Friday, April 24, 2015

Homeschooling for Free Presentation

Here is a PDF of my session today at CHEC called "Homeschooling for Free". Thanks to all who attended!! If you have ideas I would love to hear them and I will add them to our slides ;)

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Presenting at CHEC (Christian Home Education Conference) April 24-25, 2015

I am very excited to share in the 10th Anniversary of CHEC (Christian Home Education Conference)! I remember going to CHEC in those first years! I was thrilled that we could go as a family and all be able to learn! Each year we have attended has been such a blessing!

Fast forward and this year I will be presenting 3 sessions at CHEC

Homeschooling for Free is going to be fast-paced and lots of fun! I have put together lots of resource ideas for you to take home with you!!

Our Maker Ed session will be 45 minutes of Maker Ed background, practical solutions and resource ideas.  Pippa Davies, Jessie Davies and I have had fun putting this one together!!

Finally, I am looking forward to the session on Digital Portfolios. This session will be about our experience with digital portfolios, apps and websites. We have used a variety of digital portfolios in the past and I look forward to sharing with you how to get started reporting this way.

There are many excellent speakers at CHEC this year on April 24-25th. I hope that you will join us and find sessions that will encourage you in your homeschool. I hope I can see you there! Come and say hi!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Generations of Maker Ed

As I was putting this quilt on our bed for yet another morning, I started thinking about my mom and I making it. The truth is, she started it and I finished it. She cut the squares from scraps of all of the dresses, curtains, shirts and pillows she made for us when we were kids. Each of my sisters would easily recognize some piece of clothing whose material is in this quilt. My mom passed away when I was in my 20’s and I finished the quilt. 
When I think of the Maker Movement and words like tinkering, making, DIY, I think of my parents. They both were born in the early 20’s, grew up in the 30’s, experienced the war of the 40’s and built a new life together starting in the 50’s. 
I think that my mom knit, sewed, crocheted, canned, wallpapered, painted, refinished and repurposed furniture first out of necessity, and then out of enjoyment. My dad had a shop in almost every garage I can remember. He was always building things, fixing things, making things better. I remember all the times that he was “in the shop” whistling and tinkering.
They used Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics just living, just making a home and a life! They had STEAM! The science and technology may be different and even the engineering to some extent, but using the tools of the time, they tinkered, built, failed, tried again until they mastered a skill.
They passed that on to my sisters and I. What a gift! I hope that we are passing it on to our children. Our message to our children was to spend time being constructive and creative. That may be taking apart an old appliance and putting it back together again, it might be sewing a bag, a pillowcase or even a dress, it might be decorating a room, making a cake, building a fort, fixing a leak, painting a picture - the list goes on and on. 
Maker Ed has gone from the home to the classroom, but the skills are the same. As home educators, we have such a gift, that our children are not hemmed in by time. We don’t have only a 45 minute period for science, we can allow a whole day on a project, or projects over months or even years. 
Our children can enjoy one on one attention, learning a skill or we can learn new skills together! We may fail, try again and again until we have mastered that skill. Our children seeing us fail at something before mastery gives them room to do the same. 
There is not the same pressure of performance at home either, there are many more opportunities to fail and try again without the pressure of peers. This, I think supports our Makers more than anything else. Having a safe place to create and learn! 
So, enjoy being constructive and creative -including you and your children learning new skills. Join the Maker Movement!!
Blessings! Natalie

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

CHILS - Creative Ways of Teaching Social Studies and Science

Here are the slides from my afternoon session at CHILS (Christian Home Inspired Learning Symposium) on Creative Ways of Teaching Social Studies and Science. Thanks to all those who attended! Blessings!!