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2 THE VIRGINIA HOME EDUCATOR WINTER 2014 HEAV BOARD & STAFF HEAV Board of Directors Anne Miller President Williamsburg Patrick Ryan Vice President Purcellville Kevin Mulhearn Treasurer Yorktown Linda Linder Secretary Manassas Rick Boyer Board Member Rustburg Cherrie Moore Board Member Virginia Beach Advisory Board Lauren Bell Virginia Beach Yvonne Bunn Murfreesboro HEAV Staff Anne Miller Interim Executive Director office Yvonne Bunn Director of Homeschool Support & Legislative Affairs Lauren Bell Convention Director Helen Wright Finance Manager Ann Miranda Office Manager Lora Howard Assistant Office Manager Lisa Workman Director of Special Events Publications Staff Maureen Bittner Director of Publications & Marketing Mary Kay Smith Magazine Editor editor Melissa Barnes Editor Kathleen Lansing Advertising Director advertising Kathleen Dillie Update Manager Karen Sweeney Update Content Editor update Chris Update Editor Arielle Potter Copy Editor & Above-the-Fold Writer Maya Barnes Update Layout Laurie Sitterding Editor Michael Grice Webmaster Alyssa Mulhearn Web-Content Editor Linda Mesibov HTML Coder Susannah Miller Graphic Designer Jennifer Covington Social Media Manager Angela Palomo Transcript Editor Kelly Pedone Communications Coordinator SEND ADDRESS CHANGES TO Home Educators Association of Virginia 2100 W. Laburnum Avenue Suite 108A Richmond Virginia 23227 Fax 804-278-9202 E-mail office Phone 804-278-9200 or Web For fastest service send your former and new addresses. Check your mailing label to see if you are a member if not join today The purpose of the Virginia Home Educator is to provide information resources and encouragement to Virginia homeschool parents. The views expressed in this magazine do not necessarily reflect those of the Home Educators Association of Virginia. All Scripture quotations are from the King James Version unless otherwise noted. The Virginia Home Educator is sent quarterly to Virginia s homeschooling families without charge. To receive a free subscription sign up at To inquire about advertising or submitting an article please contact HEAV at PO Box 6745 Richmond Virginia 23230-0745 or e-mail us at advertising or editor HEAV reserves the right to edit for style and space or to refuse any submission deemed inappropriate for our publication. Permission is granted to reprint any news items from this magazine providing proper credit is given all other material is copyrighted. For reprint permission please contact the editor at editor 2014 Home Educators Association of Virginia SUBMISSION DEADLINES Spring 2015 (Issue 1)--December 1 Summer 2015 (Issue 2)--March 15 Fall 2015 (Issue 3)--June 15 Winter 2015 (Issue 4)--September 15 14 16 12 FEATURES 10 12 14 Finding the Gift in Your Child Vicki Bentley DEPARTMENTS 4 5 6 From the Editor Mary Kay Smith Teaching Struggling Readers Denise Eide From Our Facebook Page From the Director of Homeschool Support Yvonne Bunn Teaching Art to Preschool and Early Elementary-Age Children Sharon Jeffus 16 Communicating with Sign Language Diann Shorter 8 18 Freedom Watch Classified Ads 2015 VIRGINIA HOMESCHOOL CONVENTION SPEAKERS KEN HAM & BUDDY DAVIS JUNE 1 1-13 2015 Cover Image monkeybusinessimages ot too long after we moved into our home I began thinking like an Israelite. We had a lovely brandnew house and were working on the gardens which were becoming beautiful and peaceful--a place for enjoying flowers and birds. And then the house behind us was built and the neighbors moved in. Up until this time we had thought of our home in terms of Psalm 16 5-6 The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup thou maintainest my lot. The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places yea I have a goodly heritage. But with the arrival of the neighbors the lot was not being maintained and the lines were no longer pleasant. The school staff had problems with their children a town representative spoke to them about their yard and the sheriff checked on their dog. We tried being friendly we tried being understanding we tried being helpful but eventually I became frustrated and angry. One day I found myself saying to God Why did you give us this beautiful place only to bring these noisy rude people right behind us And then I laughed. I had just finished studying Exodus where complaining rather than asking was a serious issue. Why did you bring us here only to have us pursued by the Egyptians Why did you bring us here only to have us die of thirst Why this Why that It was obvious that whining was a problem with the Israelites and yet here I was using the exact same wording. So I changed tactics. No more requests or complaints. Instead I asked God what He planned to do about the problem. A contagious disease swept through the school. The lady of the house decided she would never again welcome neighborhood children to her backyard so that their play set would not be contaminated. I was very surprised at her reaction to the sickness but it eliminated a good portion of the noise and mess and we could now actually have a phone conversation with our kitchen window open. But the barking dog was still an issue so I again asked God how He would like to take care of the problem. He blessed them. The husband got a nice raise and the family decided they wanted a bigger house...and moved. Now I am praying about something else. I have no idea how or when God will handle this problem but I know He can do above all I can ask or think. It s hard for me not make suggestions and it is very hard to wait but I know His understanding of the situation and what is needed--and His imagination for a solution--are obviously far above mine. After all I wouldn t have thought of feeding a man by a raven taking dips in water to cure leprosy or blowing trumpets to take down a city wall. What about you Have you also learned not to whine or complain but to ask Have you taught your children the same There is a huge distinction between the two and the results are totally different. 4 THE VIRGINIA HOME EDUCATOR WINTER 2014 Africa Studio Dollar Photo Club N FROM THE EDITOR Mary Kay Smith from our Facebook page... When the newness of the school year wears off what do you do to maintain your momentum What do you consider socialization in your family join the online conversation This is my first year homeschooling. Are we able to get teacher cards for teacher discounts Erin Relocate We pack up our books and head to Panera the local park or the library and do lessons there. Sometimes a change of scenery is all that s really needed to freshen things up a little. Dawn It is helpful to set smaller marker goals to celebrate as you move through the year. Lisa Take field trips Virginia is so full of history and museums it s bursting at the seams. We took full advantage of that during our homeschooling years. Debbie Create or find accountability partners. Our weekly homeschool group provides this but last year we also added a day with friends doing the same curriculum. That took some of the burden from me and was enjoyable so we all looked forward to it. Homeschool does not mean without others ... it took me a long time to get that. Jennifer My kids socialize together all day. Plus we are part of a couple of organizations a homeschool sports group and a homeschool fellowship group. The kids have friends of all ages through church. We think it s important for them to interact with people of all ages regularly. Mary We socialize naturally when we go to a restaurant store library park church doctor s office dentist s office pool skating rink ball practice sporting event birthday party funeral beach museum aquarium neighbor s house movie gas station festival community meeting farmer s market.... Kristen Socialization for me is taking my kids with me on my errands thus actually exposing them to the real world. My kids know to spot the older gentlemen with veterans hats stop them and say Thank you for your service. That s how I want my kids to socialize. (We also get to review history that way ) Michele Yes If you are part of a group like HEAV they can send you a card which you then take to a store or website to sign up for their teacher discount card. I have one for A.C. Moore and Joann Fabrics. I know you can get one from Barnes and Noble and I think Lowes as well. If you Google where to get teacher discount cards you can find a list. The cards should be free. Lisa I use my NOI (Notice of Intent) but sometimes stores just take my word for it. I have received discounts or cards from Barnes and Noble 2nd & Charles Lakeshore Learning Apple craft stores etc. Becky If you have a smart phone you can upload a copy of your NOI to Google Drive and keep a copy on your phone. Lydia The best thing is to ask. I asked at Office Max and got my discount there. Make it a habit of just asking. DIGITAL FORMAT Now get the same great magazine on your tablet & mobile devices--FREE Visit thevirginia-home-educator. Outside the Box Beat the winter doldrums with a paint stirrer Use an old glove and whatever you have in your scrap box to make to the hat and scarf. Reprinted with permission from Enchanted Homeschooling Mom (http FREEDOM WATCH I want to thank you for all of your hard work in guarding our God-given right to educate our children. Your information concerning Hampton City schools has been both a blessing and alarming. We are beginning our fourth year homeschooling and I never knew that I did not need the county s permission to homeschool. Every year I ve held my breath until I received the letter from our superintendent because the language in it leads one to believe that we do indeed need their permission. Thank you for letting us know that we do not and for your service to us as parental educators Blessings Amy Tate Franklin County THANK YOU I wanted to take a moment and thank you all for everything you are doing to support homeschoolers in Hampton and across the state. It is a great comfort to have HEAV and HSLDA in our corner fighting for us. We are blessed to be able to homeschool and glad to make the investment in our children. This deep commitment to our children s education requires great amounts of energy as you well know. Your attentive care willingness and competence to engage the various school boards and governments helps us as parents be able to focus more on the task at hand--teaching and discipling our children. Homeschooling is hard. We gladly embrace doing hard things on behalf of our children but you make it much easier with your diligence and courageous tenacity in defending the rights of families with regard to homeschooling. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. May the Lord continue to bless each of you at HEAV. We appreciate you so much. Blessings Kim Marble North Chesterfield 5 THE VIRGINIA HOME EDUCATOR WWW.HEAV.ORG From the Director of Homeschool Support Yvonne Bunn H omeschooling isn t what it used to be and that can be a good thing As the number of homeschoolers has grown so has the number of resources methods and opportunities. You have lots of choices. I started talking with my husband about homeschooling as soon as I learned that it was a legal alternative to traditional school. We had some experience with public and private schools with our first two children and we purposed to learn all we could about this new educational choice. Along with a small group of like-minded friends we knew that God was doing something in our hearts. He was turning our hearts to our children. We didn t know how to choose curriculum or ways to discover learning styles or the importance of setting goals or anything about teaching strategies but we took the plunge Academics didn t seem too overwhelming--we were starting with kindergarten. We could teach colors and shapes cutting finger painting and numbers and sounds. I was certain I knew more than a kindergartener. However I have to admit thinking to myself I d better learn to spell kindergarten if I m going to teach it. That was only the beginning of the things I would learn NO PERFECT CURRICULUM We were all part of a grand learning experiment trying to figure things out one day at a time. I began with the only thing I knew the classroom approach. After a few months of the traditional classroom in my house (which didn t work so well) I switched to a more relaxed approach with living books dictation and thoughtful nature walks. Next I turned to the principal approach and researched reasoned and recorded. Then we dove into a year of fun hands-on project learning with a popular unit-study program. After a while we combined a little classical education with parts of the other approaches that seemed to work well. If you ve heard me say There is no perfect curriculum you now understand why. They were all good choices but not perfect for each child. Did you notice I didn t mention on-line classes or co-ops We didn t have them. These learning options only developed during the past ten years or so. Our children turned out fine even with the varied curricula and methods we used. I enjoyed having the freedom to try new things and I experimented with lots of methods and curricula because I thought it was interesting and fun. My children liked the variety too. I learned what worked and what didn t. And even though it wasn t always easy and there were struggles with some subjects as well as learning challenges our children learned. I learned too. I learned that homeschooling isn t all about curriculum. In fact there wasn t any particular curriculum or method that made a big difference. 6 THE VIRGINIA HOME EDUCATOR WINTER 2014 What really impacted our homeschool was following the Lord s direction and the oneon-one instruction. I didn t have to wait until the end-of-the-year test to see if what I was doing was working or not. I was working directly with the children so I KNEW. If we needed to slow down we slowed down. If there was mastery we moved forward at a faster pace. If it just wasn t working we changed methods. NO SUBSTITUTE FOR PARENT-TO-CHILD INSTRUCTION As you make choices about how you educate your children don t miss one of the most important benefits of home instruction--being with your child With all the different methods of homeschooling that are available today there is still no better way to teach than one-on-one. On-line instruction CDs computer games tutors teaching co-ops--they all have their place as homeschool helps. But there is no substitute for parent-to-child instruction especially in the elementary years. Even during high school close oversight and good communication build trust which is critical for teens. Spending time with your children is more than riding together in a car to a soccer game or eating a meal while they text their friends. It s having a relationship with them. Whether time with your children is called mentoring or discipleship or something else it s about communication that grows into a sound relationship. And building that relationship is the most important job you will ever have as parents. Although this isn t unique to homeschooling you can become close to your children because you have the opportunity to spend more time with them. If you choose to do so the results will last a lifetime. There are lots of decisions to make as a homeschool parent. You have choices about teaching methods types of curriculum co-op involvement club participation or joining a sports team. Focus on God s best for your family. Be careful not to let the good things crowd out the best things. Weigh your choices carefully Does it meet God s goals for your family Does it fit with your family s schedule Is it the right thing for your child Homeschooling really is a lifestyle. Make it a priority to have a family lifestyle that works-- one that s filled with the best things God has for you. You only have a few short years with your children. Make every choice count. Achievement Cognitive Career & Practice Tests National standardized achievement tests The Iowa Tests Stanford 10 (paper and online) TerraNova2TM - California Achievement Test Brigance Woodcock-Johnson III Strong Interest Inventory Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI ) CogAT OLSAT (paper and online) Career Tests Practice Tests for Iowa Stanford CLEP TerraNova California CogAT OLSAT S pecializing in Group discounts available Some restrictions apply Your Child is Uniquely & Wonderfully Made Triangle Education Assessments LLC 5512 Merion Station Dr Apex NC 27539 Ph. 919.387.7004 orders Toll free or fax order 1.877.843.8837 THE VIRGINIA HOME EDUCATOR WWW.HEAV.ORG 7 GET READY FOR THE NEW SAT High school students can expect the rollout of the new SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test created by the College Board) in the spring of 2016. Free test preparation materials for the new version will be available early in 2015. What changes can we expect and what should homeschoolers do to prepare for the change We can expect scoring to return to a familiar system expanded essay writing time that gives a student more time to think and write and content that is integrated with multiple subjects. According to the College Board [Students] will find questions asking them to support their answers with evidence vocabulary they ll use long after they ve taken the exam an essay prompt asking them to analyze a writer s argument and multistep problems requiring them to apply math in real-world contexts. It is anticipated that the test will take three hours to complete. Scoring Changes The SAT will have only two sections. Reading and writing will be combined with a 200- to 800-point scale. The same point scale will be used for mathematics. This returns the test to the 1600 point scale with an average score being 1 000 points or 500 for each of the two sections. The penalty for guessing will be removed--leaving an answer blank or marking a wrong answer will not count against you. The test will change to a right-only scoring system. Essay Changes Essay scoring will be separate. The essay is optional but students can expect most colleges to require it. The writing test will now be given at the end of the SAT and students will have fifty minutes to write the essay. Students will be given a selected source text to read and then be required to write an analysis of the source text. Content Changes Throughout the test students will be reading about science history and social studies. They will analyze literary and informational texts as well as revise and edit texts from career-related and academic areas. They will review passages from one of our founding documents or from a text from the global conversation. In the comprehension section students will read documents speeches and letters then support their answers by showing where they found the answers. They will be required to show an understanding of vocabulary in context. Students will also use math skills to solve problems and analyze data in science and social studies. There will be an emphasis on mental math and real-world math. Calculators will only be allowed in certain sections. Mathematics will include three sections Problem Solving and Data Analysis (quantitative literacy including ratios percentages and proportional reasoning) the Heart of Algebra (mastery of linear equations and systems) and Passport to Advanced Math (more complex equations). Test Prep Changes The College Board creator of the SAT has partnered with homeschool-friendly Khan Academy to provide FREE review and test preparation resources to students using their interactive software. Instructional videos will be available in the spring of 2015. These practice programs are individually targeted to students needs. Full-length practice exams will also be available. Homeschool Preparation The best test preparation is a good well-rounded education. Home-educated students have a distinct advantage because we can choose the best curricula for our students. A focus on the core subjects--reading writing and math-- during the elementary years will lay a strong foundation. During seventh or eighth grade make sure your student masters good keyboarding skills in preparation for a possible SAT computer test as well as preparation for the workforce. By ninth grade make a four-year high school plan. In high school focus on the quality of the courses studied not just having enough credits to graduate. Reading comprehension and developing an extensive vocabulary are very important. Teach your homeschool student to analyze what he reads and most importantly teach him to write write write 2015 LEGISLATIVE SESSION The HEAV legislative team is gearing up for an active General Assembly session. We have begun monitoring proposed legislation since pre-filing began in July. As soon as bills are introduced into the system we watch for proposed changes to the homeschool statute threats to religious exemption or other legislation that could affect home education. Last year we reviewed more than 2000 bills There are several issues this year that are causing us to be on watch for attempted legislative initiatives. Some school divisions have changed their policies regarding how they process religious exemptions others have changed their Notice of Intent forms to include more information than the law requires. We will stay alert to any attempts to amend homeschool laws and weaken parental rights. We are also carefully watching the development of the Virginia Longitudinal Data System. This is a software tool that creates crossagency data linkages which provide information to various groups on student progress from early childhood to the workforce. We want to make sure homeschool students are not included in this data system. HEAV appreciates your prayer and financial support as we head into the 2015 legislative session. 8 THE VIRGINIA HOME EDUCATOR WINTER 2014 enrollment program for homeschool sophomores juniors and seniors for just 130 per course. Try us...through our dual A Christ-centered college with a home education environment. Nestled in the majestic mountains of southwest Virginia Bluefield College is a small liberal arts college where students explore a variety of 26 majors and minors alongside caring incredible professors. With a student faculty ratio of 11 1 professors offer personal attention that home school students have come to appreciate. Forge lifelong friendships. Worship God. Travel the world. Be a part of an athletic team. Enjoy the great outdoors. Become a servant leader. Discover your passion. Prepare for your calling. LEARN MORE OR JOIN THE BLUEFIELD COLLEGE FAMILY TODAY. VISIT BLUEFIELD.EDU OR E-MAIL ADMISSIONS BLUEFIELD.EDU. IN YOUR CHILD Vicki Bentley W hen we first considered home education I was unsure about my own ability to meet my children s needs. Not only did we have a daughter born with cerebral palsy but I had two children classified as gifted and talented by the local public school. Speech therapy and occupational therapy in a home environment weren t nearly as frightening to me as the thought of challenging my GT kids I was so afraid that I could not offer a motivating stimulating environment equivalent to that of the local school program. And I was right. Instead of producing an equivalent program which would limit our gifted and talented program to one or two half-days a week we were able to tailor our entire program to the accelerated learning and creative development of our children. Instead of having to wait for the rest of the class to catch up in math the kids could move ahead at their own speed. Instead of halting their fascination with the topic at hand because the bus was coming our children could delve into their latest passion for hours or days or weeks at a time. And one child s passion was usually contagious infecting her siblings with at least a functional interest in the topic as they worked together to learn create read experiment explore and discover. ALL CHILDREN ARE GIFTED Along the way I made a discovery of my own--all children are gifted. Not only did our school-labeled gifted children flourish but our challenged child grew beyond the limitations the world wanted to impose on her. This child who would supposedly never speak not only learned to talk but she also sang performed in radio plays with her sisters memorized Scripture and completed service projects. She was even crowned one of the youngest Missionettes Honor Stars in our district. This child who would never walk became one of the most entertaining players on her varsity softball team with other parents attending practices just to watch her ball-catching ta-daaa gymnastics in the outfield. WORKING WITH YOUR GIFTED CHILD Maybe you don t have any doubt about your child s giftedness you just aren t sure what to do with him. If your child is capable of working ahead of his age-mates then think in terms of his ability rather than his grade level and let him move to the next stage of his learning. 10 THE VIRGINIA HOME EDUCATOR WINTER 2014 GIFTEDNESS Academic giftedness is not the only measure of intelligence--it s just the most easily discernible in a typical scholastic setting. According to theorists such as Howard Gardner1 there are many different types of intelligence including n Visual-spatial (thinks in pictures images enjoy mazes puzzles and construction) n Verbal-linguistic (writer reader storyteller and word puzzler) n Logical-mathematical (fascinated by patterns strategy math and logical relationships) n Bodily-kinesthetic (has a natural talent in athletics dance and practical arts such as crafts or woodworking) n Musical-rhythmic (has a discriminating ear for pitch or rhythm often sings to himself or drums on everything in sight) n Interpersonal (leader communicator and motivator) n Intrapersonal (self-motivated to an unusual degree often shy or introverted but very aware of his own emotions and thoughts) Whether or not we agree with the psychology behind such theories we recognize that some of our children may exhibit great talent in some of these areas while other children excel in other areas. In addition to teaching our children the basic skills and content areas we can encourage our children to delve more deeply and excel in their own areas of interest or talent. 1. learningstyles.MI.htm Multiple%20 Intelligences%20Explained Keep in mind that a gifted child s emotional or social maturity is likely not at the same advanced level as his cognitive maturity so it is important to have realistic expectations. The precocious fiveyear-old may have the vocabulary and reasoning abilities of a much older child but she will often behave like--well--a five-year-old. No matter what type of giftedness your child has remember that the greatest resource for training a gifted child is the home. That s what homeschooling is all about. RESOURCES FOR GIFTED LEARNERS n Gifted Learners and Twice-Exceptional Resources (HSLDA Struggling Learners Special Needs web pages) strugglinglearner sn_gifted.asp n n The Animal School by Dr. George Reavis w w animal-school-video-inspiresindividuality-acceptance Gifted learners resource listing of articles links books and e-groups for parents of children who are intellectually and or otherwise-gifted earlyyears A few scripture verses on talents and abilities www.godsporch. net article 100 a-few-verses-on-talents-and-abilities n n Homeschooling Gifted Children (extensive resource list from Hoagies Gifted Page) home_school.htm Gifted with a Glitch by Dianne Craft gifted-with-a-glitch Guiding the Gifted Child by Maggie Hogan 2013 01 homeschooling-gifted-child-1 So You Think Your Child May Be Gifted by Helene Barker Kiser (e-booklet) product so-youthink-your-child-may-be-gifted Gifted Children at Home by Maggie Hogan Kathleen Julicher and Janice Baker Three moms of gifted students share what they ve learned about the best resources and opportunities and options for educating an intellectually gifted child. gifted-children-at-home-practicalguide janice-baker 9781892427014 pd 93457. How Do I Homeschool My Gifted Child Methods Materials and Mentors by Tiffany Tan w w how-do-i-homeschool-mygifted-child Teaching Highly Distractible Kids by Carol Barnier of articles view secrets-for-success-with-the-highly-distractible-child Vicki Bentley ( author of Home Education 101 and other books and a veteran homeschool mom offers help and encouragement through Home School Legal Defense Association s Homeschooling Toddlers to Tweens program. This article is adapted from a previously published Toddlers to Tweens e-newsletter. n n n n n n THE VIRGINIA HOME EDUCATOR WWW.HEAV.ORG 11 STRUGGLING READERS Denise Eide R eading is the most important skill that children need in order to be successful in school and in the workplace. Unfortunately many parents and teachers have been told that children learn to read in the same way they learn to speak. They mistakenly believe that children learn to read naturally by being read to. Though some children learn to read naturally the majority of children need systematic reading instruction to succeed. In the United States approximately one-third of children read well onethird are struggling and one-third are functionally illiterate. In my observation this rule of thirds is also present in the homeschool community. One child appears to teach herself to read another in the same family struggles but makes progress and yet another child seems unable to master the skill of reading regardless of the curriculum or amount of hours invested. Often parents tell struggling readers to try harder and they require more sessions of reading together. Though well-intentioned they do not understand the battle that is raging within the child. Many children are understandably overwhelmed by the numerous exceptions in our language. They repeatedly misread words such as have with a long A sound and when a parent says That is an exception 12 it creates confusion for the child. The language appears to have more exceptions than words that follow the rules. When children experience repeated difficulty learning to read they often internalize that they are not smart and develop a lifelong aversion to reading. Fortunately there are ways to improve almost any child s reading proficiency. as in is. Many students misread words simply because they do not know all the sounds. PRACTICE GLUING WORDS TOGETHER ALOUD. Many students guess wildly while reading because they ve never realized words are made of sounds glued together. Put away the books and practice saying words aloud with a space between each sound. (k-a-t) Then ask the child to glue the word back together. MAKE READING INSTRUCTION THE PRIORITY. Reading should be the priority of every school day for all non-readers over six years old. Studies have shown that with as little as eighty hours of systematic reading instruction (learning the phonograms and rules) most students will make dramatic improvements. If needed set aside other coursework for a few months until your student has mastered reading. TEACH ALL NINE SILENT E RULES. Many people only know one reason for a silent final E the vowel says its name because of the E. This rule explains game and ripe but causes many students to misread have and give with a long vowel sound. When teachers know that English words never end THE MAJORITY OF CHILDREN NEED SYSTEMATIC READING INSTRUCTION TO SUCCEED. TEACH ALL THE TOOLS. Struggling readers who do not know the seventy-four phonograms and thirty spelling rules that unlock ninety-eight percent of English words consider reading aloud akin to torture. Rather than continuing in the same manner take a short break from required reading and teach the student the 104 tools. Once students have mastered these tools you can again assign books to read. When a student misses a word you will now have a logical explanation for how to sound it out. TEACH ALL THE SOUNDS. Many letters say more than one sound. For example the letter S says s as in sad and z THE VIRGINIA HOME EDUCATOR WINTER 2014 in V they are able to provide students with a more complete understanding of English. Knowing all nine reasons for a silent E prevents students from needing to memorize thousands of exceptions. COVER PICTURES. Many young students struggle with the left-to-right eye movement of reading. Allow students to look at the pictures. Then cover them with a blank sheet of paper while you read. Covering pictures makes it easier to focus on the text. MAKE IT FUN. Learning the basics does not need to be boring. Engage students with games. FIND ANSWERS. Too often we answer questions about reading by saying That is an exception. This frustrates many bright students and discourages them from reading. Rather than dismissing words as exceptions look for answers and explanations. English is far more logical than you might think. Denise Eide is the author of the award-winning book Uncovering the Logic of English and the Logic of English series of curriculum. She is a homeschool mom of four children. Visit her at 25 years experience supplying tests worldwide (missionary and expat families count on us) ONLY BAYSIDE GIVES YOU ALL THIS Easy ordering available all year NO extra or hidden costs FREE Practice Exercise for Grades K-8 FREE postage to you (USA) Scholarship assistance available GENUINE McGraw-Hill Education Scoring (Fall Winter tests may be scored by Bayside) ORDERING IS EASY Order online right from our website Or mail a payment with your name address phone test form (regular CB or the shorter not easier SV ) and your test week. Tell us the grade level for each student and say that you will follow all CTB and Bayside instructions. You can order the Guide without a test order. Check our website email any questions and we ll get you answers right away Prices are subject to change. Orders may be revised. No refunds or cancellations after we ship tests. Fees apply for late returns and lost or damaged material. No matter your test provider we have help for you with our full-size 28 page do-it-yourself Teacher Guide that includes the skills tested and sample scoring reports for each test level and grade. It s written for the CAT 6TM but will help you prepare your students for any of the other nationally standardized achievement tests. 14 (PLUS TAX IN NC) & 2 POSTAGE ORDER THE CAT 6TM--JUST 50 PER STUDENT Choose CB Grades K-12 or SV Grades 2-4 6-12 (SV Grade 4 or 6 or CB can be used for Grade 5) PO Box 250 Kill Devil Hills NC 27948 orders voice messaging 800-723-3057 THE VIRGINIA HOME EDUCATOR WWW.HEAV.ORG 13 TO PRESCHOOL & EARLY ELEMENTARY- W AGE CHILDREN Sharon Jeffus hen we think of art for preschool and early elementary we need to think of fun and adventure. Children this age have a short attention span and we don t want to bore them or they will disengage. Lessons need to be varied with lots of action and simplicity is the key to success. TEACHING ART Following are the most important things to remember when teaching your young child art Practice Muscle Control Have your children practice fine-muscle control in each art lesson. Learning how to control paint crayons scissors and other art tools helps children gain the skills necessary for later writing activities. Develop Awareness of Art Developing perceptual abilities is very important. Help children notice and verbalize what they see. While looking at master art work children should be made aware of the elements and principles of art such as line shape texture and color. They should talk about what is happening in the picture. Teach Problem Solving Making decisions and solving problems is a primary benefit of a good art lesson. Ask children what color they should use how big they should make the person or if they want to make a border. Provide Encouragement Experiencing success is a wonderful benefit of each art lesson. Because art leaves the ending open to the creator all children experience a measure of success. Just as no three architects come up with the same idea for a building no 14 three art projects will be the same. There is no one right answer. This is why art activities are appropriate for children with special needs too. Sincere encouragement by the teacher is important. Even if you only remark on the lovely way they used the color green that is enough. Children become better artists with encouragement. Use the Right Tools In my opinion card stock paper is the best for younger children. A heavier-pound paper will have less chance of tearing than copier-weight paper. USING MASTER ART It is important that young children learn to appreciate master art. I remember reading an article about a mom whose daughter was an award-winning success as an art teacher with challenged children. The mother said that she owned a large book about Leonardo da Vinci that had a special place on her living room coffee table. Her three-year-old daughter took an orange crayon and colored on the pages. The mom was devastated and gave the child the book for her toy box. It became her daughter s favorite book. The mother very tongue-in-cheek claimed it was responsible for her daughter s great success. In reality though showing great master art to little ones is an excellent thing to do. I love to hear parents say how amazed they were when they went to the art museum and their first-grader could recognize master art. When using master art with children you need to include easy observation questions and answers and then a simple art project. OTHER SUBJECTS THROUGH ART There are several things art does for your young child and you can teach part of every core subject in art lessons. Math is taught when children learn basic shapes and lines. Breaking apart a simple sculpture is also math--a lesson in fractions. Science can be taught by having children look at and draw simple animal pictures. You can show how colors change when they are mixed and how various textures feel and look. History lessons happen when children become acquainted with the art of the past by viewing master art. They learn something of their origins and themselves. Language is taught as children verbalize about their work and the master art they look at. Writing began as pictures so children learn letters as they do art. Have children make a Y tree or an 11 lighthouse. Use art with children s literature. Combining stories and art is always a good idea. THE VIRGINIA HOME EDUCATOR WINTER 2014 Here is an example After reading The Ugly Duckling look at Audubon s swan. You can explain that a swan is a bird that can fly and swim. Ask how many swans are in the picture what color they are if the swans legs can be seen how many flowers there are what color the flowers are. Ask the children if they would like to be in the water with the swan. Then get several colors of blue paper and have the children tear the paper into long strips. They can paste the strips onto a background for the water. This is a fine-motor-skill activity. Then have them draw a simple swan using the letter S. You may need to help make the S shape of the swan or guide their hand as they make it. In other lessons you can show a master painting and discuss vertical lines (standing straight and tall) and horizontal lines (that look like they re sleeping). You can also talk about basic shapes and radial lines that come out from the center like rays of the sun or spokes of a wheel. THINKING OF ART AS TREASURE I saved a picture that my son did at age three. It only vaguely resembles a bear but that is part of the treasure of the picture. I remember his pride in drawing it all by himself. And I will never forget walking into my doctor s office and seeing an exhibit of brightly colored art. I immediately thought abstract. I was delighted to find out it was the art of his three-year-old daughter. He understood that art is not only important to the education of the whole child it is a wealth to savor. Sharon Jeffus has published her first book of lessons for younger children that incorporates the ideas in this article. E-mail her at visualmanna for more information. She also gives two-day art intensives that you can read about at VALUES C O U N T At Liberty Law we preserve Christian values. A legal education at Liberty University stands firmly on those values which are foundational to the law. Gain the legal skills and knowledge necessary to protect Christian values and become a Champion for Christ. LawAdmissions (434) 592-5300 THE VIRGINIA HOME EDUCATOR WWW.HEAV.ORG 15 SIGN LANGUAGE DIANN SHORTER cabulary and small sentences--using games songs and everyday activities. I would suggest also picking a topic for fun such as around the house let s eat or animals. Read books sing songs and take trips related to these topics so the children will have a chance to practice what they learn. You can then reward them with stickers. Free material can be found on www.mes-english. com. If you do this activity in a co-op be sure to send out a weekly update to the parents so they can continue to practice at home. Older children can be introduced to the manual alphabet of sign language by using subjects that interest them. Read stories and picture books about the topic and then follow them with a signed song. For example when teaching colors read Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See and then top it off with a related song such as Rainbow Song by Signing Time. You will need to use resources that teach your child ASL grammar and word order because ASL is a language all its own and does not follow the same grammatical structure as English. In fact ASL is similar to French since that is its origin. INCORPORATING SIGN LANGUAGE Using ASL in subject matters is good because you are not replacing that subject but rather using it as an enhancement--all while learning a second language. ASL is the third most spoken language in the United States as of 2010. Signing helps really young children with their receptive and expressive skills and it helps older children understand word meanings. As Dr. Marilyn Daniels states Signing provides a physical symbol that cannot be provided with pictures and objects such as for the words the these fast etc. One of my favorite DVDs for sight words is Meet the Sight Words. You can practice your ASL finger-spelling while using these DVDs. They can be bought on Amazon and other websites and are really cute. ASL helps with story time and book reading. Use books by P.D. Eastman or Eric Carle. Finger spelling supports letter recognition phonetic awareness learning of sight words and emerging print knowledge. Some fun ways of doing this are through poetry and music. You can also use ASL for math (to learn ASL numbering) and social studies (to learn about Deaf Culture). P eople may question if using ASL (American Sign Language) as a teaching tool will impede speech in babies. In fact a study documented in Dancing with Words Signing for Hearing Children s Literacy by ASL researcher Marilyn Daniels (www.marilyndaniels. com) proved that both hearing children and children with special needs who learn ASL have an IQ up to fifteen percent higher and learn to speak and communicate much sooner. Why is that There are three kinds of learners rightbrain (visual) left-brain (hearing and auditory) and kinetic or tactile (movement). Since ASL is visual auditory and kinetic it helps in all types of learning. TEACHING SIGN LANGUAGE It is important to always say the word as you sign it while teaching ASL vocabulary--until the children are able to recognize the sign without speech. If you are signing with infants and toddlers it is better to choose a few basic signs like milk water and more and add others as needed. You can start the 16 USING ASL IN SUBJECT MATTERS IS GOOD BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT REPLACING THAT SUBJECT BUT RATHER USING IT AS AN ENHANCEMENT-- ALL WHILE LEARNING A SECOND LANGUAGE. day your child is born. Through consistent signing infants will usually start signing back at six to twelve months of age--long before they have started talking. This will also help as they grow and reach the terrible twos as some of their frustration is from lack of being able to communicate their desires and wishes. As children grow you can add more vo- THE VIRGINIA HOME EDUCATOR WINTER 2014 You already know us for OurcommitmenttostrongChristianvalues. OurtopqualityChristianclassicalliberalartseducation. Ourexcellentrecordplacingstudentsdirectlyintopublicservice nationalintelligenceagencies andtheverybestlawschools. Economics & BusinEss AnAlytics Patrick Henry College introduces another reason to know us ... A major preparing students to serve Christ in business and economics. TheEconomics&BusinessAnalyticsmajoris designedforstudentsinterestedinpursuing AnMAinEconomicsoranMBA Acareerinbusiness Acareerineconomicpolicy Intheprocess studentswilllearnfree-market orientedeconomics solidanalyticalskills essential businessskills allgroundedinastrongliberalarts foundationthatsetsthemabovethecompetition. PATRICK HENRY COLLEGE For Christ & for Liberty Tofindoutmore Certified to operate by State Council of Higher Education Virginia THE VIRGINIA HOME EDUCATOR WWW.HEAV.ORG 17 ASL AND SPECIAL NEEDS Sign Language is particularly useful in the special-needs environment because children with special needs tend to stay in the right brain (visual) longer. In chapter seven of her book Marilyn Daniels says that sign language has been proven to be useful with speech delays and learning disabilities. Specific signs are used as cues for children with communication delays such as those with Down syndrome aphasia and autism. Signing helps improve their communicative skills and academic abilities. Start with a few words such as stop line up sit bathroom hungry tired thirsty etc.--and be consistent. Children of all abilities learn at different paces but once a child realizes what you are doing and connects the dots you may simply be amazed at the response. CONCLUSION As I said earlier themed activities help reinforce children s learning. Choose topics such as going to the zoo a picnic in the park food birthdays and other celebrations movement around the house school and many more. ASL doesn t just open up a world of possibilities but it also teaches you one of the fastest-growing languages in the United States today. And since ASL is now considered a foreign-language option in all schools secondary and higher in Virginia there is no better time to start For help in choosing material or for ideas to help you get started contact Diann Shorter at www. Also sign up for her newsletter for many fun ideas and projects and local happenings in the Hampton Roads Area. If you work with children with special needs please join us at signwithmeva for information about special needs and ASL topics. 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