Welcome to my homeschool blog, which offers insights into loving learning, loving your family, loving history, loving homeschooling, and enjoying your life! With your cup of coffee in hand, take a break to laugh with me, to have your heart refreshed, to be reminded of how cool your kids really are, and to consider the amazing adventure of being a homeschool mom. AND, if you are interested in the History Revealed curriculum, be sure to check out my Teaching Tips!

Creating a safe environment for learning

The relationship between student and teacher is one of the most significant factors in successful learning. When you are both parent AND teacher, the relationship becomes even more significant! Learn what happens when your children feel "safe" to learn in this new episode of my Homeschool 101 videos.

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People Smart — Interpersonal Intelligence

People Smart!

Are any of your kids “the life of the party”? They seem so comfortable interacting with others, so at home in conversations, so happy to be in the midst of the crowd. Do you ever wonder, “How do they do that??” or, maybe, “Why do they that??”

It’s because they are strong in Interpersonal Intelligence—they are People Smart! If you have kids at home who are gifted in this way, you may have been overwhelmed by how often they ask if it would be okay to visit friends or have friends over to your house. For you, all this visiting and being with people may be exhausting, but for them, it is invigorating!

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Too Much, Too Soon

Are you feeling pressured about how much your kids "should" be doing in homeschooling? Has the hunger to learn been replaced by resistance to school? What happens when we see it from their eyes? Another episode in my Homeschool 101 videos.

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Body Smart — Bodily/Kinesthetic Intelligence

Child doing a handstand—a Body Smart intelligence!

Today's blog is about those who are Body Smart—an intelligence that is seldom recognized unless you happen to be a highly-paid athlete. So, to get started, let me ask:

Do you remember that student in class who was always drumming their hands on the desk, fidgeting in the chair, and grabbing any excuse that came along to get up and DO something? What did the teacher always say?

“Stop making that noise. Stop fidgeting. SIT DOWN!”

The class realized right away that moving and making noise was wrong, and that anyone who did it was in trouble. And now, here you are, with a child in your homeschool who is exhibiting the same behavior! And you keep trying to do what that teacher tried to do—take the bounciness, the fidgetiness out of that distracting kid—with the same amount of success the teacher had. . .

It’s not a pretty picture, is it?

What if I told you that that student is actually BRILLIANT? And that the drumming on the desk, fidgeting in the chair, and the constant movement shines a spotlight directly on their intelligence!!

It’s called Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence, or, more simply, Body Smart.

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Monica Sewell
Thanks, Diana! I needed this reminder for my one who has figured out how to sit still (now in high school). She did most of her ... Read More
Wednesday, 31 May 2017 16:21
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Picture Smart — Spatial Intelligence

Working with color and design is the joyous stuff of life

Do you have a doodler? Someone who is constantly drawing pictures when you think they're taking notes? Maybe you've got a Lego-loving kid, who only seems interested in building the latest set of Lego structures. Perhaps you've got one who really comes to life when creating animals with Play Dough—or sculpting a pyramid with styrofoam. If so, you may have wondered why they can't stop "messing around" and get down to real work.

Guess what? For those gifted in Spatial Intelligence—whether expressed in something like painting, architecture, flower arranging, sculpture, or Lego masterpieces—working with color and design is the joyous stuff of life! 

(The following is excerpted from my book, Reaping the Harvest.)

This intelligence could be described as being "Picture Smart." People who are strong in this ability tend to think in pictures rather than in words. They can visualize solutions to problems, can see the answers to questions, and can understand the dimensions of a possible scenario. They are brilliant when it comes to using maps, drawing diagrams, designing landscapes, loading cars, painting three-dimensional masterpieces, and more. They have a grasp of the foundational architecture and artistry of the space that surrounds us. Painters, architects, landscape designers, interior decorators, web designers, traffic engineers, design teams who create new styles for cars and trucks, map makers, draftsmen, sculptors, cabinet makers, and more all display the wonderful gift of this intelligence.

Some of the characteristics of this intelligence are:

      • thinks in pictures rather than words
      • learns more from the picture than from the caption underneath
      • inventive
      • draws random images on paper while learning
      • enjoys learning how to paint, sculpt, draw, etc.
      • able to learn and utilize the information from maps and charts
      • can easily picture the location of items in his/her environment
      • finds lost items that have been overlooked by others
      • has a natural ability to draw in perspective
      • appreciates receiving information from visual sources such as photos
      • enjoys visual games and picture puzzles

Spatial Intelligence

If you or your children are strong in this intelligence, then come to grips with the fact that, somewhere in your house, a place needs to be set aside for art projects. Yes, it will be messy at times. But that is a very small price to pay for opening the door for these kinds of learners! 

Provide opportunities and encouragement (perhaps even lessons!) in drawing and painting. For an at-home approach to teaching art, check out the curriculum of Visual Manna, How Great Thou Art, and Artistic Pursuits. Legos and other three-dimensional materials allow students to work with another aspect of Spatial intelligence, giving opportunities for exploring space and design. Encourage students to follow their interests in garden design or interior decorating—playing with color and texture—even if on a very small scale. Photography, graphic design, PowerPoint, craft projects, cake decorating. . .all fall within this intelligence. So have fun, make a mess, and watch your—or your child's—genius blossom!!

We welcome the use of Spatial Intelligence in the History Revealed curriculum. The following is from Romans, Reformers, Revolutionaries, Unit 4 (the Holy Roman Empire & the Vikings), Phase 4:

Design a T-shirt for the Normans who are about to invade England with Duke William of Normandy. Since the outcome is still undecided, create a motivating "You can do it!" type of design.

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