Teaching Formal Math and Reading to Struggling Learners
March 25, 2020
In This Issue:
It Will Be All RIGHT 

Hey Mama,

I heard you were struggling with anxiety . . . worries . . . fears. As you may have heard in the last couple weeks, there’s a lot of that going around. Fear. It can be paralyzing.

Just stopping by to encourage you. Your children are struggling, too, aren't they? And that just tugs at your weary heart even more. Heavy-laden, concerned Mama, you are not alone.

John 14:27 speaks of peace. Christ gives us peace, not the kind the world has to offer, but something far better, much stronger. Did you know His ways are higher than ours? We think we see everything that is before us, but He knows what is around the next corner. If only you could see around that corner, if only you could see what He can, you'd realize He knows all the struggles of today, but He also sees you overcoming in HIS timing.

And when you do struggle, remember to seek encouragement from those who have also endured, who have followed this same journey, and have overcome. Many of them have shared their stories and resources for your struggling learners in the pages of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine.




And remember, Mama. . .

The good news—He sees! Not only does He see, but He gives us peace because He cares, a peace the world can’t even understand.

I know it's hard right now. Your heart is weighted down in these troubling times. But don’t focus on what’s heavy right now, Mama. Set your eyes on Christ and His perfect peace, and know in your heart (because it’s true) that He works all things for good for those who love Him. Your “around the next corner" is coming. Provision will arrive. Uncertainties will dissolve. The unjust will not prevail. The sadness will cease. This pain will not endure. Just wait. He will RIGHT everything. He will right it all.

Trust His heart, God-fearing Mama. It's pure. And it’s yours.

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” - John 14:27

Love, gena
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Diane Heeney
The Tricks Up Your Sleeve

Let’s face it, sometimes it’s a challenge just to teach the basics of “reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmetic.” We live for those days when everything just seems to “click” and then try to replicate them. It can seem elusive, though, can’t it?

I’ve found in over twenty years of homeschooling that this quest we are on is very fluid. Our children are growing continually and not just physically. It’s hard enough to keep up with their shoe size, much less their developing intellectual abilities, plus emotional and spiritual maturation. We have new students, it seems, each week as all of these changes ebb and flow.

Given all of this, it pays to be flexible in planning our lessons. It’s smart to have a few “aces up the sleeve.” Sometimes you need a little something extra to help your student to catch what you (or the curriculum . . . or both) are throwing. 

I used to be overwhelmed with certain teaching materials which seemed to have so many bells and whistles, it was mentally paralyzing to me. My perfectionism would grab that entire list and try to execute e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g, and I would burn out. So would my kids! Over time, I learned to change my perspective and choose a handful of those things to have on stand-by, in case my original approach was not proving as effective as I’d hoped. Jesus understood the wisdom of using a variety of methods to teach people—stories, object lessons, teachable moments, and illustrations. Why shouldn’t we?

Formal math and formal English can be dry. So, look for supplemental resources which can engage multiple senses and maybe even incorporate some fun! Musical learning tools, rhymes, visual aids in the form of charts, graphics and videos, and manipulatives may provide just the support you need. 

Many remember “Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally” as a novel mnemonic device to aid us in remembering the Order of Operations. A quick search on the internet can turn up a treasure trove of helps ranging anywhere from an entire Pinterest board full of ideas for teaching geometry proofs to sites which actually bring some fun to sentence structure and diagramming down to elementary-level language arts and math games on our own SchoolhouseTeachers.com website.
 
One final note—we know that play is an important element for early learners. It’s also critical all the way through adulthood. Don’t underestimate the value of incorporating a little joy into the school day for your older students and for you as well


Diane Heeney  is a graduate of Bob Jones University, where she served on faculty for ten years. She has been Assistant to the Director of Advertisng Sales at The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine since 2016. She’s homeschooled her three children over the course of the past 18 years, having graduated their two oldest. Diane, her husband Patrick, and their youngest child, Katie, reside in eastern Wyoming.
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Lee Binz, The HomeScholar
Teaching Struggling Learners at High School Level 

Your child does not have to get to a certain level of high school math before he is considered a high school student. If your child is high school age, put all classes on his high school transcript.

If your struggling learner was in a public school, every class he took in high school would be on the high school transcript. We can do that, too. Be honest in your class titles, without implying your child is more advanced than he is, but do put all classes on the transcript.

What is High School Level Math?
Your high school student does not have to reach Trigonometry or Calculus in order to graduate from high school or attend college. While some colleges may have strict requirements for admission, that is not always the case. Even if your child has only been able to reach Algebra 1, he may still be able to find a perfect-fit college that will appreciate his unique gifts.

What is High School Level English?
Similarly, your student does not have to achieve a certain level of English mastery before he is considered a high school student. In high school, English class includes reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Within those general areas, you have a lot of flexibility. Use curriculum and material that is a perfect-fit for your child's ability level. Teach reading and writing at his level so he is consistently challenged but not overwhelmed.

Balancing the difficulty level is the best way to prepare him for success. If you push your child into more advanced English subjects that are beyond his ability to succeed, then his difficulties with English will become worse, and he will hate the subject more and more. 

Students do not need a specific number of books from a college-bound reading list. For struggling or reluctant readers, parents can encourage short classic novels, rather than large overwhelming literature. Instead of reading War and Peace , for example, your child could read The Red Badge of Courage , which is much shorter. Instead of reading Moby Dick , your child could read the much shorter Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway. Choose short classic novels to add to your literature list. Encourage reading for fun and pleasure as well.

It can sometimes help to encourage literature below his grade level, so he can be a more successful reader. Consider reading aloud the first chapter or two so you can get him started with the story and pronunciation of names.

Reading is a life skill and promoting a love of reading will be much more valuable in the long run for building lifelong learners than creating the “perfect” reading list to give to the colleges. Similarly, your goal for high school math is as modest as graduating a student who doesn’t fear and loathe it. For both math and reading, the goal is always to teach at your student's level and to help him master the most material that can be mastered. 

What if the Problem is Motivation?
Sometimes the issue is motivation, rather than a learning challenge. If you need to light a fire under your unmotivated teen, learn expert secrets in this short Coffee Break Book available on Amazon: How to Motivate Homeschool Teens: Strategies for Inspiring Slug-Slow Students . It will help you recognize the symptoms of simple motivation problems and provide tips and tweaks you can make to your homeschool. You can turn the tide and inspire your kids to take ownership of their education and life.

Lee Binz,  The HomeScholar  is a dynamic speaker and  author   of over 30 books on homeschooling high school. She is an expert on  homeschool transcripts  and getting scholarships. Lee’s mission is to encourage and equip parents to homeschool through high school. You can sign up for her free  monthly homeschool e-newsletter  where you can also get a daily dose of high school help. Check out the  homeschool freebies    on the website. You can also find Lee on Facebook at  Facebook.com/TheHomeScholar .
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MoneySmart Family: Making Frugal Fun!
Steve & Annette Economides,  https://MoneySmartFamily.com
Tips for Being Homebound During Coronavirus Outbreak

We are grateful for our nation’s leaders who are making very difficult decisions to protect individuals and families. 

As homeschoolers, we normally spend more time at home than other families. During this time, you may be less social with others and need some new ideas.

We want to support and encourage you with these articles:

FOOD SECURITY & STOCKING UP
Freezing: You may want to stock up on some food (not hoarding). Learning to properly Freeze Bread and Freeze Milk will mean going to the store less frequently.

Cooking at Home: This is a great time to involve your kids more in preparing meals. Cooking is a great life-skill. Our kids loved our Build Your Own Pizza nights using our Fluffy Pizza Dough Recipe. 

See hundreds of other easy and inexpensive Recipes on our website.

HAVING FUN
Despite being less social, we can still have some fun.

When we homeschooled, we regularly had family game nights; and every Friday, we included educational games in our school day.

If you’re looking for inexpensive or free Family Games , we’ve got a great list. Here are two silly, fun games we’ve played: Spoons and The Cup Game (with videos).

Steve & Annette Economides are New York Times Best Selling authors, homeschool parents of five grown children, and family finance experts. They are passionate about living the frugal lifestyle and sharing the fun and freedom they’ve experienced. They have authored three books: America’s Cheapest Family Gets You Right on the Money; Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half; The MoneySmart Family System—Teaching Financial Independence to Children of Every Age.

Steve & Annette’s enthusiasm about household finances has earned them appearances on Good Morning America, Today Show, Dr. Phil, CNN, Fox News, 20/20, Nightline, Yahoo Finance, People Magazine, and more.

Their message of Financial Hope is reaching millions around the globe. Visit them at  https://MoneySmartFamily.com .

MoneySmart Family is produced by  Economiser Publications, LLC .  This company is not owned by The Old Schoolhouse, LLC (TOS), and TOS is not responsible for the content produced by MoneySmart Family. TOS may not approve of or endorse all content, resources, and other companies promoted by MoneySmart Family in its columns. The views and opinions expressed in this column or newsletter are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of TOS on any subject matter. The financial advice and recommendations promoted by MoneySmart Family are not a substitute for expert financial advice. You should consult a qualified financial adviser for financial guidance tailored to your individual needs. 
Are you looking for more weekly encouragement and ideas? We have a team of homeschool moms who share their heart on a wide variety of topics. Some write about fun ideas of things to do, food to make, and places to go. Others tell of obstacles, struggles, milestones, and everyday life while going through this homeschooling journey. By receiving our weekly e-mail, you will not miss out on any of the great articles that are shared on our blog.  Head over  to receive your first e-mail on Saturday.
Are you trying to figure out how to assign separate classes to each of your students within  SchoolhouseTeachers.com ? Watch this  tutorial  to learn how to use the great Bookmark feature to organize course assignments!
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CONSIDERING  homeschooling know about the enormous  FREE  info-pack which awaits them here:  www.TryHomeschooling.com .
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No limits.
Got a wiggly, distracted child? Or, maybe a late reader? SchoolhouseTeachers.com offers helps for parents of struggling learners as well as courses for visual-spatial, wiggly, distracted children. Our Special Needs Resource Center offers a 19-part program for parents on how to teach struggling learners (designed by an educational consultant) and articles and webinars on various aspects of homeschooling children with special needs. We can help you with every subject, every grade, and every student.
in the latest issue of
The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine.
Congratulations to Stephanie Simpson from Corinth, MS, who won our January Contest Corner giveaway!

Contest Corner
for the month of March

Author: Ron Hardin
222 pages
Spiritual Poetry

This collection of poems addresses the challenges of both believers and non-believers. Ron began his own ministry at 28 when he began writing poems for the Lord. These poems are intended to encourage, instruct, and comfort God’s ministers and people.

Coming from a background that includes being born again at the age of 12 followed by gang membership, dropping out of high school, drug use, and even time in jail, Ronald Hardin has a tremendous amount of life experiences to look back upon and to utilize.

Ron Hardin has written over 500 poems that share insight into what the Spirit of God is saying to His people. Currently, there are three volumes of God’s Mail available. God’s Mail: Volume 3 tackles timely topics such as recovering from abortion to suicide and just everyday life in general. This book will provide encouragement, strength, and more. The book combines both Scriptural passages and poems to weave together a powerful message of God’s grace, love, and mercy.

This is a short description and review of God’s Mail: Volume 3 , but you can read 25 reviews from homeschool moms describing their family’s experience with this book on the Homeschool Review Crew site. 

Go to the contest page of our site where you can ENTER TO WIN this inspiring book of poetry.
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