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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Great PreSchool Learning Activities!!

Powerful Mothering is an exceptional website!!  Holy Wow, Batman!! That's what I say when I'm really excited :)  I have a friend who found this and shared, so now I am able to share with you. Don't you love that when that happens!!  Lots of Interjections floating around here. Yikes!! That's what happens when you are teaching your kids about the parts of speech from Shurley English. Watch Out!!

Back on Track...

I adore these NO SEW Quiet Felt Book Ideas. I'm pretty sure that my 5 and 7 year old kids will want to do this along side my 3 year old :) I included my favorites here.

Additionally, if you have older children, these are easy projects to have them create and "help" you with school for their sibling!




If you like these PreSchool Ideas as much as I do, go to Powerful Mothering to find more inspiration!!  Last two exclamation points for now :)

Monday, October 20, 2014

5 Surprising Focus Tools to Keep your Child on Task While Studying

Hello everybody. My name is Robin and I am a homeschooling mom of over 20 years. But, my ordinary home educator's life got turned upside down about eight years ago when my fourth son was diagnosed with Auditory Processing Disorder/Dyslexia, which are clinical names for having struggles with reading. This set me on a quest to learn more about the disorder, but more importantly to learn how I could help my son overcome his issues. Though he will always have auditory processing issues he is now a fluent reader who is a published comic strip creator for our local newspaper. I may share about that some other time. Now, as I continue to teach my children ( I have another son with dyslexia so the journey continues) I have also built a store that sells popular toys,games and more that are proven to help struggling readers strengthen their skills. Sort of a "play your way to reading fluency" store (Crazy Good Readers) It's a work in progress. I may link at times to some of the things I've found to be helpful. I also blog at Dyslexia Digest and am thrilled to be sharing with you here at Homeschool with Purpose. So here we go...

Does your child have trouble staying focused? 
Does he fidget? Does he chew on his pencils, or does she twist her hair or tap that pen till it drives everyone crazy? Believe it or not many of these seemingly bad habits are actually sub-conscious focus mechanisms. Do you ever see that distant look in your child’s eye just when you are trying to explain that important math or grammar concept? Their mind seems to be in a completely different place. Offering them outside stimulation may actually help them return to earth and be able to complete the task at hand. Having one ADD son and Two dyslexic Sons, I have done plenty of research on how to keep them focused. Here are my 5 favorite focus tools and why I use them.

1.) Chewing Gum - Not only may this save the mutilation of many pencils, studies have also shown that chewing gum increases the oxygen going to the brain and enhances memory. The oral stimulation also relieves stress. There have been many studies performed that support this. Read more here. Our favorite gum is Glee Gum because it is all natural and a fair trade product.

2.) Kinetic sand - Moon sand works as well. It is an addictive tactile tool that doesn't get sticky or leave your hands feeling dirty. Just squeezing it can help with focus issues. This is also great to have on hand to keep younger children occupied while you work with an older child.

3.) Thinking putty or modeling compound - This stimulates in a similar way as the kinetic sand, giving a tactile experience. Thinking putty can be hard for young hands to squeeze, so I use Sculpting compound by Melissa and Doug. My nine year old usually needs to start squeezing some about halfway into a math lesson. I use it to build letters for language arts. It is also nice to have on hand for art projects because it self dries into a lightweight material that you can keep, but will stay usable as long as it is kept in an airtight container. We've made all types of things, magnets for the fridge to pyramids for history and more, and it is another great tool for keeping little ones busy while the older ones are working on their studies.

4.) A doodling pad - This is another clinically proven way to maintain focus. Studies show that people who doodle remember more than non-doodlers. Their main conclusion is that doodling keeps them from daydreaming. However, it can be annoying to find scribbles and pictures around the margins of that essay, so here is what we do. We allow our children to have a doodle or sketch pad with them. They are not allowed to doodle on their worksheets or in their books, but they can doodle in their pad as long as they continue to work. This is especially useful when you are reading to them. You may think they are not hearing, but you may be surprised how much they are taking in. Check out this article.

5.) Wikki Stix - My son’s reading tutor introduced us to Wikki Stix several years ago. These are like doodling without a pencil. They are sticks that can be manipulated into just about any imaginable shape. She would have my son use them to create letters or things that begin with certain sounds, but we have found that they are just plain fun and are a great focus tool. Have a fidgeter who won’t be still when you are having a read -a- loud time? Give them some Wikki Stix and have them design something to remind them of the story.

There may not be anything to replace those pencil tappers or foot shakers, but if they are busy with something else like sand or doodling they may stop the other fidgets. If you have found ways that have helped your children stay focused and on task during school, please share them so we all can benefit and help our easily distracted kids get the most out of their studies.

Robin Liner is a wife, and veteran homeschool mom with over twenty years experience. She has written two picture books and actively blogs about homeschooling with an emphasis on teaching dyslexic children at crazygoodreaders.wordpress.com. Feel free to contact her at robin@crazygoodreaders.com

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Early Elementary Pumpkin Fun

Are you in the full swing of Fall?  I'm loving it. October is officially all about Pumpkins for me :) Use this for some Fun Fall Activities. Pumpkin Cupcakes, Handwriting, and More!!! Almost 20 pages of FREE fun :) Courtesy of All Things With Purpose!

Here's some coloring fun from Itsy Bitsy Fun!!