The “Desperate Moms Call for Desperate Measures” SALE!!!

Summer is a time for homeschooling moms to recharge their motivations and determinations and to refill their idea-vaults, and we want to help!!! Our ebooks are now 50% OFF at Smashwords.com, and you can choose the right format for your e-reader, smartphone app, or computer. Use the coupon codes listed below for either one or both books, then sit back with your favorite icy beverage and soak up the homeschool refreshment!

Diagnostic Tools to Help the Homeschooling Parent – Enter code PX37W for an amazing $4 deal!

Taking the Mystery Out of Learning Styles — Enter code ZJ93Q for a phenomenal $5 deal!

That’s right — you can get BOTH ebooks for only $9!!! What are you waiting for??? Make your next homeschool year the best one ever! Be sure to share this with all your friends! (Our learning ideas help public/private school kids learn better, too!)

[Please note: This sale is now over. The ebooks are still available at the links above, but the price reduction has ended. ~Carolyn 9/9/2014]

Top 10 Ways an Older Visual Learner Can Help Himself

Top 10 Ways Older Visual Learner Help HimselfThese tips will be helpful to visual students in middle school, high school, college, or beyond, who need to motivate themselves and control their own learning environment.

  1. Color-code notes with highlighters, colored pens/pencils, colored notecards, etc [see link below].
  2. Recopy notes and information for tests and re-highlight, using your color code. Repeat at often as needed.
  3. Watch a demo on You Tube (or other social media site) over and over, as often as needed. Pause and replay the most critical parts to gain full understanding.
  4. Color a previously black-and-white map or trace the boundary lines with a highlighter for emphasis. Even drawing a fancy border around a diagram can help you pay attention to the info and remember it.
  5. Draw your own copies of charts, graphs, and diagrams (with lots of colors) to help you understand concepts.
  6. Alphabetize notecards and/or facts; shuffle and re-sort as a study method.
  7. Use light-colored gel pens/markers on dark-colored paper for a whole different look.
  8. Mnemonic devices, such as acronyms or acrostics, can help with memorizing lists and other troublesome information. Example: HOMES for the Great Lakes (Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior). Rearrange items to spell out an easier-to-remember word/phrase, or take liberties as needed with spelling or words to create a visual key: I learned the order of Presidents McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, Taft, Wilson by converting the initials to “MR TV.”
  9. Develop your own formulaic methods for organizing information, writing papers, and studying, but allow your rough drafts to be just that: rough. Welcome imperfection as a sign that you can continue to learn and improve. Rough drafts and outlines can be created in a variety of formats, and visual learners can benefit from using multiple layouts. Experiment to find what works best for you.
  10. Incorporate learning methods from the other 3 styles to improve your overall learning abilities.

For further help, visit these links:
Learning Styles v. It’s a Syndrome
Color-Coding as a Learning Tool
“Visual Learning” topic (including all of this “Visual Learning Week” series)
“Learning Styles” topic

#ThrowbackThursday: Visual Learners

#ThrowbackThursday Gem from Visual ArchivesAs part of Visual Learning Week, we invite you to take a look back into the Guilt-Free Homeschooling archives. The gem we have selected as a supplement to this week’s focus is “Stealth Learning” Through Free Play for its ultra-sneaky approach to teaching in ways that look more like playing than learning. In fact, many stealthy lessons can take place while Mom isn’t even in the room, but is snatching a few well-chosen moments to start a load of laundry or help another child through a tough spot in his own lessons.

Visual learners are the most apt to notice patterns and relationships in playthings, manipulatives, and other learning tools, in the same way they notice details in the diagrams and charts used in their other lessons. This same concept can apply to stealth learning from a visual perspective: as your students stack and arrange letter tiles or dominoes into patterns, they will be stealthily observing mathematical proportions and other vital concepts. You can take advantage of the visual learner’s natural propensity for spotting details and patterns by giving them plenty of opportunities to experiment with manipulatives and by casually putting posters, charts, maps, diagrams, and lists of facts and/or vocabulary words around the house for your visual learner to absorb as more stealth learning. Learn how to spot the things your kids are already stealthily learning on their own. Enjoy!

For further help on this topic, and to see the rest of the posts in the “Visual Learning Week” series, see this link:

“Visual Learning” topic

Most Misunderstood Trait of Visual Learners

Most Misunderstood Trait VisualVisual learners really do need to watch something over and over before trying it themselves. They aren’t necessarily shy, withdrawn, introverted, uninterested, or not paying attention. They are learning visually.

For further help on this topic, and to see the rest of the posts in the “Visual Learning Week” series, see this link:

“Visual Learning” topic

#TakeMeBackTuesday: Visual Learners

#TakeMeBackTuesday VisualAs part of Visual Learning Week, we invite you to read the Visual Learners excerpt from our book, Taking the Mystery Out of Learning Styles. This excerpt focuses on visual learning and explores some of the techniques that are useful in teaching students who are motivated by any opportunity to read, watch, study, and observe. Enjoy!

For further help on this topic, and to see the rest of the posts in the “Visual Learning Week” series, see this link:

“Visual Learning” topic

Top 10 Ways to Help Visual Learners

Top 10 Ways to Help Visual LearnerThese tips will be helpful for parents of younger visual students, who need help learning how to learn.

  1. Allow him to watch demonstrations over and over until he is confident in attempting to do it himself. Don’t push him to participate until he is ready, and don’t mistake his learning style for shyness.
  2. Use bright colors in visual aids; break the everything-in-black-and-white pattern.
  3. Allow plenty of pleasure reading time, and count it as reading class. Books, book shelves, bookends, book marks, and more BOOKS – get them (library, eBooks, whatever), and keep them where they can be easily used.
  4. Use posters, charts, diagrams, maps, and graphs. Have him color diagrams of equivalent fractions, patterns of multiples on a 100-grid, or list words with the same spelling pattern (writing those repeated letters in the same color each time).
  5. Let him see it and take time to study it visually, and he’ll soak in more details than you would have pointed out.
  6. Provide colored highlighters, colored pencils (splurge for the erasable ones!), and colored notecards for making printed information more visually memorable. A different colored pencil for each step of complex math problems helps show the changes. Use specific highlighter colors for dates, names, quotes, etc.
  7. Provide pocket folders, file folders, and filing boxes for personal organization of notes and information. Organization is a life-skill, and it can begin with schoolwork.
  8. Let him use a label-maker! The visual learner will thrive on organizing and labeling folders and notebooks, but a label-maker can also be useful in making flashcards, diagrams, and other learning tools.
  9. Take notes, make charts and posters, and keep them everywhere: bathroom mirror, hallway, etc. Seeing = remembering.
  10. Give him experiences in the other 3 styles to improve his overall learning abilities

For further help, visit these links:
Learning Styles v. It’s a Syndrome
“Visual Learning” topic (including all of this “Visual Learning Week” series)
“Learning Styles” topic

Top 10 Ways an Older Auditory Learner Can Help Himself

Top 10 Ways Older Auditory Learner Help HimselfThese tips will be helpful to auditory students in middle school, high school, college, or beyond, who need to motivate themselves and control their own learning environments.

  1. Read difficult material aloud in your own room to help you concentrate, and you’ll know exactly when you get distracted. Read notes aloud and/or recite aloud to study for tests.
  2. Use Mom or a sibling for a student, and explain a concept or principle to them, because the best way to learn something fully yourself is to teach it to someone else. Talk it through – whether organizing thoughts for a major paper, solving a tough math problem, or learning an economics principle, discussing it aloud (even with yourself) can make a huge difference in understanding. Hearing the ideas can make much more sense than just silently reading them. Record yourself explaining the concept, then play it back, if simply talking out loud isn’t enough.
  3. Listen to music (at low volume) while studying. Use music you already know well, so you won’t pay close attention to the lyrics. Change to a different style of music or a different artist when you change subjects, as a memory key. (I was listening to Big Band Swing, while studying my history notes… and I put this date right into that Glenn Miller song, Pennsylvania 6-5-0-0-0… it’s “November 2-2, 1-9-6-3!! Movies or TV shows (on DVD or reruns) can also work as background “white noise,” but make it something you are very familiar with. You don’t want to get distracted by trying to follow a new plot.
  4. Make rhythmic poems or raps out of lists or other info that must be memorized, or sing the information to a simple, familiar tune.
  5. Use an accent. Your ears are attuned to even subtle differences in sounds, so reading aloud or talking to yourself with a fake accent will actually help your brain focus. For even more help, change accents when you change subjects.
  6. Watching the video version of a book first can help hold your interest while you read the book later. You’ll hear the actors’ voices in your head when you read it.
  7. Look up a topic on social media, such as Instagram, Vine, You Tube, etc. as another way to hear it.
  8. Act it out.
  9. Play an instrument while studying, whether as a quick break or as your own “background music.” Rhythmically drumming your fingers counts, as does strumming guitar while watching a video.
  10. Incorporate learning methods from the other 3 styles to improve your overall learning abilities.

For further help, visit these links:
Learning Styles v. It’s a Syndrome
“Auditory Learning” topic (including all of this “Auditory Learning Week” series)
“Learning Styles” topic