This is an amazing time for those hungry for wisdom and knowledge. We live in an era where education knows no bounds and can venture into the enchanting realm of the mystical and all-encompassing. Today, we set forth on a game-changing expedition that will spark curiosity, embolden families who educate at home, and foster a profound harmony with the world around us. Within this blog post, we reveal the incredible potential of herbal education, helping families seize control of their own fate and cultivate a new wave of budding herbal experts.
The Holistic Approach: Embracing the Wisdom of Nature
At the heart of our mystical journey lies the essence of holistic education. Far beyond textbooks and examinations, holistic learning integrates mind, body, and spirit, harmonizing with the natural rhythms of life. In this paradigm, the knowledge of herbs plays a pivotal role, and it is here that we witness the bloom of herbal education.
Holistic herbal education is not merely a lesson on the green wonders that surround us; it is an invitation to align with nature's wisdom, to rekindle a long-lost relationship with the Earth, and to find harmony within ourselves. Teaching our children about herbs offers a profound way to introduce them to the interconnectedness of all life, nurturing a sense of responsibility and reverence for the planet that sustains us.
Unleashing the Alchemist Within: Blending Science with Magic
Herbal education is a harmonious blend of science and magic, where the alchemist within each child awakens. As they learn about the chemical compounds that lend herbs their healing prowess, they also embrace the intangible magic that cannot be confined by equations.
In the garden, they experiment with combinations of herbs, witnessing the sparks of alchemy as they create herbal concoctions. They brew potions of relaxation, courage, and clarity, all the while instilling a profound sense of responsibility for the gifts bestowed upon them by the Earth.
The Knowledge to Mend: Healing the Earth and Beyond
As our young herbalists grow in wisdom and understanding, they recognize the potent role they play in healing not only themselves but also the planet. They grasp that the connection to nature extends beyond the garden fence, and that the choices they make impact the delicate balance of the Earth.
Armed with the knowledge of herbs and their ecological significance, our budding herbalists turn into eco-conscious warriors, guardians of the planet. They advocate for sustainable practices, protect endangered plant species, and embark on a quest to heal the Earth one seedling at a time.
Enjoy a comprehensive Kindergarten homeschooling journey with our month-by-month lesson plan outline! From language arts to math, science to art, explore a diverse curriculum designed to foster holistic growth and learning in your child.
Month 1: Introduction to Kindergarten Learning
Month 1: Introduction to Learning
Week 1: All About Me
Month 2: Exploring Our World
Week 1: Transportation
Week 2: Countries and Cultures
Week 3: Land, Water, and Air
Week 4: Our Community
Month 3: Early Literacy and Numeracy
Week 1: Letters E-H
Week 2: Rhyming Words
Week 3: Numbers 6-10
Week 4: Story Time and Imagination
Month 4: Exploring Nature and Animals
Week 1: Outdoor Adventures
Month 5: Creative Exploration
Week 1: Colors and Emotions
Month 6: Nature and Seasons
Week 1: Springtime
Month 7: Exploring Science and the World
Week 1: Outer Space
Month 8: Exploring Our World Further
Week 1: Farms and Animals
Month 9: Creative Arts and Expression
Week 1: Music and Rhythm
Month 10: Our Amazing World
Week 1: Exploring Habitats
Month 11: People and Their Jobs
Week 1: Community Helpers
Month 12: Reflecting and Looking Ahead
Week 1: Looking Back
In the pursuit of education, we hold the philosopher's stone—the alchemy that transforms mere knowledge into the golden elixir of wisdom. In the enchanting world of homeschooling, we have the power to wield this mystical art and guide our children on a journey of transformative learning. Join us as we unravel the alchemy of education and turning knowledge into wisdom.
Why Herbal Education Matters
1. Rediscovering Ancient Wisdom: Long before textbooks and online resources, our ancestors turned to nature for wisdom. Herbal education revives this ancient knowledge, empowering us to harness the healing powers of plants for holistic wellness.
2. Nurturing Sustainable Practices: In a world grappling with environmental challenges, herbal education teaches kids to live sustainably and respect the delicate balance of nature.
3. Enhancing Health and Wellbeing: Understanding the medicinal properties of herbs empowers kids to make healthier choices, promoting a robust immune system and balanced wellbeing.
4. Encouraging Curiosity and Inquiry: Herbal education ignites curiosity and encourages kids to explore the mysteries of the natural world through hands-on learning.
The Holistic Curriculum: A Journey through the World of Herbs
1. The Herbology Handbook: From Seed to Sip
The herbology handbook is the cornerstone of our botanical studies. Start by planting a herb garden together, nurturing it from seed to sip. Kids will be enchanted by the sight of tiny sprouts breaking through the soil, and as they grow, document this in your own herbology handbook. They'll learn the art of caring for plants responsibly.
2. Herbal Remedy Concoctions: Potions and Brews
Nothing captivates the imagination quite like the idea of making magical potions and brews. Through herbal remedy concoctions, kids can discover the power of herbal teas, soothing balms, and tinctures that have been used for centuries to heal various ailments.
3. Herb Identification Adventures: Nature's Treasure Hunt
Take the kids on herb identification adventures in nearby forests and fields. Armed with field guides and a curious spirit, they'll learn to identify different herbs, each with its unique story and purpose.
4. Herb and Kitchen Alchemy: Flavors and Fragrances
Incorporate herbs into cooking to explore the world of flavors and fragrances. Let kids experiment with aromatic herbs and spices, turning a simple meal into a magical feast.
Cultivating Green Minds: Encouraging Immediate Action
Holistic homeschooling extends beyond books and classes; it's about experiencing the magic of herbs firsthand. Here are some practical ways to cultivate green minds in your homeschool:
1. Start a Family Herbal Garden: Create a family herbal garden, and let each family member choose a favorite herb to grow and care for. Witness the wonder as the garden flourishes and children discover the joy of nurturing living beings.
2. Encourage Nature Walks: Take regular nature walks, and let your kids explore the natural world around them. From observing plants to spotting wildlife, these walks provide invaluable opportunities to connect with nature.
3. DIY Herbal Remedies: Involve kids in making simple herbal remedies, such as soothing balms for minor cuts and scrapes or herbal teas to boost the immune system. They'll take pride in creating these magical elixirs.
4. Herbal Arts and Crafts: Incorporate herbs into arts and crafts projects. Dried flowers can be used to make beautiful bookmarks, while herb-infused oils can be incorporated into homemade candles.
Empowering the Next Generation
In a world that's constantly changing, homeschooling with a focus on herbal education empowers children to take control of their own future. As they grow, they will carry with them the wisdom of the natural world and a deep appreciation for the magical realm of herbs.
Final Thoughts: Cultivating a Green Legacy
Holistic homeschooling with a touch of herbal education sets the stage for a transformative journey. Let us strive to raise a generation that cherishes the earth, respects ancient wisdom, and harnesses the power of herbs to thrive in body, mind, and spirit. Together, we can create a legacy of green-minded individuals who make a positive impact on the world. So, roll up your sleeves, embark on this magical adventure, and sow the seeds of herbal wisdom in your homeschool today!
[Note: This blog post is for informational purposes only. It is advisable to consult with a qualified herbalist or healthcare professional before using herbs for medicinal purposes.]
Welcome to a realm where metaphysics dances with science, and the quantum mind reveals its mysteries. In the captivating world of homeschooling, we hold the key to unlocking the quantum potential within our children. Join us on a transformative journey as we merge metaphysics with science in homeschool lessons. Get ready to delve into the fascinating world of quantum physics, alchemy, and the boundless possibilities that lie within the quantum mind.
Embracing the Quantum Leap
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." - Albert Einstein
In the quantum realm, reality defies our everyday perceptions, and possibilities are limitless. As homeschooling parents, we have the enchanting opportunity to bridge the gap between metaphysical wisdom and scientific understanding.
1. The Quantum Mind Unveiled
Exploring the Quantum Mind
In the depths of the quantum world, a mysterious intelligence governs reality. The quantum mind is a tapestry of thoughts, emotions, and consciousness entangled with the fabric of the universe. As we embrace this realm, we empower our children to understand their innate power as creators of their reality.
The Dance of Metaphysics and Science
Metaphysics and science twirl in a cosmic dance, revealing the interconnectedness of all things. By merging these two disciplines in our homeschool lessons, we ignite a magical spark of curiosity in our young learners.
The Quantum Leap of Education
Homeschooling provides the perfect launchpad for a quantum leap in education. With freedom and flexibility, we can venture beyond traditional boundaries and equip our children with the tools to explore the wonders of quantum physics.
2. Quantum Physics in Homeschool Lessons
The Dual Nature of Light: Embracing Paradoxes
Introduce the concept of light's dual nature—both a particle and a wave. Teach your children to embrace paradoxes, paving the way for open-mindedness and a deeper understanding of the quantum world.
Entangled Learning: Embracing Unity
Explore the fascinating phenomenon of quantum entanglement. Encourage collaborative learning and foster unity among your children, igniting a shared sense of connection and purpose.
Superposition of Knowledge: Embrace the Multiverse
Embrace the superposition of knowledge by delving into multiple subjects simultaneously. Encourage interdisciplinary studies, nurturing a quantum mind that transcends traditional boundaries.
Quantum Leap of Imagination: Thinking Beyond Limits
Stimulate your children's imagination with thought experiments inspired by quantum physics. Encourage them to visualize possibilities beyond the ordinary and explore the wonders of the multiverse.
Alchemy of Metaphysics and Science"Magic is believing in yourself. If you can do that, you can make anything happen." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
In the alchemy of homeschool lessons, we combine the mystical essence of metaphysics with the precision of science, creating a transformative educational experience.
1. The Philosopher's Stone of Metaphysics
The Power of Intuition
Encourage your children to trust their intuition—the philosopher's stone of metaphysics. Teach them to listen to their inner wisdom and follow the path that resonates with their souls.
The Elixir of Connection
Foster a sense of interconnectedness with all living beings. Through empathy and compassion, your children will discover the alchemical elixir that binds us as a human family.
2. The Scientific Elixir
The Alchemy of Experimentation
Nurture the spirit of experimentation in your homeschool lessons. Provide opportunities for hands-on experiences and scientific exploration, empowering your children to be bold in their quest for knowledge.
The Potion of Precision
Introduce the importance of precision and accuracy in scientific studies. The potion of precision refines their understanding of the world, enabling them to see the beauty of scientific principles.
Creating a Quantum Homeschooling Space
"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science." - Albert Einstein
As we embark on this quantum journey, we must create a homeschooling space that nurtures the emergence of the quantum mind.
1. A Sanctuary of Wonder
Foster a sense of wonder and mystery in your homeschool environment. Fill the space with inspiring books, cosmic artwork, and magical objects that spark curiosity.
2. Quantum Mindfulness
Integrate mindfulness practices into your homeschooling routine. Through meditation and reflection, your children will connect with their inner quantum potential.
3. The Alchemy of Dialogue
Encourage open discussions and dialogue about metaphysics, science, and the quantum mind. Embrace your children's questions and explore the unknown together.
4. Quantum Leap of Creativity
Cultivate creativity as a vehicle for the quantum mind to express itself. Provide opportunities for art, music, and writing, allowing your children to channel the mysteries of the cosmos into their creations.
The Quantum Shift: Empowering Your Children
"The universe is not outside of you. Look inside yourself; everything that you want, you already are." - Rumi
As homeschooling parents, we hold the key to unlocking the quantum potential within our children. Empower them to embrace the quantum shift and take charge of their destiny.
1. Quantum Visualization
Guide your children in visualizing their dreams and aspirations. Encourage them to see themselves as creators of their reality, wielding the power of the quantum mind.
2. Quantum Leap of Confidence
Instill confidence in your children's abilities to understand and navigate the complexities of the quantum world. With a strong sense of self-assurance, they will embrace the quantum leap fearlessly.
3. Quantum Connection
Teach your children the value of interconnectedness with the world and its inhabitants. By nurturing empathy and compassion, they will harness the quantum power of unity.
4. Quantum Manifestation
Empower your children to manifest their dreams through focused intention and belief in the quantum potential within. The universe is their canvas; let them paint their desires upon it.
In Conclusion: The Quantum Mind Unleashed
As we merge metaphysics with science in homeschool lessons, we unleash the magic of the quantum mind. Embrace the dance of interconnectedness, curiosity, and exploration. Create a quantum homeschooling space that nurtures the emergence of the quantum mind, and empower your children to take the quantum leap towards a future of limitless possibilities. Together, let us unravel the mysteries of the universe and unleash the quantum potential within.
[Note: The content of this blog post is for informational purposes only. The exploration of quantum physics and metaphysics requires ongoing curiosity and discovery, and it's essential to adapt your approach based on your child's individual interests and capabilities.]
by Phoenix Desertsong, Parent of Three
Homeschool has become an extremely popular trend in education in recent years for many different reasons. But, if you ask most homeschool parents why they are homeschooling, the answer you’ll most likely get is they’re having fun with being such a big part of their child’s education. Still, there are some parents on the fence about homeschooling, even though they’re considering it. The main concern for parents unsure about homeschooling is they aren’t sure where to find the best homeschool resources.
Sure, the internet can be a great resource for homeschool lesson plans, tips and tricks, and more. But, a major part of the homeschool experience is making sure your children are an active part of getting what they need. After all, one of the main benefits of homeschooling is the ability to greatly personalize your child’s educational experience. So, read on for where to find the best homeschooling supplies.
Your Local Bookstore Can Be Your Homeschool Store
The first thing many homeschool parents will do is to type amazon.com into their browser. This is not a bad thing. After all, many communities no longer have a local bookstore anymore. But, there are other options besides Amazon, and you’d be surprised to hear some of them are less expensive.
Now, if you do have a local bookstore, it’s one of the best homeschool resources you can have. You may have a used bookstore. That works, too. In fact, if you don’t have a new or used bookstore nearby, you can even browse the books of your local thrift store. They usually have a lot, because they don’t typically sell that well. Thrift stores even have textbooks sometimes, so just be sure they’re fairly recent - teaching with out-of-date books is counterproductive, and yes, some public schools still do.
Whatever store you have that sells books of any kind (yes, even if it’s just the limited bookshelf at Walmart) arm yourself with a list of books to buy that fit with your homeschool curriculum. Turn it into a sort of a scavenger hunt. Of course, you have to be flexible. If you are lucky enough to have a larger bookstore in your area, there will be plenty of options to choose from - if you don’t mind paying full retail price.
Even living in a major metro area with several big-chain bookstores, I would still go the used bookstore, thrift store, and big box store route. Part of the fun of getting books is having a list of what you need but having fun and learning to be flexible. Also, used books are going to save you a lot of money and your kids get to be part of the process, which serves as its own homeschool lesson.
Of course, if you have a big chain like Barnes and Noble and they’re having a good sale, it’s a great place to round things out. You can always use Amazon for what you can’t find and need to cover - or even eBay. But, the more involved your child is in the book selection and buying process, the better.
The Magazine Rack Can Be a Great Homeschool Resource
Magazines are an old school way to find homeschool resources, but yes, they do still exist. I don’t recommend paying full retail price, because some companies practically give magazine subscriptions away these days. People also will post boxes of old magazines on classified sites like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. Thrift stores and used bookstores practically give them away, too.
Not only do magazines offer great reading material and exciting photography to stimulate your kids’ learning, but they also serve another purpose. Magazines are perfect material for arts and crafts projects, scrapbooks, poster boards, and more. The magazines you get should be on topics your kids actually enjoy.
Be sure to ask your family and friends if they have old magazines laying around they don’t want. At the very least you’ll have some material arts and crafts projects and save some money in the process. The best magazines for homeschool is a topic I plan to cover in a future article.
The Internet is the Most Obvious Homeschool Resource
Of course, with the internet, there are many websites offering help with supplementing or even creating your curriculum. You can find a lot of it for free through simple searches, and there are plenty of homeschool blogs out there with plenty of links and resources. Not everything online is free, though, especially if you’re looking for curriculum.
But while the Internet is an obvious homeschool resource, it can also be overwhelming and confusing. Plus, as I already mentioned, a lot of it isn’t free. Years ago, you could find a lot more for free, but a lot of the best homeschool resources are now stuck behind a paywall. Personally, I wouldn’t pay for very many of them, although there are a couple that I do like that are well worth your money. I’ll get to these another time.
In general, if you find something that requires a subscription, do your homework on the company. See if other homeschool parents have a lot of nice things to say about it. Of course, there are some shady companies out there that offer “free trials” but will later charge you if you cancel anyway. So, don’t pay for anything until you do your research.
The Public Library is a Homeschool Parent’s Best Friend
You can get more value out of a library card than ever. Of course, they have the books and references that your kids can take home and use as long as they return them by the due date. Libraries also have videos and educational CD’s. But, some libraries now also have streaming services, so just by signing in with your library card, you can gain access to a lot of the library’s resources - including many of those same videos, audiobooks, and even ebooks - from home for free.
Libraries also have computers with educational software on them. These computers are often going to be always in use in busier areas. Again, though, some of these resources become available to you online through the use of your library card - but it depends on where you live.
The other plus about libraries is the events designed especially for kids. Even smaller libraries in rural areas will have events like these. These include story time, book discussions, and more. Book discussions are especially useful for homeschooled kids as they not only help your child learn to read, but also help develop critical thinking skills.
Teach Alongside Other Homeschool Parents
Some homeschool parents will invite other homeschoolers to join them at their house and teach everyone together. Not everyone likes to do this, as teaching styles can be vastly different when it comes to homeschool. Of course, experiencing a different way of doing things can be good for both you and the kids. You can also offer to do this yourself if you feel comfortable doing so.
The other good thing about connecting with other local homeschoolers is many of them are happy to either loan or give you used materials that they no longer need for their own children. Homeschool parents are often happy to just pass on materials rather than let them sit around or be donated to a thrift store where they may not be found for a long time. Outside of the occasional textbook, homeschool materials don’t resell well. So, you save money, and other parents get satisfaction from passing it on to other kids.
A Trip to the Museum is Actually Underrated for Homeschool
Not everyone lives in an urban area - as we do - where there are lots of choices for museums. Some parents think that museums will just bore their kids. Of course, there are childrens’ museums and exhibits at many other kinds of museums such as art and science museums made just for kids. Again, not everyone has easy access to these, but if you can manage a trip once in a while, it can be very rewarding, especially for homeschoolers.
Trips to the museum do more than just help your kids appreciate art, history, science, and more. Because you are homeschooling, your kids can choose what exhibits to spend the most time with, whereas on a school trip you basically have to follow the crowd. Of course, the preferred way for many people to go to museums is to join group tours. I find most children get bored this way and their attention will wander.
If your kids are willing to be patient and pay attention to the guide, great, but I find this to not be the case. My experience is that you let the kids spend the most time with what interests them most rather than force them to try to take in everything. Many museums are huge and can be very overwhelming. Of course, there are local history and topical museums, too, and these tend to be easier for kids, since there’s a lot less to take in.
Your Everyday Errands Are a Great Homeschool Learning Opportunity
You may not think that trip to the gas station, post office, and supermarket are an opportunity to learn, but they are. At the gas station, you have the opportunity to teach about gas prices, how much gas your vehicle needs, and more. The post office can teach about what it costs to ship items and all about how mailing, packaging, and shipping work.
The grocery store is a perfect learning opportunity. You can teach kids about unit prices, how to identify good deals, how to shop sales, how to plan meals, how to budget… the list is almost endless. You can make a fun lesson out of any shopping trip, but grocery shopping offers some of the most valuable real-life lessons.
Find Homeschool Lessons In and Around the Home
Of course, one of the best resources for homeschooling is your own home. The trick is to find activities that don’t feel like lessons. It could be as simple as baking some corn muffins - there’s math involved with measurements and science in the actual baking. If you prepare yourself and drop little lessons during the process, it won’t feel like a lesson. Maybe you’ll plant a small garden in your yard. It’s a great little science project, not only teaching your kids about plant life, but also the responsibility of caring for those plants.
The most important part of homeschool in and around the home is to watch what interests your child the most. You’ll want to weave these subjects your kid already likes into your daily lessons. Almost anything can be turned into something educational that teaches reading comprehension, critical thinking skills, math, science, or social studies. Keep it fun, but make sure your kid learns something.
Are there any other places you would suggest to find homeschool resources? If you’ve never homeschooled before, do you remember anything that worked well for you in school? If you already homeschool, we’d love to hear about cool and unique things you’ve found that work well with your kids!
by Phoenix Desertsong, Parent of Three
Taking full responsibility for your child's education through homeschooling can be fun and exciting. There are many choices to be made. While this freedom has many benefits, parents can also find themselves suffering from homeschool burnout.
Some common reasons for burnout aren't even directly related to homeschooling. These reasons can include a new baby or an illness. But, the changes in routines and added responsibilities of doing homeschool can also be factors that lead to homeschool burnout.
However, homeschool burnout doesn't need to be a bad thing. It should instead be seen as a wake-up call that you need to make adjustments. Here are 3 tips on avoiding homeschool burnout.
Be Patient with Homeschool and Yourself
Just as you need patience as a parent, you need to be even more patient in your additional role as homeschool teacher. Don't try to be perfect. Have realistic expectations for each day. It's easy to plan too much. Don't set the bar too high.
You're going to have good days and bad days. Everyone does. Even the best laid plans can go away. So, don't stress as long as you're making some progress everyday.
Be Flexible With Your Schedule and Teaching Methods
A major advantage of homeschool is that if you find one teaching method doesn't work, you can change it! In fact, this may be the greatest advantage over traditional school environments. So, if you're burnt out by doing things a certain way, you can try a different method. Also, you may find doing homeschool activities at different times and breaking things up could help relieve tension and stress. Being flexible helps you recognize when you're burning out so you can switch things up.
Don't Go Overboard with Your Homeschool Plans
Because you are in full control of your homeschool schedule, it can be easy to pack too much into a day. This is especially true when you're doing a lot of social activities. Even if your child seems to be able to handle it, you need to be able to as well. A burnt out parent isn't any good, as your child will feed off your frustration, which can increase your chances of burnout.
Also, whenever possible, it's a good idea to get homeschool support from your spouse, partner, friends, or neighbors. There are also homeschool groups that can help you with social events. Don't try to do everything by yourself if you don't have to and know your limits. Find that happy place where you feel that you can still teach your child effectively and still be an effective parent afterwards, too.
So, you've decided to homeschool your tween and don't know what you should be doing about social interaction? Maybe you're not new to homeschooling, but just curious about some methods other than your own. As a mom and homeschool teacher to kids in a wide age range, I've experimented with several different techniques. Learning how to keep homeschooled tweens social is not as difficult as it may seem. Learn how to keep homeschooled tweens social from a long-time homeschooling mom of 6.
The world is your classroom. Don't just teach at home. This is my number one rule as a homeschool teacher. Keeping my kids in public often has been the best method of keeping them social, hands-down. The kids and I learn in many different places. Parks, museums, the grocery store, the library, the post office, and so many more places in your city can all be your classroom. This enhances social skills, as well as helps provide a very diverse and well-rounded learning experience. Many homeschoolers follow this mantra. For this reason and others, some homeschooled tweens may actually have a more balanced daily social life than those in traditional schools.
Attend community events and other social gatherings. Most communities will have something going on just about every day. Also, remember that family gatherings provide great social experiences as well. Attend as many family and friend hosted gatherings as possible. If no one is hosting events, throw your own and invite as many people as you can handle. Look in newspapers, school listings, community bulletins and websites, and more to keep up with what's going o in your area. Attend as many of these gatherings as you can. Like the 'world is your classroom' mantra, this is much the same, as far as providing a well-rounded social atmosphere for your homeschooled tween.
Involve your homeschooled tween in sports. Athletics can be a great way for your tween to meet some new peers who have similar interests. Organizations like the Boys and Girls clubs and YMCA offer sports programs for tweens who are both homeschooled and in traditional schools. Your tween may be able to join sports teams from schools in the area, depending on your state's regulations and those of the school district. There are also leagues just for homeschoolers, church leagues, and other local leagues that anyone can join. Allow your tween to choose the sport that interests them the most.
Join a homeschool group. Most areas have groups and organizations created just for homeschoolers. Some involve sharing teaching duties, others may involve field trips and gatherings, and some may be a combination of both. Do your research and be sure to look for one that not only fits your preferred option, but also fits your educational style. Many homeschooled groups are geared toward a specific method or religion. For instance, you may find an unschooling group, a Christian Montessori group, an eclectic group, and more. It's important to know what a group is about before you join to avoid disagreements or heartbreak later down the road.
Invite your tween's friends over regularly. Just like any other tween, homeschooled tweens want to hang out with friends and relatives of their age group. Invite friends over whenever possible to help keep your homeschooled tween socially active. Slumber parties, friend fun days, and cookouts are also a good idea (when you can handle it) because this creates a larger social setting.
Keeping homeschooled tweens social is really about finding a variety of social and public activities to keep your tween busy with. Because homeschool is so versatile, it's actually quite simple to keep homeschooled tweens social. With some styles of homeschooling, it may just come naturally.
Easy, Fun Ways to Teach Your Child
Your child is special and unique and should be taught accordingly. We all face the struggle of trying to get our children to memorize their facts and do their homework. We spend so much time searching for a better answer. I like the method of using a child's interests to enhance learning. While I can't guarantee you that my answer is the only answer, I can guarantee you that it's at least worth a try. Your child will definitely have fun and probably learn some things along the way.
So, what is this secret method? Well, it may not be a secret, but sometimes we don't think about it. What I suggest doing is keying in on your child's interests to form your lesson plans. This can work for homeschool or just plain studying. First, you should make a list of the top ten things your child enjoys the most. Next, using this list, think of ways you can use these interests to help your child learn. Here's an example of a miniature plan for a hypothetical child named Johnny.
Find your child's key interests and use them to teach him lessons. Johnny enjoys swimming, playing basketball, video games, visiting the park, climbing trees, and many other outdoor activities. Johnny is struggling in multiplication and division. He also hates to read. His mom decides to take him to the park and play a game of basketball with him. During basketball, she asks him "If I can make 3 baskets in 5 minutes, how many baskets can I make in fifteen minutes?" Well, Johnny is confused, so his mom says, "All you have to do is see how many 5s it takes to make fifteen by skip counting first." Johnny's answer is 3, so his mom then says "So, if I make 3 baskets 3 times, what does that give me. You can count by 3s." When Johnny answers "9", his mother is very happy.
Keep up the rhythm to enhance learning skills. In Johnny's case, his mom continues to play games like this with him, being sure to show him visually what she is talking about. For reading, Johnny's mom purchases a few different computer games that enhance reading and comprehension because Johnny likes video games. Since he likes games with action, she makes sure that all the games have plenty of that. The video games are played at least 3 times per week. She also makes sure that Johnny has fun practice for both subjects every day. Sometimes the games she makes up are the same and sometimes they're not.
Keep it fun and consistent. As you can see, Johnny's mom has begun to draw on her son's interests to get him more interested in learning. It's just as simple for you to do the same. Your games can be simple or complex. Gear the complexity around you and your child. Don't make learning seem like a chore. Make it fun and your child will view it as such. During homework time, play little games with the homework problems. Just be creative at all times, always drawing on your child's interests. When your child starts to get excited wondering what you will do each day, instead of groaning about the homework, that's when you know you've made a real difference.
So, you want to homeschool your kids, but people are telling you it’s going to be expensive, right? They’re so wrong! Learn how to homeschool for for free using these and other resources.
Use a Free Online Curriculum
There are tons of sources if you’re looking for a free online curriculum. Some of my favorites include Easy Peasy All In One Homeschool, Easy Peasy All In One High School, and Khan Academy. However, these are far from the only resources. Do a web search for free online curriculum or free homeschool curriculum to find even more. Amazon also has some great resources if you do an Amazon search for “free homeschool”. Some are free books or curriculum resources and others teach you more about how to homeschool for free.
Make Use of Free Printable Homeschool Worksheets
There are many sites out there with free printable worksheets for teachers and homeschoolers. Look for them in every grade level, concept, and subject. We even have free printable worksheets here at Heart and Mind Homeschool. You don’t want to base your child’s education solely on worksheets. However, they can definitely play a big part, as it helps them learn and practice each concept.
Write the Lessons Yourself, Based on State Standards
Whether you choose to write all of the lessons yourself or just some, it’s a rewarding experience. Creating them based on your child’s needs is not only free but beneficial to your child’s homeschool education. To find your state’s standards, visit the department of education for your specific state. They each have different standards and requirements. You’ll also need to check with that same department or board for the appropriate laws and regulations.
Utilize Free Events and Free Days at Zoos, Museums, & More
Many zoos, museums, state parks, farms, factories, and other venues hold free days. If you look around, there also free events for kids going on all the time in most areas. These are awesome when it comes to homeschooling for free. If you check ahead of time, you can pair them with your child’s lessons to get even more from the experience.
Make Use of Free Online Videos and Lectures
Did you know there are bucket loads of free educational videos and lectures all over the web? Do a search and see what you come up with. Some of our favorites include WatchKnowLearn, NeoK12, PBS, DiscoveryKids, History.com, Open Yale Courses, MIT Open Courseware, and SchoolTube. Don’t limit your kids to these choices. There are tons more out there. Have fun exploring and learning together with the help of fun and informative videos made by kids, parents, teachers, and more.
Homeschooling for free is actually quite easy to do, if you you get creative. Use these ideas or come up with your own. Whatever you do, learn and have fun!
When making the decision to homeschool your children, there will be a variety of things you'll need to be aware of. Some of those things include laws, where to find resources and materials, how to plan a schedule and curriculum, and even record-keeping and grading. Elementary record-keeping is often simpler than during high school (and possibly also in grades 6 - 8). This is due to the necessity of transcripts and course credits in higher grade levels. As a veteran homeschool mom, I've tried many record keeping methods.
What Records and Grades Will You Track?
This might seem like a question that has a simple answer, but it may not. Does your state require attendance records? If so, you will need to record attendance daily. Even if they do not, this is something you just may want to have for your personal records. This way, if any questions or issues related to attendance or truancy come up later, you always have it for reference. Some states require records of the lessons or materials used to teach the children, as well as grades and scores received daily and on lessons. Some have no regulation or requirements on this at all.
Do I Really Need to Track Everything?
Whether your state requires it or not, you may choose to record this information for your own personal information. You never know when the information will come in handy personally or professionally. It is always better to have too many records than it is to be caught off guard and have none. While some states require no record-keeping and are not allowed to inquire about your child's studies, other states are allowed to ask and you are required to provide that information when asked. Outside of following regulations, keeping records will help you keep your child on track.
Preparing Homeschool Record-Keeping and Grade-Tracking Methods
Teacher's planners can be purchased at office supply and teacher supply stores. There are also many homeschool sites that offer printable plans. I personally prefer to use a combination of my own forms and a few quality ones I've found online. Remember that you are going to need several things, including attendance forms, grade sheets, report card sheets, a curriculum and material list, and more. Those are the basics, but your state may ask for more.
Documenting the Grades in a Homeschool
Determine how often you will take down grades and what exactly needs to be graded. You can determine this by evaluating your individual needs and comparing it to state requirements. You may have extra tracking that you would like to do outside of what is asked for. Because you are the teacher, unless your state requires a specific method, you can choose how to determine grades. You may simply follow what is done by area schools, operate on a pass/fail plan, or opt for something else. As long as your method is in compliance with area regulations, being consistent matters more than the method itself.
*Please note that laws and requirements vary by area. Please check with the area Department of Education to see what is required in your state. This guide is meant for informational purposes only.
Home School Laws
Homeschool Reporting Online
Does your child know his neighborhood well? Not just the street you live on, but knowledge of the entire neighborhood is important. If your child ever gets lost, he should know how to get home. Neighborhood knowledge is essential for kids of all ages, but is usually taught in Kindergarten. Use this free homeschool lesson to teach your child all about his neighborhood.
Teach your child his address. This and the phone number are extremely important for your child to know. Not only is it the first step in learning about the neighborhood, but it will also be helpful if your child ever gets lost. I like to use songs to teach the kids their address. Make up a catchy tune that goes along well with the sound of your home address. Sing it to your child and have him sing along too. Also have your child practice writing down the address on paper.
Take walks often. This is a simple, but useful way of teaching your child about the neighborhood. Getting around by foot and by car are two different things. Your child can become more familiar with the area, including parts that can only be seen by walking. This provides a good visual for map-making and studying. Don't forget to collect things from nature on the walk that you can use in other school projects.
Show them where the police and fire stations are located. Your child needs to learn where these important destinations are located. Even if your child is young, there may be a time when he needs the information. A child may get lost, kidnapped, or have another emergency. Knowing where these are located can help him in many situations.
Make a simple map. Draw a simple map of your neighborhood, making sure to include your house, anything surrounding it, and any landmarks, such as a fire station, library, museum, and stores. Have your child study the map. You can point out certain things as well as have him point out certain things to you. Talk about how to get to each place and have him tell you directions as well. Let the child make his own map after the above activities.
Use home, stores, and trusted neighbors as safe havens. Talk your child about strangers and where they can go if they are in danger. Young children should always be with an adult. But emergencies can happen and they need to know what to do. Talk to your child about specific scenarios and locations and give them a breakdown about which places are safe to go in each situation. For instance, while the home is generally a safe haven, if there's an emergency and you are injured or cannot help, there should be a trusted nearby neighbor, store, or police station the child can go to.
As a veteran homeschool mom, I have been asked pretty much every question in the book about educating kids at home. One thing that comes up often is the subject of work. Can working parents or single parents successfully educate their kids from home?
Is Homeschool Even an Option for Working and Single Parents?
The first reaction for many might be "No way!" However, that answer can be quite inaccurate. It's definitely possible to operate a home school even when parents or guardians have full time jobs. It's even possible for single parents, who may have to hold down two jobs. There are many options that could allow for this. Some working parents may hire a homeschool tutor or work from home. Others might assign their kids schoolwork and just have another adult supervise to make sure they get it done. Another method is to work school around the work schedule. That's one of the benefits of homeschooling. You can do it at any time of the day necessary and in any method that works for all involved.
Is it Better for Homeschool Parents to Stay Home With the Kids or Work?
This question is very broad because the answer will depend on who you ask. There is no right or wrong way that covers everyone, so there is no better or worse option. Just like any other method that you consider, think about what's best for the students and the situation combined. Parents who stay home are not better than those who don't and vice versa. The most important factor is that the kids are learning. If education is going on and it's working, then you've made the right choice.
Should Working Parents Educate Their Kids at Home?
The bottom line is that while it’s possible and works for some, whether a family should choose this option actually depends on the family and many other factors. Just like choosing other educational options, the success rate on this happening does not depend on the method, but on whether the method is a good fit for each student and each family.
How Can I Tell if This is a Good Choice for Me?
Can your children work well independently? If so, are they of age to do so on their own? If they require adult supervision due to age or maturity levels, is there a trusted adult available during your work schedule? If the above does not work, is there enough time for the children to study after you get off work? These and other factors will help you determine if this is the right homeschool method for your family or not.
More Homeschool Myths
Choosing the right type of school for your children is very difficult. This decision will ultimately determine your child's success in the future. So, how do you choose? Each family and child is unique and has differences that play a role in this decision. In our family's case, homeschool was the best option when weighing all the factors. However, you may decide something entirely different. Here are some tips to help you choose between public school, private school, homeschool, or other options.
Public school is the most popular school choice and has been around for many years. One strength about public school is that most materials are provided free of charge. Another strength could be that most of your child's neighborhood friends will probably be there. If your child adapts well to a crowded environment and is not easily distracted, public school could be the right choice. However, not all public schools are crowded, so it may or may not be an issue. Check with your neighborhood school about student to teacher ratios before assessing that particular issue.
Look into the teaching methods to see if they are well-rounded. If your child has a hard time processing oral information, you'll need to be sure the school you choose teaches in other methods, besides the teacher standing in front of the class speaking. If higher learning is your concern, you may want to check national public school averages. While all schools will vary, this is something to consider.
Private School or Religious school
This choice is usually made by parents searching for better student to teacher ratios and higher learning standards. In many cases, private schooled students do have a better advantage. Although, you must be careful with this choice. Just because a school is private or tuition-based, it does not necessarily mean that the test scores are higher than those of a public school.
You should interview teachers and staff at public and private schools and determine, if based on your child's needs, they are best. Review private schools you are considering and compare them to each other in all areas. Keep in mind that if you want to make sure your child receives knowledge based on religious preferences, this will not happen in public school. They may be allowed to say a prayer, if they wish. However, religious-based instruction is generally found at a school specific for that.
Homeschooling or Private Tutors
Homeschooling is growing immensely. Much of it has to with growing parental dissatisfaction with public schools or the need for alternative methods on an individual basis. Some parents who choose to homeschool are tired of their children's individual needs not being met. This not to say that public schools are inadequate, just that the setup does not always allow for this extra attention.
While the teachers in public school are mostly wonderful, with classes so large, it is virtually impossible to pay individual attention to every child every day. Even the really good teachers can still face problems with this. There are just too many students for this to happen. If your child seems to fall behind due to lack of attention or if your child is way ahead of others his/her age, homeschooling may be the right choice for you.
Homeschooling can be done many different ways. One way is to teach all the core subjects at home and to send your child to public school for electives. Another way may be to hire a tutor for all subjects. There are many different ways to homeschool. There are even "virtual schools" online for homeschoolers. Choose from varied curricula or choose to form your own, based on your child's needs and abilities. Our family uses a combination of various resources. If you are looking for a flexible method, homeschooling is probably a good choice for you.
Making the Decision
Whatever method you choose, be sure it is right for you and your child. Your child only has one chance at school. Sure, a GED can be earned later in life, but wouldn't you rather your child receive a high school diploma? Also, keep in mind that when your child submits college applications, the grades throughout his/her life will be looked at, so be sure that whatever choice you make, it will be an environment in which your child can thrive and succeed well.
It is possible in the early years to try more than one method to see which works right. Just be sure your child makes any transitions gradually. Try using each method one school year at a time, so as to provide your child with security and stability.
*This article was written by a homeschool mother based on her personal experiences and is meant for informational purposes only. Be sure to do your own research as well.
Why does anyone homeschool anyway? There are millions of reasons people choose to homeschool. Most do so for some educational aspect and some do so for religious purposes. Though the reasons generally run deeper than that. I can't tell you why everyone else homeschools, but I can tell you about our decision to homeschool and why we thought it was the best choice for our family.
There Are Usually Multiple Reasons
When we made the choice to homeschool, there were several reasons. Let's start from the beginning, before homeschooling. Two of my daughters, then in kindergarten and second grade, were attending public school. Everything was fantastic. We had a great school and the kids were doing very well. In fact, they were ahead of their peers in most areas. But, then things changed and we ended up moving to a new neighborhood. That meant a new school for the kids.
Things Going Downhill at Traditional School
At first, things seemed fine, but then my exceptionally bright girls started going downhill in school. I didn't understand because they knew the facts. In fact, they were ahead. Then, after my visit to the school, I understood. This school was far behind according to state standards and rather than catching the children up to the correct levels, they were just working with them at the low levels.
The school's strategy was not helpful for my kids. This may have worked for the majority in that area. They were used to this and may have needed this. My children did not fit into this equation. They had come from a school that was above state standards. The things that were being taught at this school were things my children had learned already 1 or 2 years prior. They were getting bored. After fruitlessly asking the school to at least place them in a class that was comparable to their level, I grew weary.
At first, I decided to just work on new things with them every day after school and on the weekends. We began using textbooks for their correct levels that I had to purchase myself. We frequented libraries, museums, and other places that taught them interesting things. By the end of the school year, most of what they learned having come from me, I was fed up.
Making Difficult School-Related Decisions
I decided to do homeschool, but something else happened first. The good school the kids went to before said they could return in the fall for the new school year. I was so happy and the kids were excited. Things went well for a while. In fact, they were great. The youngest was in first grade, but had to attend second grade for literacy and math because she was so far ahead. It was still easy for her, but what else could they do? She didn't get into the gifted classes (missed by one point), so they did what they could and they did an awesome job, considering.
With kids who didn't align with the averages, area schools did not seem to have an answer. The oldest was way ahead in reading, but had gotten a touch behind in math. The teachers tried their hardest to do what they could, but it just wasn't feasible what with so many other students to worry about. So, pondering over the issues at hand, I again considered homeschooling. This time we went with it. I informed the district, bought tons of materials, and awaited the day. I chose to let the kids complete the first semester and stay long enough to do the upcoming music concert. So, we started homeschool a couple weeks into the second semester.
A Need For Better Social Skills
Another contributing factor was social skills. In so many public schools, including the ones our children attended, children are not allowed to work together or communicate during assignments. In fact, they are punished for talking to one another. I find this appalling. When they get out into the working world, most companies need their employees to work together. If they don't learn this concept in school, where will they learn it?
Perhaps this is one of the reasons many employees don't get along. They were never taught this in school, so when they get to the workplace, they just have to learn by trial and error. I would prefer my child already had these skills, so it would be easier to adapt. When we do our lessons, all of the children work together. Sometimes I give the instructions. Sometimes it is an instructor at a museum, art class, study program, or special class instructor.
Whatever format we use, I make sure that children are encouraged to work together and to think about why and how to solve a problem, not just told to do it and do it quietly. To further enhance social skills, we are in public often. I am in no way insulting those who choose to use public school. It works for some people. It's just not right for us. As with any form of schooling, there are good schools and bad schools, good teachers and bad teachers, and ups and downs.
Freedom to Learn More and Use a Variety of Methods
Another factor that weighed in on us homeschooling was the freedom my children would have in learning new things. My children love to learn, so they needed an environment where they would not be held back when they wanted to press forward. It seems as though the more knowledge they get, the more they want, so I wanted them to be able to get all the information they wanted. I believe children should be allowed to move ahead, rather than have to wait for the rest of the class to catch up. Sometimes my kids learn at the same pace as each other. Sometimes they don't. I assess each one individually and come up with a plan that works with that child.
I use a combination of state standards (which we're usually ahead of) and my child's interests and levels to come up with the appropriate lesson plans. I believe that all schools should use this plan. Teaching a child works much more effectively when they are encouraged to thrive, rather than restricted to a plan that caters to an "average" person based on statistics. No one should be looked at as average. We are all special in our own ways. When you place people in categories, it only feeds into stereotypical setbacks. If a child is ready to advance, that child should never be discouraged from doing so.
School should be a place where a child gets the maximum education that he/she needs with no limits to what can be accomplished. The setting will be different for everyone, but the most important thing is that the child gets a good education.
When you make the decision to homeschool your child, your first decision following that will be the decision of what curriculum to use. There are many on the market and choosing which is right for your child can be daunting. The first part of that process will be deciding whether you'll go with a customized curriculum or a pre-packaged one. First, you'll need to know what each curriculum type is. A definition has been provided for each, followed by suggestions that will help you determine what your child's needs might be.
Custom Curriculum Defined
A custom curriculum is one that is designed to specifically to meet the needs of the individual who will be learning. This can mean anything from being hand-picked by a professional to being researched and written by the one who is schooling the child. Basically, if the curriculum is tailored around the student's needs, versus coming in a generalized plan for a specific grade level, it is a custom curriculum.
Pre-Packaged Curriculum Defined
A pre-packaged curriculum is one that is designed to meet the needs of a specific grade level and subject. These can come as one whole grade level package containing all materials needed or can be sold as individual subjects. They will most often be catered to a specific age, grade level, or subject. These generally cannot be modified, hence the label "pre-packaged". This could be anything from an online plan to one with textbooks and materials.
Which Is Best?
There is no one answer to that question. Every child is different. While one child might thrive on a pre-packaged curriculum, yet another may do better with a custom plan.
Here are some things you can do to figure out what works best.
Advantages and Disadvantages to Pre-Packaged Curriculum
One advantage to a pre-packaged curriculum is that the child will always be performing at the required standards, providing the work is completed well and on schedule. A disadvantage to this could be the fact that if a child needs extra help, there really isn't extra work included in a pre-planned or pre-packaged curriculum, so you may have to purchase extra workbooks or materials. Some families get frustrated with this aspect, as pre-packaged curricula often carry a hefty price as it is. If you don't mind supplementing with other materials as needed, a pre-packaged curriculum could work for your family.
Another disadvantage to a pre-packaged curriculum is that if the child excels quickly, the parent may end up buying three or four grade levels worth of curriculum per year, which can get pretty expensive. If your child excels quickly already, you may need to consider this. Homeschooled children are often known to complete more than one grade level of work in a school year or to perform one or more grade level higher than their age requirement.
Advantages and Disadvantages to Custom Curriculum
An advantage to a customized curriculum is the fact that the child can get extra practice where needed and more challenge in another area both at the same time. For instance, if a child in 3rd grade is at a grade 10 reading level, but is still at a grade 3 math level, that child can have both levels be appropriate to their situation. A pre-packaged curriculum may only contain materials for one grade level. However, that isn't always the case, as some curricula contain materials for all grade levels. Also keep in mind that a pre-packaged curriculum plan can be used as part of an overall customized plan.
Making the Final Choice Between Pre-Packaged and Custom Curriculum Plans
There are many ways to choose or form a curriculum for your child. The main thing to keep in mind is that whatever plan is chosen, the child's skills and learning abilities should be considered when making that choice. Carefully think about which option may better suit your child and go with that plan. If the plan you have chosen is not working, it can always be changed. So, don't stress yourself out too much over making the decision. That is one of the many benefits to homeschooling. Your child does not have to stick to a plan that isn't working for him or her.
As a mother and homeschool teacher, I have come up with various ways to keep kids from getting behind in math. Math is one of those subjects that kids often struggle through. But there are some simple ways to keep them interested, on track, and even ahead. Here are some of my tips on how to give kids a head start in math.
Give Kids a Head Start in Math by Knowing Grade Requirements
Staying educated on the grade level requirements is essential for parents to give kids a head start in math. Knowing requirements will help determine whether a child is ahead, behind, or on track and lets parents know what needs to be taught next. The Department of Education for each state in the US has this information readily available to parents and teachers. Many list it on their websites.
Give Kids a Head Start in Math by Practicing and Reviewing Daily
Daily review of previously learned facts can help keep math operations fresh in the child's mind. With math, each operation is a stepping stone to the next so it's important that knowledge is retained. Practice is key to making sure a lesson is fully understood. Therefore, daily practice is essential. By reviewing old material and practicing new material, it can be easier for kids to move on to future lessons.
Give Kids a Head Start in Math by Introducing Future Facts Daily
Just like practicing and reviewing is necessary, so are previews of what's to come. Each day, parents can challenge children by giving them math problems they haven't yet learned to see what they do with them. These do not need to be graded and it's fine if the child gets them wrong. This is simply a way to stimulate the brain and test a child's thinking skills. It also prepares them for what's next.
Give Kids a Head Start in Math by Making it Fun
Making math more fun can help keep a child interested. Stories, group lessons, and fun math games are just a few things that may get and keep kids willing to learn and advance in math. When a child is eager to learn, advancing faster can be a cinch.
Give Kids a Head Start in Math by Using Varied Teaching Methods
Doing lessons the exact same way each time can be dull and repetitive. This can make math boring for kids. Try switching up teaching methods to keep children interested. Math needs to be practiced in order to learn it, but who says each lesson needs to be taught the same way? As mentioned above, an interested and attentive child can advance more quickly.
Looking for free educational activities for homeschoolers in Houston? As a mom to many, who lived and homeschooled in Houston for a while, I discovered lots of great places to go. Here are 5 of the most interesting free educational activities for Houston kids.
The Sam Houston Boat Tour is great free activity for kids in Houston.Operated by the Port of Houston Authority, the free educational tour lasts 90 minutes. While on the tour, homeschoolers can observe international cargo vessels that may pass by, as well as the operations at the port terminal. While free, reservations for this Houston activity must be made in advance.
The Health Museum in Houston contains a variety of educational exhibits for children to explore.This interactive science exploration is for all ages. It focuses on the human body, mind, and spirit, encouraging kids to focus on health. On Thursdays, the general admission is free for families from 2pm - 7pm.
At Mercer Arboretum and Botanic Gardens, kids can enjoy the education and beauty of nature. Native and cultivated plants thrive in this 300 acre horticultural museum of life. In addition to learning about the plants by observation, Houston homeschoolers also can enjoy the educational benefits of observing the animals that live in this park.
Utilize the Kids Workshops at Home Depot to their full advantage. Once per month, the Home Depot locations in Houston offer free workshops for kids, in which they get to learn and build projects that they can use. These educational workshops are not only free of charge, but are a great supplement to homeschool wood shop. They also work as an extracurricular educational activity for Houston kids in both homeschool and traditional school.
Free Crafts for Kids are offered every Saturday from 11am - 3pm at Houston Lakeshore Learning Store locations. Yes, crafts are so much fun for kids. But, did you know that they also have educational value? Craft activities can help homeschoolers with focus, creativity, and fine motor skills. These skills all are required to complete other educational activities. Houston kids will enjoy creating fun and educational crafts that they can use to decorate their rooms, give as gifts, wear, and more. A different craft is featured every week.
A common homeschool myth is the one that assumes children who attend a homeschool will not be prepared for college. Some will make the assumption that a student who is educated outside of a traditional school setting will be unprepared for the academic challenges of a college. In this, and other articles on the myths of homeschool, I explore and help shed some light on some of the common myths surrounding homeschool. My findings come from personal experience and are often combined with research studies or other evidence.
What You’ll Learn:
What Do College Recruiters Think?
Many college recruiters disagree with the myth that homeschoolers are unprepared for college. In fact, some even prefer homeschooled students. Why? Many students who homeschool have advanced studying skills, such as the knowledge of various resources, as well as the ability to work well independently. Homeschoolers can also possess exceptional teamwork and social skills, which are very essential to many college courses.
Homeschooling Opens Up More Opportunities to Learn
In addition to the above qualities, many homeschooled children begin taking college level courses before they are finished with their K-12 education, due to the flexibility of their schedules and the opportunity to advance at one's own pace. According to the HSLDA, they often perform one or more grade levels above their age requirements and can often begin taking those college courses long before their peers.
Even if a homeschooled child is not above his grade level, that student can simply adjust their class schedule to fit in accredited college courses. Homeschooling actually allows students the unique opportunity of beginning (and completing) college early.
Just ask 10 year old Courtney Oliver, who, according to KOMONews, became a vet tech assistant in just 9 months while also homeschooling. Says Courtney, "Might as well get it done early as get it done late." There are other homeschooled students receiving degrees and/or taking college courses early. All one has to do is a simple web search to find them.
What is Required of Homeschool Students?
Many people don't realize that students who homeschool are still required to take college preparation tests, such as the SAT and ACT, which they’ve been known to exceed expectations in. They also are required to have transcripts and earn diplomas, just like any other student. Homeschooled teens receive high school diplomas upon completion, contrary to what some believe.
Are Homeschooled Students Qualified to Attend College?
Because of the wide opportunity to get ahead in studies, homeschooled students may actually be more qualified to attend college than some of their peers who attend traditional public or private schools. A 2006 study published by the HSLDA also shows that homeschooled students are excelling in college socially, emotionally, and academically.
The high school dropout rate for students in a homeschool setting is far less than that of a child who attends public or private school. Students who homeschool also score well above both public and private-schooled students on state-mandated tests.
Are Homeschooled Students Unprepared For College?
When comparing all of the examples and evidence above, as well as personal experience with my own and other homeschooled children, it is difficult to assume that homeschooled students are ill-prepared for college. While a small percentage of homeschoolers may be lax in their studies, most homeschooled students seem to be more prepared than other students to not only attend college, but to succeed when they get there, as well as in many academic or career pursuits.
Some may assume that because parents homeschool, their children will not be social. However, this is generally far from the case. Being social is generally a part of a homeschooled child's daily routine by default. However, there are many ways to increase and enhance these skills on a regular basis. I'm a veteran homeschool mom who has been dedicated to enhancing social skills in my kids for years. Many of these methods will come easy because they are simply an extension of your child's daily learning and activities.
Take elective courses, such as art and music at a separate location from your home. You can even do this in a group of homeschooled kids or a co-op. This way the core subjects will still be taught by you and your children will get a little extra knowledge in something they love. Some community centers and private organizations offer these classes for free or at a low-cost.
Offer arts & crafts time at your house. If you cannot find a resource, consider becoming one. Chances are, other families have been looking for something similar. Try scheduling craft activities a few times per week for children the same ages as yours. If you don't know many people in the neighborhood, try posting about the events at the local library, schools, or anywhere else you are allowed.
Attend story time and other activities at your local library. Depending on the ages of your children and what's on the schedule, your local library could have a great deal to offer. Some libraries offer special classes on a variety of subjects. At the very least, there will be storytimes to take advantage of.
Take field trips often. Visiting parks, museums, zoos, and other educational venues can also help enhance social skills. Because these trips will naturally be a part of the homeschool curriculum, this one is simple to implement. Don’t just visit the places. Talk to the tour guides and other visitors. Take the extra informational courses, workshops, and special classes. This gets the kids interacting with people of all ages, which is vital to social development. When visiting the park, go during times many other children will also be there. Let the kids make friends and schedule play dates.
Be sure that your child also has many opportunities to play with friends, attend birthday parties, attend family gatherings, and other social activities. The next time you go to the grocery store, let your child do the shopping and have the child ask the store associates for help when an item cannot be found. Also ask the child to pay. Maybe your child is a baker. Have a bake sale and sell baked goods and lemonade. Plan a neighborhood block party once per month. You and the kids can volunteer to help out at a local church, soup kitchen, or other social organizations. This can help with not only enhancing social skills, but in teaching humility and caring.
Homeschooling offers so many more ways to be social than other schooling methods because of its flexibility. Just be creative and go with the flow. In the end, your child will grow immensely. When I first started homeschooling my children, I was worried about social skills. But I soon realized that my kids had more opportunities to enhance social skills than they ever did before.
Laws and Regulations on Non-Parental Homeschooling
Does your child seem to need an alternative schooling method, but you aren’t sure who will teach them? Perhaps homeschool appears the best option for your family. You may want to try homeschooling your kids, but know you or another parent cannot teach them, due to work schedules. Is homeschooling still an option? Can someone other than a parent legally homeschool a child? There are laws and regulations on non-parental homeschooling that you’ll need to know.
Can Someone Other Than a Parent Legally Homeschool a Child?
When making the decisions involved in the homeschool choice, some will wonder about all available teaching options. One possible question is whether another adult, besides the parents, can legally homeschool a child. Perhaps a parent would like their child to receive the one-on-one learning experience that homeschool can provide. Maybe the child would benefit from a customized learning plan.
Perhaps the parents have made the decision that homeschool is the answer, but feel they cannot do it themselves, due to work or other circumstances.Maybe the parents are simply looking for a tutor or teacher that can give their child full attention that isn’t possible in a classroom setting.
What Are the Exact Laws on Homeschooling a Child That’s Not Your Own?
The answer to the legalities behind this does not come with a simple yes or no on whether it can be done. The answers are varied, depending on state laws and regulations. Each state has its own set of requirements and regulations surrounding homeschool. In order to be sure you are following those laws and regulations, check with your state’s education department.
Is Certification Required to Homeschool a Child That’s Not Yours?
In some states, it is only legal for a certified teacher to homeschool a child. In these cases, a certified parent or tutor could possibly be the home educator. Still, in yet other states, certification is not required for the parent, but restrictions may apply as to who can be the homeschool teacher. In such states, a parent may not need certification, but another person who would teach the child would need certification because that person is not the legal guardian of that child. In such cases, that would not actually be homeschooling by the definition of the law, but would be considered to be private school education.
In some states, such as Florida and Texas (under the author's understanding of the current law at the time of the initial writing of this piece), anyone can be the homeschool teacher with or without certification. In these states, as well as some others, homeschool is considered to be a private school.
*For the most up to date information concerning homeschool laws and how they pertain to your individual concerns, visit the Homeschool Legal Defense Association, or HSLDA, as well as study the entire educational law for your state of residence. The educational law can be obtained from the board of education in each state.
**At the time this text was composed by the author, it is the author's understanding, based on research of educational laws, that everything herein is true and accurate. Laws can change and also can be interpreted differently by individuals. Thus, the information herein is not legal advice and is intended only for informational purposes. Multiple resources should be used when researching legal matters.
Running a homeschool woodworking class is not as difficult as it may seem at first glance - even if neither parent knows anything about working with wood or what to buy. It does make it easier to teach the class if at least one parent has experience working with wood, but concepts can be learned together during the process. Sometimes that is even part of the fun. Hands-on practice often produces the best of lessons, as does trial and error. There will be plenty of both in woodworking.
Part of homeschooling is the opportunity for one-on-one teacher/child interaction, as well as learning together as parents and child. Another benefit to homeschooling is the unique opportunity to incorporate any class that the child is interested in. There is virtually no limit on choices, as there is no worry about whether it is offered at your child's school. You are your child's school, in more ways than one.
If you need wood shop lesson ideas, visit your local home improvement store, where free do-it-yourself guides can often be found. Another way to find ideas is by visiting wood shop and woodworking websites. There are plenty of them all over the web. Just doing a simple search for "wood shop projects" will yield a great variety. To get you started, here is a list of basic materials, as well as instructions for 10 simple, fun, and useful wood shop projects.
Basic Homeschooling Woodshop Materials
Not every project will require the same materials and you may sometimes find yourself purchasing additional materials for certain projects. However, the below tools and materials are commonly used in wood shop or woodworking classes:
C-clamp, workbench, wood saw, staple gun, hammer, screwdriver, 14v power drill with bits, screws (assorted sizes), nails (assorted sizes), wood glue, sander, sandpaper, wood-burning kit, Dremel kit, wood (various types - as needed per project), scrap wood (keep after projects for practicing with), scissors, hobby knife, table saw, measuring tape, contractor's pencil
Basic Homeschooling Woodshop Safety
Safety in a wood shop first starts with knowing your tools and materials and how to use them properly. Also be sure to wear safety glasses and a dust mask during every project, even small steps. You never know what is going to happen. Watch fingers around electrical devices and cutting devices. Adults should operate any heavy machinery or power equipment. Also check age guidelines.
Adhere strictly to manufacturer's safety guidelines on any electrical or battery-operated tools and devices. Ear muffs are also a good idea. They will keep out saw dust, as well as cancel out some of the noise from the machinery.
A safety class should be held before giving any other classes. It is also important to test on this, as well as follow up on it periodically and hold a safety session before each project on safety related to that specific project and the tools required for building it. Always be sure all equipment is turned off, unplugged, and out of reach of children. Keep cords rolled up and out of the way.
Keep chemicals, like turpentine out of reach of children. Many materials and tools used in wood shop can be dangerous, so be sure they are not easily accessible to a child. Be sure all sawdust is swept up and anything else used is cleaned up right away. This is not intended to be a complete safety guide. Always follow safety guidelines of each tool or material you are using and use your best judgment.
Free Homeschooling Woodshop Projects: Bulletin Board
A bulletin board is a very simple woodworking project that beginners can try their hand at. With the help of a free lesson plan from UniqueProjects.com, homeschooling parents can teach their kids how to make a bulletin board. A bulletin board is a great wood shop project, as the completed product can be used for class. To make the simple version, materials required will be fabric, plywood, paint, thumb tacks, ribbon, brads, hobby knife, wood saw, staple gun, measuring tape, and scissors. For measurements and complete instructions, view the free guide.
Free Homeschooling Woodshop Projects: Jewelry Trinket Box
A jewelry trinket box makes a great Mother's Day or Christmas gift for that special woman. With the help of a free lesson plan from U-Bild.com, a homeschooling parent can help their child create this wood shop project. Materials include maple, maple molding, butt hinges, small box lock, wood glue, and finish. Measurements are given in the free downloadable lesson guide.
Free Homeschooling Woodshop Projects: Tissue Box Cover
Tired of that cardboard look on your tissue boxes? Try making a wooden tissue box cover.Happy Woodworkers has a free project plan that homeschooling dads and moms can use for wood shop class. To make this wooden tissue box cover, you will need a jigsaw, a hammer, sandpaper, clamps, 3d nails, wood filler, wood glue, stain, varnish, and plywood. Measurements and specifications are in the free lesson.
Free Homeschooling Woodshop Projects: Step Stool
Have a little one who's potty training? Maybe someone's just a tad too short to reach the kitchen sink or cabinets. CanadianHomeWorkshop.com has free instructions for building a simple step stool that a 2 year old actually helped construct. Materials for this project are a sander, a handsaw, a coping saw, screws, a drill, linseed oil, turpentine, tung oil, and pine. Measurements and specifications can be found in the instructions.
Free Homeschooling Woodshop Projects: Toy Box
Toys starting to overfill their current location? How about making them a new toybox? Courtesy of azwoodman.com, homeschooling parents can get a free project plan for a wooden toy box. Tools and materials required are a handsaw or circular saw, combination square, screwdriver, drill, finish sander, bit set, jigsaw, 3 pieces of lumber, plywood, strap hinges with screws, corner braces with screws, sandpaper, wood glue, finish, four plate casters, thick and soft rope, and furniture gliders. See the free project guide for measurements and specifications.
Free Homeschooling Woodshop Projects: Bread Box
Tired of accidentally smashing your bread inside the pantry? A bread box can fix that problem. Am-wood.com has an easy and free step-by-step project plan for a simple bread box. Tools and materials required are a drill, sander, router, jigsaw, pine lumber, plywood, dowel, and a knob handle. Measurements and specifications can be found in the instructions.
Free Homeschooling Woodshop Projects: Key Holder
If mom's lost her keys around the house one too many times, you may consider making her a key holder. At LeesWoodProjects.com, homeschooling moms and dads can find a simple keyholder project to use for wood shop class with their kids. If something more complex is desired, Lee's Wood Projects also has another design that doubles as a mail and key holder. For the simple key holder, materials required are a small piece of walnut wood, metal key hooks, poster board, scissors, hobby knife, drill, sand paper, and file. See the free project plan for measurements and specifications.
Free Homeschooling Woodshop Projects: Bookshelf
Books starting to stack up everywhere but a shelf? This is a handy project that can help clear some clutter around the house when it's finished. Homeschooling parents can download a free wood shop project plan for a simple, traditional bookshelf in PDF form from MinWax.com. Clicking on the link will open the PDF file. Materials and tools required for this project include a small crosscut saw, pine lumber, plywood, screws, brads, shelf pins, finish, a block plane, pipe or bar clamps, combination square, carpenter's square, screwdriver, nails, pencil, wood glue, hobby knife, sander, saber saw, router, table saw, and a drill or power screwdriver. Measurements and specifications can be found in the free PDF.
Free Homeschooling Woodshop Projects: Paper Towel Holder
Paper towel racks are useful in many households. Unfortunately, it is a hard to find one that isn't plastic these days. So, why not make one? It's simple and fun. FreeTowelHolderPlans.com has a great free wood project homeschooling dads and moms can enjoy using with their kids. It can be viewed on the website or downloaded in PDF form. The choice is yours. Materials required are lumber, dowel rod or towel bar, screws, finishing nails, leaf hinges with screws, router, sander, double-stick tape, bandsaw, lathe, and drill. See the free guide for measurements and specifications.
Free Homeschooling Woodshop Projects: Magazine Rack
Tired of magazines being scattered across floors, furniture, and countertops? A magazine rack is a great , helpful project. Instructables.com has a fancy, but simple free project plan for a magazine rack. Homeschooling dads can appreciate presenting this one to the kids because it is not your ordinary magazine rack. Materials required are plywood, white paper, square, meter, pencil, modeling saw, hammer, nails, wood glue, elastic bands, heavy objects to use as press, and 4 pivoting wheels. Measurements and specifications can be found in the free lesson.
The Social Scene For Homeschooled Teens
I have been asking readers their concerns about homeschool. Sometimes parents worry that teens educated in the home may miss out on prom and other activities. Layla Lair was wondering if I had any suggestions on things homeschooled teens could do to stay social and continue to develop relationships.
Like teens in a traditional school setting, homeschooled teens also can participate in team sports. Sports are great for social skills. Teens not only learn how to work with others, but they may also find lasting friendships. Many areas have teams for homeschooled teens. However, they also are often allowed to play on local high school teams or other co-ed teams that are open to all teens, regardless of schooling method. This actually gives a homeschooled teen more choices in some instances.
Volunteer work is not only a very noble and useful act, but it can also add to the social life of a teen. Depending on the type of volunteer work, teens may interact with people that are a wide range of ages, including their own. This gives valuable work and even friendship experiences. Plus teens will come away from something like this knowing they've made a difference in someone else's life. Homeschooled teens may have more options to choose from when it comes to volunteer work because their school schedule could be more flexible.
Afterschool Clubs & Organizations
Afterschool clubs and organizations are not restricted to teens in traditional school. Homeschooled teens can attend these social gatherings and activities as well. Organizations that provide great social, physical, and educational activities, such as the YMCA and the Boys and Girls Club, are open to everyone.
Just like a teen in traditional school may get an afterschool job to earn college funds or simply to learn responsibility, so can a homeschooled teen. This not only provides valuable work ethics and experience, but it also can be a great social environment. In many job settings, teens will come across a variety of people every day.
Community College Classes
Because homeschooled teens have a flexible schedule, this leaves many open to taking extra courses at the community college. This is excellent for earning college credits, but homeschooled teens can also use this as an extra social opportunity.
Homeschooling allows for more flexibility as far as where school takes place. For many homeschool families, school is not always about the books. Of course, it has to be for some things, but homeschooled teens have the opportunity to learn things through doing them versus only reading about them in a book. For instance, when learning about certain things in natural science, a homeschooled teen could study the natural environment.
When learning about other things, the teen may go to a museum tour, take an extra course outside the home, or the parent may hire an expert to give a lecture. Children in traditional school do this with some things as well, but a homeschooled teen has more freedom and opportunity to do this with many more lessons. In doing many of these things, there will be social interaction.
Church Clubs & Activities
If the homeschooled teen happens to be one of certain faiths, he or she may belong to a church. Many will have classes, activities, clubs, and events that the teen can get involved in. Some of these might include choir, praise dancing, drama, Sunday school, or even volunteering. By joining church activities and clubs, the teen can add another opportunity for social interaction with peers.
Prom and Other Teen Activities
Many worry that their teen will not have a prom or be able to attend school games or other events if they are homeschooled. This does not have to be a reality. Not only do many homeschool organizations and groups hold events like these for homeschooled teens, but they may also get invited to the events at the local high schools. A homeschooled teen may have friends that attend the local high school and most will allow students to bring along someone from another school. This includes homeschooled kids.
Homeschool Group Activities
Some families who homeschool choose to join homeschool groups. These are groups of people who also homeschool their children. They meet a certain number of times each week or month for social activities, field trips, events, and more.
Homeschool co-ops are when parents of homeschooled children hold various classes for the children at scheduled times. One parent is generally assigned to each subject and the group agrees to meet at a specified time a certain number of times per week or month. Some homeschool co-ops are meant as a supplement to what the children are learning at home, as well as a way for the children to socially interact with each other. Yet others are used much in the same way as traditional school.
Family as Friends
Some teens may have one or more siblings or relatives they spend time with frequently. While these friends are part of the family, they still can be considered and do have an important role in social interaction. Whether a friend or group of friends comes from inside or outside the family, interacting with them adds to the overall social skills of a teen. The same is true for the parent-child relationship. Varied relationships and opportunities put together create a great social network for a teen.
Ordinary Teen Activities
A homeschool teen is still a teen, just like a public school kid is a teen and a private school kid is a teen. They are all individuals, hopefully not defined only by which type of school they attend. On that same note, teens do not have to attend the same school or even the same type of school to maintain a friendship. Ordinary teen social activities, such as hanging out with friends, going to the mall, going to movies, and more are all activities you might see a teenager doing.
A homeschooled teen is no different in this regard. If they had friends before starting homeschool, those friends don't automatically disappear. If the teen has been homeschooled all his or her life, there are (and likely already were) plenty of opportunities to make friends, such as at any of the activities listed above, interacting with neighbors, and much more.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
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