Teaching kids to touch type

If there’s one thing I am grateful for from my public school education in the 70s, it’s that I was able to take classes to learn how to touch type. I can still type about 93-102 words per minute (WPM), and believe me, it’s come in handy when writing books, blogging, and writing research papers! (Thanks, Mr. Geesik!) (I can still hear and see him wiggling his fingers and sing-song saying, “Type, type, type!”) Since I have special needs children, and taught many special needs kids in my cottage school, I was always on the lookout for unique ways to teach life skills. One of the coolest tools I discovered  were these ingenious typing gloves from a company called Touchtypers. From the website: “Touchtypers is a system that uses specially developed lettered gloves and simple exercises to make it easy for students to learn to touch-type on computer keyboards, using any typing system or word processing software.” The gloves come with an instruction booklet, but I also used old-fashioned typing books to help my students practice. These gloves worked great! I like anything that helps children self-direct and teach themselves. The only thing you have to do is supervise a bit to make sure they’re actually using the correct fingers and not “cheating.” I hope you like these gloves as much as I do/did. I don’t get any kind of kickback or anything from this company. But when I experience a great product, I want to tell everyone about it. Oh, and when you order the gloves, err on the smaller side because they stretch. Let me know how you like them! Please tweet: Teach your special needs kids to...

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Homeschool Minute

A new feature on my radio station now is what I call a “Homeschool Minute.” I hope to share some encouraging tips for homeschooling families here. Do you have a helpful tip to share? Let me know in the comments below. Maybe I’ll use them in a future video! Tweet this, please! Homeschool minute–a quick tip for busy moms....

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Meet me in Iowa!

Hi, Friends! Just a wee update to let you know that I’ll be speaking at the Homeschool Iowa Conference next week! Here are the topics I’ll be covering: Technology and Your Homeschool Is technology really all that important? How should you use it in your homeschool? When should you not use it? Learn some creative ways to integrate technology in your homeschool and have your eyes opened about dangerous technological advances you and your family needs to know about. Homeschooling Children with Autism Has God called you to teach your child with autism at home? Do you wonder what the most important skills are to teach? Get practical tips on coping with tantrums, learning social skills, and leading your child to God. As children with autism grow up, what life skills are important to teach them? What can a parent do about aggressive, oppositional behavior? Learn how Karla taught her own sons with autism. What were the most valuable lessons of all? Handouts include practical tips for parents, therapists and teachers. Homeschooling Typical Children and Children with Special Needs Using the Same Curriculum Do you ever feel as if you’re in over your head? Worried that you aren’t qualified to teach your special needs child? Learn why you’re the expert on your child and their condition. Get practical tips on helping them succeed through finding the right resources, building a supportive network, and accessing the right therapies. Learn what therapies worked and didn’t when Karla taught her own children with autism, ADHD, intellectual disabilities, speech disabilities and dyslexia. Handouts include practical tips for parents, therapists and teachers. Creative Writing in the Homeschool Have a gifted writer in the family? Learn from published author, Karla Akins, how to foster that gift with practical tips and creative writing ideas. She will also share the climate of publishing today, and a brief introduction to self-publishing in today’s market. I can’t wait to meet you! By the way I’m giving away goodies in a drawing while there, too! O Canada Her Story (print) — Autographed Sacagawea (ebook) – Autographed coupon Jacques Cartier (ebook) – Autographed coupon What Really Happened in the Middle Ages (print) — Autographed What Really Happened in Colonial Times (print)– Autographed Scented wax warmer The Pastor’s Wife Wears Biker Boots (print) — Autographed And those are the just the goodies I’m giving away in the overall conference. My table will also have a beautiful gift package drawing you can enter, too. See you in Iowa! If I were coming to your state, what would you like me to speak on?  Check here for a list of topics! And let me know in the comments below! Tweet this: Meet me at the Iowa...

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Public Shaming

Everyone’s talking about it. The recent scandal of a popular homeschooling family has tongues wagging all over the world. And even if I don’t mention their names here on this blog, chances are, you know exactly who I’m talking about. And it’s not all our fault. The family put themselves out there for public consumption. Except that, I like to think they started out as a family who saw an opportunity to share Jesus with the world in a unique way. Maybe I’m naive, but that’s how I like to think it started. As a former homeschool Mom myself, I know the idealism I embraced in those days. Looking back, maybe I was a little too idealistic. There’s no real way to know. But I don’t regret homeschooling. I wonder sometimes about some of my choices because I know I’m far from perfect. But I also know that my choice to homeschool my children was made prayerfully each year. I never took the decision lightly. It makes me sad to see a family taken to task for something so humiliating in such a brutal way. I feel for the parents. I feel for the children. It breaks my heart because I know how it feels. No, I don’t have my own reality  TV show. But I’m a pastor’s wife in a small rural town. We live in a glass house. Always have. And it’s not been easy on my children. Yes, we chose to be in the ministry. But that doesn’t mean the pain of public humiliation doesn’t hurt just as much. As a mother of sons who made mistakes as adults, I can identify with the TV mother’s grief. I know what it’s like to be publicly humiliated as a family. The emotions are overwhelming and confusing. But I still don’t understand the delight people have in pointing their fingers and wagging their tongues. Even before my family went through such things I never liked the way TV programs and newspapers convicted people who were charged with crimes before they went to trial. I’m not siding with any crime. I don’t condone crime or abuse of any kind. But it does trouble me to watch people rush to harsh judgement as if they’ve never faltered or made a mistake themselves. But for the grace of God none of my mistakes have been hung out for the world to see. How many of those who point fingers have sin in their own lives? I suppose there have to be harsh critics in the world or we wouldn’t have judges or law enforcement officials. I know I wouldn’t make a very good one. I believe every soul is redeemable. I...

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Pinterest Cooking Sleepover Recipes

This is a recipe blog hop! Go here to get the button and join us each week: The Most Delicious Recipe Blog Hop. Then add your recipe post to mine with the linky codes at the end of this post. Whether you’re a paleo, vegetarian, southern cook, or baker, you’re welcome to join me and post a weekly recipe! Pinterest Cooking Sleepover Recipes   It’s been a long cold winter in NE Indiana. The kind of winter that calls for lots of comfort food. (Thank goodness for baggy sweaters!) Last Friday I invited all the girls at our church, ages K-12 grade, to a Pinterest cooking sleepover. It was a total blast and I can’t wait to share the recipes we tried! I’ve been collecting Pinterest recipes for a long time on my Pinterest board. I will never find enough time to make all of them, but having a cooking sleepover allowed us to make and try six different fattening and  delicious recipes! Some were a hit and others were so-so. All were kid-friendly and fun. Before we started our cooking activities, I reminded the girls how God made us with His hands and how special we are to Him. I asked them to remember as we worked with our hands, how God loves what He made just as we love what we make. I reminded them that they are royalty–the daughters of the King of Kings. Recipe 1: Pepperoni Roll-ups This was so easy and the kids loved doing it. They were delicious, too. I spread parchment paper all along the table and after the girls washed their hands, gave them each two crescent roll doughs, five pepperonis and a handful of mozzarella cheese. Most recipes call for a stick of string cheese, but using grated cheese was less expensive. I had the help of three other adults and the older girls pitched in and helped the younger girls. This activity worked for all ages and all abilities. One of our teens has autism and an intellectual disability and she had no trouble participating like everyone else. We all had fun eating the pepperoni and cheese, too, as we worked! We used cupcake paper to put the spaghetti sauce in for dipping when we served them. The girls loved them. They were surprisingly filling, too! (Uh, the roll-ups, not the girls!) Since we have a western theme going on for our Children’s ministry, while the roll-ups were cooking, I read them a cute little book about a little cowboy and a very bossy cowgirl who’s a know-it-all: Conrad and the Cowgirl Next Door. We talked about how to be a good friend and the difference between being bossy...

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