I’m happy to announce Homeschooling1!

Comp-1I’m excited to announce the launch of Homeschooling1, a website for secular homeschooling families that are educating one child at home. There aren’t enough resources out there for only child homeschooling families, especially secular homeschoolers so I decided it was time to make a website just for families of singletons. Maybe you have multiple children but are homeschooling only one of your children, regardless this site is for anyone who is looking for homeschooling resources, advice and information.

There will be loads of information about getting started homeschooling, resources regarding homeschooling laws, freebie printables and even a forum so everyone can come together and support each other and share advice, celebrations and concerns.

I’m launching the site on September 1st, 2016 and wanted to give everyone an opportunity to sign up to Homeschooling1’s newsletter for some fun giveaways and updates. I may even toss in a couple of my children’s books as a freebie giveaway in the future 🙂 After subscribing you’ll be sent a free printable planner for the 2016-2017 school year!

Please share this post with anyone who you feel would be interested in this new site!

Don’t worry about my children’s books. I’m currently putting the finishing touches on my next release about two feathered friends who spend a fun filled day together at the fair! Here’s a little sneak peek into the world of Ducky and Quackers!

ducky and quackers promo - Copy

Meet Ducky and Quackers! Coming soon from Courtney M Jones!

Thanks so much for being part of this fun and exciting journey and I look forward to connecting with everybody!

Please visit homeschooling1.com to sign up and join this homeschooling community!

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Reading to Your Child, The Earlier the Better

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   The main motivation behind becoming a children’s book author was the dream of instilling an early love of reading in all children. I want my books to reach them in a way no toy or video game can. I want their imaginations to dance and to fall in love with the silly characters I created in my books. But sadly, not every child will have the opportunity to take that journey.
    There have been articles and reports published about the declining rate of parents reading to their children on a daily basis. This is very alarming to me because I know personally that reading plays a key role in the I.Q and mental development of children. I have read to my daughter daily, even before she was born and she is a bright little girl who learns quickly and demonstrates a higher I.Q than what she should for her age. We’re still working on potty training though, so it’s not all perfect!
   *Studies show that there is an important role for parents in the development and educational performance of their children. Parental reading to children increases the child’s reading and other cognitive skills at least up to the age of 10. This is an early life intervention that seems to be beneficial for the rest of their lives.
    Key Findings
-The frequency of reading to children at a young age has a direct causal effect on their schooling outcomes regardless of their family background and home environment.
-Reading to children at age 4-5 every day has a significant positive effect on their reading skills and cognitive skills (i.e., language and literacy, numeracy and cognition) later in life.
-Reading to children 3-5 days per week (compared to 2 or less) has the same effect on the child’s reading skills at age 4-5 as being six months older
-Reading to them 6-7 days per week has the same effect as being almost 12 months older
-Children read to more frequently at age 4-5 achieve higher scores on the National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) tests for both Reading and Numeracy in Year 3 (age 8 to 9).
-These differences in reading and cognitive skills are not related to the child’s family background or home environment but are the direct result of how frequently they have been read to prior to starting school. *
    Including this one, there are numerous studies and statistics out there that have proven the importance of early reading. Children don’t only show a higher IQ from being read to early, they are more engaged with books, display an early love of learning and have a higher rate of concentration at school.
    With all of the research so readily available out there, I ask myself “Why is the number of parents reading to their children dropping so rapidly?” It only takes a few minutes and your child will thank you for it, maybe not directly but you will see it in the future, when they bring home higher test scores, or when they would rather pick up a book than play video games.  It’s also an excellent way of reconnecting with your child after a long day at work or school. There is no excuse why you can’t spare a few minutes.
    There is a lot of controversy surrounding the topic of electronic learning devices. I agree that Leap pads and similar devices do have their advantages, but my opinion is that they should be a supplement, a form of entertainment to children, not their only source of exposure to education and literature.
 For all the parents who already read to their children everyday, a million thanks and keep on reading! Spread the word to everyone about the joy of reading to your children and hopefully that word will spread!
    As a favor to yourself and to your children, make the time. Stop by your local library and attend a toddler reading session, talk to your children about their favorite books and make up fun activities that revolve around the characters or simply curl up in a comfy chair together and take a journey into the fun and imaginative world of children’s literature. You won’t regret it. There are endless ways to make reading fun and my hope is that after reading this, you’ll run to the bookshelf and introduce your children to the fun and fantastic world of reading!
   (For added fun, stop by the Kids Corner page on my website: courtneymjones.com and download free printable coloring and activity sheets that feature the characters from my In A Room You Will Find series).
  

     Happy Reading and Learning!

*Department of Education and Early Childhood Development                                         

First Day of School

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 Today was the first day of school here in San Antonio. This reminds me of my first day of Kindergarten, which feels like ages ago!
  I had the coolest backpack! It had an area on one pocket that came with markers that you could color! I thought that was so awesome!
  My mother walked me to the top of the hill in my neighborhood, which was the bus stop. I grew up in a rural type area and you could hear the bus coming from a ways away. When I heard the roar of the engine I got butterflies in my stomach and looked nervously at that big yellow tank heading towards us. I still remember the bus number, 97.
  When the driver opened the door I remember wondering how that lever made the door open. My mom took a picture of me standing a the top of the bus steps and stood back to watch her youngest child venture towards the beginning of her education.
  I was so nervous the entire ride to school. I wanted to go but I didn’t.  At the time, it felt to me that this marked the true end of my childhood. In my mind, from this day on I was a grown up, backpack and all, with a schedule to keep and work to do. (I still miss those simplistic days).
 My first day went well and I loved the chocolate milk they served. I didn’t even mind that my classroom was in what felt like a dungeon, it was partially underground so it was dark in there when all of the lights weren’t on.
  I don’t really remember exactly what we did the first day but I remember sitting in the bus on the way home. As the bus reached the bottom of the drop off hill my mother appeared from behind the trees, standing at the top of the hill, there to greet me. All in all, I had a good first day of kindergarten!

 How was your child’s first day? My daughter isn’t of school age just yet so parents, what about schools have changed since you’ve been a student? I’d love to hear about it!