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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.

Financing homeschooling

When people talk about teaching their children from home in the
absence of any definite or structured curriculum, it is perhaps natural to think that homeschooling is cheap. But this is far from the truth. Although homeschooling does not stick to any particular text, this is perhaps more of a bane than a boon, when it comes to finance.
When you need to make sure that your children receives state-of-the-art education so that they can compete with regular school goes, expenses will naturally mount. The actual cost of educating a child at home is surprisingly high. Up-to-date textbooks, course materials, a library, computing equipment, lighting, specially designed furniture all cost money. In this case, the cost may be slightly lesser when it comes to homeschooling the second child. Add to this any additional tuition cost for tutors who come to teach subjects that cannot be handled by parents, like higher-level math or science. The total cost can be a bit mind boggling.
If you take another important factor into consideration, homeschooling costs may effective triple. The need for having one of the parents tied to the house and fully dedicated to providing education deprives the family of a second earning member. The average homeschooling teacher is usually a lady with a college degree. This means that she can easily bring home a pay of $35,000 or more. It is also interesting to note that most families that have more than 2 children do not opt for homeschooling at all.
But, there are those who have been successful in carrying out homeschooling at low rates. This is dependent on the size of the family, the support group, the type of materials used and the availability of the material. When successive children can reuse the materials, cost goes down. Much of the course material can be
got from vendors of homeschooling materials. A membership in a public library, theater, concerts, ballets and other cultural events also help in cutting costs. Sometimes, it is even possible to barter expertise. For instance, the mother of an 8-year old gives dancing classes, and her daughter receives drawing classes for free. Support groups allow you to divide the cost of field trips, science projects and fairs.
Whatever the cost, advocates of homeschooling say that the benefits far outweigh these considerations. When you are able to decide what knowledge your child receives and when he or she should be taught and to what extent, it gives you a lot of freedom and a lot of power. Both the children as well as the parents benefit from this mutually enriching experience.