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.

 

Current Issues & the Constitution

CurrentIssuesConstitutionJoin moderator Felice Gerwitz and Host Woody Wilson as they discuss current issues and current events happening in the world today. From a conservative Christian perspective and always exciting – hot topics are discussed and questions taken from the live audience. Join us live to have your questions answered.

 

Current Issues & the Constitution

CurrentIssuesConstitutionJoin moderator Felice Gerwitz and Host Woody Wilson as they discuss current issues and current events happening in the world today. From a conservative Christian perspective and always exciting – hot topics are discussed and questions taken from the live audience. Join us live to have your questions answered.

 

Current Issues & the Constitution

CurrentIssuesConstitutionJoin moderator Felice Gerwitz and Host Woody Wilson as they discuss current issues and current events happening in the world today. From a conservative Christian perspective and always exciting – hot topics are discussed and questions taken from the live audience. Join us live to have your questions answered.

We are back! Every other week – check out the website for the amazing handout!

Mommy Jammies Night – Jeannie Fulbright

 “Imparting a Biblical Worldview”

Join LaToya and her guest Jeannie Fullbright as she shares "Imparting a Biblical Worldview”

What is a Biblical Worldview? How does our worldview affect the quality of our lives? How does it shape our words, our actions and choices? Armed with a Biblical Worldview, our children will be more equipped to walk with the Lord as adults. We don’t have to be perfect parents or super spiritual to impart a Biblical worldview; we only need be aware and purposeful and often humble. In this talk, Jeannie will explore these issues and give specific ideas for giving your children an eternal perspective and a strong Biblical Worldview, so that they will be ready to face the world.

Jeannie Fulbright is a homeschooling mother of four and the author of Apologia’s Young Explorer series: Exploring Creation. Those titles include Astronomy, Botany, Zoology 1, 2 and 3, Anatomy and Physiology, and the new Chemistry and Physics for elementary through middle school students.

At the age of ten, Jeannie wrote her first book, and later continued her writing journey at the University of Texas. There, she wrote for the newspaper and spent evenings as a primetime newscaster for the student radio station. After graduating from UT-Austin, she married her husband, Jeff, who is an attorney. They live in Metro Atlanta with three of their four children.

Jeannie’s children range in age from 13 to 20. Her oldest graduated from homeschooling in 2011 and was accepted on scholarship to the University of Georgia where she is on the Dean’s List.

It’s her love for God’s Word, her family, homeschooling, and other believers that inspires her to continue writing and speaking. She has a heart to encourage homeschoolers everywhere. Not only does Jeannie continue to create curriculum, she also writes a monthly newsletter, a weekly blog and is very active on social media. She can be found on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter, sharing homeschooling ideas and inspiration.

Mommy Jammies Night – Sherri Seligson

“Am I Ruining My Children? What I Wish I Knew When I Began Homeschooling”

Join LaToya and her guest Sherri Seligson as she shares "Am I Ruining My Children? What I Wish I Knew When I Began Homeschooling”

Sherri shares 10 things that she wished she knew when she started homeschooling: Don’t have to do school at home. Don’t stress over the gaps.  Don’t fall into the comparison trap. And More! Get ready for some encouragement and practical tips on homeschooling  in this podcast, “Am I Ruining My Children? What I Wish I Knew When I Began Homeschooling”.

Sherri Seligson and her husband, David, have been homeschooling their four children for 21 years, graduating their last child this year. Before she was promoted to “mother,” Sherri worked as a marine biologist at Walt Disney World’s Living Seas, publishing shark behavior research. She has authored Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Marine Biology and Interning for High School Credit as well as companion curricula for feature films including Dolphin Tale and War Horse. Sherri has written for several science publications as well as homeschool magazines.  She loves to speak at conferences where she can encourage moms on their homeschool journey, and she has a motivated heart for helping families see God in science.

You can connect with Sherri on Facebook or her blog, Just Extraordinary.

Mommy Jammies Night – Heidi St. John

“Keeping Christ the Center of Your Homeschool”

“Keeping Christ the Center of your Homeschool” with Heidi St. John

When was the last time that you were undone by your thirst for God?  Staying connected to God and being in the word with our children is so vital for homeschooling and disciplining our children. Heidi shares her heart and passion to encourage families to dig into the Word together and grow closer to God in this podcast, “Keeping Christ in the Center of Your Homeschool”. Grab your bibles and prepare to be encouraged.

Heidi St. John has been married to her husband Jay since 1989. Together they have seven children from toddler to adult and have homeschooled all the way through high school. A favorite conference and radio speaker, Heidi approaches marriage and parenting with humor and grace. Her passion to encourage moms and set them free to be who God has created them to be will bless and encourage you. Connect with Heidi at her blog The Busy Mom, on Facebook, on Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Head on over to the blog to get a FREE two-week sample of a family devotional by Heidi and her hubby called Firmly Planted! 

 

Mommy Jammies Night – Connie Hughes

“Having the Courage to Allow God to do Amazing Things in Your Life”

Having the Courage to Allow God to do Amazing Things in Your Life

Taking a leap of faith takes courage. Whether you are thinking of homeschooling, becoming a stay at home mom, or beginning any new endeavor, be encouraged! If you are in God’s will, He is with you! Listen as Connie reminds us of Bible and historical characters who had the courage to allow God to do amazing things in their lives.

Connie is a former public school teacher, turned homeschool mom of 8. She and her husband of 29 years raise their 8 children together in the country in the rowdiest house on their road. Connect with Connie at her blog SmockityFrocks.com, on Facebook, on Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Use the code “Jammies” to receive HALF OFF one or both of Connie’s devotional ebooks “How to Manage Your Mouth – A 30 Day Wholesome Talk Challenge” and “How to Manage Your Mouth –  A 30 Day Wholesome Talk Challenge FOR KIDS“.

Homeschooling With a Large Family

Large Family Homeschooling Podcast

Homeschooling with a Large Family

Are you homeschooling 1, 2, 3 or 4 children? You may or may not think you are homeschooling a large family. Honestly, there are days I do think homeschooling 3 children is quite a bit different from homeschooling 1 or 2 children. However, I KNOW homeschooling 3 children is different from 4 or more.

I have learned a few ways of homeschooling my children. We have some subjects we learn as a family and a few I teach based on zones or combined teaching as I am able with my children.

While I love helping any Mom get her footing on solid ground with homeschooling, I know that I can’t really do a LOT to help Moms with more than 4 children. So, today, I have special guest, Amy (Raising Arrows) who currently has 7 children on earth and one in Heaven. She writes amazing posts helping Moms in their homes with organization, school and more than that, as a wife. Amy has also written an eBook called: Large Family Homeschooling I know you will want to read. So, I can’t wait for you to listen to today’s podcast.

You can find Amy on: her blog, facebook, twitter, google+, YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest

Homeschooling with a Large Family has been sponsored by Kerry Beck at How To Homeschool My Child. You can find Kerry on her website, YouTubeFacebook, Twitter, G+ and Pinterest.

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