect Giveaway????

One winner will be blessed to receive:

3 nights stay at Casa del Rey in Hobe Sound Beach, and a chance to meet Jen-value -$450

2 nights stay for a family of 4 plus Breakfast at Sun Tower Hotel Suites in Fort Lauterdale – value $500.

Geo Matters Maps & Geography Bundle TBA ~$150.

Wonder Maps from Bright Ideas Press – value $49.95.

Apple Core homeschool record keeping-one year subscription- value $55.

Car Cache– THE solution to keep your handbag safely within reach. value $23.95

Words With Wings One Year Subscription from Word Traveling – value $59.

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Gun Control, The Law & More

Gun Control

Gun control and so much more in this week’s episode.

Download the audio and share with a friend.

 

 

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