The Case for Studying Music
There have been several cases where scientists have tried to study the effect music has on the intelligence of a developing child. Some have been well documented to show evidence that there has been a substantial change in the intellectual development of children who have studied music from a young age as per a study conducted by the Nortwestern University. They even concluded that the longer a child took music lesson the more benefits were seen at a later stage when they were considerably older.
Music students in High School were seen to gain more academic awards than non music students as per a study conducted by the National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988. On average a music student had more number of A and B grades in their report card as compared to those who were not involved in studying music. Other studies speak of babies developing higher IQs if they are exposed to classical music of Mozart.
A study conducted by James Catteral of UCLA published in 1997 studied more than twenty five thousand students over a period of ten years. It was established that music making skills increased test scores in standardized tests, especially in reading proficiency exams. Most ongoing studies have a tendency to view a positive correlation between students learning music or listening to music and performing better in their educational texts as well.
What to do in Homeschool
Naturally with so much evidence supporting the fact that a musical education can prove beneficial to your homeschool student, it is a good idea to let them learn how to play a musical instrument. The good news it that basic lessons for any instrument can be taken in form of videos on YouTube. Just as the name of the musical instrument plus the keyword lessons in the search box and you will have a choice of channels to help you teach your child music. You can even have a go at learning a musical instrument yourself. At a subsequent date when the child has mastered the basics you may like to consider in person training with a music teacher in your town.
In many homes the child is naturally exposed to two languages. It could be because of where you live, or the composition of the family. The top languages spoken in the world today include English, French, Spanish and Chinese. Unfortunately not all schools teach second languages and your child may just end up using the majority language rather than keeping up with the secondary language. Here are some ways for you to ensure that your child keeps up an interest in both languages.
Reading, Writing and Speaking
You need to ensure that there is enough reading, writing and speaking happening in both languages. Naturally the majority language will take up a larger chunk of time, but make sure that you do not ignore the secondary language. Nurture the secondary language more in the early years, as the base will be important in the future. The major language will get enough practice as the homeschool student grows older anyhow.
Finding the right balance can take some skill. You can even make it fun by insisting that the homeschool student speaks with the mother in one language and the father in another. That way they can practice the language with the person who speaks it best in the family. In case you are introducing a second language through a teacher because you don’t have the resources in the family, ensure that the child has friends he can practice the language with.
Keep it Fun
Learning two languages should not be considered a chore by the homeschool student. It should be integrated into the daily routine of the child. When you wake up wish everyone in both languages, same with thanking someone for what they did. Some activities in the homeschool class may be conducted only in a single language. For instance if the child needs to ask permission to do something it needs to be asked in a specific language.
You get the idea, just keep it fun and entertaining. Plus involve all the children in the homeschool classroom and soon you will have a full family of bilingual speakers. Not to mention the fact that they are going to smarter than most kids.
Some parents worry that if they expose their children to two or more languages the child will get confused and not be able to pick up any language clearly. Others worry that the child will end up being a late speaker if taught two languages simultaneously. This is definitely not true. Learning an additional language is always an advantage no matter what the language is. Of course depending on where you live one language may be preferable to learn compared to another. Scientists have established that dealing with two languages makes the number of connections between the brain hemispheres increase.
Better Cognitive Ability is Linked to Bilingualism
A 1962 study by Peal and Lambert suggests that bilingualism actually has cognitive and practical benefits and positive effects on children. Cognitive processes such as problem solving, mental flexibility, attentional control, inhibitory control, and task switching were seen to be much better in bilingual individuals in the study.The analysis and control of a bilingual child is also seen to be better with respect to their ability to represent and understand abstract information. In fact they are able to put together material much faster to reach the right conclusion than children who have merely been exposed to a single language from birth.
Bilingualism is also Linked to Better Tolerance Levels
Those who pick up the nuances of two languages, also learn the cultural differences between two types of people. Having this ability to discern what may be considered good in one culture, may not be seen the same way in the second, can be invaluable as a life skill. Not to mention the fact that a bilingual person is likely to be far more tolerant of a person from another culture and their apparent short comings. They are less susceptible to egocentric biases, and much more understanding of other people’s beliefs as they are extremely culturally sensitive. That has to be a desirable trait in any human being, right?
So give your child an easy advantage in life by making him or her bilingual. The best part is that even if you don’t know a second language it is easy for your child to learn one on-line or with another teacher.
Not all video games are created equal. While some may be merely a collection of violent actions supported by loud and cacophonic sounds, others may actually be quite useful to the player to develop certain skills. Take a look at some of these video game types and specific games that can actually help a homeschool student to develop new skills with ease.
Simulation Games : Microsoft Flight Simulator
Real world skills can be taught in an enjoyable and comfortable environment by simulation games. One of the most popular flight simulators around, the game has a wide variety of choices. The player can pick from small beach-crafts to huge jumbo jets. They can customize flying during the day or night hours. The game allows you to take off and land from any number of airports situated all over the world. The simulations are extremely life like and teach the player to use resources available in a proper manner.
Puzzle Games : Cut The Rope
Just like the puzzles that you can solve in a book, a video game based on puzzles also teaches the player how to identify patterns, think in a logical manner, solve problems with many variables and learn to do all this in a limited time. Talk about pressure! The basic Cut the Rope game is extremely popular on the android store. It teaches the player how to use different puzzle elements together to solve the ultimate goal, that of feeding the frog on the screen the red and white candy. Each level takes barely any time to play and can be easily played as a short break during the class break.
Sports Games : FIFA
Gaming consoles are best used to provide the ultimate experience of playing these games. Just like the physical sports that they are associated with these games involve a lot of movement, action and good hand to eye coordination. While you can’t learn the actual physical sport, these are a good way to pick up the strategies used in the sport, and to practice responsive man-to-man battles just like you would find on the real sports field.
A large number of studies have been conducted by universities all over the world on video games and the effects that they have on the people playing them. There has often been keen interest to find out just how these games actually affect the mind of a child who plays them regularly. On the whole certain traits have been reinforced by video games and some people have gone so far as to call them educational. Here are some video games that can provide your homeschool student with a vigorous mental workout.
Strategy Game : Good Game Empire
The video game is a free online interactive game that allows a player to build up his own castle, troops, out posts, forge alliances with other players, battle enemies and a whole lot more. The waging of wars, bouts or diplomacy, growth as an individual as well as a team, require the homeschool student to actually use their brains to come up with good strategies that are effective to get what they want done. Plus the game changes constantly and the thinking must also change as they progress through the different levels.
Shooter Games : Call of Duty
The shooter games help develop hand to eye coordination, keeping track of where the potential enemies are, knowing where to aim, how much ammunition you have left and a host of other details that can spell the difference between success and failure. The player is put into a futuristic environment battlefield where he must learn to master the weapons he is provided in order to save his own life and win the cause. Riding hover crafts, controlling drones, and firing tactical weapons all play a part in this video game.
Role Play Games : Middle Earth- Shadow of Mordor
The player becomes a fictional character in a role play game and must see action as described by the video game. In this game a Ranger named Talion must solve a main quest, plus do a number of side quests along the way. Each quest develops certain aspects of the homeschool student’s mind. Needless to say all of these games can be addictive, and so it will be up to the parent to ensure that there are limits placed on how long the child can play these games.
Not sending your children to school may sound like a radical idea to parents who have never homeschooled. However any number of homeschool teachers with some experience under their belts will be happy to let you know that there are a large number of benefits to be reaped when you decide to homeschool your child.
Never in the Wrong Company
Are you worried that the child may get into bad company? A homeschooled student is never in the wrong company. They do not have the opportunity to hang out with people of less than satisfactory moral fibre. They are much less likely to end up with any adverse effects of experimenting with alcohol, smoking, drugs and other addictions. The teacher is always with the students to ensure that all learning that takes place is good for their future life.
Ensures Good Bonding Between Parents and Children
Since you are always there for the child either as a parent or as a teacher in the hoemschool classroom, the child is bound to develop a much stronger bond with you than if he were to attend a regular school. The time spent together in their young years ensures that even when they grow up and move away, they stay in touch. They never have to second guess how you will react to them, as most often they know just how you feel about a number of issues.
Accommodate Students with Special Needs at Affordable Costs
Not everyone is looking to homeschool, but special circumstances and affordability may thrust homeschooling upon you. If you are the parent of a special needs child, the regular schools may not be willing to take the student on, or perhaps you live in a place where such specialized care is simply not available. In such a situation when you decide to homeschool your child, you are likely to be able to do it much cheaper. The financial aspect of educating a special needs child will be met more easily if you decide to homeschool him.
As you continue on your journey as a homeschool teacher, you are sure to add any number of benefits that apply to you individually.
There are a number of reasons why people choose to homeschool which could include something specific such as providing for the needs of a special child or something as generic like the schools not having a good learning environment. No matter what the actual reason for homeschooling a child, there are a number of benefits of homeschooling that one never considers on the environment.
1. No Transportation Required!
What’s the biggest hassle of children starting school? Getting them there early in the morning, on time. However regular school is beaten hollow by the advantage of homeschooling here. Not only do you have to get up and go anywhere, you are actually being environmentally friendly. Since the children do not need to be driven to school, there is a great deal of fossil fuel being saved. There is no added air pollution in terms of vehicular emissions, and the side effect is extremely good on the wallet. No spending on fuel means greater savings for the family.
2. Reusing All Materials!
With children never being in the same grade at one time, there is a potential saving to be made each time you buy anything that you will use in the homeschool classroom. No matter what the material is, textbooks, reference books, worksheets printed out, or even notebooks, everything can be reused. The charts for alphabets, colors, and shapes will still be the same ones needed for the second child you decide to homeschool. So you not only do not need to buy them again, but are preventing more copies from being printed. This saves more trees, again help saving the environment.
3. Borrowing and Lending Equipment!
The homeschooling families in a community tend to do a lot of activities together. This means that if one family has the equipment for a particular activity, others in the area will generally not buy the same equipment. They will just ask to borrow it when they need to use it. This system works well for everything from scientific equipment like microscopes to sports things like a croquet set. Naturally this also helps save the materials in the environment required to make this equipment, making it an environmentally friendly practice.
Even though there have been enough detractors who feel that homeschooling may not always be in the best interest of the student, there are many instantly available benefits that can help prove that in the long run homeschooled students are not at any type of disadvantage.
The Student – Teacher Ratio in Homeschool Classes is Always Better
No matter how small the class is in a regular school, there is no way that it can beat the 1:1 student teacher ratio that exists in the homeschool class. The child always has the complete attention of the teacher when he or she is being taught. Any individual problem or doubt that arises during the lessons is immediately caught and rectified. Genuine learning takes place and not just the completion of a lesson in a text book.
Homeschool Students Have No Time to get Bored
In regular school there may be small chunks of time that get wasted, such as when the student has finished the given assignment before the rest of the class. Till everyone else finishes their assignment the student is sitting around doing nothing, getting bored. In the homeschool classroom as soon as the assignment is completed, the child is allowed to move on to the next challenge, lesson, or assignment. This eliminating any scope of boredom.
Tailored Teaching Based on Child’s Needs and Interests
If you homeschooled child enjoys air crafts, they can be incorporated in lessons to ensure interest. You can count them in mathematics, learn about their engines in science, and read how they came to be in history. The subject which interests the homeschool student can be specially added to each lesson in the homeschool classroom, which is just not possible in a regular school. This kind of made to order lesson plans can only ever be foun in homeschool classrooms.
The special treatment that a homeschool student receives makes him or her more likely to have their own opinions on various topics. They become able to formulate and express their independent thinking at a young age.
Keeping on homeschooling year round is usually a good idea. You can always take some time off in between classes to have some summer fun. Here are some cool activities that your homeschool students will definitely enjoy participating in.
Side walk Painting With Coloured Ice Cubes
Get a whole lot of containers and mix some water colour with water in them. Put them into the freezer overnight to get huge bricks of coloured ice cubes. These can be used to make paintings and abstract art on the side walk. The best part is that once the painting session is over, you can bring out the garden hose and wash that art right off along with the kids who have paint all over them. If you want to preserve some of this ice cube painting for a while you could have them paint on chart paper with the coloured ice cubes. These can be made to dry in the sun and brought in to the homeschool classroom for display later on.
Target Practice with Balloons
Fill up water in balloons and set up some soda cans filled with sand at the end of the range. The idea is to hit as many soda cans as possible in a limited number of tries. The younger kids can get to stand closer to the targets if they do not have the same reach as the older kids. In order to avoid time between bouts it would be a good idea to set one day aside for merely filling up and storing the water balloons in a couple of buckets or tubs. That way you can drag out two days worth of fun with a single activity.
Building Ice Sculptures
Just get the largest container that will fit into your freezer and fill it up with water. Let it freeze overnight. Then remove the chunk of ice and give it to your kids to sculpt. They can use a hammer and a chisel if they are old enough to handle it. For younger ones you can teach them the technique of melting away ice in bits and pieces using salt. Let them form the shapes that they want to. Make sure you get a picture of the final sculpture with the budding artist.
Education is not limited to the four walls of the class that a student sits in. As a homeschooling family, you understand this better than most people. Education is a constant process which can occur anywhere, any time. Here are some more resources that homeschooling students can use to help the process along.
An app from Amazon, it’s mission is to help people get what they want and need through our understanding of each user and the world they live in. It was originally launched under the name of True Knowledge, with the mission of powering a new kind of search experience where users can access the world’s knowledge simply by asking for the information they need in a way that is completely natural.
Oral English Activities
At http://waze.net/oea/ you can find a treasure trove to teach pedagogy. While the site is not being actively maintained, the content is available to teachers to use as they wish. If your homeschool student requires any help in fluency while speaking, the exercises suggested here will come in handy. From telling jokes, spinning stories, two minute long debates, to comparison role play. There is a whole lot to pick and choose from.
A good education has the power to change a life. What Pearson believes is new is the demand for that change. At the Learning Curve homeschoolers can find out just how educated the rest of the world truly is. There are a number of tools to play around with to present the data collected as well. Textbooks published by the company can also be accessed in digital format as well as reading quizzes to monitor how well the content has been assimilated. Take a look at a biology text book here.
At http://www.tesindia.com/ you can be part of a community of teachers who share their content as well as worksheets. Pick up grade wise and subject wise worksheets for you child to work on. There are literally hundreds of contributors producing thousands of worksheets for you to use. Feel free to add to the community by sharing your own resources.