I have a giveaway going on at my other blog – NC Homeschool-ology. This is a giveaway for the 2015 NCHE Conference. The Thrive! Conference is May 21-23 at the Benton Convention Center in Winston-Salem.
To be registered for a drawing of a FREE Family Registration for the conference, go to www.nchomeschoolinfo.com and leave a comment as directed.
I hope you will visit and register – it would be great to see some of you there!
When I was a little kid, I earned a reputation for asking a lot of questions in school. I could see the look of panic in the teacher’s eyes as I put up my hand – again.
I always had good reasons for my questions…for example:
Questions can be a great learning tool. As the teacher, asking your student the right questions can get them thinking in a critical way about a given subject. Giving questions to your students instead of just answers can draw them deeper into thought and discussion.
We often use this method in our homeschool. When your student is asking questions, you can gain insight into how they are doing in any given course of study. It can also signal a curiosity that you have an opportunity to nurture in that subject area or topic! So questions can also be a great assessment tool for teachers, home educators and parents.
It is actually even a “legit“ form of education! (And one of the oldest) The Socratic Method may sound like something your kids will just use to get you off on a “rabbit trail”, but remember, discussion and logic have value in any classroom or homeschool. It is the type of learning that will stay with them for their lifetime because they thought it through themselves.
It is – very simplified – inquiry and discussion. The asking and answering of questions is intended to stimulate critical thinking and to help us formulate a hypothesis about a given event or idea. Often ideas or thoughts are clarified and beliefs are solidified when students are required to think about and tell someone why they think what they do.
This is especially a good learning method for your auditory learners, but all students benefit from this well-rounded way of teaching. It can be integrated into any of your subjects and it is a FREE supplement to your core curricula!
When our point of view is questioned, we may immediately begin to feel defensive. This method trains your students to listen and respect another person’s views and to communicate with a mutual goal of better understanding the world. It strengthens their focus on logic, and consistency in thought. Putting up a defense of one’s own point of view can also lead to excellent public speaking skills.
In my opinion, using this method also prepares your pre-writing students with the type of higher thinking they will need later to excel in writing essays and researching reports.
Some really smart philosophical and educational types agree with me too, so check them out if you want to know more of how to implement this type of unusual but valuable method into your home education program:
The list goes on and on, and if you “google” the Socratic method, you could find yourself off on a rabbit trail of internet research.
If you want to learn more, but prefer a book to the internet for researching, I added some suggestions for reading that is on the “lighter side” but still packs some good information. Just scroll down the side bar- by the way, these are all available at Amazon and they are affiliate links.
One thing that I have learned in all my years of teaching is that asking the right questions is more important than having all the “right” answers.
I would love to know what you think about this idea.
Do you think you would ever use the Socratic Method in your classroom, or homeschool?
Why or Why not?
I really do want to know !
Thanks for stopping by – I plan to start all my natural posts and my Homeschooling High School posts, and recipes and household tips again soon. I am working on a new free printable “Daily Organizer” for you too, so keep in touch!
This is a cookie recipe that has been in our family for generations. It has become a family tradition to mix them up, roll them out, cut them into shapes, and then decorate them with frosting, for just about every occasion. My mom’s mom made them. My mom made them with my brother and me, and I make them with my kids.
Over the years, we have collected cookie cutters for all the seasons! My kids love to add sugar, sprinkles or just use colored frosting to decorate these tasty treats.
The rule is that once they are baked, if they break while you are taking them off the cookie tray, then you get to eat them!
Cream together the butter and sugar. Add egg. Mix dry ingredients together in a separate bowl and then add to the butter, sugar and egg mixture. Add the extract.
Roll the cookie dough thin and cut out shapes with cutters. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 10-13 minutes- adjust according to your oven and the thickness of your cookies. Frost with a buttercream icing and decorate!
Baking tip: these cookies are best if you roll them out very thin. They also break more easily, so you get to eat more of them if you follow our family “rule”!
I just couldn’t wait to share about this great deal from “Color Garden” natural food colors! It has always been my “mission” to avoid foods with artificial colors. It is a challenge for our family when we are “out” somewhere or when I don’t have time to bake. I mostly purchase, and use whole foods rather than processed goods, so buying food coloring at the store for my home baking was a huge guilt trip, until I recently discovered that there are companies making natural food dyes!
Now my fall baking, and even one of our favorite family holiday traditions, “Grandma Marcott’s Butter Cookie”, recipe can be frosted with colors that are a lot healthier!
Right now, “Color Garden” has a special offer. Just use the code, “SPOOKY” when you purchase at their online store and you will receive 25% off your order! This code is valid until 9/30/14!
You can follow Color Garden on facebook for more special deals and ideas!
No more boring white desserts!
Check back here, because I am going to link up some other recipes: making your own organic confectioner’s sugar, a homemade frosting recipe and my great grandma’s butter cookie recipe- all coming soon!
We have a secret at our house-it is our brownie recipe. OK, now the secret is out! These brownies are easy to make and taste better than any box mix!
They are healthier too, because you can use organic cocoa, whole grain or unbleached organic flour, natural sugar or your favorite alternative sweetener and avoid all the artificial ingredients you find in that box.
A couple of ingredients you will avoid by not buying the “box” are BHT (a preservative) and “propylene glycol” which, although it is generally recognized as safe, and is a good alternative in your anti-freeze because it is less likely to injure your dog if they drink it, is not really something I personally like seeing as an ingredient in my food.
Try our “secret” family recipe below and let us know what you think:
1 cup sugar
½ cup butter softened (you can substitute an equal amount of oil)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
½ cup cocoa
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix sugar, butter, vanilla and eggs. Stir in remaining ingredients. Spread in greased square pan 8×8 inches.
Bake until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 25-30 minutes; cool. Frost if desired (we never frost ours- less sugar and still really chewy and good!) Makes around 16 brownies (2-inch squares).
You can double the recipe and use a 9X13 inch rectangular pan- it doesn’t change the baking time. Add ½-1 cup chopped walnuts if you like your brownies with nuts.
Vegan friends- If you change out the butter for oil and leave out the eggs (substitute arrowroot or other vegan egg substitute) they will still taste good, but of course, your texture will be different.
This group is set up to allow people to donate their used curriculum to other homeschooling families who can use the items. Donors list their items on the Facebook “wall” and other home educators can search for items they need and pay just the cost of shipping!
If you are on Facebook, you will want to join them here: Homeschool Curriculum Free for Shipping .
The website has a lot of great information about how donations work and you can read about how many have already been blessed by this fairly new community which is based on the “pay it forward” philosophy!
This group provides such a great opportunity for Homeschoolers to support one another while cleaning off their shelves at the beginning of a new school year !
IMPORTANT NOTICE: AUGUST SALES TAX HOLIDAY REPEALED
Effective July 1, 2014, N.C. Gen Stat. § 105-164.13C, which provides a sales and use tax
holiday for the first weekend in August, is repealed per Session Law 2013-316. The
following items of tangible personal property if sold between 12:01 A.M. on the first Friday of August and 11:59 P.M. the following Sunday are no longer exempt from sales and use tax under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 105-164.13C…