Strategic School Start

Strategic Homeschol Start

It happens every year. Summer draws to a close and plans are made for the start of a new school year.  Teachers, young and old, experienced and first timers, get a great sense of anticipation about the prospects the new year holds.

In this episode, Jan Bedell, the Little Giant Steps’ Brain Coach, will help you to see what is really important in your homeschool.  She will share how to stay on track with your purpose and vision and not get blindsided by an enemy that wants you to get frustrated and give up.

This week, you will hear how to ease into the year without shocking everyone.  When you start slow and build momentum it works better than trying to sprint from day one after being off for the summer break. Regardless of the age of the student, small adjustments can be made as you build to full use of curriculum for all ages instead of trying to get it all accomplished in the first week and coming away from the experience defeated or discouraged.  You know what they say about the best laid plans.  They most often go astray.

Also included this week will be specific tips for children that might be struggling with reading, math or math facts. Of course, alongside these, suggestions about how to use the key components of The NeuroDevelopmental Approach to help all those little brains function better will be included. Whether you have children who are gifted, typically developing, or challenged with learning labels and struggles, there is something here for you.  As a bonus, if you are a mom that tends to be a perfectionistic or compare your home school program or results to other home schoolers there are life-changing recommendations for you.

Don’t miss the handout attached here with key references from the podcast and links to pertinent resources and discounts.

Cut the Stress and Mess Out of Your Life this Homeschool Year

Cut the Mess and Stress Out of your Life this Homeschool YearDo you consistently find yourself failing in the area of time management? Lindsey has tried every planner and planning method out there to no avail for keeping track of her homeschool and staying on top of all the housework. She needs the accountability but simultaneously craves flexibility for her everchanging schedule. Join Lindsey as she shares two incredible resources to help you cut the stress and mess from your life this homeschool year, and find a special offer for a limited time in the show notes below!

Helpful Links:

FREE 30-Day Trial with FREE LESSON PLAN SPECIAL OFFER for Homeschool Planet (ends 8/31/2017)

Lindsey’s Personal Review of Homeschool Planet: https://www.talkingmom2mom.com/2017/08/homeschoolplanetreview.html

Loop Scheduling Workshop by ProverbialHomemaker.com: http://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/idevaffiliate//idevaffiliate.php?id=tm2m2017_18_1_91

Talking Mom2Mom Links:

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Changes in Homeschooling

TChanges in Homeschoolinghis episode is an excerpt from a homeschool leaders retreat held in Indiana. Carol Topp discusses the changes she sees in homeschooling. The lines between homeschool groups and small micro schools is blurring. And more people are homeschooling but for different reasons than in the past. How will your group face these changes?

 

Visit Carol’s website here!

 

 

 

 

 

FEATURED PRODUCT from HomeschoolCPA:

 

 

Phone consultation with Carol Topp, the Homeschool CPA

A pre-arranged phone call to discuss your questions. My most popular service for homeschool leaders. It’s like having your own homeschool expert CPA on the phone!

Click Here to request more information!

 

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Q and A from the Road: The Woodlands

Questions from Texas Listeners for the Real Kathy Lee, in the Woodlands

During a recent trip to Texas, I had the pleasure of attending Morning in the Mud with Keri, speaking and sharing A Year of Playing Skillfully at the THSC conference in The Woodlands, meeting and receiving a makeover from the adorable Cuore, and several late night podcast recordings in the hotel room with Jamie and Arlene.

We thought our final podcast topic should come from the fine folks of Texas. We had some great questions and thought you might like to hear our great answers. 😉

  1. This is our second year doing A Year of Playing Skillfully. Do we need to add anything to the curriculum or just go deeper with the topics?
  2. What can I do to help my active two year-old stay busy indoors in Michigan during the LONG winters?
  3. Does A Year of Playing Skillfully cover Language Arts and what do you think about a Whole Language Approach?
  4. What do you do when your child seems to be enjoying all aspects of learning and out of the blue decides to push it away and resist?

Wow, these were all great questions and I loved having two seasoned mommas with me to answer them. You will want to tune in to hear our thoughts and opinions!

Next week, I am talking with Holly Giles from http://www.thegilesfrontier.com. Holly shares how her son’s brain injury helped her learn to school out of the box! Don’t miss it!

You’ve got this!

 

Find a way to #sayyes today.

Don’t forget to subscribe to my podcast and leave a review on iTunes!!!

Thank you to The Homegrown Preschooler for sponsoring this Podcast! Check out the blog post Kathy mentioned, Farmhouse Schoolhouse, to read more about A Year of Playing Skillfully.

Also, to thank you for listening, you can receive a 10% discount on any purchase at

The Homegrown Preschooler by using the code, THEREALKATHYLEE.

 

Kindergarten Ready or Not

 

Kindergarten ready or not? Episode #140 comes to you live from on the road to Oregon well as Illinois. Kimberly Travaglino, co-founder of Fulltime Families,  recaps her roadschool week as she gets ready to head to Oregon. From across the country, Mary Beth Goff, the Road Trip Teacher looks back on their roadschool week in the Land of Lincoln.

Listeners hear a few words from the Season 10 series sponsor,  Time4Learning. The comprehensive K-12 online curriculum is a favorite from the Roadschool Moms Approved resources. Both KT and MB use T4L in their own rolling homeschools. The coupon code “roadschooler” is shared for those who want to test drive a trial run of the online resource.

There is not just one indicator of whether your 4, 5 or 6 year old sunshine is ready for official kindergarten or not. And guess what the best test you can give him or her to find out? You guessed it:  none. Try not to base the start of your littles entire formal education on one pivotal circumstance. Instead, consider these six areas to evaluate:
Is he eager to explore and discover new things? Does she ask questions and have an enthusiasm for learning? Does he have the drive to keep on a task even when it is difficult? If the answer to those questions are yes, then you probably have a child that is ready for the kindergarten learning adventure.
Does he have the desire to take responsibility for his actions, for his personal belongings? Can she follow a series of two or three directions? If he possesses self-motivation and a persistence to find out answers on his own, you probably have a kindergarten-ready kiddo.
Another good indicator if your little is ready for kindergarten is the level of communication skills. As in, can she communicate her wants and needs? Has she figured out how to express her feelings or at least recognize the difference in how she feels vs. others around her? This is a sign that language skills are growing and guidance is needed here to keep heading in the right direction.
This next one is a hard one because it is about listening. There’s not many 5 year olds that probably don’t interrupt at some point or another. But for the most part, a kindergarten ready kiddo can sit and listen to a story without interrupting. He can follow simple directions because he has honed in on his listening skills and can process that in his little brain.
Now let’s talk about a few easy things to spot in kindergardten readiness (or not!) And that is fine motor skills. If your child is comfortable writing with a pencil, penning their own name, and using scissors independently, then kindergarten activities will be a snap. They are ready for this next step.
The final thing easily identified is awareness for the alphabet and numbers. Littles that are ready for kindergarten can sing the alphabet song, count to 10, and recognize at least numbers 1 through 5 as well as a majority of the alphabet. Sure at this age, b’s and d’s are mixed up. The letter ‘p’ or the number ‘3’ might be backwards, but that’s where kindergarten curriculum can help strengthen these areas and build their confidence. The next step is learning phonics and when it clicks, you’ll have an emerging reader. This is an area that comes together differently for each and every child.

Looking for a roadmap for your next learning adventure? Scroll through the RSM library on iTunes to find more than 130 podcast replays.

Homeschool enrollment is on the rise. More and more families are moving into a home on wheels. As a result, the Roadschool Moms record this broadcast to present resources that meet the challenges of today’s roadschooler. Kimberly Travaglino, co-founder of Fulltime Families, and Mary Beth Goff, the creator of Road Trip Teacher, team up every week to offer listeners a fresh take on homeschooling while traveling full time across America’s backyard.

The Official Sponsor for Season 10 of Roadschool Moms

Wrap Up a Successful Roadschool Year

 

Wrapping up a roadschool year is a snap with these tips from the Roadschool Moms team. Episode #139 comes to you live from the the State of Washington as well as southern Indiana. Kimberly Travaglino, co-founder of Fulltime Families,  recaps her roadschool week from the Evergreen State. From across the country, Mary Beth Goff, the Road Trip Teacher looks back on their roadschool week in the Hoosier State.

Listeners hear a few words from the Season 10 series sponsor,  Time4Learning. The comprehensive K-12 online curriculum is a favorite from the Roadschool Moms Approved resources. Both KT and MB use T4L in their own rolling homeschools. The coupon code “roadschooler” is shared for those who want to test drive a trial run of the online resource.

This special season ending episode takes a look back at the 12-episode journey to plan a successful roadschool year.

Summer Sun & Roadschool Fun: Sunglasses are on and homeschool calendars out for this episode. Listen to seven sweet suggestions for planning summer learning adventures.
Vision for a Successful Roadschool Year: Roadschool Mom Mary Jane Williams joins MB to talk about having a VISION for your homeschool plans. MB reminds listeners that “Comparison is a thief” and every family’s goals are different. Listen to the seven questions to ask yourself when formulating a homeschool vision.
Choosing Roadschool Curriculum:  KT and MB take apart their roadschool tool box and talk about the different ways to build a roadschool curriculum.
Record Keeping Made Easy:  Dave from Homeschool Tracker joins this special episode with all the expert advice on keeping track of your homeschool records. KT reminds listeners  “The best system is the one you will use!”
 
Roadschool Moms at FPEA:  The RSM team broadcasts live from the FPEA Convention in Orlando, Florida, from the beautiful Gaylord Palms Hotel. Special guest, Andrew Pudewa joins the show with rich and useful information needed to train your homeschoolers up to be effective writers.
Morning Time by Nature:  A favorite past guest, Holly Giles from The Giles Frontier, joins the show to share insight on using Morning Time for the next roadschool year. The homeschooling trio share their tips and advice on using nature for easy Morning Time plans.
Independent Learners by Nature or by Design:  A podcast filled with specific examples for training your kids to be independent learners by looking at the characteristics in your kiddos:  self-motivation, curiosity, persistence, critical thinking, responsibility.
Growing Successful Readers: Stephanie Simpson, a teamleader for Usborne Books joins the Roadschool Moms team to share top tips for growing successful readers in your rolling homeschool. Lots of great information is broken down into nuggets for emerging readers as well as early, fluent & expert readers.
Experience America the Beautiful:  American history & geography are front & center for this episode.  An up close interview with Charlene Notgrass, the creator of the fabulous curriculum, is the feature for this week. Textbook, maps, timelines, and lesson plans! It’s U.S. History for your middle or high schoolers – Ready, set, go!
National Holidays as Roadschool Opportunities:  An episode that reflects on how to use your surroundings, the time of year, and national holidays to feed your roadschoolers fresh, new information. Take out the calendar, there’s never a shortage of ways to celebrate the day.
Building a Strong Math Foundation:  Dennis “Mr D!” DiNola has all the facts about math. He reminds listeners to keep kids learning the math language.  His best message is “doing math can be like eating vegetables, you might not necessarily like it but you CAN learn to appreciate it.”
Hands-on Science:  Luke Gilkerson, Intoxicated on Life, shares information about his Experience Astronomy curriculum. Luke shares his best advice “to teach roadschoolers how to think” by the process of observing, testing hypothesis, finding a conclusion. He encourages roadschool moms everywhere that science is all around us and is easy to work into a roadschool schedule.
Icing Your Roadschool Cake:  Tricia Hodges gives great tips on letting your roadschoolers be creative. Chalk pastel art projects are so easy and fun to use anywhere, anytime. This episode reveals three things you can easily access to get started today.
The Roadschool Moms breaks down seven steps to wrap up a successful roadschool year:
  1. Celebrate the year
  2. Review accomplishments
  3. Create a portfolio
  4. Analyze interests
  5. Plan summer learning adventures
  6. Record transcripts
  7. Honor family traditions
“That’s a WRAP”

Looking for a roadmap for your next learning adventure? Scroll through the RSM library on iTunes to find more than 130 podcast replays.

Homeschool enrollment is on the rise. More and more families are moving into a home on wheels. As a result, the Roadschool Moms record this broadcast to present resources that meet the challenges of today’s roadschooler. Kimberly Travaglino, co-founder of Fulltime Families, and Mary Beth Goff, the creator of Road Trip Teacher, team up every week to offer listeners a fresh take on homeschooling while traveling full time across America’s backyard.

The Official Sponsor for Season 10 of Roadschool Moms

Art & Music Ices a Roadschool Cake

Art and music are two ways to ice next year’s roadschool cake. Episode #138 comes to you live from the the State of Washington as well as somewhere in middle Tennessee. Kimberly Travaglino, co-founder of Fulltime Families,  recaps her roadschool week from the Evergreen state. From across the country, Mary Beth Goff, calls in from on the road in Tennessee. Further, The Road Trip Teacher crew reveals they stopped to call in but still have miles left to travel on their way to the Midwest.

Listeners hear a few words from the Season 10 series sponsor,  Time4Learning. The comprehensive K-12 online curriculum is a favorite from the Roadschool Moms Approved resources. Both KT and MB use T4L in their own rolling homeschools. The coupon code “roadschooler” is shared for those who want to test drive a trial run of the online resource.

This episode features special guest, Tricia Hodges, who lives by the words You ARE an Artist! She begins her interview with one of her other favorite mantras, “Creativity is great theology.” The love Tricia has for chalk pastels as an art medium shines through the candid interview as she answers the Roadschool Moms questions. She talks at length about the importance of art as a regular part of your homeschool program. Tricia encourages roadschoolers to take brain breaks with short art projects when facing hard lessons such as math. Her reminder to think of smiles as rewards also encourages homeschool moms to incorporate art whenever possible. Tricia suggests that art for just 10 minutes weekly will make a positive impact in a homeschool schedule.

Another quote from Tricia’s art box is Pablo Picasso’s, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” With this thought, she describes how chalk pastels are a great choice for all ages. Further, using pastels is not complicated. As a matter of fact, you can start using chalk pastels today with only three things:

  1. A good starter set of chalk pastels (soft pastels)
  2. Paper that is on-hand (construction, copy paper, etc.)
  3. Art tutorials (easily accessed online)

MB talks about the Road Trip Teacher crew’s favorite resource from chalkpastel.com, the American Landmarks ebook. Tricia reveals it is one of the courses now offered as an online video tutorial. Using this one resource, this affiliate talks about how easy it is to integrate an engaging art project into destination unit studies or projects.

Looking for a roadmap for your next learning adventure? Scroll through the RSM library on iTunes to find more than 140 podcast replays.

Homeschool enrollment is on the rise. More and more families are moving into a home on wheels. As a result, the Roadschool Moms record this broadcast to present resources that meet the challenges of today’s roadschooler. Kimberly Travaglino, co-founder of Fulltime Families, and Mary Beth Goff, the creator of Road Trip Teacher, team up every week to offer listeners a fresh take on homeschooling while traveling full time across America’s backyard.

The Official Sponsor for Season 10 of Roadschool Moms

To the Wife Whose Husband Works Long Hours

For the Wife Whose Husband Works Long HoursWhen missed date nights, little league games, and dinner, threaten to destroy your marriage you can fight against it. When your husband works long hours it takes a toll on your family life and marriage. It is all too easy for the distance to grow between you to the point neither of you have the energy to build a bridge to each other. Don’t let that happen to you.  See the blog post:  https://www.talkingmom2mom.com/2015/04/to-the-wife-whose-husband-works-long-hours.html

 

Links:

talkingmom2mom.com

 

An Author Teaches Her Kids to Write

An author Teaches Her Kids to Write | a WriteShop Review by Felice Gerwitz

An author Teaches Her Kids to Write | a WriteShop Review by Felice Gerwitz

History tends to repeat itself and sometimes in very good ways! When I homeschooled my young children I found they were prolific writers if it was topic that they enjoyed. For example, my kids wrote stories about finding pets and keeping them. In fact, the children in their carefully- crafted stories had the most amazing mother in the world! Why? Because she allowed them to keep each and every pet they randomly found in the yard, and she welcomed them with open arms. This was the antithesis of their “real” mom!

Now was the time to work on their nonfiction abilities.

All of my children have struggled in this regard. They enjoy making up stories, rather than researching and writing a factual account, so I came up with a purpose, a family newsletter. This was a combination of factual writing, as well as poetry and interviews. Thus, the “Cousin’s Newsletter” was born. There were cousin contributors: Katie from Texas, Marie and George from Tennessee, Kathleen from Virginia, and Christina and Neal from Florida. Four of the children were homeschoolers and two were not  so there was a nice mix of school and home types of articles. This was in the ‘90s when computers were just becoming household words and there were still lots of copying and pasting manually to get pretty borders and print out copies that were then mailed to all the family members. It was quite a project so we strove to complete two Cousin Newsletters per year.

Still fiction was a favorite and years later my daughter Christina and I went on to write three novels together.

I felt that Christina was one of those people with a story in her blood! Fast forward to the future and now Christina is homeschooling her little ones. She balked at the idea of using any writing program with her little ones, but then was presented with an opportunity to review Writeshop’s primary curriculum; here is what she had to say:

 

“I recently had the opportunity to use WriteShop Primary (Book A) written by Nancy I. Sanders with my first and second graders. I love the well-written writing program that was well organized and effectively incorporated many of the foundational writing concepts that I wanted them to become proficient in utilizing while still in their formative years. My girls especially enjoyed the layout and presentation of the activity worksheets, while I appreciated that they were learning the basics of writing in a fun and relaxed setting.

Imagination is something my children are not lacking, however, before using this program, their stories or papers often lacked structure and flow.

This book offered a brainstorming section in which they organized their thoughts and even an editing and revising section, which allowed them to analyze their own writing with my guidance. Each activity set was well presented and organized, which allowed me to easily grasp what was going to be covered each day. Overall, both my children and I enjoyed using this program and look forward to continuing with it throughout the school year.”

Catch our reluctant writers episode with Kim Kautzer, the contributor and executive editor of Writeshop Primary. You’ll enjoy hearing how to identify reluctant writers, as well as gain practical tools and tips from Kim.

Do your children have writing struggles? Or do you have great advice for us on ways you encourage your children to write? I’d love to hear from you.

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.

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