Not Before 7 http://www.notbefore7.com Life as a Homeschool Nightowl Mon, 16 Jul 2018 00:46:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.7 92723913 Evaluating Our 2017-2018 Homeschool Year http://www.notbefore7.com/2018/07/15/evaluating-homeschool-year-2017/ http://www.notbefore7.com/2018/07/15/evaluating-homeschool-year-2017/#respond Sun, 15 Jul 2018 18:26:13 +0000 http://www.notbefore7.com/?p=4386 The 2017-2018 homeschool year is over and it’s time to look back. What worked? What didn’t? What will we continue to use and what do we need to ditch? I shared my thoughts on our school year during a Facebook Live. Learn what worked and what didn’t work for our family this year. I realize this is a pretty long video. A lot of folks asked me for a cheat sheet. That’s actually hard to provide because a lot of things we tried were great, but there are specific reasons that they didn’t work for us. Here are a few tips for “skimming” the video: You will find links to everything I talk about below in the order I discuss the curriculum. You can fast forward to the content you are most interested in hearing about. What didn’t work in a nutshell: In general, my Happy Planner was too big. I decided to return to bullet journaling for my home and work schedule. I create a separate planner for school. My loop schedule didn’t work in a loop. Instead, it became a list of ideas to choose from and we focused on what we were inspired to look at that day. Our content areas worked out really well for the most part. I shared some of our favorite things. Notes: What did and didn’t work this year Planning 1. Happy Planner (blog post…update to share that the planner was too big) 2. Planning Forms (love Pam’s forms) 3. Bullet Journal Method (blog post – […]

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The 2017-2018 homeschool year is over and it’s time to look back.

What worked? What didn’t?

What will we continue to use and what do we need to ditch?

I shared my thoughts on our school year during a Facebook Live. Learn what worked and what didn’t work for our family this year.

I realize this is a pretty long video.

A lot of folks asked me for a cheat sheet. That’s actually hard to provide because a lot of things we tried were great, but there are specific reasons that they didn’t work for us.

Here are a few tips for “skimming” the video:

You will find links to everything I talk about below in the order I discuss the curriculum. You can fast forward to the content you are most interested in hearing about.

What didn’t work in a nutshell:

In general, my Happy Planner was too big. I decided to return to bullet journaling for my home and work schedule. I create a separate planner for school.

My loop schedule didn’t work in a loop. Instead, it became a list of ideas to choose from and we focused on what we were inspired to look at that day.

Our content areas worked out really well for the most part. I shared some of our favorite things.

Notes: What did and didn’t work this year

Planning
1. Happy Planner (blog post…update to share that the planner was too big)
2. Planning Forms (love Pam’s forms)
3. Bullet Journal Method (blog post – the method I am returning to)
4. Looping (good idea – needs to be adjusted because it didn’t work for us)
 
Art
Music
2. Musicals
 
History
1. Usborne World Wars (WW1 and 2 book)
2. Candy Bomber (WW2 non-fiction human interest story)
3. A Night Divided (Berlin Wall historical fiction)
4. World History (textbook for high school)
5. Crash Course World History (YouTube)
6. CNN 10 for Current Events (10-minute current event news for students)

World Geography
1. Around the World Stories (Geography)
4. Pin It Maps (blog post)
 
English
1. Brave Writer (Love)
2. Less is More (book – a favorite)
3. Pixar In a Box Storytelling (Kahn Academy – FREE)
4. Annotating Literary Elements (Rooted in Language Product)
6. Philosophy for Kids (guide book)
 
Science
3. Georgia Aquarium (Traveling Homeschoolers
 
Math
1. Singapore
2. Hands-On Equations (blog post)
3. Teaching Textbooks Pre-Alg and Algebra and Geometry
 
Sign Language
1. ASL 1 
3. Switched at Birth (Netflix)

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MAPS Standardized Testing for Homeschoolers http://www.notbefore7.com/2018/05/13/maps-standardized-testing-for-homeschoolers/ http://www.notbefore7.com/2018/05/13/maps-standardized-testing-for-homeschoolers/#respond Sun, 13 May 2018 23:49:39 +0000 http://www.notbefore7.com/?p=4301 If you have spent any time on my blog, then you know I firmly believe that your child is much more than a score on a standardized test. Your child is a creative, unique, and sparkling individual with a plethora of personality that cannot be measured by a test. But that doesn’t mean testing is a bad thing. It just isn’t the only thing. Standardized testing can provide valuable feedback about your child’s academic strengths and weaknesses. For the homeschooling parent, these strengths and weaknesses are usually not a surprise but testing results can help pinpoint specific areas that might require extra support in the future. I live in a state that requires annual standardized testing so I administer a standardized test each year. The scores my children receive for various subject areas typically do not provide helpful feedback or information, but they have met the state requirements in North Carolina. I have researched testing options that provide more specific and valuable feedback but they are usually quite expensive. But this year, I came across a solution that was affordable and would provide valuable feedback. In my research this year, I came across the MAPS Testing option through Affordable Homeschool Testing Services. I was immediately intrigued by the fact that the testing is computer adaptive and tailored to my child’s learning level. One look at the sample score report and I knew this test would provide more valuable information than the options we have tried in previous years AND it was affordable. I […]

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If you have spent any time on my blog, then you know I firmly believe that your child is much more than a score on a standardized test. Your child is a creative, unique, and sparkling individual with a plethora of personality that cannot be measured by a test.

But that doesn’t mean testing is a bad thing. It just isn’t the only thing.

Standardized testing can provide valuable feedback about your child’s academic strengths and weaknesses. For the homeschooling parent, these strengths and weaknesses are usually not a surprise but testing results can help pinpoint specific areas that might require extra support in the future.

I live in a state that requires annual standardized testing so I administer a standardized test each year. The scores my children receive for various subject areas typically do not provide helpful feedback or information, but they have met the state requirements in North Carolina. I have researched testing options that provide more specific and valuable feedback but they are usually quite expensive.

But this year, I came across a solution that was affordable and would provide valuable feedback.

In my research this year, I came across the MAPS Testing option through Affordable Homeschool Testing Services. I was immediately intrigued by the fact that the testing is computer adaptive and tailored to my child’s learning level. One look at the sample score report and I knew this test would provide more valuable information than the options we have tried in previous years AND it was affordable.

I contacted Affordable Homeschool Testing Services and asked them if they would provide our family with testing services in exchange for my honest opinion and review of their product. They agreed and I scheduled a time for testing.

{Read my full disclosure.}

Homeschool Standardized Testing: What is MAP testing?

The MAP® GrowthTM is a nationally-normed interim assessment by NWEA ®. This test is computer-adaptive which means that it adjusts to your child’s performance as they take the test. (MAP stands for Measure of Academic Progress)

The test is tailored to your child’s learning level so it can precisely measure their academic performance and track growth efficiently.

Your children take the test on the first 2-3 mornings of the week. By Friday, the parent will have the results. Included in their result packet in addition to their scores is information about what they are ready to learn next.

Best of all, your child can take the test in the comfort of their own home using a laptop, iPad, or Chromebook. My children are iPad natives and the option to use the testing app was one I appreciated.

Affordable Homeschool Testing Services offers MAP Growth Testing with detailed reports at an affordable price for homeschool families.

Homeschool Standardized Testing: Before the Test

Testing is required in North Carolina and the Affordable Homeschool Testing site had all of the information I needed to know in order to meet the requirements specific to my state. If you are in the same situation, you can look up the requirements for your particular state. I had to register my children for the math, reading, and language sections to meet my local requirements.

Once I knew what tests to order, the process of registering my children was simple. I selected the dates and times that worked for our family then entered my children’s information. I was able to describe special testing circumstances for one of my children. (more information below)

The confirmation email included important information about the testing environment, what to expect, and instructions for test day. The email emphasized that my children would be given questions that would be too hard for them so that their level could be accurately determined. I made sure to convey this to my children so they knew some of the questions would be too hard.

In addition, there was a link to a practice test so that my children could practice using the tablet or laptop to answer questions. It was helpful so they could learn how to select the right answer or “drag” the answer to the box when necessary.

Homeschool Standardized Testing: Children with Special Needs

I appreciated that the registration form included a section to describe the special needs of any children in my house. I described the accommodations I have made for teaching and what I thought she would require for this testing experience.

I received a phone call in the next day to discuss the accommodations that I could use. The test is already untimed and breaks are allowed. In addition, we talked about math accommodations and worked out a perfect solution so the results would be accurate and my child would feel supported.

All of the information about accommodations can be found on the Affordable Homeschool Testing Services website.

Homeschool Standardized Testing: The Testing Experience

Testing mornings ran quite smoothly. My children took the reading test on Monday, the math test on Tuesday, and the language test on Wednesday.

At the appointed time, I made a phone call to receive the password for my students. I was given basic instructions and they were approved to begin testing. All four of my children were able to log in and test at the same time.

Two children used tablets while two used laptops. The testing process was smooth on both. We had one glitch occur for my son on the math section one day. I called and it was immediately corrected so my son could continue.

Each day required approximately 45 minutes to 60 minutes for testing.

NOTE: I did warn my kids to expect about half of the questions to be too hard for them. The math day was particularly hard and required reminders. I think that it is very clear in math when a problem is too hard. Math day required an extra reminder to expect difficult questions and encouragement to keep at it.

Standardized Testing: The Results

Affordable Homeschool Testing Services promises MAP testing results by Friday of testing week. My children’s scores arrived in my inbox by Thursday afternoon and a follow-up email with more information arrived on Friday.

I received much more than just simple test scores. In addition to percentiles and Lexile ranges for each child, I was provided with additional information about my children in math, reading, and language.

{See a sample score report here.}

For each subject, the final report included information on my child’s proficiency in mathematics, reading, and language. Skills and concepts in these subject areas were divided into three categories:

  • skills and concepts to reinforce
  • skills and concepts to develop
  • skills and concepts to introduce.

These lists will be very helpful for me as I plan next year. For example, I have children who will benefit from some review of “editing for subject-verb agreement”. I will find a few fun ways to incorporate editing into our copywork using some of the skills suggested in the test results.

Of course, while test scores aren’t everything, they do help me as I plan our year when I keep them in mind as one part of the picture of education in our home.

Based on our results I know that our Brave Writer Lifestyle has paid off in reading even though we don’t use the testing style “comprehension questions”. I also know that we will spend more time exploring math concepts that will benefit everyone.

Homeschool Standardized Testing: My Final Thoughts

I was pleased with the testing experience from Affordable Homeschool Testing Services. It was easy to schedule and implement. The customer support was top notch and everything flowed very smoothly.

My kids and I were new to MAP testing and everyone was happy with it. I am glad that the test focused on three subject areas instead of several. I didn’t mind that science and social studies weren’t specifically tested. In fact, I preferred it.

The amount of testing time was also quite reasonable because it only took about an hour or less each day.

Finally, being able to test on their tablets was a helpful option for this generation of iPad natives in my house. I was glad this was an option.

In the end, the results of our MAP testing equipped me with valuable knowledge about my children and their academic skills. I will use this knowledge to plan a few new additions to our curriculum next year. I appreciated Affordable Homeschool Testing Service for the ease of use and wealth of information I received.

Do you use standardized testing in your homeschool?

 

 

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5 Tools that Spark Meaningful Family Conversation http://www.notbefore7.com/2018/04/15/tool-meaningful-family-conversation/ http://www.notbefore7.com/2018/04/15/tool-meaningful-family-conversation/#respond Sun, 15 Apr 2018 18:41:15 +0000 http://www.notbefore7.com/?p=4196 Conversation is an important part of our family life and an important part of our homeschool. Meaningful conversation contributes to the atmosphere of learning in our homeschool and it enhances our relationships with one another. My kids are encouraged to share their thoughts, feelings, and ideas with me and others. They learn to defend their point of view, explain their reasoning, and consider what someone else has to say. Conversations give my children the room and freedom to process what they are learning. We might talk about current events, the plot of a book, or whether parallel universes truly exist. Our Brave Writer Lifestyle has taught me to value our conversations just as much as I value any part of our homeschool, sometimes even more. I’ve learned that everything doesn’t have to be in a book, on a worksheet, or written down at all. Over the years, I have found several tools that ignite the meaningful conversations in our home and in our homeschool. 1. Meaningful Conversation: CNN10 Two years ago we stumbled upon CNN 10, formerly called CNN Student News. This 10 minute “middle of the road” summary of world news has become the perfect way to start our day. Not only do the kids remain informed about current events, but the news stories often ignite meaningful conversation. A post shared by Mary (@notbefore7) on Mar 1, 2018 at 10:09am PST This 10-minute broadcast begins with important world news stories. Sometimes the entire broadcast is dedicated to one significant […]

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Conversation is an important part of our family life and an important part of our homeschool.

Meaningful conversation contributes to the atmosphere of learning in our homeschool and it enhances our relationships with one another. My kids are encouraged to share their thoughts, feelings, and ideas with me and others. They learn to defend their point of view, explain their reasoning, and consider what someone else has to say.

Conversations give my children the room and freedom to process what they are learning. We might talk about current events, the plot of a book, or whether parallel universes truly exist.

Our Brave Writer Lifestyle has taught me to value our conversations just as much as I value any part of our homeschool, sometimes even more. I’ve learned that everything doesn’t have to be in a book, on a worksheet, or written down at all.

Over the years, I have found several tools that ignite the meaningful conversations in our home and in our homeschool.

1. Meaningful Conversation: CNN10

Two years ago we stumbled upon CNN 10, formerly called CNN Student News. This 10 minute “middle of the road” summary of world news has become the perfect way to start our day. Not only do the kids remain informed about current events, but the news stories often ignite meaningful conversation.

A post shared by Mary (@notbefore7) on

This 10-minute broadcast begins with important world news stories. Sometimes the entire broadcast is dedicated to one significant topic, but generally, there are 1-3 top news stories covered. In between the main stories, there is a trivia question which we love to try to guess correctly. Often there is a human interest story about a CNN Hero, an inspiring student-athlete, or a general human interest story from the Great, Big Story website.

I am often asked if the news coverage is non-biased. That’s hard to answer for everyone, but I find very close to “middle of the road”.

That being said, the great thing about watching it with your kids is that you can discuss any bias that you hear in a story encourage your kids to contribute to the conversation with their own opinions.

**If your kids are in school, then schedule a viewing before, during, or immediately after dinner.

2. Meaningful Conversation: Philosophy for Kids

Occasionally I pull out our Philosophy for Kids: 40 Questions that Help You Wonder about Everything book and we dive into a great lunch or dinner time conversation.

In addition to open-ended questions, this book also provides historical information about great philosophers who inspired the questions and their thinking in regards to the answers.

The conversations that stem from these questions aren’t simple. Questions such as, “Can you lie to yourself?” or “Can you doubt you exist?” might make for great conversation, but they can also lead to frustration. Feel free to skip around the book and discuss questions that appeal to you.

We have enjoyed the values section, answering questions such as, “How do you know who your friends are?” and “Do we control technology or does technology control us?

Grab The Book — Philosophy for Kids

3. Meaningful Conversation: Conversation Starters

It’s no secret that good conversation starters spark a great discussion. We love to keep a jar of great questions on the table to read over lunch or dinner.

You can find conversation starters online or check out my set of Year-Round Conversation Starters so the work is done for you. Simply print, cut, and store the questions for meaningful and fun conversation all year long.

Tools for Meaningful conversation with your family.

Subscribers to this blog receive access to a free page of “Would you Rather” conversation starters that are not included in the pack for sale. If you want to subscribe and receive access then sign up here.

4. Meaningful Conversations: Arrow and Boomerang

Reading stories together is an important part of life in our family and homeschool. Stories provide the perfect springboard into discussions about everything from friendships and family to identity and belonging.

Our discussions often occur naturally as we read through a book. Character choices, plot twists, and reoccurring themes lend themselves to a conversation. But sometimes, I like a little help to facilitate conversation.

A post shared by Mary (@notbefore7) on

That’s where the Brave Writer Arrow and Boomerang Guides come in handy. Each guide includes nine questions for discussion in the back. These aren’t fact recall questions or questions with one “right” answer. Instead, the Brave Writer guides help me facilitate a big, juicy conversation that allows everyone to participate. 

The questions are particularly helpful when I am leading a book club discussion.

Check out all of our Book Clubs here.

5. Meaningful Conversation: Television and Movies

Television and movies have been the source of many big, juicy conversations in our home. Whether it is a favorite TV series or a book turned into a movie, we enjoy time watching the television together.

At first, it was hard to count television and movies as valuable to our homeschool and family time. Television had always been a way for me to “get a break” or downtime when my kids were little, but it wasn’t something I considered valuable to education and family.

When I found Julie Bogart and began to implement the Brave Writer lifestyle, she taught me to consider our time in front of the television as one of the important aspects of the education in our home.

Of course, it was about this time that tweens entered the scene in our home, so it was a natural time to transition to a few family television shows and movies that even mom would enjoy.

And thank goodness for tweens and teens because I have to confess that I do not miss Kipper. Or Thomas the Train. Or Super Why.

Instead, we’ve discovered shows like The Brady Bunch which opened up discussion about the changes in society over the last few decades. My kids were interested in the fashion trends as well as the way gender differences were portrayed in the show.

We made it a tradition to watch one episode of a TV series during lunch every day. It’s become a great addition to our homeschool day. Instead of downtime for me to go take a break, I pull up a seat and enjoy lunch and a show with my kids.

Our family favorite has been the TV show, “Psych”. The inside jokes and funny lines have become standard talk in our house even though we finished the series a long time ago.

“You know that’s right.” (*wink)

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We also enjoy movies as part of our education. The Brave Writer movies guides are a perfect tool if you need some discussion ideas for family movie night.

TV and movies are a FUN way to ignite conversation in your home. Instead of shying away from “TV time”, I have learned to see its value and it has been such a joy.

There are so many ways to ignite a great family conversation in your homeschool. What are some of your favorite tools?

RELATED POSTS:

 

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Freedoms Homeschool Parents Forget http://www.notbefore7.com/2018/04/06/freedoms-homeschool-parents-forget/ http://www.notbefore7.com/2018/04/06/freedoms-homeschool-parents-forget/#comments Fri, 06 Apr 2018 22:15:13 +0000 http://www.notbefore7.com/?p=4274 Most homeschool days follow a typical routine. These semi-predictable routines keep the lessons moving forward and help parents maintain their sanity. This is a good thing. But it’s far too easy to fall into a routine trap and allow things to become boring and mundane if we don’t flex our homeschool freedom muscles every now and then. Remember that you are an educational innovator and there are so many options at your disposable when the drudgery of the routine is bringing you down. If you want to flex your freedom muscle this week, I’ve got a few reminders for you. 1. You are free to leave the workbook or textbook unfinished. I promise that no one will get hurt. If you are done, then be done. No one will check to make sure you completed every single page of the entire book. Maybe it just stopped working effectively. Maybe your child got bored with the system. Maybe you found something new and exciting to replace it. And maybe you just got tired of that topic. Whatever your reason, you do not have to finish everything. 2. You are free to play games and call it school. It could be a math game or another educational game, or it might just be your favorite board game or a fun card game. It doesn’t have to tie directly to a school subject. You can still play it during the school day and call it school. Your kids are learning because they are always […]

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Most homeschool days follow a typical routine. These semi-predictable routines keep the lessons moving forward and help parents maintain their sanity. This is a good thing.

But it’s far too easy to fall into a routine trap and allow things to become boring and mundane if we don’t flex our homeschool freedom muscles every now and then.

Remember that you are an educational innovator and there are so many options at your disposable when the drudgery of the routine is bringing you down.

If you want to flex your freedom muscle this week, I’ve got a few reminders for you.

1. You are free to leave the workbook or textbook unfinished. I promise that no one will get hurt. If you are done, then be done. No one will check to make sure you completed every single page of the entire book.

Maybe it just stopped working effectively. Maybe your child got bored with the system. Maybe you found something new and exciting to replace it. And maybe you just got tired of that topic. Whatever your reason, you do not have to finish everything.

2. You are free to play games and call it school. It could be a math game or another educational game, or it might just be your favorite board game or a fun card game. It doesn’t have to tie directly to a school subject. You can still play it during the school day and call it school. Your kids are learning because they are always learning.

3. You are free to stop reading a book that no one is enjoying. There are too many books in the world to spend precious time on a title that no one likes. Even if it is a classic. Even if it is “part of the curriculum”. There are enough good books in the world that you can find a replacement to communicate the same themes or ideas.

4. You are free to take a field trip and just enjoy the ride. You don’t have to schedule an official tour or complete a worksheet for your trip to count as school. If you need proof for your state records, then take a photo. At the end of the day, check the box on your attendance sheet (if you have one) without guilt and without doing any math that day.

5. You are free to watch TV during lunch. The kids will survive the screen time and you might just find that it is fun. As my kids have gotten older, we love to enjoy a show at lunch.

6. You are free to leave the house for lunch or breakfast. Go on a picnic. Grab lunch at a local restaurant. Do whatever works for you. Take a card game, a good read aloud, or a few workbooks. Or leave school at home and enjoy great conversation or quiet tablet time while you eat.

7. You are free to travel anytime. all the time. and what it is less crowded and less pricey. Take advantage of Disney in September or the beach in late May. You are not tied to a traditional school calendar.

8. You are free to go to the movies in the middle of the day. Save money. Make a memory. Enjoy your time. And it doesn’t have to be an educational movie.

9. You are free to study any topic in any area that interests your children. There is no rule that requires your child to study a particular field of science or history. The world is wide open to you. Explore it!

The public schools may have selected Earth Science, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics as their standard high school courses, but your child can study Anatomy & Physiology, Marine Biology, Ecology or even Astrophysics.

*There is typically plenty of flexibility even when you read your local requirements for homeschooling, but be sure to follow the laws of your state.

10. You are free to skip a math lesson because your kid already knows it. Just move on. It’s OK. That math police won’t show up.

11. You are free to assign fewer problems or questions than the assignment includes. Complete the odd-numbered problems. Answer the first three questions. Pick your five favorites to work on today.

12. You are free to do school anywhere you like – at home or elsewhere. We often homeschool on the go and take our books to a local coffee shop or bagel place, but you can also change the location right in your own home. You are free to do school on the porch, in hammocks, on the trampoline, or sitting upside down on the sofa.

13. You are free to do things differently. You are allowed to homeschool differently than your neighbor, your mentor, your best friend, or the curriculum guide. Make it your own. Make it work for your family. Most of all, make it fun and memorable when you can.

14. You are free to do things exactly the way the curriculum states. Save time and energy and just do it the way the guide lays it out. Save your energy for a subject that stimulates you.

15. You are free to follow the homeschooling philosophy that works for your family. There isn’t a “right” or “wrong” philosophy. Perhaps you tend toward a Classical Education. Maybe you feel more like an unschooler. Follow the philosophy that appeals to your heart and works for your family.

16. You are free to eliminate aspects of any homeschooling philosophy that doesn’t work for your family. Borrow the aspects that work for you and eliminate the ones that don’t. My friend Alicia reminds everyone that you don’t have to be a complete purist about any one philosophy.

17. You are free to plan a professional development day. Give the kids unlimited screen time or a babysitter so that you can dive deep into planning, learning, or reading. Do what makes you a better person and refreshed homeschool parent. Teachers have professional development days, so why not you?

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18. You are free to “do school” at any time during the day. There is no rule that school has to be done in the morning. Regular school hours do not apply at your homeschool.

19. You are free to write your own high school graduation requirements. In many states, you do NOT have to adhere to the local high school requirements though they are a handy guideline.

If you have a college-bound student, then the college admission requirements are an important guideline. The college admissions requirements are not the same as the high school graduation requirements. For example, Physical Education is required to graduate high school, but it is not a college admission requirement. Is it required for your high schooler? That is up to you!

*Again, be sure to follow your state laws, but you might be surprised at how flexible they are.

20. You are free to head outdoors. Bring the workbooks or just leave them at home. Enjoy the lake, the trail, the breeze, the playground, or the porch swing.

21. You are free to take care of anything that is distracting you first. Are the messy bedrooms driving you mad? Is there a bathroom that needs attention? Is there an email that has to be sent today? Go take care of the thing on your mind (or ask children to help) and then move on with the day.

22. You are free to call it a day when it everyone is just done. You don’t have to finish the entire plan to call it a day. There might be school work left undone, but if everyone feels done, then you are free to end the school day.

23. You are free to have fun. So go for it Have some fun with your crew tomorrow.

 

RELATED POSTS:

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Hands-On Equations Product Review http://www.notbefore7.com/2018/03/27/hands-on-equations-review/ http://www.notbefore7.com/2018/03/27/hands-on-equations-review/#respond Wed, 28 Mar 2018 03:40:34 +0000 http://www.notbefore7.com/?p=4248 Do you ever feel like all of the wonderful math manipulatives and hands-on activities for teaching mathematics disappear by the time your student reaches Pre-Algebra and linear equations? Gone are the days of snap cubes, base ten blocks, and geoboards because now it is time for “serious math”. Well, guess what? That’s just not true. There are still math programs that introduce and reinforce concepts through the use of manipulatives and Hands-On Equations is one that we have had great success with this year. Hands-On Equations is an affordable and effective program to introduce your 3rd-8th-grade children to linear equations in a visual and tactile way. {I requested this math program for our family and was given a set in exchange for my review. The opinions and enthusiasm are my own. You can read my full disclosure.} Hands-On Equations: The Basics Hands-On Equations makes learning how to solve linear equations easy and fun. No, I am not kidding. Fun. Easy. Solving Equations. It’s all true. Every word of it. The Hands-On Equations curriculum is an innovative approach for introducing algebra to students in grades 3-8 through the use of manipulatives. Students are taught to approach an equation by first creating a visual and pictorial representation of the problem. A post shared by Mary (@notbefore7) on Dec 6, 2017 at 3:39pm PST Students will learn how to correctly manipulate the visual representation in order to solve the equation. While students are encouraged to use the manipulatives for as long as they desire, the program […]

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Do you ever feel like all of the wonderful math manipulatives and hands-on activities for teaching mathematics disappear by the time your student reaches Pre-Algebra and linear equations?

Gone are the days of snap cubes, base ten blocks, and geoboards because now it is time for “serious math”.

Well, guess what?

That’s just not true. There are still math programs that introduce and reinforce concepts through the use of manipulatives and Hands-On Equations is one that we have had great success with this year.

Hands-On Equations is an affordable and effective program to introduce your 3rd-8th-grade children to linear equations in a visual and tactile way.

Introduce your children to linear equations in a fun and hands-on way with Hands-On Equations.

{I requested this math program for our family and was given a set in exchange for my review. The opinions and enthusiasm are my own. You can read my full disclosure.}

Hands-On Equations: The Basics

Hands-On Equations makes learning how to solve linear equations easy and fun.

No, I am not kidding.

Fun. Easy. Solving Equations. It’s all true. Every word of it.

The Hands-On Equations curriculum is an innovative approach for introducing algebra to students in grades 3-8 through the use of manipulatives. Students are taught to approach an equation by first creating a visual and pictorial representation of the problem.

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Students will learn how to correctly manipulate the visual representation in order to solve the equation. While students are encouraged to use the manipulatives for as long as they desire, the program does teach how to transfer their learning to a written representation.

Once your child completes all three levels, they will be able to solve equations involving the distributive property, negative numbers, and negative unknowns.

Hands-On Equations teaches all of this in such a way that the abstract ideas become tangible and understandable.

Hands-On Equations: The Learning System

The Learning System is a complete program for use with one student. In the kit, you’ll receive:

  • lesson manuals for Levels I, II, and III
  • student classroom worksheets
  • answer key for all classroom worksheets
  • and one student kit with game pieces with flat laminated balance

If you want to use the kit with more than one student at a time, then you can add on additional student kits for only $5.

Hands-On Equations: What I Love

  • As a former math teacher, I appreciate that the visual representation of the equations takes place on a balance. I can easily show my children that equations are balanced and must remain balanced even when you are manipulating them.I tried to explain the concept of balance over and over when teaching in the classroom. Describing it never worked as well as showing it with a visual balance.
  • My daughter can see, move, and manipulate the quantities and variables in the equations. Instead of understanding the concept of “taking away 5 from both sides”, she actually took a 5 away from both sides. The visual representation and manipulation are powerful tools for understanding.
  • The lesson manual is organized in incremental steps so that by the end of Level I, my daughter could solve an equation such as:   2(x + 3) = x + 8  with confidence.
  • Each guided lesson was followed by a worksheet with 10 problems. Five problems reinforced the new concept while five reviewed previously learned concepts. The reasonable number of problems and the built-in review was ideal.
  • You aren’t left using the manipulatives wondering how to help your child solve problems using pencil and paper. The lessons guide help you transfer your child’s use of the manipulatives to a pictorial representation and then to the traditional method of solving the problem by the end of Level III. The curriculum doesn’t leave you at the manipulative stage, though manipulatives are encouraged as long as your child needs them.

Hands-On Equations: See It In Action

Hands-On Equations: Final Thoughts

Can you use it with several children at once?

I began trying to use this program with my 7th, 5th and 3rd graders at the same time. Unfortunately, it didn’t work in our house. Their abilities were too diverse and their levels of impatience ran high.

In the end, I took my 7th grader through the 7 lessons in level Level 1 in less than a week when we committed to it daily. She was able to progress through one lesson a day and we only had four remaining. Now we are working on the Hands-On Equations Verbal Problems Book so that she can gain confidence in a variety of types of algebra word problems.

You could work with one child at a time during the day if you wanted them all to work through Level 1 at the same time.

Can you do it once a week?

I also began by attempting to use this program on Fridays for fun, but that wasn’t well for us. It definitely worked better when we used it each day and progressed through the lessons.

Now that my daughter is finished with Level 1, we choose 2-3 words problems for her to solve a few times a week in addition to her regular pre-algebra program.

Is this a complete Pre-Algebra or Algebra program?

No. This program is focused on introducing linear equations, which is only one part of a complete pre-algebra program.

It could be used in lieu of the introductory lessons on equations, but children would still need to learn how to apply these skills to more advanced linear equations involving fractions and decimals.

Do you recommend this program?

I absolutely recommend this program as a meaningful and fun way to introduce the concept of linear equations to your children. I plan to use it with my younger two students before they begin a regular pre-algebra program.

I also recommend the Verbal Word Problem book as an excellent supplement for any algebra program.

Hands On Equations Review

You Might Also Be Interested In:

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Conversation Starters for Families to use All Year Long http://www.notbefore7.com/2018/03/04/conversation-starters-families/ http://www.notbefore7.com/2018/03/04/conversation-starters-families/#comments Mon, 05 Mar 2018 03:54:30 +0000 http://www.notbefore7.com/?p=4198 Our family began a simple tradition many years ago that has had an incredibly positive impact on our dinner conversation. We stopped asking our kids how their day was or what they did that day. Instead, we asked two simple questions: What was the highlight of your day? (or what was your favorite part of the day?) What was the hardest part of your day? Our oldest child was only around 8 years old when we began to ask these questions on a regular basis and these two questions became the foundation for our current family conversation starters. Just over a year ago I began writing monthly conversation starters to use with my children. We had a great year laughing, talking and sharing around the table and we are ready to start again. While the questions are the same this year, our answers will definitely vary. Our family’s conversation starters are available in a book of Year-Round Conversations for $9.99. ON SALE for $7.99 In June! NOTE: Due to the nature of the electronic transfer, PDF’s are NON-REFUNDABLE. What’s Included? the benefits of conversation ideas for storing and using your conversation starters, including specific ideas for the seasons a label for making a conversation jar 26 questions for 12 months of the year 26 “Would You Rather” bonus questions to use throughout the year NOTE: Due to the nature of the electronic transfer, PDF’s are NON-REFUNDABLE. Want to start with a Freebie? Subscribers to this blog receive a second set of “Would […]

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Our family began a simple tradition many years ago that has had an incredibly positive impact on our dinner conversation.

We stopped asking our kids how their day was or what they did that day. Instead, we asked two simple questions:

  • What was the highlight of your day? (or what was your favorite part of the day?)
  • What was the hardest part of your day?

Our oldest child was only around 8 years old when we began to ask these questions on a regular basis and these two questions became the foundation for our current family conversation starters.

Just over a year ago I began writing monthly conversation starters to use with my children.

We had a great year laughing, talking and sharing around the table and we are ready to start again. While the questions are the same this year, our answers will definitely vary.

Our family’s conversation starters are available in a book of Year-Round Conversations for $9.99. ON SALE for $7.99 In June!

Add to Cart

NOTE: Due to the nature of the electronic transfer, PDF’s are NON-REFUNDABLE.

What’s Included?

  • the benefits of conversation
  • ideas for storing and using your conversation starters, including specific ideas for the seasons
  • a label for making a conversation jar
  • 26 questions for 12 months of the year
  • 26 “Would You Rather” bonus questions to use throughout the year

Conversation Starters for Families. Get a full year of conversation starters to use with your kids. There is a page of 26 questions for every month and a bonus page of "Would You Rather" questions.

Add to Cart

NOTE: Due to the nature of the electronic transfer, PDF’s are NON-REFUNDABLE.

View Cart

Want to start with a Freebie? Subscribers to this blog receive a second set of “Would You Rather” questions. This is NOT the same set that is included in the Year-Round book. This is a set of questions available ONLY to subscribers.

Subscribe here:

Want to know how our family uses the questions and get a sneak peek? Check out my explanation:

Hope you have a year of great conversation.

 

RELATED POSTS:

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Art Appreciation Through Projects and Stories http://www.notbefore7.com/2018/02/27/art-appreciation-projects-stories/ http://www.notbefore7.com/2018/02/27/art-appreciation-projects-stories/#comments Wed, 28 Feb 2018 00:17:14 +0000 http://www.notbefore7.com/?p=4175 Our house is bursting with creativity and tons of art supplies this year. We kicked off our year with several Mixed Media projects from the Art of Fall and we have continued to create new masterpieces each season. Recently, I incorporated art appreciation into our studies so that my kids learn to recognize and appreciate the work of well-known master artists. Of course, I didn’t want to stop creating our own masterpieces so I decided to find a way to incorporate both art appreciation and art creation.   {This post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.} Over the past decade of homeschooling, our family has dabbled in many books, ideas, and websites for art appreciation. This year, I found a great combination of activities for an educational, creative, and enjoyable experience. I decided to combine our Art Appreciation courses from the Masterpiece Society art Studio with the Artist story pack from Around the World Stories.  The Artist story pack includes creative, original, and educational stories about Monet, Van Gogh, Picasso, Michelangelo, Georgia O’Keefe, and Kandinsky. The Art Appreciation Course: Complete Set One includes a biography and three art activities for each of the following artists: Da Vinci, Rembrandt, Monet, Van Gogh, Picasso, and O’Keefe.  Stories about the masters combined with creative art projects imitating the masters. What a perfect combination. Four artists are included in both the Around the World Story Artist Pack and Art Appreciation Courses, Volume One: Monet, Van Gogh, Picasso, and O’Keefe. I decided we would begin our journey […]

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Our house is bursting with creativity and tons of art supplies this year.

We kicked off our year with several Mixed Media projects from the Art of Fall and we have continued to create new masterpieces each season.

Recently, I incorporated art appreciation into our studies so that my kids learn to recognize and appreciate the work of well-known master artists.

Of course, I didn’t want to stop creating our own masterpieces so I decided to find a way to incorporate both art appreciation and art creation.

 

Looking for ideas to incorporate stories and art into you art appreciation course? I've got the perfect combination.

{This post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.}

Over the past decade of homeschooling, our family has dabbled in many books, ideas, and websites for art appreciation. This year, I found a great combination of activities for an educational, creative, and enjoyable experience.

I decided to combine our Art Appreciation courses from the Masterpiece Society art Studio with the Artist story pack from Around the World Stories. 

The Artist story pack includes creative, original, and educational stories about Monet, Van Gogh, Picasso, Michelangelo, Georgia O’Keefe, and Kandinsky.

The Art Appreciation Course: Complete Set One includes a biography and three art activities for each of the following artists: Da Vinci, Rembrandt, Monet, Van Gogh, Picasso, and O’Keefe. 

Stories about the masters combined with creative art projects imitating the masters. What a perfect combination.

Four artists are included in both the Around the World Story Artist Pack and Art Appreciation Courses, Volume One: Monet, Van Gogh, Picasso, and O’Keefe. I decided we would begin our journey looking at these four artists.Around the World Artist Stories for Art Appreciation in Your Homeschool

Art Appreciation: Sample Schedule

Week One

Monday: We read the Mike Venezia book for the artist (see below) and we listen to the story from the Around the World Story Artist Pack.

Tuesday or Wednesday: We choose an art project by the artist from our Masterpiece Society Art Appreciation Course. We watch the beginning of the Masterpiece Society video over breakfast because it is chock full of great information about the painting. Later that day we complete the project in the video.

Thursday or Friday: We repeat the routine from Tuesday for a new project by the same artist.

Week Two

Monday: We complete the final project by the same artist.

Tuesday: An artist inspired teatime with picture books about the artist (suggestions below)

Wednesday – Friday: We enjoy extension ideas suggested on the Around the World Artist Story page.

Art Appreciation: Claude Monet

We kicked off this idea with a story about Claude Monet. In this delightful tale, Davy and Marigold are playing in their uncle’s garden when a unique piece of gum transports one of them to Claude Monet’s garden. We meet Claude Monet and visit his gardens during this fictional, yet educational tale.

The Way to the Water Lilies introduced us art anhistorical facts about impressionism, the garden Monet created, and the public’s initial reactions to Monet’s artwork.

After learning about Monet in the story, we created three pieces of artwork based on three of his famous pieces using the lessons in our Masterpiece Studio Art Appreciation Course: Japanese Footbridge; Waterlilies, Red; and Impression, Sunrise.

Of course, we also enjoyed several books from the library because I adore creative art appreciation books.

           

     

Art Appreciation: Vincent Van Gogh

This week we are studying Vincent Van Gogh following the same plan. We began with the story, The Vanishing Sunflowers, from Around the World Stories. In this tale, Davy and Marigold must use the time traveler’s gum once again to convince Vincent Van Gogh to return to his dream of becoming an artist.

Now we are painting three of Vincent’s masterpieces: Sunflowers, Starry Night, and The Reaper.

Art Appreciation: Vincent VanGogh

And yes, we have read several great books about Vincent Van Gogh from the library:

    

We have two more artists in our story pack that coordinate with our Art Appreciation Courses: Michelangelo and Kandinsky.

Once we finish then we’ll continue with the stories in our Artist story pack. The Around the World Stories website has lots of ideas for us to extend the learning after we listen to the story. In fact, there is a Pinterest board filled with project ideas for Kandinsky.

Then we’ll finish the last two artists in our Art Appreciation Course One Set. We will learn about their lives with the biography information included in the course. And I’ll fill in with books from the library, of course.

LOVE ART COURSES? – Check out my Review of the Masterpiece Society Annual Membership

Clearly, either course is good on its own but together, the Artist Story Pack and the Art Appreciation Course: Set One have worked well together.

Want to see our projects and hear my thoughts?

Facebook Live: Art Appreciation

Art Appreciation: Get Started

Buy the Artist Story Pack for creative, original, and informative stories.

Buy the Masterpiece Society Art Appreciation, Complete Set One for art projects and biographical information.

They work well together, but either one can be used on its own. Decide which is best for your family.

RELATED POSTS:

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Homeschooling on the Go http://www.notbefore7.com/2018/02/22/homeschooling-on-the-go/ http://www.notbefore7.com/2018/02/22/homeschooling-on-the-go/#comments Thu, 22 Feb 2018 22:20:18 +0000 http://www.notbefore7.com/?p=4163 I’ll admit that my favorite homeschool days are the ones we spend at home with no outside commitments or activities on the schedule. I protect our days at home as much as possible. But there are days that we have to take this show on the road. This year, my oldest attends a science class located 15-ish minutes away and it begins at 9 AM on Thursdays.  I had two choices when handling this situation: I could drive her there, drive home, spend an hour teaching my other three kids, and then drive back to get her. Or we could all go, drop her off and then find somewhere nearby to work on schoolwork. I was not interested in driving back and forth all morning, so we opted for a morning of what I affectionately call, “Panera-school”. I prepare for Panera-school the night before. I make sure that everyone’s independent work is in their bin and their bin is on the table and ready to go. My kids typically include their math workbook, spelling workbook, handwriting, copywork, and their tablet. I prepare my laptop bag with my laptop and a book to read to them while they eat bagels and muffins. Some days I read our science textbook. Other days I bring a favorite book of stories, a current non-fiction title, or a picture book. I eat a quick breakfast at home before we go, but my kids enjoy breakfast at Panera. Of course, I enjoy a steaming hot tea […]

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I’ll admit that my favorite homeschool days are the ones we spend at home with no outside commitments or activities on the schedule.

I protect our days at home as much as possible.

But there are days that we have to take this show on the road.

How we homeschool on the go.

This year, my oldest attends a science class located 15-ish minutes away and it begins at 9 AM on Thursdays. 

I had two choices when handling this situation:

  • I could drive her there, drive home, spend an hour teaching my other three kids, and then drive back to get her.
  • Or we could all go, drop her off and then find somewhere nearby to work on schoolwork.

I was not interested in driving back and forth all morning, so we opted for a morning of what I affectionately call, “Panera-school”.

Ideas for homeschooling on the go because we aren't always home when we homeschool.

I prepare for Panera-school the night before.

I make sure that everyone’s independent work is in their bin and their bin is on the table and ready to go. My kids typically include their math workbook, spelling workbook, handwriting, copywork, and their tablet.

I prepare my laptop bag with my laptop and a book to read to them while they eat bagels and muffins. Some days I read our science textbook. Other days I bring a favorite book of stories, a current non-fiction title, or a picture book.

Homeschool on the go.

I eat a quick breakfast at home before we go, but my kids enjoy breakfast at Panera. Of course, I enjoy a steaming hot tea while we work.

After breakfast, the kids dive into their individual work and I am often pulled in a few directions.

“Mom, can you help me with this math?”

“I am ready to do my spelling now.”

“I don’t understand what this is saying.”

I focus on answering questions and helping people through their lessons, one at a time.

My kids have short daily lessons, even in math. We focus on consistent short lessons, leaving us lots of time for group lessons and other projects when their independent work is complete.

There are times that I pack up a group project instead of their daily work because all good things need variety.

Typically I call it quits (or they finish) with enough time left to play on their tablets for a little while.

Homeschooling on the go, which we affectionately call Panera schooling.

Panera schooling helps me look forward to our morning out instead of dreading the early run to an outside class.

Clearly, you don’t have to go to Panera. We have packed up our school bins and headed to other local coffee shops and outdoor cafes. In addition to our school work, we often toss a card game into the bin.

Other times a card game is the only “school” we take. Yep, we like to take our game schooling on the road too.

So whether an outside commitment forces you to take school on the road or whether you change location by choice, try your own version of Panera-schooling and enjoy the change of scenery.

Handy “Homeschooling on the Go” Supplies:

Storage Bins with Handles – We picked similar bins up at the Container Store and they are perfect for school on the go. In fact, we store all of our school work in them so we can hide it away on the weekend.

Pencil Containers – Keep these handy with pens, pencils, and a few colored pencils. It’s easy to toss one in a bin and have your supplies on hand.

Laptop Bag – This is my exact laptop bag. I love it. It fits my laptop (a slim Mac) and several notebooks, pens, and even a book or two.

        

Game-Schooling on the Go – Our Top Five Card Game Picks

Coup – This game could just remain in my purse. It is our top choice to play at a restaurant while waiting for food or a coffee shop while enjoying our snacks. It doesn’t take up a lot of space and we love it. (ages 7 and up – your kids under 10 will catch on if you have older ones playing)

Exploding Kittens – This game probably ties Coup for “game most travelled with” in our family. Fantastic option.

Sushi Go – Another fun game at the coffee shop or Panera. This one takes a little more time, so we prefer it when just relaxing at Barnes and Noble and not dinner at a resturant.

UNO – This is a classic favorite that our whole family still enjoys. It’s another easy one to play when schooling on the go.

More Game Ideas

Happy Panera-Schooling or Wherever Your “School on the Go” takes you….

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101 Things Standardized Tests Can’t Measure http://www.notbefore7.com/2018/02/11/101-things-standardized-test-cant-measure/ http://www.notbefore7.com/2018/02/11/101-things-standardized-test-cant-measure/#comments Mon, 12 Feb 2018 03:47:29 +0000 http://www.notbefore7.com/?p=4139 Hey there. I see you. Staring at your child’s standardized test scores. Feeling frustrated, disappointed, or concerned. This score can’t be right. You KNOW your child. Your child is witty, fun, creative, and bright. But this score doesn’t reflect any of it. Yet this number counts for a lot. Maybe for too much. But that is a discussion for another time. Put the scores aside for a moment and picture your child moving through their week. What do they love? How do they treat people? What makes them unique? What do they do for fun? What makes them laugh? Hold on to that image while you read 101 Things Standardized Tests can’t Measure. {{This post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.}} Holding on to that image of your child? Great. Read on. Life Skills 1. Organization 2. Culinary Skills 3. Money Management 4. Healthy Habits 5. Real-World Problem Solving 6. Love of Learning 7. Common Sense 8. Computer Skills 9. Cleanliness 10. Discernment 11. Etiquette 12. Decision-Making Ability 13. Independence 14. Time Management 15. Teachability Character 16. Patience 17. Grit 18. Humility 19. Integrity 20. Honesty 21. Ambitious 22. Empathy 23. Peacemaker 24. Perseverance 25. Wit 26. Self-esteem 27. Happiness 28. Determination 29. Potential 30. Bravery 31. Motivation 32. Intuition 33. Flexibility 34. Morals 35. Grit Social Skills 36. Friendliness 37. Kindness 38. Compassion 39. Generosity 40. Sense of Humor 41. Affection 42. Thoughtfulness 43. Loyalty 44. Cooperation 45. Respect 46. Ability to Listen 47. Dependable 48. Supportive 49. Fun […]

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Hey there.

I see you. Staring at your child’s standardized test scores. Feeling frustrated, disappointed, or concerned.

This score can’t be right.

You KNOW your child. Your child is witty, fun, creative, and bright. But this score doesn’t reflect any of it.

Yet this number counts for a lot. Maybe for too much. But that is a discussion for another time.

Put the scores aside for a moment and picture your child moving through their week.

What do they love?
How do they treat people?
What makes them unique?
What do they do for fun?
What makes them laugh?

Hold on to that image while you read 101 Things Standardized Tests can’t Measure.

Testing isn't everything. Here are 101 things a Standardized Test can't measure.

{{This post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.}}

Holding on to that image of your child? Great. Read on.

Life Skills

1. Organization
2. Culinary Skills
3. Money Management
4. Healthy Habits
5. Real-World Problem Solving
6. Love of Learning
7. Common Sense


8. Computer Skills
9. Cleanliness
10. Discernment
11. Etiquette
12. Decision-Making Ability
13. Independence
14. Time Management
15. Teachability

Character

16. Patience
17. Grit
18. Humility
19. Integrity
20. Honesty
21. Ambitious
22. Empathy
23. Peacemaker
24. Perseverance
25. Wit
26. Self-esteem
27. Happiness
28. Determination
29. Potential
30. Bravery
31. Motivation
32. Intuition
33. Flexibility
34. Morals
35. Grit

Social Skills

36. Friendliness
37. Kindness
38. Compassion
39. Generosity
40. Sense of Humor
41. Affection
42. Thoughtfulness
43. Loyalty

44. Cooperation
45. Respect
46. Ability to Listen
47. Dependable
48. Supportive
49. Fun
50. Helpfulness
51. Volunteerism
52. Ability to Forgive
53. Gentleness
54. Self-Control
55. Inclusive
56. Empathetic

Talents

57. Athleticism
58. Playing Instruments
59. Painting
60. Creativity
61. Communication
62. Leadership
63. Handwriting and Lettering
64. Typing
65. Computer Coding
66. Decorating
67. Fashion Design
68. Video Editing
69. Photography
70. Composing Music
71. Drawing

101 Things a Standardized Test Can't Measure.

72. Sculpting
73. Teaching
74. Creative Writing
75. Sewing
76. Social Media presence. (Please don’t knock this one. Some of us…ahem…make money because of our skills in this area.)
77. Theater
78. Gaming
79. Story Telling
80. Jokes
81. Linguistics and Languages
82. Singing

Personality

83. Effort
84. Tenacity
85. Contentment
86. Courage
87. Ambition
88. Discipline
89. Passion
90. Wit


91. Confidence
92. Focus
93. Assertiveness
94. Adventurous Spirit
95. Logical
96. Thoroughness
97. Spirituality
98. Resilience
99. Cautious
100. Sympathetic

And the FINAL thing that a standardized test can’t measure:

101. The Person Your Child Is Everyday

Now it is your job to go remind them that they are more than a test score, whether it be a high or low score.

Remind them regularly of the “high scoring” traits you see in their lives that a test can’t possibly measure.

Interested in thinking outside of the traditional education model? Want some thought-provoking reads for your journey?

Non-Homeschool Specific

          

       

Homeschool Specific:

        

   

This post is just one of the 101 Reasons posts written by homeschooling moms.

RELATED POSTS:

101 Things a Standardized Test Can't Measure.

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Review: Masterpiece Society Studio Membership http://www.notbefore7.com/2018/01/15/review-masterpiece-society-studio-membership/ http://www.notbefore7.com/2018/01/15/review-masterpiece-society-studio-membership/#comments Mon, 15 Jan 2018 08:36:07 +0000 http://www.notbefore7.com/?p=4083 Are you ready for the ultimate art experience in your homeschool? Alisha Gratehouse, one of our favorite art teachers, has released an annual membership option for her art courses called the Masterpiece Society Studio Membership. Our family has enjoyed Alisha’s Mixed Media courses in the past. We are currently working through the Winter Wonderland Mixed Media course, and we completed several projects in the Fall Mixed Media Workshop. This annual membership will give us immediate access to all of Alisha’s wonderful courses in addition to member bonuses. {This post contains affiliate links. I was also given access to an annual membership at no cost. I am thrilled to share it with you because our family truly loves these courses. Read my full disclosure.} First, a little bit about Alisha Gratehouse from the Masterpiece Society: Alisha Gratehouse is an artist, art instructor, homeschool blogger, and homeschooling mother. Tired of the uninspirational art available to homeschool moms in the past, she created art workshops to offer the homeschool community. Her courses and workshops are designed to give kids, moms, and teens a fun and hands-on way to create beautiful pieces of art while learning about various art mediums. In the past, the courses could ONLY be purchased individually, but all of that has changed because Alisha has introduced the Masterpiece Society Studio Membership. Masterpiece Society Studio Membership: What’s Included? With your membership you will receive instant access to almost all of Alisha’s current courses: Celebrate Summer Mixed Media Workshop The Art of Fall Mixed […]

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Are you ready for the ultimate art experience in your homeschool?

Alisha Gratehouse, one of our favorite art teachers, has released an annual membership option for her art courses called the Masterpiece Society Studio Membership.

Our family has enjoyed Alisha’s Mixed Media courses in the past. We are currently working through the Winter Wonderland Mixed Media course, and we completed several projects in the Fall Mixed Media Workshop.

This annual membership will give us immediate access to all of Alisha’s wonderful courses in addition to member bonuses.

Check out a Masterpiece Society Studio Membership for instant access to unlimited art coures all year long.

{This post contains affiliate links. I was also given access to an annual membership at no cost. I am thrilled to share it with you because our family truly loves these courses. Read my full disclosure.}

First, a little bit about Alisha Gratehouse from the Masterpiece Society:

Alisha Gratehouse is an artist, art instructor, homeschool blogger, and homeschooling mother. Tired of the uninspirational art available to homeschool moms in the past, she created art workshops to offer the homeschool community.

Her courses and workshops are designed to give kids, moms, and teens a fun and hands-on way to create beautiful pieces of art while learning about various art mediums.

In the past, the courses could ONLY be purchased individually, but all of that has changed because Alisha has introduced the Masterpiece Society Studio Membership.

Masterpiece Society Studio

Masterpiece Society Studio Membership: What’s Included?

With your membership you will receive instant access to almost all of Alisha’s current courses:

  • Celebrate Summer Mixed Media Workshop
  • The Art of Fall Mixed Media Workshop
  • Winter Wonderland Mixed Media Workshop
  • Springtime Splendor Mixed Media Workshop
  • Valentines Day Mini Mixed Media Workshop
  • Playful Pet Portraits
  • Mixing with the Masters, Volume 1
  • Mixing with the Masters, Volume 2

You’ll also receive access to exclusive member content:

  • Simple Drawing Lessons for K-2 students
  • Coloring Sheets to accompany lessons for your littlest family members
  • Exclusive Holiday Art Lessons
  • Create and Connect area for Moms only with monthly video lessons and a community to connect and share

You’ll receive every new art course released during your membership. Here are a few on the agenda for 2018:

  • Art School: Drawing 101 (March 2018)
  • Art School: Watercolor 101 (April 2018)
  • Art School: Acrylics (& Oils) 101 (May 2018)
  • Art School: Pastels 101 (June 2018)

These amazing courses will teach you and your kids all of the fundamentals of art with a variety of mediums.

There are other courses being worked on that don’t have a release date yet: Nature Art, Art Journaling, Art & Literature, and several others.

Masterpiece Society Studio

Masterpiece Society Studio Membership: The Cost?

The absolute best deal is the current introductory price of $150 for an annual membership, making your membership $12.50 a month.

This price includes everything mentioned above and you will be grandfathered in at the $150 annual price forever, even after the price increases.

This introductory price won’t last forever, so this is the time to jump in on this deal.

Of course, you can also join as a monthly member and pay $15 a month, but the introductory monthly price will increase.

Is it worth it?

Let’s do the math. Purchasing the four mixed media workshops individually would cost $240. Your annual membership is well worth the price for these courses alone. And you receive so. much. more.

So the short answer is YES. Yes, it is worth it.

Without a doubt, our Mixed Media Journals, full of art from Alisha’s courses, are my favorite memento of our homeschool year. You can see them on my Facebook Live below.

We love the Mixed Media Art Courses from the Masterpiece Society. We had fun with the Winter Wonderland course and can't wait to do more.

Masterpiece Society Studio Membership: What’s Not Included?

There are two things that are not included in the Masterpiece Society Studio

  • You Are a Masterpiece mixed media workshop is not included because it was created for women. Courses created for women in the future will not be included either.
  • The Masterpiece Society Art Appreciation Curriculum is not included. However, as a member, you will be able to get a 20% discount.

 

Masterpiece Society Studio Membership: Facebook Live

Masterpiece Society Studio Membership: Sign Me Up

Are you ready for the quality, affordable, and easily accessible art lessons?

Are you ready to let your kids and teens explore and express their creativity?

Are you done with your excuses for skipping art?

If so, then click on the link below to sign up:

Our family enjoys the masterpieces we create using Alicia’s courses and I have no doubt that you and your family will too.

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Masterpiece Society Art Course - Fall Mixed Media

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