Monday, July 25, 2016

Why students should take Primary Math til 12th Grade




ADD - SUBTRACT MULTIPLY - FRACTIONS - DECIMALS - LONG DIVIDE - EXPONENTS & WORD PROBLEMS

I started to notice with my oldest son, that once he started taking Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2 and Pre-Calculus he'd forgotten the 'instant recall' of Middle School Math facts.
He was in Traditional School and therefore, just because he got passing grades on advanced math facts, I didn't think he needed any recall on core math facts - UNTIL he took his SAT PREP class and I realized it took him 3 times longer to do fractions and Decimals division than when he was in middle school.

WHY DO YOU NEED TO KEEP PRACTICING MIDDLE SCHOOL MATH FACTS?

Because they show up constantly in advanced math (BUT STUDENTS USE CALCULATORS) and start to forget the math facts.

They need to know how to complete these problems for (1) SATs (2) COLLEGE ENTRY EXAMS (3) Some JOBs (4) Military Exam (5) JUST BECAUSE

MAKE SURE - you reinforce this by having them 'write' their answers when they are re-learning it. Then use interactive math programs like IXL, CTCMath, CK12 or others that are free online to further practice and master facts.

Also (1) Have Student Write the 'RULES' for solving certain types of problems. - FRACTIONS, DECIMALS, WORD PROBLEMS and EXPONENTS were where we needed to do this the most.

WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT?

When your kid takes advanced math, (1) Give them a Daily Drill on each of the Math Facts above. (2) Do a periodic testing to see which math skill they've forgotten (3) Make BASIC MATH a core curriculum that follows your student until they start College

MY CURRENT EXPERIENCE.

My kids had the most difficult time remembering the RULES for FRACTIONS, DECIMALS and EXPONENTS - all which are needed for Algebra. But when they don't use it - they lose it.

However, I still needed to keep their fast recall of ADDITION, SUBTRACTION, MULTIPLICATION and DIVISION so that they didn't waste as much time pondering over facts they new backwards and forth in Elementary and Middle School.

MY YOUNGEST DAUGHTER FORGOT her CALCULATOR when she took the SAT. And you know what? She scored a higher score in MATH than her brother because she still had instant recall of the basic math facts and it made those types of problems easier for her.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Organize For the New Homeschool Year

Do It Now



One of the ONLY ways that I am able to pull off HOMESCHOOLING and WORKING without screaming to the rafters about how STRESSFUL it is - is by ORGANIZING things way in advance

I do realize that I am a bit Type - A and possibly would've been diagnosed with being hyper, scatterbrained, and unfocused. But I have learned to re-focus myself and my home.

THINGS TO PLAN and SET UP BEFORE THE SCHOOL YEAR

A space for school: Even though my kids roam the house with their laptops to do work, I do have a DESIGNATED spot for each of them. I use that spot or space to get them to refocus, get some accountability, or to review a topic with them.

Since we have limited space - we use a PORTABLE DESK that we break down when it's time for dinner. They also have a rolling drawer set that is our WORKBOXES where their books and work mainly reside.

A space for books: Our school materials are in two bookshelves. Each kid has their materials for school on their own shelves, in their rolling workbox drawer set, and materials on their shelves.

A laptop: We had to buy one for each of the kids, especially, since one was taking Robotics and the other was doing Computer Programming.

A DVD Player: We have some DVD based curriculum that worked well for us. Therefore each child has their own DVD player and earphones.

Meal Planning: Freezer prepping meals is my secret weapon. Great for a working and homeschooling parent and easy to get the kids cooking. This is another area I try to plan way in advance. There are tons of meal planning templates and plans online. I use those to build our meals for the school year.

Meal Prep Time: We schedule in family meal prep time for Sunday's. My secret weapon is Freezer Prep meals. Here's a great blog post that helps me a lot.

Cleaning Schedule: I create the chore chart for the school year, which typically include 'maintenance' cleaning during the week and 'deep' cleaning on Saturday afternoons or evenings.

Field Trip Planning: I take a moment to review their curriculum and then build our monthly field trips around what they are learning.

Curriculum Planning: This takes me several weeks of research and evaluation of what worked previously and what didn't.

Weekly Lesson Schedule: I put together the first two weeks of school on a daily schedule sheet for each child.

Parent Break Times: Yes, I schedule in when my husband and I relieve each other from 'homeschooling' duties to have time to relax.

Date Nights: I do this in advance in case I have to hire a babysitter or ask one of my older kids to watch their siblings.

AFTER IT's ALL PLANNED - SHARE IT WITH THE MASSES

Sharing this with your kids and spouse is a great way to get everyone's buy-in and help. I do a walk thru with the family the week before we start school, even if they grumble about it, they appreciate it.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

How To Pace Yourself So Burnout No More






I hear it all the time from my homeschooling momma's not so much from the dad's because they keep it to themselves, and from my working momma's

I am BURNED OUT or I am STRESSED OUT

It's because they forget one simple thing. SCHEDULE your time in.


HOMESCHOOLING WITHOUT BURNOUT

This is something that I have to take extra time to consider. As a working mom, I sometimes try to 'over' compensate for not being home all the time with my kids, that taking time out for myself seems selfish.

However, with the freedom of homeschooling and a supportive spouse, I can make sure I get my time in. I also schedule in my husband's personal time with me alone without the kids.


THE SCHEDULE is where IT BEGINS


I do Weekly planning for the kids. I plan out their day and their subject.

I also PLAN IN MOM TIME and have the kids trained to do self absorbed activities during that time. I only give myself 1 hour every other day.

Example:
Mon/Wed/Friday = 1 hr of my time to spend having a nap
Mon/Wed/Friday = 1 hr of my kids doing online interactive learning / playing a video game or doing something fun during their 1 hr break

Sat = Marraige time. My husband and I go on a 'date night' or have a 'movie night with food and snacks in our room or basement'. The kids know not to bother us during that time.

TRAIN YOUR KIDS TO RESPECT YOUR TIME

My kids respect that they have to give mom time. We have a TIMER set up that marks my time and over the years, they have come to learn to respect it. I give them a *Gift* when they do.

TAKE ON AN OUT OF THE HOUSE HOBBY or PART TIME JOB YOUR LOVE

I get out of the house one time a month for a Meetup.com event to either paint or work with other authors.

My girlfriend is a SAHM and found a part-time job as a Cake Decorator. She loves the work and the people at her job that she said it makes making money fun, gives her a get out the house card, and funds some of her kids school materials.

STAYCATIONs

Also, since I love to write, I do STAYCATIONS. I wake up two hours earlier than everyone on the weekend and go out on my backyard, sit at my table and start to write as the sun comes up.

It's a wonderful time alone for reflection, reading and quiet.

WHAT TO DO NOW?

Make a place in your home that is your 'spot'. Create and schedule in your time alone to refresh. Give your spouse the same courtesy. My husband gets to rest, watch TV, walk outside as soon as he gets home from work since I am usually already in the house. I get my time in the night time after dinner when he is ready to take over instruction for the kids.

For our Weekend date nights, we try to get a babysitter and usually switch off with our friends.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Helping your Student Find A JOB



LOOKING FOR A JOB - IS A FULL-TIME JOB


It truly is a skill. Many don't possess the ability to be tenacious about how to search for and find a new job.

We should put this in our HOMESCHOOL CURRICULUM bag as a must do before our kids graduate.

Here are some steps in the process. We can use this as a learn as you go journey.





JOB SEARCH WEBSITES


This is the best place for many job seekers to start. My personal favorite is INDEED.COM and CAREERBUILDER.com

Have your student or new job seeker create the following:

(1) A resume that highlights EACH AREA of their specialty. For instance, if your student has background in baking and book-keeping. They should have TWO SEPARATE resumes that highlight each Career Area
(2) A form cover letter that highlights EACH area of their specialty.
(3) List of references with phone numbers, email address, physical address that can confirm past jobs, college experiences, projects, or volunteerism
(4) Create a professional named email account like Jane.Doe@gmail.com
(5) Create a 'Thank You' letter for use after the interview. Send about 4 to 7 days after the interview to use to 'jog' the employers memory about you and the interview.
(6) A profile on ALL job boards. And leave application opened so employers will find you.

*If the student is in College they can utilize their COLLEGE CAREER DEPARTMENT*
*Otherwise they can also contact the LOCAL UNEMPLOYMENT OFFICE for classes and mentorship as well as 'employment' programs*


INTERVIEW PRACTICE

Set up 'mock' interviews that replicate the
(1) Telephone Pre-Screen Interview and the
(2) In person Interview.

DRESS FOR SUCCESS INTERVIEW ATTIRE

Have your student put together various outfits they would wear to an interview
(1) Formal Interview
(2) Business Casual Interview

APPLYING FOR JOBS

Let the Job or Company decide if they want you before you talk yourself out of applying.

This is where I tell my kids to consider the following.

(1) APPLY FOR ANY JOB that you

(a) Are Qualified for
(b) Would like to do and think that you can learn to do fairly quickly
(c) You have AT LEAST 70% of the skills necessary

(2) Apply for at least 25 jobs a week, on separate job boards

(3) When you are applying through a company website, find ALL jobs you are interested in or capable of doing and apply for ALL OF THEM.

KNOW THAT IT IS A NUMBERS GAME

When you apply for 100 jobs, the likelyhood is that you will only be contacted for 20 of them, only make it to the Pre-Screen of 10 of them, and only make it to the actual interview of 5 of them.

That is likely to happen in a competitive job/career category.

CONSIDER GETTING HELP FINDING A JOB

TEMP Agencies will help you by
(1) Screening you for a company
(2) Assessing your skills
(3) Finding a 'Temp' job or 'try before you commit to permanent employment' job to help you gain work experience or entry into hard to get jobs.
 See List of some here.


EMPLOYMENT Agencies are a bit different as they offer CAREER specific opportunities

 (1) Contract to Permanent placement
 (2) Permanent Placement. They do the screening and skills assessment for employers.

FINDING A PART-TIME Job, OR non-professional OPPORTUNITY


When my kids were looking for jobs at local restaurants, childcare centers, retail stores the job search was different.

To inquire about those types of local jobs I had them
(1) Dress Business Casual
(2) Go to the prospective place of employment
(3) Ask for the manager
(3) Ask the manager if they had any job openings and
(4) Ask how to apply
(5) Get the manager's name and phone number
(6) After filling out the application, return it and
(7) Follow up by phone or in person with the manager you spoke to