Holiday homeschooling back in the day

Written by contributor Jena Borah of Yarns of the Heart

My homeschooling days are now in the past, and I’m glad I have piles of journals, full of memories. Here’s a look at my entry fourteen years ago as we were preparing for Christmas. The kids were 9, 6, and 4.

November 19, 1998

Today was a good day. Meg (age 6) is making progress in reading. We played reading games and I changed the clue word for the letter u to “up” instead of “umbrella” because sometimes she pronounces it “imbrella.” I made signs with the word up and arrows and put them all over the house.
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Let them read!

Written by contributor Jena Borah of Yarns of the Heart

A note from Jamie: Sign up to receive blog updates from Simple Homeschool and get my new ebook, Secrets of a Successful Homeschool Mom FREE! Click here for details.

Did you know the best way to help your kids become better readers is to let them read what they want? Research supports it, my reading professors echoed it, and in fact, The Illinois Reading Council Journal published two articles on the topic this quarter.

The secret to this simple teaching method is intrinsic motivation. If students want to read the material, they spend more time and try harder, figuring out ways to understand. As a result, they invent comprehension strategies that are personally meaningful and the information is more likely to stick with them.
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How to help your child learn to read

Written by contributor Jena Borah of Yarns of the Heart

My little guy was six years old and we had been casually talking about letters and their corresponding sounds. I put a phonics page on my refrigerator and used it as a guide to talk about letters and sounds over a box of cereal every morning.

A month or two later, we were at the library and he noticed a banner on the wall that said “Reading is magic!” It must have been Halloween time. He turned to me and said, “Yes, reading is magic,” and continued playing with the toy train.

What? Did you just read that?

Not every child learns to read as easily as Peter. My daughter was 10 before it started to make sense to her, but all children go through that first stage of learning their letters and sounds.

5 Simple Tips for Teaching Reading

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Bloom’s Taxonomy: A simple roadmap to learning

Written by contributor Jena Borah of Yarns of the Heart

I’m a big picture kind of person. I like to look at the map and stay focused on the destination. But homeschooling is full of little details that threaten to pull us off the path and down rabbit trails.

That’s why, here at the beginning of the school year, I like to remind myself of how simple education really is.

In the 1950s, a committee of educators came up with a list of broad learning objectives called Bloom’s Taxonomy, and it’s been revised over the years. The first step in learning is simply remembering facts, and as a student progresses through the levels, he or she takes the learned material and creates something new. I love that.

The ultimate goal of learning is the ability to create something new.
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How to avoid summer setback

Written by contributor Jena Borah of Yarns of the Heart

Do you know about summer setback? Education researchers say a child can lose up to two months of reading achievement between May and August. If this happens every summer, children can lose up to a year and a half between 1st and 6th grade (Cooper et al., 1996).

Why? Because their home lives are not full of books and enriching experiences. Whatever learning momentum they had gained during the school year comes to a screeching halt. When I heard that, I was amazed! We homeschoolers never stop learning.
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