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!

A Few Days on the Ark

Sarah had the exciting opportunity to be featured as guest artist at the Ark Encounter last week!

Her paintings are in the gallery on the 2nd deck of the Ark, and she’ll be painting as a guest artist once a month. Dates will be announced soon.

The large paintings are $800 each. The rainbow fire is $250.

Get the Praying for the World journal featured in these photos here.

The Beautiful World of Art & Logic Therapy (and Green Lemonade!)

Click for more flip-through videos.

Wondering what to buy for Mom for Mother’s Day? Wonder no more! The beautiful family of Art & Logic Therapy journals is continually growing!

Wind and Rain

Fire Light

Morning Light

Breakthrough

Lost & Found

Candlelight

Little Things (a brand new, 5×7, on-the-go, purse-sized journal!)

Brain Sharpening Therapy for All Ages! The newest journal, Candlelight, includes Psalms hidden and woven into the artwork and puzzles. Strengthen your faith and your mind!

Inspired by Dyslexia Games Therapy to renew and refocus the minds of individuals suffering from brain fog, ADHD, and anxiety. Puzzles and artwork by Sarah Janisse Brown, creator of Dyslexia Games.

These journals are the fruit of a research project for women with symptoms of “Brain Fog” related to Covid-19, pregnancy, aging, declining mental health, stress, and learning challenges. Over 800 mothers are participating with interesting and hopeful results!

Read Art & Logic testimonials!

Sip some green lemonade while you enjoy your journals!

Feast your eyes on these beautiful books!

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 and the Fight Against Brain Fog (Part 2)

(Guest post by Ferne Hood)

The final week of the first month of the trial saw more and more positive and unexpected outcomes. Moms were feeling less overwhelmed, more organized, more in control, more creative and even remembering where they left their phone and what that person’s name was who they just met! One mom said, “It has been helping me remember things, like names. I’ve been getting increasingly worse at remembering names for the past couple years. I’ve surprised myself a few times lately!”

            At the end of the first month of the trial, Sarah conducted a little poll to see what areas of people’s lives were improving the most as a result. There were an astounding eighteen areas nominated! The area with the most votes being focus, shortly followed by organization, cleaning more and feeling less scatterbrained. Brain fog reduction was fifth on the list, which shows that these other fantastic areas of improvement were wonderfully unexpected by-products of the experiment. Moms reported an increase in concentration, patience, mood and memory. Some moms also discovered that they had some wonderful hidden artistic skills and their creativity was allowed to come to the surface once again. They found themselves bonding with their kids more and making precious time for themselves, sometimes for the first time in a long time. A month of Dyslexia Games also seemed to be helping to calm anxiety and improve mental health, as well as inspire moms to cook and clean more and finish the jobs they start.

            Because of Dyslexia Games, many moms are now feeling more in control of their lives, while also finding new ways to spend time with their kids, reconnecting over puzzles and pictures. Sarah has since created a range of Mom Brain Games specific for this purpose, to help mothers everywhere reclaim their lives, harness their thoughts, own their day-to-day and even clean a garage or two.

            “I felt exhausted, depressed, frustrated and nothing seemed to get accomplished. By the time I was halfway through the first book in this series I had retrained my brain to completely focus and complete one small task at a time. Now, I am able to get things accomplished. My anxiety and depression is no longer an issue. I am not overwhelmed–I can look at things and break it down into small chunks that are doable… This would not have happened without doing these brain fog series. I don’t know how it works but I am proof it does work !!!” – Krista.

            So many moms who have done this trial have had such fantastic results and are now a part of an ever-growing community. They have found a way to find themselves again, with a little daily focus, some time and dedication, some pretty pens, and maybe a green lemonade or two along the way.  

(Read Part 1 by clicking here)

Sarah Janisse Brown - Morning Light
Sarah Janisse Brown, Creator of Dyslexia Games/Art & Logic Therapy

Dyslexia Games and the Fight Against Brain Fog (Part 1)

(Guest post by Ferne Hood)

When Sarah Janisse Brown’s daughter Anna was struggling with dyslexia and finding it hard to read, Sarah began creating patterns and pictures in sequences and doing these “games” with Anna again and again! The result was incredible as Anna soon began to read comics and recipes, and then moved on to novels and the Bible. Anna didn’t realize she was actually learning to read when she was doing these puzzles with her mom, she just thought she was having fun. But her success led to Sarah creating a series of workbooks containing her Brain puzzles called Dyslexia Games, to help countless other kids and their parents who were having the same struggles.

            As some moms began going through the games with their children, and inadvertently doing them themselves, they soon realized that the games were having a significant impact on them too. It seemed as though the Dyslexia Games were helping these moms in their struggle with brain fog! So Sarah decided to conduct a little experiment. She launched a Facebook group and asked moms struggling with brain fog to commit to intentionally using Dyslexia Games to see if they could improve their brain function. Around 800 moms committed to the trial, keeping notes of their progress along the way. And the results have been astounding. Not only have these moms discovered a passion (or aversion!) to designing t-shirts and drinking green lemonade, and maybe a newly formed addiction to stationary, but they are happier, more focused, more present and feeling less scatterbrained as a result of committing to doing just a few pages a day.

            In the first week alone, participants were already starting to notice a difference. Melanie said, “I definitely noticed a clearer mind and was able to get more done each day. Doing two pages each day has opened a desire up in me to be more creative and to take up doing art with my daughter!” And Janice said, “I look forward to it every day! My brain feels good and likes working on the puzzles. Afterwards I feel more focused and refreshed.”

            Even after just a handful of days, the positive affect of Dyslexia Games was noticeable. Many moms mentioned how it was even helping to ease their anxiety. Elina commented, “I have had way less anxiety since I started the brain games. I’ve been more motivated and have come up with many new solutions for problems I’ve had for a while.” And Michelle said, “I got the best sleep last night that I have had in a pretty long time. I have also found that I’m less anxious if I do these. I am prone to panic attacks and have found that if I feel anxious and I focus on doing these I don’t do my regular nervous habits and the feeling doesn’t escalate at all. It is a fabulous coping tool for me!”

            An easing in anxiety, increase in creativity and focus, and more bonding with their children – it seemed like week 1 was impacting for so many moms. (click here to continue reading)

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:

The Gift of Dyslexia

the gift of dyslexia

If you have read this post about my own homeschooling journey, you know that I am dyslexic. It was very difficult for me in 1st, 2nd & 3rd grades in public school. I failed 3rd grade, but over the summer my mom used the Narnia books to teach me to read.  Once I could envision the words as I sounded them out, I began to read. I felt like the words would swim on the page if I couldn’t visualize a picture in my mind.  At first I tried to think a picture for each word, but with Narnia I was able to visualize the whole story as a movie. My mom read the first part to me, and when I was really absorbed she told me I had to read it myself to find out what would happen next. 

I began homeschooling at age 13, and we did Library Based – Delight Directed Learning for the first year.  It was wonderful.  Then my parents got a tax return and bought a bunch of Abeka, Saxon and Bob Jones University Curriculum.  I lost the joy because it wasn’t fun and it brought back the challenges of dyslexia.  Later we started mostly un-schooling, but with a little more structure.

In high school, I had a grammar curriculum, a government and economics curriculum, and Spanish videos. Everything else was my choice, and I loved it. I majored in art, nutrition, architecture, and brain development all through high school. I always struggled with writing, but my mom encouraged exposure to a lot of poetry, copying poetry and scriptures, and reading biographies. I did a lot of creative writing in my homeschooling journals that I didn’t share. I was ashamed of my spelling.  Later we got a computer and spell check helped a lot.

When I was in 12th grade I accepted a job as a newspaper reporter and photographer. It really helped my confidence. I never wanted that job, but I wrote a story and took some photos about something interesting that happened in my neighborhood and gave it to the local paper. They published my story and offered me a job. All the Ds and Fs that I got in elementary school made me believe I would never have what it take to be a writer, so I thought I would be an artist. Secretly I was filling my journals with stories and poems, but I would have died if anyone would have found them and read them…I knew I couldn’t spell, but I loved writing. It helped me process my thoughts and feelings and ideas. Having the job as a reporter gave me confidence to speak up with my writing and open myself up to share with others.

Don’t feel like dyslexia is a limiting factor for your child. Do what you can to help them overcome the problems, but don’t think that dyslexia will keep them from being anything they want to be.  I am a good writer because of dyslexia. Dyslexics are storytellers. When they tell stories and create stories and reflect on memories they create whole worlds in their minds and think 1000 times faster than people who think with words.

I created Dyslexia Games for my daughter Anna.  She was a lot like me. BUT she was homeschooled, from a young age, so I could customize her education. I allowed her to major in the arts, and let her enjoy and direct her own education.  She couldn’t read or write before she was nine.  I was determined to use art and logic (her gifts) to teach her reading, writing, and spelling. But I waited until she was motivated. What motivated her to want to read? Yes, she was embarrassed at church, and constantly humiliated by relatives. That wasn’t her main motivation. She wanted to communicate and research and read a comic book, but she couldn’t. It was really sad because for a long time she tried so hard. We used 100 Easy Lessons and had a private tutor, she went to a Kumon learning center. Nothing worked.

That’s when I began trying the pattern games and the “what’s missing” art games that you see in Dyslexia Games.  I created about 100 little games with hidden letters and symbols.  Within 3 months she could read. She still had trouble with spelling.  But she would fill countless journals with her secret stories, songs and poems.  Now she is a singer and songwriter.

When I realized that she had a gift and desire in the area of songwriting I didn’t discourage her because of her dyslexia.  I got the best teacher I could find – Christine Dente from the band Out of the Grey. Anna’s lessons eventually inspired our “Singer and the Songwriter” Idea Book.   Anna has set the “Book of Matthew” to music and has produced a 30-song musical.  She still gets tired of writing so we uses a voice to text app. And that works for her. 

I shared this just to encourage you who feel like dyslexia can hold your child back, it is such a gift–it’s just that kids with dyslexia have a different timeline for developing skills.  Dyslexia Games can speed up the process of helping a child to read, write and spell… without frustration and without compromising creativity.  We focus on the gifting of the dyslexic mind, not the weak areas.  Trying to teach a dyslexic child phonics is like trying to force a left handed child to write with the right hand just because 80% of people are right handed. Dyslexic people learn differently and have talents that will amaze you. Just don’t expect them to be able to excel in reading, writing and spelling before ages 10 -13. In the teen years, with self motivation they take off and surpass others if given the right tools. (click here to continue reading)