In celebration of the slow learner


in-celebration
Written by Shawna Wingert of Not the Former Things

I remember exactly when I first heard the term “slow learner.”

I was in the third grade, and my desk was next to a sweet boy with freckles and blue eyes.

In class, I diligently filled out all the worksheets, and raised my hand to answer all the questions (my husband and I went to school together and he distinctly remembers me being “very Hermione”).

I was careful to listen to the teacher, to write my name in the upper right-hand corner, and painstakingly bubble in A, B, C or D, with my Number 2 pencil.

The little boy next to me could not have been more my opposite. He struggled in the classroom. I often read things to him under my breath when he was unable to decode them. He seemed to have a motor inside him that kept parts of his body moving at all times. One time, he drew me a perfect, frame-able picture of a cat, instead of writing a summary of the story we had just read aloud (which incidentally, was about a cat.)

A teacher’s aide often came to assist him. When another student asked why she was always at our table, she answered, very plainly, “Because he is a slow learner.”

When she said this, the boy blushed so red I could barely make out his freckles. I looked away, not wanting to make it more embarrassing for him.

My stomach ached every time that aide came in for the rest of the year.

I was eight years old and it was clear – being a ‘slow learner’ was a shameful thing.

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10 homeschool podcasts you might not know about yet

10 homeschool podcasts you might not know about, but should definitely check out
Written by Kara S. Anderson

The kids and I were heading out to run errands a few days ago when I went to turn on our audiobook.

“Mom, can we listen to a Stuff You Should Know instead?” they asked.

These are homeschoolers for you – my kids crave information like they crave carbs at the pool.

They might get their podcast love from me too, though – I’m also a huge podcast fan. I am currently becoming a genius via podcast, I learn history via podcast and I listen to true crime stuff that would scare my pants off if I had to see it, but just listening? I’m totally hooked.

Now, a lot of us homeschoolers know about Read-Aloud Revival, and all 82 of Pam Barnhill’s awesome podcasts, right? (Just kidding, Pam.)

But today I wanted to share some homeschooling podcasts that you might not know about – a bit of podcast matchmaking, if you will.

Try one or two of these out this week – it’s so nice to have a little bit of encouragement in your ears along the homeschool journey!

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Coffee and Books: An unexpected homeschool game-changer

Coffee & Books: A unexpected homeschool game-changer

Written by Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley of My Little Poppies

September is here.

Armed with fresh notebooks and colorful pens, we feel renewed and inspired. We are determined to make this homeschool year a memorable one.

We have a plan for how we want the year to go, a vision.

And yet, sometimes, the best homeschool ideas are unplanned.

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Take, for example, last winter.

A lifelong morning person, I suddenly found myself unable to wake up before my children. I can see now, in retrospect, that it was the result of saying yes to far too many people plus a case of the winter doldrums.

My motivation was at an all-time low.

By not waking before my children, I lost my planning time. Rather than enjoying an hour to myself, drinking my coffee in silence and setting us up for a peaceful morning, I woke up to rambunctious, hungry children.

When my feet hit the floor on those cold wintry mornings, I already felt behind. I was overwhelmed by a sense of urgency, a need to accomplish all the things … and fast!

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I’d rush through breakfast so that we could tackle math. (Because don’t we all worry a little bit about math in our weakest moments?)

This resulted in colossal power struggles. And tears. And general chaos.

Needless to say, we didn’t accomplish much.

One morning, as I was laying in my warm bed, silently berating myself for not getting up and accomplishing all the things, I had a revelation:

What if I start our mornings with what we love? What if I tackle the one area I never worry about?

And so I got out of bed, poured a cup of coffee, and grabbed a book.

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How to measure progress when it feels like you’re not making any

Written by Shawna Wingert of Not the Former Things

We began this school year in almost the exact same place we did last year.

(and I don’t mean our kitchen table…)

My youngest son is one of the hardest working kids I have ever met. He has had to be – most of the time, he works twice as hard for twice as long to get about half the results of other children.

So it really shouldn’t surprise me that we are still in Level Two of our reading curriculum. Even more so, it shouldn’t matter. On my good days, it doesn’t.

But some days, the truth is, it feels like we are not making any progress at all.

When I worked outside the home, I loved feeling like I had achieved something. Measurement was an important motivator for me. It still is.

While my job has changed substantially, my desire to see results and have the satisfaction of making progress has not.

Over the past seven years, I have learned that sometimes, if I want to see progress in our homeschool, I am going to have to go looking for it on my own.

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How to use audiobooks in your homeschool

Written by Jamie Martin of Simple Homeschool

I‘d love to say that it began with something sophisticated.

Like Shakespeare, perhaps, or The Iliad.

But in all honesty, Lauren Graham of Gilmore Girls fame started it.

You see, I’ve always been a paper-devotee when it comes to reading. Suspicious upon the release of the first Kindles, I convinced myself that I could never get into electronic reading. What a laugh that now, several years later, I religiously carry my Kindle everywhere.

What can I say? I LOVE having 500 books in my purse at all times!

Kindle reading is still reading, though. You know, with your eyes. Audiobooks are a completely different story–perfect for auditory learners, of which I have one. I keep those ears of his stocked up with good listening/reading material.

But I am a VISUAL learner. (Or so I thought.)

In spite of this fact, when Lauren Graham’s new autobiography came out last year, I thought it would be fun to hear her read the book herself. So I bought the audio version. I was right; it was beautifully-written and hysterical!

Not only did I laugh out loud, I also got some of my best writing advice from Lauren’s book–advice I’m convinced I’ll go on to use for years.

I found myself going for more walks so I could listen to/read her book, looking forward to errands in the car so I could listen, getting my earbuds out while working in the kitchen so I could listen. I even found myself not minding so much when I would have a sleepless night; I’d just pop in my earbuds and read until I felt tired again.

And before long, wow! I had finished the whole book, and loved every minute .

I suddenly realized that by reading with my ears as well as my eyes I had doubled my typical reading time. (Insert happy dance here.)
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