Thursday, July 10, 2008

Home-made Learning Books & Tapes

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I tried getting the paragraphs separated, but can't figure it out and am out of time...
I make learning books with audio tapes for all of the things the younger children need to memorize like times tables, measurements, spelling words, and more. This is much less expensive than store bought tapes and booklets and is tailored to the individual's needs.
Whereas a multiplication tape might have annoying music and sound effects and includes all 12 tables, I can eliminate the unwanted features and break the material down into more manageable sections.
I first got the idea when I went to purchase an addition tape and book set for Brandon. The cheap looking tape with the flimsy book was over $15. I had doubts it would last through one child, much less the two I had at the time. I purchased a blank tape for $1, a three pronged paper folder for .10, stickers for $1 and used paper I had on hand. For less than $3 with a little time and creativity added, I had a colorful, personalized tape which taught far more than the addition tables and that my child really looked forward to doing each day.
When students see it, say it and hear it, they learn the material much faster.
As a very busy mother, I have found this time saving technique very helpful. When I have been on bed rest for pregnancy, I have found these tapes invaluable to keeping our homeschool going forward with six children. It allows them to learn with my voice while I am free to school with another child or tackle a few minute's housework.
For preschoolers, I make tapes and books that teach them their personal information: spelling of their names, parents' names and occupations, birthday, address and phone numbers (home, Dad's work, Mom's cell, emergency friend).

Sometimes I will do only one subject and make the book/tape "child generic" instead of personalized. Other times, I make the book/tape very personalized.
I put a symbol on the tape and on the book...see the star on the tape in the picture. This helps the children keep the tapes in the right folder. I tape a plastic bag or half of an envelope into the folder for the tape to slide into.

I like to interspace the memory work with Bible memory verses, songs, poems, encouraging words, reminders to do their best and expressions of my love and pride in them.
I also make challenges with rewards in the tapes. When they think they know a certain chart or table, they are to bring the book to me for an oral test.
I have either made my own educational charts/tables or found them on the internet. I have saved every one under a file by subject so when I need to make a new book, I just have to go through my files and print the page out. It now takes me less than an hour to make a tape they will use daily for weeks.
I love listening to my children talk to and sing along with my voice on the tapes. I love hearing them tell me (on the tape) that they love me too. I love it when at the end of a tape I have told them to run to me and give me a big hug so I'd know they finished. Mostly, I love seeing them soak the material up like a sponge and enjoy learning.
My younger children get excited when they know I am making new tapes and are eager to do them each day.
My oldest children say their homemade learning tapes and books were part of their favorite early homeschool experiences and now use high school curriculum that includes Spanish and History tapes.

Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.
Psalms 31:24