Beginning the Journey of Homeschooling High School!

Homeschooling high school–are you nervous or excited? Or a little bit of both?! High school is a rewarding time to be homeschooling, as your children mature and grow and engage you in more complicated conversations. Along with the fun, though, are some important things you should be thinking about as you enter these high school years, and now is the time to start work!

Your child’s freshman year is the time to begin learning about high school testing. One of the reasons it is so important to start thinking about this during freshman year is that some tests are best administered to a child immediately after they finish a class. For instance, if they’re taking chemistry and you decide you want them to take an AP test in chemistry, they should take the test when they’ve learned the content.

You also need to decide whether your child should take an SAT, AP, or CLEP subject test. Some colleges only accept certain tests, so it’s important to find out which ones will be accepted by the colleges your child will most likely be going to.

And don’t forget to register for those tests so they can actually take them, because all of the research in the world isn’t going to help you if you don’t actually register for the test! To register, all you have to do is call your local public or private high school and say, “I’m a homeschool parent, and would like to know if my homeschooled child can take the SAT or the AP subject test at your high school, and how do I register for that”?

The next thing you want to do during your child’s freshman year, if you’re feeling pretty confident in where you are, is to think about colleges for a minute. It doesn’t hurt to begin looking at colleges with your teenager now. You could identify a primary list of colleges that you might consider. If you’ve always thought, “probably these four are the ones that we’re going to apply to,” or “my child has always mentioned an interest in going to Harvard” or something, then you should begin to look at those colleges.

If you do have some colleges in mind, it’s a good idea to look into their application requirements now, because if the college your child wants to attend is that one college in a million that requires four years of foreign language or something, you want to know that earlier on in Freshman year. You could also consider a college visit in the spring. Most college visits are done during the spring of Junior year; but it’s perfectly fine for you to take your children for college visits in Freshman year or even earlier.

How Soon Can a Child Learn Math? Part II

As was noted in the previous article, age requirement for beginning mathematics with your child will be depended upon a few things: 1) your readiness to come up with creative ways to teach and command attention and; 2) your willingness to exercise patience and a loving attitude. Early childhood learning, whether its mathematics or reading, works best when abilities are allowed to unfold naturally and isn’t hampered by the pressure of expectations one way or the other.

Below are practical tips for preparing your child’s mind for basic mathematics. These exercises can work well with preschoolers as early as three. However, a child a little younger can also be instructed if the child demonstrates proficiency with the 1 – 10 counting sequence and exhibits an eagerness as well as a quickness for learning. It is essential to utilize good teaching practices particularly for children this age for optimal success.

Institute a routine to impress upon the child that these sessions will indeed become a part of his/her day. All in all, let your intention be to make this an exciting time to begin your child on a productive journey of learning experiences.

Tips for early preparation conducive for creating junior mathematicians:

o Build upon toddler activities of counting using fingers 1-10 by purchasing computer programs, DVDs, workbooks for toddlers – ages 2.5 through 4.

o Using other objects in your environment to count: apples, oranges, toys, etc. During car trips, count the number of a particular color of cars. Count the number of seconds between green and red lights. Do this throughout the day so that it becomes a habit! If the child is not receptive, (ill or temperamental) do not attempt to engage him/her. Remember to associate learning with the good feelings of fun and enthusiasm.

o After they have mastered counting 1 – 10 and are able to do it with ease, make a first attempt at teaching basic addition.

o Introduce basic addition as a new game! Grab a total of 4 oranges (or apples, etc.). Initially keep the sums to numbers under 5.

o Start with one orange. Place it in front of the child and ask him/her how many oranges he/she sees. Confirm pleasantly that it is ONE orange.

o Now grab another orange and state clearly that you will now add another orange. Place it a little apart from the first orange and then ask how many oranges are there? If the answer is TWO oranges – state that he/she is correct and reward with praise. Be sure to give hugs and kisses.

o Here is the important part of the exercise. Slowly enunciate how 1 orange PLUS 1 more orange equals 2 oranges! Get them to comprehend the concept – slowly, calmly and patiently. Never add a negative tone. If you do, the exercise becomes heavy and undesirable; possibly sabotaging a constructive attitude needed for future proficiency in math.

o Add additional oranges (or other fun objects) as learning capacity expands, gradually moving up to sums equal to five.

When complete mastery of basic addition has occurred now would be a good time to introduce workbooks (and other instructional tools) featuring basic addition. Once the child gives cues that he/she is ready to move on, subtraction beginning with differences under 5, could be a next step.

Just a few more suggestions, if the child has a hard time understanding the concept behind the word PLUS use a substitute like “add ___ more” and so on. The bottom line is to ensure that a basic understanding of addition takes place. Again, keep it fresh and fun by “adding” all kinds of things around the house. Ensure that it becomes a habit by doing it daily! Stop before the child tires of the “game” simply because it creates eagerness.

Research a good kindergarten curriculum to determine which concept to tackle next and don’t hinder with superficial (i.e. age-appropriate curriculums) limits, especially if he/she is content and capable of learning it.

Bear in mind that with early childhood education, especially mathematics – consistency and progression is key!

Homeschool Classroom Setting

If at all possible, the homeschool education classroom setting should be a specific room, or at least an area of the home. And even better, this room or area should only be used for your homeschool education organization. It’s important that your students associate this room with that of focus and learning. If a separate area for home study schooling is not possible then make sure the area you do use is free from clutter and other non topical material that could be distraction when the home school is in session.

Allowing for, and keeping your homeschool classroom organized is also a key ingredient for success. Not only should you provide for your organizational needs but let’s not forget about the child’s homeschool supplies and materials too! Be creative with the space you have. You don’t need a big budget to get your classroom organized and setup. Use various sizes of boxes for cubby holes. Even bigger boxes could serve as partitions for the room! These boxes can even be painted (instead of your walls!) and have educational accomplishments even stuck on them…. You get the picture! And, if needed, at the end of each day they can be folded up and put away!

Visual materials for the home education are a must. If you don’t have a big chalkboard, invest in an easel and a big flip chart type notepad. Always sitting next to the child or children isn’t always the best way to illustrate instruction. For one, you hand will generally always be in the way so the student can’t see your visualizations as you speak. When this happens your verbal instruction doesn’t match what the child is able to see. Kind of like watching one of those foreign films where the English is dubbed in! The conversation has already happened before you see their lips move!

Of course, there are many aspects and pieces to a successful homeschool education. The home school classroom is but one of them. With a little planning and some attention to detail, as a homeschooler, you will create an environment that is conducive to the child’s learning.

 

How to Develop Your Child’s Interest in Art and Craft!

Arts and crafts are great ways to help children develop interest in creative things and also gain the ability to appreciate the finer details of life. From drawing and painting, craft to any other type of project that involves making use of creativity, together with out-of-the-box thinking can help develop the child’s mental stimulation together with making the child a more rounded individual. If you want your children to have a complete personality, then it’s crucial to develop their interest in art and craft at an early age and here are five tips to help you in your mission of bringing your children closer to the world of art and crafts.

1. Show your Children that Art can be Fun

Children are more liable to be interested in arts and crafts if you make it look and sound fun. Instead of sending kids off to their room with a colouring book and some art and craft supplies like crayons or sketch pens, you can try to turn it into a game or a fun activity. Always join your kids in their art experiments and turn it into a team activity. This way you can also bond with your children better and give them some memories to cherish once they grow up. Also, another crucial thing is never to force art upon your children or it will take away all the fun and learning from it. So be encouraging without being too pushy.

2. Target their Interests

Taking tip number 1 a little further, a good way of encouraging your children into taking up art and crafts is by focusing on their interest area. For example, if your children are fond of watching superhero cartoons on television, then you can start their journey into the art world by beginning with some superhero project. If the art work is based on something that your children like or adore, then there are more chances that they will enjoy it better. So, it is important that you base the creative endeavor on something your children are interested in.

3. Invest in some Good Quality Art and Craft Supplies

Small children are naturally attracted towards new, shiny and colourful objects. While art and craft supplies are naturally colourful, you can choose the more appealing ones with pictures of cartoon characters or superheroes on the cover and go in for school stationery in attractive shapes and colours as such art and craft supplies are bound to be even more attractive to children. Also, never underestimate the importance of good quality when it comes to choosing art and craft supplies are good quality will always boost the performance of your budding artists.

4. Take your Children along to Buy Art and Craft Supplies

Visiting a craft store with your kids will help to expose your children to a wide variety of arts and craft supplies like crayons, painting brushes, poster paints, acrylic paints, glass and fabric paints, glitters, different types of paper, craft tools etc. Let your children pick out the art and craft supplies that they like and this way they will always be interested in art.

5. Decorate your Home with Art your Children Have Created

This is a sure shot way to get kids glued to art and crafts. Displaying the works of art that your children have created on the mantle, the showcase, on top of the fridge or on the living room table is perhaps the best way to encourage them. When your children see their artwork decorating the house, they will not just feel happy but will also realize that what they have created is beautiful and has value.

Venus and Serena Williams – Poster Models For Homeschooling

Venus and Serena Williams are phenomenally successful tennis masters. Their homeschooling background enhances their exceptional professional expression. They are the progeny of their self taught father and coach, Richard Williams.

Lawrence Rudner PhD, led a landmark investigation into the benefits of homeschooling circa 1998-99. In his association with the University of Maryland, he surveyed more than 20000 participants in schooling networks throughout the United States. In this respected study, Rudner revealed the beneficial profile of the home-school genre. His research demonstrated high academic proficiencies of the home-schoolers. He found that the majority of the students showed eighty to ninety percent competencies in their studies at home.

Key to these academic outcomes is the one on one tutorial aspects to instruction. Adventures in Learning k-12 is a in home tutorial approach that includes these successful principles for home-schooling.

The 2007 Rand Corporation study conducted for the US Department of Education re-enforced the findings of the Rudner study. The one on one tutorial-instructional approach leads to higher academic proficiency. So the findings of the 1998 Rudner research are strengthened again in 2007 by the Rand Corporation research for the US Department of Education. Other high achievers like the Williams’ sister include politicians, like Franklin D Roosevelt. Scientists Booker T Washington and George Washington Carver were home schooled. Military leader Douglas MC Arthur also home schooled. Contemporary pop music stars such as the Jonas Brothers and Hansen also were home instructed. Add comedian Whoopi Goldberg to these ranks as well.

Interestingly, the outcomes of successful homeschooling transcends the achievement gaps characteristic of public education. So the results in the Rudner research showed high academic proficiency in all ethnic, racial and economic groupings. Hats off to Richard Williams, the sharecropper’s son, who taught his daughters the art and science of mastery tennis using his own home schooling approach to instruction.

Advantages of Education Games Used in a Home School Environment

The operations manual for the most important piece of equipment imaginable – the brain. There are resources and materials which can assist a child to access and apply their brains’ immense powers. Parents can learn with their children.how to assemble and paint their own planetarium model, highlight it to create the glow effect and charge it with any light source. Can you navigate a ball through a mind-bending obstacle course as quickly as you can? LET A CHILD SHOW YOU HOW!

*Teachers and Parents can easily access the Sentence Building and Farmyard Dominoes that teach spelling and counting. Cubes printed with numbers are an interactive and visual way to get to grips with mathematics. This hands-on manipulative kit can be used to teach a range of maths concepts to all ages. The Pizza Fraction Action Snap is a fantastic learning tool where teachers and parents can guide youngsters to experience learning with little formal teaching. These resources are invaluable as they are designed to encourage natural interaction, which gives the child a feeling of great satisfaction.

*Learning Physics with children can be quite exciting: The Sphere is an expanding and contracting ball. It cleverly combines mathematics and geometry to create a surprising motion that fascinates children and adults alike. Can you imagine how a toy such as this could lead to an interest in physics at University level?

*The British Isles jigsaw will test the memory of parents and teachers and enhance the visual and physical skills of young learners. Geography has never been easier. This jigsaw is multifaceted. Youngsters in a short time learn to connect shapes which are linked to counties, towns, rivers and other physical aspects of the United Kingdom. This style of learning lays down strong cognitive schemas which enlarges children’s memory processes.

All the resources are easily accessible, very inexpensive and dispatched to reach the recipient within 24 hours. All the material is accessible for all children at all levels of learning from toddlers pre-school, through kindergarten, 3, 5 and 6 year olds, up to high school. Even parents will enjoy the vast array of educational toys and games that are available for their children.

The equipment encompasses primary learning, active, outdoor and intelligent learning. Many teachers such as those involved with International Baccalaureate schools, independent primary schools and nurseries find these games to be invaluable. So whether children are being educated at home or school is immaterial, the resources are excellent.

Home Tuition – How Can It Be Advantageous for Your Child?

Schools are meant to provide kids with the basic education that is needed prior to choosing a specific stream. However, school education has a one-size-fits-all approach and teaches pupils at the same pace whereas the pace of learning tends to vary with each child. This means that every kid learns at his own pace, something that cannot be accommodated by school education system. If your child fails to understand and grasp specific parts of the curriculum at the same pace as others, which is quite natural, it is a good idea to opt for home tuition. These are some excellent advantages of having private tutors to guide your kids at home.

Easy adjustment

Research shows that many children find it difficult to adjust to a new educational environment, even if it is the home or coaching class of a private tutor and not necessarily a school. At home, your kid will not feel any difficulty in adjustment and will feel more comfortable when he or she is learning from the tutor. Your kid will not feel embarrassed to ask questions, share opinions and seek advice from home tutors.

Complete attention from tutors

With a home tutor, your child can get complete attention and not have to share his tutor with others. The teacher will not need to concentrate on other students, and give his complete focus to your kid. This can help him to ask questions at any time that he likes, and not feel disinterested and de-motivated at any time during the study. Also, he will be unable to while away time as he will need to respond to the tutor at any given moment while studying.

No competition

Peer pressure can be extremely damaging for education. With a home tutor, your child will not feel that his actions and answers are being scrutinized by other students. Thus, he will be able to express himself more clearly and the tutor can spot his problems and weak areas. The tutor can even alter the curriculum in such a way that it gets more appropriate for your kid. With no negative sense of competition, your kid will not hold back his queries and feel free to make mistakes and learn from them.

Promise of better ranks

With complete focus and better understanding of the curriculum, your kid can offer more satisfactory answers and achieve better ranks in school. Even if your child is a decent student, he can fare much better in various subjects with more attention and a more suitable pace of learning.

Greater sense of confidence

With more personalized attention and the ability to dig into more detail about the curriculum, your kid can feel more confident about his studies and even overcome his fears of exams. You can even keep an eye on the extent of progress of your child and find out whether or his or her pace of improvement is satisfactory. With home tutors who are well-qualified, you can rest assured about the overall academic progress of your kid.

Home Schooling in Your Motorhome

At first glance the terms “hitting the road” and “hitting the books” might appear mutually exclusive. But if you home school your children and have access to a motor home, read on.

Your one room school house on wheels.

One of major concerns of parents who decide to home school their children is that their child is not exposed to the wide array of mental stimuli encountered by children who participate in a more conventional education. Children who go to public and even private schools are exposed to many different cultures, personalities and diverse beliefs. However, children schooled in the home sometimes are not exposed to a wide variety of other children. Co-operative home schooling, which brings a number of families together to share the work in educating their children, helps somewhat but home schooled children still, may not experience the plethora of mental stimuli experienced by their more traditionally schooled counterparts. One way to ensure that your child has access to these stimuli is to pack up your motor home and hit the road.

Math Class

As you head down the highway in your one room school house on wheels, opportunities for teaching abound. In addition to the regular daily lesson plan, you can incorporate trip specific lessons into the daily work. For example, the math lesson begins when you stop at the neighborhood filling station to top off your tank. Consult the owners’ manual of your motor home and find out the capacity in gallons of your fuel tank. If age and grade appropriate have your young student convert this measurement from gallons to liters. For younger children, a fun activity is to let them watch the pump through the RV window and count the gallons or even tenths of gallons that pour into your motor homes fuel tank. Of course with the current price of gasoline, this activity will be much more fun for them than for you.

Once you’ve filled your tank, get out the map and sit with your student to study your route. Consult your motor home’s manual again and find how many miles per gallon you can expect to get. Help your young student compose a formula to find how far down the planned route you’ll be able to travel before your motor home requires fuel again. You can help your child use the map to help navigate as you travel along. Plan a side trip at the spur of the moment. Ask your child to tell you how this side trip will affect your timetable and fuel bill?

History Lessons.

Plan your trip so that you follow an historical route. Follow the Trail of Tears, maybe the Oregon Trail. Travel the dusty path the cowboys rode in cattle drives from Texas to Dodge City, Kansas. If you’ve got the time, follow the route of Lewis and Clark or, explore the vast expanse of the Louisiana Purchase. What ever path you choose to follow, make sure you have plenty of supplemental materials for your young student to study. Many motor home parks have high speed internet available to their campers. At the end of each day, have your child connect to the Internet and gather information about the history of the places you’ve visited.

Social Studies

Take a trip through Appalachia. Venture some distance from the Interstate into the heart of some small town. Stop at a small store or local diner. Observe the people who live and work there. Listen to their accents or, eavesdrop on a conversation. There is no better way to discover how other people live than to explore these microcosms of America. You might even want to contact local parents who also home school their children and arrange a visit to learn more about each other and compare home school curriculums.

Other Destinations

Many home schooling co-operatives hold events at various motor home parks to compare and refine home school curriculums and provide new experiences for their home schooled students. An Internet search for these home school meet ups will yield many entertaining and informative events. If you choose to make one of these trips, be prepared to have a good time and be sure to bring your favorite covered dish.

Exercises such as these are entertaining and exciting to your child and if properly presented, your young student may not even realize he is in school. But remember, as entertaining, exciting and educational as these road exercises are, they are not a replacement for the well planned curriculum and lesson plans available to parents home schooling their children.

Is a Boarding School Really a Good Option for Your Child’s Future?

Gaining admittance into a Swiss boarding school isn’t easy. A lot of preparation is required to ensure the best chances of success. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

1. Work with a boarding schools placements consultant.

You want a consultancy company or an expert specializing in Swiss boarding schools and international placements. Aside from helping you choose the most suitable school, these consultants can also help your child gain admission. Selecting and getting into some of the best schools in Switzerland certainly becomes easier with the help of a professional, who can guide you to the right facility that meets your requirements and expectations in terms of curriculum, method of teaching, facilities, and even tuition.

2. Submit the application way ahead of the deadline.

It might take you some time to complete your admissions folder, so start early and submit all the required documents in advance. An educational consultant can help you with this. The admission staffs of Swiss boarding schools are likely to appreciate the promptness and care you will show to complete the application files as soon as you can. The earlier you submit, the earlier they can begin the review process.

3. Seek and submit recommendation forms early.

You will likely need two to three recommendation forms from your child’s current teachers. Request them early. A week before the due date is too late; it’s also discourteous to rush the teachers. Thoughtful recommendations take time to complete properly. Give the teachers as much time as possible.

4. Practice and hire a tutor.

It’s a good idea to hire a tutor should your child need extra help. Buy the practice materials early, so your child can begin practicing for admissions testing ahead of others. While it’s not the only factor considered, your child’s admissions test scores indicate his or her level of learning to date, and how well he or she is likely to perform at the Swiss boarding school you are eyeing.

5. Iron out financial aids in advance.

Do you have concerns about the tuition? If you don’t think you can afford the entire amount, it’s best to look for financial grants and scholarships ahead of time. Waiting until the last minute is never a good idea-especially when it comes to seeking financial aid. Grant and scholarship decisions are typically made separately from admission decisions. There is limited funding for aid, so you should adhere to the deadlines scrupulously of you don’t want to risk having your request turned down.

Thinking About Homeschooling? Teachers Are

One might be surprised to know that the biggest influx to the home school arena today are professional teachers. The reasons they give are very interesting.

  •  In the 60s teachers had more say so about what happened in their class rooms. However the government is more in control these days. It is important to know that the Vietnam War taught us that the war cannot be won from the White House. Likewise the teacher, who is in the trenches (metaphorically speaking) knows what her kids need. Unlike the bureaucracy, She sees them as human beings, and not as statistics. Heck the school lunches were even much better in the 60s.
  •  Teachers rightfully complain they must now teach their children to pass the government mandated tests requiring them to sacrifice teaching the basics.
  •  Class sizes have become so large that kids are taught to act like robots rather than individuals. Teachers find themselves having to teach as if a one size fits all…they are less able to individualize their curriculum.
  •  Recess and play time are being decreased. Many teachers complain this is creating stress, and forcing little ones to fit into unhealthy and unnatural molds.

Teachers are getting a bum wrap when they are blamed for the increasing decline in the U.S. public school system, and few people are listening to “those in the trenches”. It is more likely that government bureaucracy is to blame. Is it any wonder that so many teachers are choosing to home school their own families?

Most home school students out perform public school children on college entrance exams. Obviously most parents are doing something right whether they have teaching credentials or not.

Are there some sad stories about children that are not receiving an adequate education in the home school venue? The answer is yes, but there are more such stories found in the public school system. Government intervention is not a solution. Parent awareness and involvement (“those in the trenches”) is the solution. That is the case whether one has children in the home school or public school systems.

This is not said to put an impossible burden or even blame on parents. I say this to empower parents. The solution to today’s education is noticeably coming from you, the people.