First things first they always say.
I apologize for falling behind on this blog. I have recently returned to work which means this blog will have to go out monthly now instead of every two weeks.
In this issue, I want to talk about teaming up with other homeschoolers. One of the biggest drawbacks to homeschooling that the general public fusses about is that their child will not have any friends.
That is a lame excuse for not homeschooling your child to me but let's explore this. There are, of course, valid reasons for not choosing this alternative such as both parents need to work. Sometimes, single parent or health issues are involved, too.
My thought on the friend issue is that as parents you have better control over what influences your child while you are trying to build your morals into them. This helps them to develop healthy relationships because now they have something to help them decide who to hang out with. Developing friendships is important because it helps our kids be social and get along.
Many homeschoolers get involved with others who homeschool. They create sports teams, cheerleading or dance teams, and often attend or participate in community events together. The homeschoolers are out there but you need to ask around. If your community doesn't have one, start one. Try to develop a schedule to meet regularly to share concerns, elicit help from others for those tough subjects, and more. Try not to get too political, just have fun.
With holidays fast approaching, now would be a good time to put together a float for the Christmas parade, get the community involved to help promote your home schooled group. You could even set up group-wide fundraisers to help financially support the group activities.
With you getting involved in your child's activities and taking matters to heart to help your kids get involved, you set a good example for the kids and it helps others who home school to get involved.
So, Team Up and Have Fun.
So, summer is pretty much over and probably by now you have started a homeschool program for your children. Many parents and students bog down shortly after starting so I want to introduce you to some various methods of teaching that you might want to take a serious look at before the first breakdown.
I don't have the time to break down the pro's and con's of each method but I won't leave you without a dependable resource for researching each one on your own.
Lots of families probably take a normal, practical approach that is much like traditional public school settings. Following is a short list of some other methods and a brief note about each one.
Unschooling method: this method takes on a child-led approach that is natural and interesting to the child.
Eclectic method: is by far the most relaxed (to me, it severely lacks discipline) method of teaching. This method does not use a prescribed set of textbooks, rather it uses various workbooks for math, reading, and spelling and basically uses unschooling method for all other subjects and interests. This works for some but I don't have a feel for this method so it probably would not work as well for me.
Charlotte Mason method: uses real life situations through playtime and creativity to teach youngsters.
Waldorf method & the Montessori method: both of these methods discourage the use of TV and computers for younger students but allow it in later grades. Waldorf focuses on teaching the whole child as in spirt, mind, and body, while Montessori actively approaches errors and turns it into a positive experience for the student so that they walk away from their mistakes with a positive attitude that even through the mistake, they still learned.
There are other methods out there for your consideration. This and more information can be found at Homeschool Methods. Type in any search bar "homeschool methods" for other resources as well.
Now, to tie all this together. When you or your child has a bad hair day, incorporate one or more of these methods for the day, maybe even finish out the week in an eclectic sort of way.
If necessary, after you have studied these methods, create your own method that will work for you and your child---just keep the learning momentum going.
I hope you and your family are enjoying some summer time fun. While it's not quite time to prepare for the new year, I do want to run a few ideas by you that you should at least be thinking about for now.
Most of the time, we tend to think of closing out the year with a bang. We'll plan parties, have a few friends over, play games or watch some movies.
So, I have the thought why don't we do the same to start our year off right. One of the key factors in successfully homeschooling our children is to get them connected to other homeschoolers and get involved in some community wide activities. Make an annual pre-school planning event in your community. Consider the following:
Next post July 8th.
Summer break is finally here for many of us. It's a time to just shut down and lock up the old school desk until a later time.
Summer break is an important part of the homeschooling process.
Our kids need to experience relief from stress, too. They spend a year trying to please you, make good grades, and the whole time they are being molded, stretched and shaped. It can be stressful to their little shoulders just as much as life can be stressful for our adult shoulders.
Many families have worked hard to take that long awaited vacation to a far away
never-land. No doubt you've spent some quality time with your spouse and/or the kids discussing the possibilities for your summer break.
In this post, I thought I would include some tips to keep in mind while planning how you and your family will unwind.
I've scoured MSN for some links to share. Maybe one of these will inspire your summer time and help you and your family rejuvenate those batteries.
Summer travel for working families
Affordable U.S. destinations
5 U.S. river cruises
More travel ideas from MSN
Enjoy your summer break while you can. It won't be long and we'll be back at planning for the new school year.
What rule of thumb do you go by when choosing how to spend your summer? Do you have budget friendly ideas to share with others? If you are interested, send us your pics via email and I will post them here.
In next post, we'll discuss an annual planning event. See you June 24th.
There are so many ideas about how to educate your child and whether any one idea works better than another.
Traditional schooling has taught us to be structured. School starts at the same time every day, lunch the same time every day, and sit in your seat until class is over every day. It's okay to vary from this occasionally but establishing and maintaining strong discipline and structure is of utmost importance.
Let's think about this. Most of our working world is disciplined and structured, so we need to train our children to be productive in that world. Even jobs that have shifts still have shifts that start at the same time daily, they have breaks, some have deadlines on when things need to be finished or accomplished. What kind of future are we preparing our children to handle? Will they need to constantly be on the go, or will they be behind a desk most of their day? For me, I want my child to able to hand a variety of situations and to maintain their effectiveness throughout all of it no matter what their day holds.
Keeping this in mind, I want to share with you some things that I believe are very beneficial no matter what ideas you choose. After all, we homeschool because we want our children to have the best so they can be at their best as an adult and active community member.
These are elements that should be a part of every program, no matter what method you choose. In another blog, we'll discuss different methods for teaching our kids.
Do you have a system you believe is beneficial? Please share with us by commenting below [just click on the blue comment link]. Some parents choose to not be so strict and there is some credibility to this as it cuts down on stress. However, the working world does not become successful by flying by the seat of their pants. There is some element of structure and some measure of discipline to stay in the game behind every successful person and business.
What works for you? Does your child respond well to a systematic approach? If not, how did you deal with the situation?
Will see you again June 10th.
So you have made the decision to home school your child but you don't know what they should learn in their current grade. How do you find this out? Well there is tons of information on the internet. Many programs such as the ACE and the Alpha - Omega system provide this information to you. With the ACE program they provide you with what's called a Scope & Sequence manual.
This manual provides a syllabus for each subject per grade level. It basically says what the student at that level needs to learn and the order in which it should be taught.
Of course, as their parent, you can vary from this a little. As your child's instructor, you must keep in mind to not require your child to learn something for which they have no basis upon which to build.
For example, we learn to add and subtract before we learn to multiply and divide. One of the main reasons we chose to homeschool our child was because Common Core kicked in just as our child was entering the 7th grade and she was expected to learn 9th grade material without having the foundation of 7th and 8th grade education.
Education is not a one size fits all and it should never be trapped inside a box.
Do some research from various websites and craft your own scope and sequence.
For some part of it, you'll need to require your child to learn certain things in a certain order but don't be afraid to be flexible.
From your scope and sequence, form a weekly plan that outlines the daily lessons to help you keep track. This information will also help you to stage benchmarks or tests to make sure your child has mastered certain content before moving on to other material.
In closing, it is a good idea for you, as the instructor, to study the material before hand and be prepared for questions and or discussions, especially when it comes to math and some sciences.
What are your favorite web resources? Do you allow your self to vary from the well beaten path? How did it work out for you and your child?
Share your thoughts, answers, or concerns by clicking the blue comment link below.
Welcome back to The Hall Pass where I'll talk about homeschooling issues. I want to remind everybody, that I'll post every other week so you can mark your calendars and be expecting more.
On my mind this session is about the safety of our children. I know that schools do everything they can to stop those attacks. Every attack leads to tighter measures schools have to take and eventually, that fun and exciting campus will become something like a prison. It is beyond scary. There are so many school shootings and the bullying has spread like a wildfire.
A couple of years ago, a school nearby had a bomb scare. They bussed kids to a safer area. And parents were contacted to pick up their student there. I asked one of the officials what happens if this failure causes the attacker to get aggravated and they try again - what do we do then? Their reply was that they have to deal with that everyday.
My heart sank. While I don't scare easily, my heart was so saddened at how much school has changed since I was a child. The pressure on the authorities to have to watch for that everyday; listen they need all the prayers we can give them.
I don't recommend you run in fear and yank your children from school, especially if they are thriving there. But if your location has a lot of attacks, you may wish to consider homeschooling. Homeschooling can be much safer. That said, you need to also consider the neighborhood you are in. Is it safer to take your child out for a walk, get to the city library, or go for field trips?
Attackers look for areas where they can do mass damage. But don't mistake that other kinds of attacks can't hit your home just because you choose to homeschool your children. Drive-by shootings fill newspapers daily.
For many areas, safety is a big reason to homeschool your child. Was safety a big reason why you chose to homeschool your child(ren)? Is it something you may need to consider? How has this challenged you and what did you do about it? To share your comments click on the blue comments link below.
I hope your Spring season is off to a great start.
Will see you again May 13th.
Last week, we talked about making the decision to home school your kids. There is a lot that goes into making that decision.
And I realize, for some, you may have been home schooling for several years. But if this is something new to you, then this particular blog issue is for you.
Some questions you may need to consider might be:
As a parent, you may tend to be tougher on your child because you want the best for them. You’ll want them to become self starters, disciplined, and develop healthy work and social habits that will serve them well in their careers.
We also had to consider whether we would be able to travel with our child and how much would the state allow on that.
What other questions are you facing in making the decision to homeschool your child? Comment below and let us know how you are handling the situation. If you already homeschool, what things did you have to consider?
Thanks for joining me again. On the next post we will talk about knowing what to teach your child for your child’s grade level. And in future posts, we'll tackle some of these and other questions.
I invite your thoughts and questions. Look forward to hearing from you.
Welcome to my new blog, The Hall Pass. Join me here every other week for discussions concerning homeschooling today as an alternative to public schools and even private or parochial schools.
Some of you that have followed me on Twitter know that I homeschool our youngest. Making this decision wasn't easy but it was absolutely necessary.
Our local public school did wonders with our child but when common core kicked in, our child was entering the 7th grade and was required to perform at a 9th grade level. Any ding bat can tell you that you don't learn 2 x 2 before leaning 2 + 2. It would prove to be disastrous to ask a student to perform at a 9th grade level without a firm foundation of 7th and 8th grade.
For many schools, 7th grade is mainly spent reviewing 1st through 6th grade. But, there is a growing process during those middle school years that helps the student to become a little more academically grounded as well as emotionally grounded to handle the more difficult curriculum and social atmosphere. Education is not a one size fits all issue as our government thinks it should be.
This common core arrangement, in my opinion, is the worst academic blunder in U.S. history. And I know many of you share the same or similar opinion. Like many students, our child fell through the cracks of the system and we found ourselves facing the tough decision to pull our child out of a school we thoroughly believed in and whose effort we will continue to praise. As a side note, common core is not our schools faults - that was a federal level decision, but it affected every student here in the U.S.
I have several friends who are state certified school teachers and they each taught special ed. So, it was a major advantage to me to be able to call on their help and support.
But what do you do when you don't have that? There are two programs I highly recommend that you research: ACE, Accelerated Christian Education and the
Alpha-Omega system. And for more support visit a Mardels, Christian teacher supply and bookstore, near you.
We use a combination of ACE and products from Mardels - it's a win - win situation for us.
In closing, how and why did you make the decision to homeschool? What curriculum do you follow if you are not a school teacher?
Hope you all had
a safe and refreshing