Tag Archives: learning

5 Things To Consider Before Homeschooling Your Children

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5 Things To Consider Before Homeschooling Your Children

If you’re thinking of homeschooling your children but you don’t know where to begin, then don’t worry: you have definitely come to the right place. Whether you’re looking to start homeschooling them as soon as they’re old enough or you want to homeschool them from a specific age, you need to be sure you’re making the right choice. Luckily, there are lots of questions you can ask yourself to ensure you’re doing exactly that. From dedicating ample time to them and keeping them motivated, the more questions you’re asking the better. With that in mind, here are five things to consider before homeschooling your kids:

Do you have enough time to dedicate to them?

One of the first things you need to consider is whether or not you have enough time to dedicate to homeschooling, as this is how they are going to get the best education they can get. Whether this means finding a job that works around school hours or creating a schedule that works for everyone, you need to be sure you can dedicate as much time as you possibly can. For a guide to creating a family schedule, you can visit this site here.

Do you have all necessary supplies?

Another important thing you need to consider is whether or not you need to buy any supplies before you get started. From notebooks to colored pens, you need to be sure you have everything you need. For a list of things to buy before starting homeschooling, you can visit this site here.

How will you create lessons?

Once you have worked out a schedule and you’ve stocked up on all of the essentials, you need to think about lesson plans. Whether you’re using state-mandated lesson plans or following something similar, it’s important that you know exactly what you’re going to be covering. If you’re looking for example lesson plans, you can find them here.

How will you keep your kids motivated?

One of the hardest things about homeschooling is keeping your children motivated, especially if they have lots of distractions at home. Whether you’re setting up a rewards system or giving them some new responsibilities, there are lots of different ways to help keep them motivated and on task.

Will you need extra help?

Finally, you need to think about whether or not you need any extra help. Whether that means hiring a nanny or working with an online tutor, you need to be sure you have all of the support you need. In some cases, you may be able to hire a student-teacher to help you once or twice a week.

With lots of important things to consider before homeschooling your children, you have to be sure you’re as prepared as you can possibly be. Use the tips above to help get yourself started!

Featured Image By: Esi Grünhagen from Pixabay

Enjoying Improving

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Enjoying Improving

Hi! During quarantine, I have been enjoying getting to practice all of the different languages that I have been learning. I have much more time to do so and have noticed how much I’ve improved thanks to the almost daily practice sessions. On Duolingo, I am taking French, Spanish, Czech, German, and Italian. I also have been LOVING practicing American Sign Language through YouTube videos.

Recently, I began taking an online ASL Zoom class taught by the fabulous Doctor Jen. Unfortunately, she stopped doing her weekly teaches and I was left high, dry, and disappointed because I have been wanting to learn ASL for forever. Especially since teaching myself a little from books was nothing in comparison to watching someone teach you.

It was important to me to find another source to continue learning ASL with because I was doing way better than I expected. And, luckily, I landed on ten twenty minute lessons of basic sign language from a guy who looks like Steve Martin AND the one guy from Whose Line Is It Anyway? You’ll see what I mean, I promise:

^^^ And, as always, I have no rights to this video!

Although I loved learning ASL under Doctor Jen, it’s nice to continue learning even if it is with someone different. And, thankfully, Doctor Byron Bridges is a close second! Born deaf to deaf parents, Doctor Bridges has degrees from numerous different schools and is dedicated to teaching his craft.

Not only is he brilliant, but it’s impossible to not grin from ear to ear when you see how animated and in he gets to each lesson. If you’re looking for something to help pass the time, why not give a few of these ASL classes a try? You’ll be glad you did!

Where else offers ASL classes online? Which languages do you know? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Positive Changes In Quarantine

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Positive Changes In Quarantine

Hello! Although different businesses are beginning to open in Ohio, my boyfriend and I plan on staying in until we are comfortable going back out. At least once per day, whether I’m at home or at work, being bored is acknowledged. And, yes, it’s a boring time. But, I’ve made some positive changes that I’m proud of during this time indoors so it can’t be all bad, right?

… It’s still pretty bad. But I am happy about the following:

Preparing Food At Home:

My boyfriend, Johnny, and I have been eating at home like nobody’s business. Which is a vast improvement health wise and financially to when we were eating out once or twice a week. Of course, we still treat ourselves to Taco Bell every now and then but we have been doing much better about going grocery shopping, preparing meals, and eating leftovers. I could get used to this!

Worthwhile Hobbies:

At the beginning of the quarantine, you couldn’t visit any webpage without being encouraged to take up a new hobby. And, as redundant as that was, it’s true. During my time at home, I have been practicing all of my languages (French, Czech, German, Spanish, and Italian) and I have also began learning American Sign Language. Not only that, but I have read a few books and wrote a ton.

I have enjoyed being able to practice all of my favorite hobbies as well as picking up a new one and it has made my time in quarantine much more pleasant. Although I am normally pretty good at practicing at least a few times a week, I would like to continue moving with the huge amount of momentum I have gained within the past month.

More Regular Sleep:

During the quarantine, I have gotten myself on a pretty solid sleeping schedule that I am very happy with. My new “bed time” of about ten thirty and then waking up for work at seven has made my body feel so much more… regular. Lol, seriously. I feel well rested, I can wake up for work without hitting the snooze, and I have been falling asleep more quickly. I definitely think that I can keep up with that!

More Financially Responsible:

Although I have succumbed to a few online shopping purchases, I have to say, I have been so much more financially responsible since this quarantine. Of course, there’s nowhere to go to spend money BUT I think all of this time off from impulse buys and drinks at the bar is going to make me think twice about how easily I spend money sometimes. Is it the most fun change? No. But, learning how to say no to things isn’t such a bad thing, either!

Yes, the quarantine is boring. However, there are silver linings to the situation everywhere if you know how to look!

Have you made any positive changes in quarantine? How do you feel about stay at home orders being lifted? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Taking Advantage Of The Internet In Self-Isolation

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Taking Advantage Of The Internet In Self-Isolation

Hello! Thank god for the internet while we’re all hunkered down at home, amiright? Personally, I would be going crazy without my access to social media and all of the entertainment streaming services that Johnny and I have. The internet is a wonderful tool to help fight the boredom blues and, amidst the stay at home orders, it is now being used for a lot more than aimlessly scrolling through Facebook. Bored? Try some of the following:

Take A Class:

Right now, there are so many free courses being offered online from reputable colleges to teachers hosting Zoom lectures. I have even seen that Yale is offering free admission to their course entitled “Happiness” or something of the like. I, myself, have been participating in an online American Sign Language class being taught via Zoom and have been having a blast. It feels great to learn something new and you can’t beat free!

Tour A Museum:

In the mood to travel? How about taking a virtual trip to one of the many museums offering tours online. Play some classical music, enjoy a glass of wine, and get a taste of the finer things as you admire art from around the world. Take a look and get inspired and then, who knows? Maybe you’ll be creating your own masterpieces afterwards.

Watch A Play:

Many theaters and opera houses are offering online streaming of their shows. I have seen advertising from everything from theaters in New York City to the Paris Opera House virtually opening their doors to the bored general public. I would love to watch a few operas in my free time and I am interested in checking out a viewing of the Phantom Of The Opera which I have seen advertised all over Facebook. So cool!

Connect With Friends:

Who says getting online has to be all about learning? Of course, connecting with friends is a given on social media. But, how about scheduling a chat over Zoom? You could play trivia, watch a show all together, have a paint night, or participate in a happy hour drink. Yes, it’s fun to catch up but actually doing an activity together will be a nice reminder of old times and could be a new weekly tradition to look forward to until real life meetings can happen.

Start A Club:

If you are trying to connect with like minded individuals, try hosting a virtual club. You could form a group based around anything from books and writing to movies and art. Schedule a weekly Zoom meeting to discuss the latest few chapters or the cliffhanger in the TV series you’re watching together. Intelligent conversations always perk me up when being plopped in front of the TV is the norm and everyone can benefit from that!

So many resources have made the internet even better than it already is during the coronavirus panic and these ideas are sure to entertain during those times when it feels like there is “nothing to do”. Enjoy!

Have you been doing anything similar to the tips above? How have you been using the internet to your advantage right now? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Learning Something New

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Learning Something New

Hello! As many of you know, I am extremely passionate about learning new languages. It is one of my favorite hobbies and I currently practice French, Spanish, Italian, German, and Czech on Duolingo. This past week, however, I added a sixth language to my arsenal: American Sign Language.

Maybe you remember a few years ago when I was teaching myself ASL through different books. It proved to be a lot harder than I thought and I eventually fell out of it, promising myself I’d take a class at the soonest opportunity. That never happened, either. Until the fateful day I saw an article on Facebook about a Doctor Jennifer Delora teaching ASL for free on Zoom during the stay at home order.

I was instantly intrigued and saved the article for later use and was so happy I did after watching the first Zoom class with Doctor Jen. In the first lesson, we went over the alphabet, numbers one through ten, greetings, pronouns, and other simple signs. It was a thorough lesson and I finished it feeling proud of what I had learned and eager to do the next one.

Not only is Doctor Jen hilarious but she is absolutely brilliant and teaches ASL in a way that anyone of any skill level could learn. She’s down to earth, amazing at what she does, and I felt like I absorbed everything she said like a sponge. You can find Doctor Jen’s videos on YouTube and I highly recommend giving them a try. Heck, even if you just learn the alphabet, that’s a wonderful first step. Catch you all at the next class!

Which languages do you know? Are you learning any new languages? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Activities For Children In Self-Isolation

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Activities For Children In Self-Isolation

Hello! Many of my friends are now home schooling their children and, for the most part, it’s going great. Some are even thinking of making the plunge to home schooling all of the time. But what do you do when your kiddos have a ton of extra energy and assignments due? How about some entertainment? Help eliminate the wiggles and get some extra focus back with the following activities:

Scheduled Recess:

To many students, playing with their friends at recess is the high point of their day. Schedule some play time outside or board games inside if the weather is inclement after lunch. It will bring some familiarity to their schedule and, after a half hour of free play outside, the next math assignment should come a bit easier afterwards!

Pillow Fort Party:

Are your kids hung up on English homework? Build a pillow fort special for them to do their reading in. Permit playing in the fort once the chapters are read and the homework is complete for a special reward. How about a movie night from the comfort of the pillows and blankets once the day is complete? Don’t forget the popcorn. 😀

Kitchen Helpers:

Kids can learn a lot about math and science through helping in the kitchen. Have your little ones help you out the next time you make lunch or bake cookies. Teach them about different measurements and kitchen safety. If it goes over well, decorating the treats once the “lesson” is done makes for a fine reward.

Talk To Them:

If you’re having a hard time keeping your kids focused on the task at hand, just ask them what you can do to help. Maybe that means playing music as they work. Or what about a dance break to a few songs every hour? They might have their own tried and true methods, themselves, so try sticking to them if they work.

Encourage Their Friendships:

I’m sure it’s so hard for all of the kiddos to be away from their friends right now, especially if they have no one around their age at home. Encourage their friendships even in self-isolation. Allow them to FaceTime or chat with a friend on the phone during a break. Even teachers give their students chit chat time so do the same while you’re homeschooling. Just a small break to talk to someone in their peer group could be a welcome change of pace for your child throughout the day.

I tip my cap to all of the parents at home right now with their children because I genuinely don’t know how they’re doing it! Hopefully, these tips will make their current job a little bit easier. 🙂

How is homeschooling your children going? How do you keep them focused during the school day? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Self-Isolation Check In

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Self-Isolation Check In

Hi! Towards the third week of March, Ohio issued a stay home order that put a name to the suggested self-isolation constantly being recommended. This means that the only times you should be out in the general public is if your work is deemed “essential” or you are shopping at an essential business like the grocery store, pharmacy, or are stopping at the gas station.

This hasn’t been too bad, because all of the nonessential businesses and restaurants have already been closed for a while so it’s not like a bunch of fun stuff instantly got taken away. Both my boyfriend and I work in fields that are considered “essential” so we are lucky enough to still be able to go to work. But, trust and believe that as soon as we get off of work, we are hunkered down in my apartment for the rest of the day.

My time in self-isolation has proven to be pretty fruitful. I love spending time with my boyfriend playing video, card, and board games and watching all kinds of good movies and shows. Recently, we got into watching Lego Masters and that has been our latest obsession in quarantine.

I also have made good on my promise to read Doctor Sleep by Stephen King and have been enjoying that greatly. And, as often as I can, I try to practice the languages that I am learning on Duolingo: French, German, Spanish, Italian, and Czech. It makes me feel good to exercise my brain after what feels like nonstop TV time and it also really helps to break up the boredom with something more mentally stimulating.

What I am most excited about during this stay at home order, however, is that the weather is finally nice enough to hike – which is still allowed! I am looking forward to being more active with walks as often as I can because I am in such a slump without being able to go to the skating rink. So, hopefully this will help decrease all of the energy I have in the evening from not doing much of anything for the past month! 😀

How have you been spending time in self-isolation? Did you set any goals for yourself to accomplish? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Passing Time In Self-Isolation Pt. 2

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Passing Time In Self-Isolation Pt. 2

Hello! Crazy times, amiright? And, amid all of this craziness, it is so important to keep yourselves safe and healthy. This means limiting your time in public as much as possible. And, you know what? That’s fine by me! I have been having the best time hunkered down with Johnny (my boyfriend) playing Rock Band, watching Band Of Brothers, and indulging in our new obsession of Magic The Gathering. As much as I enjoy an evening at the bar, a quiet evening in is definitely what I prefer.

I had to laugh at a meme that said something like “when you realize your normal lifestyle is considered a quarantine” because that holds quite a bit of accuracy to me! But, if you’re still struggling to find ways to keep yourself occupied, allow me to suggest the following:

Learn Something New:

Sure, you could spend your time in self-isolation binging TV… And, believe you me, I’ve had my fair share of America’s Next Top Model marathons. But, you could also use this time to learn something new. Take a virtual tour of a museum, which is now being offered through a lot of establishments. Try your hand at a new language. Give a craft on Pinterest a shot. You’ll be amazed at where you end up once the self-isolation recommendation has lifted if you chip away at a new skill every day.

Cook A Great Meal:

I am so thankful that I went grocery shopping a week before all of the closings started happening because my pantry is fully stocked. And, since going out for dinner isn’t possible right now, I have enjoyed cooking in my kitchen every day. I love making breakfast over the weekend for my boyfriend and revel in when I can have dinner ready for him when he gets home. It is never not satisfying to me to lay out a meal that I made.

Open up a recipe book and give a few new ones a go, cook an old favorite, or bake and decorate a cake. An afternoon helping mom or dad bake cookies always goes down well for the little ones, too!

Exercise:

Unfortunately, all of the skating rinks in my neck of the woods are closed so I cannot have my weekly skate sesh. This sucks but it also doesn’t mean that I can’t still be active, which is so crucial when you’re stuck at home and being more sedentary. Do some crunches during your TV time or lift some weights. And, although community hangs are frowned upon – going out for a brisk hike or walk around the neighborhood isn’t.

Rearrange/Redecorate:

If you’re beginning to feel the effects of cabin fever, try rearranging your home or the room that you spend the most time in. Switching out knick knacks, changing the position of the couch, or reorganizing your book or movie shelves can breathe a whole new life into a space. And, if you’re on the hunt for something brand new, order online and make sure you love it since you’re going to be seeing a lot of it for a while. 😉

Although things feel scary right now don’t let it get in the way of enjoying yourself as you try out the ideas above!

How has the coronavirus effected you? What have you been doing to stay occupied? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Making Learning Fun

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Making Learning Fun

Young kids love to learn. They are like sponges, soaking up any knowledge that they are offered. They are keen to learn and to practice new skills. Then, as they get older, things start to change. They might start to rebel against the idea of learning, avoiding studying, and complain about active learning. They might moan about going to school or hate the idea of sitting down to do their homework. As parents, we’re in a unique position to show them that learning can always be fun. That enjoyment of education isn’t something that gets left behind when school learning becomes more academically focused. Here are some of the things that you could try.

Create Puzzles:

Creating puzzles is a really easy way to learn but also to reinforce knowledge and help with knowledge retention. Use WordMint to create word searches and crosswords around subjects that they are studying or otherwise interested in. Alternatively, let them create puzzles, using their own knowledge, for you to complete. They’ll love being the teacher for a change.

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Pixabay Image

Use Your Imagination:

Very young children learn a lot through pretend play. They learn how a kitchen works by pretending to cook for you. They learn about dinosaurs by pretending to explore a Jurassic world. Imaginative play can still be a valuable learning tool for older children, but you might want to bring in some tools, such as Lego, to help them to immerse themselves in a pretend world.

Manipulate Objects:

Playing with LEGO, building a fort, or even learning how to use a microscope are all fun ways to encourage learning by doing. Tactile play helps hone children’s social, emotional, and cognitive skills all while having fun! What’s great about these strategies is that they can be applied across various subjects and can be designed in many different ways so your options are limitless!

Read Stories:

Fiction is a great way to learn more about different worlds, times, and ways of life. Find stories set in times or places that they are learning about. Even big blockbuster films about topics of study can be an effective way to learn, as long as you take the time to sort fact from fiction and clue them in.

Make a Mess:

Messy play can be a great way to learn. Experiment with basic chemistry, use play-doh to craft volcanoes or mountain ranges. Paint seas and sea life. Getting messy is such fun, get some supplies, enjoy crafting, creating, and building together. Just try not to get stressed out about the mess!

Talk About What You’ve Seen:

Encourage learning by talking about what you have seen and done. Don’t just build a model or watch a film and then leave it at that. Speak about what you’ve seen or experienced. Encourage your child to ask questions and ask them your own. Spend time researching anything that they want to know more about and enjoy open debate.

Get Outdoors:

Getting outdoors is a great way to learn more about nature and the world around us and inspire conversation. Give them the freedom to explore and let them lead you on a trek through your local parks.

Learning never has to be boring. Use the tips above and watch your child’s interest in education grow!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Making The Most Of Your Graduate Studies

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Making The Most Of Your Graduate Studies

Deciding to take on postgraduate education can be one of the best decisions that you make. It opens up new opportunities for you, and could increase your employability and perhaps your salary too. As you’re dedicating time and money to your graduate studies, you will want to make the most of them by doing the following:

Manage Your Time Well:

It’s ultimately up to you to make the most of your studies. You will get back what you put in, so you need to be prepared to put in the hard work. Managing your time is one of the most important things, especially if you’re working as you study.

Start Opening Doors:

If you haven’t already begun to make the right connections during your undergraduate years, your grad studies are the perfect time to start opening doors for yourself. Spend some time networking and getting to know people who can help you find the right opportunities.

Get Work-related Experience:

Getting out into the world of work with solid qualifications but no real-world experience will be tough. Try to use some of your time to gain valuable work experience or focus on projects which will be useful to highlight when you’re looking for work.

Choose the Right Place to Study:

Before you even start your studies, choosing the right place to study will ensure you get the most out of it. There are many things to consider, including the method of study, location, qualification, and other important factors that will help you to choose correctly.

Check out more tips on the infographic below and happy studying!


Infographic Design By Northeastern University