* PianoLessonsfoChildren * Okasana School of Music * Learning the Guitar * RockFactory
Take some time to check them out.
The following interesting infographic was prepared and presented by Music Lessons and lists the educational benefits of music lessons for students: reading comprehension, maths, verbal memory and planning abilities. If you have considered music lessons for your kids, whether or not they are home-schooled, there are some online options. In fact, some music academies specialise in programs for home-schooling families. Take a look at Visionaires Music Academy and the options available through their music programs. I've also included some additional sites here but there are other online music lessons available:
* PianoLessonsfoChildren * Okasana School of Music * Learning the Guitar * RockFactory
Take some time to check them out.
Created by TakeLessons
'Written self-expression should not be so infuriatingly difficult to teach.' BraveWriter
The Brave Writer material has been written and produced by a professional writer, editor and home-schooling mum and is designed to enhance the mother-child relationship, rather than build up the sort of stress, resentment and frustration evidenced by many other writing programs. 'What's on paper ought to be a fair and insightful representation of all that goes on in your kid's busy heads.'
As a teacher/tutor/writer and homeschooling mum/grandmother, this material reads well and ticks all the boxes. The focus of the Brave Writer material is less on writing format and structure but rather on the process of writing, establishing the voice of kids and helping parents foster an encouraging writing environment. Brave Writer 'supports and nurtures the homeschooling family in the areas of language arts and writing from grammar school until college with online courses and language arts programs.'
You'll find Home Study Courses (The Writer's Jungle, Help for High School, Jot It Down) with guidance to effectively teach your kids and provide practical tools and advice, with available ongoing help. Jot It Down is a digital download with practical step-by-step instructions of what to write not just how to write- a year-long language arts program and 10 monthly writing projects. Check out the sample here. Language Arts programs are also available that teach spelling, grammar and punctuation using classic literature. These are available as monthly downloads and are worth checking out here. There are also Online Classes that provide accountability and group interaction to help complete writing projects.
So.. how and where do you start? Well, check out the website and read more about this program and the many quality resources. But it also might be helpful to learn more about how you can develop an encouraging writing lifestyle that both you and your kids enjoy, and there are plenty of free resource ideas on the Brave Writer site. Check them out here.
How many times have you noted incorrect spelling in newspaper articles, shop displays and other printed material? Yes.. learning to spell correctly can be a problem. Mark Twain once commented, 'Why, there isn't a man who doesn't have to throw out about fifteen hundred words a day when he writes his letters because he can't spell them!' Understandably, earlier attempts to reform our system of spelling failed and students still struggle with vowels that have more than one sound, words like 'pneumonia' with silent letters, or words like 'bow' with different pronunciations.
How can we make it easier for kids to learn their spelling? I'm sure that you'll find an app in the following list that you can use to teach correct spelling of words is a way that kids will enjoy.
1. First Words with Phonics Pre-school
Introduces 76 words in three different categories using colourful, fun learning activities. Teaches letter recognition, phonics, blending and spelling.
2. rED Writing- Learn to Write Ages 4-7
Teaches children to write letters, numbers and shapes using Australian fonts (choose your state). Australian audio teaches correct pronunciation and sounds with fun sticker rewards, certificates and trophies.
3.Chuck and Friends- Interactive storybook Ages 4-8
This educational and interactive storybook includes learning activities: memory matching where children need to find 2 matching pairs to uncover letters, or word game where, using their finger, kids will need to wipe clean the mud or water spot to discover letters that make up a word. Each time kids gain a word that can later be used in a rebus style game that develops comprehension and reading skills. The great part is each time you read/play the app you get new words.
4. Montessori Crosswords PreK- 5
Try and spell the word for the pictures given by dragging letters into the grid. If you don't know, then tap the ? and the word appears. Learners are encouraged to continue and a new puzzle is created.
5. Chicktionary Ages 6+
Create words and earn points. Grab the letter hens and make words. Shake your iPad/Phone to reshuffle letters. Simple, but loads of fun and kids will be extending their vocabulary and spelling more and more words in no time.
6. Rocket Speller 3-7yr-olds
Collect pieces to build and fuel a rocket by spelling words. Four levels of difficulty.
7. Wordball Ages 8+
Stimulating and challenging- kids need to click on the bouncing balls needed to create words but they may disappear before you're able to use them in a word. Balls disappear, bounce around, shrink in size and it's harder than you think.
8. Spelling Space Ultimate .. also for 5th and 6th grade
Earn asteroids as you spell words and then use them to shoot down spaceships. 28 lists of prerecorded words (556 words) or create your own lists with Ultimate version.
9. Freefall Spelling beginners to 5th grade
Practice spelling words and earn items for your fish tank. 150 pre-built words with image allows you to set up your own lists.
Challenge your friends to spell the most words within an allotted time.
10. Super Speller Ages 6+
Create your own spelling lists. Children record each spelling word and a short sentence. They practice the spellings, complete word searches and learning games and test themselves on practice tests. Final test grades their work.
“That’s weird,” Napoleon stared at the note lying on his desk. As he read the words again, the writing faded to nothing, and then the paper crumbled into a white dust.(Battle Boy- Spying on the Past)
History, for many children, is little more than a collection of facts that need to be learned and, with the best of intentions, we often find it difficult to breathe real life into these history lessons we present.
The Battle Boy series of books presents historic battles in an exciting adventure story format. Not only do kids enjoy reading the stories, they actually learn from them. In each adventure, kids join 11-year-old Napoleon Augustus Smythe as he travels around the world and through the ages, spying on the past and solving mysteries.
There is a growing list of titles featuring historical battles: Sir Francis Drake and the battle between the English and Spanish warships, The Red Baron, Trojan War, Alexander the Great, Battle of Cannae, Kublai Khan, The Battle of Stainmore (Dark Ages) and more.
The website provides a downloadable mission profile with information from the series about Napoleon’s assignment, duty, directive, and survival gear. Teacher’s notes are also available for each book including learning outcomes, discussion questions and varied classroom activities. The first chapter of each book is also available to download from the Battle Boy website.
Join Napoleon Augustus Smythe and get ready for action!
'Reading to your children may be the single, most powerful contribution that you, as a parent, can make toward their success in school. Reading to your children is the is absolutely the best way to develop their ability to read for themselves and by themselves. Studies have shown that the one common factor found in all children who learned to read without being formally taught how was not high IQ, not high family income, not parents who had college degrees; rather, the one factor was that all these children were read to by their parents regularly, frequently, and from whatever materials happened to be at hand- newspapers, road signs, even packing labels.' (William Russell)
Some parents read to their children when they are young but cease once the children have learned to read by themselves. Research shows that children of all ages continue to benefit from being read great books by their parents or carers.
So... what should you choose? There are a number of books by William Russell that can assist you here. 'Classics to Read Aloud to Your Children' and 'More Classics to Read Aloud to Your Children' provide selections of stories and poems for every listening age with some introductory information about the characteristics of the listener and the stories included. For example, Listening Level II is introduced in this fashion: 'The tales in this section are full of adventure, and so are the listeners for whom they are intended. There is broad humour here, too.'
For other ideas about choosing books to read aloud to your children, check out these age-appropriate lists HERE and from TeacherFirst HERE. You will find that reading aloud to your children will become even more enjoyable and engrossing as they grow older.
Toontastic is a great app to encourage learners to create their own animated adventure using their own recorded voice and adding music for effect. The app presents a storyboard with scenes for Setup, Conflict, Challenge, Climax and Resolution. Captions help the storyteller to understand each scene of the story they are creating and the action and progress through the story. For example, the first scene, Set up, is noted as 'Introduce the characters and story setting'. When Setup is chosen, the scene background can be created with available choices or the child can draw their own background.
Characters are added, again from existing protagonists or by drawing their own. The characters in each scene can be moved and animated to act out the story as the learner tells and records it. The 'microphone records the narrators voice and the character's actions. Background music can also be chosen for each scene and helps the learner to think through the mood of each scene. Arrows lead the storyteller on to the next scene.
Once all the scenes have been created, a story title can be included along with the learner's name as director. The animated story can be played for everyone on the iPad or shared online with ToonTube.
This is a interactive way for learners to create and share their narratives, and will encourage them to continue.
The programs available from Learning A-Z are great; high-quality, easy to access, levele materials that are downloadable and printable. On purchase of a subscription, you have access to all learning levels which makes it very cost-effective, especially if you are home-schooling or tutoring your kids.
Learning A-Z has a Reading Program, Vocabulary, Writing Program, Reading Tutors, and Science
and yes, will correlate with Australian (US & Canada) standards. See here..
There is another related program available, an online resource: Raz-Kids. Subscription to this program enables children to read along with leveled reading material, record themselves reading, build fluency and answer the interactive comprehension questions.
The Science program also includes Science in the News units- relevant content written at three reading levels and providing
opportunities to develop critical thinking, inquiry, and literacy skills.
The video introduction to Reading A-Z below presents a good overview of all aspects of this great program. Check it out below. Samples from each of Learning A-Z's award-winning programs are available from the site before you decide whether the material will be helpful for your needs, so take some time to check it out.
A great teacher never strives to explain his vision- he simply invites you to stand him. (Rev R. Inman)