Create your own cursive handwriting worksheets for practice #homeschool

From what I understand some schools are no longer teaching cursive handwriting. I guess they feel it’s outdated.

I think it’s a bit short-sighted – often cursive it the perfect handwriting style for children who struggle with manuscript. Especially if dysgraphia or dyslexia is something you’re working with.

In cursive it’s difficult to reverse ‘b’ and ‘d’ or flip ‘m’ and ‘w’ without realizing it.

Also having the ability to write in cursive allows children the ability to READ cursive. There is still a lot of print out there that uses cursive … and so does Grandma in her birthday cards.

So to practice on your own outside of school or to teach it in your homeschool, you might want to try creating your own cursive handwriting worksheets.

On this free website, Handwritingworksheets.com you can practice single words or whole paragraphs. It also includes the ability to create traceable letters and words. There is also the chose of creating manuscript worksheets as well.

I’ve found this a great treasure for creating my own handwriting curriculum and while you cannot save any of your creations it is still a super useful tool.

 

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Google Trek (with Streetview) through amazing places!

We’ve been spending a few rainy hours walking through the Galapagos and are itching to get to some of the other Google Trek sites, like the Eiffel Tower, Mt. Fuji, Iqaluit, Kennedy Space Center, Mt. Everest, Burj Khalifa, Grand Canyon and the Amazon Basin.

There’s also behind the scenes footage, underwater ‘streetview’ and additional photos.

http://www.google.com/maps/about/behind-the-scenes/streetview/treks/

Reading Bear: free phonics & vocabulary…learn to read for free! #homeschool

 

Reading Bear: free phonics & vocabulary…learn to read for free!.

 Reading Bear is a great free website for learning to read.

It’s 50 free video lessons based on phonics rules and phonograms. I’m a Spalding phonogram fan and while the phonics does not match up perfectly they are similar enough that we’re still getting great value from the lessons.

Some features I really like is the ability to turn on a video each word being pronounced. This is awesome for the ESL learner or the special needs learner. You can also turn on ‘breaks’ to give tired minds a wee rest too.

This is an excellent program for helping establish that each letter/phonogram represents a sound. Spelling should also be enhanced with usage too.

Please go and check it out!

Freebook Sifter – A Resource for Free eBooks

Oh, I know what I’m doing today when I catch some free time! I’m camping out at Freebook Sifter.

Freebook Sifter is a compilation site of, you guessed it, free ebooks. It has the books sifted into categories and subcategories, including breaking the Children’s eBooks category into age groups and other relevant subjects.

Another advantage is users have rated the ebooks as well. Be aware though that not all books listed are for young eyes!

Check out Freebook Sifter and see what interesting reads you can find. And don’t forget I have a list of ‘reputable ebooks sites’ too.

Freebook Sifter – A Resource for Free eBooks.

Thinking about creating games and sims with Codea for the iPad

I’ve not tried this app yet (I think my kids are still a bit too young to give this one a whirl) but it looks like it could be fun for older kids.

Codea is a code editor that’s based on dragging, dropping and tapping. Nice. Check out the video below to watch it in action and if you like there’s a link to their website.

It’s priced at $9.99

Codea – iPad.

Learn to read with apps – Bob Books #1 for the iPad

If you’ve ever taught or tried to teach a child to read then you’re probably familiar with BOB books – those little nuggets of learning-to-read deliciousness that every kid loves. Now they’ve taken the books to the iPad and created an app. It also includes a simple drag-and-drop game for learning reinforcement.

It’s available for $1.99 or the HD version for $3.99

From the app store:

“★ Winner 2011 Editor’s Choice Award, Children’s Technology Review

★ 15 Great Apps for Kids, Babble.com

Millions of kids have learned to read with Bob Books. Now Bob Books is coming to the iPad with Bob Books Reading Magic!

Start your child reading with this phonics-based interactive game. The simple drag-and-drop interface can be used by the youngest children. Your favorite Bob Books characters and full-color animations encourage kids along the path of learning to read.

Bob Books Reading Magic continues Bob Books’ commitment to bringing children a satisfying, successful first reading experience, with easy first steps, wholesome values, authentic hand-drawn illustrations, and beautiful full-color animations.

Bob Books Reading Magic will show your child how to:

-Make the connection between letters and sounds.

-Sound out simple words.

-Spell the words they’ve read.

The game includes twelve scenes for a total of 32 words. Four game levels provide increasing challenges to children as they play.

Bob Books Reading Magic follows the same method and principles as the #1 bestselling Bob Books series. Bob Books were created to lead to the ah-ha moment when letters first turn into words. By slowly introducing new letter sounds, using consistency, repetition and stories that fit short attention spans, your child will quickly find his or her own ah-ha moment. This is the reading magic of Bob Books. Soon your child will join over 3 million children who can proudly say, “I read the whole book!”

via App Store – Bob Books #1 – Reading Magic HD.”

Do you have a teen wanting to develop smartphone apps? #homeschool #edtech

I saw this reference in Mashable today:

“In late 2010, Apple approved 14-year-old Robert Nay’s app, Bubble Ball, for publishing on the App Store, where it quickly racked up 2 million users and, for a short while, even wrested the ever-popular Angry Birds from its perch at the top of the download charts. It’s a staggering achievement for a young teen with no formal programming experience -– never mind education. No skills. Nada. Zip.
Nay used an application called Corona that essentially allows users to build smartphone apps using a graphical interface, eliminating the need of any coding skills. He’s a pioneering user of the next generation of platform dependencies — innovations upon which further innovations can be built.”

If you have a teen that’s interested in smartphone app development Corona is  worth checking out. The development  environment is free. When you’re ready to distribute your games and apps on the App Store or Android Market then you’ll need to purchase an subscription.

Let me know how it goes!

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