Terri's Take... » curriculum /blog Living a Proverbs 31 Life in a Romans 1 World... Wed, 27 Nov 2013 02:38:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.5.1 Cyber Monday = Great Prices! /blog/2013/11/cyber-monday-great-prices/ /blog/2013/11/cyber-monday-great-prices/#comments Wed, 27 Nov 2013 01:12:58 +0000 Terri /blog/?p=1619 Do you have some KQ items on your wish list?
Generally speaking, we, at Knowledge Quest, do not offer Black Friday, Cyber Monday and other various Christmas sales. We don’t believe that you should be burdened with great curriculum prices and sales at this time of year when you would rather spend your hard-earned dollars on games, pajamas, fuzzy socks and electronics.
 
However, we had a customer bring to our attention a decidedly different opinion. She expressed that she had some Knowledge Quest items on HER Christmas wish list and was hoping to give her parents a link to a sale this holiday season. Here’s what she is hoping she might get under the tree!

 

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That was an eye-opener! Yes, many of you have items from our website on your wish list that you would love to receive at Christmas. While some might think it strange, we homeschool parents get a little thrill with new curriculum, read-aloud biographies, educational apps and history resources.

Soooo…

If you have some of our products on your wish list, but you’ve been waiting for Christmas, hoping your husband or your mom or your sister might buy them for you…  Then this is the sale you have been waiting for! Send them the link to the Knowledge Quest home page – www.kqpublishing.net.

 

cyber-monday

 

Book prices start at $5!
 
We’ll also have $10, $20 and $35 specials too! 
(quantities are limited)

This is a ONE DAY sale and will ONLY last through midnight on Monday, December 2!

If you have any questions or comments, of course, just send an email to us helpdesk@kqpublishing.net.

More great news to come in the next post!

Question: What gift are you most excited to give this year?

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I Can’t Homeschool Because… /blog/2013/03/i-cant-homeschool-because/ /blog/2013/03/i-cant-homeschool-because/#comments Mon, 11 Mar 2013 03:03:16 +0000 Terri /blog/?p=1155 I Might Kill My Kids!

This is the #1 reason I hear why moms don’t want to homeschool their kids. Really? I get that this is an exaggeration, but the very excuse indicates that the excuse-maker’s kids drive her crazy. Well, guess what? My kids have exasperated me on occasion too. I have even threatened them with the big yellow bus tomorrow morning, if they didn’t shape up. I can report, however, that each one of my children are still alive (smile).

What is it about our kids that makes us want to scream in frustration and throw in the homeschooling towel, or never begin in the first place? Anger and frustration can come from anywhere, but I’m going to boil it down to 3 problem areas:

1. The parent hasn’t properly trained her children to respect her authority and obey. Just as we are imperfect people, so are our children. But, our kids are teachable and trainable. We can raise them up to be respectful and obedient kids who are a pleasure to be around. Yes, it takes hard work, diligence and consistency, but it is worth it. There are lots of great books on this topic. If you struggle with children who do not obey or who disrespect you, read up on child-training, whether you homeschool or not. Parenting is the hardest job we’ll ever do, but also the most worthwhile. Teaching your child anything is just an extension of parenting.

2. The parent/teacher is being erratic or inconsistent. Kids need to know what to expect. Schedules are great tools for both teacher and student. They get everyone on the same page so they can know what to expect. Some adults really despise schedules and routines; they want to be spontaneous and free. Most kids, however, crave structure. They want to know what’s coming next. If every day is different, kids will become frustrated and more difficult to work with. Keep a consistent schedule and routine for your school days. That doesn’t mean that you can’t change things up on occasion or take an unscheduled field trip. It does mean that regular days should follow a regular order with predictable tasks and school work, if you want easy-going students.

3. The parent/teacher is stubborn and so is the child. Maybe “determined” is a better word. However, the meaning is the same. As the teacher, I might decide that something must be done and I am determined that it get done. I can have all kinds of reasons why I want the task done, such as: 1.) because I want to finish the book on time (i.e. the end of the school year); 2.) because I think the child needs extra practice in this area (i.e. math, handwriting, etc.); 3.) because I SAID SO. However, there may be more going on that might cause a clash of wills. Perhaps the child doesn’t understand a foundational principle or is sad about something or is hungry or… In any case, a clash of wills causes an eruption of emotions, usually anger and tears.

So, how can we all get along peacefully so that our school days flow smoothly and without frustration?

These are a few of the principles that we live and work by in the Johnson household:

1. We start with devotions and prayer. If one of our children has a prayer request, we can pray for it before we even begin our school day. Sometimes, a child will ask prayer for a better attitude or to get along better with a sibling. Sometimes, as the teacher, I ask my kids to pray for me… that I would be patient and kind. Prayer is a powerful force and God is an ever-present helper in times of need.

2. If someone begins to develop a bad attitude, they take that attitude to their room rather than disrupting everyone else with it. Sometimes the person with the bad attitude is me. We all need time outs sometimes, even us parents. I don’t see time-outs so much as a punishment as a time to cool down and regroup. It’s a good time to pray and catch up on Bible reading too. (Everyone in our family reads the Bible for 5+ minutes a day).

3. If a certain subject is troublesome for a child over and over again, we’ll take a step back and make some changes. Maybe we need to try a new curriculum. Or maybe a foundational skill has been glossed over and needs to be learned again. As an example, my 7yo dd was struggling in math for a month or two when she wasn’t before. It was beginning to feel like we were banging our heads against the wall. I pulled out a hundred chart and we went over the numbers up through 100 and looked at the logical nature of our numbering system that is based on 10. A lightbulb went on in her head. She kept the hundred chart tucked in her math book and referred to it as needed. Within a couple weeks, she didn’t need it anymore.

Similarly, we switched to a spelling app on the ipad for one of our kids, as the regular spelling book that we use – Spelling Power – just wasn’t working for her. Creativity and looking at a subject from a new angle goes a long way.

I’ve been homeschooling for 15 years. I am not more patient than you. I can get just as angry as anyone else. But I love homeschooling because we have systems in place that work for us. We step away from each other when we get angry; we pray and seek forgiveness; we follow a daily routine and schedule; we use the curricula that works best for each of our children. And I haven’t killed any of my kids yet!

Anything worthwhile takes effort. Homeschooling takes effort, but it is one of the most worthwhile endeavors that I have pursued in my life. My kids like it too.

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Wake-up! You’re Half-Way There! /blog/2013/01/wake-up-youre-half-way-there/ /blog/2013/01/wake-up-youre-half-way-there/#comments Wed, 30 Jan 2013 14:37:17 +0000 Terri /blog/?p=1060 Half-way through the school year… It’s at this time of the year that we can feel like we are exhausted, running on empty, just putting one foot in front of the other because that is what we are supposed to do.

That’s okay! Just because you may not feel that spring in your step or that excitement for planning school lessons doesn’t mean that you aren’t doing one of THE most worthy pursuits you could be doing. Just because you aren’t receiving accolades from your kids, your friends or even your spouse doesn’t mean that you aren’t making a BIG difference in the lives of your kids and your family. Just because your kids may not be the smartest, the pleasantest, the most organized band of children in your neighborhood or co-op doesn’t mean that they aren’t in process, taking plodding steps just like you, to learn more, cooperate better and integrate life skills, one day at a time.

These dreary winter months are a great time to WAKE up, SHAKE up and try something NEW!

Here are 4 ways to get out of the doldrums and get excited about school once again:

1. Take a field trip! Yes, it’s cold outside and it’s easier to stay in and work on textbook assignments, but that gets tiresome after a while. Bundle up the kids and head out for the zoo or a local museum or an indoor waterpark, for goodness sake. Okay, maybe the waterpark isn’t educational, but the kids may learn a little bit about physics and acceleration on the water slides (okay, that’s a stretch). Even if they don’t, at least they’ll have fun and you have shaken up the daily routine. We are going to our local science museum on Thursday. We are excited because they have a new Mythbusters exhibit about blowing up stuff, which is extremely fascinating, don’t you think?

2. Try a new curriculum or a different approach. Do you have a child that is bogged down in math? Put the book away and try math in real life. Get out a bunch of containers and have him or her experiment and understand liquid measurements, such as how many teaspoons make a tablespoon, how many cups in a gallon, etc. Make predictions and then find out the exact answer. Or grab a ruler and a yardstick and have him measure everything in the house. Spelling driving your child nuts? Try a different curriculum or have her just work on words that she misspells during the course of other assignments. These are not permanent changes, but ways to change-up the pace and make the day more interesting. Return to the regular curriculum after a few days or ditch it entirely for something new. Sponsor a curriculum swap with your co-op where everyone brings what they aren’t using any longer and you can swap with each other.

3. Change the location! Maybe school at home is just too comfortable and kids are bickering with each other and whining and complaining at you. Take them to the library to work on school assignments or even the coffee shop. Bet they won’t fight there!

4. Change the time! Do you always do school first thing in the morning? Just to keep your kids on their toes, perhaps you might want to switch the schedule for a day or two. Run your errands in the morning and work on school work when you get home or in the afternoon. Try doing some things on the weekend with dad, such as science experiments or written reports. Warning… a change in routine could be disastrous if you have kids that are creatures of habit and find great solace in predictable schedules, so do give your kids notice of a change coming, if that is necessary and be prepared to punt or call it a day if attitudes sour more easily later in the day. :-)

While we can become discouraged that we are only half-way through the school year, we can also be encouraged for the exact same reason. Look back to August or September and remember where you started. Think of all that you have accomplished. Remind yourself that your kids are learning and that you are instilling values and good study habits and knowledge into them.

Good job, mom! You are half-way through another year. You should be proud of yourself and your kids. Tell them how proud you are of them today and give them an extra hug and a kiss for half a school year well done!

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