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.

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

Homeschool Podcasts You Don’t Want to Miss

Homeschool podcasts you don't want to miss

Homeschool Podcasts You Don’t Want to Miss

What is a podcast?

If you’re new to podcasts, it might help to begin with explaining what a podcast is!  “Simply put, a Podcast is a series of audio or video recordings, that you can subscribe to and listen to whenever you like.” – The Podcast Host.

This makes it easy to listen to your favorite individuals in areas that are important to you and your family, such as homeschooling and parenting.

On the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network you can listen to podcasts by streaming directly on the website for any of the show hosts. You can also subscribe to the shows via iTunes or Google Play and the new shows will automatically load to your subscribed shows. Easy peasy.

How will homeschool podcasts benefit my homeschool?

As a busy homeschooling family, you may wonder how adding one more thing to do to your day will benefit your homeschool. With the wide variety of homeschool podcasts to choose from there are so many ways you can reap the benefits!

  • encouragement- it’s not easy to get away to a homeschool conference. With the push of the “play” button you can listen to a pep-talk from your favorite speaker.
  • methods and homeschool philosophy-  you can listen to ways to homeschool.
  • homeschool helps- math, grammar, writing … there’s a podcast to help.

Homeschool Podcasts You Don’t Want to Miss

This isn’t an exhaustive list of all of the great homeschool podcasts, just a list of favorites according to listeners and a few of my own.

Do you have a favorite show post or podcast show on the Network? I’d love to hear which podcasts speak to you!

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Don’t miss our giveaway! Check it out here. 

Walk this way giveaway

 

 

 

30+ Micro Business Ideas for Teens (Part 1) #50

Welcome to episode #50 of the Dollars and Sense Show! In this episode, Carol Topp, author of the Micro Business for Teens book series, shares more than 30 ideas of micro businesses that a teenager (or a parents) can start quickly and easily.

Here’s a helpful handout

To celebrate the 50th episode of the Dollars and Sense Show, Carol has put her Micro Business for Teens books on sale.

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The sales runs through September 2015, so grab your copies today.

My Spouse Doesn’t Want Me To Homeschool – HIRL Episode 59

Free homeschool podcast discussing what to do when your spouse doesn't want to homeschool.We love to sit down in the studio and discuss the questions sent in from listeners. On this episode of Homeschooling in Real Life, Fletch and Kendra we respond to a listener who asked how she can homeschool when her non-supportive spouse is skeptical and negative about her efforts.

Here’s the deal: we don’t have the answers and there are no magic bullets out there, but that does not stop us from tackling this very difficult topic. This was the perfect question to get us thinking and working our thoughts outloud for our listenters.  Tune in and give a listen as we answer in a way that provides both the practical and the hopeful. We really think you’ll be encouraged to seek God and listen for what He has in store for your family.

Timeline
:53– Introduction
9:10 – Part One
25:10 – Part Two

Show Notes

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Please visit our coffee sponsor: Caroline’s Coffee for 10% off any order.

Music clips used on this show:

“One'” Three Dog Night (Buy It Here On iTunes)


Join Fletch (from theMangoTimes) and Kendra (from Preschoolers and Peace and KendraFletcher.com) for the HomeschoolingIRL podcast every week as they interview guests and talk through some of the goofiness they have experienced in nearly two decades of Homeschooling In Real Life.

Marketing and Customer Profiles in a Micro Business. Dollars and Sense Show # 33

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Joining host Carol Topp are Carol Sue and Phillip Priddy from FamilyBusinessGreenhouse.com in this edition of the Dollars and Sense podcast. They will share their expertise on creating a marketing plan and a customer profile for your micro business.

Philip and Carroll Sue decided to homeschool before they even had children, and decided early that they wanted to teach their children how to open and run their own businesses from an early age. In their homeschool, each child starts his or her first business at 8 years old, does a product addition at 10 years old and starts a second business at 12 years old, and so on. Each child is responsible to negotiate with vendors, maintain records of costs, income and expenditures, maintain inventory, etc. This has honed writing, math, inter-personal skills and has proven to be a fertile ground for teaching ethics and character.

This is how the Priddy’s describe their passion:

“We want to share how family business draws a family together, in effort, intention and attention. We set goals as a family, and achieve them together. We are able to see the strengths of our children more clearly, because we are working side-by-side. We are able to also see their areas of need, because we are working side-by-side! This leads to teaching and discipleship and is individualized and immediate.”

In the podcast we discussed:

Family Business Greenhouse.com a series of webinars offering training to families interested in launching a business together. New sessions starting in February 2015. Purchase and listen to the pre-recorded sessions at http://familybusinessgreenhouse.com/startyourbusiness/

  • Getting and serving customers
  • What is a customer profile
  • How a customer profile helps in marketing
  • How can a micro business owner have more success and fewer mistakes in marketing?
  • How does a business owner know when to persist in a marketing campaign and when to give up and move on?

 

HorizontalAd_MBFT_3 books

Is your teenager interested in starting a micro business of their own? Micro Business for Teens will get them started. But it also helps adults wishing to start a micro business!

 

If you enjoyed this episode of the Dollars and Sense podcast, please leave a review on iTunes. (click on View in iTunes to leave a review)

What do you give an author for Christmas? Dollars and Sense Show #32

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Do you have a writer or budding author on your Christmas list?

Carol Topp, host of the Dollars and Sense Show podcast has some gift ideas for the writer on your shopping list.

Books for Writers:

Tools for Writers

Moleskin notebook and pens for brainstorming, note taking, ideas, etc.

Website hosting and domain name. I use MomWebs.com (but you don’t have to be a mom!)

IBSN International Standard Book Number from Bowker $125 for a block of 10 ISBN

Learning Resources

Writers Digest tutorials

Writers conferences. I’ve been to Midwest Writers Workshop, Indiana Faith and Writing Conference, Kentucky Christan Writers, The Business of Writing International Summit in Kentucky.

Help for Writing Success

A virtual assistant to set up a blog, post articles, do social media posts, set up ebooks on Clickbank, CreateSpace or Kindle.

Writers retreat, a cabin, a hotel or a cruise

Consultation with an accountant. Contact me, Carol Topp, CPA. Or with a book professional and publisher. Contact Felice Gerwitz

Other Christmas Gift Ideas for Writers

http://www.writersdigestshop.com/gifts-for-writers

http://thewritelife.com/22-gifts-for-writers-that-are-way-better-than-a-boring-old-notebook/

http://elissafield.wordpress.com/2012/11/29/christmas-shopping-for-the-writer-in-your-life-25-top-gift-ideas-writers-really-love/

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Carol Topp, CPA

 

P.S. If you’d like to give me a Christmas gift, I’d like a review on iTunes. (click on View in iTunes to leave a review)

 

Dollars and Sense Show

Advice from experienced homeschoolers.
Join Carol Topp as she interviews experienced homeschoolers at the recent HSLDA National Homeschool Leaders Conference. They discuss why they became a homeschool leader, what they wish they had know and what advice they have to offer you!

Dollars and Sense Show

Career Exploration for High School Students

Part 4: Picking a college and a major

Join Carol Topp in this 4 part series on career exploration for homeschool high school students

Dollars and Sense Show

Career Exploration for High School Students

Part 2 Personality tests can help in a career choice

Join Carol Topp as she shares a 4 part series on Career Exploration for homeschool high school students.

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