A GREAT WAY TO LEARN BIBLICAL HISTORY AND GEOGRAPHY

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Bible is filled with exhilarating stories of real people that happened in a physical location and a specific time in history. David slew a giant in a valley fifteen miles from Jerusalem. The walls of Jericho really did collapse a few miles west of the Jordan river. Two thousand years ago, Jesus preached on a hill near the Sea of Galilee.

Even today you can visit all the places you read about in the Bible. Being familiar with the geography and chronological history is vital in helping these stories come alive.

Recently, a board game was developed with the goal of not only being a fun strategy game for the whole family, but also a unique way to learn biblical history and the geography of Israel. The game is called Portals and Prophets.

portal and profit

In the game you are traveling through time, attempting to witness different biblical events by being at the right location and time period in history of when that event occurred. The game doesn’t require biblical knowledge to play, but as you play you will naturally learn useful information as you travel across the board (which is a beautiful map of Israel) attempting to get to the location of your event cards. The 100+ event cards also include verses at the bottom of the card that relates to the event so those who are interested can learn about the story in more detail.

The game is perfect for the family because there’s enough strategy to keep adults engaged, but it is easy enough to grasp for younger players as well. The game can be set up in about 2 minutes and takes under an hour to play. It is the perfect excuse to put away the electronics and have a good old fashioned family game night!

With Christmas just around the corner, Portals and Prophets makes the perfect gift for any family!

To learn more visit www.PortalsAndProphets.com.

pnp

Growing food at home

Recently I’ve been hearing about units that make it so easy to grow food with your kids indoors.

Intrigued, i decided to investigate these things further and I liked what I found.

While I prefer to grow my food in good old fashion dirt, my kids grew potatoes and tomatoes outside but so far the heat and the ants have been hard to compete with. So that why I thought this innovative unit that you can keep right in your kitchen was worth writing an article about. When the sun doesn’t come out you just switch on the grow lights. It comes with everything you need, even seeds. Kids love growing their own food and it helps encourage them to try new foods when they watched it grow from a tiny seed and harvested it themselves. It’s called a tower garden. You can grow numerous types of food in it at one time and the best part is it works year round. Kitchen herbs, kale, strawberries, there’s so many choices.

These things really are cool and seemingly a solution to the troubles that have been plaguing us including forgetting to care for them. With them in the kitchen they’d be hard to forget about setting even a busy “junior gardener” up for success. So here’s a list of ideas to go with this for homeschooling.

Make a chart of all the foods that they are growing. Every few days document the changes the plants make and keep a log with pictures and words. The older the child the more detailed the logs can be. Each day ask your child to answer a question that you ask pertaining to gardening. See how much they can learn in such a short period of time with this out of the box activity. These systems use hydroponics with water pump system so that less water is needed to grow. Older students can have the assignment of figuring out how much water was actually saved and the benefits as well as the disadvantages to using hydroponics. If you choose to add lights to your system have your student figure out approximately how much energy the plants used then convert your kilowatt usage to cost. Saving money by growing your own food provides another opportunity for teaching budgeting and a huge opportunity for recording observations, so you’ll be able to dream up all kinds of learning opportunities for any age.

Mass production can be implemented for projects for older kids. ie: if we have 100 tower gardens and each tower has X amount of X types of foods how many people can you feed, how much money would it cost for electric, how much water would you use? What are the benefits of using different types of water? Do you catch rainwater and use it? Do your plants grow better then when you use water out of the hose?

The tower garden starts at about $50 per month for a kit with everything you need to grow your food.

You can find it here:

https://baker8.towergarden.com

Great project ideas that save money and offer A fun project for kids and moms

Tags

, , , ,

Homeschooling is all about stepping outside the box and finding new learning adventures. I was one of the few blessed people who had public school teachers who invested a lot of time in this type of learning. But that was a long time ago. Way before common core and way before things turned into what they are today. Making homemade products like  shampoo and toothpowder together is not only a really fun project, it’s also something mom’s will enjoy and hopefully something everyone will benefit from long after the first experimental day of crafting. Ideas of lessons to be implemented with this is budgets and cost cutting, I can make it myself, going organic… that opens up a whole lot of opportunities for learning right there actually. You can seize that moment to really get in and do some research on the ingredients that you find in the products that are in your own home and you’ll hopefully find it fun to have your kids be the ones who impress the lady in the grocery store line with comments like, oh that shampoo has Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) while they’re going on about the toxic effects it has on the body and spewing all of their knowledge causing people to stare…you can just sit back and smile about how much fun this whole homeschool thing really is.

Shampoo recipe:

1/4 C coconut or almond milk

1/3 C liquid Castile soap

1/2 tsp. Vitamin E oil

If you use a foaming hand pump add 1/4 C distilled water

essential oil to your liking (about 15 drops depending on which oil) less is needed if you have the proper oils. Peppermint invigorates scalp, Lavender for a relaxing scent,  Bergamot for a shower to lift your spirits(according to Dr. Axe) citrus Bliss for a scent that will bring us mom’s back to our childhood memories of eating orange creamsicles 😉  melaleuca repels head lice, but be careful not to use near as much melaleuca as you would other oils, it’s extremely strong and can actually be dangerous if too much is used or if applied on the skin for too many days in a row.

Take the place of toothpaste toothpowder:

probiotic that doesn’t require refrigeration (use one capsule open or 1 tsp)

baking soda 1/2 tsp

food grade bentonite clay 2tsp. (you can find it in bulk at earth fare)

2-4 drops high quality peppermint essential oil

mix all ingredients and you’re done!

You can order top quality oils here

https://my.doterra.com/wellness65

 

 

 

 

 

Is the math portion of your brain awake?

Tags

, , , ,

Our brains are amazing. And not completely understood. Studies show that the more the brain is used during developmental stages of life, the easier it is for that part of the brain to be used. Now, consider this. Each time you go from doing math to doing English, your brain has to go from using one part of it to using another part of it. It can be deduced that focusing on one part of the brain such as doing only math for a period of time before doing English, can further simplify the brains process. Manipulating these processes can promote better learning. However, some have the theory that the more the path is crossed, the more the brain becomes used to crossing from one part of the learning scope to another.

brain scan

The more the brain becomes accustomed to going from one subject to the other, the easier the transition will be. Okay, so either way, one thing is for sure. The more the brain uses the part that becomes active to do a subject, the easier it is for your brain to solve problems requiring the use of the same part.  So here’s the trick. Doing the things that activate the part of the brain that are required to do each subject makes it ultimately easier for you to do such subjects. Here is an example. Have you ever noticed that people who are musically inclined also tend to be better in English? There is a reason for that. The part of the brain that is used for music is also the same part that is used to do English. So people who have that part of their brain already lit up with activity, have an easier time using that part of the brain to do their English. Here’s another example. Are you one of those people who does complex puzzles all the time? If you answered, yes, and if you have tried to use your math skills recently, then it is safe to assume that probably also consider yourself good in math. Puzzles utilize the same part of the brain as math. So if you struggle in a subject, you need to wake up your brain in that area to be your best in that subject. While different types of math is shown to use different parts of the brain, it’s best to try to utilize this information to make sure we are doing things daily to keep the different parts of our brain awake and active.

Math for adults- puzzles, putting together models, building anything with graphic design, Sudoku, anything that strengthens kids math

Math for kids- puzzles, geoboards, any math manipulatives,  building with blocks or anything of that nature such as legos

English- music

Spatial relations- sensory stimulation(such as playing in the dirt or sand for kids) everything hands on strengthens this in a child’s brain. A child will learn more playing in a field of dirt, grass, sand, water, trees, sticks, on his or her own, then he or she will learning in a sensory starved environment, such as a classroom.

reference: Author has an early childhood development education that was drawn from for the writing of this article.

Brain Food for Excellent Learning

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

They taught us in early childhood brain development classes that broccoli is a food that helps neurons in the brain connect. I don’t know about you, but that makes me want to give my kid broccoli.

Bananas give you energy and help you think fast.

Protein is important for brain function, and coconut flour is like an amazing boost of protein, fiber and iron that you can add to so many recipes. Add 1/2 cup to your boxed cake mixes, 1/4 cup to your pancake mix, add it to almost anything you are baking. And one perk is once you get used to adding this to your recipes you will seriously miss the flavor if you ever go without.

The better we nourish our brains and our children’s brains with life giving nutrients, the better they will work for us. Try to go organic as much as you can since toxins and poisons meant to kill insects on food can cause reactions including allergic reactions.  Since round up explodes the stomachs of bugs. I don’t really want to assume it’s safe for my child’s stomach. You should see the disgusted face I’m making just thinking about that. Eating foods with added toxins is adding something foreign to the body causing it to work harder to remove, when it should be able to focus its energy on operating at its maximum potential.

Magnesium deficiency is a really big issue. Most Americans are not getting enough magnesium. Dark chocolate, and dark green veggies are excellent sources of magnesium. You can also supplement magnesium until you feel like you’ve reached normal levels again. When you add magnesium into your diet, if you are deficient, the body can feel like it’s going through a sort of shock to be getting the nutrients that it had been lacking for so long. Once you reach a healthy level of magnesium in your body, you will know, you will feel brain fog lift and feel like you can sleep easier, think clearer, and have normal bowel movements(sorry but it’s true) much easier then before. One quick way to get your magnesium levels up is through taking natural calm or another supplement. Natural Calm can be found at most health food stores. Be careful to get the proper dose. It’s a good idea to have your mineral levels tested. If you are lacking in calcium and other vital nutrients, you will have trouble absorbing magnesium.

Getting nutrition into kids can be tough. juice plus has “part” of the solution to this. They designed a gummy that is basically whole food nutrients  extracted from certain super foods. They aren’t vitamins, they are whole foods reduced to gummies.  Kids love gummies, so that can be one way to get micro-nutrients into your kid. Micro-nutrients and undiscovered nutrients play a huge role in our food. That is why these are so much better then trying to get a vitamin for each nutrient needed. Because nutrients need each other for proper absorption, of course the gummies need to be combined with daily fruits and vegetables to have the best effect. Juice plus is performing so much research on these currently. Right now you can get your kids order free when you order your own. So I think it’s both one adult and one kids for something like $45. per month after all taxes and shipping. You can find them at the link below:

http://www.baker8.juiceplus.com

Getting kids involved in what they eat helps encourage them to eat more healthy food. Kids are more likely to give food that they grew a try. The best way to go is to grow a garden in your yard and avoid buying at the grocery store. Composting your own food is a really wonderful thing to teach and can be implemented into home school projects in so many ways. One way to compost is to take a new smaller mid size trash can with a lid and drill holes in it the bottom and the sides. bury it so that the lid and nothing else is exposed. The earth worms can get in the holes to help the process, and each day after you save your leftover uneaten greens, and other compostables, add them to the can. Turn it with a shovel once in awhile, and in the spring you’ll have lovely homemade compost. If you can’t grow or compost where you live, you can still get a tower garden and keep it in your home in your kitchen area, patios, screen rooms, etc. These are great ways to teach kids about cultivation. Oh the homeschool learning that goes with these is so wonderful. You can find some really cool ones that have the full set up with options of monthly payments at the link below:

http://www.baker8.towergarden.com

DHA is super important to brain function. Salmon is high in DHA, but can have dangerous amounts of mercury in it, experts used to advise to be sure you only consume fish from the deepest coldest waters such as Alaska fish and never eat farmed fish. The warmer the water, the higher the mercury levels will be in the fish. While this still remains true. Now the deep water fish have been effected and are testing high in mercury as well. Purchasing a high quality fish oil that has been certified as mercury free is a good choice.

Wheat grass powder is high in chlorophyll, vitamin k and other good stuff. It gives an amazing energy boost and helps aid digestion and mental clarity. It pulls toxins out of your body as it passes through to help your body function at its best capacity.

Pickles boost serotonin which improves overall mood and ability for brain to function.

comment below if you have any additional good input for brain foods.

 

 

U.S. classes for citizens who are overseas

If you are overseas and homeschooling it can be discouraging if you need to supplement classes for your student. Don’t be discouraged. The hslda online academy offers online classes that you can use to supplement while you homeschool from overseas. They offer English, Math, 2nd language, history and more, and your  child can take them from anywhere. They offer AP classes as well as some that are not AP classes. The teachers who login for live classes once a week are wonderful teachers and help your student prepare for SAT and other tests your student will need to enter college.

We are currently giving a free class to a few who need it for the 2017-2018 school year. The 25 dollar enrollment fee still needs to be paid, but the classes have a value of roughly 300 to 500 dollars, so this opportunity is very helpful for a few who need help. Just go to our contact page and put in your info, tell us that you are interested in a free class and we will contact you to get the ball rolling. Hurry and contact us soon before these classes are gone.

How to help pay for your homeschool students college

Paying for college for your home school student can be daunting to think about. With colleges charging steep costs to educate your child you might be feeling hopeless.

If you are a parent who enrolled in the military shortly after the September 11th tragedy. It is likely you qualify for a GI bill that offers help with college tuition for you and you can also use this fund to be applied for your children.

If your child takes the SAT test and scores high enough, he or she may just have colleges offering to help fund their education.

Another way that is perhaps less well known is enrolling your home school student in the hslda online academy. The founder of this online academy also founded Patrick Henry College in Virginia. This is an excellent college.  When you buy some of these online classes for your homeschool student, they also give you some financial credit to Patrick Henry College. The online academy classes are for grades 8 to 12 depending on when your child is ready for the classes they offer. They offer English, Math, 2nd Language, History, microeconomics, and more. The classroom is online and once a week your child will log in to a live classroom with a live teacher. My own daughter took these classes and they are very well done and worth while. The classes really helped my own daughter to score amazingly high on her SATs and filled in some gaps that I needed help teaching her to get her ready for college, such as calculus. If you’re interested, but need a little help getting started with these contact us on the contact page with any questions and we will be happy to answer any questions you have that we can help with or direct you to someone who can help. Also we are giving away several class vouchers for this coming school year to a few people who need help paying.. so contact us and let us know if you need help paying. Right now, we don’t have a lot of people requesting help paying for classes so your chances of getting help from us are very good.

God Bless you on your homeschool adventures!

 

 

Thinking about homeschooling but don’t know where to start?

Tags

, , , , , ,

The thought of homeschooling can be intimidating. After all, many parents can’t even begin to remember the things they learned in school, how can I possibly know what to teach my own children? OK, so the reality is, it’s much much easier then you think. The amount of homeschoolers in North Carolina has recently out grown the number of private schooled children, so the fact is not only is it easier then you think, it’s also, much more mainstream then you think, and there is a lot more resources then most people know. I remember finally pulling my child out of public school to homeschool when the public school system just wasn’t teaching enough and private school became to expensive. I met a mom who had 4 kids and she used to be a public school teacher, she and I talked for a short time and I knew homeschool was right for my child, but looking back, I had no idea how much that would ring true over the years. This year, that child scored in the 96th percentile on her SAT test, so I know homeschool was a pertinent part of her success and I’m just going to share the things that helped us along the way.

Perhaps all of the efforts by many of the public school counterparts to keep even more people from accessing their own tailor made education is to blame for the many misunderstandings of homeschooling. Whatever is to blame doesn’t matter, but what does matter is the fact that homeschooling works. Just look at the how homeschoolers are testing so much higher then their public school counterpart and out performing them in so many ways and it can’t be denied.

First, one thing so many people worry about is the legal ramifications of homeschooling. So many people have seen a friend or family member get attacked legally for homeschooling and they just decide then and there, that it’s not worth it. A sad result, that perhaps is the goal of such attackers. To prevent being venerable to such attacks, it is wise to view a copy of the state law for your state and comply. The hslda has a website that makes each states law very easy to understand and implement at http://www.hslda.org.  They also provide legal protection, and homeschooling advice for a annual fee of 120 dollars. They offer extra services such as help writing transcripts and transcript service for around 16 dollars depending on your need. The services they offer are so numerous I can’t mention them all here.

Joining a good homeschool group is a great way to make sure both you and your child get the right support and socialization. Look for groups that are free to join that offer each parent opportunities to help out instead of charging money. In my experience, these groups are the most rewarding.

Enroll your child in a private sport. This helps make sure they are socialized and keeps them well rounded. Physical activity helps get oxygen to the brain and aids in brain function.

Rather then paying 1,000 dollars per year for the boxed homeschool curriculum. It is often better to use programs such as ixl.com to see what each grade needs for each subject reading eggs.com does as well as others. This gives the parent a guide to each subject and you can use these to fill in any gaps in learning your child might have as well. If you just enjoy the book study type of learning sonlight has great homeschool curriculum. But after home schooling for a year or so, it becomes much easier to make your own curriculum for very inexpensive.

There is numerous online schools that allow you to continue operating as a homeschool while they teach your child excellent classes. The hslda online academy has excellent online classrooms with live teachers available for homeschoolers in high school and sometimes late middle school years. There is numerous discounts that you can get for these that can be combined making it more affordable. If you email our website on the contact form we can help you find ways to pay for some hslda online academy classes.

Don’t try to operate like a public school.  The best part about homeschool is that it is like your children have you as their own private tutor. You can spot where each child needs learning gaps to be filled and find ways that fit your child to fill them, without being forced to shove things down their throat that they just aren’t ready for yet. This is a common problem that we are seeing with the one fits all common core system. Each child is made different, and should be taught according to their unique needs if you want them to thrive in the long run. Encouraging them in their strengths is an important part of making sure they thrive.

Statistics show your child’s opinion of him or herself will define what they believe they can do. If they believe they can, they will try until they do.  If they believe they can’t, then they’ve failed already, because they never tried.

Find teachable moments. Those are the ones that stick. count rocks on the beach with your kindergartner, make shapes with them and talk about the names of the shapes. Talk to your high school student about how our political system works and engage them when something triggers a conversation. Be approachable to your kids. Don’t expect to know everything, but be willing to learn everything with them as you go. Travel with your kids and let them map out the trip ( double check it before you leave of course) let your kids plan how much fuel and how many gallons you will need to make your trip and how much it will cost to get there. Keep an open mind and start letting your child do the work, while you double check their answers. This gives them such an advantage in life and so much real life learning and experience. So keep watching for those teachable moments every day.

If you  have any questions about homeschooling feel free to contact us via email through our website and we will connect you with additional resources for your area and give free advice. Please note, we do not give legal advice. However, we may refer you to someone who can advise you legally.

Picky kids? Getting nutrition into your picky eater and avoiding childhood obesity

Tags

, , ,

Kids aren’t usually just excited about every vegetable and nutritious food that is put in front of them. So how do you get them to eat enough of it to grow up healthy and strong and to be nourished enough to able to learn well? As a mom, I’m just going to share what I’ve learned about this, and what helped my family.The commercials you see with all the products labeled for kids who don’t get enough nutrition such as yummy drinks with vitamins and other nutrition added  might be helpful sometimes. While they do have their place, and might be helpful sometimes, they generally are loaded with things that aren’t good for your child and synthetic man made vitamins that often do more harm to their bodies then good.

There are a few solutions to this that I’ve found really work. But keep in mind that one of the things that was stressed in early childhood development classes is that their bodies accept and reject the foods they need. So don’t force something they turn their nose up at, or you could be forcing them to overdose on a nutrient that their body already has to much of. Making sure you put lots of healthy choices in front of them frequently and letting them pick is the best way to ensure they get a healthy diet. Some kids are just really picky eaters and squeamish about the way broccoli looks or the texture, but they scarf the nutrients from broccoli when presented in a more palatable way to them. Also, remember that your kids are more sensitive to things then you are. Just consider this, a child’s skin is 7 times thinner then yours, they have 1/7th the tolerance your body does when it comes to sun exposure, hot water, etc. they burn 7 times easier. Considering this and taking into account that their entire bodies encompass that concept in many other ways, it makes sense that they will be a lot more sensitive to things like poisons in their food. If you drank a bottle of round up you would drop dead, the same round up is sprayed on much of the food most children eat. In fact many countries have made spraying foods with these poisons illegal. So while you might really enjoy your honeydew, your child’s throat might become on fire and itchy from the same fruit, because of a reaction to the sprays that were put on it when it was grown. Even foods that are certified organic can still be sprayed with poisons after it is picked while shipping in some states.

So, with those warnings in mind, please make sure you consider these things first and try to feed them organic foods from your local farm and don’t force any food that they just plain reject. Also, being health conscious in other ways is so important. Dr Josh Axe has tons of good advice on his website that can really help you to make less mistakes with feeding your family.  OK, with that, here is what I have found helpful.

When you cook foods such as soups, broths, veggies, most of the nutrients from your food goes into the liquid it simmers in. Slow cooking can prevent the nutrients from being cooked out of the foods. Cooking high nutrient foods such as bone broth, other types of broths and soups puts tons of nutrients into that broth. So taking the juice from your organic veggies, soups, broths etc and adding it to your child’s cooked rice, mashed potatoes, and other dishes that you can put the nutrients in that they like is an amazing way to get your picky eater to eat nutrients. It also adds a ton of flavor to your foods you cook. Ever notice when you go to a 5 star restaurant it tastes so much better then most peoples home cooked meals? That is why. They flavor their dishes this way while cooking and our bodies need these nutrients and so crave them. Using these ways to “hide” nutrients in your kids food is really helpful. But please don’t forget if they still reject the foods, there may be a very good reason. Children need to learn to listen to their bodies when they are young.

This is key in avoiding obesity patterns in life. Also, making sure they are offered plenty of nutritious foods throughout the day and letting them decide what and how much of it they eat is key. Just keep adding more of what they ask for as they ask and start with small portions. Educate yourself on what foods compliment others. For example, to absorb calcium you must have enough magnesium and potassium as well. To activate vitamin D, you need something to help with that, such as moderate sun exposure. Drinking certain types of teas can keep your body from assimilating most of the vitamins from your meal, so can dark sodas, and certain types of acid that are in foods such as rice, so sprout your rice first before cooking it to turn a potentially unhealthy nightmare food into a super nutritious food. Learn as much as you can about eating healthy and your child will have a much better hope for his or her future. If your body and your children’s bodies have enough of the right nutrients, your bodies won’t crave the unhealthy foods and sugars anymore. Our bodies crave things that are bad for us, because they are lacking something in it. So finding a healthy way to offer our bodies those nutrients are key to avoiding getting overweight as well.

Blessings to you and your families and I hope you all enjoy eating right!

A fun game to help your child learn to read

Tags

, , , , , , ,

20160728_203142

If your children are at the age of learning to read chances are that they love games. My sons favorite game is go fish. He’s not as interested in learning new words as he is in playing go fish. So the solution seemed simple. We made a game of go fish, but with our own homemade cards that have the words he is learning to read on them, then we named it something else that is fun. You can call it whatever you want, we call it go wild, because he finds that name exciting. He became even more interested when he found out that he got to choose some of his favorite words to include in the game, we also had some of the cards with his name on them and did this with his siblings names. You can add your pet names, favorite animals, silly words, favorite color. Each player gets to have 6 or 7 cards and because the kids playing are young anyway, they are usually content even if everyone can see each others cards, all that really matters is that they are learning to read the words on their cards by playing the game.

Then just watch next time when your child reads a book and realizes he/she knows so many new words without even trying. One thing that we did is we took a new book that we were going to read, and went through it and made some cards with the words from that book, then played the game each day for a week or so, then had him read the new book…result…instant confidence boost. Confidence is such a HUGE part of your child learning to read. As it is spelled out in my earlier articles .. as one of the main reasons why the way public schools present common core is so damaging.

Keep in mind when your children are learning to read that music exposure is so important to help your child keep the part of their brain that they will use to read even before they are old enough to read yet. If a part of the brain is not used by a certain age it will begin to go away according to brain studies on early childhood brain development. Having your child learn a basic instrument from an early age is also very helpful. Try starting with a drum a piano or a marimba, just start with teaching them to keep a beat and to find the beat or beats to simple songs and go from there. If they are no longer little and haven’t done this, don’t get discouraged, it’s still beneficial to start now. Pray for any parts of the brain that have “gone away” as it is put in early childhood brain development classes… pray that those parts of the brain will be replenished. I have personally seen this happen, and seen children who seemed to be beyond help learn amazing things, so don’t give up.

So parents… keep up the good work!

Special note: For younger kids,  you can do this with letters from the alphabet. We did some capital letters and some lower case and matched them accordingly, then made the sound the letter made as well as naming the letter when asking others for it.  It helps keep them much more interested when the note cards are different colors. Then we got out the dry erase board and wrote the letter on it that was being asked for and everyone shouted out words that started with that letter which were then written on the dry erase board…. our whole family plays this together, even teenagers, making it more thrilling for younger kids. They have so much more interest in this kind of thing when others act interested as well, so pep talks with your teenagers before hand can be a big help. Mixing it up and having a place set for a stuffed toy to play and having the stuffed toys be played by other siblings also gets the kids really into it so they are busting up laughing at the funny voices that their favorite stuffed toy just asked for the capital N card… this is such a hit in our house, the kids actually ask to set up the game each night…. which is a far cry from the forced drills we were used to in our public school upbringing  when we were kids… oh we can teach so much better when we have such personal interest in the learning taking place, because it’s our own children! And yes, public and private schools need more teachers who actually care so much to make kindergarten and first grade such a thrilling non-monotonous place to be, so raise your own kids up be those future teachers.

Spreading the cards out on the ground for a matching game is another fun thing to do with the cards.

There are some fun learning apps for smart phones with similar games, but I found that most of them require payment after about 60 seconds of playing and a few of them actually taught in incorrect way, such as teaching the child to sound out the word ice with the short i sound….what a disaster this must be for kids who are left alone  with these games and don’t know any better, to be taught incorrectly. Thankfully my son brought it to me and said mom this game is trying to tell me that ice is sounded out i-ck-eh…it’s ice mom, not ickeh… these games are really great sometimes, but sometimes not. But also keep in mind that the sensory learning part of the brain when learning with these types of tools is being completely unused and to much screen time, even if it is learning time can be detrimental for children’s attachment process as well as learning process. It is taught in early childhood brain development classes that a more detached person who has less capability of forming proper attachment is more likely to struggle in life and more capable of hurting others without remorse. So be careful with how much digital learning you allow in your home. Some is great, but too much is really dangerous for their brain development. Also, the more sensory learning is being used in a helpful way while learning , the more it will stick…. wow, that’s another article…. play dough letters, drawing letters in the sand etc… you see them do this with autistic kids, but every kid benefits from this kind of sensory learning.  So yes, go sit in the mud and draw letters with a stick and laugh and play while singing the letters and your child will learn in a way that will “stick” in their brains so much more powerfully then in a stale classroom.

Please comment with your ideas on how to make this game even more fun or beneficial.