How to Break Up the Homeschooling Day

A day in the life of a homeschool student should not mimic that of a public school student but should be based on the needs of the individual child. Breaks are important to the comprehension of new material and can aide in the memorization of important facts but frequent breaks are not feasible in a public school setting. One of the benefits of homeschooling is that parent/teachers can allow frequent breaks so children have a chance to process information, get the wiggles out, and prepare themselves to learn even more.

A “break” can mean anything from a quick dance party to snack time to gross motor play and should be scheduled regularly throughout the day. Preschool and younger elementary age children should not be expected to sit for more than 10-15 minutes without being provided a chance to stretch and move their bodies. With careful planning, you can even make movement part of the lesson: children can move like the animals they are learning about, pretend to be objects beginning with a specific letter, or mimic the water cycle. Children who have been allowed to move will be much more receptive to learning and better prepared for writing and other fine motor tasks.

Older children are generally able to focus for longer periods of time but it is still important to give them a chance to move, stretch, and regroup regularly. Allow some time for yoga between subjects, ask kids to jump on one foot as they recite math facts, or organize a race to group objects by category.

Breaks that don’t necessarily coincide with the lesson are important as well. Allow young children time for exploratory play with Legos, blocks, or other toys. Get them outside, weather permitting, to run and yell and be rowdy. Encourage healthy snacks mid-morning and after nap or rest time to fuel their brains and muscles. Download songs with clear instructions to jump, tip toe, gallop, crawl and stretch so kids learn how to move their bodies in different ways without feeling shy.

Even pre-teen and teenage kids need some downtime throughout the day. Allow for a few minutes of social media or other online time. Provide outdoor tasks or activities such as shooting baskets, playing catch, or weeding a flower bed. Calisthenics are a great way to get blood pumping and the body moving if outside time isn’t feasible. Even if they won’t admit it, older kids need some rest as well so encourage a few minutes of quiet conversation or reading to help their bodies and brains rejuvenate.

Devising a plan for a typical homeschool day seems like an easy task but the reality is rather complicated. Homeschool parent/teachers understand that a schedule is important to a successful educational plan; without a plan, it would be too easy to get distracted, complacent, or simply too tired to teach a lesson. Lessons and breaks should take place at a similar time each day, the structure and rules should be consistent, and the calendar should be followed as closely as possible to ensure that core subjects are taught and reviewed within the school year. But parent/teachers should also realize that a “typical” day will rarely happen, therefore the lesson plans and schedule need to be fluid and adjusted as necessary. There are simply days when more breaks are needed and the best homeschool settings allow for that to happen.

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Mimi Rothschild is a veteran homeschooling mother of 8, writer of a series of books called Cyberspace for Kids, and passionate advocate for children and education that is truly worthy of them. In 2001, Mimi and her late husband founded Learning By Grace, a leading provider of online Christian homeschooling Academies. 

 

 

Over 50 Gay Man Dating Guides

As the cliché goes, even an old dog can learn new tricks. Over 50 dating for gay men opens up a completely new perspective as far as love is concerned. Men of a specific age are already used to an old system of practice and thought. You ask a man out, have fun and fall in love. But if you meet each other a little later on in your life, there’s a big chance that he already did these things with someone else, just like you.

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It is never easy to reignite love in gay dating when you’re already over 50. But with this simple guide, you can be sure that you will have the best experience of your life.

Embrace Who You are Today

Life might have been hard for you in your younger years but those are all in the past. Now more than ever, it is the perfect time for you to look for contentment and this will all start with owning yourself before anything. Prior to rushing through that door to engage in over 50 dating in the hopes of finding love again, you have to know your real value. Thus, the first and major step to gay dating when you’re past your prime years is to fall in love not with others but with yourself.

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Why Art is Important

Every homeschool parent schedules time for reading, math, science, and social studies but are music and art included in your curriculum? If not, you need to reevaluate your lesson plans and find ways to incorporate the fine arts into your child’s schedule. Music and art not only help children become well-rounded adults who can speak on a variety of topics but also help them understand the common core subjects better. A student who studies music will better understand math concepts and may even be able to learn a second language faster than a student who has never been exposed to music education. But why is art important?

Art is a creative outlet that literally anyone can utilize, even those with “no artistic ability.” Simply coloring in a coloring book qualifies as art and can be a stress reliever for parents and children alike. Art doesn’t have to be complicated or perfect, it just needs to be creative. A piece of construction paper, a cup of glue with a Q-tip paint brush, and a few pieces of cut yarn can yield a masterpiece when studying the letter /Y/. Follow up the craft project by asking kids to explain what they have created or, for older kids, write a description of their art, and you have successfully transitioned from fine motor skills into language and reading territory.

When art is part of a homeschool curriculum, it gives students an opportunity to express their feelings, practice fine motor skills, use their imagination, and showcase projects they are proud of. Incorporating art into common core subjects can help students understand the concepts, timelines, or ideas in a deeper way. Ask a child to illustrate a favorite book and he will start to think about the characters and settings in a new way. Encourage a student to create a visual display to explain a challenging math concept such as dividing fractions and she will grasp the concept much sooner. Help your child design and put together a costume or diorama of a period in history and it will be forever cemented in his mind.

Parent/teachers can teach art history with trips to local museums or virtual visits to galleries around the world. Students can mimic great works of art or recreate famous styles such as Picasso’s abstract pieces or Andy Warhol’s iconic soup can imagery. When kids are exposed to a wide range of artistic styles and mediums, it allows their own imagination to soar.

But art education doesn’t have to be limited to learning about great artists or as a teaching tool but can simply be about having fun and being creative. A trip to a craft store with a budget and an idea can transform a rainy afternoon into an art bonanza. A bucket of craft sticks can become a house, a picture frame, or a marble run. Googly eyes can transform an odd sock into a new friend. Glitter glue can turn an ordinary piece of paper into a frame-able piece of art. Continue reading “Why Art is Important”