Carnival of Homeschooling: The Building Character Edition

 

The Homeschool Post is happy to host this week’s Carnival of Homeschooling.  We’re continuing our month-long focus on building character in our children.  Homeschooling is about more than just academics — it is a lifestyle of learning with an emphasis on strong character.  How do you encourage your children to make good choices and to think critically?  In a culture sadly lacking in good role models, how do we point out positive examples of good character?

Building Character @hsbapost

Cindy at Our Journey Westward shares a simple way to teach your children about positive character traits by making a Fruit of the Spirit tree craft.  She has a 10-Day series devoted to teaching values.

Machelle at Kingdom Life and Blessings shares a beautiful testimony of building character in her post Disaster Relief and Home Education.

Would you like to see some character-building and discipleship resources in action?  Victoria at Homemaking with Heart shows what they are using in their homeschool and shares her thoughts on the topic of discipleship.

In case you missed it, our team writer Renee wrote an excellent post, The Parenting Road to Good Character.  It’s a great reminder that we are to teach by example.

You can read a 5-Day series on Discipling our Daughters, as well as a post about Purposeful Homeschooling on Embracing Destiny.

There are so many great homeschool blogs around the web.  Here are just a few for your reading enjoyment:

The importance of competition and comparison for homeschooled teens at Tea Time with Annie Kate.

Science Reference Books to Have on Hand is a handy-dandy list from Nerd Family.

A Net in Time shares a day in the life of learning without the use of books (at least directly). She says, “We had bugs and dirt and decomposition and discovery. It was the best day ever!”

You can find free Revolutionary War activities for a unit study from Funtastic Unit Studies.  These are also made to complement the Our America history series book The Revolutionary War Adventure by Susan Kilbride.

Finally, Carnival founder Henry Cate shares I am Grateful for Homeschooling at Why Homeschool.

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Sara (17 Posts)

I'm a reader, writer, dreamer, wife, and homeschooling mom of 3 girls. We take a relaxed, eclectic, Charlotte Mason-leaning, Montessori-ish, literature-rich, delight-directed, almost unschooling-at-times approach to learning. Lots of unit studies, field trips, and lapbooks, too. I like to blog about our learning adventures (plus faith and encouragement) at Embracing Destiny.


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March {Method} Madness

 

 

 

 

#homeschool methods @destinyblogger @hsbapost

Do you stick to a particular method in your homeschool?  Did you start off with one and then switch to another?  Our team members have written some great posts on the subject of homeschool methods and learning styles.  If you’re between methods or just starting out and not sure what will work for you, these ideas might help.

Angela shares some great ideas for the practical real-life homeschooling method in Apprenticeship in Your Homeschool.  She also shares an insightful look into unschooling and learning styles in Letting Unschooling In.

If you’re overwhelmed by all the choices and just want to sort it out, Honey shares 10 Ways to Simplify Your Homeschool.

Following Your Own Path through Delight-Directed Learning is my take on following your child’s lead in learning.

For those of you who like unit studies in your homeschool, Dawn at The Momma Knows shows us how to do our own weather unit study at Weather Unit Resources.

Renee wrote an excellent analysis of learning styles and methods:

God created humankind to be unique, each one different from the other. With that distinction come unique characteristics, unique likes and dislikes, and unique attitudes and learning styles. So how does a homeschooling parent determine the best way to educate their unique children? When choosing an education method for your children it is important to consider the type of learner they are as well as the style of teaching that you may be comfortable with.

Lisa B. shares her hesitant forays into the Charlotte Mason method as well as her tongue-in-cheek description of the survival method of homeschooling.

If you’ve tried it all and can’t decide, you might relate to this post about 10 Reasons Why We’re Eclectic Homeschoolers on my blog, Embracing Destiny.

Be sure to follow our Homeschool Method Pinterest board for more great ideas.

We’ve been talking about homeschool methods this week on our Facebook page.  Come on over and join the conversation!

Whether it’s Charlotte Mason, Classical, unit studies, delight-directed, or a mix of them all, what works in your homeschool?  Is there a method to your homeschool madness?

 

Sara (17 Posts)

I'm a reader, writer, dreamer, wife, and homeschooling mom of 3 girls. We take a relaxed, eclectic, Charlotte Mason-leaning, Montessori-ish, literature-rich, delight-directed, almost unschooling-at-times approach to learning. Lots of unit studies, field trips, and lapbooks, too. I like to blog about our learning adventures (plus faith and encouragement) at Embracing Destiny.


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***Bring Master Art Teacher TOS/HEF columnist Pat Knepley into your home! Year’s curriculum. Step-by-step lessons. Biblical integration. www.seethelightshine.com***

Math: Mastery, Spiral, or Confused?

Math is one of those subjects that tends to cause struggles for homeschool families.

The sheer number of math curriculum companies and titles out there don’t help. It may seem “everyone” is using a particular curriculum and it is producing such gifted, wonderful scholars, and isn’t that just what you want your kids to be? Don’t beat yourself up. Math is the leading cause of insanity in homeschool moms.

You knew that, right?

Math: Mastery, Spiral, or Confused?|HSBAPost

Changing to a certain curriculum almost never is THE answer. It’s just not that easy. So what’s the difference in these math programs, anyway? There are two main sequencing styles among curriculum publishers:  Mastery and Spiral.

Mastery

Mastery-based programs tend to focus on a topic or a set of topics for a period of time, and then move on to others. Some programs break them into chapters. Others break them into worktexts, where they complete 10 worktexts in a school year and each focuses on a different topic. One in particular takes on a topic for the entire school year.

Throughout these programs there is some review, possibly a “Cumulative Review” toward the end of each unit, but the main focus is on moving forward through the topics. Mastery-based programs include:

  • Alpha Omega Lifepacs
  • Bob Jones Math
  • Keys To…
  • Math Mammoth Blue Series
  • Khan Academy
  • Math-U-See
  • Modern Curriculum Press
  • Developmental Math

Spiral

Spiral teaching programs have review built into the daily lessons. The lessons will have a focus of one or two new concepts, and there will be problems for students to work out from the current lesson. There will also be other problems pulled from previous lessons so that there is constant review. No topic is left alone for long.

Spiral programs include:

  • Abeka
  • Christian Light
  • Saxon
  • Horizons
  • Teaching Textbooks

Which method is best?

That depends entirely on your students. Some kids need to have time to focus on just one concept at a time, until they fully grasp it. Once they do, they are ready to move on.

The nice thing about math is that it is progressive.  One concept builds upon another, and another, until they have reached higher math and are using all of the previous concepts to work at a higher level.

The struggle comes in when the program moves too fast through the concepts.  This is where you need to know your child’s learning style.

Does she take a long time to understand concepts? She may do better with a program that works through with mastery in mind. Does she require a lot of review? A spiral method may be just the thing.

On the other hand, some kids struggle with “jumping around” from concept to concept so much and some just don’t like so much review.

Sometimes you have a child that needs both.

When working with a child that needs lots of time to master concepts, but tends to forget things if left too long, there are practice books and online programs you can use to keep her skills sharp in between. When used for a short time but consistently each day, there should be no loss of skills between units that use them. Xtra Math is one of our favorite sites for skill practice.

What about gaps?

Honestly, there will always be gaps, no matter which curriculum you use, or what school they go to. Gaps are invitable because there is no way to teach EVERYTHING that is available to be learned. The key is to be consistent.

Here’s the thing. It doesn’t matter what curriculum you use. (Gasp! Blasphemy!) Pick one and stick with it. Eventually they all cover everything your kids will need to learn. It’s the moving from one program to another that leaves the biggest holes.

How many math programs have YOU used?

The Momma Knows

Dawn (22 Posts)

Dawn is still happily homeschooling after 16 years. She teaches her two sons, 13 & 11, enjoying every minute of "the second time around". She lives in Eastern Washington with her husband, the youngest 2 of their 6 kids, and an assortment of barking, squeaking, and clucking critters. She writes at her homeschool/parenting blog The Momma Knows and her new chapter, Dawn Marie Perkins. You can also find her on Twitter @DawnMPerkins, , and Pinterest.


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The 2014 Confident Mom Weekly Household Planner
***Bring Master Art Teacher TOS/HEF columnist Pat Knepley into your home! Year’s curriculum. Step-by-step lessons. Biblical integration. www.seethelightshine.com***