Ultimate Homeschool Radio Show

Interviews with guests with services or products of interest to homeschool families

Getting Into The Zone Help For Mom

Getting Into the Zone | Getting into the zone means help for homeschool mom. #homeschool #podcast Getting Into The Zone – Help For Mom

Getting into the zone is a replay of a past mommy jammies night hosted by Felice Gerwitz. Real help for mom and ways to get unstuck.

4-Getting into the Zone_Handout

What are ways of Getting into the Zone with Joanne Calderwood

In this Ultimate Homeschool Radio Show episode, we listen to a vintage Mommy Jammies Night guest who shares “Getting into the Zone,” and ways to identify how this can help you to avoid the pitfalls that can keep you from success! Moms take charge.

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Thanks to our sponsor the movie Unseen – find out more info here.

Getting Into The Zone

1. What is the definition of getting into the zone? It is different for each person. Listen to the audio and download the PDF file on getting into the zone.

2. Here are the various zones and think about the ones that apply to you — by listening to this podcast you will understand more about each zone and the ways to overcome or make them work for you!

a. in circle zone
b. go it alone zone
c. clutter zone
d. exhaustion zone
f. combat zone
g. oblivion zone
h.wits end zone
i. hurdle zone
j. who am I again zone
k. hit a wall zone
l. unwound zone
m. child – training zone
n. juggling zone
o. zombie zone
p. self-sabotage zone

Some zones are more prevalent in your life and there are ways that we get comfortable in our zone and feel like there is no way out. However, you can get unstuck!

Getting into the Zone that works for you!

What are the reasons you live in these zones?

What happens to our time when we dwell in these zones.

Do you have a comfort zone?

What are the three B’s?

We have a body and a soul.

What are your strategies for change?


Special Thanks to Our Network Sponsor – Unseen Film

After finding his grandson Owen preparing to end his own life, Alexander takes him along on an errand. As the day unfolds, Owen learns new information about his grandfather’s past and unlocks the secret to facing his own future.

Click Here to Download the Film for Free and get Resources for Your Family


How Should we Study Grammar in our Homeschool

LCP 6: How Should we Study Grammar in our Homeschool

 

Join Katie with the Literary Cafe Podcast for tips in How to study grammar in your homeschool #homeschool #homeschooling #grammar #language arts #english

Every homeschool mom eventually asks herself, “How should we study grammar in our homeschool? Should I use diagramming or not? How do I apply the grammar to learning how to write?”

Join Katie Glennon as she shares years of experience in her own teaching and homeschooling to answer these questions and provides easy to use tips and suggested resources to use in your homeschool.

Visit Katie’s website for more fun ideas and tips to use in your homeschool at Katie’s Homeschool Cottage or her Facebook Group.

You’ll walk away more confident in tackling this sticky area of Language Arts.

How Should we Study Grammar in our Homeschool

How Should we Study Grammar in our Homeschool (PDF download for you to print)

Show Notes

How to Study Grammar in your Homeschool

Grammar Resources

Use your learner’s writing to assess what skills they need to review and practice each week.

Other review and practice for grammar skills can be found with these resources –

Diagramming –

Rod and Staff – (books go up to 8th grade, but the concepts and skills are up through high school work.) These books use diagramming and are very well explained. If you have a learner that loves following and making lists of steps and learns best this way, you might want to try diagramming. However, if it is frustrating or challenging for you or your learner to understand the “diagramming process”, it may not be worth using that method to learn the grammatical concepts.

Old Warriner’s English and Composition textbooks are a secular alternative that provide valuable instruction and practice with sentence diagramming for all grade levels starting with upper elementary through high school grades. You may find them on Amazon or Ebay or used book store websites.

Hands-On Grammar –

If you have a hands-on learner, you may want to check out Winston Grammar. This program uses a hands-on approach and labels parts of speech and how the words are used in a sentence. Basic and Advanced levels are available.

Non-diagramming –

Another program I recommend is the Easy Grammar series. The Easy Grammar books have the text and instruction to learn and practice new skills and the Daily Grams are workbooks that have a daily review with 5 different kinds of grammar concepts with one sample of each per day for a total of 5 quick review samples to practice. Loved this! As your child moves into high school, you may want to use the Ultimate Series that has the text and instruction and the practice in each. There are placement tests on the website to assist you.

 

Incorporating and Practicing Grammar Skills in Writing

Narration –

When your learner retells back to you what they have just heard, it not only improves their listening, recall, and comprehension skills, but also the process of organizing their thoughts, practicing vocabulary, and formulating sentences to express their thoughts. These are all important skills in the “Pre-Writing” process, and what a writer needs to be able to do before putting pencil to paper.

After getting into the habit and practice of “Narration” in this manner, the next step we followed was – writing down what they just told me orally.

For my younger guy- this might be drawing a picture of what he just told me about and writing just one sentence about the picture.

For my older guy- this meant starting with the first sentence of his oral narration to me – writing only one sentence at a time as he says it aloud.

The grammar came into play when some of their narrations on paper – were used to review proper grammar. We would read each sentence together and make corrections to certain errors I felt we had already learned and needed practice. So that the next narration on paper they did, I made sure to look over their shoulders and point out to them the mistake they made last time so that this time and next time, they wrote it correctly. We repeated this process every few narrations and always reviewing and adding a new concept or two to correct and practice in their writing.

Dictation –

We would practice dictation with our spelling words. I would dictate a sentence to them for each spelling word they had for the week. This would be for a weekly spelling test. I would grade them for the correct spelling of the word. But use the sentences to see how they were doing with their grammar. I would pick and choose which mistakes to review with them and make sure that in future writing I would steer them in the proper way to use that particular grammar concept.

Copywork –

Copywork – was sentences I would select from novels we were reading aloud together or novels they were reading on their own.

This might be C.S.Lewis or Tolkien or Mark Twain. These were quality classic type books. – even starting with something like Charlotte’s Web. I would look for a passage (the length depended on their age and ability) that contained various skills and concepts of grammar that they had or were in the process of learning.

They would practice copying these passages almost every day for a week. I would look at it with them and point out punctuation, capitalization, and other grammatical features and any corrections needed.

This also gave them practice in their handwriting. I would print out worksheets with the copywork passage at Handwritingworksheets.com that would show the proper way to write the letters as well.

I began to notice, that as young as fourth grade, my guys would want to write their own stories and their writing started to sound like Tolkien from doing so much copywork from that author.

Their natural sentence structure and vocabulary was influenced by the practice of this copywork.

 

Be sure to subscribe to  iTunes so you don’t miss an episode and comment in the Comments box any ideas you’d like to share that your family has used in studying grammar or practicing it in your writing or any of these ideas from this podcast you found helpful! I would love to hear from you!

Thanks for visiting! Come back and visit the Literary Cafe Podcast for September’s topic when we answer the question many moms ask, “My child hates reading. What can I do?”

Make sure you subscribe to the Literary Cafe Podcast by clicking on the Android or RSS feed buttons below the recording on this page!

Join Katie with the Literary Cafe Podcast for tips in How to study grammar in your homeschool #homeschool #homeschooling #grammar #language arts #english

5 Ways to Stay Connected to Your Child

Do you desire a closer relationship with your child? In this podcast, we'll discuss five ways to stay connected even when life gets busy and stressful. #ChristianparentingStaying connected to your child

In this fast-paced world, it’s easy to let distractions and everyday stress creep in and build a wall between ourselves and our kids.
Today, we’re going to be talking about how to stay connected to your child even in the midst of day-to-day life.

If you’ve been listening to my podcast or reading my blog, you know that I am all about building a close bond with your kids.

I believe that God calls us to be compassionate and gracious to our children and nurture them to the best of our ability. So I’m excited to dive in and talk about five of my favorite ways to connect with my kids.

1. Laugh and be silly

Laughter is a wonderful gift from God. And it’s also a great way to bond with our kids!

A child’s laughter is something that we should always be thankful for. Psalm 126:2 says, “Our mouths were filled with laughter.”

Laughing, goofing off, and just being silly can help improve our mood and help establish a close connection. I mean, don’t you just love being around people who make you laugh?

For my son, he is the comedian in our family. He loves to laugh and tell jokes. When we’re doing our homeschool lessons together, I always try to incorporate humor because it helps him to have fun and really helps our bond. He loves one-liners and cheesy knock-knock jokes, so I’m always on the hunt for a new joke to tell him.

2. Tell them about your childhood

Let’s face it — we know our kids inside and out. But how well do our kids know us? After all, most of us have lived a big chunk of our lives before they were born!

My kids love hearing me tell stories about when I was a kid. Even telling them something that I would consider mundane or boring, they are a captive audience. They love hearing me talk about family vacations, my embarrassing moments, and even the times when I disobeyed and got into trouble.

And, they also love hearing about when their dad and I first met. The places we visited together, the dates we went on, where we lived – they soak it up.

One of the reasons I wrote the mother-child devotional, Jesus, Mommy, and Me was because of this very thing. Each night at bedtime my daughter would ask me to tell her about something from my childhood.

I loved how talking about my past could let her get to know me – and learn from my mistakes. (There are so many valuable “teaching moments” from our childhoods!)

I searched for a devotional that focused on helping a mother and child get to know one another better and build a close bond, but I couldn’t find one!

So I wrote my own. And I made sure to include talking points every day to allow moms to teach their kids about when they were young, as well as speaking words of affirmation over them.

Which brings us to our next idea…

3. Affirm them

We tell our kids we love them every single day. But is that enough? I kind of feel like I say those three little words so much that they lose some of their meaning.

Sometimes it may mean more to say, “You know what? I think you’re a really great kid.”

Kids love to hear that we’re proud of them – not just for what they do or things they accomplish – but for who they are as a person/their character.

My oldest daughter is incredibly kind and nurturing – and she also happens to thrive on words of affirmation. So I constantly remind her of how much I admire her kindness.

I also love to tell my kids that I’m so thankful that God made me their mom. I’ll say, “Out of all the kids in the world, I’m so glad God picked you out for me.”

Not only does this help them feel special and wanted, but it’s also a good reminder to me. Because let’s face it, there are hard days. There are days when there’s lots of whining and my nerves are fried. Days when I don’t feel like being affirming or nurturing.

But affirming my kids always brings me to a place of gratitude. I’m so grateful that I have the privilege of being their mom.

Related listening: The Fruit of the Spirit for Moms

4. Remind them you think of them

When you’re apart, let them know you were thinking of them. As moms, our kids are never far from our thoughts. We constantly think about them, worry about them, and wonder what they’re up to.

When I go into the office, I miss my kids like crazy. If I have time, I’ll grab a scrap piece of paper and draw each child a little picture. It’s nothing fancy. I’m not an artist by any stretch of the imagination.

But I’ll sketch out a little picture of their favorite cartoon character, animal, or whatever they’re interested in. For my oldest daughter who can read, sometimes I’ll write her a quick letter. She has a whole photo album filled with those little scrap pieces of paper – little notes and drawings I’ve brought home over the years.

Those kids love it when I bring them a simple, amateur drawing. It helps to remind them I was thinking of them. It reminds them that I know what they’re interested in. And it means a lot that I took the time to make them something.

5. Give them your undivided attention

Okay, I have a confession to make. If you see me, you’ll generally also see one other thing. My phone.

I always have it with me. I’m also a chronic multi-tasker, so it seems I’m always doing at least three things at one time.

The problem is, my attention is divided. When one of my kids wants to spend thirty minutes telling me a story they made up, they don’t feel like I care.

I’m really working on this area of my life and I want to encourage you, too. It’s really amazing what leaving the phone in the other room will do for your relationships. It helps your child feel valued. When we pause what we’re doing, get eye level with them and make eye contact, offering a smile, they feel valued.

They feel wanted. And they feel important.

And they are important!

Way more important than how many likes we have on Facebook or how many followers we have on Instagram.

My son is kind of obsessed with animals. Especially endangered animals or ones that have gone extinct. He loves telling me about rare species and one of the ways we bond is by learning about rare animals together.

Now honestly, I’m not very passionate about Tasmanian Tigers. But because it’s important to him, it’s important to me. I love his enthusiasm and I love that he shares it with me.

And if I listen eagerly to the things that matter to them when they’re young, my hope is that they’ll talk to me about the things that matter to them when they’re older. You see, there’s a bigger purpose behind putting intentional effort into cultivating closeness with our kids. Yes, we love them and we want a close-knit relationship with them. But bigger than that is a God-given responsibility to be a role model to them. We are to be a reflection of God’s love for them.

Romans 5:5 says that “God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.” It’s only through God’s love living in us that we can truly show love to our kids.

If you’ve been struggling lately with feeling annoyed with your kids…or if harshness has driven a wedge between you and your child, I want to offer you some encouragement.

Today is a new day. Today you can start building a bridge and reconnect with your child. One of my personal mottos is “progress, not perfection.”

There’s no such thing as the perfect mother. But each day is a new day to try again.


Join Marianna Chambers as she talks about practical ways to become a more peaceful parent. Having children is a wonderful blessing, but it can also be quite stressful. Every day we hear from moms just like you who are struggling to be the gentle parent they want to be. Moms desperately want to raise their children on a firm foundation of love, but those sweet kids sure know how to push our buttons. (And boy, do they push them!)

Marianna Chambers is a counselor, parenting coach, blogger, homeschool mom, and best-selling author. She’s passionate about supporting and encouraging moms. You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram, or read her blog here. You can also join her private Facebook group for Christian moms on a peaceful parenting mission.

What to Include in your Middle and High School Language Arts Study

LCP Ep 5: What to Include in your Middle and High School Language Arts Study

Join Katie with Literary Cafe Podcast to learn about what to include in your Language Arts study in your homeschool. #homeschool #homeschooling #languagearts #english #middleschool #highschool

What do you need to include during the middle school years in Language Arts to make sure your learner is ready to tackle high school work? What kind of Language Arts and English program would colleges be looking for and what can count as credit for the high school transcript?

Visit Katie’s website for more fun ideas and tips to use in your homeschool at Katie’s Homeschool Cottage  or her Facebook Group.

Join Katie Glennon as she discusses what skills and concepts you should include in your Language Arts study during the middle and high school years. Katie shares an outline with some specific areas to make sure you include them in your Language Arts study during these critical years. She will suggest and discuss curriculum resources she found useful in her homeschool when her sons were in middle and high school that work efficiently and effectively to meet English requirements and make sure your learner is prepared for the next step – moving from middle into high school or high school into college.

The Areas of Language Arts you should include in the Middle and High School Years

What-to-Include-in-your-Middle and High School Homeschool-Language-Arts-Study pdf (Printable for you to download)

Show Notes

The Areas of Language Arts you should include in the Middle and High School Years
Reading/Literature

For literature during these years, I recommend a mix of short stories, poetry, essays (non-fiction), drama, and novels. These can be found either separately or in the form of a literary anthology and additional novels to read alongside the anthology.

Along with the novels, you will want to use some kind of novel study guides (that will also assist you with suggested vocabulary words and various questions).

Suggested Homeschool Literary Resources to Assist you in your Literature Study –

Total Language Plus (novel study guide)
Progeny Press (novel study guide)
Mosdos Press Literature Anthologies

Skills and Concepts for Literature Study

There are a number of skills and concepts you will want to include in your literary study.

These skills include –

• Vocabulary – I recommend using words from your reading for your vocabulary words because it saves you time and money from using a separate vocabulary program or curriculum. Most of all, in my experience it is more effective. The words are in context of what your learner is reading and will be understood and remembered more effectively because it is part of a story they will remember. It also gives your learner the practice in figuring out what words mean using their context within a sentence.

• Comprehension and Higher Order Thinking Skill Practice

Recalling details
Comprehending and understanding what they read (being able to identify the “main idea” or “theme” of the story)
Application skills – using what they have learned from the reading to problem solve
Analysis – drawing conclusions, comparing this written work to another from the same author or another author, or comparing what they have read to a personal experience.
Evaluation – critiquing the writing, selecting an issue from the writing and debating it.
Synthesis – taking a point, idea, theme, character from your reading and creating something new from that piece.
Elements of a story – plot, conflict, setting, characters, point of view, mood, tone
Literary devices and writing techniques such as similes, metaphors, imagery, personification, onomatopoeia, hyperbole, alliteration.

• Study different Genres – forms of writing and rhetoric – speeches, drama, essays, short stories, poetry, non-fiction, and novels.

• Study different literary time periods and areas around the world.

American Literature – Native American, Pre-colonial/Puritanism, Colonial, Revolutionary (age of Enlightenment/Reason), Romanticism (includes American Gothic, Transcendentalism), Realism/Naturalism/Regionalism, Modernism, Contemporary

British – (some crossover from American) Old English/Anglo-Saxon, Middle English/Medieval, Renaissance, Puritanism, Enlightenment, Romantic (Regency), Victorian, Modern

World Literature – (Western, Eastern, Other) Can focus primarily on Ancient works from Greek Philosophers or Christian authors, or a broad cross-section of countries, authors, and time periods from around the world.

Semester Specialty Classes – Poetry, Shakespeare, Drama, Journalism, Creative Writing, Research and Composition, specific types of literature or specific authors or parts of the world.

• Worldview – Christian Worldview expressed by author and content or Secular/Humanist view.

• Author Biography and Time Period in which he/she lived or wrote about.
Literature can be a reflection of cultural, religious, societal, and historical views, beliefs, and events written from the author’s point of view or the content itself.

Literature can also be an influencer of cultural, religious, and societal beliefs from the time period and society in which it is written or the author’s point of view and intent. It can influence thinking and historical events.

Writing and Composition

I recommend using your literature study as the jumping off point for essay writing and composition. However, before you can begin with that practice, your middle schooler and early high school student has to have some basic foundation in writing skills.

Middle schoolers should master the proper format of a paragraph –

A Hook to capture the reader’s interest and a Topic Sentence
At least 3 detailed supporting sentences that gives more information directly related to the topic sentence.
A concluding sentence that brings that paragraph to a close.

By the time learners start their first year in high school, they should be working on mastering the proper 5 Paragraph Essay (in this case an informative essay).

I recommend having your learner pick a topic they could talk to you about off the top of his/her head for 15 minutes without really having to think much about it. This topic lends itself to writing this kind of essay and the learner can concentrate on the format of the paper instead of what to write.

Proper 5 Paragraph (Informative) Essay
A Hook and topic (thesis) sentence with an introductory paragraph that include mentioned the three subtopics (or details about the main topic) that you will be discussing in the paper.
3 Body – detailed, supporting paragraphs in the order in which they were mentioned in the introductory paragraph. – Include transition words and sentence variation.
Concluding paragraph which includes a rewording of the topic sentence with a mention of the 3 subtopics and a Clincher sentence (could be a big statement, last thought, question, or a call to action).

Then you are ready to use your literary pieces as a basis of other essays –
Persuasive essay
Analytical essay
Research (and/or MLA, APA, Chicago format) essay
Persuasive essay with citations
Compare and Contrast essay itself to college application essays)
Literary Criticism

 

Here is a bundle of notebooking pages that we used for our written narration that I mentioned in the podcast to develop our writing skills before we wrote formal essays of different forms. There is a set for different subject areas that we used to either make our own books or put into a 3 ring binder to put together a notebook of our writing and what we learned in that subject that year.

Make Your Own ABC Book Notebooking Pages Bundle Set

Grammar

Use your learner’s writing to assess what skills they need to review and practice each week.

Other review and practice for grammar skills can be found with these resources –

Rod and Staff – (books go up to 8th grade, but the concepts and skills are up through high school work.) These books use diagramming and are very well explained. If you have a learner that loves following and making lists of steps and learns best this way, you might want to try diagramming. However, if it is frustrating or challenging for you or your learner to understand the “diagramming process”, it may not be worth using that method to learn the grammatical concepts.

If you have a hands-on learner, you may want to check out Winston Grammar. This program uses a hands-on approach and labels parts of speech and how the words are used in a sentence.

Another program I recommend is the Easy Grammar series. The Easy Grammar books have the text and instruction to learn and practice new skills and the Daily Grams are workbooks that have a daily review with 5 different kinds of grammar concepts with one sample of each per day for a total of 5 quick review samples to practice. Loved this! As your child moves into high school, you may want to use the Ultimate Series that has the text and instruction and the practice in each. There are placement tests on the website to assist you.

Spelling

Spelling for middle school can still be in a phonics based spelling book as recommended in my Language Arts for Elementary Ages podcast such as Building Spelling Skills by Christian Liberty Press .

You can also look at your learner’s writing and include words they misspell in your weekly spelling list.

If you have a learner who is ready to tackle more complex words, I recommend Spelling Power, an inclusive book that you will be able to use for years through high school and multiple learners. It supplies word lists and ways to study and learn the words each week.

Be sure to comment in the Comments box any ideas you’d like to share that your family has used in your Language Arts or any of these ideas from this podcast you found helpful! I would love to hear from you! Thanks for visiting! Come back and visit the Literary Cafe Podcast for August’s topic when we discuss how to study grammar in your homeschool!

Make sure you subscribe to the Literary Cafe Podcast at iTunes so you don’t miss an episode or by clicking on the Android or RSS feed buttons below the recording on this page!

Join Katie with Literary Cafe Podcast to learn about what to include in your Language Arts study in your homeschool. #homeschool #homeschooling #languagearts #english #middleschool #highschool

 

 

3 Peaceful Parenting Phrases (For Better Communication!)

Do you struggle with a child who won't listen or who pushes back on anything you say? Here are 3 powerful, peaceful parenting phrases you can use to improve communication and help your child feel more understood and more valued. #Peacefulparenting #ChristianparentingIf you struggle with your child pushing back, or if you ever feel like your child just doesn’t listen, this episode is for you!

Today we’re going to talk about three powerful phrases to help us communicate better and more peacefully with our children.

These three phrases are tools that you’ll be able to put into practice right away to help your child feel more understood and more valued.

Not only that, but you’ll also be able to diffuse power struggles before they even begin! These three phrases are ones that counselors like myself use every single day in their practice. So once you learn them, you can use them not only in your parenting…but also with your spouse, your friends, your boss…anyone!

Peaceful Parenting Phrase 1

The first phrase we are going to talk about  goes like this, “So what I hear you saying is…”

This phrase is a type of reflective listening, or restating what your child has just told you. When we paraphrase something that’s just been told to us, we’re doing two things.

1- We are showing the child that we actually hear their primary concern.

2- We are giving them the chance to clarify if we misunderstood them.

Let me give you an example of how this technique is used. Imagine you and your family have just come home from church one Sunday.

You ask your son, “How was Sunday school?” He responds, “First we had circle time and our teacher had on a new blue dress. Then we had Bible story time but during the story Sam kept trying to talk to me and I told him to shush but the teacher only saw me talking and she moved me to the other side of the class so I couldn’t hear the story anymore and it’s not fair! Then we had a snack and music time.”

Whew! That’s a lot of information! How do you process all that?

Using reflective listening, you might say back to your child, “What I hear you saying is, Sam kept talking to you and you got the blame for interrupting story time.”

See, you just summarized alllll those words with just a few. Now your child feels heard. He feels like you truly care about what he’s saying. (It also gives him the chance to clarify if you misunderstood!)

Peaceful Parenting Phrase 2

The second phrase I want to teach you is, “It sounds like…”

By using this phrase, you are offering empathy and validating your child’s feelings.

In the case of the Sunday school example we just talked about, you might say to your child, “It sounds like you felt frustrated.”

Again, now your child has the opportunity to say, “Yeah! I did!” Or, “No I didn’t feel frustrated, I felt mad!”

Now that your child has identified his feelings, he’ll be able to regulate them better.

Peaceful Parenting Phrase 3

The third phrase I want to teach you is, “So where do we go from here?”

As parents, we very much want to solve our children’s problems. We’re busy and we need to fix this situation so we can keep moving to the next item on our to-do list.

However, when we jump in and intervene on their behalf, we are missing out on an opportunity to teach our kids how to be problem-solvers.

Not only that, but we could also be setting ourselves up for another power struggle.

In the Sunday School example we talked about earlier, we might be tempted to tell our child what to do. Instead, you might say, “So where do we go from here?” This will allow your child to come up with his own solution.

You are empowering your child to feel more in control. (And you’re also teaching him a valuable skill!) If a child has had all of his problems solved for him his whole childhood, once he enters adulthood, he’s not going to have the skills he needs to solve his own day-to-day struggles.

Now you may be thinking, “But I’m not a counselor and that kind of language doesn’t come naturally to me!” That’s okay! It didn’t come naturally to me at first either. Like anything, this takes practice.

The more you do it, the more you practice, the more natural it will feel and the easier it will come.

To summarize, here are three key phrases to use with your kids to improve your communication:

  • So what I hear you saying is…. (This is reflective listening.)
  • It sounds like…. (This is validating your child’s feelings.)
  • So where do we go from here? (This is empowering your child to problem-solve.)

Join Marianna Chambers as she talks about practical ways to become a more peaceful parent. Having children is a wonderful blessing, but it can also be quite stressful. Every day we hear from moms just like you who are struggling to be the gentle parent they want to be. Moms desperately want to raise their children on a firm foundation of love, but those sweet kids sure know how to push our buttons. (And boy, do they push them!)

Marianna Chambers is a counselor, parenting coach, blogger, homeschool mom, and best-selling author. She’s passionate about supporting and encouraging moms. You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram, or read her blog here. You can also join her private Facebook group for Christian moms on a peaceful parenting mission.

What to Include in your Elementary Language Arts Study

LCP Ep 4: What to Include in your Elementary Language Arts Study

 

Join Katie at the Literary Cafe Podcast to learn about What to Include in your Elementary Language Arts Study #homeschool #homeschooling #language arts #elementary school

How are you going to homeschool Language Arts with your elementary aged children? Does the idea of teaching your child to read or write stress you out? Do you wonder if  you are teaching everything you need to during the elementary school years for what is called “Language Arts”? And how are you going to cover everything plus other subjects during the day?

Visit Katie’s website for more fun ideas and tips to use in your homeschool at Katie’s Homeschool Cottage or her Facebook Group.

Join Katie Glennon as she discusses what skills and concepts you should include in your Language Arts study during the elementary school years. Listen for practical tips and suggested curriculum and resources to help you and your learners use your time efficiently, effectively, and economically in teaching and learning Language Arts in your homeschool. She will also give you fun learning ideas to address learners in your home with different learning styles.

The Five Areas of Language Arts you should include in the Elementary School Years

What to Include in your Elementary Language Arts Study  (Printable for you to download)

Reading

Use a Phonics based program or curriculum that starts with letters and moves to vowel sounds and vowel combinations, then moves to consonant blends. These programs will also include when to introduce specific sight words.

Use a multisensory approach to be able to address all learning styles and multiple learners in your family. At early ages, it may be difficult to determine your child’s learning style. Not only use different ways to look at words and hear the sounds for your visual and auditory learners, but address your kinesthetic learners with assorted hands-on activities.d

Suggested Homeschool Language Arts Curriculum – Reading

Foundations – Logic of English (K-1)

Hooked on Phonics (K-2)

Bob Books – Early Readers to Supplement your programs

Explode the Code (K-4)

Phonics Pathways (K-2)

McRuffy Language Arts (K-4)

All About Reading (K-4)

Reading for Grades 3-4 – After Phonics and Developing Fluency

After your child is ready to move on from learning to read to reading larger chunks of material and has begun to develop fluency, you will want to introduce other reading skills such as comprehension and higher order thinking skill questions and other skills.

These skills include –

  • recalling detail
  • making inferences and predictions
  • using context clues
  • identifying main ideas
  • learning the elements of a story – plot, conflict, setting, characters, point of view, theme
  • literary devices and writing techniques such as similes and metaphors
  • Introduce the study of vocabulary and vocabulary skills

We used a combination of novels and study guides; an anthology for other forms of writing such as essays, speeches, poetry, short stories, and plays; and reading novels or “living books” aloud together that were tied to our history or social studies.

Suggested Homeschool Language Arts Curriculum – Reading for Grades 3-4

Bob Jones University – Book Links

Total Language Plus 

Progeny Press

Mosdos Press Literature Anthologies

Handwriting

Along with learning to identify and make the sounds of letters and able to read simple words, you will want to eventually include handwriting those letters and words. Before you begin handwriting, you will want to make sure your learner has the fine motor skills to hold the pencil and make the formation of the letters.

You can develop fine motor skills by using safety scissors and tracing lines and assorted shapes with a pencil. You can also practice using the pincers with tweezers or play (larger-size) tweezers to pick up objects including pony beads and doing sorting activities.

Start with cursive or D’Nealian cursive instead of manuscript or printing. This is easier for early writers because their hands and arms do not leave the paper and it is a more continuous and smooth motion. They do not have to worry about picking up the pencil and where to place it to continue to draw each letter.

You can make your own handwriting worksheets to go along with your Phonics program and spelling lists.

https://www.handwritingworksheets.com/

Spelling

Spelling as a subject should be closely related to what your child is learning or has learned with their Phonics program. If you tie the learning of word families from the Phonics program to handwriting and spelling with the same word lists, you have taken three parts of your Language Arts programs and have effectively and efficiently tied them together with meaningful learning.

Use a program that is based on Phonics and word families in the same word lists. This makes the words and lessons more meaningful and easier to master.

Suggested Homeschool Language Arts Curriculum – Spelling

Building Spelling Skills by Christian Liberty Press

All About Spelling

Vocabulary – Grades 3-4

Use the vocabulary words from the novels and anthology you are reading. Separate vocabulary workbooks can be dry and boring and not very effective. Using vocabulary from the context of novels and reading from an anthology give the vocabulary words meaning and a foundation for your learners to understand and remember those words. I have found this a more effective and better use of learning time.

Writing and Composition

We began writing sentences when my littles were learning to read. I had them draw a picture from something we read aloud and they would dictate to me a sentence telling me what that picture was about. I would write it down as they said it so they would see the connection between their words and my writing.

We moved on from there to continuing our read aloud time and we used a Charlotte Mason technique of “narration” where my children would retell a chapter of something we just read or a short story like a fable, folktale, or fairytale. This required them to organize their thoughts in their heads before they retold the story and while they were telling me the story. These are important skills a writer should have before they write their thoughts on paper.

This retelling is easier to use in starting to write something on paper instead of having to come up with their own story and content. They can concentrate on writing a summary of what they have heard. I would have my little guys draw a scene from what we read and tell me a sentence about that picture. I would then have them write a sentence, one word at a time, from what they just told me. Any misspelled words (usually two at a time) would then become part of that week’s spelling list. Soon my guys would be writing two sentences and by the end of the year an entire page of sentences using this retelling technique.

We used several resources to build on adding details to these sentences and then moved onto the proper paragraph format.

Suggested Homeschool Language Arts Curriculum – Writing and Composition

Write a Super Sentence by Evan Moor

Paragraph Writing by Evan Moor

Writing Fabulous Sentences and Paragraphs

Here is a bundle of notebooking pages that we used for our written narration that I mentioned in the podcast to develop our writing skills. There is a set for different subject areas that we used to either make our own books or put into a 3 ring binder to put together a notebook of our writing and what we learned in that subject that year.

Make Your Own ABC Book Notebooking Pages Bundle Set

Be sure to comment in the Comments box any ideas you’d like to share that your family has used in your Language Arts or any of these ideas from this podcast you found helpful! I would love to hear from you! Thanks for visiting! Come back and visit the Literary Cafe Podcast for July’s topic when we discuss what to include in your study of language arts in your homeschool for your middle and high school learners!

Make sure you subscribe to the Literary Cafe Podcast at iTunes so you don’t miss an episode or by clicking on the Android or RSS feed buttons below the recording on this page!

Join Katie at the Literary Cafe Podcast to learn about What to Include in your Elementary Language Arts Study #homeschool #homeschooling #language arts #elementary school

Visit Katie’s website for more fun ideas and tips to use in your homeschool at Katie’s Homeschool Cottage.


Special Thanks to Our Network Sponsor – Well Planned Gal

Rebecca from the Well Planned Gal understands the challenges of working within a budget, managing multiple children, and trying to keep up with a variety of information. That is why she created popular planner bundles!

Combine organizational tools with year long encouragement by bundling Well Planned Day planners with the popular Family Magazine. For a limited time, Save 30% with one of her popular planner bundles. Each bundle contains 2 planner products with a one-year subscription to Family Magazine.

Click Here to Go to Well Planned Gal


5 Secrets for Happier, More Obedient Kids

Do you feel frustrated when your kids won't listen or whine when you ask them to complete a task? In this podcast, we'll talk about 5 secrets for happier, more obedient kids - from a peaceful parenting perspective. #peacefulparenting #ChristianparentingOne of the most common concerns many moms have is that their children are constantly whining and not listening.

I’ve spoken to dozens of moms who feel frustrated and at the end of their rope. They desperately want to parent peacefully, but their kids really push their buttons!

I’ve been there! Over the years I’ve developed five strategies that I use with my own kids to help them thrive — and listen!

Secret 1 for happier kids

The first secret I want to share with you is, “catch them doing well.” 

Just like anyone, kids love to be appreciated. Sometimes I tend to take my kids for granted when they’re doing well. But I try to make it a priority to let them know that I see how hard they’re working. I notice when they help a sibling.

After my youngest was born, my oldest daughter really stepped up and helped. And at the same time, I feel like she felt a little jealous of the new baby who was getting all the attention.

I wanted to show her my appreciation, so I sat down and wrote her a letter of thanks. She cried when she read it! Those simple words really meant a lot to her and she still has the letter to this day.

It’s so important to remind our kids what we admire and appreciate about them!

Secret 2 for happier kids

The second secret is, “set clear expectations and give warnings.”

Kids of all ages really do well when they know what to expect. Mentally preparing your child what is going to happen and why is key to avoid protests!

With giving warnings, I think it’s important to think about being respectful of their time and what they are doing. Sometimes we tend to demand that our kids do something *right now*!  However, if we can give a 5-10 minute warning (and setting a timer!) can help your finish what they’re doing so that they aren’t expected to stop playing abruptly to do what we ask.

Secret 3 for happier kids

Secret number three is, “be consistent.” This is probably the most important tip! In peaceful parenting, we try to avoid empty threats or punitive consequences.

So many times we hear moms rapid-fire threatening their kids. “Stop it! I mean it! You’re going to time out! I’m not going to tell you again!” And on and on it goes. No wonder the kids don’t listen! So many threats and no follow-through.

Personally, I’m more in favor of connecting with the child rather than punishing or yelling. But I do set clear limits and related consequences when needed.

When I set a limit with one of my kids, they get one warning. I calmly and plainly say, “If you don’t stop arguing over that toy, I’m going to take it away for the rest of the day. This is your only warning. Please work it out together.” And if there’s more arguing? The toy goes away until the next day.

(What has happened is that my kids have become expert problem-solvers and turn-takers!)

Secret 4 for happier kids

Secret number four is, “use a rewards system.” Using rewards is somewhat controversial in the peaceful parenting community, but I find that it works well in our family.

This year I started homeschooling my son for the first time. At first, he was unmotivated and protested each day. I created a chart for him to earn stickers for each day he happily completed his school work. (He is much happier, and so am I!)

Secret 5 for happier kids

Secret number five is, “pour on the attention.” Kids crave attention! (And if you don’t give it to them? They act out to get it in any way they can!)

Whenever you can, spend one on one time with your child. Think about your child’s love language and invest your time and energy filling their little love banks. Be sure to make eye contact with them. Be interested in what they have to say. If you take the time to listen now, they’ll be more willing to talk to you when they’re older!

Bonus secret for happier kids

Here’s a bonus secret for you. Keep the end in mind. When your child is an adult and they reflect back on their childhood, how do you want them to remember you?

What type of relationship do you want with your children 10-20 years from now?

On the really hard days, remember your why!

 

 


Special Thanks to Our Network Sponsor – Well Planned Gal

Rebecca from the Well Planned Gal understands the challenges of working within a budget, managing multiple children, and trying to keep up with a variety of information. That is why she created popular planner bundles!

Combine organizational tools with year long encouragement by bundling Well Planned Day planners with the popular Family Magazine. For a limited time, Save 30% with one of her  popular planner bundles. Each bundle contains 2 planner products with a one-year subscription to Family Magazine.  

Click Here to Go to Well Planned Gal


Join Marianna Chambers as she talks about practical ways to become a more peaceful parent. Having children is a wonderful blessing, but it can also be quite stressful. Every day we hear from moms just like you who are struggling to be the gentle parent they want to be. Moms desperately want to raise their children on a firm foundation of love, but those sweet kids sure know how to push our buttons. (And boy, do they push them!)

Marianna Chambers is a counselor, parenting coach, blogger, homeschool mom, and best-selling author. She’s passionate about supporting and encouraging moms. You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram, or read her blog here. You can also join her private Facebook group for Christian moms on a peaceful parenting mission.

 

How to Study Poetry in your Homeschool

LCP Ep 3: How to Study Poetry in your Homeschool

 

Join Katie at the Literary Cafe Podcast for tips and resources in How to Study Poetry in your homeschool. #homeschool #homeschooling #poetry #language arts #literature

Join Katie Glennon as she discusses how to study poetry in your homeschool and shares fun ideas and activities in learning how to appreciate and enjoy poetry. Listen for practical tips in developing language skills in your youngest learners with poetry and valuable practices in building the writing skills in your older learners. Poetry does it all! And you can have fun doing it!

Visit Katie’s website for more fun ideas and tips to use in your homeschool at Katie’s Homeschool Cottage or her Facebook Group.

What Can Poetry do for your Youngest Learners?

Poetry can help develop fluency, vocabulary and comprehension skills in your youngest learners.

Short poems with rhyming words (word families) and the rhythm of the poems are great practice for young readers.

Identifying rhyming sounds at the end of the lines of a poem provide a wonderful opportunity in practice with word families.

 

The rhythm or meter in the poem is a wonderful device to assist with fluency and pauses and the rhythm of speech while reading.

Shorter passages are not as overwhelming and can be fun compared to passages in books and are helpful in practicing new vocabulary and sight words.

Poetry can also provide practice in identifying and using different parts of speech in an engaging manner.

What Can Poetry do for your Older Learners?

Older learners also gain language skill development with the rhyming and rhythmnic patterns of poems.

Learning to identify and practice the literary techniques and devices used to paint a picture with words helps older learners appreciate and better understand the use of effective word choice and descriptions in written rhetoric.

Their own writing and self-editing skills are tested as they attempt to follow different poet forms and are forced to read their own work aloud and then change their words to match a specific number of syllables to help their sentences flow or to better describe their thoughts.

Their reading comprehension and higher order thinking skills are also expanded with poetry as they progress and practice reading aloud and answering questions to poems that start out rather simple and move on to more complex poetry.

Book and Poetry Suggestions to Develop Language Skills

Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes

A Child Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson

Dr. Seuss books with simple verse and rhymes

The Twentieth Century Poetry Treasury by Jack Prelutsky

The Random House Book of Poetry for Children

Poetry books by Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends and The Light in the Attic

Poems by Edward Lear or E. E. Cummings

Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll

Inclusion Ideas for Poetry

Read poets or poetry that include historical references or cultural experiences as part of your studies. For example, when studying American History, included some American poets from that time period who wrote poems about the events or people of that time period or poems that mention people or events from American history.

Some American history examples:

Walt Whitman

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Langston Hughes

Gwendolyn Brooks

For World History:

“The Charge of the Light Brigade”

Or “Flanders Fields”

Study poems about seasons, holidays, or nature when studying these topics.

Activities to Have Fun with Poetry in Homeschooling

Here is a downloadable file you can print out for your reference filled with activity ideas to include the study of poetry in your homeschool.

Activity Ideas to Have Fun with Poetry

Poetry Forms to Practice Writing your Own Poems

Acrostic Poems

Ballads

Cinquains

Color Poetry using the Five Senses

Diamantes

Haikus

Limericks

Concrete or Shape Poems

Tankas

Be sure to comment in the Comments box any ideas you’d like to share that your family has enjoyed in reading and studying poetry or any of these ideas! I would love to hear from you! Thanks for visiting! Come back and visit the Literary Cafe Podcast for June’s topic when we discuss what to include in your study of language arts in your homeschool for your elementary aged learners! We will explore fun ways to teach and learn those necessary language arts skills!

 

Make sure you subscribe to the Literary Cafe Podcast at iTunes so you don’t miss an episode or by clicking on the Android or RSS feed buttons below the recording on this page!

Join Katie at the Literary Cafe Podcast for tips and resources in How to Study Poetry in your homeschool. #homeschool #homeschooling #poetry #language arts #literature

Visit Katie’s website for more fun ideas and tips to use in your homeschool at Katie’s Homeschool Cottage.

The Fruit of the Spirit for Moms

The fruit of the Spirit is familiar to most of us, but how can we apply this to motherhood? The Fruit of the Spirit for Moms is the topic of this podcast, as we examine how we can exhibit love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control towards our children. #ChristianparentingThe Fruit of the Spirit for Moms

Our pastor recently did a sermon on the Fruit of the Spirit, and it inspired me to start a Bible study inside my private Christian parenting Facebook group.  (By the way, anyone listening who’d like to join that group, I’d love to have you! You can click here to join.)

Over the last several weeks, we’ve been studying the Fruit of the Spirit, as it applies to motherhood.

Galatians 5:22-23 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

Wow! Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control are all things that I desire to be to my children as their mother.

So how can we attain this fruit of the Spirit?

The way we attain the fruit of the Spirit that we desire is by faith through the Holy Spirit. But when we put God on the back burner, we experience what I have officially named “the fruit of the mom flesh.”

And here’s the Marianna version… “But the fruit of the mom flesh is nagging, yelling, annoyance, harshness, manipulation, shaming,  and lack of self-control.”

Ouch. I have no problem admitting that some of these qualities describe my parenting some days. But, I believe that there is hope in Christ.

Maybe you’re a mom who has blown it time and time again and you think there’s no hope for you to change. Perhaps you come from a long line of emotional abuse and you feel powerless to break the cycle. Maybe you feel like you’ve been mommin’ the same way for so long that there’s not even any point to try to change.

But here’s the good news for you today.

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control….it’s not up to you to produce this fruit. In fact, it’s not even about you! It’s about Christ in you and the Holy Spirit working in your heart.

When we experience the gospel and the love that God has so lavished upon us, we cannot help but overflow with that love!

Be careful not to get stuck in this place of mom guilt. If you’re thinking to yourself, “Man, I just don’t embody these fruit of the spirit,” let me remind you.  Pastor J.D. Greear says, “For every one look you take at yourself bemoaning your fruitlessness, take ten looks at Christ, boasting in his faithfulness.”

Scripture references

“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:13 NIV

“…’Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts.” – Zechariah 4:6 NIV

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” – Matthew 6:33 NIV

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” – Galatians 5:22-23 NIV


Join Marianna Chambers as she talks about practical ways to become a more peaceful parent. Having children is a wonderful blessing, but it can also be quite stressful. Every day we hear from moms just like you who are struggling to be the gentle parent they want to be. Moms desperately want to raise their children on a firm foundation of love, but those sweet kids sure know how to push our buttons. (And boy, do they push them!)

Marianna Chambers is a counselor, parenting coach, blogger, homeschool mom, and best-selling author. She’s passionate about supporting and encouraging moms. You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram, or read her blog here. You can also join her private Facebook group for Christian moms on a peaceful parenting mission.

 

Peaceful Parenting 101

What is peaceful parenting? There are so many myths surrounding gentle parenting. In this podcast, we'll discuss peaceful parenting myths vs. reality. We'll also learn how to develop a heart of compassion for our children. #peacefulparenting #ChristianparentingThe world would have you believe that being a “bad mom” is on trend right now.  In mainstream media, movies, meems, comedy routines…”bad moms unite!” is the mantra.

I believe this “bad mom” movement is quite dangerous to Christian parenting. I believe that peaceful parenting  is godly parenting.

There are many misconceptions out there about peaceful parenting.

Peaceful parenting is not:

  • Lack of discipline
  • Giving your child whatever they want

Peaceful parenting is:

  • Connecting with your child emotionally
  • Discipline without shame
  • Encouraging your child to express their emotions without judgement
  • Treating your child with respect
  • Showing your children compassion

Over and over in the Bible, God shows compassion on His children. I believe He expects us to show compassion towards our children as well.

How often do we rush to discipline our kids before we pause to show them compassion without seeing their hearts? How often do we push our kids away instead of building connection?

If you’ve been struggling with anger, yelling, or overwhelm, I’ve got good news for you. Today can be the start of a new chapter in your life. You can’t change the past, but you can start today and change the future.

If you desire to become a more peaceful parent, but you aren’t sure where to start, come to God. He is able. You can pray a simple prayer like this.

Dear God,

I want to thank you so much for my children. They are so precious to me. I thank you for giving me the honor of being their mother. I want to parent them in a way that honors you. Your word say that you are compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in love. Help me to be more like you. Lord, fill my heart with compassion for my children. Today I make a commitment to parent more peacefully. Please work in my heart and change me into the mom that you want me to be.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Bible verses on Compassion

“Jesus stopped and called them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked. “Lord,” they answered, “we want our sight.” Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.” – Matthew 20:32-34 NIV

“When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.” – Mark 6:34 NIV

“The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.”  – Psalm 103:8

 


We’d like to thank our Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network sponsor, Like Arrows!

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Join Marianna Chambers as she talks about practical ways to become a more peaceful parent. Having children is a wonderful blessing, but it can also be quite stressful. Every day we hear from moms just like you who are struggling to be the gentle parent they want to be. Moms desperately want to raise their children on a firm foundation of love, but those sweet kids sure know how to push our buttons. (And boy, do they push them!)

Marianna Chambers is a counselor, parenting coach, blogger, homeschool mom, and best-selling author. She’s passionate about supporting and encouraging moms. You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram, or read her blog here. You can also join her private Facebook group for Christian moms on a peaceful parenting mission.