Excellent Resource for Both Educators and Parents

Standardized testing is as much a part of school today as reading and math classes. Unfortunately, although most kids eventually learn to read and do the math necessary to carry them through life, many do not learn to take the tests that SHOW they have learned the reading and math. Whether parents and teachers like it or not, the student’s ability to do well on standardized tests is increasingly important, and not only to the student. Teachers and schools are judged based on student test scores. Parents and teachers need help. Attack of the Chicken Nugget Man: A National Test Prep Adventure may be just the help they need.

Written specifically for the tests, Attack of the Chicken Nugget Man: A National Test Prep Adventure is available in a format geared towards national curriculum standards as well as some individual state tests. Aimed at grades 2-5, the book is a series of silly stories that will engage the students. The stories are followed by a set of questions similar to the ones found on standardized tests. These questions are written to directly correlate to specific standards such as “Grade 4 Reading Foundation Skills” or “Grade 2 Math Operations.” There is a guide in the back to help the parent or teacher see which specific learning standard is addressed.

Why would this book work when other teaching aids are unsuccessful? There are a few reasons why this book might be a better choice. First, the stories are quite funny and will have the students wanting to read on to the next one. Secondly, the book is extremely well organized and quite easy for adults to navigate (even if they have little of no educational background). On just a couple of pages in the front of the book, the author CLEARLY outlines how to use the book. A third plus for this book is that it appears that the book would be equally helpful for use with a student who perhaps does not have trouble taking tests, but lags a little in basic concept development. In other words, this is not just a test prep book. It could also work as a booster for a student struggling with a specific concept-say Grade 3 Math, Measurement and Data or Grade 5 Speaking and Listening.

A last idea for the book’s usefulness is that it spans four grades worth of material. So as a parent, suppose your child has just finished grade 3. Over the summer you could use the book to review the material for grades 2 and 3, but then in the spring, haul the book out for use with test preparations for grade 4. Or you might even want it during the year if your student hit a bump with a given concept-say fractions. While using the same stories with different objectives, it allows the student to realize actual growth in specific areas.

Overall, Attack of the Chicken Nugget Man: A National Test Prep Adventure by Kumar Sathy seems to be a nearly must have for teachers and parents alike.

A Parent’s Guide to Homeschooling by Tamra B Orr

Did you know that one third of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of the Federation, and the Constitution of the United States had no more than a few months of schooling under their belts? Isn’t that truly an awesome fact when you really sit down and think about that? Do you recognize any of these other homeschoolers? Perhaps you know these names.- Beatrix Potter, Alexander Graham Bell, Orville and Wilber Wright, Mozart, Charles Dickens, Agatha Christie, Hans Christian Anderson, C.S. Lewis, or how about Leann Rimes herself, and the list goes on. As Mark Twain once said, “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” Isn’t that an awesome statement?! Does YOUR schooling interfere with the things you really want and need to learn to get along in life?

This book covers a multitude of questions, answers, and numerous statistics. Subjects such as: How Did Homechooling Begin and Where is it going? Is Homeschooling the Right Choice for Your Family? One of the sections that I have enjoyed about this book is the section called “In the Trenches.” Throughout the book are small sections where homeschooling families tell us of their own personal homeschool stories, and each family offers advice and encouragement to others along the same path that they have been on. Those selections alone are worth reading.

Homeschooling can truly be as awesome and profound of an education as you choose to make it! Ask yourself this one question…Do you want to ‘always’ be learning something new? Or do you just want to be able to learn enough to ‘get you by?’ YOU have to choose? It’s entirely up to you!

Home School Methods – What Do Parents Use to Homeschool?

There are as many ways to home school as there are people out there that home school. Basically most people will range somewhere in the broad spectrum between “school-at-home” and “let the kids play all they want and they’ll learn what they need to know”. You need to know your style and the temperaments and learning styles of your children to be able to come up with an educational philosophy that you can both live with.

Children can learn with workbooks and they can learn with games. Some children love to work through a textbook and don’t want to be bothered with games while other children may complete a workbook but not remember anything they did.

There are all kinds of terms that are used to describe the styles of home schooling such as Eclectic, Classical, Unschooling, Traditional, Montessori, Charlotte Mason, and Unit Studies.

Homeschooling does stretch a parent but it doesn’t have to bend them out of shape. Each parent needs to evaluate what type of learning methods they feel comfortable with in teaching their children. Some people wouldn’t feel comfortable using anything but a structured curriculum that tells them exactly what to say. While others would feel very stifled to have to be tied to a curriculum that told them exactly what they had to do.

Homeschooling is mostly about relationships. If you have a great relationship with your child or work on relating with your child, you will be able to work through any curriculum struggle by communicating.

Children need some boundaries in their day. They may not learn anything by playing around all day, but then they may not learn anything by completing a workbook page either. They need some structure that they are required to follow and be held accountable if they step outside those boundaries. When you have some “have tos” in your life it builds character and makes the unstructured times more fun.