Everything You Always Wanted to Ask About Fun-Schooling!

 

What do I need to Fun-School besides journals?
Some- especially math and spelling- are open and go with nothing other than writing and coloring utensils needed. Others need library books, podcasts/documentaries, music, and other research materials. You can include games, craft projects, and other activities on the subject(s) your child is studying if you’d like but they’re not required to Fun-School.

 How many pages per day should students complete?
We suggest the same number of pages per day as your child’s age. For example, a 10-year-old would complete 10 pages per day in a core journal. Or they might complete 2 pages in a math journal, 2 pages of spelling, 2 pages of nature study, 2 pages history, and 2 pages Bible. A page is one single side of paper, not both sides. 


What should I do if there isn’t a journal for what my student wants to study?
While many of our journals are themed, we have dozens of journals that can be used to study anything. The seasonal core journals are especially popular, any core journal can be used along with books and documentaries/podcasts on the subject your child wants to study. Master Class- 30 Day Portfolio is another option to study anything your child wants. 

What are Learning Languages?

Learning Languages are five unique learning styles.  Think of these as like The Five Love Languages. The Languages are Creator, Detective, Explorer, Friend, and Follower. You’ll find more info here.  These can be helpful in selecting journals and troubleshooting issues in your homeschool. 

 What are Dyslexia Games?

Dyslexia Games is our one-of-a-kind Language Arts curriculum.  It’s excellent for all students as it helps build problem-solving, creative thinking, right/left brain integration and more.  Children with Dyslexia, Aspergers, ADHD/ADD and Autism especially benefit.  

You can find more information in this document. 

 Can you help me with record keeping and compliance?

Laws vary by state/country as to what records and subjects are required.  We are happy to offer suggestions, you need to verify they are compliant with your local laws. Many families choose to use the 10 Subject Portfolio or the 12 Subject Portfolio for record-keeping.  The HSLDA is a great source for homeschool compliance information by state.

What about High School Credits?
We have a comprehensive guide to Fun-Schooling High School here

 Can I purchase materials with charter funds? 

Yes! Most charter schools allow you to use your charter school funds for Fun-Schooling materials.  Find more information here. We also put together the bundles with Charter Schools in mind. 

 How do I schedule a school day with these materials?
We are happy to help you with a plan and offer suggestions.  Our bundles come with a suggested lesson plan for your schedule.  PM us here or email us here for help.  You’ll find lots of sample schedules by searching for “schedule” or “scheduling” here in the group.  

Some families use only a core journal while others use multiple journals per day. The beauty of Fun-Schooling is you can adapt to what works best for your family! There are thousands of Fun-Schoolers and no two families have the same schedule.

Here are a few popular options for scheduling but you can truly do whatever works best for your family-

(This mentions loop scheduling. In case you’re not familiar with a loop schedule- stack up all your “loop” journals up. Whatever is on the top is what you start with. No need to assign certain journals to certain days or worry about a specific schedule. When you’re done w/ the journal for the day, it goes on the bottom of the pile.)

Option 1-Pure loop- Stick everything in a pile- including the core journal. Let your child decide how many pages to complete in each journal as they work their way through the loop. Some days they may decide to do all pages in one journal. On other days they may decide to do a few pages from each journal. This is the most child-led and relaxed method.

Option 2-  Half pages per day from a core journal. Half pages per day from 2-4 loop journals. 

Option 3- Rotate core day/ single subject journals day. For example, Monday they would do all pages/day in her core. Tuesday would be 2+ single subject journals. Wednesday would be all pages in the core again. Etc.

Option 4- Half pages from a core journal, and the rest of the pages from only one single subject journal. Stick with this single subject journal until it is done and move on to a new one once it’s done. 

You can also look at our bundles – they all have suggested lesson plans in the bundle description. Look at the bundle that’s closest to your child’s grade level and you can plan in the same way as our lesson plan with the journals that you already have. https://www.funschooling.com/all-curriculum-bundles

Fun-Schooling FAQ: Proceeding, Picking, Programs & Peeking!

Fun-Schooling Journals

First of all, remember, there is no wrong way to Fun-School. We have thousands of Fun-Schooling families and every home is different. Your homeschool schedule, materials, and plans are uniquely yours. These are general suggestions but tinker to make it your own!

Proceed! 

How do I get started Fun-Schooling?
Check out this post first and/or watch this video. This post on the Facebook group will also help.

Next, read through this blog post, and the upcoming Part 2!  

Last, PM us here or email us here if you need more help selecting journals or have other questions.

Our bundles are the easiest way to get started. Bundles come with a suggested lesson plan in the bundle description and are the most “open and go” method. https://www.funschooling.com/all-curriculum-bundles

Picking 

How do I select journals?

There are several ways to choose journals:

  • Look on our website
    • You can view journals based on grade level, academic subject, and theme/interest.  
    • Choose a bundle to cover all the basic subjects for an entire school year, complete with lesson plans! 

Programs

What programs are available?
We have four programs:

Fun-schooling Books https://www.funschooling.com/  

Dyslexia Games http://www.dyslexiagames.com/

Teach Yourself to Draw http://www.teachyourselftodraw.com/

Math Craft (Dyscalculia Therapy) https://www.funschooling.com/dyscalculia-games-math-craft

Fun-Schooling core journals cover eight to 20+ subjects in one. Subjects include the standard school subjects as well as unique subjects like nature study, classical literature, music, and more. Single-subject journals give students a chance to go more in-depth into a subject of their interest.

Peeking!

How do I see inside Journals?
Almost all our journals have flip-through videos on Amazon. They also are on YouTube, search the title of the journal + The Thinking Tree. We also have flip through videos on our Facebook group- you can find them here

The easiest way to browse our materials is through our website- https://www.funschooling.com/  

Click a journal to go to the Amazon listing. The videos are about halfway down, people often overlook them because they look like ads.

This should get you off to a good start! Click here for Part 2!

Fun-Schooling Printed Journals vs PDF Questions

Where can I find PDFs and why are they so expensive? 

PDFs are available here. We also post free PDFs from time-to-time in the group files. Dyslexia Games and Math Craft PDFs are also available.  A full list of all available PDFs in alphabetical order can be found here.


Generally, PDFs are more expensive compared to print.  This is because we are giving you permission to print as many copies as you want for single-family use.  We also have to make sure the appropriate contributors get royalties.  Royalties are different for PDFs than for print journals, we’re not able to make all journals PDFs due to these royalties.

 How do I download and save PDFs?
You will be emailed a download link for your PDFs. These links expire so download right away. We suggest backing up downloads on cloud-based storage like Google Drive or a flash drive or an external hard drive.

Why isn’t my PDF printing correctly?
Make sure to download the PDF, open the downloaded file, and print from the most updated version of Adobe. The most common printing error we see is from printing from the file preview vs the downloaded file itself. An old version of Adobe will also result in irregular printing as will (sometimes) printing from a phone vs a computer.

Where are print journals sold? 

Most of our materials are available via Amazon. The easiest way to find them is to search Sarah Janisse Brown. You’ll be directed to the Amazon listing from our website as well.  We also have select materials available from Barnes & Noble as well as Rainbow Resources. 

 How do I find sales?

We post sales within the Facebook group and over on the main Facebook page.   

Important note about Amazon sales

Amazon sales change frequently.  These are sales that Amazon decides to do on their own.  A sale may last a few hours or a few weeks.  We never know for sure.  If you see a book that has the price marked down like this:

It means it is an Amazon sale.  Grab these while you can, they can change fast!

 Can I make copies?

You are welcome to make copies of most of our materials for single-family use.  There are a few exceptions.  Please check the title page in your journal before making copies.  If you’re interested in licensing information for co-ops, schools, churches, camps, etc. please contact us at info@dyslexiagames.com

NOTE: if you live in South Africa you can buy printed journals from www.funschoolingsa.co.za . This store is independent of Amazon, so it can’t run the same sales as they do. Royalties are paid to Sarah for the license to print the journals.

Dyslexia Games FAQs

 

Dyslexia Games Level A

What are Dyslexia Games?

Dyslexia Games is a method of dyslexia therapy created by Sarah Janisse Brown to help children who struggle with symptoms of dyslexia, as well as ADHD, ASD, and other learning issues. The books use art and logic to “reprogram the brain” by gradually helping children shift from using the right side to the left to process letters, numbers, and finally, words.

 Which Series of Dyslexia Games should I order?

Choose the correct series based on your child’s age and reading level:

Series A: Ages 5-8 (for new and non-readers)
Series B: Ages 8-12 (for struggling readers)
Series C: Ages 10-adult (for spelling, speed, focus, and comprehension)

**For more details, please see the “Order” page at www.dyslexiagames.com

 Does my child need to do the books in order?

Yes. It’s important to start with Book 1 of the Series your child is using and to finish each book before starting the next.

 Can my child skip around in the book?

No. The pages should be done in the order in which they appear in the book as they “build on” the previous page.

 How many pages should my child do every day?

Your child should complete 2-4 pages a day. Start with 2-3 pages and add a 4th if they request it. Cut back if they become visually overstimulated.

 What should my child use to complete the puzzles?

It’s recommended that your child use a smooth, black pen, preferably a gel pen, to create a smooth transition between the printed logic puzzle and the child’s work.

 How does my child complete the puzzles?

Your child will use logic to determine what’s missing in each puzzle, then use a gel pen to draw in the missing parts or complete the patterns.

 Should I point out mistakes my child makes while working the puzzles?

Yes. Ask your child to look over the page carefully and see if they notice anything that needs to be done differently. This will encourage your child to look for their own mistakes. If they don’t seem to recognize that the puzzle(s) are incorrect, gently correct them by asking, “Do you think you should try doing it this way instead?” or something similar. If possible, print out a copy of the puzzle to work yourself (two if your child wants to redo theirs) and have your child follow your example.

 My child wants to erase and correct mistakes. How do they do this using a gel pen?

There are erasable gel pens now if there are concerns that your child will want to erase and correct mistakes. 5B pencils also work well.

 Should my child color the puzzles?

Once the puzzles are completed and missing parts are drawn, your child can color them if they would like.

 When should my child do Dyslexia Games?

While Dyslexia Games can be completed at any point during the day, many parents have their children do the games before beginning other school work as the puzzles help with focus and concentration.

 What subject is Dyslexia Games?

Language Arts primarily. It also includes art, math, creative thinking, problem-solving, and handwriting. 

 Should my child continue their current Language Arts curriculum while using Dyslexia Games?

If your child is using Series A, it is recommended they discontinue using all other Language Arts materials, including reading. Parents should read to their children often and if the child wants to try to read, allow them, but stop if it’s causing any stress or anxiety. 

If your child is using Series B, stop other Language Arts curriculum, but they may read for other subjects as necessary. With Series C there is no need to stop other curricula; however, since Spelling is included in each series, there is no need for any additional Spelling curriculum.

 If I purchase the printed books, do I also receive the PDFs?

No, PDFs should be purchased separately.

 Are there printed instructions?

Basic instructions are printed near the front of every book and PDF.

 Will I need to help my child with Dyslexia Games?

Sit with your child and give guidance for the first few pages if necessary. After that, your child should be able to easily complete the pages on their own as they tap into their creativity and problem solving skills. The puzzles are logic based, intuitive, and creative, so most children are able to work on them independently.

 What do I do if my child resists doing Dyslexia Games?

One of the best ways to get children to cooperate with school work is to be an example. Print out your own copies of the puzzles and sit down beside your child to work the pages with them.

 Are Dyslexia Games only for children with dyslexia?

Dyslexia Games are great for children of all ages (and adults) with dyslexia, ADHD, ASD, and other learning issues, as well as those without. We’ve had thousands of children with all kinds of educational needs use Dyslexia Games. 

 What skills does Dyslexia Games help with?

Dyslexia Games help with multiple skills including: letter recognition; reading; tracking; distinguishing left, right, up, and down; memory; focus; attention to detail; problem-solving; handwriting and fine motor skills; spelling; art; logic; and help to “wake up the brain.”

 How does my child complete the Word Hunt book?

Your child will go on a “scavenger hunt” and look through books, magazines, or around the house on cereal boxes, etc., to find words with the specified number of letters. If your child is struggling to find words or needs more creative ways to hunt for words, try taking the book along as you go for a walk, in the car, or to the grocery store or other shopping excursions!

The “Waiting Room” of the Mind

the waiting room of the mind

QUESTION: A mom in our homeschool group ordered one of the spelling books and commented that it seemed very simple, especially with some pages being just coloring. I remember that Sarah said something about the purpose of the coloring pages in the book… like downtime for the brain to process what it has learned. Does anybody know what I’m referring to?

ANSWER: When you learn something new, the brain stores it in “the waiting room” before sending it into long term memory. The brain needs to take time to process new things and store them properly so the new things can be retrieved in the future. If you move from one activity to the next, and don’t have downtime to process and reflect on new information, the waiting room gets really crowded and the brain starts to dump many of the new things into the trash, to make room for more information in the waiting room.

The waiting room does not have a lot of storage space, so the brain needs to process the information, and make room for more. Some things take just as long to process as they take to learn.

In the old days people used to learn a little and then do necessary work just to keep life on track. A lot of that work is thoughtless, like washing dishes and pulling weeds. You don’t need to “think” to pull weeds, so the brain takes that time to deal with all the new things in the “waiting room”.

There are a few things we need to do to learn AND REMEMBER new information:

1. We need to be introduced to new information.

2. We need to be curious about it.

3. We need to engage in it, and research it.

4. We need to use the new information.

5. We need to SHARE and talk about the new information.

6. We need to reflect on and ponder new information.

7. We need to get creative with the new information.

8. We need to attach emotions, experiences, stories and memories to the information. (click here to continue reading)

Fun-Schooling in 3 Easy Steps for Your Younger Kids

Fun-Schooling basket

So often people imagine Fun-Schooling must be as difficult as every other method. But now that I’ve been doing it for years I find it’s soooo easy. Let me explain in three simple steps how to Fun-School the most stress-free way for ages 5 to 13.

1. Plan your semester by putting five Fun-Schooling Journals into a cute basket with fresh art and school supplies. Add in some mini games. Have a computer or iPad set up for educational videos, an online math program and research sites. You can block everything else. Get an assortment of books that focus on the child’s passion and career goals. Your child is set!

2. Set up your Mom-School. Make a Mom-School Basket with your mom Journal, planners, and books about things you want learn. Use your Mom-School stuff to enrich your heart and mind, and be an example to your child. Use your Mom-School a few times each week while your child is aware of your learning activities. Teach by example.

3. Daily you will need to remind the child to get their Fun-Schooling Basket and go to a favorite place to do… ten pages, or whatever. I let my kids choose what Journals to use on most days. I am available for questions and some collaboration. I don’t teach much. I collaborate and show an example. I only teach reading (but sometimes I don’t).  I let them learn to read with Starfall.com, Dyslexia Games, or readingeggs.com, and if I teach I use Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. They learn to spell with Fun-Schooling Journals.)

I do projects with the kids using their passions. Or I just give them permission and supplies.

If kids rush and are sloppy, they don’t get computer time–they get chores after learning time. I check all their Fun-Schooling Journals every Friday. If they do awesome they get to some new art or school supplies from my little prize shelf.

For tips on Fun-Schooling your teens:

How Your Child Thinks: The Inventors (Part 3)

visual thinkers inventors creators

The visual thinkers of the world were created to be the designers, inventors, the artists, the musicians, the sailors and explorers. We say they have a problem with obedience and respect or we call it Dyslexia, Asperger’s Syndrome or ADHD. We try to tame them. Honestly, we have failed them . If a child is failing in his classroom, it is the classroom that failed the child. The child is not the one with a problem just because he learns differently.

The child must be set free to be the inventor, the artist, the dancer. So who will teach the inventor? Who will train the artist? The child must become his own teacher, and his parents and teachers must become his students, to learn from him, to understand him, to realize that he has within him the power to become great. We need to discover how to help him become who he was meant to be. We must accept that it may never happen in a desk, in a classroom and behind a pile of textbooks, even if you give the child medication and take away his crayons. Do you want to be the one to take away Albert’s compass, Benjamin’s kite, or Leonardo’s paintbrush or little Thomas Edison’s mirrors?

What is the solution for the child who fails in the classroom? Set him free from the classroom. Ask the child what he wants to learn about. Ask the child what he wants to do. Take the child to the book store, take the child to the art store, take the child to the beach, the forest, the ruins of a castle. Give him pets and let him catch lizards. Read to him until he learns to read to himself. Search for learning materials that captivate the visual mind–things like compasses, clay, mirrors, and paintbrushes. Let him sail, play instruments, and dig in the dirt. Let him take things apart and give him colored pencils. Let him watch people at work doing all different things in the world, take him to the kitchen, take him to an art studio, take him into factories and show him how to use sewing machines, instruments, scroll-saws, and tools. Let her dance. (to continue reading click here)

Fun-Schooling: Out with the Old, In with the New!

How to Fun-school

(Be sure to visit the tab on this site entitled “Flip to Fun-Schooling”, which gives lots of detailed information and links.)

Your first step in changing over to Fun-Schooling is to think about what is currently working well, and what current curriculum options and methods are not a good fit for your kids.

Take courage and get rid of all the stressful stuff. Take it out to the car right now, or burn it, or donate it. If your kids really hate it, let them burn it. Celebrate a new beginning and replace everything that didn’t work with Fun-Schooling.

New Fun-Schoolers often need to start with a few of the the smaller more focused journals, or just a Core Journal and stack of library books that the child loves.

The whole goal is to take away what isn’t working and replace it with something that brings your child joy. Some things need to wait, like reading or multiplication. You know these things matter, but your child isn’t ready to master them.  Your child may need an extra year or two to develop the mental skills for certain things. So focus on the skills your child is ready to learn and stop pushing the things that stress the child’s heart and mind.

There are so many wonderful ways to learn, we don’t have to settle for boring or miserable things, just because it’s always been done that way.

Also, celebrate your child’s efforts, talents and small accomplishments. It’s common to just hammer away at the problem areas and make our kids feel like failures. Everyone will have a happier existence if we focus on the good things and not our worries.

No one wants to live under a magnifying glass that is constantly  zeroing in on the flaws, yet that is what traditional education is all about… counting our mistakes and judging us and grading us based on all the imperfections in our work. This is no way to live, or raise a child. This method of education and parenting is the reason most of us to think we will never be good enough because we can’t be perfect.

This is why we don’t have grades and answer keys in Fun-Schooling Journals. They base the child’s education on research, logic, thinking, being resourceful, problem solving, creativity, a quest for knowledge–all based on the child’s passion and career dreams.

My children love learning because it’s a quest for the mystery of knowledge, power, understanding, beauty, skills, and invention. Learning something brings each of us closer to unlocking an ability or solving a mystery.

Remember when your child was four or five and they were so curious about EVERYTHING that they asked you 900 questions a day? Traditional schooling snuffs out that curiosity. Fun-Schooling nurtures it.

Bring back the wonder, the joy, the curiosity. It’s time.

A Fun-Filled Homeschooling Plan for Busy Parents and Active Kids

My Real-Life, Home-Learning Plan that is simple for parents and delightful to kids! Created by me, a mom who is currently Homeschooling 10 of her 15 Kids!

1. Logic Games2. Read Favorite Books
3. YouTube Tutorials
4. Nature Time
5. Online Math Games or Serious Stuff
6. Kitchen Time
7. Spelling Games
8. Complete 5 Workbook Pages or 5 Fun-Schooling Journal Pages
9. Play Outside
10 Art & Drawing
11. Just Dance
12. Chores
13. Online Games (a reward for chores and school)
14. Family Time and Board Games
15. Movie Time
16. Music Practice
17. Games for Dyslexia: DyslexiaGames.com
18. Fun Homeschooling Curriculum: FunSchooling.com
You can do these activities in any order, but Movies and Online Games should be close to last.

Sarah’s Mom Tips: What to Do with Mom Guilt

A mom asked the question, “How do you deal with the fear of missing out and mom guilt? The feeling that it’s just never enough, and you’re never enough and can never be good enough or do good enough?”

Let me tell you why you are so afraid of getting it wrong. You were probably educated under a system that searched for your mistakes, and you were constantly being judged by what you did wrong. You would complete your work, and your teacher would take it and grade it. And how are papers usually graded? By finding all the mistakes and pointing them all out to the child. That’s very likely what we grew up with. So now we have become adults, and we’ve become parents and homeschool moms who are still afraid of making mistakes. A lot of us have a fear of ruining our kids.

Please don’t raise kids who are afraid of making mistakes. Mistakes are fine. It’s through making mistakes and trying things that we learn how to overcome, and we learn to be okay with not being perfect. We learn about grace, and we learn about mercy. We learn about trying again. You are not the sum of your mistakes and your imperfections.

Let me give you an example about how to change your perspective. If you’re a mom who grades her child’s papers, here’s what you need to do. Let’s say your child did a creative writing project. And they fill an entire page with a story. The traditional educator in you is going to look at their creative writing and you are going to put a line under every mistake. Then you’ll tell the child that they spelled 20 words wrong, and made 10 grammar mistakes.

Here’s what the Fun-Schooling mom will do.

You will look at the creative writing page, and you will circle every single thing they did right.

Then you are going to say, “Wow, you just wrote a 400-word paper, and you got 350 words correct!”

That is so much more encouraging than saying, “You got 50 things wrong.”  

Focus on what they did right, especially if it is a creative project. If your child is being creative, focus on the story, on the heart, and on character. Stop focusing on their mistakes. We are ruining kids by obsessing over mistakes and judging them by everything they are doing wrong instead of what they are doing right. Of course, kids are going to make mistakes. Of course, they’re going to be horrible spellers. Of course, they’re not going to know anything about grammar no matter how hard you try to teach them, except what they learn playing Mad Libs. Of course, they’re not going to get phonics. Of course, they are not going to memorize their multiplication tables. Most every mom I know has a kid who struggles to memorize their multiplication facts and is bad at spelling. You know why these kids can’t do it? Because they are 8 or 9.

Learning happens at its worst when it’s all about just memorizing information. Kids will learn when they are motivated by their passions, hobbies, joys, collaborating, exploring, bonding. You might have a kid with symptoms of ADD who can’t focus on anything and can’t follow instructions. You tell kids like that to do something and they do something opposite. Or they get started doing some type of school thing and twenty seconds later they get distracted and go from one thing to another. You think this child doesn’t have the ability to follow directions or focus until you give them the Lego set of their dreams. Then this same kid sits down for two hours straight and goes through that instruction book, reads every little bit of instruction, finds every little Lego piece and builds the thing. That child has you tricked. If they can build that $50 Lego set with 2,000 pieces, they do not have a problem with attention span. The problem is with how boring their education is. Fun-Schooling–and the themes we offer–are a wonderful answer to that problem!