Thursday, May 19, 2005

Homeschool Q&A; #051905

Q&A; #051905

Man, today is such a beautiful day, it’s hard to concentrate inside!

Last night, on the way home from church, Maegan was wanting to know what we were going to do when we got home.

“It’s already almost 9:00 – it’s past bedtime, so we’re getting a snack and then you’re going to bed.”

“But, Mommy!” she exclaimed, totally shocked, “it’s still morning time!”

Poor Maegan. Now that sunset isn’t till around 12:30 a.m., she is just seeing daylight all the time and thinking I’m making her go to bed in the morning! Being almost four now, this is the first summer that she’s really noticed the summer daylight.

Well, let’s dive into this weeks Q&A;:

“respected madam, i came to know about the coloring contest today & i felt very bad that i missed that, my kid, 3yrs old loves doing coloring & she does it very well.i felt sorry for her that i came to know about that very late. so if you have some more of those competitions coming up please let me know, my kid will surely participate.
thanking you,
madhavi"

L.B.: Madhavi, thanks for your email. After this contest has been judged and prizes sent, the next one will start, so just check back at Coloring Contest Page and get in on the next one. We always get great enjoyment from all the coloring and drawing sent in!

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"I love the concept of your cooking program but I was wondering if this would work with older children or if you have a program for older children. I have 6 children ages 12, 9, 8, 6,5,1. Any help would be greatly appreciated
Thank you, Joy Hamm"

L.B.: Hi Joy - you must be a busy Mom :-).

My son who is 9 enjoys the cookbook when he reads it and does it himself, but it is really simpler recipes for that age and younger.

If you want something printed out and all ready to go, then you’ll want the Homeschool Cooing With Kids System in a Box. With it, you’ll get your first 2 months of the kids recipe club for free, which has a slew of recipes for ages 2-12.

Or, you could go just with the Kids Recipe Club. It is $29.95 to sign up and then $9.95/month for as long as you want to stay on. It has all the recipes of the Homeschool Cooking With Kids System in a Box, plus 4 new ones each month. That's at www.kidsrecipeclub.com .

Let me know if you need any more info - hope to have you part of our cooking family!


“We have just recently gotten back to Christ. My son accepted the Lord in his soul last night. We have talked obout homeschooling in the past, but I'm unsure of my ability to teach. Our preacher and a member of our church homeschools The kids seem to get a lot out of it. I was taught at home for two years and loved it, until I went back to public school. Thought you might be able to send me some insight. We live in Wirt Co. Thank you.”

L.B.: Well, welcome back! Isn’t it great to have unconditional forgiveness and acceptance! You know, if you are doing younger elementary ages, it is so easy. Even if you don’t think you know the stuff that’s taught for that age, you’re working right along with your child and can learn it too. You can do from making up and planning everything yourself to buying kits that spell everything out – including what to say! Much luck to you!

(If you or anyone else needs help, the “How to Survive Your First Two Years of Homeschool Knowledge System” is a great resource. click here)


“Hi!I was wondering if the parent can buy and test their own child as an alternative? Would the fact that a parent has a degree help, or does it not matter. Thanks!Heidi Shapiro”

L.B.: Hi heidi – what state are you in? In some states a college degree does matter when homeschooling and testing depends on your states laws. Here in Alaska, we don’t have to test at all, but there are many places online where you can order tests if you feel like you need it.


Comments from members:


“Thanks so much, I can't wait to try these out, and I'm sooo with you on NOT having math competitions. I was really awful in math, and really didn't catch on until I got up in years in public school and Junior College where I excelled in math.
I especially can't wait to try the stuff that involves cooking. I hate cooking but my daughters love it.
Thanks again!
Shanon”


“THANK GOD HE BLESSED YOU JUST REMEMBER ITS NOT OUR TIME ITS HIS TIME
I LIVE IN SOUTH CAROLINA I HAVE THREE KIDS AND THEY TOLD ME I WOULD NEVER HAVE KIDS SO GOD IS SO SO GOOD AND I LOVE THEM SO SO MUCH AND THE REASON I HOMESCHOOL THEM THESE SCHOOL ARE NO GOOD BUT THATS NOT WHY IM HERE GOD BROUGHT US HERE LOT OF PEOPLE DONT BELEAVE THAT BUT ITS TRUE MY HUSBEND AND I HAVE A YOUTH GROUP AT RED DAM BAPTIST CHURCH AND I LOVE IT IM FROM JACKSONVILLE FLORIDA , COMEING TO S/C ITS LIKE GOING THOUGH A TIME ZONE THEY ARE REAL KICK BACK BOT ANY WAYS HAPPY MOTHER DAY TO YOU”

“Dear Laura,

I know what you mean about Mother's Day. I'm so grateful that we have our little Ariel, now 5. But, still on Mother's Day, I miss my own mom, who passed away 7 years ago.

Thanks for your thoughts.

Love and light,
Barbara”



Well, that's it for today! Have a great one!!

Laura Bankston






Laura Bankston is author of Internationally selling Cooking with Kids Curriculum: Homeschool Cooking in a Box and the Homeschool Cookbook. She currently home schools her three children, maintains home school support websites, and manages their family-owned service business. For information on her curriculum and free home school support services, please visit http://www.homeschoolcookbook.com

Copyright 2004, Abundant Learning Publications. All Rights Reserved.

Reprint Permission Requirements: Intact bio, Active hyper-link, and notifiication (click here) of article name and reprint location link.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Should we do away with Mother's Day?

Mother's Day used to be one of the saddest days of the year for me - at least in church. I enjoyed celebrating and honoring my wonderful mother...but I wanted to be one too.

I can remember sitting in church, hearing for over an hour all the wonderful sentimental things about being a mother. Songs about mother's. Awards to the oldest mother. Adwards to the mothers with the most kids. Awards to the newest mother. Flowers on the way out for all the mothers.....

Well, you know what? Not everyone that wants to be a mother is one. That's why I think that church should do away with a total "Mother" focus on Mother's Day. A Godly woman focus would be much more appropriate and not further break the hearts that are already broken.

Back then, it was all I could do to keep from crying each Mother's Day service.

So, each Mother's Day has a new outlook for me.

First, total and complete thankfullness for the three children God finally did give to me. I may be 53 when my daughter finishes high school; but I'll be the proudest 53 year old Mom around.

Secondly, my heart still aches - aches for those out there who still would give up anything just to hold a baby in their arms that is their very own.

So, no, I don't think we should do away with Mother's Day; but I do think that we should still be aware and sensitive towards those who are not blessed like we are!

Laura Bankston

Laura Bankston is author of Internationally selling Cooking with Kids Curriculum: Homeschool Cooking in a Box and the Homeschool Cookbook. She currently home schools her three children, maintains home school support websites, and manages their family-owned service business. For information on her curriculum and free home school support services, please visit http://www.homeschoolcookbook.com

Copyright 2004, Abundant Learning Publications. All Rights Reserved.

Reprint Permission Requirements: Intact bio, Active hyper-link, and notifiication (click here) of article name and reprint location link.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Fun with Chips (Cont.)

Okay, this one is gonna be quick.

My daughter just climbed up on my lap and asked me to spend the day with her. Yesterday, I did spend all day in my office, working, trying to get caught up on everything that piles up so quickly - you know how it is.

So, I can't refuse her!! :-)

Anyway, back to the chip story. For those of you who missed the first part yesterday, you can read it here:http://www.homeschoolcookbook.com/2005/05/fun-with-chips.html

So, we were laughting and giggling and having a big time. Then the game took a silly twist.

Ryan, my middle one, is dyslexic and if you know how they think, then you know they can blow your mind away with what they can see that others can't. So, he had this chip that was almost a perfect curve and he was holding it up and we were all trying to guess what it was...

A tunnel??? no....

A cave??? no....

A tent!!! I practically screamed, but no....

Can you guess what it was?

We guessed and guessed and guessed - all to no avail. Finally, we all gave up.

'You give up?' he asked, just grinning proudly.

'Yep' we all answered.

'It's an eyebrow!'

An eyebrow??? All of us were confused. Then he held up the chip again and showed us that if you looked just at the edge of it, it was arched like an eyebrow.

Now, who woulda seen that???? Only my Ryan.

But that revealed to us a new level of creativity and imagination for playing and guessing the game.

Hey, you learn something new everyday - I just didn't expect it to come from a chip!

Have a great one!

Laura
P.S. Read above to find out how I learned from a chip!
P.P.S. If you haven't gotten your Mother's Day craft, then what are you waiting for? There's only 2 days left, and if you want to get it done, you need to get it NOW:http://www.1shoppingcart.com/app/netcart.asp?MerchantID=42184&offerID=11930
(If the whole url is not highlighted in your email, then copy and paste it into your web browser.)


Laura Bankston is author of Internationally selling Cooking with Kids Curriculum: Homeschool Cooking in a Box and the Homeschool Cookbook. She currently home schools her three children, maintains home school support websites, and manages their family-owned service business. For information on her curriculum and free home school support services, please visit http://www.homeschoolcookbook.com

Copyright 2004, Abundant Learning Publications. All Rights Reserved.

Reprint Permission Requirements: Intact bio, Active hyper-link, and notifiication (click here) of article name and reprint location link.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Fun with Chips

Yesterday we had so much fun at lunch that I just had to share it with you.

You know, sometimes by lunch time, I'm just so exhausted that I'd just like to shove some lunch at the kids and take a nap. You ever feel that way?

Well, I sure have - and on this day no less.

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So, I made myself sit there with the kids and chat with them. When suddenly, I took a bit of my Tostito chip, and looked at it. It looked just like an elephant!

I said, 'Hey, what does this look like?'

The kids were immediately interested and started guessing all kinds of things. I was surprised by their choices - and so began a game of 'guess what this is'.

We were laughing and giggling so hard that I forgot how tired I was. The game got silly...I'll have to tell you about the twist it took tomorrow!

Have a great one!

Laura


P.S. Don't spend hours searching for the perfect craft for your kids to do for Mother's Day (and help your husband out with what to do!!!) Get your Mother's Day Bouqet Instant Download now!



Laura Bankston is author of Internationally selling Cooking with Kids Curriculum: Homeschool Cooking in a Box and the Homeschool Cookbook. She currently home schools her three children, maintains home school support websites, and manages their family-owned service business. For information on her curriculum and free home school support services, please visit http://www.homeschoolcookbook.com

Copyright 2004, Abundant Learning Publications. All Rights Reserved.

Reprint Permission Requirements: Intact bio, Active hyper-link, and notifiication (click here) of article name and reprint location link.


Wednesday, May 04, 2005

7 Tips for teaching Multiplication

I can still feel the excitement.

I can remember being in class, and it was time to play "Around the World" with multiplication. I was super great at that game, loved it, and dominated the classroom.

My competitive side was very evident at a young age - but you don't get that competition in the homeschool arena.

That's good, and it's bad.

It's good that we don't have that competition in homeschool because it's not healthy for Math. Let's face it. There are few jobs in the world now adays that even require you to know math - just using a calculator. And those that do require math (like piloting as my brother does on levels beyond my comprehension!), will get the speed with time and maturity.

So, what I'm saying is this: competition is great and is important for kids to learn and handle. But not with Math. Why should a child feel discouraged or let down by something most don't really like anyway?

Now, here's how I think that math competion IS important in homeschool. Competition against oneself. To teach your child how to do better than the time before, to practice in areas that are lacking, and for motivation to make something fun.

Here's some ways that we make Math competitive and fun for Nathan who is homeschooled for third grade this year:

  1. Timed Worksheets: I don't make Nathan do a lot of repetive practice because he just doesn't need it. However, he does get some review practice every once and a while; and he gets so bored with adding some colums of numbers, dividing, or multiplying. But, he does love to race. So, if I time him to see how fast he goes - or if I give him a certain amount of time to get it done, he's rarin' to go. However, if your child makes too many mistakes or is too pressured by the timer, then this option is NOT for you!
  2. Individual Multiplication Races: Every child has those few times tables that are more difficult, and I think we'll all agree on the importance of knowing the multiplication tables and the advantage of having them memorized. So, I make a list of 15 or so multiplication problems - a couple that Nathan has difficulty remembering, some that takes a little longer to get (because I can tell he's just adding in his head!), and some that are so easy they don't require thought. Then I tell him how much time he has and start the countdown. I say "7x5" and he has to say "35" or "pass" to get to the next one. If he gets them all done (including going back to the ones that he said "pass"), then he gets a reward. It's usually something simple like a small cup of apple juice or a peice of gum, etc.
  3. Flash Card Races: this can be done in the manner I just descirbed, or you can do it the "Bankston" way. I mark places on the floor (with a peice of paper or tape, etc.). Then I show the flash cards. As he calls out each answer, he moves to the next space. If he gets around all the spaces before time runs out, he gets a small prize.
  4. Altering Recipes: Double of half a recipe for great fraction practice. You can also use simple recipes with all whole numbers so that it's easier for the young children. Get multiplication practice by asking your child to take a recipe that feeds 4 and make it into a recipe that will feed 24.
  5. Multiplication Songs: Nathan is an auditory learner, so the multiplication songs CD is a fun, easy reinforcement for him. We don't do it everyday - just in rotation with all these other things
  6. Math board games: This is a great option to join in as a parent or for just the kids. We have a game now that has four different levels. That way, when the math gets too easy, we can advance to a new game and not lose interest. Nathan has mastered this game, but when he plays with his younger brother, he has to do his own math and check his brother's too.
  7. Online games or software: If your kids are like mine, they enjoy playing games and they enjoy being online. There are math games available from software companies like "Knowledge Adventure" that makes the "JumpStart" products (which we have used and loved) and free online games.

Don't forget: For the races, allow plenty of time so your child has a chance. Give them just a little less time than they normally need so that they just have to improve a tiny bit in order to win. Success breeds more success - and fun improves learning.

If you'd like more information on helping your child with Math, here's some resources for you:

  1. Math Homework Help at the Homeschooling Library
  2. Multiplication Songs at the Homeschooling Library
  3. Math in cooking: Cooking with Kids System in a Box or www.kidsrecipeclub.com
  4. Multiplication board games: visit your local school supply store
  5. Online multiplication practice: www.multiplication.com

Laura Bankston is author of Internationally selling Cooking with Kids Curriculum: Homeschool Cooking in a Box and the Homeschool Cookbook. She currently home schools her three children, maintains home school support websites, and manages their family-owned service business. For information on her curriculum and free home school support services, please visit http://www.homeschoolcookbook.com

Copyright 2004, Abundant Learning Publications. All Rights Reserved.

Reprint Permission Requirements: Intact bio, Active hyper-link, and notifiication (click here) of article name and reprint location link.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Homeschool Q&A; #050305

Hope you are having a great week! Weather here in Alaska has been stupendous - we've even been setting record breakers. We are all very happy to be warm outside and see the trees starting to bud and the flowers starting to bloom!

Let's get right into today's Q&A;:

"...I felt I was letting my child fall by the wayside in public school. I want only the best for all my childred [sic]. I just don't know what is enough and how long he should be working?" Shelby Bartram

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nothing more valuable or precious to a mother than something handmade by her children.

It doesn't have to be expensive. It doesn't have to be time consuming. It just needs to come from the heart.

So, what are your kids going to make Mom for Mother's Day? How about a bouquet of flowers? Forget about buying ones from the florist. They're expensive and die before you know it. I'm talking about easy, handmade flowers that can quickly become the most beautiful and treasured bouquet ever.

If you're wanting to surprise Mom on Mother's day, then get this quick, instant download. It has step by step instructions with full color photos of how to make your Mom the most precious bouquet of flowers ever!

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L.B.: Shelby, that is always a concern when beginning to homeschool, so you're not alone out there! New homeschool moms often feel like they are not devoting enough "time". But, let me assure you that the public school system is filled with wasted time. And, that time also tends to be convenient for working parents.

At the beginning of the year, determine what your goals are. Decide how you are going to accomplish that goal. And then do as much or as little time as your child needs. Just don't be too rigid - be flexible and sensitive. Your not wanting to copy the public schools structure or time - don't be afraid to relax and have fun!

If you need more help with getting started, click here.


"HI LAURA, I RECENTLY BEGAN WORKING WITH 18 MONTH TO 3 YEAR OLDS I AM TRYING TO COME UP WITH A CLASS INVOLVING COOKING TO INTEREST THIS WIDE AGE RANGE CAN YOU GIVE ME ANY IDEAS? ARE 18 MONTH OLDS TO YOUNG TO BEGIN BASIC COOKING? THANK YOU" MACKENZIE

L.B.: Hi Mackenzie (I like how your name is spelled!). As I'm sure you've already discovered, those bright minds are ready for challenges; and their bodies need activities to develop their preschool motor skills.

Cooking is PERFECT for that age range-I've had my kids on the counter helping me since they were old enough to sit up. Your situation will need to be a little more controlled and planned; and the recipes you choose should be carefully chosen to fit the number of children that you have. Flour can start flying faster than you can blink! :-)

If you want easy recipes planned out for you with all supplies and ingredients done for you, visit http://www.homeschoolcookbook.com

Good luck and have fun!

"Good morning. My name is Lori Smith and I work with mentally challenged adults who are mostly living independently. My plans are to start a 13 week course of cooking skills and am looking for lesson plans that would be at their level. Could you send me or fax me a copy of the syllabus you use or the table of contents to see if this would be a tool I could use."
L.B. Lori, I don't think that my cooking with kids system would work for your needs. This system is designed for homeschool families to allow children to make things on their own to stimulate creativity and get practical experience in reading and following directions. I think what you're doing is great. I visited the Shepherd home in Wisconsin a couple of times and had time to get a tour and volunteer a little. They weren't living independently, but they did most of the jobs and were always so happy doing it! I was greatly touched by their outlook on life.
Well, that's enough for today - have more homeschool to do myself!!!
Laura Bankston is author of Internationally selling Cooking with Kids Curriculum: Homeschool Cooking in a Box and the Homeschool Cookbook. She currently home schools her three children, maintains home school support websites, and manages their family-owned service business. For information on her curriculum and free home school support services, please visit http://www.homeschoolcookbook.com

Copyright 2004, Abundant Learning Publications. All Rights Reserved.

Reprint Permission Requirements: Intact bio, Active hyper-link, and notifiication (click here) of article name and reprint location link.