Archives for posts with tag: HomeSchooling

77005460Those who have homeschooled their children for a number of years often take bits and pieces from several programs in order to create one that works well for their particular family. Below are some of the most common homeschooling programs.

Relaxed / Eclectic Homeschooling

The “relaxed” or “eclectic” approach to homeschooling combines formal learning and independent study. The children generally use workbooks and programs in order to learn math, reading and spelling, generally in the morning hours. The afternoons are spent pursuing more specialized learning objectives, like hobbies and interactive science projects.

The School-at-Home Approach

For this approach, children perform schoolwork by following a preset structure through boxed curriculum. The children have regular school hours at home, and they often deliver completed materials back to a curriculum provider for grading. This type of approach has a relatively high burnout rate, however.

Unschooling

This type of schooling is also known as natural, child-led and interest-led learning. Children under this approach are free to explore their own interests. Instead of having a separation between “school” and “life,” parents who use this approach see the two as intertwined. Unschooled children don’t take state-mandated tests, and they often meet with other homeschool children in order to learn through private lessons.

Classical

This approach follows the “five tools of learning,” which are reason, record, research, relate and rhetoric. The classical approach has been around since the Middle Ages and has a strict daily routine. The focus of this approach is on reading, history, recitation and critical thinking.

Charlotte Mason

The Charlotte Mason approach follows the belief that children should be respected as people instead of treated as empty vessels waiting to be filled. Children who are homeschooled using this method have a focus on creation and collaboration instead of on reciting facts. There is a strong emphasis on nature and taking field trips to explore art history and geography, among other disciplines.

Waldorf

The Waldorf method focuses on educating the child through body, mind and spirit. The Waldorf method emphasizes nature, arts and crafts, and movement and music. No formal textbooks are used, and the children instead create their own books. Electronics are discouraged, and free play is emphasized.

Montessori

This approach emphasizes the need for children to learn at their own pace. Wood is preferred over plastic, and electronics are discouraged. Homes are set up with different learning areas, such as a math area and a language area. Children are encouraged to manage their own time and learn things thoroughly before moving onto something new.

Multiple Intelligences

In this learning approach, parents become aware of their children’s strengths and adapt the teaching accordingly. For example, children’s learning can be tailored toward visual, auditory or kinetic. Each discipline is taught in a way that best suits the child’s preferred learning method. In this way, nothing is treated as better or worse, but only as how it benefits the individual child.

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153538625If you’re thinking about homeschooling your child, you may be nervous about getting in enough homeschool hours. This fear comes from the reality that each state has particular guidelines about how many hours a child should spend in school, whether that’s in the classroom or at home. Luckily, what constitutes school is more than just hours spent at a desk. This is true even for those who attend traditional school.

Keep Some Sort of Record, But Don’t Overthink It

You will want to keep some record of how many hours your child spends doing school per day. However, you don’t need to clock every single minute. A rough estimate paired with work done is sufficient for your purposes. While it is possible to not take thorough enough records, most parents who homeschool are naturally quite organized and detailed.

Get a Home School Legal Defense Association Membership

An HSDLA membership provides a lot of free information about how to keep accurate records. This information will come in handy if you ever find yourself before a judge and need to show the proper paperwork regarding your child’s homeschooling. The membership can also provide you with valuable tips and strategies for successful homeschooling.

What Counts as School Hours

In traditional school, students take many different types of classes, including Home Economics, P.E., and Music. The same is true for homeschool children. Working out a recipe, getting adequate exercise and pursuing personal artistic pleasures are all part of a good homeschool education. When you’re involved in day-to-day activities with your child, actively teach him or her life skills along the way, and this will count toward their education as well. All of these types of activities should be logged as school hours.

School Hours by Age

Just as with traditional school, the hours your child spends learning is partially dependent upon his or her age. For example, a kindergartener will spend less than an hour on school, while a high schooler will spend over four hours. When you do count up how many hours your child spends doing school, you will probably find that your child actually spends more time than is required by law.

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123079612Deciding to homeschool your child is a major decision, a decision that you want to make with confidence and as much information as you can find. The requirements for homeschooling vary greatly depending on which state you live in. If you are considering homeschooling, you will need to become familiar with your specific state’s requirements. We’ve compiled a broad overview of state requirements for you.

Teaching Certification

Most states do not require that the parent or guardian possess a teaching certification—Arkansas is the only exception in this case. However, most states do require that the parent possess a certain level of education. Georgia, North Carolina, New Mexico and Pennsylvania require a high school diploma, GED or equivalent. Other states require that the parent or guardian be declared competent to provide a level of education that is comparable to that provided by the local public school.

Notice of Intent

In many states, parents are required to notify the state of their intent to homeschool their children. This includes Hawaii, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Texas. Some of these states only require initial notification while others require annual notification.

Reporting and Evaluation

Many states require that parents report their child’s progress annually, although how that progress is reported varies by state. Some states also require that an annual evaluation of the student’s progress be performed by a certified teacher. Reporting and evaluation are required in Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Massachusetts, North Dakota, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Standardized Testing

Many homeschool students are required to undergo regular standardized testing. The states that require testing are as follows: Colorado, Arkansas, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Massachusetts, North Carolina, North Dakota, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Vermont. Some of these states require that the students achieve a specific percentile of performance.

Subject Requirements

Many states require that specific subjects be taught, often designating specific subjects to specific grades. Subject requirements are enforced in Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia, Massachusetts, Missouri, North Carolina, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Attendance

Attendance record requirements vary by state, with some states requiring annual submission of a record and others providing homeschool students with exemption from compulsory attendance. Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Delaware and Rhode Island require regular attendance records, while Alaska, Idaho and Massachusetts provide homeschool students with exemption.

While some states do not have any specific homeschool statutes, other states have very specific laws. There are many states that provide a variety of options for how a homeschool environment can be established in relation to public and private schools and even religious organizations. Before you decide which schooling option is right for your child, make sure you become an expert in your state’s laws as they will essentially determine the operation of your child’s education.

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467321197Deciding to home school your child is a big decision and one that may present unique challenges. Most parents who are new to homeschooling want to have some type of structure to follow until they are accustomed to the idea. Unfortunately, there is no such thing. But you can close enough. This structure that parents want is simply to get them into the groove of things. Once they begin with this strict schedule, it starts to give them the confidence to venture off into their own schedules and so on.

Homeschooling Tips

Homeschooling is a huge decision that requires a huge commitment. So you should pray about every aspect of it before making that final decision. Discuss things with your partner and allow him or her to be more involved. This helps to take the pressure of one person. Discussing things with your partner also means that you discuss pros and cons of everything the curriculum and together decide what is the most suitable subject or activity to go with. Research your curriculum before choosing it. Don’t just choose something because other parents you know use it and they recommend it. It is worth a look at if it has positive reviews from parents you know, however, bare in mind that each family is different and what works for one family may not do so for the other.

Everyone gets behind at times, even traditional schools, this is why you need to schedule in some free days to make up for the time that you fall behind. Make it a point to attend home school conferences and co-ops. This is a great way to meet and network with other parents and vendors. These people can a big help on those days when you simply need the extra support. At the beginning of your homeschooling year, you should decide on a vision statement and then create one. If your family is aware and in agreement with the vision statement then you can start including and excluding each curriculum that will help you get there. Follow us for more information on homeschooling, education and family related issues.

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While many parents of special needs children opt for placing their children in public schools for various reasons, some parents feel that homeschooling is the best option for special needs students. While there are many options for special needs education besides public school, there has been a large spike in the number of parents that are bringing homeschooling to their special needs children.

The key to homeschooling your kids is understanding the fact that each child is unique and has special needs. So you need to individualize your resources and teaching for that specific child. In order to prepare your child for kindergarten, you will need the appropriate resources and curriculum. Children at this age need to learn basic math and counting, pre-writing skills as well as alphabet recognition and sound. The curriculum should also contain other resources to fine tune children’s motor skills. Although these programs are intended for use by children who are going to begin kindergarten, it may also be used by older children with special needs.

Children who are ready to begin kindergarten can then proceed to programs that offer further activities such as addition and subtraction, place value and reading and logical thinking activities. There are various websites that provide help when it comes to Homeschooling For Special Needs Students. There are an endless supply of resources, information and programs that are intended to increase brain activity. Some websites specialize in teaching children certain things. This is why some websites may offer resources on the entire curriculum, while others will offer activities on math and some on reading. However, these websites don’t just offer information, but are great for networking with other parents who are home schooling their kids. This way you can ask their advice about what works best for them and exchange thoughts and ideas in the subject. This ensures that you always have fellow parents to go back to for advice.

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Many people wonder whether a Charter school or homeschool would be the best environment for their children. This can be a confusing area; however, it is helpful to take a look at some of the specifics and get a better understanding of the issues as they relate to homeschooling versus Charter schools.

Homeschool is a learning environment that takes place in the home under the guidance of one or both parents. Homeschooling is legal in all states, but requirements can vary widely. Many states do not require the parents to have a college degree, so education is not necessarily handled by a professional teacher.

Of course, there are some parents who are educators, but there are many who are not. Homeschooling has its benefits, especially given the fact that parents have an intimate knowledge of how to best reach their children. Parents can more easily work around problem areas and find solutions to meet the needs of their children.

A Charter school is an alternative type of traditional public schooling. However, there are some important differences. For example, not all states have Charter schools, and these schools tend to be located in or near large cities, so they may not be a realistic option for many students. Additionally, administration of the Charter school can either be through the local school district or through a separate entity, such as a chartering organization.

Charter schools have licensed teachers and professional staff. With the expertise that comes from a trained educator, some people feel that a Charter school is better able to meet the needs of their children.

A homeschool education is open to almost any family who meets the requirements for home education in their state. However, not all Charter schools will accept every child. Some Charter schools have specific admission requirements that must be met, so they are not always an available option.

Socialization is often a topic that comes up when comparing homeschool and Charter school. A Charter school offers students an opportunity to be around their peers in a classroom setting as well as through after school activities. Of course, homeschooled children socialize not only within their family, but also by taking part in activities outside the home.

There is no one solution that meets the needs of all students or families. Whether a family chooses homeschooling or a Charter school, it’s important to know what each has to offer.

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There is no doubt that homeschooling comes with several benefits not only to the student but also the entire family. It costs a lot less than sending a child to school. There is much more child-parent interaction which is something that is becoming a rarity nowadays. Parents are given an incredible amount of control as to their children’s education including the topics and values they are exposed to. On the other hand, homeschooling demands an incredible amount of effort as well. This goes on day after day for years and it isn’t surprising that a lot of parents succumb to burnout.

It’s a Normal Part of the Process

Homeschooling burnout is a feeling of overwhelming fatigue brought about by the pressures of educating a child. There are times when parents will simply dread waking up as they have to do things all over again. In this setup, they are responsible for keeping the child on course for various subjects. It often feels as if twenty four hours is not enough to complete all the tasks. Children may not always be cooperative or easy to teach either. There can be numerous roadblocks along the way. It is important to keep in mind that these difficulties are experienced by nearly all families. There is no room for self-blame.

Evaluate the Situation

Take a positive attitude and implement concrete steps to turn things around. After a brief period of rest, put some thought as to the root causes of the burnout. Is it because of the overwhelming workload? Perhaps help may be sought from the spouse or an older child who has already taken some of the subjects. Maybe the curriculum is not a good match and a shift is in order. Is the child having a difficult time following the lessons or behaving in a less than ideal manner? Try to have an open dialogue to understand why these are happening so that both parties can work towards a solution. Is there an external factor like pregnancy, moving house, or extra office hours? Find a workaround and maximize the flexibility afforded by homeschooling.

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Deciding to home-school your kids may be a daunting decision. Aside from being the parent and provider, you now have to assume the role of a teacher as well. The thought of where to begin with home-schooling often sends many parents into panic mode and puts them off this idea completely. However, if you would like to home-school your kids, it is achievable. Although, there are challenges as with all things in life, there are also many great homeschooling tips to help you get there.

Homeschooling Tips

Parents that attempt homeschooling often try to duplicate what happens in traditional classrooms as they think this is the best way to teach their child, however, it is not always the case. You should forget about schedule, textbooks and sitting at desks all the time. Despite popular belief, home-schooled kids can be taught valuable social skills, even if they are not sitting in a classroom with 20 other kids. Connect with other families that are doing the same thing. This will open up a world of resources and support that will make the entire process manageable for you and your kids. Technology is meant to be used to help you in your task to educate your children, but it should not be depended upon as the only resource that you use. Ease your children into the process, especially at the beginning of the year. You should gradually introduce subjects each week as school begins, until your kids are settled into the routine and can handle the workload.

You should also remember that this is your school and you decide what activities are done each day. So if you feel like playing math games for half the day and then taking a nature walk for the second half, you should do exactly that as spontaneity is what separates homeschooling from traditional schooling. You should also attend homeschooling conferences as this gives you the opportunity to network and listen to inspirational stories from other parents on the same mission. The world is your classroom and you should make use of all available resources to help your child learn.

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Making the decision to homeschool can be overwhelming.  Thankfully, homeschooling textbooks are available to provide a plethora of information for both new and veteran homeschooling families.

As your child’s first and foremost teacher, here are four books that will help you move forward on your homeschooling journey.

1. Deschooling our Lives
Edited by Matt Hern

This book presents an overview of ways that families are educating their children without using traditional schools.  A collection of inspiring essays, this book will challenge what you believe about schooling.

2. The Ultimate Book of Homeschooling Ideas:
500+ Fun and Creative Learning Activities for Kids Ages 3-12
by Linda Dobson

When you’ve run out of educational ways to keep your children engaged, crack open this homeschooling textbook.  Inside are over 500 inexpensive, kid-tested ideas for teaching all of the subject areas.  For instance, your child could create a map from a book that is being read, or write her spelling words in colorful sidewalk chalk outside. With this book, you won’t hear the words, “I’m bored” again.

3. Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling
By John Taylor Gatto

This book was written by a prior “Teacher of the Year” in the state of New York.  It is recommended reading for every parent in our country, whether or not they are planning on homeschooling.  Conventional schooling, by its nature, cannot meet what the author proclaims as the true goal of education—to discover that special ability and talent that each child has, and help it blossom.  This book will help you feel empowered about your decision to homeschool.

4. Carschooling
By Diane Flynn Keith

Are you on the road a lot?  This book examines over 350 appealing games that will reclaim travel time for education time.  Presented in an easy-to-use manner, this book will provide details on how to help your five-year old practice his new reading skills, or your nine-year old bolster her math facts.  The whole family can play, and create fond memories of being in the car.

These four books will bring creativity into your homeschool.  They offer practical support; ideas and encouragement that will help you feel more confident in your ability to teach your children at home.

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Homeschooling is growing in popularity in the U.S. as each year goes by. Homeschooling refers to educating a child from home instead of enrolling them in a public or private school. With homeschooling, the parent has more control over the child’s education as they get to spend more time together. There are many benefits of homeschooling your child as opposed to making them study in private or public schools.

Why Do People Home school Their Children?

Different people have different reasons as to why they homeschool their kids. Some of the most common ones include; character and moral development, religious reasons, poor school environment for learning, child behavior issues, children with special needs, transportation issues, family reasons and in order to give child better education from home.

Benefits of Homeschooling

One-on-one Ratio of Teaching — One-on-one tutoring is one of the reasons that make homeschooling very effective. According to research, the less children a teacher has to educate, the more effective the education will be. Homeschooling provides the student with a one-on-one ratio of teaching which ensures they are getting better education. A student who is homeschooled is offered the opportunity to understand a topic before they advance to the next one.

Customized Teaching Method — Homeschooling allows the parent to customize the teaching to suit individual needs of a student. A parent is able to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the student and in return focus their attention on their giftedness and interest.

Independent Thinking — Study shows that homeschooled kids think more independently compared to those in public or private schools. This is because they are taught at home how to think for themselves and will not easily be influenced by peer pressure.

Minimized Boredom — Homeschooling is tailored made to suit the child’s individual needs. This means that the child is more likely to enjoy learning. Also, unlike it is the case in public and private schools, the child doesn’t have to sit through classes that they have already mastered while the rest of the class catches up.

Safe Learning Environment — Unlike it is the case in regular schools, homeschooled children are not exposed to bad influences, peer pressure, bullying, teasing or in some rare cases, immoral teachers.

SEE OUR OTHER ARTICLE “The Drawbacks of Homeschooling” AS WELL >>

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