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Monday, June 25, 2012

Lazy summer days!

English: Cumulus humilis clouds in the foregro... (Photo credit: Wikipedia)Countdown to the end of this week, and some warmer summer days are slowly lulling my brain into soft fluffy clouds.  Zero brain, and only fluff balls remaining.

 I have let down my guard and starting dreaming about reading, gardening, lazing and reading:) 

Here are some of my possible reads this summer from our E library!

1.  Start with Why- Simon Sinek.  Greg Bitgood recommended this one so I am hoping this will make a great book club read.

2.  The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

3.  Switch.  How to change when change is hard.  Chip Heath.

4.  Total Truth.  Liberating Christianity from its cultural captivity.  Nancy Pearcey. 

5.  Out of our Minds.  Learning to be creative.  Ken Robinson.

6.  All is Grace.  A Ragamuffin Memoir.  Brennan Manning.

If you or your friends are interested in reading and commenting in our Ning Bookworms club feel free to join in the literary sharing, and bring your favourite author to the fore!  From Austen to Dickens,  I love to glean more from many of my literary friends.  Or join our Think Book club and come and learn how thinking is not as easy as you thought:)

Blessings to you for a safe, happy and Christ filled summer with your families!
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Saturday, June 16, 2012

Instilling a Love of Learning with Homeschooling

'Kids', oil painting by Louis Pohl'Kids', oil painting by Louis Pohl (Photo credit: Wikipedia)As the year winds to an end we often wonder if the pivotal points in our student's learning correspond to what we hope they need and want to learn.  Did we somehow tie in the learning outcomes to meet our student's learning style, and passions, or interests?  We know from reading The Element that true learning should stem from the heart or passion of a child.  But how do we know where our children's passions, or God given gifts begin?  At 5 or 6 years old we cannot really get a glimpse of our future child prodigy, or can we?  Do our kids really LOVE what they are doing? 

Here are a few of some of our students' learning styles, or gifts that help meet the goals.

Observation- The child who loveees to seriously ENGAGE in the world
Having watched my son over the last 15 years I think that many of his interests have stemmed from his personality.  More of a quiet and studious child with artistic leanings, he would often linger way longer on one particular topic than want to explore things superficially.  He voraciously explored non fiction books, and was eager to share his facts at every dinner setting!  We had a project based learning student, who loved the whole intrinsic  excitement and anticipation of learning something NEW and RELEVANT.  Had he been the child who drifted from thought to thought and got bored easily, this would not have been the type of learning he needed.  Research , artistic pursuits, musical meanders, book clubs, directing, teaching, mentoring, collecting with hobbies, building via virtual worlds; anything that allows this student to share their love of input and learning will ignite the passion.

Practice- The child who loveeees to TALK
Do you have a student who loves to practice things or gets a kick out of recall?  I have a few students who just love to practice memorizing their bible verses and get a huge kick from reciting.  These students love any kind of oral learning, and sharing via video, podcast, dramatic performance, teaching their siblings or debating class.  I have one student in grade 1 who started his own bible series on Youtube.   Firing them up to share orally is what makes them tick!

Chronological-  The Child who loveees ORDER
Don't you just love those kids who have to have everything in the right order. If you do things in the wrong order their whole world is thrown upside down!  Our left brained students who take to math and science like ducks to the water, fit this criteria.  These students also do well with project based learning, teaching their siblings, having their own chemistry lab, working from textbooks, creating their own textbooks, helping organize a class, building projects, cooking!. 

Moving- The child who loveeees to use their whole BODY
Do you have a student who just cannot keep still whilst learning?  This child loves being engaged physically with his learning.  Involving this student in sports or dance, or any kind of kinesthetic movement will help him understand the world in his own terms.  I love how Sir Ken shares in The Element, about the student who needed to do ballet if she was going to learn anything.  In a classroom she would not come alive and learning was non existent.  But on the dance floor her passions were ignited; movement and learning intertwined.  These kids love to learn with their hands, feet and whole body.  Sculpture, music lessons, baking, building projects, drama, computer classes, robotics, agriculture or conservation,  make learning happen for this kind of student.

Is it not AMAZING blessing that we have the perfect place to explore our students' gifts in the home school environment.  We have the perfect opportunity to encourage and disciple our young ones to truly understand their gifts.  Using 21 century tools that we have at our command we can lead them in ways that will glorify God.

I know I have not covered all the gifts here.  What gifts do your students have that help them explore their world uniquely and passionately?  What is your passion in life?

If you would like to listen to Sir Ken sharing on passion in education check out this video!

Many Blessings
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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Start with Why?

Summer reading is here and it is time to get our brains limber again and take our reading experience one step further.  Our superintendent Greg Bitgood is encouraging HCS leaders on his 180 reads podcast to read Start with Why How Great Leaders inspire Action.  Here is a video by Simon Sinek on the reason why some organisations thrive?  Interesting stuff, because if we believe who we believe and we all know who that is, then we are going in the right direction:) I am also going to re read a great read The Long Walk to Freedom on Nelson Mandela, as part of my summer reading, along with Think by John Piper.  I hope to read some summer lighter fare.  Anyone have a good laugh for me?  I love to laugh.

Blessings! PS Come and join us in our book club on our ning! Let me know if you need an invite? We would love to share with you!