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Homeschooling Tips

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Iamhomeschooling.com offers an abundance of resources for homeschoolers. Whether you are considering homeschooling, new to homeschooling, or a seasoned homeschooler, you will find inspiration, great tips, and helpful advice.  For information specific to homeschooling in Florida, click here.

Learning Through Music

Research has shown that music promotes learning and improves academic performance. Songs can help us learn our ABCs, remember our state capitals, and memorize the names of our former Presidents. Songs can also teach us about science and history and can even help us learn a foreign language. We've put together a few websites and links we thought you might find resourceful.

Schoolhouse Rock!

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Schoolhouse Rock! episodes comprise of short, educational cartoons that teach kids about multiplication, grammar, science, history, and politics. The first episodes aired in 1973, and many of us grew up watching them as kids. In 1994, new episodes were aired to teach kids about managing money (on both a personal level and on a governmental scale), and in 2009, more episodes were created that focused on protecting our environment.Learn More: Visit Wikipedia to learn about its history and about the different episodes.Watch the Videos: There is no official YouTube channel, but many people have uploaded videos. You can find a good selection here:  http://www.youtube.com/SchoolhouseRockVids

Print the Lyrics:  http://www.schoolhouserock.tv/

Buy It: Schoolhouse Rock! videos and Interactive DVDs

Animaniacs

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Animaniacs is a cartoon series produced by Steven Spielberg and Warner Bros. It's popular among children and, due to its cartoon violence and adult humor and content, it appeals to adults, as well. You may find some of the episodes disconcerting, but the show did feature educational segments covering math, history, science, and social studies, often in musical form.Learn More: Visit Wikipedia to learn about its history, voices, music, and about the different episodes.Watch the Videos: Again, there is no official YouTube channel, but many people have uploaded the educational episodes. You can find a variety of playlists here: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=animaniacs+educational%2C+playlist& 

Buy It: Animaniacs DVDs

Plus...

Here are a few other great YouTube channels and websites offering free educational music for kids:

  • LeapFrog Educational Songs:  Brought to you by LeapFrog's official site. Includes songs for learning the alphabet and counting.
  • Ms. Patty's Kids Music:  Original songs for everyone by Patty Shukla. Educational songs, action and movement songs, story songs, and more. 
  • kidsknowit.com:  Totally free educational songs you play online using a built-in music player. Songs are organized by topic.
  • learinggamesforkids.com:  A collection of educational songs and videos for preschoolers and kindergarteners. 

Recommended Non-free Resources

  • Educational Rap:  Offers hip-hop song and worksheets for teachers. You can download individual songs, groups of songs, order CDs, or subscribe to their streaming service. Every song comes in multiple versions and includes free worksheets.
  • Songs for Teaching:  Thousands of children's songs, lyrics, sound clips and teaching suggestions. You can search songs by subject or artist. 

Practical Life Skills (or Why Chores Are a Good Thing)

We all know we don't have to be homeschoolers to teach our children practical life skills, but it does give us additional opportunities since we can incorporate many of them into our school day. Here are just a few basic "hands-on" skills that can be integrated into your math, science, health, and art curricula.

{COOKING}

Math: fractions, measurement, money
Science: food chemistry, bacteria
Health: personal health, nutrition
Life skills: cooking, decision making, safety

Cooking

We're not only covering health, math, and science concepts, kids are also learning how to properly and safely prepare food. Plus, when children are involved in the meal planning and the grocery shopping, they are also learning important skills such as decision making and money management. Let your younger children make PB&Js and slice bananas. If your children happen enjoy cooking, give them free reign to experiment and try out new recipes. Take this opportunity to teach them good eating habits, too.

Laundry

Who would have thought that washing a load of laundry could help develop problem solving skills? Sorting lights and darks, loading clothes efficiently, measuring detergent, and folding clothes are all skills that have to be learned. Younger children can help by sorting their dirty clothes, matching up their clean socks, and folding simple items like washcloths and small towels. When they are old enough for the task, let them be responsible for washing their own clothes.

{LAUNDRY}

Math: sorting, measurement
Life skills: problem solving, personal care

{SEWING}

Math: measurement
Science: complex machines
Life skills: home economics, sewing, safety

Sewing

As soon as your child is ready to handle a large needle safely, invest in a couple of yarn needles, yarn, and plastic canvas. Once that's mastered, let them try hand-sewing with smaller needles and felt (felt is much easier to handle than fabric). Once your child is ready for a sewing machine, let them try it. If you've never used a sewing machine or don't own one, talk to other homeschoolers in your area. Chances are someone you know does and would love to host a sewing day. Sewing gives kids an additional creative outlet.

Cleaning

As adults, we don't think twice about the things we know how to do (like washing dishes and vacuuming floors) and things we "think" to do (like cleaning behind the faucets or wiping down the baseboards), but these are all skills we had to learn. Make it educational by talking about germs, the dangers of chemicals, and how important it is to care for ourselves and our environment. Younger children, with the help of Mom or Dad, can start by organizing and cleaning their rooms.

{CLEANING}

Science: chemical science, natural resources
Health: environmental health
Life skills: hygiene

Let your children help out as much as you can. Oftentimes it's easier to do things ourselves, but taking the extra time to teach our children practical life skills will help them become prepared, independent adults. Let them help out in the garden, feed the pets, help with the shopping, and clean out the car. Whether it's making dinner, washing dishes, sewing on a button, or pulling weeds, when kids help with the family responsibilities, they are learning valuable lessons and skills that they will carry with them into adulthood.