Your prescription for happier, healthier homeschooling with Christian psychologist and veteran homeschooling mother of six, Dr. Melanie Wilson, who interviews experts on the issues that drive you crazy.
Motivation Myths That Hinder Your Homeschool
After 21 years of homeschooling, I know that motivation runs high at the beginning of the year. But it doesn't take many weeks before that initial enthusiasm starts to cool. You begin looking forward to Christmas break sooner than you thought you would.
We realize that we need to use some motivational tricks for ourselves and our kids in order to finish the things that we've planned. The problem with our motivating efforts is we often buy into several motivation myths that I'm going to describe in this episode. If we do, we will likely continue to struggle.
If you are interested in motivating your homeschooler, I've created a video class that you can you use with your spouse or other caregiver that will help you create an effective motivational plan. It includes a handbook for taking action and not just taking in information.
Motivation Myths Resources
Read the blog post
More Discipline Myths
Join me next time as I share my thoughts on teen screen time.
Have a happy homeschool week!
Help For Distracted And Struggling Readers
I interviewed Carol Barnier my first year doing The Homeschool Sanity Show and it was a privilege for me. I had heard her speak at conferences and had read her books and loved what she had to say. Carol is not only hilarious but is so wise in helping distracted students and moms. In today's episode, we'll discuss how to help kids who are not only distracted but struggle to read. If you have or know a student with dyslexia or other reading challenges, you'll want to listen in.
Before I get to the interview, I want to share some background on why I created Grammar Galaxy the way I did. I had five active boys and a girl I taught with them. One of my sons who struggled to read phonetically also was highly distractible. I also taught language arts to friends' students who had ADD, dyslexia, sensory processing disorder, poor reading fluency, and reading reluctance. They were all boys.
I wanted to create the curriculum I never had. First, I used stories because I know they are engaging and memorable. They explain the why of grammar and not just the how. Next, I made the characters in the stories have struggles like my kids and students have. So often kids with learning challenges feel they are the only ones who don't get it. Then I made the seatwork lessons very short. There is a lot of white space on the pages to motivate students. Kids can use highlighters to complete much of the work, rather than pencils that require fine motor skills that often don't keep pace with other skills--especially in boys. I included an activity in every lesson that doesn't involve traditional worksheets. I hear from moms of active kids how much they love the large motor activities. Finally, I allow kids to feel that their work is important because it is. Fully literate kids can improve their lives and make the world a better place. Try it for free with your child at grammargalaxybooks.com/samples.
Now about my guest. Carol Barnier spent over 20 years as a homeschooling mom during which time she was also a busy and popular conference speaker. She created an online community for parents homeschooling highly distractible children called SizzleBop, which enjoyed a membership of over 5000 families. As a frequent radio guest and author of books and countless articles, she has shared a gazillion (the most real of numbers) tips on teaching and loving the highly distractible child. Today, she pours that same love of “teaching out of the box” into the child who struggles with reading. Through her new effort, Barton Buddy, she brings her multi-sensory support material (including new ditties!) and trademark sense of humor to the parent using the popular Barton Reading system at home with their own struggling reader, who may or may not have just fallen out of their chair.
She's the author of three books about dealing with (or possessing) a non-linear mind in a linear world. Her first book, How to Get Your Child Off the Refrigerator and On To Learning, gives the reader understanding into the mind of the highly distractible child. It answers the imponderable question, "Why does this child constantly fall out of his chair?" (hear the kathunk) It also provides idea after idea on how to teach a child who simply can't sit still.
How To Level Up Your Gratitude
I've written and spoken about gratitude a lot because it's important. God's Word reminds us to give thanks 173 times. Giving thanks is the Lord's admonition to His people, but even secular leaders recognize the benefits of expressing gratitude. Gratitude journals are all the rage.
But I had an experience recently that helped me see that my gratitude needs an upgrade. What's exciting about this recognition is not that I have another reason to feel guilty. On the contrary, I have another reason to be encouraged. And so do you!
In this episode, I want to share some ideas for taking our own and our family's gratitude to the next level. And it doesn't require you to go on a foreign mission trip.
Before I share those ideas, I just want to say thank you. I have been so blessed to have you listen to this podcast, to chat with me at Great Homeschool Conventions, and to write and tell me that my work makes a difference in your life. It's easier to keep running this race with your encouragement. I thank God for you and I pray for you.
Last month, my son woke us up to tell us that our basement was flooded. We thought he meant that some water had come in along one wall. That had happened before and my husband had a plan for solving the problem. So I was shocked when I walked downstairs, only to have my feet sink into sopping wet carpet. Water had come in from every wall, leaving only the center of the rooms dry. Our sump pump had failed in the midst of a heavy rain. We didn't know that the pumps have to be replaced regularly. If you haven't replaced your pump, let our experience be a warning to you.
Before I entered our sopping wet basement, my gratitude list would have sounded something like this:
Lord, I'm thankful for my family. I'm thankful for my home. I'm thankful for my business.
I've matured enough in my faith that I wasn't grumbling to God about the mess the water had made, but it was definitely a damper on my day. I became hyper focused on solving the problem. More rain was in the forecast later that day. I was ready to turn to Google for help when I felt the sense that I needed to stop and let my husband help me. Because my office is in our basement, I was feeling that I needed to be in charge. But I heeded the call to stand down. I just worked on cleanup.
Then my husband announced that our plumber was coming in a couple of hours to install a new sump pump. That was very good news! But the rest wasn't. "I asked how he was," my husband said, "and I could tell something was wrong. He has cancer and starts chemo in a few days." I wasn't shocked because of the large number of people we know who have been diagnosed with cancer or a recurrence in the last two years. But I was in awe of how the Lord used our flooded basement to give us the opportunity to minister to a man at just the right time.
Yes, I was grateful that we suffered so little loss with the water damage. I was grateful, too, that the flooding hadn't occurred after installing new carpeting. Instead, I had been wanting the carpet replaced anyway. But what I was most grateful for was the love of our God. He loves our plumber so much that He used a heavy rain combined with our failure to replace a sump pump to bring him to our home, where we could pray for him and witness to our faith. What's incredible to me is that He didn't just work this together for our plumber's good but for ours.
God is more than able to use every circumstance to make His plan a reality. I'm so grateful that He is trustworthy! His will will be done, even if we make a mistake.
Why You Shouldn’t Worry About Your Child’s Writing
After reading, I've found that homeschooling parents are most concerned about their children's writing ability. I understand that. As a writer and homeschool mom, I wanted my children to be excellent writers. When they weren't, I was worried. But in this episode, I'm going to give you three reasons not to worry about your child's writing.
Before I do, I invite you to subscribe to Grammar Galaxy's monthly language arts missions. Each calendar includes seasonal writing prompts along with grammar, spelling, and reading missions--all free.
Writing Worry Resources
Grammar Galaxy monthly missions
Handwriting Without Tears
Grammar Galaxy Nebula
Handwriting Speed Worksheet
7 Sisters Cinema Studies Course
Join me next time as I discuss motivation myths that steal our homeschool sanity.
Have a happy homeschool week!
How to Overcome Homeschool Distractions
Hey, homeschoolers! One of the biggest challenges we face in homeschooling and life is distraction. There are many obstacles in the path to focusing on what really matters. And ignoring them is quite a challenge. But it's possible! That's what I want to share with you in this episode.
Before I do, I want to invite you to engage in the distraction of Homeschool Sanity Circle. Yep, it's on Facebook. But it's an encouraging, supportive group. Have a question, a problem, or something funny to share? We are there for you.
Get Your Pretty On
Get Dressed for Success
Psycho with Style on Instagram
Grammar Galaxy Books
Secrets of Scheduling Success
Margin in Your Homeschool
When you identify distractions use breaks, guilt-free leisure time, imagining the future, make distractions more difficult, recognize the real reason for the distraction, and meditate and pray, I believe you will overcome distractions in your homeschool.
Join me next time as I discuss why you shouldn't worry about your child's writing. Have a happy homeschool week!
What Every Homeschooler Needs To Know About Science
Science has been in the news a lot lately. And misunderstanding about science has me taking action this week. You may not know that my education and even my training as a psychologist centered much more on doing and analyzing research then it did on clinical practice. In fact, my job in graduate school was coordinating clinical drug trials.
In this episode, I'm going to use what I know about science to share three principles our kids must learn while they are in our homeschools. If they don't, they can be seriously misled, even if they do well on their college entrance exams.
Resources for This Episode on Homeschoolers and Science
Read the blog post
Download a free sample of Grammar Galaxy
Definition of Science
Carl Werner on Homeschool Sanity Show
Join me next week as I discuss homeschool distractions and how to ignore them. Have a happy homeschool week!