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  Christian Home School Program Blogs

Making Graphs

Mimi Rothschild
Friday, 30 January 2009 10:10

1 Comment

-by Mimi Rothschild

Graphs can make information immediately understandable – but only if you can read them. Reading graphs is an important skill our students need, and making graphs is a great way to get that understanding completely solid. Having students make graphs is also a great way to check and see whether your students have fully understood the information they’ve learned.

What kinds of graphs are most useful?
• Bar graphs show information as bars of varying heights. They can give a very clear picture of how one thing compares with another. The populations of different countries, the heights of plants grown under different conditions, and the prices of different but comparable items are good examples of things that can be shown with bar graphs.

[caption id="attachment_338" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Bar Graph"]Bar Graph[/caption]

• Line graphs are best for showing how things change over time. Points are connected with a line which goes up or down across dates, giving a quick impression of increase or decrease. Line graphs are good for showing things like growth of a population over time, changes in the numbers of people playing a particular sport, or rising and falling prices.

[caption id="attachment_339" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Line Graph"]Line Graph[/caption]

• Pie charts or circle graphs show how one thing is divided up. A pie chart lets you see what proportion of deaths in a war were from battle wounds, or what percentage of time in a school day is spent on the computer.

[caption id="attachment_341" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Pie Chart"]Pie Chart[/caption]

• Venn diagrams are circles representing different groups of things. One circle is laid over another to show what the two groups have in common and where they differ. A Venn diagram can show, for example, that both Canadians and people in the United States are North Americans, but that Canadians have two national languages and the U.S. has one.

[caption id="attachment_340" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Venn Diagram"]Venn Diagram[/caption]

Here are some ways to practice making and using graphs:
• Take one set of facts and show it with several different kinds of graphs. Decide which graph does the best job of showing that information. Do this each time you learn new information for a week or two, and see whether your students can make generalizations about what kinds of graphs are best for which purposes.
• Have students find graphs in books, magazines, or online references, and write paragraphs explaining exactly what each graph shows.
• Graph data over a period of time. Weather, growth of the kids in the family, number of books read, or number of miles walked are examples of data sets that work well for graphing. Notice how much easier it is to see the patterns in the information with graphs than with daily notes.
• Try making graphs that compare different sets of information. For example, you could make a graph showing the football scores for a favorite team this season and last season, and then add three more teams for comparison. See whether at some point, as you add information sets, it makes sense to change to another kind of graph.
• Make an art project of a graph. Use icons, collage, or other creative additions to make your graphs visually interesting.

Mimi Rothschild is the Founder of the nation’s leading provider of online PreK-12 online Christian educational programs for homeschoolers.

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The Math We Use Every Day

Mimi Rothschild
Wednesday, 29 October 2008 16:12

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-by Mimi Rothschild

Some of our students love math. Numbers are their friends, and they get excited about things like the Pythagorean theorem. Some of our students balk at studying math, and tell us they’re going to use calculators anyway, so they don’t need to know all that stuff and can they please do their art lessons instead?

Both groups of students can benefit by getting down to earth and hooking their math lessons up to the real world.

Include your children in these daily math experiences, and you may see your reluctant mathematicians blossom into enthusiasm, while your math whizzes get new appreciation for the practical value of their beloved subject.

• We use algebra for planning. When you pull some cash out of your pocket for that drive-through meal between soccer and play practice, you have to use the amount of money you have, the cost of each burger or taco, and the number of people in the car to calculate how many you should order. When you agreed to this child’s soccer team and that child’s drama troupe in the first place, you had to figure out whether it would be possible to get everyone to the right place at the right time. Use manipulatives or equations to work out these problems, and help your kids get in the habit of doing these kinds of calculations.

• We use percentages and estimation for shopping. In order to stay in our budgets at the grocery store or mall, we have to keep track of what we put in the basket, and then most of us must mentally add on a certain percentage for sales tax. Let your kids take over this task on all your shopping trips, and you’ll be amazed how skilled they’ll get.

• We use basic operations for budgeting time and money. Working out a household budget, the budget for a vacation or holiday, or the schedule for a busy day can use all the basic operations. Let kids get in on the calculations for the family, or for their own budgets and work schedules. Even very young children can join in on this when they figure up what time the family can play a board game together, considering the time dinner is served and how long it takes to clean the kitchen.

• We use fractions and measurement for household tasks. We measure cups and spoons and fractions of cups and spoons when we bake cookies. We measure inches and yards and fractions of both when we cut the fabric for a quilt or the lumber for a woodworking project. We even have to add and multiply and subtract and divide measurements and fractions when we double a recipe or calculate yardage. Getting to eat the cookies or join in the crafty fun is motivation for the kids to help with the calculations, too.

Why not keep a list of all the math skills your family uses in real life? Post the list on the family bulletin board and add to it all year, or check things off in the index in your math book. Your student will be amazed at how useful math really is!

Mimi Rothschild is the Founder of Learning By Grace, Inc. the nation’s leading provider of online PreK-12 online Christian educational programs for homeschoolers.

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Sensory Modalities- Multisensory Learning

Mimi Rothschild
Monday, 20 October 2008 13:04

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One of the great things about homeschooling is that we can teach each of our children in the very best way for that particular child. One of the learning differences that matters most is the child’s preferred sensory modality.

That’s a long phrase that means that some children learn better through seeing (visual learners), some through hearing (auditory learners), and some through touching (kinesthetic learners). God has given us our senses, and we all use them in the ways that are best for our uniquely created selves.

How Can I Tell My Child’s Preferred Sensory Modality?

When you get out a map, your visual learners might look closely and study it. Your auditory learners might look at it briefly and then look back at you, listening for an explanation, or start reading the names of the countries out loud. Your kinesthetic learners might touch the map, tracing out a route with their fingers.

Some people are more balanced than others, and might seem to use information from different sensory channels equally. Usually, even more balanced learners show their preferred modality when they’re feeling a little stressed.

Your auditory learner might talk to herself when she is working hard on a math test. Your kinesthetic learner might count on his fingers or doodle numbers in the margins. Your visual learner might write in the margins, too, but he’ll be doing it so he can look at the figures to see whether they look right.

Fortunately, all children learn best when they use all their senses, so you don’t have to be sure about their
preferred modalities. Just include a range of different activities in your lessons. It is so easy for us to think of activities that fit our own preferred modality! Sometimes we need to be reminded of the best activities for the other learning modalities.

Activities for Visual Learners
• Looking at charts and diagrams.
• Color-coding information
• Using graphic organizers to show information
• Practicing with flashcards and worksheets
• Using videos

Activities for Auditory Learners
• Listening to lectures
• Discussing information and ideas
• Reading aloud
• Using learning songs and chants
• Reciting information and doing oral practice

Activities for Kinesthetic Learners
• Using manipulatives
• Doing hands-on practice
• Creating models
• Playing games with information
• Using role play and drama

A perfect lesson would include activities for all the senses. We know that practicing new learning in different ways helps children learn better than practicing for the same amount of time using the same approach. Research also shows that multisensory lessons are learned more easily and remembered longer.

Combine different activities to get the most out of each of them and the best for each learner. Learning videos let visual learners watch and auditory learners listen. Let kinesthetic learners follow along with drawings or manipulatives, or try out what they see on their own. Have kinesthetic learners make graphic organizers with their visual learner siblings, and the auditory learners will join in discussing how to sort the information in the organizers. You can even include cooking, gardening, and nature study to bring in the senses of smell and taste. As far as we know, children don’t use these senses as their preferred learning modality, but we have all seen how cooking a dish from a country being studied can bring that lesson to life.

Soon multisensory lessons will be second nature!

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Seven Tips to Help Students with Attention Deficit Disorder

Mimi Rothschild
Friday, 19 October 2007 15:06

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By Mimi Rothschild

Take some time to read this great article about helping students with Attention Deficit Disorder. Included are seven solid strategies that parents and teachers should start implementing for students with ADD.

As all good teachers know, every student has unique interests, abilities, and learning styles. In a successful classroom, this individuality is respected. In fact, teachers use what they know about each individual to help students learn. This same care and respect can help the growing number of students with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) overcome some of the educational challenges that they face.

Distinguishing ADD from the normal range of childhood activity is difficult and requires the help of a trained professional. There is no cure for ADD. However, you can use strategies like the seven below to help students with ADD find success in your classroom.

  1. Establish a calm, structured classroom

    Set up regular routines and clear, consistent rules. While this classroom structure need not come at the expense of creativity or excitement, students with ADD are usually most comfortable in classrooms where procedures, expectations, and limits are explicit.

    Provide a “stimuli-reduced study area” in a quiet, low-traffic area of the classroom. Encourage students to use it. To learn more about setting up this study space, go to KidSource Online.

    Seat students with ADD away from distractions and close to you. Younger students who have trouble staying in their own spaces can benefit from clear physical boundaries, such as their own table or a box marked on the floor with colored tape.

  2. Always be clear and concise when giving instructions

    Repeat yourself! Students with ADD flourish in classrooms where reminders and previews are the norm. Be sure that students know what to expect, and give them frequent updates.

    Maintain eye contact when giving verbal instructions and make sure that students understand the instructions before they begin the task. You may want to have students repeat directions back to you.

    Simplify complex instructions, and break large tasks into a series of smaller, more manageable parts. Provide older students with written instructions for multistep projects. Review these instructions orally to be sure that students understand.

    Use non-verbal cues to communicate with the students; for example, quiet the class by raising your hand or blinking the lights. Give private cues when students are off-task, like sending a signal to re-focus by placing your hand on the shoulder of a chatting or distracted student. If a student is struggling with written instructions, print simple, easy-to-understand icons in the margins of the page in order to draw attention to key points.

  3. Help students to become better organized

    Provide students with an easy-to-use assignment log. In this log, clearly list the day’s assignments on a clear, standardized homework schedule. Be sure to include a checklist of all books and supplies that students will need to complete the assignments. If possible, older students should make these homework schedules on their own. Remind all students to consult this notebook at the end of each day and to make sure they understand the assignments.

  4. Take advantage of technology

    Encourage students to do writing assignments on computers or word processors that have a spell-checking feature. Students can also use hand-held, computerized spellers. Of course, these aids should not replace good, comprehensive training in these basic skills. However, for projects that emphasize content mastery, technology can be a very valuable tool! Students who can demonstrate their knowledge without worrying about spelling or handwriting can feel pride in their accomplishment and enjoy a great boost in self-esteem.

  5. Give frequent and specific praise

    Be sure to tell students how much you value them. Praise all good behavior and outstanding academic performance or improvement in front of classmates or in private. Be specific – tell students exactly what they accomplished!

    For example:

    • “Great job, Leila! You raised your hand before you answered the question!”

    • “Thank you for washing your paintbrush and putting it back where it belongs, Juan. You really listened to my directions!”

    • “What a clean desk! You are very organized today, Matt.”


  1. Reward success in the classroom by:

    • Distributing small prizes, like stickers.

    • Adding checkmarks or stars to a prominently displayed chart.

    • Giving successful students firm handshakes and bright smiles.

    • Telling students that you are proud of them!


  1. Share good news with family members

    Tell family members about their children’s accomplishments. Don’t limit home-school communication to difficult periods or crisis situations.

    Give younger students a daily home-school “report card.” Encourage them to keep cards in their assignment logs and to share them with their parents. Use this report card to describe students’ achievements and to ask for information or assistance.

    There are no easy solutions to ADD, but a classroom environment that is rich in structure, support, and encouragement can nurture success in all students.


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Summer Treats For Home Schoolers

Mimi Rothschild
Monday, 18 June 2007 09:57

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By Mimi Rothschild

Home schoolers, do you have a craving for something sweet? I have the perfect solution for you! Roll up your sleeves and make some yummy summer treats. Home schoolers should ask their parents for help before working on their delicious masterpieces. Cooking is fun and a wonderful skill to learn. It can also reinforce home schooling curriculum like chemistry, math, and reading.

Preschool Home Schoolers
Summer Popsicles: Preschool home schoolers will love making these delicious popsicles, especially on a hot day!

Elementary Home Schoolers
Frozen Chocolate Banana Pops: Home schoolers in elementary school will have a ball making this easy recipe for scrumptious chocolate covered bananas.

Middle School Home Schoolers
Fun Healthy Fruit Shakes: Summer treats don’t have to be unhealthy. Middle school home schoolers can enjoy creating a variety of tasty and healthy fruit shakes.

High School Home Schoolers
Ice Cream Sandwiches: Is there anything more brilliant than an ice cream sandwich! Everyone loves to eat ice cream sandwiches and now high school home schoolers can assemble their own.

“Lift your eyes and look to the heavens. Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.” — Isaiah 40:26

In Him,
Mimi Rothschild

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Logic for Homeschoolers

Mimi Rothschild
Wednesday, 13 June 2007 09:16

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By Mimi Rothschild

Even though it’s the summer, home schoolers are still encouraged to sharpen their minds by reading, writing, and solving logic problems. That’s right, logic problems. No matter what age your home schooler is he or she will love logic problems by the end of the summer. Logic problems are fun, challenging, and will help home schooling students logically evaluate problems in the real world when they are older.

Pre-Kindergarten Home schoolers
Butterfly Puzzle: Pre-K home schoolers can use logic to unscramble the photo and see what the picture is!

Elementary Home schoolers
Cool Logic Games: Elementary home schoolers will enjoy these online games and learn all about logic too.

Middle School Home schoolers
Brain Teasers: Middle school home schoolers can sharpen their logic skills by trying their best their best at these fun brain teasers.

High School Home schoolers
Interactive Logic Problems: Solve this tough problem about the high school play and other mind bending problems.

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” — Galatians 5:1

In Him,
Mimi Rothschild

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Card Games For Homeschoolers

Mimi Rothschild
Wednesday, 22 November 2006 10:03

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What’s the deal, homeschoolers? What’s the deal indeed! Today we are going to learn how to become poker-faced card sharks. There are lots of fun card games to learn. You might even learn some math on the side! Now remember,the Bible has a lot to say about the dangers of gambling. When we play card games, we don’t play for money, just for fun. Remember, don’t be a sore loser! Ok, who wants to deal?

Pre-Kindergarten Homeschoolers
Yahoo! Games:
Got any threes? Go fish! This popular kids card game is free at Yahoo!

Elementary Homeschoolers
Yahoo! Games:
How bout a free trial of Jewel Quest Solitaire?

Middle School Homeschoolers
Family Fun:
Five Card Frenzy will put you in a frenzy! It’s a crazy mix-up between solitaire and five-card poker.

High School Homeschoolers
The House of Cards:
Here are dozens of links to different card games like Cribbage, Spades, Bridge, Canasta, Euchre, Hearts, and more!

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.” -Romans 8:1-2

In Him,
The Jubilee Academy

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Math Games For Homeschoolers

Mimi Rothschild
Wednesday, 11 October 2006 12:50

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Goodmorning all, and welcome to the Jubilee Blog. Do you hate math? Math doesn’t have to be boring. Today we are going to play some fun math games. You’ll have a great time and learn a thing or two about arithmetic

Pre-Kindergarten Homeschoolers
Gayle’s Preschool Rainbow:
This site has a variety of matching and counting games that will give preschoolers a good foundation in math.

Elementary Homeschoolers
Cool Math 4 Kids:
Click around on some of the fun games like Lemonade Stand, Brain Benders, and more!

Middle School Homeschoolers
Cool Math Games:
Check out this Mah-Jongg

High School Homeschoolers
Games 2 Train:
Check out the Algebots, a free computer game that uses Algebraic principles.

“The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.” -Galatians 6:8

In Him,
The Jubilee Academy

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Math Games For Homeschoolers

Mimi Rothschild
Friday, 8 September 2006 07:45

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Hello young mathmeticians! Sometimes math can be tough, but it can also be lots of fun. Sometimes both! Click around on the links below to find some fun math riddles, puzzles, flashcards, and games.

Pre-Kindergarten Homeschooling Students
Mathcar Racing
: Can you solve the problems fast enough to win first prize in the grand prix?

Elementary Homeschooling Students
FunBrain’s Math Arcade
: This board game is full of arithmetic twists and turns. It also specializes to your grade level, so anyone can play.

Middle School Homeschooling Students
Math Baseball
: If you answer a math problem correctly, you will get a hit. Try for a grand slam! Advanced gamers can choose “Algebra.”

High School Homeschooling Students
Physics Applets and Games
: Physics can be hard to understand because it’s tough to imagine what’s happening when you’re looking at numbers. Here are some fun simulations to help you understand what’s really going on.

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” -Philippians 4:4

In Him,
The Jubilee Academy

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Explore Fun For Homeschoolers

Mimi Rothschild
Tuesday, 25 April 2006 14:20

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Hey kids, parents and educators! Want to play some fun games today? Well you have come to the right place. Just click around to explore the fun!

Pre-Kindergarten Homeschooling Students
: has original cartoons, stories, music, and interactive games for children of all ages. Also in French, Italian, German, Russian, and Spanish.

Elementary Homeschooling Students
: fun Flash site for primary grade kids. Discover new things each month including a story, games, songs, and a link to UpToTen for more fun! Also in French and Spanish

Middle School Homeschooling Students
: cool mazes, puzzles, coloring, games, brainteasers, interactive quizzes, and lots more!

High School Homeschooling Students
: includes daily questions, games and trivia, cards, and more fun stuff!

“Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” -Revelation 2:10

In Him,
The Jubilee Academy

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