With much of today’s new tools and resources and teaching/learning techniques focusing on project based learning, one might be left to question where do books fit in? How do we take literature and textbooks and incorporate them into this new teaching modality.

Reading is the sister to thinking. But, as is often true, these sisters are very different. Reading is an active learning method, as opposed to listening, which is a passive learning method. (Extrovert/Introvert)

To enhance reading literacy, students should be encouraged to also be physically engaged. Reading sections out loud and gesturing are ways to engage physically. This creates an active component for the visual learner and an activity for the kinesthetic learner. The eye movement required by reading also creates subtle but active participation as you track words, turn the pages,or if you read digitally, click the mouse or flip the pages. Carrying a storyline in short-term memory is a part of the passive engagement of literacy learning.

Reading gets the creative learning juices flowing in a student’s brain. While they read, it would be a missed integrated education opportunity not to take advantage of engaging in writing too. A simple strategy is to read with a pen in hand. As the student reads, he or she should make notes in the margins, underline, circle and highlight.

What? Write in the book? Well, we all probably remember purchasing used college textbooks that were highlighted and had notes in the margins. Often they actually helped us study, making writing in books a great idea! However, if you are a purist, get a notebook and write in that. E-book reading allows you to highlight text with a slide of the finger and make note of important concepts with just the tap of a finger!

However you choose take notes, and whatever tools and resources you choose to utilize, writing the key concepts and any questions, new words, supporting details, etc. creates another active literacy learning opportunity.

Learning to identify key concepts while they read is the number one literacy learning skill. Textbook authors tend to do that for us by providing topic headings and subheadings. However, much of literature doesn’t give these clues and that is where the passive thinking brain comes in.

Have you heard of the term “residue of thinking?” According to a study done at the University of Virginia, the residue of thinking is memory. This study says that learning to activate memory with small clues is easier when we engage more of our senses; creating a very personal form of integrated learning! Studies have shown that chewing gum or nibbling on a snack, fragrances in the air, soft classical instrumental music in the background, and highlighters in a variety of colors — key concepts would be one color, supporting concepts and new words would be other colors — are all ways to enhance memory.

Along with reading for comprehension, learn to question what you are reading. Is it true or is it biased? What supporting documentation does it need? What else needs to be learned to determine the validity of the concept? Write these questions and thoughts down too. Some of them may be answered in the text, others might lead to your next book!

If you are teaching literacy learning make sure your students write a short descriptive paragraph or two about what was the main concept, whether or not they agree with the ideas, and what new ways of thinking did the text inspire. Vocabulary words should also be looked up and incorporated in to memory by using them at least 3 times each in daily speech.

The ability to use integrated education and project based teaching techniques that provide many of the tools and resources that made homeschooling a viable and successful education choice are being explored at an unprecedented rate. Regardless of your choice for your child’s education, enhanced literacy learning should be a part of your tools and resources and their day.


What does a typical day look like for a homeschooling family? In many ways, it is the same as anybody else’s day. Parents go to work, chores are done around the house (you hope), and kids do their homework, either with or without their parents’ help. However, in many ways the day is very, very different for the homeschooling parent.

The Differences

The main difference is that the child (or children, but let’s work with just one), does not need to get out of bed, rush to get dressed, bolt down a breakfast and then catch the bus. The parent is not left alone for hours, and the child is not attending a class somewhere else. The parent does not have to guess or even worry about what is going on with their child because the child is right there.

This difference leads to many other differences. The family may go on a field trip, with the parent learning right beside the child. The child’s craftwork can be shown to the parent immediately and even considered for a fair or craft show. The questions of the student can be answered when they arise, with any needed tutoring provided quickly and effectively. Communications are quick, loving, and productive.

A Possible Schedule

Let us work through an ordinary day in homeschooling, seeing what is done and how long it takes. A key fact to remember is that all times are subject to change as determined by either the teacher/parent or the child.

Many homeschoolers start their lessons in the morning, but notice that there is no bus ride, homeroom, or assembly. Therefore, the child can take time to dress, to eat, and to get comfortable. Lessons start when the child and the parent are ready to start, not at some administratively determined timeslot.

A typical homeschool day covers four or five subjects. Each lesson is individually created for the child, with input from both the parent and the child. Some lessons will take a short period of time, say 30 minutes, and some will take longer, up to hours. Lessons will include reading, writing, mathematics, art, and other activities as needed and desired.

If we take an average of an hour per lesson, the student is done in the early afternoon. Lunch is handled when there is a break between lessons, and after the lessons are done the child is free to run and play without a time limit. The child can control the amount of time needed, while the parent sets the target results.

On other days, there are field trips, library trips, and other outside activities. The child can participate in sports, organizations, and other outside activities without fear or guilt in missing classes. The teacher knows the child will be able to do special activities without having to make arrangements with third parties, and the administrative paperwork is kept to a bare minimum, taking almost no time at all during the normal day.

I guess the main point is that the day is both a lot less structured and a lot more productive than is possible in a school. The time can be structured according to the needs of the student, not the needs of somebody else. The material can be covered as many times as needed and extra activities are welcomed, not treated as a burden.

In short, the child can learn as an individual, with an individualized schedule. There is no typical day, just the day of the child. Learning as it should be.


Are you reluctant of enrolling your child into a public school because you have heard of bad stories and reports of what the kids there go through? How about giving your child an education from your home? In this article I will list three benefits of homeschooling your children. Keep reading to learn more!

Benefits Of Homeschooling – You Protect Your Child From Negative Exposure

When your child learns from home, you are able to protect your child from a lot of negative exposure that children usually go through in the public school systems. Research has shown us that a lot of violence can happen in public schools. Fights can break out there. Not only that, but there is a lot of peer pressure and many kids end up picking up bad habits such as joining gangs, dealing drugs, smoking weed and more. If you homeschool your child, he or she will not be exposed to such environments. Now besides all the negative peer influences, the public education system may sometimes be detrimental to the students. I will elaborate on how that is so in the next paragraph.

Benefits Of Homeschooling – Your Have More Control Over Your Child’s Learning Process

When your child takes lessons from home, you control how your child learns, and what he or she learns. The public education system can be quite rigid in that it does not pick out each student’s preferred way of learning, and hence, not all students will be able to learn well or score well in their examination. You need to know that different children have different preferred learning styles, and it is important that you know your child’s preferred learning style. Some children learn better through getting hands on experience, others can pick up concepts through auditory learning, and there are still others who learn better visually. Find out how your child learns better and tweak your homeschooling curriculum to suit that learning style.

Benefits Of Homeschooling – Your Children Could Grow Up To Be Better Than Those Who Went To Public School

Scientific research has also shown that children who have been homeschooled grow up to be more street-smart than those who graduated from public school. Maybe this is because the students in public school are more focused on getting good results that they are more logical and theoretical, whereas those who were homeschooled enjoyed their learning process and were able to spend more time with their parents while they were growing up.


It’s common knowledge that children who enjoy reading and take the time to read outside of school go on to achieve greater academic success than their non reading peers. However, current trends are proving to be unsettling for advocates of extra curricular reading. With libraries across the country under the threat of closure and children increasingly turning to video games for their after school entertainment, it seems that fewer and fewer children are developing strong reading habits. So what can concerned parents do to encourage their children to read outside of school and help arrest this decline in reading levels?

One key thing that parents can do is act as good ‘reading role models’. Experts have suggested that the mere experience of seeing parents reading makes it more likely that young children will want to pick up a book. Parents should also take the time to read with children from a young age, both reading to them and having them read to you. This demonstrates strong parental investment in reading to the child, helping to build early enthusiasm and interest that acts as a foundation for a child’s independent reading.

Another measure that parents can take is to ensure that children have good access to new reading materials. This can take many forms. If you have access to a library nearby, it’s a good idea to give children their own library card and take them on regular trips to the library to borrow new books. Parents can also take steps to make sure that their house is well stocked with books, allowing parents to guide children’s reading through recommendations, while also allowing them to explore their own interests. Kids should also have space for their own books in their rooms, as a personal collection of books enhances feelings of ownership and investment in the reading experience.

But it’s not all about books, of course. Having a daily newspaper lying round the house can be a good way to introduce casual reading into a child’s life, while a well stocked rack of magazines can help kids to explore new interests. Purchasing a magazine subscription for a child can also help to increase the sense of excitement around reading, as children are often thrilled by a new issue coming through the post every month, especially if it has their name on it.

Overall, the key to encouraging children to read outside of school is not to make it feel like a chore or even a punishment. Forcing children to read at specified times of the day is unlikely to help kids enjoy their reading, while denying kids access to other forms of entertainment such as TV and video games will make reading seem punitive. Successful encouragement is all about providing a good example while making sure that kids have ready access to appropriate reading resources. Parents have a vital, guiding role in the early stages of a child’s reading life, so take active steps to nourish it and see your kids benefit from their reading in other areas of their life.


Many parents who consider homeschooling are concerned with their own ability to teach their children. They feel that they are not trained as a teacher, or they do not have enough education, or that they will in some way make a mistake and permanently damage their child. Having homeschooled all three of my children, I am here to convince you that you can teach your child if that is what you want.

Legalities

Let’s first look at some legal issues. Each state has its own requirements for allowing parents to homeschool their children, but there are several common legal requirements. Again, you need to research your particular state.

First, you typically do not have to be a licensed professional teacher to homeschool your child. This means that you do not have to take any courses in education or child development if you do not want to. There are many resources available to you both online and at your library which can tell you everything you will need to create a good curriculum for your child, down to the individual daily lesson plan. If you still feel that you need help doing this, there are full curriculums you can buy that will do this for you.

Second, the usual requirement for parents to homeschool is a high-school diploma. As long as one of the parents has a high-school diploma, you are legally able to homeschool your child. There is typically no requirement for a college degree, and certainly no requirement of a specific college degree. Some states are satisfied if one of the parents has a GED, but some states do not accept a GED as an adequate substitute. Again, look into the requirements for your state.

Finally, you can homeschool your child for any reason you want. You do not have to claim any particular religious affiliation or anything else of that nature. You do not have to tell the state why you are homeschooling, only that you are. If you want to say more, certainly you can do so, but there is no requirement that you do.

Knowing Enough

While most parents are legally able to homeschool their children, many parents feel that they are inadequately prepared to do so. Maybe they were not top-notch students, or it has been a long time since they were in school, or some other concern. For whatever reason, parents often feel they simply do not know enough to teach their children.

My response to this has two pieces. First, I want to reassure you that you DO know enough to teach your child, particularly in the early grades. Second, when we started to reach areas where the parents did not already know what had to be taught, the process of learning WITH the child became an exhilarating and bonding process, bringing our family closer together. Let me explain both points.

First, when a child is starting school, they are learning material that you do know. Well into middle school, the material the child is learning is something that is commonly understood by adults. What you need more than academic learning is patience, understanding, and love for your child. Teaching someone to read, to handle arithmetic, and to write understandable sentences is not a question of learning but a question of helping your child. Even elementary science can be easily acquired by the parent from free resources, as well has the necessary history and other subjects.

Only after the child has become a more advanced student will there be a potential lack of learning on the part of the parent. By this point, however, you have developed a sense of trust and rapport with your child well beyond what is normal, so now you and your child can start learning together. Again, there is a wealth of information available to you from free resources, both online and in person. You can go to museums together, conventions together, and do research together. You will perform experiments where neither you nor your child knows what is going to happen until you complete the experiment. This co-learning is incredibly satisfying, and it builds an almost unbreakable bond between you and your child.

Do not let your uncertainty and doubt hold you back from homeschooling. If you have the desire to teach your child yourself, let yourself be guided by your hope and your love rather than your fears. Your child will benefit from your interaction, you will benefit from the strengthening of your family, and everyone will learn to love learning since it was done together.


You may be thinking about home schooling your kids for one reason or another. Children often face overcrowded classrooms and dangers such as drugs and violence in public schools. Many parents believe they have the right to decide what their children should be learning, and home schooling allows them to have this control. Yet home schooling is a big decision, and one that requires you to be well informed about what you’ll have to do.

Because of the laws and regulations that control home schooling, it’s imperative that you read them carefully and make sure you can comply. Home schooling is controlled by each state in America, so the laws for one state won’t be the same as another state. It wasn’t that long ago when it was very hard to home school your children, and it was even illegal in some states. Nowadays, all this has changed and you can legally home school your child anywhere. Still, you want to make sure that you’re fully compliant with the laws so you don’t risk problems with authorities, which could mean your kids would be forced to return to public schools. There won’t be any problems if you read, follow, and understand the regulations completely. In a lot of areas, parents who home school have formed groups. See if there is one in your area and join it, if possible. These other parents can be a great source of information and can answer your questions.

Strict laws are enforced in many states, making testing a requirement even though you’re homeschooling your own kids. Formal testing must be done even if state laws do not require it so that you can assess your child’s progress as you teach them. Most people that do homeschooling work hand-in-hand with the school administration under an umbrella program that helps them fulfill state standards. In some states, it’s actually a legal requirement that parents work with such a program. If you want to remain independent, or work with the school, having a choice like this depends upon the state in which you reside. The reason why most parents like this type of program is that the curriculum is already done for them and they simply have to teach their kids. There is little freedom in such a situation, however, which is something you need to consider if it is an option. If you do have a choice, make a choice that complies with what you think is right.

If your child shows an aptitude for art, chess or a certain sport, you may want to bring him or her to a class or teacher to help develop that ability. Just make sure that you look into resources and tools to help fill in any gaps when you aren’t equipped to teach in a certain area.

You need to get a handle on time management strategies if you are going to be a home school parent. When you and your kids gather for the beginning of your schooling on Monday morning, it may appear that time is not a constraint. However, by Friday afternoon it may become clear that you were not able to complete all the tasks set out for that week. One obstacle will be your other responsibilities. Home teaching is not a part-time effort, but requires a full-time commitment. The best way to treat home schooling is to structure the day as much as possible, similar to a regular school. The first thing on your time schedule should be when “school” starts and when it ends. True, the children aren’t leaving the house, but they need to know when to be at their appointed places and ready for school. In some ways, the hardest part about home schooling is starting out with it. In order to successfully establish a home school, your concept of school as a place you send your children to for someone else to teach will have to change, and you must be prepared for the challenges that will crop up. Once you and your family have become comfortable with whatever form of home schooling you are using, you will realize that it was the¬†correct decision to make and you will be pleased that your children are receiving their education under healthy and happy conditions.