Last week we told you about our series on Fun-Schooling each grade/age. Grateful parents have been telling us all week how excited they are. We’ve had several questions asking about learning disabilities, special needs, and medical struggles. We know homeschooling learning disabilities and special needs can feel overwhelming.
Today I’m glad to tell you we will also discuss these topics this school year. We hope this series will not only help parents better support their children but will help you learn about different learning challenges.
First, we’ll introduce the challenge and how it typically expresses itself.
Next, we’ll share common learning adaptations and tips to optimize learning.
Then, we’ll talk about building a learning plan/curriculum.
Last, we’ll share the most popular journals for children with this learning challenge.
Remember– This series will be based on the average child with this learning challenge. We recognize most of these have a huge range of expression. This is intended to be a supportive overview. The bell curve is extremely important to remember throughout this series. Some children will fall outside of this average. We’ve chosen to homeschool for a reason- so we can customize our children’s education to their unique academic level and needs This is especially important for children with special needs, medical concerns, and learning disabilities.
Sounds great, what’s the plan?
October ‘23- Dyslexia
November ‘23- Dyscalculia
December ‘23- Dysgraphia
January ‘24- Executive Functioning Weaknesses
February ‘24- Reluctant/ Struggling Writers
March ‘24- Non-Verbal Learning Disabilities/Disorder
April ‘24- Autism
May ‘24- Anxiety & Depression
June ‘24- PANS/PANDAS
July ‘24- ADHD
August ‘24- Chronic Health Problems & Cancer
September ‘24- Trauma and Transition
Please let us know what specific questions and struggles you’d like to see addressed in this series. We hope it will be helpful for your family.
Disclaimer- The content of this post is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any condition or disease. Please seek advice from your healthcare provider for your personal health concerns prior to making any changes for yourself or your child.
About the Author- Amanda Osenga is a Fun-Schooling mom in Columbus, Ohio. She is also the social media manager and Virtual Assistant for Thinking Tree. Her family combines Thinking Tree books with the Charlotte Mason method using books from Ambleside Online and Wildwood Curriculum. In her free time, Amanda is an avid reader and loves to be outdoors.
Today I’m excited to announce our “Fun-Schooling For Every Grade” blog series. This is something y’all have asked for time and time again. We are delighted to be bringing this series to you this school year.
This will include what to expect regarding academic ability and developmental level every year. We’ll also look at common challenges in each phase and share tips. For each grade, we’ll discuss how to build a curriculum including what to expect for workload and schedule. Tips from other Fun-Schooling moms will help give you the POV of several people. The most popular journals for each grade and tips for using them will round out each post.
A big focus for us at Thinking Tree is letting kids be kids. You’ll see a lot of room for play, nature, and wonder in these plans. We want kids to have plenty of time to explore the things they love and soak up their childhood.
Remember– This blog series will be based on the average level for the grade/age. The bell curve is extremely important to remember throughout this series. Some children will fall outside of this average. We’ve chosen to homeschool for a reason- so we can customize our children’s education to their unique academic level and needs.
Students can go up or down several grade levels from these suggestions as needed. Virtually all our materials can be used by kids from reading age to teens (and adults!) For non-readers and early readers, we have level A-1 materials. Each student’s education is customized by choosing academically appropriate materials.
How do I know what grade my homeschooler is in?
The general guideline is- age in the fall minus 5 = grade. For example, my son is 12 this fall. 12-5=7
If he were in the school system, he’d be in 7th grade.
Sounds great, what’s the plan?
By far the top age we’re asked about it High School so we’re starting at High School and working our way down from there. Here’s the schedule for this series-
October ‘23- High School- College/ Advanced Academics Path
November ‘23- High School– Career/ Calling Path for those who will not need college
December ‘23- Middle School– emphasizing choosing a major (and why it’s ok if they change it!)
January ‘24- 6th grade
February ‘24- 5th grade
March ‘24- 4th grade– with an emphasis on the fact it’s often a step-up academically and in terms of independence
April ‘24- 3rd grade
May ‘24- 2nd grade– with a focus on fostering more independence
June ‘24- 1st grade
July ‘24- Kindergarten
August ‘24- Preschool
Eager to learn about a specific grade now?
Check out the grade-by-grade video series we did in 2022 in our Facebook group-
Concerned about gaps in your child’s education? Check out this post.
About the Author- Amanda Osenga is a Fun-Schooling mom in Columbus Ohio. She is also the social media manager and Virtual Assistant for Thinking Tree. Her family combines Thinking Tree books with the Charlotte Mason method using books from Ambleside Online and Wildwood Curriculum. In her free time, Amanda is an avid reader and loves to be outdoors.
What is Reggio Emilia?
- An educational philosophy developed in the 1960s
- Named after the town in which it was developed
- Founded by Loris Malaguzzi who wanted children to have a more holistic education after the war
- Similar in many ways to Montessori and Waldorf
- Come to the US in the 90s
Main Focuses of a Reggio Emilia education
- Teachers learn with children
- Teacher/sparents are seen as guides and the primary learning is child-led
- Suggestions are only made if the child asks for them
- Play-based, especially in the younger years
- When a child expresses interest/curiosity in a subject/topic, that is what the child is invited to explore
- Education is highly focused on involving and engaging all the senses
- Children are given control over their learning
- Lots of project-based learning
- Documentation is important, learning journals are kept and utilized daily
- “Hundred Languages of Children”
- Written by the founder and addresses how children are natural communicators and communicate through a variety of methods such as art, writing, drama, speech, etc
- The classroom/learning environment is referred to as the “third teacher”
- Space is kept clutter-free, organized, and full of natural materials
- It is not a “prepared environment” like in Montessori, rather an environment children can play, learn, research, and grow.
How to combine Fun-Schooling with Reggio Emilia and peek inside Reggio Emilia-friendly journals
Make sure to join our Facebook group and then click below to watch!
What questions do you have about Reggio Emilia? Do you have any resources to share on the Reggio Emilia Method? Share in the comments!
Fun-Schooling + 9 different educational methods
Musings with Amanda Osenga
If you’d have told me at age 12 what my job would be as a blogger and virtual assistant. I’d have had 0% framework for any of it other than writing & a bit of the computer piece. The overwhelming majority of what I do and the tools I use didn’t exist when I was 12.
If you’d have told my Dad at 12 what his future as an electrical engineer would look like, he’d have had almost no framework for it. Computers were giant things that took up entire rooms. Most of what Dad used in his job, didn’t exist when he was 12.
If you’d have told my Grandparents at age 12 about the massive technological changes they’d see in working life, I think their heads would have spun, or they’d have not believed you.
My Great Grandmother passed away in the early 2000s at 102 years old. She went from having no electricity to playing solitaire on my laptop with me in college. The amount of change her generation saw was astounding. Her life at 12 was vastly different than previous generations.
If you’d have told any generation before my Great Grandparents about their future careers, they’d have, by and large, known exactly what you were talking about. They grew up with remarkably little change compared to the last 100ish years.
I can do my best to equip and prepare my 12-year-old for his life to come. I can help him build the skills he’ll need and show him technology. Most likely, it won’t be anything even remotely close to what he’s using by my age.
The best I can do for him is teach him how to learn. How to adapt. How to question and wonder what technology is right for him. How to manage stress, rapid change, transition, and an ever-changing culture This is what we’re tasked with as parents, adults, and leaders for the next generation.
It feels like a lot. And I’m glad to be doing it with all of you as we navigate this warp-speed world together for ourselves and our kids.