Alberta Home Education Association
Subcategories from this category:Encouragement of the Week, Fathers, High School, Home Education Philosophies, Reasons to Home Educate, Special Needs, Support Group Ideas, Tip of the Week, Website of the Week
Well, it is hard to believe I haven't blogged for a while, but life has been extremely busy. I have kept busy home schooling, managed to visit our oldest daughter (and husband AND new baby!) in Germany a few weeks ago, and our 3rd daughter just had an emergency appendectomy that was pretty awful - hospital visits and recovery - as well, as keeping an eye on the new AHEA Facebook page. (The Facebook Page is hopping with links and comments, though!)
Life is kind of slowing down and I am back. smile
I was looking for a baby present and a preschooler / toddler birthday present yesterday and came across two great resources.
The first was a Leapfrog Frig Farm Animal Magnet Set. (I actually saw this on a Facebook Garage Sale Page for our area - that is another tip for the Facebookers! People not on Facebook, keep checking Kijiji and real life garage sales! BUT for those of us on Facebook, the Garage Sale pages for our areas are a great resource. I am loving ours and have found many great house items on great sales, as well as some educational items, too. I bought a used set for $5.) The new set for a baby gift was aroud $23 at the Bargain Shop.
The second resource that I saw and LOVE for little home schoolers was the Leapfrog Letter Factory Phonics. Again, it was at the Bargain Shop - around $27. I shop mostly in rural Alberta, so I had never seen this before other than online. Love it. I think it would be a great educational extra for a little home schooler to help learn the letters of the alphabet with - great as a workboxing extra OR to keep a little one busy while the big kids are homeschooling.
The last item is a KEVA Contraptions set. I saw this at one of the Home School Supply Stores and after a little consideration, I picked up for our household. Our kids are older - our youngest is 14, but I thought it would be a great building set to have in the house. I was right - I've had a few home school events in our house OR babysat for friends and had some kids LOVE building with it.
This is an idea that I have used in our home school often through the years. *I was just thinking I do a lot of online extras BUT the internet is a tool in our home and home school. I always recommend monitoring it closely. Our computers and laptops are in public areas and I continue limiting and checking how much our daughters use them AND what they are doing on them. That is a parental responsibility in this day and age. *I do trust our children often, but I don't trust their friends usually - parents have different rules, so it is important to keep an eye on even our trusted children. I was reminded of that recently.
BUT using Youtube in our home school has been a valuable tool. I am always looking for tips and links to illustrate what we are learning about.... I often check out Youtube for a video to make a lesson come to life. It works for checking out: animal habitats for science, current news stories, art or paper play techniques, math extras - Doodling in Math Class, anyone? (We love her series on Sprials, Fibonacci and Being a Plant), historical videos (Ancients Behaving Badly - Genghis Khan- there are many other videos, too) and much more.
Here is a link to Using Youtube in Your Home School for even more ideas.
I think the key is to make home schooling work in your home. If you are comfortable with Youtube, it is just one more tool to use!
I can't even remember if I have shared about this before, but I was just thinking how well it has gone this year and how much we enjoy it. First of all, I have to say that I have realised through the years that NOT everything educational needs curriculum or *workbooks* to be a great activity or extra. I actually have found discussions to be a great learning activity in our home.
We have done Afternoon Discussions with another Homeschool Family for years. Some families read books or base their discussions off questions, but we have simply watched a TV season episode (while I wrote down questions relating to what we watched) and then I host a discussion with the youth present. It really is such a simple idea, but so effective.
We watched the entire series of Dr. Quinn together a few years ago and had some amazing discussions. There really is nothing like seeing outright racism (Robert Lee and Grace) to get everyone thinking and talking. We also talked about pioneer days, women being doctors when only men were accepted as doctors, purity and waiting for marriage (Dr Quinn and Sully), and so much more.
The next year, we headed into McGyver (to give the boys a break from relationship *talks*! smile). It had a science and creativity flavor.Â
For the past 2 years or so, we have been working through Numb3rs. It has a mathematic bent and has been very good for the math phobic youth present. (smile/ sigh)
Last week, we took a departure from watching an episode from a TV season and watched "The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler". I had a friend recommend it and I ordered it in through Interlibrary Loan. WOW. What a great movie about real life heroes. Amazing story.
BUT I once again realised how powerful this discussion idea was. . . It really isn't hard writing down questions to discuss - often a movie or episode will have a theme. I try to be sensitive to those who are more shy, but I believe in everyone sharing their thoughts, too. It really was a great discussion and a learning hook for the children present who hadn't studied WW2 yet. (3 families took part and preteens were present.)
*Oh, and when I host a discussion, I always note the date, what we watched and who was present - along with the questions as a record of what we did - as well as any great comments or quotes.