How to Help Your Child Prepare for the SAT

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High school juniors across the country are preparing to take the SAT in the next few weeks. At this point, you may be wondering what you could possibly do to improve your score.

How to Help Your Child Prepare for the SAT

Here are some steps to follow in the next few weeks to make the most of the remaining time.

14 Days Out — Get a current snapshot of your skills

If you haven’t already, take an SAT practice test. Your score and skills analysis will give you a clear starting point for planning. Organize a study plan with these steps:

  • Identify your good areas that you want to make great. Every student has a strong suit; figure that out and optimize it.
  • Identify the areas that need the greatest improvement, and, here’s the key: find the few highest-impact skills in those areas that will produce the biggest impact. Focus on those high-impact skills.
  • Prepare a detailed study schedule that charts your expected personal growth over the next two weeks, including specific goals for your areas of focus.

A well-trained tutor can help use the practice test data to focus your efforts so you can improve during the time that remains.

10 Days Out — Work on time management

Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with some of the test construct and high-impact skills, you need to start to think about time management. How are you breaking up your time for the reading passages and questions? How much time are you spending on the easy and medium math questions versus the hard questions? These nuanced time-management decisions can have a big impact on performance.

7 Days Out — Take another practice test and assess progress

At this point, take another practice test. Assess your growth in your scores and skills. What has grown? What hasn’t? Now, target the skills that need the most attention and focus there for the remaining days.

1 Day Out – Summarize & Review

With the end in sight, it’s time to consolidate your lessons learned onto one sheet. What high-impact skills are most important for you? What grammar rules, math formulae, reading strategies are the most helpful? And what time management approaches optimize your performance best? Write these down for review and bring them along in the car ride on test day morning. And be confident! The key is that you have insight into your own personal performance and you know how to personalize your own test-taking approach to meet your specific needs. That’s the key to success.

About Matthew Pietrafetta
Matthew Pietrafetta, Ph.D. is the founder and CEO of the test preparation company Academic Approach.

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5 Fun Ways to Teach Fractions

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Learning about fractions is an integral part of any middle school curriculum. Teaching these concepts can be tough, but these fun ways to teach fractions can make the probability of learning so much stronger! (I love Math puns.)

1. Use Fraction Manipulatives

Using fraction strips can help students see the processes rather than just know the math. The build it, draw it, write it model allows students to use fraction strips (small pieces of paper with fractions listed that students can build and put together to show the different operations) to actively model and show what they learn with their class. Students build the fractions with their strips, draw it out on paper, then write out the equations.

See it in action on Teaching Channel. Here’s a step-by-step lesson on using Fraction Strips with Teaching Mahollitz. Her practices are from an elementary classroom but definitely work with middle school students!

2. Break out the Dominoes

Dominoes are a perfect way to bring games and math together! Hold the dominoes vertically (the top number is the numerator; the bottom number is the denominator) and have students place the numbers on a number line in order. Play with both improper and proper fractions, or you can make sure the smaller number is on top to just focus on proper fractions. Learn more about number lines and fractions at Scholastic.com.

Working on operations? Line up two dominoes vertically and choose an operation. Have students write out and verbally explain their process!

3. Get Cookin’!

Make fractions relevant by showing practical applications outside the curriculum. Use different measuring tools and bake some cookies! Double recipes to teach multiplication with fractions. Talk about proportions and ratios by making a salad with several different kinds of fruit. Don’t have the facilities and supplies for kitchen activities? Check out this idea from Girl Tech and convert your favorite recipes based on the number of people who will partake!

4. Musical Fractions

Your students will be sure to think the glass is half full of fun with this fraction activity! (Well, it may be a 1/4 or 2/3. . .). First, fill up glasses with different fractions of water. Next, add some food coloring for fun. This also lets the students know it is the amount (fraction) of water in the glass (not the color) that makes the difference in the pitch when they hear the different sounds made when tapping the glasses with spoons! Let students write their own melodies by writing out the fractions on a piece of paper. Learn more about this and other magical math activities at weareteachers.com.

5. Math Mosaics

Build math mosaics with fractions of different colors. Teachers can provide the different challenges (1/4 of the design is blue, 1/4 yellow, 1/2 red). This activity makes for prime differentiation as teachers can challenge students with more difficult patterns or have the students come up with their own challenge. Designs can be completed with markers or crowns on grids or with pieces of tissue or construction paper. The possibilities are endless! See more ideas for math mosaics at Scholastic.com.

These hands-on activities can simplify the process of teaching fractions, and make it more fun!

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Overcoming Common Homeschool Challenges

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There are many challenges that can come when you make the decision to home school your children. From dealing with state laws, to choosing a curriculum, and finding ways to socialize your children, the challenges are many but with a little planning, thought, and prayer, are easily overcome.

Below are some of the challenges you may face and a few tips of how to address them.

Finding Socializing Opportunities

This is a common concern of families who are transitioning from public schools to homeschool or just deciding to homeschool from the start. It is a common and incorrect stereotype that homeschool children are socially awkward and under socialized. That is an easy problem to avoid!

You can easily find local groups and opportunities to provide social experiences for your child without the concerns that come from socializing at a public school level. Here are a few to consider:

  • Sports Teams at Recreational Department or YMCA – Enroll your children into the community sports programs, local dance groups, or other team based activities.
  • Homeschool Groups – Check with local parents, Facebook groups, or friends to find a homeschool group in your area. Or, if there isn’t a homeschool group you could create one yourself.
  • Local Library – most local libraries have story times for younger children, arts and crafts events, and other such group based activities that are usually free to participate in.
  • Church and Neighborhood – Create play dates with families that you know and trust either from your neighborhood or church groups.

Choosing the Correct Curriculum

There are so many curriculum options available that it can often be overwhelming! It can also get quite pricey, especially if you are unsure if the curriculum you are choosing will be the right fit for your family. Here are a few ideas to help in choosing curriculum for your home school:

  • Check with Other Parents – Ask other parents either that you know or online to see which curriculum worked best for them and why. Getting reviews from others is a great way to decide if a certain curriculum would work best for your children.
  • Purchase Used Items – When you think you’ve found the right fit, look on eBay, homeschool supply for sale groups on Facebook, and other classified based sites to purchase items used for a fraction of the price. Not only will this save you money, but if you learn the curriculum isn’t best for your children, you have less money invested.
  • Find Monthly Subscription Services – Many homeschool classes and curriculum have a monthly subscription style service available. This format allows you to pay a smaller amount each month to access online lessons and materials. This way if you decide it isn’t a good fit, you can simply cancel the subscription.

Dealing with Power Struggles

A challenge with homeschool that is often unconsidered is the power struggles between you and your children. Especially if your children are transitioning from public school to homeschool, it can be difficult to make that move from being their parent to also being their full time teacher.

Though these struggles may be something you have to address on a “as they come” type basis, here are a few tips that may help to keep those issues at bay.

  • Set Up an Incentive Program – Create a rewards system that will help to create incentive for your child to willingly complete their work. You can look for ideas online or create a chore chart type system that works for your child.
  • Mix It Up – There is a chance that a daily routine will become boring and monotonous for your children creating antsy and distracted homeschool days. Try mixing up your schedule to add in an additional recess or play time to break of the monotony of a school day.
  • Create Hands On Experiences – One of the joys of homeschool is being able to control the classroom environment. Keep your child interest in his or her studies by creating fun and exciting hands on activities, such as science projects, arts and crafts, cooking lessons, and more.

Concerns from Extended Family and Friends

You most likely will receive a mixture of response when your friends and extended family learn of your decision to homeschool your children. If your social circles are completely supportive of your decision, count yourself lucky! Most likely you will encounter people who are concerned about your decision to homeschool.

Make sure to simply hold your ground and let them know that you are confident in your decision. The truth is that you, your spouse, and your children are the only ones entitled to an opinion on their education. If you feel a need to calm others’ concerns, simply let them know why you reached that decision and even a synopsis of your homeschool plans.

Ultimately, though there will be challenges associated with homesechooling your children, the rewards and joys of doing so will far outweigh the struggles. So, when challenges present themselves, take a deep breath, hug your little ones, and know that you are doing an incredible job.

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31 Writing Prompts for Teens

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You hear it all the time. The way to get better at writing is to just do it. . .write! What happens when the words don’t flow? You can sit there waiting for divine inspiration to strike from the muses, or you can have writing prompts ready at your disposal to help you fight so-called “writer’s block”. Here are 31+ prompts (one a day and then some for our short months) to kickstart your writing!

31 Writing Prompts for Teens

If you’re struggling to get your teenager into creative writing, try letting him or her pick from this list of writing prompts!

1. Make a List. . .or 10

This activity can serve as brainstorming for future writing or work as a writing tool itself. Make a list of all the things you love (or hate), favorite books, inspirational quotes, story ideas, character names, and more. The lists literally can go on and on!

2. Write an unsent letter.

Write a letter to a friend, teacher, parent, crush, or hero with the words you want to say but aren’t ready (or maybe shouldn’t) put out there.

3. You are arrested for a crime you didn’t commit in a case of mistaken identity. Write about what ensues.

4. Write about your favorite physical feature (or your least favorite).

5. If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

6. Write a story using the strongest character traits of your family members in the main characters of your story. Feel free to switch them up. (i.e. if mom is super organized, make the daughter super organized in the story)

7. Write about your first kiss (or the one that hasn’t happened yet).

8. Take a dabble into fan fiction. Write a story from the perspective of a character in your favorite TV show, movie, or novel.

9. List all the things you love about yourself. Write a poem based on that list.

10. Think about the last time you had a good cry. Write down how you felt in lyric (song) form.

11. Create a new invention that fulfills a need in your life. Write up the plans for your new idea.

12. Make a list of questions you’ve always wanted to know the answers to but are too afraid to ask.

13. Think of your first memory from your childhood. Write about it from the point of view of a child at that age.

14. You just found a bag of money with a note. It simply says, “Pay it forward.” What do you do?

15. Make a list of random acts of kindness you can complete. Do one of them.

16. Write about an embarrassing moment you had but from the perspective of someone who witnessed it.

17. Think about an adult in your life that you admire. Write a letter from them to you with the advice you think they would give you about life.

18. Create your own ice cream flavor based on your personality. Write a description/recipe.

19. Write about a problem in the world and how you could fix it with creative (even impossible) means.

20. Someone tells you that teenagers are lazy. Write your response proving them wrong.

21. Make a list of your favorite songs. Write a parody for one of the songs related to your own life.

22. Go on Instagram (or other social media). Write a story or poem based on the first image that you see.

23. Observe people at a mall, park, or another public place. Write a character sketch based on a stranger that you see.

24. Convince the government that your birthday should be a national holiday.

25. Write about your dream vacation on a limitless budget.

26. You’re the star of your own reality show. What is about? What’s it called? Write the first episode.

27. You’re snowed in for a week with your best friend and no parents. What happens?

28. Please really is the magic word. Every time you say “please”, something amazing happens. Write a story about what happens when you discover this for the first time.

29. Pick a random book in your collection. Open to a random page. The first sentence is the first sentence of your story.

30. Write a story with a few words and phrases in a different language. (i.e. hello, love, goodbye, fear).

31. Write about your perfect day.

If you breeze through these writing prompts or are looking for more inspiration, check out some of these sites below for more fantastic writing prompts.

1. 100 Not-Boring Writing Prompts for Middle and High Schoolers
2. Three Story Elements Prompts
3. Writing Prompts About Gratitude
4. Reflective Essay Prompts for High School Students
5. 365 Writing Questions
6. Six Word Memoirs
7. Blackout/Found Poetry
8. 15 Visual Writing Prompts
9. Using Photos as Writing Prompts
10. More Writing Prompts

 

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8 Free Middle School Math Activities

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“When are we ever going to use this?”

If you have a middle schooler (or teach them), you’ve probably heard this question about Math. Truthfully, we all know that we use math at all levels of education from Kindergartners counting out crayons to adults figuring taxes.

What makes kids “get it” is bringing math to real life. Middle schoolers aren’t thinking about balancing a checkbook or figuring out miles per gallon on their vehicle, but we can help them make those connections. Taxes are at least a few years away, and most have mastered counting back change. Understanding the practical applications for Math practice today can help students apply their learning into adulthood.

Free Middle School Math Activities

Here are 8 free math activities to help your middle school student learn and grow with real-life math.

1. Table Talk Math
Sign up on this site to have prompts and articles delivered to help facilitate math discussions at home. When parents can help carry on conversations about learning in any context, it will help students understand its value!

2. Football Math

These activities can be adapted for other sporting events, but it’s never too early to prepare for the biggest game of the season. Yummy Math gives dozens of ideas from Fantasy Football picks to analyzing whether or not a team should go for it on 4th down or even comparing the quarterback ratings of those with and without facial hair. Hey, the last one may be a little in left field (don’t let the baseball metaphor confuse you), but it does make learning fun!

3. Top Speed

This is an authentic learning activity from galileo.org (an educational network) to help students understand the relationship between distance and speed and using linear measurements. Students determine their top speeds while running skipping, and walking and then test the relationships between speed, distance, and time. This works best with a group, but it can be adapted in a homeschool setting.

4. Inquiry Maths

Fueled by mathematical statements or prompts, students generate their activities and explore through inquiry. The menu on the side has a list of categorical prompts and even options for students and teachers to create their own statements.

5. Plan a Dream Vacation

It doesn’t get more real and fun than planning a vacay on a budget. It’s Fine in the Middle gives you the steps and resources to implement this project for students who finish other work early in the classroom, but it’s really relevant for all learners. Knowing how to manage money early may, in fact, help them take that dream vacation in the future!

6. What’s Behind the Price of Gasoline?

This economic lesson from econedlink.org includes a lesson, student, and teacher resources to teach about supply and demand, OPEC, and the world implications of the cost of oil.

7. Financial Literacy Lessons for Middle Schoolers

14 lessons with teacher and student resources are included for everything from budgeting and living on your own to credit cards and consumer privacy.

8. Start a Small Business

Thirteen Ed Online has hundreds of lessons on a variety of topics. This financial literacy lesson walks students through what it takes to start a small business.

Give your students something they can apply to real life situations through these authentic math tasks!

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What On Earth Review & Giveaway

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I found two wonderful new books for kids who love hands-on science! “What on Earth? Water” and “What on Earth? Wind” are two wonderful books written by Isabel Thomas and Pau Morgan to help kids discover and understand their world. These books encourage kids to investigate the properties of water and wind and experiment with these elements to discover how they work.

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What on Earth? Water

by Isabel Thomas and Paulina Morgan

Learn all about the water cycle and find out how water shapes our planet. Make a precipitation gauge or grow your own stalactite. Find out how important it is to conserve water and harness its energy.

Explore, Create and Investigate through experiments, activities and hands-on tasks. What on Earth? takes the reader on a journey of discovery to explore the natural elements of our world.

What on Earth? Wind

by Isabel Thomas and Paulina Morgan

Find out how humans have harnessed the wind’s energy and traveled the world.

Create an experiment using your own windmill and learn how to make a sail racer.

Discover all about the water cycle and make a precipitation gauge or grow your own stalactite.

About The Authors

Isabel Thomas studied Human Sciences at Oxford University, trained as a journalist and explored the world before becoming an author. She has written more than 100 titles, from picture books to encyclopedias.

Paulina Morgan works as an independent illustrator based in Santiago de Chile. She studied design before moving to Barcelona, Spain to obtain her master’s degree in Art Direction. She worked in advertising before deciding to pursue her passion for illustration.

My kids are a couple of years younger than the books’ recommended ages but they love most science topics so I thought they might enjoy reading these books. This week we read a few of the sections in these books that I though my kids would be most interested in and they liked them very much. The illustrations were engaging and each unit covered topics that were interesting to kids in a simple way.

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The writing style was easy for them to understand and encouraged lots of questions. Our favorite parts in each section were the Investigate and Create segments where we could do great, easy to follow experiments to see firsthand how water and wind works and how people use these elements in their everyday life. We got to make projects such as a waterwheel, a rainbow, a kite and a sail racer to explore and reinforce the concepts that were introduced in the sections.

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We did a few of the activities and learned about volume and capacity, states of water, clouds, how plants grow, life in the desert, erosion, music, wind power, the history of sailing ships, storms and winged seeds. I was truly amazed at how much information was packed into these little science books and how many great activities were included in each unit! My kids and I also liked the units about the water cycle, water on other planets, the different water zones in the ocean, weather, wind power and geography and climate.

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These beautiful books are an amazing reference and a great overview of all things related to water and wind. They are simple enough for younger kids to understand and enjoy and include fun poetry, clear step by step illustrations for each activity and diagrams to help kids visualize and remember some of the more abstract subjects. They are also great for older kids because they encourage and motivate them to find out more by asking thought provoking questions and challenging them to explore these elements on their own time with ideas for cool activities with lots of fun facts and background history.

I recommend these great books for kids who ask lots of questions and love to explore the world around them with a very hands-on approach. These books are a fantastic and fun resource for kids to learn more about our planet and how it works.

Enter to Win!

Here’s a chance to win your very own set of Isabel Thomas and Paulina Morgan books! Leave a comment below, telling us how you can use them in your homeschool, fill out the Gleam form below (there are chances to win extra entries for sharing the sweepstakes with your friends!) and you’ll be entered to our give-away!

What On Earth Review & Giveaway

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Fun Activities for Teaching Children to Tell Time

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“What time is it?” It’s a question you will hear many times a week. In life, time is of the essence, and so it’s important to know how to tell time. So, since it’s very important, now the question is, “How can I teach my child to tell time?”

There are a couple of things to consider before beginning to teach your child time concepts. Firstly, are they old enough? Children can start learning this concept at a very early age, but the best time seems to be between three and six years of age, your preschoolers, kindergartners, and first graders. Also, should you use a digital or analog (hands) clock? The answer is both, since the child will encounter both throughout their lives. But you’d be best served to start with analog to get the visual concept home, especially for those children just learning to read.

Obviously, the first step in teaching time is the first step in teaching anything to a child: Make it fun! The message won’t sink in by just telling them, ìThis long hand is for minutes, and that shorter hand is for hours,î or, ìLook, the clock says 6:45.î You might as well be saying it in Ancient Greek.

So, you reach them through fun, but how? A few suggestions:

4 Fun Activities for Teaching Children to Tell Time

Make a Clock

Children love to create with their hands. You can harness this to teach time by helping them make their own clock. Cut a circle of cardboard for the base, then on a piece of construction paper, have the child trace the circle on to the paper, glue it to the cardboard, then number it like a clock. Make the two hands out of two different sizes and colors to reinforce the difference between hour hand and minute hand. Using a brass brad, attach the hands through the middle of the clock and fan the arms out on the bottom to hold it in place.

Teach Through Song

Find a song that talks about time, such as oldies classic “Rock Around The Clock” by Bill Haley and the Comets. Have the child repeat to you what happens at each hour in the song. Or, help the child create a song of their own. Not only will it help them remember the concept strongly (children, like all of us, have a great memory for songs and lyrics), it will give them yet another bond with you, something even more valuable.

Create a Schedule

There’s certain things that your child does at certain times throughout the day, like bedtime, schooltime, when a favorite television show is on, mealtimes, and so on. Here is a perfect opportunity to teach time. Use our free printable daily homeschool planner for kids to plot out a schedule. Throughout the day, look at the nearest clock to you and tell them, “Look, it’s 3:30,” (if it’s an analog clock) “The big hand is at three, the little hand is at six, and that means it’s 3:30, it’s time for Pokemon Go!” When it’s dinner time, again, point out the time. Do this consistently to keep the memory fresh in their minds.

Take a Trip

Do you live near a church that rings the bells on the hour? Or know someone with an old grandfather clock or one with electronic chimes? Go see it. The sound will stay in their memories, especially if its a beautfiul sound from a piece of art like a bell tower or grandfather clock. And if there’s not one near you? You’re sitting in front of the answer now, as there’s countless ways to see and hear clocks, like Big Ben in London, over the Internet.

And your imagination can provide many more. There’s hundreds of ways to do it, and they’re all fun to do. They’ll teach your child time, and that quality time is important, too!

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Kitchen Club Kids Review & Coupon Code

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I’m one of those moms who, when she asks her kids “What would you guys like to eat for breakfast?” is really asking “Would you like some cheerios again or should I warm up some pop tarts?” So most cooking (and even reading about cooking) is a little out of my comfort zone.

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However, my kids have shown a lot of interest in cooking lately and when I saw the books ‘End of the Rainbow Fruit Salad’ and ‘Garden Safari Vegetable Soup’ that were geared for the preschool years, I was excited to introduce them to cooking in a fun way.

We read ‘End of the Rainbow Fruit Salad’ the same day we got it in the mail. The book was great and the illustrations were beautiful. My kids (3 and 4 years old) loved the colorful rhyming story and how fun and easy it made cooking sound.

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Of course, the kids wanted to try “cooking” right away. I let them slice bananas, peaches and strawberries for the fruit salad. They loved it!

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They were able to follow the recipe easily, practiced measuring the blueberries and counting out the strawberries. They stayed engaged, had fun and learned some new skills. I was happy the recipe was so healthy and colorful. The kids enjoyed eating their fruit salad for snack.

We read the “Garden Safari Vegetable Soup” book the next day and again I was impressed with the engaging fun story line and how easy and fun it made cooking sound. I also liked how it included counting, measuring and cooking healthy with many different colors of vegetables. Again after reading the story my kids ran to the kitchen to try it out!

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I was happy about their enthusiasm and I was glad I had most of the ingredients on hand. I had to help the kids chop the celery, carrots and onions, but they loved chopping the potatoes, measuring and pouring the chicken broth, rice and spices. And of course, mixing and stirring was pretty exciting for them. They were really cooking! I was surprised at how much fun we had! The kids ate their bowls of soup for dinner. My son even asked for seconds! I am now looking for other ways to involve my kids in our daily food preparation.

I definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants to get their preschooler excited about preparing food, eating healthy and learning a little math (measuring and counting), in the kitchen. The fact that cooking together can be a great one on one or family activity is just another great advantage. Who says learning can’t be a lot of fun?!

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How We Turned Our Home Into a Fun Learning Center

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When we made the decision to homeschool four of our five children, we knew it would be a big undertaking but we were also very excited about it. Two were in elementary school at the time and two in middle school. Because each pair was close in age, they would be doing very similar curriculums. So I needed to plan for the younger two, as well as for the older two.

How to Turn Your Home Into a Fun Learning Center

I gathered things like games, maps, flash cards, lots of paper and supplies, as well as a globe, math tools and even learning video games and we organized all of this in the designated space that we would now use as our “learning center”. We hung visual aids on the wall and they also set the tone for a great space to learn. When the kids entered this space, they knew what it would be time to do. So here’s how we did it.

Where I Got Supplies

To have a fun learning center, you’re going to need some supplies. I didn’t have a lot of money to spend so I got as many things for free or cheap as possible.
Here are some places where I found supplies:
• Dollar Tree – There are other dollar stores too, and they can all save you money the Dollar Tree specifically has teacher supplies like stickers, learning pads, wall hangings and so much more. I found so many great things here for the younger ones, especially. I also found boxes and bins for organization, index cards, pencils, pens, and nearly everything you can think of in terms of office supplies and organization. If you have one in your area, it’s definitely worth checking out.
• Freecycle – I love Freecycle for a variety of reasons and when I posted to my local Freecycle group that I was looking for supplies for a homeschool learning center, I actually found a lot of people who were looking to unload stuff they didn’t need anymore.
• Friends and family – Similar to Freecycle, when you put the word out to friends and family that you’re looking for certain things, they will often volunteer stuff they know longer need, or even pitch in and buy some new things for you.
• Homeschooling groups – If you are part of a homeschool group, you may be able to get some supplies from here. Many groups trade items or give away items and supplies they no longer need so this is a great opportunity as well.

How We Organized Our Space

We had a big enough house but with a large family (seven of us in total) we didn’t have any spare rooms or guest rooms. We decided to use our dining room to create a homeschool space for the kids. You can do the same thing with a garage, a basement, or even an extra living room or den. It’s all about finding a way to make the most use of the space you already have. If you don’t have any extra rooms or areas, you can use a living room or kitchen/dining room, and just create a dual-use space. This means you can still use the room for its intended purpose but you can also make it your learning center.

I lined the walls with Ikea-style box shelves and we placed organized bins inside them. We used labels to mark the different bins so it would be easy to put everything back in its place as well as find it in the first place. We then used the dining table as our work surface. Before dinner time, everything could be put back in its place and we had plenty of space to work with.

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Why I Homeschool My Child with Autism

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I have multiple kids on the autism spectrum but it was my oldest who had the most severe symptoms, at least when she was younger. She started therapies in public school at preschool age. In fact, she was three when she got her diagnosis and also started getting speech therapy from the local public school. She was completely non-verbal at the time. She then went to Pre-K, Kindergarten and 1st grade in public school. After 2nd grade, we actually started considering homeschool and this would turn out to be a very good decision, at least for this child and the way she learns.

We made the decision to homeschool for a variety of reasons. First, my daughter was getting a lot of outside therapy services at the time. While she did get services in school and she had an IEP, she was getting various therapies such as occupational therapy, speech therapy, and more outside of the school setting. We were regularly having to pull her out of classes for these therapies and I was already having to supplement her education at home and give her a lot of additional tutoring at home.

She was having sensory and OCD issues in class and her teachers were reporting problems with concentration. She complained that she would get bored or distracted often in between classes and tasks in her public school. We decided to give homeschooling a try and it worked so much better. She was able to get her work done in a fraction of the time she did versus sitting 8 hours in a desk each day. We were also able to build a curriculum around the things that already interested her. This made her more excited about school, as it didn’t really feel like school at all.

Here are some benefits to homeschooling your child with autism:

  • They can work at their own pace.
  • Avoid over-stimuli.
  • You have more curriculum choices.
  • You can spend more one-on-one time with your child.
  • There’s less wasted time.
  • You know they are safe and getting the proper diet.
  • You can create a fitness routine that suits your ASD child.
  • You can operate on a schedule that suits your ASD child.

When considering whether or not you should homeschool your child with autism, take time to weigh all the pros and cons. Talk to your child’s doctors and therapists. You should also consider whether or not you will have the time, energy and skill set to devote to your child’s special education.

It’s easy to get frustrated as a parent of a child with autism when you feel like the public school is not teaching as they should. However, avoid just yanking your child out and homeschooling out of anger or frustration. This isn’t a decision you should make on emotions. Instead, you should ask yourself what your child most needs to learn right now and if you are qualified to present/teach it, and if homeschooling is the best environment for your child to learn.

It worked for us until high school and then she actually decided she wanted to go back to public school. She did this for two years before deciding she wanted to homeschool again. As her needs change, her requirements from a school change. Keeping some flexibility to this with your child with autism will help both of you succeed.

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