Life Skills

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Teaching at the Co-op

I will be teaching biology, beginning composition, and marketing at Cornerstone Tutorial Center this school year, so I thought it would be fun to blog about my adventures.

For biology, I am using Exploring Creation with Biology, 2nd Edition, by Wile and Durnell. As we only teach on Tuesdays and Thursdays, this will be perfect for you who follow a similar schedule. (Remember, I said it was more fun to teach history two days and science two days!). My plan is to cover one module every two weeks, beginning September 4th.

For beginning composition, I am pulling together a variety of resources to cover word choice, paragraph writing, essay writing, poetry, and creative writing. We will also do some vocabulary and grammar drills throughout the year.

I also created my marketing class

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Teaching A Foreign Language

Foreign language is a notoriously challenging subject for many Americans due to our relative isolation from the rest of the world. Even those who take a foreign language in high school or college rarely end up using it. In fact, only 26% of American’s speak a second language well enough to hold a conversation while more than 50% of Europeans are fluent in at least one additional language. So if you are one of the 74% of Americans that continue to struggle with a foreign language here are a few ideas that might make the process a little more enjoyable.

Experts agree that “immersion” substantially increase a student’s ability to retain foreign languages. Although trips to Mexico or Europe may be out of the question, there are other ways to create immersion opportunities for the whole

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Summer Fun on a Budget

Summer is a wonderful opportunity for adventure, but in this economy it can be tough to find activities that fit a tight budget. When a typical summer camp can run anywhere between $450 and $1000 a week, the cost can quickly become prohibitive. However, there are ways to offer your kids quality activities at a fraction of the cost. You just have to know where to look!

The first place I would recommend is your local church. Whether you are a regular attendee or not, many churches around the country open their doors every summer to offer free day camps for elementary and middle school children. Most churches offer things like crafts, sports, puppet shows, or opportunities to participate in a musical or play that is preformed at the end of camp. My local church offers their summer camp

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Teaching Financial Responsibility Without the Stress

Let’s face it, as much as we want to teach our kids financial responsibility, it can be a big hassle. Trying to keep track of each kids spending, savings and charitable activity can be just as complicated as balancing our own checkbook. The more kids you have, the more stressful it becomes.

Like any child of the information revolution, I was sure that there had to be an easier solution. A quick search on the internet did not disappoint. My favorite find was ThreeJars.com. This simple, straightforward concept emphasized the few things that were most complicated and most important for our family. It created an automated virtual “Bank account” for each child. As a parent you can pre-set a weekly allowance that will automatically be divided (according to the percentages you choose) into

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Using a Camera in Your Homeschool

Today, just about everyone has a digital camera or a mobile phone that takes pictures. Why not use this handy tool in your homeschool? Here are some ideas:

Field trips:

Take photos of animals at the zoo, aquarium, or natural history museum. Create a notebook with one photo per page. Have your students label the photo with the name of the animal, as well as write a short report that includes the animal’s classification, natural habitat, diet, and other facts of interest.

Take photos of historical sites. Have your students write a short report about the historical significance of the site or a biography of a famous person connected to the site. Include photos in the report. For younger children, create a matching game. Using a large poster board, paste photos on the board along

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Life Prep for Homeschooled Teenagers

Life Prep for Homeschool TeenagersBarbara Frank says that, Life Prep for Homeschooled Teenagers is a "parent-friendly curriculum for teaching teenagers to live as morally and financially responsible adults." That is exactly what it is; and, how I wish it had been available for my own children! 

The spiral-bound, 100-page book includes lessons for the work-bound as well as the college-bound teenager. It teaches them life skills by having your teen read, research, and complete real-life projects that are related to the concept being studied. By the time your teen completes the curriculum, he will have had hands-on practice in buying a car, getting a loan, purchasing car insurance, learning about credit cards (the good, bad, and ugly!), purchasing health insurance, renting an apartment, grocery shopping, paying

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