Tuesday, January 29, 2013

My New TpT Products: January 2013, Pt. 2

Graphic from http://frompond.blogspot.com/
I am a seller at Teachers Pay Teachers and am going to blog about my newest products twice a month. Today, I am going to tell you about my two newest products.

My first product is called Alphabet Sudoku. It is a packet of  worksheets featuring a 4x4 Sudoku puzzle. Instead of numbers, I used letters. The packet comes with instructions, 6 uppercase puzzles, 6 lowercase puzzles, 1 mixed case puzzle, 1 blank puzzle for you to enter your own letters and an answer key. It is for ages 5-7. Price: $3.00




My second product is called Valentine's Day: Facts and Activities. It is a packet full of information and activities for Valentine's Day. It is for ages 5-7. Price: $2.50
Included in packet:
  • History/Facts Learn a little about the holiday.
  • Decorate a Heart Color and decorate a heart.
  • Where’s My Twin? Find the picture that matches and color the page.
  • Valentine Story A story told with four pictures and four sentences. Practice sequencing, reading or listening, and cutting as well as coloring.
  • Valentine Card Cut out a card, decorate and give to someone you love.
  • Follow the Directions Color and draw hearts while following the directions.
  • Finish the Heart Only half of a heart has been drawn, finish drawing the heart and decorate it.
  • My Valentine Story Write and draw about your favorite Valentine’s Day.
  • Valentine Sudoku Two 4x4 Sudoku puzzles with objects instead of numbers.
  • Valentine Coupons Four coupons for children to fill out for anything, a hug, doing a chore without being asked, one hour of a quiet activity, or anything else.
  • Valentine Poems A few poems to read aloud as a class.
  • Instructions and Suggested Uses
There you go! My two newest products. Be sure to check them out and look for my next post next month!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Homeschooling Information, Part 1

I may not be the most experienced homeschooler out there as I have only been homeschooling for 4 months officially. However, I have been doing a lot of research for the past 5 years and I feel that I can give you some insights and tips so that you can get your foot in the door.

These are the questions that will be covered in this post:

  • What is homeschooling?
  • Why do people homeschool?
  • Is homeschooling legal? What are my state's homeschool laws?
  • Is homeschooling expensive?
  • What are the pros of homeschooling?
  • What are the cons of homeschooling?

What is homeschooling?
Homeschooling is when a child is educated outside of a traditional public or private school building. While most schooling takes place inside the child's home, not all of it is. Learning can happen anywhere, from home, museums, national and state parks, zoos, aquariums, grocery stores, etc. Anywhere and everywhere can be a learning experience.

Why do people homeschool?
Everyone homeschools for different reasons, you just have to figure that out for yourself. Some people homeschool for religious reasons, safety of their children due to bullying and peer pressure, special needs and learning disabilities, health problems, financial problems, etc. this list could go on and on.

Is homeschooling legal? What are my state's homeschool laws?
Even though homeschooling is legal in all 50 states, every state varies in its requirements. Some states are strict and require you to report every little detail and some states are very lenient and require little to no reporting.

Homeschool Legal Advantage or HLA provides every states' laws. They also provide a tax-deductible membership that provides you with legal advice and representation should you run into legal trouble due to homeschooling amongst other things.

Home School Legal Defense Association or HSLDA provides every states' laws in easy to understand language. Even more, they provide a membership program that provides you with legal advice and representation should you ever run into legal trouble due to homeschooling amongst other things.

Another great place to get information on your state's laws would be your local homeschool groups and co-ops. They sometimes offer packets of information to their members. To find your local groups, Google [Your State] homeschool groups.

Is homeschooling expensive?
Homeschooling can be as expensive or inexpensive as you want it to be. I know, not really an answer is it? However, it is true. You can spend as little or as much as you would like. There are a lot of free resources out there as well as used items. Then there is buying everything brand new, and even then it can run from the expensive to the inexpensive.

If you would like to see a more detailed explanation, you can check out these websites:
HSLDA
Homeschool-By-Design
Money Crashers
Homefires

What are the pros of homeschooling?

  1. Flexible Schedule: Most homeschoolers can decide what, how and when they learn. It is important to know your laws, to see if you have a less flexible schedule.
  2. Personalized Learning: Every child learns differently. Some learn better by reading about it, some learn better by seeing it being done by others, some learn by doing it themselves, some are slow learners, some are fast learners, etc. There are so many ways to learn something and you can tailor your child's learning to fit the way they learn best.
  3. Safety: Bullying, peer pressure, etc. that happens within school walls is something that you do not have to really deal with when homeschooling. 
  4. Spending Lots of Time with Your Kids: Being able to spend more time with your family is a great thing. 
  5. Not Having Anyone Tell You What to Do: Most homeschoolers do not have anyone standing over their shoulder telling them what, how and when to teach something. Again, check your laws as there are states that are less flexible.
  6. Natural Social Interactions: Traditional schools are the only times in your life that you are split up by age. As homeschoolers, your children can interact socially with people of varying age groups, cultures, backgrounds, interests, etc. which will better prepare them for college, work and life in general.
  7. Homeschooling is Not Just for Children: It is for the whole family. You will be amazed by how much you learn as well.

What are the cons of homeschooling?

  1. Spending Lots of Time with Your Kids: Yes, I know this was a pro, but it can be a con. Let's be honest, sometimes you just need a break from your kids. With all the s/he saids and s/he dids, kids can drive you crazy. While sad, but true, there are parents that do not like their kids and cannot wait to dump them off on the the local school system as well. You need to figure out if you can really spend all that time with your kids and if you cannot, maybe homeschooling is not for you. 
  2. Not Having Anyone Tell You What to Do: Again, another pro turned con here. It can be a difficult task to be the sole provider of your child's education and sometimes you may need help. Luckily, there are a bunch of other people out there that are willing offer knowledge and skills, homeschool groups are a great source of knowledge as well as other homeschoolers.
  3. Time: Homeschooling requires a lot of research, scheduling, driving, etc. and it all takes time.
  4. Money: In most situations, one parent give up their income to homeschool their children. You need to decide if you can live off of one income. Though, there are a bunch of families that homeschool with two incomes and even single parents that work and homeschool.

I hope that I have been helpful in answering a few of your questions. Look for Part 2, when we cover the following questions:


  • What are some myths of homeschooling?
  • What curriculum should I use?
  • How do I teach a subject I do not know anything about?
  • What about standardized testing?
  • Can my homeschooled child attend college?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

My New TpT Products: January 2013, Pt. 1

Graphic by http://frompond.blogspot.com/

So, in case you haven't figured it out by now, I am a new seller at Teachers Pay Teachers. I have decided to update you all on my newest products available twice a month. Today, I am going to tell you about my three newest products, which also happen to be my first products.

My first product is called Before and After: Numbers. It is a worksheet to help children practice what numbers come before and after a number. It is for ages 4-6. Price: Free
My second product is called Betweens: Numbers. It is a worksheet to help children practice what number comes between two numbers. It is for ages 4-6. Tip: Laminate it and you can use it over and over. Price: Free
My second product is called Mardi Gras Facts and Activities: Kindergarten. It is a packet with easy facts about the New Orleans holiday, instructions on making your own parade float, recipe for a king cake and a mask to decorate. It is for ages 4-6. Tip: Laminate it and you can use it over and over. Price: $1.50

So, there you go! My first three products available in my store at Teachers Pay Teachers! Look for my next post about my newest products available in two weeks!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Firsts

 Graphic by http://frompond.blogspot.com/

Life is always full of firsts and unless you do the same thing day in and day out(even then, I am sure there are a few), then surely you have had many and there are many more to come.

Today was full of firsts for me.

  • I started this blog today. Obviously.
  • I started a store on Teachers Pay Teachers.
  • I posted my first product to my store.
  • I did not wake my husband up for work for the first time. Oops!
  • I uploaded my first YouTube video. No link, it's private.
  • I ate my first cheeseburger pieDelicious!
So, what were your firsts today?

Okay, now let me tell you a bit about myself and this blog. My name is Ashley. I am 27 years old and have been married to by wonderful husband, M, for four years. We have two lovely children together, J who is 5 and H who is 3. We are a homeschooling family, well I am a homeschooling mom, M doesn't really know what to do at this point and I'm not going to push...yet. I started this blog for two reasons, one is to get the news out about my store on TpT. The second reason is for my homeschooling endeavors  However, do not be surprised to find posts that has nothing to do with either of those topics, after all, I am a mom and a woman. I do have other interests in life.