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Category Archives: Teaching Tips

Your Child’s Math Experience is Not Your Math Experience


How often do we take our adult math experience and shove it onto a child, expecting them to conform to what has taken us years to accomplish?

“Your child’s math experience is not your math experience.” Oh my goodness, these are words I wish someone had said to me twenty-plus years ago! I became a homeschool parent because I knew my math skills were weak. I wanted more for my children, yet I had no idea how I was going to get…
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How and When to Take a “Math Break”


What might a math break look like in real life? Do you stop doing math entirely? Sometimes, and that may be the best solution for your family.

Sometimes in our schooling journey it can be wise to take a break from math. This need can be caused by a variety of reasons. Maybe your student has hit a wall with a particular concept. Perhaps you are experiencing a particularly difficult season in your homeschooling (your family has had a loss, a birth,…
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Factors That Influence Student Engagement


Student engagement revolves around a seemingly simple, common-sense belief: when a student is invested in the learning process, they learn more.

What is Student Engagement? The conversation about student engagement revolves around a seemingly simple, common-sense belief: when a student is invested in the learning process, they learn more. Teachers, parents, and coaches can tell countless anecdotes about the change in skill performance after a student’s motivation to learn the skill increased or intensified. Why is…
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5 Summer Math Tips


Here are five summer math tips to keep your child's math skills sharp during the summer months.

Keep your child’s hard-earned learning from slipping down the “summer brain drain”. Here are five summer math tips to keep your child’s math skills sharp during the summer months. 5 Summer Math Tips 1) Explore Math Concepts with Blocks If your child will be starting Math-U-See for the first time in the fall, allow them…
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3 Ways to Make Student Mistakes Valuable


How can we help change the negative perceptions associated with mistakes so our children can more easily bounce back?

Our children are growing up in a world that emphasizes high standards for academic success. As parents, we want our students to put forth their absolutely best effort each and every time they attempt a task. In doing this, to some degree, we create academic learning conditions that discourage mistakes. Watching our children make mistakes…
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Educators Puzzle Over Escape Rooms


Escape rooms are all the rage, and can be used in creative educational ways with your students.

In the middle of the room on a table is a gigantic hourglass filled with sand. All around you are padlocked cabinets and drawers. “Ready?”, asks the employee, and when you and your group say yes, he turns the hourglass over and leaves the room. The door locks: you’ll need to find the master key…
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4 Ways to Keep Students Engaged


Engaged learners are also happy learners, and happy learners make our jobs as instructors so enjoyable.

There were few things more frustrating to me than spending time meticulously planning a lesson only to have my students zone out in the middle of what I thought was sure to be an enthralling lecture on the ancient Egyptians. I guess I should not be surprised by this type of behavior; after all, our…
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Reduce Student Anxiety with These Strategies


We have the opportunity to minimize opportunities for student anxiety and make confidence and resilience a habit in the lives of our children.

I started taking Zumba classes second semester of my junior year in college. For the first few months of classes, I only went because my friends wanted to go. I would feel anxious a few hours before the class and spend time thinking about how my feet tripped over one another and how hard I…
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15 Creative Places to Homeschool


Wherever your homeschool day may take you, it is comforting to know that there are ways to adapt nearly any environment into a space for learning.

One of the perks to homeschooling your children is the ability to allow a more flexible, convenient, and fun learning environment. We recently asked a group of homeschooling parents: where are some unique places your child has done their homework? They replied with some silly, clever, and conventional places: 15 Unique Places to Do Homework…
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Hands-on Learning Benefits


Hands-on learning increases student engagement by making connections between the classroom and the real-world.

I used to run around my childhood neighborhood with a small gaggle of girls. We would climb over fences, stealthily pluck roses from groomed gardens, and make believe that we were princesses or poor trapped maids or warriors burdened with great responsibility, depending on our mood. During the week, though, I was a first-grader in…
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