15 Best Pinterest Boards for Homeschooling

15 Best Pinterest Boards for Homeschooling Resources

Halfway through summer many homeschool families are enjoying a much needed break. Summer has a way of slipping away though, and before you realize it, school is back in session! While you may not be ready to break out the curriculum just yet, it’s never too early to get some ideas for the upcoming year. Red Apple Reading would like to help you get started with these 15 fantastic Pinterest boards for homeschooling resources.

 

  1. Organized Homeschool (Dr. Melanie Wilson) – If you’re looking to get your homeschool organized, you’ll want to check out this board.
  2.  Choosing Curriculum (Curriculum Choice/Tricia Hodges) – This board will help you with the overwhelming task of choosing curriculum.
  3.  Home Education Ideas (Jen Dunlap) – Peruse this board for a plethora of practical homeschooling ideas!
  4.  The Ultimate Homeschool Board (Creator – The Encouraging Homeschool Mom. Various Contributors) – This is truly the ultimate homeschool board! With over 57,000 pins and 191 contributors, you could spend the entire day looking through this board!
  5.  Must-Follow Homeschool Bloggers (Creator – Sarah Avila. Various Contributors) – Great posts from top homeschooling bloggers.
  6.  STEM Education (K12 & Learning Liftoff) – If you’re looking for science, engineering, math, and technology resources, this is the Pinterest board for you.
  7.  Enchanted Homeschooling Mom Blog (Enchanted Homeschooling Mom) – This board is filled with all sorts of goodies – lesson plans, crafts, recipes and more! Best of all – tons of great printables!
  8.  Montessori Homeschool (The Natural Homeschool) – If you are homeschooling according to the Montessori method, you’ll want to check out this one. It’s chock full of wonderful Montessori educational ideas!
  9.  Elementary Lessons, Tips, and Classroom Ideas (No Time for Flashcards) – This board contains a variety of helpful ideas for schooling your little one.
  10.  Homeschooling (Creator – This Reading Mama. Various contributors.) – Over 3,000 pins designed to help homeschoolers on this board. A great variety of contributors with great ideas.
  11.  Charlotte Mason Homeschool (Joy in the Home) – Homeschoolers who teach using the Charlotte Mason method (or who want to) should check out this gem!
  12.  Teachers Pay Teachers (Various Contributors) – It was impossible to pick a single board to focus on from Teachers Pay Teachers, because of the massive variety of contributors! However, as I was researching homeschooling pin boards, it seemed like almost all of them had pins from Teachers Pay Teachers. Don’t be put off by the name – there are many freebies!
  13.  Not Consumed Homeschool (Kim Sorgius. Various Contributors) – This is a good, all-around helpful board for those seeking homeschool encouragement and ideas. With  78 contributors and 18,000 pins, this board provides plenty of ideas!
  14.  Year Round Homeschooling (Misty Leask) – If you prefer a year round homeschool option, you need to follow this board. Contains great year round homeschool products, ideas, and encouragement!
  15.  Nothing But Books for Kids (Red Apple Reading) – Last (but not least) come check out our Pinterest board containing book lists and recommendations for educators and parents. If you are searching for a specific type of book for your kiddo, there’s a good chance you’ll find it here!

Red Apple Reading loves homeschool families! We hope you’ll find these Pinterest boards helpful as you prepare for the school year ahead. We invite you to take a look at all of our Pinterest boards too. You’re sure to come away with several great ideas for your homeschool.

5 Ways to Keep Kids Sharp Over Summer

5 Ways to Keep Your Kid Sharp Over Summer - Red Apple ReadingThe National Summer Learning Association reports that “students typically score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer vacation than they do on the same tests at the beginning of the summer”. How can parents help their child beat the summer slump? Red Apple Reading has 5 suggestions that will help keep your kiddo sharp over summer vacation.

 

 

  1. Keep Reading! – One of the most important things that parents can do to fight the summer slump is to continue to read to and encourage their children to read over break. Make sure that your kiddos have plenty of reading material as well as a designated time set aside each day for reading. Requiring your children to read for 30 minutes to an hour every day doesn’t make you a bad guy. Most of our kids spend the majority of their summer days as they wish; dedicated reading time only takes up a small fraction of the day.
  2. Limit Screen Time – Not all time spent in front of a screen is wasted time. However, when left to their own devices, kids will not always choose the best video games to play or television shows to watch. Parents need to carefully monitor their children’s screen time during the summer to ensure that an excessive amount of time is not being idly spent. After all, the beginning of school is right around the corner and you don’t want your kiddo to experience “culture shock” when she is no longer able to watch television 24/7!
  3. Review Math Facts – After spending just a small portion of my summer reviewing multiplication facts with my son, I feel like I owe a debt of gratitude to his math teacher. How did she keep her sanity while trying to teach 20 kids how to multiply? As frustrating as it can be to review math facts with our kids over the summer months, the payoff for them when school resumes will be huge. Math, like reading, builds on information previously learned. If your child doesn’t master basic math facts, they will struggle with math throughout their school career. Make sure your kid doesn’t start the school year on the wrong foot by reviewing his math facts with him over the summer!
  4. Maintain Structure – Don’t worry! I’m not advocating waking up at 7:00 A.M. during summer vacation and following a rigid schedule throughout the day. Our kids do need a vacation from the rigors of school and summer is the perfect opportunity for such a break. On the other hand, parents shouldn’t throw structure to the wind completely! It’s tempting to let bedtimes slide and routine diminish over the summer months, but a flexible schedule will ensure that your child is getting plenty of rest and spending a good portion of her day productively.
  5. Go on Field Trips – You don’t have to have a school bus and fifty noisy kids to take a field trip. Load up your kiddos (OK, it’s probably still going to be noisy) and head to a local museum, farm, business, historical site or other educational venue. Your kids will enjoy the outing and hopefully learn something new in the process. Make sure to call the place you will be touring ahead of time to see if you need to schedule a time to visit.

With a little effort and creativity you can send your kid back to school sharp and ready to learn. If you want to help your little one improve their reading skills, visit us at Red Apple Reading and try out our online reading program for free!

 

Tackling a Troubling Report Card

Tackling a Troubling Report  Card - Red Apple Reading ExpressThe issuing of the first report card of the school year is a time of celebrating children’s achievements in many households. However, the first report card of the year may also produce anxiety in some parents. Perhaps your child is not progressing academically like you had hoped; or maybe your child’s teacher has expressed a concern about your little one. What can parents do to help a child who has received a troubling report card? Red Apple Reading has 10 suggestions for concerned parents.

  1. Don’t Panic – Even if you feel panicked or overwhelmed, take a deep breath and compose yourself. The last thing your kid needs is an overly emotional response from you.
  2. Schedule a Meeting – The first order of business for the parent whose child has just received a not-so-stellar report card is to schedule a meeting with the child’s teacher. Resist the urge to put this off. Hoping your little one will catch up is an ineffective strategy and probably will not produce the desired results. For guidance on preparing for a teacher conference, read, Make the Most of Your Teacher Conference at Scholastic.com.
  3. Make a Plan – When you meet with your child’s teacher ask specifically what you can do to help your kiddo. Remember, most teachers have your child’s best interest in mind, so be open to their suggestions.
  4. Schedule a Second Meeting – Yes, a second meeting! Once you and the teacher come up with a game plan, suggest meeting again in two or three weeks to evaluate the effectiveness of the arrangement.
  5. Talk to Your Child – Calmly speak with your child about the plan you and the teacher have come up with and ask for his input and suggestions. It is important that your kiddo feels a sense of responsibility and involvement in his academic career.
  6. Implement Plan – A meeting with the teacher will only prove effective if you actually make the discussed changes or adjustments. It is easy to fall back into old habits; but remember the old methods of approaching school work were not helpful to your child.
  7. Make Necessary Adjustments – Most initial plans will need tweaking. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see immediate success. Remember the aim of your second meeting with the teacher is to evaluate the effectiveness of the changes and make the necessary adjustments.
  8. Seek Additional Help – If you are still not satisfied with your child’s progress after implementing the above steps, seek additional help. Perhaps you need to speak with the school principal about supplementary resources that may be available for your kid. Don’t be afraid to advocate for your child. You are their biggest supporter!
  9. Don’t Give up – If your child is struggling in school, don’t expect a quick fix. It often takes a lot of time and hard work on both your and your kiddo’s part before you see consistent progress. Hang in there – you are in this for the long haul!
  10. Be encouraging – Your child needs to know you are on their side. It can be very tempting to nag your kid when they are not doing well academically. Instead of fussing, “catch them doing good” and praise them when you see them working hard. This kind of consistent encouragement is ultimately more effective than negative speech.

A disappointing report card isn’t the end of the world. With you on their side, your child can progress academically and experience success in school!

School-Age Reading Expectations – Reading Essentials #24

School-Age Reading Expectations - Red Apple Reading ExpressSummer is a great time to take an honest look at your child’s reading progress in school and determine if an intervention is needed before the new school year begins. Here’s the last of the Reading Essentials Series…..

As your child learns to read, you may have concerns about whether or not he or she is progressing at a normal rate. After all, you’ve been comparing developmental notes with other parents since your child was rolling over and beginning to crawl, right?

Although every child is different, if your child follows an “average” developmental path, there are a few milestones of reading progression that you can expect to observe in the early grade school years. Remember, though, every child’s path is unique! Milestones are just a general marker of where a child will most likely demonstrate particular skills and abilities.

Kindergarten:
Children will be learning to read independently. They will most likely know all their letters and most letter-sounds, be able to segment, blend, and manipulate phonemes, and will be identifying some sight words. Some children will be reading text at the end of this first year of school.

First and Second Grade:
Independent reading skills progress. Children engage in more sight and whole word identification, and vocabulary increases. Children are able to sound out longer words, or guess meanings from context if words are phonetically irregular. Writing ability expands to complete sentences, including some punctuation.

Third Grade:
Third grade is traditionally the time when children make the switch from “learning to read” to “reading to learn.” Most reading fundamentals are in place at this point, so that children can begin reading more challenging material.

Note! Even when your child reaches an independent reading level, you should maintain your support of his or her continuing development. Keep reading to or with your child, retaining a reading tradition that is emotionally significant for both you and your child. Continue to express and model the importance of reading in your home environment, demonstrate an interest in your child’s homework, and ensure that he or she has the tools to complete assignments with full understanding and a sense of accomplishment. Don’t make the mistake of thinking your child is “done” with learning to read once he or she has the basics down!

4th Grade and 5th Grade
In fourth and fifth grade, children are reading more challenging texts with fluency. They can identify different parts of a word such as the root word, prefix, and suffix, and use this information to decode the meanings of unfamiliar words. They will also learn to re-read when necessary to support their comprehension of text.

6th Grade
By 6th grade, students are expected to have mastered the fundamentals of reading. Teachers spend less time with reading instruction, and students are responsible for gleaning information from reading materials independently. Students are also able to summarize texts, identify the main idea, and locate textual evidence to support an idea or theory about a text.

You can learn more about grade-level expectations for reading by visiting the Common Core State Standards website.

If you feel that your child is falling behind grade-level reading expectations, it’s important to address these concerns sooner rather than later. Early intervention (with a program like Red Apple Reading perhaps!) is key to reversing reading difficulties and ensuring that your child is fully equipped to excel in reading, as well as other subjects which require reading fluency and comprehension (which is all of them!). And summer is a great time to begin these interventions.

Strengthening Auditory Skills for Reading – Reading Essentials #11

Strengthening Auditory Skills for ReadingMy child is struggling with reading skills and you want me to check his ears? Many parents know that vision is important, but hearing is just as essential to a child’s developing reading skills. A child can appear to hear just fine and still have a specific processing skill weakness that will affect his ability to decode words when reading.

Clearly hearing and identifying the differences among spoken sounds is a key component in a child’s reading development. Young readers need to have an understanding of the differences among sounds, for example hearing /a/ and /i/ as distinct vowel sounds, both in isolation and within words.

Children who suffer from frequent ear infections or hearing loss might have a particularly difficult time in identifying different sounds in speech. Some children may also have difficulties with auditory processing, and may not be able to effectively connect the sounds and words they hear with meaning. In addition, they may have difficulty listening to and remembering information that is given orally.

Be sure to check with your doctor if you notice any of these behaviors in your child to help avoid academic problems. Children with hearing challenges will most likely require extra practice with language sounds, but all children can benefit from targeted practice.

The more you can help your child strengthen his or her auditory skills, the stronger her auditory skill base will be when reading. Auditory skills can be fostered in your child when you:

  • Teach and repeat songs, poems, stories and rhymes
  • Clearly pronounce and differentiate letter-sounds
  • Incorporate new words into your conversations
  • Introduce your child to interactive activities that have a sound component either on your computer (like Red Apple Reading), or through other audio media

There are a great many factors that affect a child’s ability to develop reading skills proficiently – this is just one more facet to keep in mind as you and your child venture into the wonderful world of reading.

Have any related stories to share? Our readers would love your input!