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Monday, September 14, 2009

Home Schooling or Not?

Much of what I thought about home schooling was wrong. The conventional wisdom about this rapidly growing dimension of American education is too simple, too stereotyped and too stale.

For instance, the Home School Legal Defense Association, despite its energetic lawyers and many admirers, is not the leader of home schooling in this country. There is no leader, and no reigning ideology. There are instead at least a million American children - the real figure is probably twice that number - whose families want them to learn at home for many reasons, often having little to do with religion or politics.

The common image of home-schoolers as lockstep religious conservatives falls apart when you discover that some of these parents have been shunned by their fundamentalist churches for teaching their kids at home rather than sending them to the church's school. Some home-schoolers love the new for-profit online teaching programs like K12. Some think they are a corporate plot. Some parents are home-schooling because their kids were learning more quickly than their teachers could keep up with. Some are home-schooling because their kids were learning more slowly than their public school teachers had patience for. Some home-school because their children were unhappy at school. Some home-school because they could not meet their needs any other way.

Public school educators often worry that the children of such people will not learn necessary social skills. But home-schooling parents said their children learned how to deal with other people just fine, particularly with the many adults they encountered when they visited the library or went to church or did chores around the neighborhood. With their parents so often at their side, they were able to see what good manners and self-confidence looked like, rather than be forced to adopt the jungle code of the average high school corridor. In many families one parent stays at home to supervise the home schooling, although they often do some work there to pay the bills, or trade off with other home-schooling parents when they have to be away.

Home schooling involves a tremendous commitment from the parents. At least one parent must be willing to work closely with the child, plan lessons, keep abreast of requirements, and perhaps negotiate issues with the school district. The most common home school arrangement is for the mother to teach while the father works out of the home. There are a variety of educational materials geared for the home school, published by dozens of suppliers. Some are correspondence courses, which grade students' work, some are full curricula, and some are single topic workbooks or drill materials in areas such as math or phonics.

Many of the curriculum providers are indentifiably Christian, including several major home school publishers such as Bob Jones University Press, Alpha Omega Publications, and Home Study International. A major non-religious provider of home school materials is the Calvert School in Baltimore. Figures vary as to how many home schools use published curricula or correspondence courses, but the Department of Education estimates that it is from 25 to 50%; the rest use a curriculum the parents and/or child have devised. Education writer John Holt, a champion of home schooling, suggested that no particular area of study was essential. He advised parents to use real life activities such as work in a family business, writing letters, bookkeeping, observing nature, and talking with old people as meaningful academic lessons. Home schools might fall anywhere on this spectrum, between the tightly planned study of a formal curriculum to Holt's free-form, experiential learning.

But first, all the parents interested in teaching their children at home need to find out what laws apply to their state and school district.

Home Schooling Online - Is It Right For Your Family?

Home schooling online requires a lot of dedication and strict scheduling to ensure that the required work gets done.  Internet classes, which are often scheduled at specific times during the day, must be attended regularly.  In addition, tests are generally taken online and grades posted or delivered via e-mail. 

Some of the most popular reasons to enroll in home schooling online is scheduling, childhood development or simply the desire to learn at home.  For adults who enroll in home schooling online, they often do so in order to be able to earn their degree while working full time.  In this scenario, it would be very difficult to attend regular classes.  For children, the decision to enroll in home schooling online is much different.  If you feel that your child needs to learn at his/her own pace and you want to make sure that he/she receives personal attention to their education, home schooling online may be the answer.  If your child has a difficult time socializing with other children and a physician feels that home schooling online would be better for your child's well-being, then you may want to consider online enrollment. 

It's important to realize that home schooling online will not permit your child with the same socializing skills that are acquired while attending regular classes.  Therefore, your child must find other ways to meet new people and adopt good social skills.  This may include being a part of theatrical productions, field trips, library readings and other gatherings.  One of the many benefits to home schooling, on the other hand, is being active in who your child socializes with and ensuring that the influences are acceptable.

Before making the final decision to enroll your child in home schooling online, make sure that he/she is in agreement.  Many parents forget to include the child in such an important decision, but his/her opinion cannot be overlooked.  In order for a child to learn well, the environment must be one that is desired.  Many children want to attend regular school because, with home schooling online, they may feel that they are missing an important aspect of their childhood.  This is why developing social activities is so important and is critical to your child's growth and development. 

As a final thought, home schooling online is not expensive in and of itself.  However, if your child enrolls in home schooling online, one parent will have to stay at home while the other works.  If your home can handle one income, home schooling online may work perfectly.  If not, you will have to work out a strict schedule so that someone is always at home to ensure the child's learning is not compromised while adjusting your work schedule around his/her education.

Home Schooling Is Loaded With Fun Activities

There are many reasons why parents choose homeschooling for their children. A lot of times this choice is made by parents who are dissatisfied with the way formal education is being run. Also by those who are concerned about safety issues.

In addition, there are those parents who wish to freely instill some religious values in their children, while some feel that having their kids taught at home helps tighten their family bond.

Nowadays, there has been an uprise in the numbers of students who are getting their education at home. In the United States, approximately around 3 million children participate in homeschooling programs.

There are various ways homeschooling can be achieved. One of the most popular methods is to avail of prepackaged curriculums. A lot of book publishers specifically produce materials designed for children who participate in homeschooling.

These prepackaged curriculums basically introduce subjects that follow the curriculum of formal education.

Home schooling includes a lot of activities that make learning fun and exciting, especially for young children, while teaching a range of subjects such as: Mathematics, Language, Social Studies, Science, History, Electives and many more.

Children who are undergoing homeschooling are furnished with school supplies and other materials that they need for their education.

Software, educational audio cassettes and videos, and the internet are also part of the tools that are included in the education of the child.

Home schooling teachers may also teach children how to play various instruments as a part of the activities covered in music, and other various skills depending on the child's interest.

Arts and crafts, indoor games, and story telling are some of the other activities homeschooled children can participate in. The best thing about this is family members will be able to support and be involved in the various activities of the child.

Students who are undergoing homeschooling may also choose to go on organized fieldtrips along with other children who are also being homeschooled.

Outside of homeschooling, children can also participate in a number of activities such as: community service, working part time, sports programs, church activities and field trips that are organized by support groups that endorse home schooling.

These are basically facilitated by families who also have children who participate in homeschooling.

This method of learning is gaining more and more popularity these days, and is becoming a more feasible option for a number of families that now it is fast becoming a new trend in the way children get their education. This gives parents more freedom to choose what they think would be the best option when it comes to their children's education.

Home Schooling Information for the Parent

Home schooling can be a difficult decision.  Many believe that home schooling can not prepare a child to deal with real life situations.  By attending a public school, the child is more likely to be involved in school team sports, drama clubs, band activities, after school clubs, and be more socially interactive with others.  Many of these activities are fundamental for the growth and emotional well being of a child.

Alternatively, an argument can be made that there is just as much social stimulation at home as there is in public school.  For a large number of home schooled children, many have friends that live within their neighborhood that they can play and interact with.  After school sports programs are available for in many areas, typically at community centers.  These programs can prove to be a great source for social interaction.

A good way to obtain additional home schooling information is to ask parents of other home school children.  More than likely they can share what activities they do, as well as inform you what type of approach they use; a facilitated self study approach or lecture oriented approach.

This information will help lead you to a better idea of whether or not you are able to handle a teaching job.  Contrary to some beliefs, teaching is not an easy task.  It takes great dedication and determination to ensure that the children are always excited about learning, moving at a steady pace, and keeping them interested in what is next.  If you are interested in home schooling, teaching classes are available through some schools.

There are many resources available online regarding home schooling.  Blogs and websites can provide you with relevant home school information.  Many of these sites are maintained by parents who home school and provide information on what problems may be encountered in home schooling and the solutions they have.

Although teaching can be difficult, many find the end result rewarding.  Home schooling can provide parents and children a nice balance and learning environment to exceed in.

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Home Schooling In California

Home schooling programs vary from state to state in the U.S. As a personal option of parents for their children, the need to comply does not end in enrolling. Parents play a big role in its success.

In California, it is a compulsory for all children to acquire public or private schooling and be given the right education. Under the educational codes of California, methods of exemptions to the mandatory school attendance have alternative learning options as follows:

1. The child has private tutors who have valid credentials for specific subject matter. The number of hours of instruction must be three hours a day, 175 hours a year. All parents who opt for this choice at their discretion do not need to send the child to formal schooling.

2. Home Study Program (HSP) and Charter Schools of California - Parents have the option to enroll their child to the nearest public school for a home-based study program, where the school will assign a teacher who will facilitate and check the student's home-schooling on a monthly basis. The tutorial program sessions are under the parent's responsibility at home.

3. Private Independent Study Program - almost similar to public chartered school enrollment with differences in curriculum and rigidity in training. Private schools in California are not required with heavy restrictions on credentials.

4. Complying R4 Form (Private School Affidavit) - Home education system can be established by individuals in their respective homes by just complying the requirements set by educational codes of California Department of Education. With least restriction from among the alternative methods of home-schooling schemes, this is purely a program for very few students of not more than five attending schooling at home in a very private environment.

Certainly, change in a child's schooling scheme affects parental goals and orientation. The advantage of institutionalized schooling is the amount of time parents get liberated to spend on their career while their children get the substantial education they pay for. Home schooling on the other hand, requires the entire time of parent participation, which is a great career sacrifice in exchange of personally educating a child. The price is spending quality time and close bonding with the child.

Assuming how the child will have substantial positive socialization is the main consideration of home schooling. To families of reputation or those who have "special child," the need for home schooling is not questionable. The correct formula to child education cannot be determined because the whole process will not be projected by imagination. It happens in a span of decades.

Home Schooling Can Lead To Outstanding Careers

Homeschooling is one the latest trends in education nowadays, although the concept of homeschooling originated in the 20th century. This was during the time before public education came into being. It is not until now that it has become a more viable option for many families who have children who are still going to school.

Some of the famous persons that are considered to have acquired a homeschooled education, given the fact that they were self-educated or had availed of the guidance of a tutor include: Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, and Jane Austen to name a few.

Which only goes to show that individuals who have not acquired a formal education can also become successful in life.

In fact some surveys that were conducted with homeschooled individuals show that more of these individuals are involved in their communities, and have a higher percentage rate when it comes to voting. 58.9% of them also claim that they are very happy with their lives, compared with 27.6% of the rest of the population who also make this claim.

There are many career options that await homeschooled individuals. Surveys show that the preferred occupations that these persons are more likely to choose are: business, computer programming, career in the armed forces, internships, home worker, etc.

But before they embark on a career most of these homeschooled students choose to go to college first. There are a number of colleges that accept students fresh out of homeschooling.

Many highschool students who are undergoing homeschooling simultaneously take college courses to earn credits. These credits count towards the credit their going to accumulate once they go to college. Homeschooled students have been known to score high in college entrance exams.

There are some stereotypical views that have been attached to individuals that have acquired their education through homeschooling. Such as that these individuals tend to be reclusive, antisocial, or extreme in their views when it comes to religion.

But slowly these views are dissipating since homeschooling is now becoming more mainstream.

A lot of parents have become extremely dissatisfied with the way public school systems are run. Not only do they fear for their children's safety, but the quality of education that their children receive some parents also find lacking.

That's why a lot of these concerned parents have made the decision to have their children homeschooled. A decision that now seems to be paying off.
Since the past decade the number of homeschooled students has multiplied, now resulting in responsible adults who have stable jobs and thriving careers in their chosen fields of endeavor, proving that homeschooling provides an excellent quality of education.

Home Schooling Requirements: Differences In States

Article Body:
Homeschooling has increased more in the past few years than it has for the past decades. Initially, homeschooling or any type of private education wasn’t allowed in the United States, but when a public court ruled for the Society of Sisters for the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary and allowed them to set up a private school in 1925, public schools weren’t the only institutions providing education to children. This sparked the homeschooling idea and not long after, parents have decided to educate their children in their own homes.

Homeschooling is legal in all 50 states; however, each state has different requirements and guidelines reagrding the homeschooling program. Some states simply require parents who opt for homeschooling, to simply file an intent notice to the local school superintendent or any school official, and some require lesson plans to be made and approved by the school board before the program starts. All of these requirements aim to fully educate children whether they are educated at home or in public schools.

In California, homeschoolers have three choices, thay can use a credited tutor, enroll in a qualified private school or be part of an independent public homeschooling program. Parents may form private schools for their own children; however, all those who wish to form private schools need to file an annual report with the Department of Education.

Certain courses, similar to that of public schools, that can fit into a few pages, (contrary to the hundreds of pages required of public schoosl) need to be present, as well as attendance records. But teachers need not have credentials, they must simply be “capable of teaching”.

Differences in state requirements can also be observed in testing and assessment. Some states require homeschoolers to take standardized tests or have evaluations done by qualified teachers. Other states however, do not require such evaluation methods. In California again, students are encouraged to take the standardized tests that Public Schools are implementing at the end of every term.

Graduating procedures also differ with states, some require that home schools be operated as private schools, have graduation procedures that doen’t differ from private school gradaution. However, some have no graduation requirements at all; basically, the schools determine who graduates or not, this applies to homeschoolers in the state as well. In other states, homeschoolers receive no recognition, but are still granted access to colleges and universities.

Requirements and laws differ from state to state, and there is no absolute list of requirements for the whole United States. The best a parent who intends to homeschool her child is to find web sites or go to local school officials for information.

Home Schooling Can Lead To Outstanding Careers

Homeschooling is one the latest trends in education nowadays, although the concept of homeschooling originated in the 20th century. This was during the time before public education came into being. It is not until now that it has become a more viable option for many families who have children who are still going to school.

Some of the famous persons that are considered to have acquired a homeschooled education, given the fact that they were self-educated or had availed of the guidance of a tutor include: Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, and Jane Austen to name a few.

Which only goes to show that individuals who have not acquired a formal education can also become successful in life.

In fact some surveys that were conducted with homeschooled individuals show that more of these individuals are involved in their communities, and have a higher percentage rate when it comes to voting. 58.9% of them also claim that they are very happy with their lives, compared with 27.6% of the rest of the population who also make this claim.

There are many career options that await homeschooled individuals. Surveys show that the preferred occupations that these persons are more likely to choose are: business, computer programming, career in the armed forces, internships, home worker, etc.

But before they embark on a career most of these homeschooled students choose to go to college first. There are a number of colleges that accept students fresh out of homeschooling.

Many highschool students who are undergoing homeschooling simultaneously take college courses to earn credits. These credits count towards the credit their going to accumulate once they go to college. Homeschooled students have been known to score high in college entrance exams.

There are some stereotypical views that have been attached to individuals that have acquired their education through homeschooling. Such as that these individuals tend to be reclusive, antisocial, or extreme in their views when it comes to religion.

But slowly these views are dissipating since homeschooling is now becoming more mainstream.

A lot of parents have become extremely dissatisfied with the way public school systems are run. Not only do they fear for their children's safety, but the quality of education that their children receive some parents also find lacking.

That's why a lot of these concerned parents have made the decision to have their children homeschooled. A decision that now seems to be paying off.
Since the past decade the number of homeschooled students has multiplied, now resulting in responsible adults who have stable jobs and thriving careers in their chosen fields of endeavor, proving that homeschooling provides an excellent quality of education.

Home Schooling: The Advantages And Disadvantages

People new to the idea and concept of homeschooling often have a thousand of questions to raise. Here is some helpful information to guide you in weighing things out:

Some homeschooling advantages:

1. Allow quality time, providing individualized attention and instruction. Homeschooling parents can better understand their children; observe how kids progress, what areas they find difficult and help them out.

2. Children learn in their own pace. At homeschool, children can advance at any time, not waiting on others or if the kid is a slow learner or having difficulties in a certain subject area, she/he can remain to focus on that area without pressure that others are already moving on.

3. Parents pattern their teaching style and curriculum in accordance with the child’s learning style, allowing him/her to successfully understand the subject matter, thus better results are achieved.

4. No peer pressure. At a homeschool, age classification is not a factor, therefore children not only associate with children their same age level, but with children of different ages and adults as well, so they can decide on their own without the influence of peers.

5. “Hands on learning”. Activities which are outside the context of books are very much essential to the child’s learning process. Trips to the park, the museum, the zoo, going fishing with mom and dad can be a great time to spend an afternoon educating your child.

Some homeschooling disadvantages:

1. For the homeschool parent, much time and effort is required for preparation of teaching materials, lessons and managing the child’s opportunities in order to cultivate friendships and expand on the child’s interests.

2. Parents who homeschool do not have enough time to spend for themselves when kids are constantly at home. This frequent time of being together can be at times suffocating and, therefore, can not work in certain families.

3. Homeschooled children do not have a lot of opportunities to bond and develop friendships with peers. For many families, this really is not a problem and is supplemented by taking the kids out to play in the park, attend lessons in ballet, jazz, etc. However it takes a lot of effort on the part of parents to insure that their kids have these opportunities.

Whether to homeschool or not, it all depends on you, as a parent, on how much are you willing to give your child. On top of all the learning materials, the field trips, home schooling entails a lot of love, patience and encouragement.

Home Schooling?

Every parent wants their children to get the very best education they can, but with the public school system having the problems it is currently experiencing and private schools not being financially available to all, many parents are turning back to homeschooling.

Homeschooling is not a new idea; in fact our public school system is newer than parents teaching their children at home. Our founding fathers did discuss whether or not to require children to attend school (compulsory schooling), but they decided to leave the decision up to the individual families and state and local governments. In 1850, Massachusetts was the first state to require children to attend school. There were many reasons for this law, but the main reasons were to keep children out of the workforce and teach them to be “good citizens.”

Even with laws being enacted across the United States, many parents continued to homeschool their children. Homeschooling became an underground movement, but has picked up speed. With American children falling behind in math and science and violence continuing to escalate in schools, parents feel the public system is failing. Statistics show that the top 3 reasons parents decide to homeschool are: safety for their children, being able to teach from a religious perspective and having a program tailored to their child’s learning needs.

There are many different approaches to homeschooling. Here is a small list:

* Classical Homeschooling. The people who use this approach believe that the brain develops in three stages - grammar, logic and rhetoric.
* Structured Homeschooling. This approach most resembles institutionalized schools.
* Unschooling. This approach was started in the 1960s by John Holt, a Boston educator who did not agree with how children were taught in schools. He felt children should be free to learn at their own pace, not to be dictated to by teachers.

Again, this is a small list of different approaches. Each one has its own idea of how children learn best.

There are many advatages to homeschooling, but the one disadvantage I see is the child not being able to socialize with other children. I am sure that there are programs for homeschooled children to be sociable and as this educational choice continues to grow, more opportunities will be made available.

We parents know better than anyone what is best for our children. Homeschooling may be the future for education. And maybe we should look to our past to find the future.

Home School Approval: Doing Home Schooling The Right Way

There is more or less a general consensus on the inherent value of education. However, people may often disagree about the right method toward achieving that education. The majority of the population would rather opt for institutionalized formal education, referring to education offered in public or private education institutions like primary and secondary schools. However, as has been the recent trend, many parents in particular have begun considering or even going on ahead with home schooling their children. Home schooling, prevalent prior the inception of formalized school systems, is making a return to the mainstream because some parents either do not approve of the curriculum of school systems or are even against the idea of formalized school systems, or find themselves holding greater capacity to educate their children in the best possible manner.

Perhaps you are interested in home schooling your child, and conceded, you have your own reasons for doing it. But just like picking a school for your child, the decision to home school is a very big one. This would most obviously translate to you taking your child out of a previous social learning environment and into the home to educate him or her; moreover this also means that from then on, you are going to be fully responsible for the intellectual rearing of your child.

It is perhaps for this reason that certain guidelines are set by the state or local education offices before you can actually home school your child. It is best to consider these guidelines first because your state can help you through the process, and moreover, may enlighten you on relevant issues on home schooling. I’ll expound further.

Majority of states in the United States would require a legal minimum of state notification of your intention to home school your child. In a rare few (including Texas, Alaska, Missouri, Illinois, and Oklahoma, among others), you may go on ahead with home schooling your child without informing the state.

Other states however, would require you first to notify the state and afterwards acquire your child’s grade records should he or she have attended a public school. After this, some states may require you to create a curriculum you intend to follow for your home schooling program, be accredited as a parent-teacher, and to host a home visit by your local education officials. Later on, during the period when your child is already being home schooled, some states may require for you to submit to them evaluation scores, attendance records (states may require a minimum number of ‘school’ days for home school too) and even test scores.

It is very important for you to find out the different requirements for home schooling in your state. For one, it will help you make sure that once you home school your child, your child’s education is actually being recognized by the state. Without state approval, your home schooling may not be regarded, which may increase the difficulty for your child to move on to a university or college. Second, the state may provide you with various forms and guidebooks as you home school your child. This assistance may prove valuable to you, especially if you are home schooling for the first time. Third, by finding out these requirements, you will be able to submit to the state all the required documents that you must submit periodically. In this way, you are also assured that your child is at par level with any other child enrolled in a regular school setting. In the same manner, by approaching your local education authority you may actually inquire about the college application process of home schoolers.

Home schooled children may be required a marginal number of steps that regular applicants are not required to take in order to qualify for their chosen university. Some universities may require your child to take the G.E.D., an exam that will help test the sufficiency of their knowledge from home school to be considered as qualified college applicants, while others may require state accreditation. Moreover, by visiting your local education authority you will also find out the various state and local government scholarships for which your child may or may not qualify.

While home schooling may pose some added burden once you are ready to return your child to a regular school system, it has proven beneficial to many in the past. Visit your state or local government education office in order to make an educated decision, and in order to get the approval you’d need to push through with home schooling your child.

Home School - When Is It O.K.?

Nowadays, many parents are enticed to home school their children. There are just too many benefits to ignore it. In fact, recent reports show that more than 1.2 million students in the United States are already obtaining their education through some type of home school study. This shift can be seen as a reaction to the current state of affairs in our public and private schools.

Either way, more parents have decided that homeschooling is the best option for their children and we should continue to see more and more people realizing the benefits of homeschooling their children.

However, there are many details that need to be worked out before you begin a homeschooling program:

1. Which parent is best suited to perform as a teacher?
2.How do you develop an approved curriculum?
3.Is the child in question ready to be homeschooled?
4.Where do you turn for help?
5.And finally, when is the best time to begin homeschooling?

Many parents are wonder if there is a specific age or time to home school their children. They want to be sure that by the time they have decided to home school their children, they have made the right decision and that it will definitely be for their children’s own good.

However, most experts will agree, deciding when to home school comes down to two key points; do you as the parent think the child in question will benefit more from a home school program or one of the more traditional in class setting?

And secondly, are you the parent and now the teacher, better suited to teach your child that someone that has been professionally trained?

So, in reality there is no appropriate time to start home schooling. The key point here is that as long as you think there is a benefit to home schooling your children and as long as you feel that your family is prepared for the task, and then you should consider a home school program. Because let’s face it, no one is going to look after your children better than you are.

Now, the next most important step after you’ve decided to home school is to make sure that you’re fully prepared and equipped to complete the task.  You need to spend a fair amount of time, becoming aware of all the things you’re going to need to provide your child’s education.  And if you have a shadow of a doubt, you should continue to maintain their current learning process until you are fully prepared to take the next step.

Therefore, the question as to when to begin to home school your children isn’t really the question at all, it’s a matter of when you’re ready to start classes.  This decision is usually the result of some type of situation that happened in the existing school the children are enrolled in. But you should be sure not to make a snap decision to move to homeschooling until again, everyone is prepared and equipped for the lifestyle change

Homeschooling can be one of the most rewarding and satisfying roles a parent can take the development of their children, this can also be one of the worst decisions made if not executed correctly.  So while homeschooling may appeal to you, make sure you speak to other parents who’ve decided to home school, speak with other students that have been homeschooled, and take a good hard look at the student or students that will be homeschooled.   You won’t be able to make up for time lost.  So choose wisely.

Come Up With Projects When Homeschooling

Due to its many benefits, many parents are choosing homeschooling for their children. Homeschooling allows for a more flexible educational experience, and curriculum can be easily tailored to your child's individual needs. As the costs of private schools continue to rise, homeschooling becomes a viable economic decision as well.

When you decide to homeschool your children, you need to become knowledgeable on a broad range of subjects so you can prepare an adequate educational plan. Once you have established a plan, which should include targets for different subject areas, you should consider the idea of unit projects.

You're probably familiar with projects, as you likely did one or two if you came through the public school system. Projects are a great way to implement and test knowledge acquired through an educational unit. A good plan is to have a multi-week unit set up for a given subject, and at the end of the unit assign a week-long project that will make use of what your child has learned.

For example, if you and your child study a biology unit, a great week long project is to create an ecosystem. This can be done with an old aquarium, and your child's goal will be to create an environment that can be self-sufficient in the sealed aquarium. In learning about the water table and the different cycles of nature, encourage your child to think of the best way to make his or her ecosystem. After your child has come up with a plan, take him to a store to by the requisite materials with which to begin his project. Once it is started have him track the ecosystem's progress every day.

The reasons that projects like this can be very effective is that they serve multiple educational purposes: your child will not only be learning as he goes, but he will be learning in an engaging way, and most likely with a higher level of retention. A project can also engage other members of the family. The ecosystem, for example, could be placed in a prominent location, and other family members will no doubt take interest. It's a great educational experience when your child can not only excitedly report on a project's progress to his parents, but actually show the work at hand. Every parent has witnessed a child from the publics system describing a project they're doing at the dinner table, but as a homeschooling parent you have the benefit of having "home" and "school" being one: you child can not only tell, but show.

When you homeschool, you're not limited by the practicalities necessary in a public or private school system. Project ides are only limited by you and your child's imagination. For each and every unit, encourage your child to come up with long term project ideas and use their learning in a practical way. Not only will the project allow your child to learn more about the subject, it will carry over into the home as a whole: other family members will take interest, and the whole process of buying the materials and planning the project will become part of your child's educational experience

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Do Certain Subjects Require Specific Hours Of Teaching For Homeschooling My Kid?

Homeschool parents benefit from technology to enhance and complement traditional ways of teaching on school campus. There are several educational software and teaching packages that can help develop a curriculum. The internet is a very useful means that is full of educational resources; online dictionaries, libraries, encyclopedias and museums.

Depending on your State's homeschooling law, the following may apply:

1. School officials can inquire about the parents’ qualifications to instruct or teach their child; however instructing parents do not necessarily need to have a particular educational qualification. A high school graduate or less can instruct the child, provided that she has the capability and a sound mind.

2. Children in the elementary level should be taught the following: English, which includes reading, spelling and writing; math, geography, science, civics, history, physiology and health, music, physical education and art.

3. Children in the high school level, should be taught the following: English, which includes speech, language, literature and composition, science which will include chemistry and biology; social studies, geography, economics, history of the U.S.A, world history, mathematics which will include algebra, geometry and statistics; music, art, physiology and health, physical and safety education.

4. School officials can inquire regarding subjects that the child should study, demand the length of homeschool year, and allocate instruction hours for every subject.

While they can determine instruction hours for every subject, they should not control the method in which these subjects are to be taught.

This means that homeshooling parents can determine and evaluate instruction hours based on their method of homeschool, not necessarily to be able to imitate the public school, rather equal and match it according to efficiency and systematic approach.

In homeschooling, it is up to the parent to determine the child’s intellectual needs. Subjects to be taught do not require specific hours of teaching, although each subject needs an allotted time, in order for the child to absorb fully what is taught.

Moreover, schedule keeping is not a significant factor in homeschooling where usage and understanding of time are so much different.

5. School officials can recognize and classify instructional materials, only for the reason of determining the subject and the child’s grade or level. They should not utilize this right to demand the way or style of teaching, with which subjects are to be taught.

When the child is having difficulty in a certain subject, for instance in reading, then the parent should allow longer hours for reading allowing the child enough time to learn that particular subject.

On the subject that the child willingly and easily learns and grasps, the parent may shorten the time spent on that subject and allocate the extra hours for subjects which the child finds hard to comprehend, to subjects that the child poorly progresses on.

At homeschooling, the child can take the time to learn and explore each subject at his/her own speed, in his or her own capacity. And the parent can find creative ways to make learning and teaching fun.

A few efficient and helpful teaching materials that are not tangible, such as community service, travel, visits to parks and museums, etc., will definitely grant significant learning skills and knowledge aside from those learned from books.

6. Parents and school officials must reach an agreement on a system of evaluation or assessment for the child; either standardized testing, periodic reports on the child’s progress or dated samples of work.

Determine your child's learning ability and style so that:

1. You'll know what approach to use or be well equipped in teaching them. It is a wrong notion that some parents have, to presume that their kids learn the way they do. For example, when parents are visual learners, they also expect their children to be visual learners. Just remember that children are different individuals; usually having distinct learning styles compared to their parents and even their siblings. The sooner that you learn and comprehend each child’s learning style the sooner that you can effectively teach them.

2. You'll be prepared to decide on a curriculum for homeschooling. If you are not familiar with your child’s learning styles, there is the possibility that you will select a curriculum that can not be an effective tool for your child’s learning.

3. You can better identify and understand your child’s educational needs. When children fail to effectively communicate, they, much like everyone else, get upset and discouraged. However, if you understand your child’s learning styles, you can be able to assist your child to understand themselves better, enabling them to interact and correspond better with their peers.

Understanding their learning styles and their capabilities will enable you to determine how many hours they need for each subject; homeschooling does not require strict hours of teaching your child in any subject. It all depends on how well your child progresses; if he can do his math in less time in regard to the curriculum set for him, then good. If you feel he needs to spend more time in reading, then he should.

Developing Reading Skills When Homeschooling Your Child

The extreme amount of flexibility offered by homeschooling creates many educational benefits. One of them, of course, is that "home" and "school" become one, so that the educational experience doesn't have to begin and end with the ringing of a bell. By incorporating educational activities into your home life as a whole, you child will gain a more valuable educational experience.

One of the best things about home schooling is you can come up with an educational plan that suits your child's particular needs. By working one on one with a child, you can create an individual learning system that can be more beneficial then the learning techniques used in a public or private school. When coming up with an individual education plan for your child, make sure you place focus on reading.

Much of the philosophy of homeschooling is about not being subject to the limitations of the public school system, and an area where the public school system commonly falters is in reading. Many public school students perform poorly on standardized reading tests, which is unfortunate as reading skills are crucial to a child's education.

Reading can't really be emphasized too much when homeschooling your child. While there should be a good balance of subject areas taught throughout the teaching day, reading should be encouraged during your child's free time. While it may be difficult to get a child into doing math or science work in his or her free time, reading is a different story.

As soon as your child can read, he or she should always be reading something. As long as you find the subject matter appropriate, allow your child to read whatever he wants in his free time. Develop the habit at a young age of getting your child to always have a book on the go. By finding books that your child enjoys, your child will, from a young age, associate reading with a fun experience, which will do wonders for his further education.

You must also understand how important it is to set your own example. Try and set time aside during the day in which you read, and in the evening hours, when most children would be watching television, sit down with your child and read together. When it gets close to the child's bedtime, imply that you will be going to be soon as well - because you have a good book to read.

Reading is a fantastic educational opportunity because it is the basis for which your child will learn many other things. When a child is reading a book they are not only bettering their reading skills, they are becoming privy to knowledge contained within the book. It is important that reading begins at a young age because mastering it is a slow process, and you will be doing your child a serious disservice later in life if you choose not to focus on reading early.

Every education should be well rounded of course, but reading is a building block from which other education follows. When homeschooling your child, encourage him or her to read from a young age. If you so do you stand a good chance of instilling a lifelong habit that will benefit your child until the end of his days.

Discovering The Benefits Of Home Schooling

Home schooling is in demand nowadays. You might be thinking of home school for your child. There are a lot of reasons why you should educate your child at home. Although this decision may not be an easy one, it may be something to consider. There are questions that need to be discussed and there are also some already answered for you. Before you can make this very important decision for your child’s education, you should think long and hard and get all the answers to your questions.

What are the benefits of home schooling? Here are a few:

First, your child will get all the attention and that attention will come from you. Although this depends on the child’s level of studying, he or she should be comfortable at home. You can have all his time and control his studies. Sometimes, children in school don’t pay enough attention to their teachers because they want their mommies to guide them. Some don’t trust their teachers and will not take their word. Friends and playmates may distract his learning process. All the issues your child experiences in a large class will vanish forever with home schooling.

Of course you know your child better than others do. You will be given the chance to tailor all the lessons that suit your child’s interest of learning. You can keep him comfortable the way he wants it which can never be experienced in the conventional classrooms.

If your child is among those kids who are prone to peer-pressure, then home schooling is the answer. Learning is acquired in school but if the child cannot learn the right way, it would be better that he stay home and be taught.

Your child may want a different type of approach to learning which he cannot get in school. The teacher in school will not of course treat every student differently with their different standards of learning. Your child is not the only student in school so if he wants to be treated differently, you may have to teach him at home so that the learning process will be easy.

You will be able to watch your child’s improvement. You can set a time frame or a limit which he needs to accomplish say, for example, a chapter in a book. Allow him time to absorb and finish the chapter in a week so you can finish all the lessons in a timely manner.

Your child may not be socially capable of mingling with the other students. This may be due to phobia or fear. If your child is like this, would you still expose him in a crowd to which you know that he will never feel comfortable no matter what happens? Of course you wouldn’t.

These are just some of the benefits of home schooling. The best way is still to ask your child what he really wants.

Compelling Reasons For Homeschooling

People choose the option of homeschooling their children for a variety of reasons.

For many years, homeschooling was the purview of those families who lived in rural areas and found the cost and/or time it would take to transport their children to school unbearable. For these people, homeschooling was and continues to be the only real option when it comes to their children’s education. Many rural families have traditionally relied on their children to help around the house, and thus homeschooling allowed them to pursue their studies around the family schedule, and work and education could be fit into the day according to a suitable timetable.

Another traditional reason for families choosing the option of homeschool was a fundamental disagreement with what was or is being taught in other schooling environments. Chief among this group are families whose religious beliefs clash with the prevailing educational methods. Families who choose the option of homeschooling are not subject to the rigid curriculum of established schools, and there are many options when it comes to homeschool resources that can offer as wide or as narrow a field of study as far as worldviews that the parent wishes.

A more recent development in the reason people choose to homeschool their children is that of safety. School ground violence seems to be increasing, and that has many parents worried. They feel that the best way to keep their children away from harm is to keep them close.

Hand-in-hand with the safety issue is a concern for the child’s self esteem. Bullying is a common issue within any school system, as any parent well remembers from their own school days. Many parents cannot bear the thought of throwing their children into the kind of system that breeds a pack mentality, and are choosing instead to have them educated at home.

A very recent development in the reasons for homeschooling is the fluidity in choices that homeschooling children allows. This is especially apparent in Generation X, who seem to be fairly insistent on independence and not being tied down to any one place or situation. Homeschooling eliminates the need to plan all vacations around established school holidays, as the pace is determined by the parent and child.

Finally, parents may choose to homeschool their children because they simply feel they can do a better job than any educational system. Parent of gifted children do not want to see the child wasted in the hard pressed for both resources and qualified teachers system that public schooling represents, and private schools are becoming increasingly unaffordable for the average family. Parents who believe their children need the advantages of a more intimate education are therefore turning to the option of homeschooling.

The rise in popularity of homeschooling has meant a corresponding rise in the materials available to the parent who chooses to homeschool. There are resources available to meet any educational needs, and with a little bit of homework a parent will find the curriculum they feel will best suit their children’s needs.

Developing Reading Skills In Your Child

A lot of teaching your child to read is first instilling in your child a desire to read. It’s so very important for the child to know that reading activities and learning to read is fun. Early on, for instance, if you haven’t yet, set aside an area of your home where your child can have their very own reading area and little person library. This will get most all your reading activities off to a great start. Having their own special place for reading activities will encourage the child to spend time reading.

Encourage them to begin to find their favorite spot within their area for their reading activities. Grab yourself a comfy chair and join them and you’ll be amazed how much your child will want go into their reading area and have you with them for a reading session. And an added bonus to the reading area is a great place and time for you to spend with your child reading to them and vise versa. Reading is nothing more than a practiced skill. Practicing being the operative word. Instilling good reading habits in your child early on with consistent and daily reading and practice sessions is laying the bricks to a solid learning foundation no matter what the subject matter.

Books from bookstores, garage sales, flea markets and such are a great way to begin building your child’s reading library content. Grab a cardboard box, and old milk crate or two and decorate them with your child so they can have their own library and take pride in how it looks and help them organize their reading materials. If you already have bookcases, then clear of one of the shelves and make that special place for your child’s books. It’s fun to do and your kids will have fun too. Build momentum early with how much fun reading and exploring books can be.

Also make good use of your public library. Teaching reading skills begins with developing in your child an interest and love for reading. As your child’s library grows along with their reading skill they will understand that books are important, enjoyable, and always filled with new things to learn.

A good reading activity can involve very little actual reading. Use picture books with very few or no words and ask your child to describe the picture or tell a story about what the picture is about. This will allow you to monitor the child’s vocabulary and the use of the words they have been learning. Don’t overlook the importance of vocabulary building along with building reading skills. A strong vocabulary goes well with understanding what you’re reading which, in turn, keeps the frustration level down, and the fun factor up.

Encouraging your child to verbalize to you a story or even a couple pages of something they have read about gives them great pride (while you listen for accuracy) and makes them feel like a reader!  And when kids feel good about their reading skills they naturally strive to learn more

Christian Home Schooling Information

The principles and reasons for a Christian homeschool is influenced by the child’s training based from the Bible, wherein the education of the child should be left in the parents’ hands.

As seen in all Christian homeschools, parents teach the word of the Lord, to prepare their children for appropriate Christian wisdom, direction and values essential in their everyday life as well as when they reach adulthood. This aspect of teaching is not found in curriculums of the public schools.

Christian homeschools are distinct for each family. Some accurately design their home to look like a “school”, complete with textbooks, desks, flag salute, and yes, recess.

Others make homeschooling a way of life, choosing not so much in utilizing workbooks, required texts and schedules. Here, both children and parents learn through life experiences; teaching, learning and studying is part of their everyday routine instead of a closely controlled classroom setting.

Whatever is each family’s homeschool setup, their objective is all alike, that of giving their children important information while at the same time imparting in them how to become critical thinkers and independent individuals that are aware and conscious of the choices they make.

Families that homeschool adjust its setting to fit both their philosophies and lifestyle; there is no wrong or right way to shape and construct an environment for their home Christian school.

Christian families make the most of all the limitless resources accessible, using the Bible, literature, home economics, nature and every living thing as their principal basis of education, constantly integrating teachings from the Bible in each subject matter.

Christian homeschools allow the parents to impart God’s Word to their child. It is an environment of spiritual and moral reinforcement through which kids are being trained seriously in the Word of God, mainly to act and think as Christians.

Typically, the curriculum in a Christian homeschool spends a meaningful and substantial time in the study of the Bible, wherein the focus is God’s scripture.

Christians choose to home educate their children primarily because of their faith that God's plan is revealed through parents raising and educating their own children. In fact, Christians firmly acknowledge that it is the way of the Bible; there is no other educational system than this.

Christians actually accept that God did not even suggeste schools to be attended by His people; that schools were a product of man. The Bible pages support by instruction, example and principle, a course that resembles closely home education.

7 Places To Go For Your Homeschooling Needs

Homeschooling is slowly becoming a trend nowadays and most parents are having fun with the interaction they are having with their child. Some parents are still having second thoughts regarding homeschooling though. Their main concern is that they might be having some problems finding resources to use for homeschooling. This article will help you find resources from different places.

The first stop is a ride to your nearest bookstores. Armed with a list of possible books to buy from a curriculum of a school, you can buy the books at any convenient bookstore. This will save you a lot of time and give you flexibility with regards to your child’s studies as bookstores have more choices and references for your child to use.

An alternative stop would be a trip to your closest magazine stores. Magazines provide you a lot of catalogs where you can choose from a lot of advertisers listed in it. This will help you from spending lots of time searching through bookstores and will give you a sense of what your child’s going to get.

Of course, with all the technology available on the internet, you should not be really surprised that you can find websites offering help in your child’s studies. Some of them can be easily found when searching at Google and some of them can be given to you by other people who are also having their child homeschooled.

The simplest place to look for resources is by going to a public library. Public libraries have books and references for you child to take home and use. To help with that, libraries have different instructional materials such as videos (like those from National Geographic) and cassette tapes (like tapes that will help you learn another language). These instructional materials not only help with the books in teaching but they also help in easing out the boring quality and the monotony ofbooks given out to children.

Libraries also offer a lot of computer software which will not only help with your child’s learning but will also help him in understanding different computer technologies and how they work. Often computer software is easy and fun to use, therefore attracting a lot of young people to use it.

Libraries also give book discussions. Book discussions not only train your child to read but also to think and criticize every thing that he/she reads. This will not only develop reading comprehension, it will also help your child in critical thinking.

Another place to look at is at the house of another parent who decided to homeschool their children. You might find it interesting that they are willing to share both their experiences and their used materials (books, references and other activity materials). You could save a lot of money and at the same time learn from these people who have already experienced the joys and the pains of homeschooling a child.

The most neglected place and probably one of the most informational, next only to a library, is the museum. A trip to a museum will not only help your child appreciate art and history but your child will also learn a lot from observing and listening to the history of all the museum displays. The best way to conduct this is by joining a group museum tour where there will be an instructor to guide and give you bits of information that will help your child.

The last place, but definitely not the least in this list, is inside your home. Search your cupboard and teach your child some simple baking lessons. This will not only help your relationship with your child but it will also promote your child to learn patience and of course will teach your child how to bake.

You could also do outdoor activities such as planting seeds. This will help your child be interested in plant life but if coupled with other activities (such as mathematics), this has a potential to be both fun and instructional. You basically just have to find out where your child’s attention is focused. Upon learning this, you can try to join your child’s playtime and turn it into something educational.

5 Homeschooling Mistakes That Are Easy To Make, And Easier To Avoid

1. Setting the Bar Too Low

Research has shown that one of the greatest determining factors in a student’s performance is teacher expectation. This is no different for your homeschool student. You may think the world of your little angel, but every parent has their biases. Admit it. Maybe it has crossed your mind that while Bobby is a genius in math, he really struggles at reading. Perhaps Emma loves to read aloud, but she isn’t the best with numbers. Don’t feel bad, every parent has preconceived ideas about their child’s ability and you are no different. However, in order for your student to reach their full potential, it is imperative that you set aside any notions you have about their ability and go into every lesson knowing that they will succeed. When you expect the best, you get the best.

2. Teaching the Way YOU Liked to Learn

You may have heard from others, or experienced yourself, that certain types of teaching styles are more successful than others. I understand this firsthand. Those of us with a lesser ability to navigate the roads may need to look at a map to find our way. Other may not retain those directions until they have driven the route themselves. You might find that when you read something it doesn’t “stick”, but when you attend a lecture or have a friend explains it to you, everything becomes crystal clear. Everyone learns differently. Don’t expect that because you learned best when shown pictures, that the same is true for your child. Experiment with different styles of teaching and ask for your child’s input to help you figure out what works best for them.

3. Ignoring Classroom Management

-“I want the classroom to be a place where my child can explore and learn freely, I don’t want the rules to prevent them from exploring.”

-“I don’t need to go over the rules! My child is always well behaved.”

Parents think that because they have already established a discipline system in their home, with rules and consequences, that there is no need to come up with similar strategies for class time. Well they are wrong. Class time needs to be separated out from your regular at home activity. Rules and routines specific to the classroom need to be put in place so that it is clear for both the student and teacher what is acceptable during learning time. School rules and routines provide for maximum learning time, so don’t leave them out of your plans.

4. Teaching 1 Thing at a Time

When you plan your schedule for each day, do you break up your time by subject? Reading from 8-9, math from 9-10, etc. Of course you do, who doesn’t? This isn’t a bad way to schedule your time either, as long as you have a big picture in mind. Your child will be better able to retain all the subjects that you teach if they are interrelated. If you design units of study with a big picture or theme that applies to math, reading and science, they will retain more and have more fun in the process. For example: if you want your 7 year old to understand that animals have predictable lifecycles don’t just teach it during science time. Use books on the topic during reading. Teach multiplication using frog legs (5 frogs with 4 legs each…how many legs in all).

5. Teaching is Telling

This is a pretty basic mistake, but one that I still hear about all the time. Parents explain a something new to their student and don’t understand why it doesn’t “stick”. The simple answer is that teaching is not just telling. If you want to be a good teacher, as we all do, you need to learn a variety of ways to teach your child. There is hands-on learning, inquiry learning, visual aids, reciprocal teaching, and technology-based learning.  I could go on and on with different ways of instructing that can improve your child’s learning, I have a great deal of training and experience in this area that I use on a daily basis in my own home, but the important thing is that you know that part of teaching is learning. You need to constantly be seeking out new techniques and tools to improve your skills. As you improve so will your child.

5 Advantages Of Homeschooling

What makes homeschooling better than traditional schooling? Lately, there is a rising trend in families choosing to homeschool their child than send their child to a traditional educational institution.

Let’s look at some of the benefits of homeschooling over traditional schooling:

1. Flexible Schedule

Homeschooling enables a flexible schedule. For example, the child does not need to wake up at 7 every morning. With homeschooling, your child can start homeschooling at 9am or later depending on your preferred schedule. You can schedule your child’s homeschooling education as you see fit with materials or subjects that may be not available in a traditional school.

You can tailor the homeschool curriculum to suit the needs and interest of your child.

2. Individual attention

In a traditional school setting, thirty to forty students are assigned to a teacher in class. Therefore usually, the teacher cannot devote 100 percent attention to any child since it will not be fair to the other children. Plus, it is quite impossible to provide individual attention to all students.

With homeschooling, your child gets all the individual attention he/she needs. For example, if your child is weak in mathematics, you could devote more time and energy into teaching mathematics.

Your child’s homeschooling schedule can be adjusted to crater for that. For example, if your child is better at science than at mathematics, simple devote more homeschooling hours to mathematics and cut back on science. With homeschooling, the choice is yours. Traditional schools can’t do that.

3. Family Activity

The schooling of the child can become an extended family activity. Examples are field trips and experiments. Plus, the child also receives more quality time with his/her parents. There is more time for family bonding. The child is also free of any negative peer pressure or influences.

4. No peer pressure

With homeschooling, the child does not need to prove his/her abilities to other children. Parents are able to deeply understand their child better with homeschooling and therefore are able to plan the learning program according to his strengths and weakness.

Parents can also change the curriculum to suit the learning style of the child. For example, some children learn better from reading while others need to write. Some children even learn better from experiencing or seeing things in action.

5. Religion Learning

Religious learning is a sensitive issue hence most traditional schools shunned it. However, with homeschooling, parents can take control over the moral and religious learning of the child. Parents can impart their ideologies and deep beliefs into the child rather than let the school dictate what moral and religious education the child will be receiving.

Homeschooling is the best way to educate a child as you can see from the advantages listed below. If you have the time, the interest and the ability, why not give it a try?

3 Reasons Why Homeschooling Rocks

1.  It's not boring as all get out.

I spent the first 5 and a half years of my education in public schools. There were, of course, times when I enjoyed learning things and talking to my friends. On the flip side, though, there were long stretches of monotony and boredom. And that was just grade school! I can't even imagine what it would have gotten like in middle and high school. I vaguely remember a class I took in 6th grade before I began to be homeschooled. "Conflict resolution" they called it. It was an entire class we had to sit through for 50 minutes a day on how not to get in a fight. Instead of teaching us something useful like math, history or science, we had to sit and learn that getting in a fistfight wasn't good for anybody.

I think it goes without saying that homeschooling was far more interesting. I was either doing something and learning, or I was enjoying my free time. I never had to sit through extended periods of monotonous lectures or stare at a chalkboard while a teacher catered to the slowest student in the classroom. I was able to learn at my own pace and enjoy it.

2.  No one gives you wedgies.

Unless, of course, you have an older sibling and then you might get more wedgies than you can handle. One of the fantastic things about being homeschooled is that there is no awkward social structure that you have to fit yourself into. Unless you live in a very complicated family, there are no bullies, no drug addicts and so forth.

Again, the advantage is more than what you don't have to deal with, but also in what you do get. Being homeschooled enabled me to develop much stronger relationships with my parents and my siblings, and I did find a variety of friends through our homeschool group and church and so forth. I found that when I got to college I was able to comfortably communicate with everyone from the older students (some who were even grandparents, coming back for their education) to the younger students and even the professors and staff. None of these people ever gave me a wedgy.

3.  Odds are your teacher will probably like you.

I didn't personally ever have issues with a teacher that didn't seem to like me or treat me well, but I do know that those experiences are out there. The odds increase, I think, as you get into high school that you might run into a teacher that you either don't like or who doesn't like you for some reason. I wouldn't say that it's anything personal, just sometimes there are personality clashes.

On the other hand, I think you benefit from homeschooling because you're able to develop a much deeper relationship with your parents. Instead of coming home from school and simply telling them what you did (if you can even remember all the details) you live it with them.

Booster Shots.... For Homeschooling Parents.

No, we’re not talking about immunizations. We are talking about booster shots for those families that have homeschooled for so long, or so in depth that they have lost the joy of why they started this journey in the first place.

You may be one of those families that has been homeschooling for 9 years or so and now are on the home stretch, or you may be new to the journey and have gotten in over your head and wondered if this is the right choice. Any and all of us could use a Booster Shot at some point.

Here my top 10 ideas:

10. Field Trip! Just a short one or maybe even a day long adventure - your choice, but there is nothing like a field trip to break up the week and breath life into a student’s schedule.

9. Read Aloud! If you don’t already do this, it’s a good time to start when your battery is low. You can read to them, or they can take turns reading to you and each other. It’s a great way to bond and relax. Yes, even high school kids like this still!

8. School Outside! The weather is turning warmer in most parts of the country! Take the books, the art, the portable CD player and learn outside. Even better, just walk and study what is about to bloom and discuss the science of this blessing!

7. Combining 8 & 9! One booster for us, all the way up until mid high school, was to take a huge blanket out under the sun or shade tree and read. We would watch clouds, pet new baby chicks or kitties and just enjoy hearing a good story in the fresh air.

6. Year-round School Schedule! This SOUNDS awful to some people, but it doesn’t ‘t really mean school every single day! It means for each month of the year, you have school for 3 weeks and then one week off. These schedules can often be planned around holidays. If you and your student knew that every three weeks you both got a significant break, there is time to plan fun or just do NOTHING every month!

5. Find a Co-op! Many area support groups have some co-op learning classes. Often it will require that you volunteer a bit of your time once in a while, but the change of pace and learning surroundings can be invaluable to both you and all students involved!

4. Let the Student Plan - not You! One of my children wanted the freedom to plan her own Senior year completely. She chose an extra science and an extra social studies. She also planned every weeks’ work and is doing so that she can be finished WELL before her graduation ceremony date - by her 18th birthday! This has motivated her and also taught her accountability. It has also lightened my load to simply grading!

3. Let a Science Experiment ‘evolve’ into more! This was always one sure fire way for my kids to get a little giggly or off track - but boy it is memorable and it was worth the side track! Take the science experiment to any lengths your child’s questions or curiosity will let it go (but let’s be safe about it). Not only do they learn more by not having to fit into a science ‘box’ - but you will ignite the joy of learning again - and you will LOVE to see how their minds work when unhindered by steps preordained by someone else!

2. Talk with others! When you get the chance, ask other parents for ideas that may be inviting to your homeschool to use. You may also be surprised how your kids react when they find out what other kids do for their homeschool. My kids were actually pleasantly pleased when they heard the schedule and weight of some other homeschooled students their age. I became a ‘cool’ mom (for a little while anyway).

1. My number 1 favorite! Just take the day off (or the week) when you know you’ve all reached your limit! Bake a big ole batch of chocolate chip cookies, play with the pets, make a mess, don’t grade, don’t file and don’t worry. Mix this in with prayer and thanksgiving that you have the chance to be home with your kids and I’ll guarantee that an attitude of gratitude will renew that joy to your homeschool heart!

Best Year: The Year I Homeschooled My Child

Parents are very excited when their children are old enough to get started in the learning stage level one. They are just too excited to play dough alphabet and clay with their 3-4 aged kids, flashcards with colorful drawings, number blocks, dress up in costumes and plant trees in the backyard with kids and other activities.

Homeschool helps parents to spend time with their kids in the early stages of learning. But one thing they always forget because of too much excitement is the planning of the homeschool year for their kids. This is important to track their progress and assess their performance in the long run. A homeschool calendar is a good tool to keep you on track and on schedule. You can easily make your lesson plan coinciding with the schedule you mapped out.

One benefit of homeschooling your child is you can identify easily and mix in the calendar family schedules. The schedules are not followed strictly like an eight hour job. It depends on the activities and availability of each family member who may be assigned to do the teaching in certain subjects.

The homeschool year can be memorable depending on the activities you set for your kids. Learning time is also your bonding time with the kids, that’s why you opted for a homeschool approach for your child in the first place. Another benefit in the schedule you are mapping out for the year is the flexibility of it that you can incorporate out of town activities or even educational trips in different places or even country. And you decide when is the best time.

Here are the other benefits you will enjoy while your child is homeschooled.

• Homeschooling can alleviate the problem of peer pressure and bullying because your child is safe but at the same time learning at his own pace and learning capability.

• Homeschooling is not only for those kids who were labeled with “learning difficulties”. Some children just need a different approach best suited for them.

• As others would have said otherwise, research shows that kids who are homeschooled have better social skills.

• The best is: your child and you interacting. Your child gets your sole attention to himself.

• You are the mother or the father, so who has the best way of educating your child, YOU! You know what is best and his learning styles. You are the best teacher and you can tailor fit your lesson according to his uniqueness.

If you think that the best place to learn the essentials is your home, then homeschooling is for you.

Benefits Of Homeschooling

Why let Tim and Lisa learn at home than send them to school? Well, first of all, you don't have to wake them up at 7 every morning and bundle them off to school with umpteen numbers of instructions, and wait with an anxious heart till they return. Homeschooling gives you more control over the influences that affect your child. The growth and development of your child is removed from the realm of the unknown. You, and you alone can decide what your child needs to do or learn. Tailoring the curriculum to suit the needs and interests of the child is one of the most obvious benefits of homeschooling

Individual attention is another salient benefit of homeschooling. For instance, if Lisa needs more time to learn Math, then she can reduce the time for her English lessons. There are no fixed hours of learning per subject. This means that a child has the advantage of assigning more number of hours to the subject that seems tough WITHOUT any additional pressure. The amount of time needed to learn each subject will depend on the abilities and interests of the child.

The schooling of the child becomes an extended family activity. Parents get involved in every step of the learning procedure. Field trips and experiments become family activities. Thus, the child receives more quality time with his parents. The entire family shares games, chores and projects. Family closeness becomes the focus here. The child is also free of any negative peer pressure while making choices and decisions.

Competition is limited when it comes to homeschooling. The child does not need to prove his ability with regards to other children. His confidence remains intact. Since parents have a deep understanding of their child, they can plan the learning program to pique the child's interest. It is also possible to intersperse difficult tasks with fun activities. A tough hour with Algebra can be followed by a trip to the nearest museum. Learning becomes fun. Parents can also tailor the curriculum to suit the learning style of the child. Some children learn through reading, while others need to write, and still others need to see objects in action.

Homeschooling allows parents to take control over the moral and religious learning of the child. Parents have the flexibility to incorporate their beliefs and ideologies into the child's curriculum. There is no confusion in the child's mind either because there is no variation between what is being taught and what is being practiced.

Lastly, more and more parents are getting disillusioned with the public school system. They believe that their children are being pushed too hard or too little. Other worrying issues pertaining to discipline and ethics also make the school system less welcome. Many repudiate the educational philosophy of grouping children solely on the basis of their age. Some parents themselves have unhappy memories of their own public school experience that motivates them to opt for homeschooling when it comes to their own children.

Homeschooling is the best way to teach a child if you have the time, the ability and the interest to follow through with his education. After all, nobody can understand or appreciate your child more than yourself.

Are You Ready To Homeschool Your Child Yet?

If you are interested in homeschooling information, it's simple to attain on the Internet. You can actually purchase guides that instruct you on how to teach your child at home. Some parents find it much more convenient to homeschool, or prefer the safety of their child to remain in their own hands. This is perfectly fine; however, you do want your child to interact with peers as they grow.

This essentially allows them to adapt and make friends easier. I remember back when I was in elementary school, and was jealous of the children who were homeschooled. How cool it would be to not have to go to school everyday. Your child's education is a big decision to consider. Discover a spectrum of homeschooling information today. Homeschooling information is just a mouse click away.

Public education can be a life experience. You truly get a sense of how to interact with your peers. I attended public school from kindergarten through senior year, and think it worked rather well. Sure, you have some good and some bad experiences, but overall it was fun. Regardless, more and more these days parents are in need of homeschooling information. Maybe they are a stay-at-home parent, or simply wish to provide their own style of education for their child.

This can be beneficial if you consider the personal attention the child will receive. The key is tenacity. You have to stick to a daily regime in order to properly school your child. Homeschooling information found online can help you better understand this process before you start. Are you qualified to teach? Are you truly going to challenge your child to the same level a public school would? These are questions to ponder.

Our education is certainly a crucial part of our development. As we grow into adulthood we need our minds to be prepared for the job we tackle or the University we venture off to. With public schooling growing on a regular basis, there is always room for more and more children to learn.

However, some parents take a different path in the education process. A second way to acquire academic knowledge is at home. If a parent chooses to, he or she can teach his/her child at home. In fact, homeschooling information is more available now days than ever before. All you need is a computer and Internet access to delve into the world of homeschooling online.

Architecture school

For some people, it was all about some building that inspired them as a child. Perhaps they grew up in some gorgeous mansion. perhaps they went to one of the great museums of the world as a kid and were completely captivated by it. Whatever it was, a single building got them interested in the process of designing and building others.

For other people, architecture schools are part of a political mission. You wouldn't believe how many visionaries there are at an average architectural school. At the one I go to, they probably make up half the class. Some of them want to design buildings with the idea of providing beautiful and affordable housing to the poor, others to change the way we see space as a society.

For me, going to architecture school was part of a much more down to earth experience. As a matter of fact, you could say that I always had an interest in buildings. I grew up on a farm, in one of the last communities in this country that still practices barn raising. For me, architecture school was not the realization of a lifelong abstract dream, but rather a way to build on my early, hands on experiences with communal buildings.

 I feel like this gives me a much clearer vision than many people in architecture schools nowadays. Your typical architecture school student has his or her head in the clouds. In some ways, this is a good thing. It is good to have a vision to unify your buildings. There are many things that buildings have to be. They have to be functional, structurally sound, and comfortable to occupy. They don't necessarily have to be beautiful. When they are beautiful, however, it is like a wonderful luxury for the city around. Although not everyone understands an architect's vision, they can tell whether or not he has one.

On the other hand, if you enroll in a school of architecture without any hands-on experience, you can lose track of the purpose behind what you are doing. Architecture is, after all, about providing spaces for people to live and work. Architecture school can teach you many things, but unless you go in with this understanding, you will never build with both elegance and practicality.

Addressing The Needs Of Home-Schooled Kids

There is a wide variation when it comes to the public opinion on homeschooling. Some are avid supports, while some do not find it in the best interest of children. And to weight out the pros and cons of homeschooling, a list of advantages and disadvantages of this alternative means of education is set up.

Either way, if it is really the best of the learners that is at their supporters and detractors hearts; why not consider what the learner really needs in order to achieve learning success whether in the public and private educational system or through homeschooling.

Taking the side of homeschooling, it is important to evaluate and identify the needs of the children, their interest, the learning methods that best stimulates their curiosity and inquisitiveness. This is the only key to a quality homeschool education - addressing what the homeschooled kid needs.

In homeschooling children, the instructors may be in the form of the parents or a tutor should be able to commit a time for learning. And homeschooling, with all the preparations, will really take up much time. A child will have to be given a strict time schedule for learning, and time for playing as well.

Homeschooled children are criticized to be less sociable individuals. Indeed, socialization is a major factor in developing the personality of a child. Having this in mind, instructors should give attention to the child getting together with other children apart from the home.

All children grow at their own pace. Let kids be kids. Understand that they are experiencing the world for the first time. Get involved and be interested in what interests the child. If it is in the arts and crafts field, then focus on that. Not only will it help the instructor foster rapport with the child, but this will also stimulate and motivate the child to learn new things. Give the child some room to grow and develop on his own with proper guidance.

The effort of homeschooling children will never be too much. It is constant striving to address the children's needs and this will greatly vary as you go along. Children grow and develop, and sooner or later will be interested in new things. And when this time comes, the instructor should always be ready to cater to the children's requirement for learning.

A Complete Guide To The Different Learning Theories

Educational theorists, from philosophers like Socrates and Rousseau to researchers like Howard Gardner today, have addressed theories of learning. Many of their ideas continue to influence homeschoolers as well as traditional educators. A little familiarity with some of the ideas most popular among homeschoolers will help you make sense of the wealth of available materials when you begin to make choices for your family.

Jean Piaget and Cognitive Development

He proposed that children go through several distinct stages of cognitive growth. First comes the sensorimotor stage (birth to two years), during which the child learns primarily through sensation and movement. At the pre-operational stage (ages two to seven), children begin to master symbols such as language and start to be able to form hypotheses based on past experiences. At the concrete operational stage (ages seven to eleven), children learn to generalize from one situation to similar ones, although such reasoning is usually limited to their own concrete experience.

Finally, at the formal operational stage (eleven years older), children can deal with abstractions, form hypothesis and engage freely in mental speculation. Although the rate at which children progress through the stages varies considerably, the sequence of stages is consistent for all children.

Therefore, to be appropriate and effective, learning activities should be tailored to the cognitive level of the child.

Rudolf Steiner and the Waldorf Schools

Steiner divided children’s development into three stages: to age seven, children learn primarily by imitation; from seven to fourteen, feelings and emotions predominate; and after age fourteen, the development of independent reasoning skills becomes important. Waldorf education tends to emphasize arts and crafts, music, and movement, especially at younger ages, and textbooks are eschewed in favor of books the students make for themselves. Waldorf theories also maintain that the emphasis should be on developing the individual’s self-awareness and judgment, sheltered from political and economic aspects of society until well into adolescence.

Montessori and the Prepared Environment

Italian physician Maria Montessori’s work emphasized the idea of the prepared environment: Provide the proper surroundings and tools, so that children can develop their full potential. Montessori materials are carefully selected, designed to help children learn to function in their cultures and to become independent and competent. Emphasis is on beauty and quality, and that which confuses or clutters is avoided: Manipulative are made of wood rather than plastic tools are simple and functional, and television and computers are discouraged.

Charlotte Mason: Guiding Natural Curiosity

Charlotte Mason was a nineteenth-century educator advocated informal learning during the child’s early year contrast with the Prussian system of regimented learning then in vogue. She recommended nature study to develop both observational skill and an appreciation for the beauty of creation and extended that approach to teaching history geography through travel and study of the environment rather than as collections of data to master. She felt children learn best when instruction takes into account their individual abilities and temperaments, but she emphasized the importance of developing good habits to govern one’s temperament and laying a solid foundation of good moral values.

Holt and Unschooling

Educator John Holt wrote extensively about school reform in the 1960s. Although he originally proposed the word “unschooling” simply as a more satisfactory alternative to “homeschooling.” Unschooling now generally refers to a style of homeschooling, in which learning is not seperated from living, and children learn mainly by following their interests. Children learn best, he argued, not by being taught, but by being a part of the world, free to most interests them, by having their questions answered as they ask them, and by being treated with respect rather than condescension.

Gardner and Multiple Intelligences

Psychologist Howard Gardner argues that intelligence is not a single unitary property and proposes the existence of “multiple intelligences.” He identifies seven types of intelligence: linguistic, musical, logical-mathematical, spatial, bodily kinesthetic, interpersonal, and intrapersonal. Because each person has a different mix of these intelligences, learning is best tailored to each individual’s strengths, rather than emphasizing the linguistic and logical-mathematical approaches traditionally used in schools. A bodily kinesthetic learner, for instance, might grasp geometric concepts presented with hands-on manipulative far more easily than she would if they were presented in a more traditionally logical, narrative fashion. A teaching approach that recognizes a variety of learning styles might encourage many individuals now lost by conventional methods.

Homeschool - Field trips

If you are going over a particular subject with the family and feel that a field trip would be beneficial, then that's what you should do - go for a trip. If you are attached to a support group, you can plan to include other children too. 

Here are some guidelines that will help you plan:
1) Collect the rates
2) Allowed ages
3) Special highlights
4) Size of the group
5) Timings
6) Eating facilities

Inform your support group of all these details well in advance so that the necessary circulars may be sent out. On the appointed day, arrange to meet with other parents and children in a particular place. Plan the mode of travel and reach the place at least 10 minutes in advance.

The field trip is not just fun. So, let your kids bring their writing material. Allow them time to stare and admire. Do not hurry them along. Collect data beforehand so that you can clear doubts. Get help from a guide, if necessary. And most importantly, have fun and enjoy the time you spend with your children.

Info Grading in homeschooling

Grading in homeschooling is done by the teacher-in-charge. In most of the cases, this means mom! In this situation, grading can get a  bit tricky because it can be a little difficult to grade your own  child. There is no benchmark against which you can evaluate your  child's performance. In most cases, you also have no awareness of  how well other children are doing. So, obviously the traditional  method of grading is perhaps not the best method to follow.

When grading a child undergoing homeschooling, it is more  important to assess whether the child has understood the subject  that is being taught. Inherent in this is the fact that if the  child has not understood something, you will go over it again.  This will work in your child's favor in 2 ways. Firstly, the child  knows that if he or she fails to catch on, the topic will be
repeated till it is mastered. Secondly, the child also knows that  once the topic has been mastered, he or she will get full credit  for his hard work. Getting full reward for the hard work put in is  a great motivational factor, especially for kids.

When assessing your child's abilities, do not allow emotions to  overcrowd your rationale. Do not yield to the cries and tears of  your child if he or she resists certain topics or subjects. If  mastering these skills is necessary, then you as the teacher (and  not as the parent alone) have to go over the topic over and over  till it sinks in. When dealing with tougher concepts, the child  may get restless and may even show frustration or belligerence.  When the child is still young and unable to understand the  importance of his lessons, it is your responsibility to see to it  that the child develops the skill set necessary for future growth.  In case you belong to a state that requires yearly tests, this  will help you to judge your child's ability vis-à-vis his peers.  Even if it is not mandatory, you may want to test your child every  year. These tests will reveal the variations in the child's learning pattern. It may show up unexpected areas of strength and hitherto unknown areas of weakness. This enables you to structure your teaching to cover the areas that are weak, and build upon the areas that are strong.

In case your state requires a home school report card, keep a record of the yearly development and scores of your child. Include pertinent areas like punctuality, discipline etc in the report. You may also need to keep a record of the number of working days and attendance schedules.

While grading your child, make sure that you use as many external tests as possible. There are several web sites that deal with the  various age groups, and allow free download of question papers.  This is an excellent and cost-effective method to assess your  child. Homeschooling, if done in the proper manner, will boost the  child's confidence because he will be studying to satisfy his  natural curiosity. The scores therefore will reflect his true  intelligence.

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