Benefits of Homeschooling

A wise man once said, “We can teach our children to have courage, faith, and endurance and show them how to learn, and they can teach us to laugh, to sing, and to love.” In other words, each family member has valuable lessons to teach the family.

When a family homeschools, this reciprocal relationship is magnified. Homeschooling participants are affected by more than just the person who sit at the homeschool table. All generations create and reinforce the bond between family members. Home schooling families spend their time laughing, learning, playing and living with each other 24/7.

You can choose the best curriculum to promote an intrinsic love of lifelong learning. The homeschool curriculum is flexible. The parameters are determined by the best teachers available, the parents, who know and love their children.

Learning never stops in the homeschool environment. The parents are not just lecturers or observers. They are active participants who expand, explain and encourage their children to be inquisitive and explore the specific areas that interest them without the constraints of arbitrary rules set up by an outside source.

Another benefit to homeschooling is that the parents model and reinforce valuable behavior and deemphasize undesirable behavior in a natural manner.

Historically several generations lived in the same home. Everyone benefited from this multi-generational living arrangement, coming away with valuable lessons that cannot be taught in a book. Plus most of the time there was the added advantage of the multi-grade/level schoolhouse for the formal education.

Presently we often put the older generation in nursing homes when they get too bothersome (only to visit them on holidays), and we settle for a failing public school system that has been tasked with being everything to everyone but alienates most participants.

Homeschooling is the best of both worlds. It’s good for both the family and for your children’s education.

The benefits of home schooling are limitless. As a parent who homeschooled three children, I feel that homeschooling is the greatest gift a parent can give their child. Try it. You’ll like it!

The Power of Homeschooling

There are 3 powerful reasons why homeschooling works. These include:

(1.) Homeschooling enables exposure to a broad range of people, ideas, and places. Homeschooling is so flexible that it allows family field trips whenever you want. This provides a great way to learn through taking tours, meeting knowledgeable people, and volunteering. What is even better is that you can take advantage of these opportunities during the week when there aren’t crowds and when the tour guides, or educators, have time to answer your individual questions. Add in some library books and videos, the writing of thank you notes, the writing of a portfolio entry describing your “adventure,” and the possibility of giving an oral presentation to other homeschoolers and you’ll see just how powerful this can truly be. This also teaches your child(ren) that there are great teachers to be found in every walk of life.

(2.) If you own your own home business, homeschooling provides opportunities to teach your child(ren) business skills. Starting a home business today is relatively easy and painless. Involving your child(ren) in your home business is an excellent opportunity to teach them skills which will serve them well in any livelihood they might choose as adults. Just think of the various business opportunities that avail themselves. For instance, you can teach your child(ren) how to do basic bookkeeping on the computer.

(3.) Homeschooling allows great flexibility for vacations. You can easily take vacations in the off-season when prices are significantly lower and crowds are rare. For instance, if your family enjoys camping, you can go during the week, or in the weeks before Memorial Day and after Labor Day.

As you can easily see, homeschooling allows a family to do so much of what they truly love to do. That is the greatest power of homeschooling.

Home Schooling Doctors

Dedicated to my mother for devoting her love and time to homeschooling my three siblings and me. Your patience and love is without bounds.

Homeschooling with Ultimate Freedom

Homeschoolers have freedom without parallel. To mimic a public or private school curriculum is a waste of this freedom. This guide takes advantage of our freedom and outlines the exact academic curriculum for a homeschool student to get accepted into medical school. It tells the key to reading at age three, achieving near perfect SAT scores, taking college classes at age fourteen and acquiring acceptance letters to Ivy League colleges. Believe it or not, this is not that difficult. It does not require studying eight hours a day. It requires less. I had much more free time than my public school friends. My three younger siblings also had more free time. I am now a medical student at Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons. My siblings and I all read at age three, scored in the top percentiles on the SAT and received near perfect grades in college. We were all students of the same homeschool curriculum and strategy. This guide contains the key strategies, curricula and timelines for any homeschool student to achieve academic superiority.

Below is the most basic timeline of your student’s major academic achievements. Although I begin at age three, a student can hop on board at any age. The same overall strategy applies-just the timeline will probably be different.

Age (yrs) Milestone

3 Reading

9 Algebra

14 Enroll in college classes

15 Score above 98th percentile on SAT I; Score above 700 on SAT IIs; Calculus

16 – 17 Acceptance to “Most Competitive” College

22 Acceptance to Ivy League medical school (if you want)

Insight #1: “Give Your Child a Superior Mind”

This is the title of a book by the author Siegfried Engelmann. Get it. The book is no longer in print, but used copies can be found on Amazon.com. It is a real gem with timeless teachings. Use this book as a guide to begin educating your child at age three.

To teach your child how to read, use the book Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. Your child will be reading before his or her fourth birthday.

Bottom Line: Beginning at age three, teach the following books to your young prodigy.

Title: Give Your Child a Superior Mind

Authors: Siegfried and Therese Engelmann

Pub Date: 1981

Title: Teach your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons

Authors: Siegfried Engelmann, Phyllis Haddox, Elaine Bruner

Pub Date: 1986

Insight #2: Reading and Arithmetic (that’s it)

Reading and arithmetic should consume 80% of your student’s education from age three to thirteen. Wait! But what about history, political science, biology, chemistry and the other subjects? Surely these subjects MUST be important because they make up most of a public or private school curriculum. Wrong! Not to say that these subjects are unimportant, but, rather, a student with a strong reading comprehension and math background can learn them very quickly. In other words, it is very easy to “catch up” in these subjects.

Strong reading comprehension = 3.91 college GPA in history, philosophy and literature

I enrolled at Providence College with almost no history background. I knew some details about the Revolutionary War, Civil War and World Wars, but that was about it. One of the cornerstone courses at Providence College is the Development of Western Civilization (“Civ”). It is a five-credit course that is taken every semester during freshman and sophomore year. The course covers history, philosophy, literature and religion from the Ancient Greeks to the fall of the Berlin Wall. With virtually no background in Civ, I finished the Honors course series with all A’s. I am not bragging and am not gifted. It just turns out that studying these “fluff” subjects all throughout childhood is a waste of time. Of course, if your student finds these subjects interesting, then encourage further study! Especially, since it still involves reading. My youngest brother loves reading history and would spend hours reading the encyclopedia. However, it was crucial that this passion did not detract from his math studies. It didn’t and he scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT I.

Strong math background = 4.00 college GPA in physics, chemistry and calculus

Just as reading is key for success in the fluff subjects, math is essential for success in chemistry, physics and, well, more math. I have seen hundreds of pre-med students get poor grades in chemistry, physics and calculus because of bad math backgrounds. Math is the backbone of these problem-solving subjects.

While a strong reader can stroll into her first college history class with almost no background knowledge and ace the course, she probably could NOT do the same in the pre-medical courses. Stay with me though, because she will catch up and be a superstar in the sciences by age sixteen (this will be addressed in Part II, Insight #8). With this strategy, I graduated from Providence College with a 4.0 GPA in the pre-medical sciences. Similarly, all of my siblings have won awards for consistently stellar performances in the sciences.

Bottom Line: From age three to thirteen, 80% of your student’s education should be focused on reading and math. The remaining 20% can be spent studying other subjects with a bias toward the sciences.

Insight #3: Math… Math… and more Math

I cannot stress enough the importance of a strong math background. The following books are what I used for my math education and are highly recommended. The Saxon math books are very challenging and repetitive. This is a bear to many students, but it engrains a math foundation surpassed by few. Below is a timeline of what math books to use at different ages:

Age (yrs) Math Level Book Series, Author

4-8 Math Workbooks 1 – 16 Developmental Math Workbooks, George Saad, PhD

8 Math 76 Saxon Publishers, John Saxon

9 Algebra ½

10 – 11 Algebra 1

12 Algebra 2

13 – 14 Advanced Mathematics

15 – 16 Calculus

Developmental Math Workbooks: Completion of these books will require active participation of the homeschooling parent. They are merely workbooks, so you must teach the student how to perform the basic math functions (i.e. adding, division, fractions, decimals).

Saxon Math books: Each lesson in the Saxon Math books teaches the math function that is applied in the respective problem set. With the exception of Math 76 (which should be studied at an accelerated pace), the student should complete at least one lesson a day. As the student progresses through Algebra ½, she should require less and less of the homeschooling parent’s time. By the time the student completes Algebra ½, she should be learning most of the lessons herself with only occasional help.

Bottom Line: Math is probably the most important subject in the student’s education and should be the primary focus every school day.

Insight #4: Reading (lots of it)

A strong reading background is just as important as a strong math background. The books that I previously mentioned in Insight #1 by the author Siegfried Engelmann are highly recommended by my parents. However, my parents believe that the reading program that we used subsequently was not very good. The program we used from ages five to eight years old was Total Reading. Although this program worked okay for us, I am not going to fully endorse it as I do the other books/programs. I recommend doing some online research and finding a reading program that is better.

When the student is about ten years old, I recommend starting the book series Vocabulary from Classical Roots, by Nancy and Norma Fifer. This program teaches vocabulary by focusing on the Latin and Greek roots common to many words. It is key to know these roots for the SAT I verbal section. The SAT I verbal section includes an enormous variety of obscure and difficult words. To memorize the dictionary in order to do well in this section of the SAT I is unnecessary (and not worth your time). When I took the SAT, vocabulary was tested in sentence completions and analogies. Out of about forty vocabulary questions on the SAT, I only got one wrong. The SAT does not require the student to know the exact definition of each word; rather, he only needs to have a basic understanding of each word’s meaning. Vocabulary from Classical Roots gave me the ability to deduce the meanings of words that I had never seen before and, in turn, do well on the SAT verbal section.

In addition to the above reading curricula, the student should continually read, read, read. Reading difficult material will be immensely helpful for improving his reading comprehension. Throughout my youth, I read many classical books (i.e. Odyssey, War and Peace, Treasure Island).

Bottom Line: Your student should read as much as possible (both leisurely and as part of a program). Total Reading is the reading program that my family used from ages five to eight; however, I recommend researching another reading program that will give even better results. At around age ten, the student should begin learning vocabulary from Vocabulary from Classical Roots. Below is the info on the aforementioned books.

Title: Total Reading

Author: Total Reading, Inc.

Pub. Date: New editions available

Title: Vocabulary from Classical Roots

Author: Nancy Fifer and Norma Fifer

Pub. Date: 1998

Insight #5: A strong reader can quickly become a great writer

Until I took a college writing class at age sixteen, I had never written a paper longer than two double spaced pages. My first writing composition class was a freshman writing seminar at Kalamazoo College. I received an A- in the class, but it was probably the most challenging college class I ever took. In addition to my reading program, one of the only other parts of my homeschool curriculum that I would recommend changing is the writing component. There is no need for your student to write papers every day, but he probably should have written at least a dozen research papers before college. So, he should start writing papers periodically at age fourteen and will then easily obtain A’s in college writing classes. By the time I was a sophomore at Providence College, my research, creative writing and philosophy papers were used as examples in the class. My siblings all received A’s in their college writing classes as well.

While writing becomes a large part of the student’s curriculum at age fourteen, the mechanics of writing (i.e. grammar) should be learned before then. Starting at age eleven, I used the Easy Grammar 56 Workbook to learn advanced grammar. At age twelve, I began studying the next book in the series, Easy Grammar Plus Workbook.

Bottom Line: A strong reader has the potential to be a great writer. The student should start writing papers on a regular basis at age fourteen. To learn the mechanics of writing, he should study the following workbooks starting at age eleven and finishing by age fourteen.

Title: Easy Grammar Workbook 56

Author: Wanda Phillips

Pub. Date: 1994

Title: Easy Grammar Plus Workbook

Author: Wanda Phillips

Pub. Date: 2007

Insight #6: Age fourteen: Major curricula change

If you paid attention to the ages in the previous insights, it would seem that there is a ton of “catching up” to do beginning at age fourteen. It may seem like your student doesn’t have enough hours in a day to do it all. This is not true. Between ages thirteen and fourteen, the student’s homeschool curriculum changes drastically. For example, no longer is math the primary focus. Actually, only about 10% of the student’s time should be spent on Saxon math. By age thirteen, the student should already have a math background that will guarantee a near perfect math SAT score and easy A’s in college calculus. So, the majority of time that was previously spent on math will now be used for SAT preparation. Similarly, the time previously spent reading will now be converted to the study of chemistry. Finally, the amount of writing will more than double at this age. Below is an approximate schedule showing this curricula re-focus.

Age (yrs) Subject Study Time Allotment (%)

3-13 Math 40

Reading 40

Physical and natural sciences 10

Writing 5

History, geography, etc. 5

14 Math (Saxon) 10

Reading Comprehension 10

Chemistry 35

Writing 15

SAT Prep 30

Bottom Line: The intensity of your student’s study will increase a little bit at age fourteen. However, your student’s new studies (i.e. SAT prep, college chemistry, writing) should all come easy with his superior math and reading skills.

Insight #7: SAT, 99th percentile at age fifteen

So your homeschool student is now fourteen years old and will be applying to college in a couple of years. Public and private school students will go to their counselor’s office and request a copy of their official high school transcripts mailed to Harvard, MIT, etc. They will have the school seal on the envelope and counselor’s signature on the transcript. On the other hand, you will go to your word processor program on the family computer, write what you think resembles a high school transcript and then sign it as the student’s counselor. No doubt, Harvard might weigh your student’s 4.0 GPA transcript a bit differently than his private or public school peers. So, acing the SAT is probably the biggest step toward validating your student’s home education. I challenge any admissions committee member to look at your student’s 2200 (~99th percentile) score on the SAT I and say that his home education was inferior. On the other hand, if you submit his 4.0 GPA transcripts alongside a 1700 SAT score, admission committees are probably not going to be impressed.

So, the SAT is a really big deal. How and when does the student start preparing for it? He should take a couple of SAT I practice tests at age twelve. Then, tailor the studies a bit based on the results. If his reading comprehension score is below 550, start buying reading comprehension books. If his math score is low, well I’m actually not sure what to do. It is very hard to catch up in math. That’s why it is extremely important to primarily focus on math up to this age. I guarantee if you follow this guide, you will be impressed with your student’s math SAT score. All three of my siblings and myself scored above 700 on this section (actually, we have a combined average score of 760, which is about two wrong on the whole math section).

The student should plan on taking the SAT I at age fifteen. This means start preparing at age fourteen. It may take up to a year of SAT preparation before the student is ready to ace the test. Don’t worry though. This studying is not useless once the test is over. Rather, it will just further hone his math, reading and writing skills.

Regarding the mechanics of studying for the SAT, make WRITTEN goals. Write out a timeline leading up to your test date and set goals along the way. Below is an example goal chart started six months before the test date. Take note how it is front-loaded (greater score increases early on) because it is harder to gain extra points as your score climbs.

Date Math Section Verbal Section Writing Section

01/01/2011 660 620 640

02/01/2011 700 660 680

03/01/2011 730 690 710

04/01/2011 750 710 730

05/01/2011 770 720 740

06/01/2011 790 730 750

06/03/2011 *Test Date

SAT Prep Books: Kaplan and Princeton’s SAT preparation books are solid. Also, CollegeBoard’s SAT guide is crucial. This book contains actual SAT I exams from past test dates and are perfect for measuring your progress. However, don’t take too many of these valuable tests too soon. Otherwise, the student will run out of official practice tests months before the test date.

Bottom Line: The student’s strong math and reading background will enable her to achieve a SAT I score in the 98th to 99th Percentile at age fifteen (two years before your peers will take the test). Set written goals and milestones for the SAT I dating at least four to six months before the test date. Buy the following SAT prep books:

• Most recent editions of Kaplan SAT Math, Verbal and Writing workbooks

• Most recent editions of Princeton Review SAT Math, Verbal and Writing workbooks

• Most recent edition of CollegeBoard’s SAT study guide

Insight #8: SAT IIs (required for most of the Ivies)

The SAT IIs are required for admission into most of the top colleges, especially for homeschool applicants. Again, these tests validate your student’s homeschool education. Most of the top schools require about three SAT IIs. There are close to a dozen different SAT II subject tests ranging from math and chemistry to foreign languages and history. Of course, pick the subject tests that are your student’s strengths. If you followed this guide, then her most favorable SAT II subject tests are probably Math (IC or IIC), Chemistry and Literature. Reading and math are her strengths, so the math and literature subject tests should be easy. Chemistry should also be easy. She will have taken two college chemistry classes before taking the chemistry subject test (to be discussed in Insight #9). Since the literature and math SAT IIs are similar to the verbal and math sections of the SAT I, she should probably take the SAT IIs within three months of taking the SAT I.

Bottom Line: The student should take the SAT IIs that will show her strengths. Unless your student was a history buff, or studied a foreign language, she will probably do best on the Math, Literature and Chemistry subject tests. By age sixteen, she should be armed with SAT I and SAT II scores that are well above 700 in each respective section.

Insight #9: College classes at age fourteen

No matter the college, one of the most daunting pre-medical “screener” classes is chemistry. I’ve seen hundreds of bushytailed pre-medical students have their medical professional dreams crushed in college chemistry. More often than not, these students take general chemistry for the first time while juggling other difficult classes such as general biology and calculus. Additionally, these students are still making the psychological adjustment from high school to college. No doubt they struggle in general chemistry! For homeschool students, it is incredibly easy to avoid this unforgiving situation. Your student should simply take general chemistry at a local college while still homeschooling (commonly called “dual enrollment”). Firstly, the student will have a smooth transition to the college atmosphere. Secondly, the student will only have one college class to focus on instead of four to five classes. Thirdly, he can re-take these classes for easy A’s at his Ivy League university.

Let me talk for a couple minutes about this last strategic step-re-taking classes. My family’s approach was to take the difficult pre-medical science classes (General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, General Biology and General Physics) at a local college that was only ranked “competitive” according to Barron’s Guide to Colleges. We called this college our “high school college.” Then, we would apply as freshman to higher-powered colleges, which we called our “real college.” In other words, our high school college served the same purpose as AP classes for public school students. We would then re-take these pre-medical science classes at our real college to achieve easy A’s. It is important to note that the grades at our high school college still count when applying to medical school. Medical schools factor every college class the applicant ever takes into his college GPA. Also, the grades from your student’s high school college will be sent to his real college when he applies. So, it is important to pick a high school college that isn’t too challenging. You want him to get A’s in these classes.

In addition to general chemistry, before enrolling in your real college, you should also take college biology, physics, organic chemistry and a writing class. (To save money on these classes, apply to your high school college to become a full time student. By age fifteen, you will already have stellar SAT scores and should get a scholarship.) By age sixteen to seventeen, your student will be ready to ace any pre-medical science class that Harvard or MIT has to offer.

Below is the following timeline of the classes I took:

Age (yrs) Semester Classes

14 Fall Introductory Chemistry

15 Winter General Chemistry I

15 Fall Organic Chemistry I

16 Winter General Chemistry II

16 Fall General Biology I, Freshman Writing Seminar

17 Winter General Physics II, General Biology II

Bottom Line: Starting at age fourteen, begin taking college classes. For the first year, until the SATs are completed, take one class a semester, preferably the general chemistries (so that you can take organic chemistry the next semester). Then, complete at least the first semester of the other pre-medical sciences and a writing class by age seventeen.

Insight #10: Applying to the Ivies

You will apply to the top school of your choice one year early and your application should look something like this:

• 2200 on SAT I

• 790 on SAT II Chemistry

• 740 on SAT II Math

• 720 on SAT II Literature

• 4.0 GPA in General Chemistry I and II, Organic Chemistry I,

General Biology I and II, General Physics I

• Extracurriculars (following this guide, you should have plenty of time to play

sports, enter spelling bees, volunteer in the community, etc.)

Good Luck!

Homeschooling – Advantages and Disadvantages

Homeschooling has been growing popular nowadays. It offers the convenience of having good quality education right in the comforts of your own home. Many parents found it as the perfect answer to educating their children. They are able to focus on their child’s education and provide support for them. It has also been recognized by many educational institutions, college universities and various job-offering companies.

Do you want to know if homeschooling is the right one for your child? Before deciding, it is important to know its advantages and disadvantages in order to have a clearer view of its two different perspectives. The following are the advantages to be considered:

1. If your child is physically incapable of going outside due to complicated diseases or is handicapped, having home education would be convenient both for the child and the parent.

2. Home education is associated with close-knit family relationship as the child only interacts with the other family members.

3. The child is also expected to be well-behaved if educated at home as he is not exposed to various immoralities that may come to influence him/her in a real school.

4. Some parents believe that school is not a safe place for their child. Some also believe that the school is not educationally competent; a lot of concepts are not completely taught in there. In home education, they are secured with the kind of education provided to their child and they can be able to guide their child the whole time.

5. In home learning, the parents could also control the curriculum of the education provided to their child. They can concentrate their child’s learning on a specific topic if they want to.

6. Expenses are cut-off in home education. Children don’t need to spend on transportation fees, expensive projects and unnecessary school supplies.

On the other hand, the following are the disadvantages:

1. The home educated child would not develop social skills as he is not exposed to other types of people.

2. Freedom is abstained from the child; the child would not enjoy his life as a child. There are many other things that cannot be learned in an educational setting and these are only learned through experience.

3. Some people do not believe on home education’s academic quality as it does not follow the standard curriculum.

4. In some college universities, they require additional tests for home educated children. This is to ensure that the child is academically ready for college.

5. Those who are educated at home for a long time and have decided to go to school are found to be lacking in social skills.

6. Home educated individuals commonly experience psychological problems when exposed to the social environment as in entering a college/university or working on a job.

As you look at homeschooling in two different points of view, think hard before deciding whether to go for it or not. Be careful in making a decision as a parent would only want the best for their young ones. After all, education is the most important privilege that a parent could give to their child.

Buying Used Home School Curriculum – 7 Practical Keys to Making the Best Purchase

Buying home school curriculum can be expensive. Many people resort to purchasing their curriculum used, which usually works out very well for the buyer and seller. Here are a few warnings to watch out for to make your purchase of used home school curriculum, just what you need:

1. Do your homework – Check eBay and homeschoolclassifieds to see what the going rate is for the book or curriculum you are looking to purchase.

2. Check editions – What edition do you want to purchase? If it doesn’t matter, then make sure the books in the set you are purchasing are all the same edition. If you want a particular edition, then make sure you ask questions before buying.

3. If you have any allergies be sure to ask if the books come from a pet-free, smoke-free home. You would hate to start sneezing or coughing every time you opened a used book that you purchased. Even if you don’t have allergies, it’s usually a good idea to buy a book or curriculum that doesn’t smell like animals or smoke.

4. Ask the condition if not stated. Most people state the condition of the book(s) they are selling. If you have any questions about the description or if the description is incomplete – always ask!

5. Complete set – Make sure you ask if all the lessons are in the set if this isn’t mentioned in the ad or auction.

6. Set your price. When bidding on an auction for your book or curriculum, make sure you decide ahead of time how much you want to spend. This will keep you from spending more than you want to at the end of the auction when the bidding can get a little crazy.

7. Check the seller’s reputation. Make sure you look over any complaints at the site you are purchasing from. On eBay check the seller’s feedback ratings and make sure you are dealing with a reputable seller.

Purchasing home school curriculum can be fun and rewarding. I have bought and sold quite a few home school books and have met many wonderful people. Hopefully these tips will help you have a positive experience with purchasing used home school books and curriculum.

Is Homeschooling Beneficial to Students? Understanding Its Advantages

There are several ways to educate children. In a regular school setting, students are required to go to school in a specified time for several days a week. Students participate in class activities and discussions. Parents are given the choice to enroll their children in either a private or public school. Another way to educate children is through homeschooling.

Homeschooling, which is also known as home-based learning, is an educational method that is typically done at home by tutors or by parents. More and more parents prefer to homeschool their children instead of sending them to a regular school. Some of them prefer this method of education because they are not satisfied with the teaching methods and techniques used in schools. Other parents are concerned about the setting of the school and the safety it provides. Homeschooling is also being preferred by individuals who are living in rural areas where school transportation is not readily accessible.

Through homeschooling, students can have a one-on-one discussion with their tutors. They can freely ask them about certain aspects of the lesson that they do not understand without worrying about the reactions of their classmates. Since most homeschooling programs involve homeschool activities and sports including music, art, and karate, students are given the opportunity to socialize with other people while pursuing their interests.

Parents are also given the freedom to raise or teach their children in accordance with their beliefs and culture. They can also strengthen the bond that they have with their children. Homeschooling enables parents to know their children on a deeper level and identify their bad and good characteristics. Studies reveal that parental involvement in education increases the chance of children to excel in various aspects of academics.

Another benefit of homeschooling is the customized educational curriculum it provides. Tutors or parents can specially design a curriculum that suits the needs of the student. Customized education can help strengthen the weaknesses of the student and maximize their learning capabilities.

Since parents can monitor their children when being homeschooled, they can control the factors and issues that influence their children. Homeschooler are less likely to experience peer pressure, bullying, and other violence that are experienced in school. In terms of financial matters, homeschooling is more cost-efficient than attending a regular school. Homeschooling will prevent parents to incur additional cost for school transportation, snacks, and foods.

Compared with children who go to school everyday, homeschoolers tend to be more involved in the community. They have the chance to experience hands-on activities such as museum and library visits. These children also have the privilege to take a vacation while still studying.

Homeschooling is another way for parents to educate their children. It helps parents instill their own values, beliefs, and morals to their children. However, homeschooling is not applicable to all children. Parents need to be responsible enough to weigh the situation and determine which method is best for their children. Whatever their decision is, parents should make sure that they choose the one that best suit the emotional, academic, and social needs of their children.

Homeschooling: How To Move From Newbie To Veteran

A Newbie Homeschooler is one who is still in that honeymoon phase of homeschooling. It lasts for about one to three years and can honestly hold you back from the best homeschooling has to offer.

So how does one move from the newbie side of the homeschool line to the coveted veteran side? It’s different for everyone, but it all starts here: Do not quit.

Homeschooling is one of the more challenging endeavours that a parent can undertake. Imagine sitting in your home, surrounded by all of your children. You are the chief cook and bottle washer. You decide what they eat, what they wear, what they learn. Honestly, the task can be daunting.

Complicate the homeschooling experience by the fact that humans are competitive by nature and we tend to want what others have. That translates into having our children involved in too many activities and ordering their school days with an ivy league quality set of assignments to be completed each day.

New Homeschoolers tend to make a huge mistake. They run out an order a curriculum because it looks good long before they discover who their children are as students and who they themselves are as teachers.

A Newbie still believes that this curriculum or that curriculum will help their child learn.

Veteran Homeschoolers are a different breed entirely. While we are all unique, we do share some concrete similarities.

  • Veterans know their child’s strengths and weaknesses.
  • Veterans tailor their child’s education to fit in between the lines of their students passions and abilities.
  • Veterans are confident in their ability to teach, yet humble enough to ask for help when necessary.
  • Veterans are more interested in their child’s character than how many math facts they can fire off in 60 seconds.

So how does a Newbie move to the Veteran Side?

  • Spend more time studying what makes your child tick than you do shopping for curriculum.
  • Ask for help determining your child’s learning style and your teaching style.
  • Have fun learning along side your children.
  • Choose to ignore the laundry and play in the mud.
  • Realize that your primary goal is to teach your child to love to learn, not master xyz.2 of your states standards.

Being a newbie can be a wonderful season in your educational career. This is where you can honestly glean wonderful pearls of wisdom from educators around you. Enjoy the process of discovering who you and your children are as homeschoolers. It is never about how well your child knows page 214 of their science book. It is about how well you equip your child to seek knowledge daily.

Your goal should be to reach the veteran camp as soon as possible. Sure, there is more laundry here, but the kids are having a blast at learning, living, and growing!

Homeschool: Teaching Older Children About Business

One of the mental challenges of homeschooling is the process of taking complete and total ownership of your child’s education. It can be quite a burden to break out of the molds that society would label “education”. The beauty of homeschooling is that you as the parent/educator is that you can weave your child’s passions, interests, and abilities into the subjects you bring to the table.

  • Why wouldn’t I take the time to teach my children something they want to learn, something they see value in, and sneak in a few “educational lessons” along the way.

I currently am teaching 3 of my children how to build an online business. I have their complete and total attention because they are very motivated by the fact that they believe they have something to offer people online. The bonus is that because they believe they can make a few dollars, I have their undivided attention.

  • The same way that we might puree carrots and squash to add to a sauce and sneak in nutrition, I sneak my core goals into everything I teach my kids as we research and pursue their passions.

As I teach the process of brainstorming and running toward an online business, I am able to teach many “academic” subjects, masquerading in the interests of my kids.

  • Math is easy to sneak in. For business, they need to know and practice statistics, math, and accounting.
  • Language is covered in every part of these projects in the form of content, marketing, and research.

I have spent quite a bit of time thinking about how to better prepare my young men for this new and crazy world. My oldest son is a sophomore in college and we are constantly discussing his future, his career choices and the fact that what he does today profoundly impacts his tomorrow. He is well on his way to earning his degree and reaching his lifelong dream of being a history professor, but he has dreams or being a business owner.

So why build an online business with him?

  • Because I can.
  • Because I am learning the processes myself and am very excited about my own progress.
  • My enthusiasm is contagious.

I believe this is the perfect time in history to teach our children more than their ABC’s and 1,2,3’s. Technology was basically birthed into these young sponges. They are bored with traditional educational processes, because everything they need to know is at the tips of their fingers or on their smart devices.

Find what your children are passionate about and wrap their education like a learning burrito.

Ask your kids if they are interested in learning something like building an online business. If you do not know how, learn the process together.

Tips for Teaching Young Children

How do we teach in a way that hooks into a child’s natural desire to learn?

Children are naturally curious. They explore, experiment, touch, ask questions, and are motivated to learn. To them it’s all play, and they don’t need adults praising them for their efforts.

Wondering how you can help children succeed? Consider the following characteristics of how they learn to help you teach in ways that improve their ability to make sense of new concepts.

1. Young children learn when subject areas are integrated

Offer children thematic units rich with content and they will be interested and motivated, especially if you can bring real things to touch and explore that relate to the theme.

Basic literacy and math concepts can be taught and reviewed as the theme content is shared. A “winter” theme offers many opportunities to teach the letter W, to count and record the number of mittens on snowmen constructed in an art lesson, or to create patterns for paper scarfs.

A child learning about the life cycle of a butterfly may act it out with creative movement and poetry, paint the process with a large paper and paint, illustrate and label the stages in science and literacy lessons and listen to related stories and songs. Avoid pursuing a theme if the children have lost interest. Ask yourself if you are presenting enough “real objects”. New themes get everyone motivated and enthusiastic.

2. Children learn in lots of different ways

Visual learners watch closely when you demonstrate an activity and like to draw and play with shapes and puzzles. Auditory learners understand ideas and concepts because they remember information they have heard, follow spoken directions well and remember songs easily.

Although all children learn through touch, some learn best combining touch and movement (tactile/kinetic learners). Some children like structure while others learn more easily in an unstructured environment.

If you want busy, happy and on task children, give them a variety of lessons that meet the needs of different learning styles.

3. Children often do not have the vocabulary to express themselves

Inexperienced teachers sometimes misinterpret a child’s unwillingness to participate as stubbornness or bad behavior when in reality, the child may lack the skills to explain himself. Use reflective listening to help children communicate why they are upset.

Sometimes children work well in groups, learning to share and develop ideas. At other times they just need to be alone with ample time to figure things out for themselves.

Do not expect perfection. Relax and have fun with your students!

4. Children progress when concepts are taught in a structured, step-by-step way

When concepts are presented in a structured step-by-step process with each step building on previous knowledge, children learn with less effort.

For example, expecting a young child to understand the concept of a food chain without previous experiences with, and vocabulary about, chains and links is assuming too much.

5. Children’s abilities to observe and process information develop at varying rates

Some four-year old children have superb small motor coordination and draw and cut beautifully, but have delayed speech patterns. Other children may be verbally eloquent but be physically uncoordinated or be at a scribbling stage in drawing.

Just as children develop physically at different rates, they also progress academically, socially, emotionally, and artistically at varying speeds. Effective teaching happens when teachers remember that learning is developmental.

Offer open-ended activities to meet the developmental stages of all students. An open-ended activity involves children at a wide range of developmental levels. Children are less frustrated working at their own level and they do not have to compare their results to a set of identical worksheets.

6. Children learn best when given things, objects, and stuff to explore

When teaching young children, always use concrete materials, as children need sensory experiences when learning new ideas and concepts.

Take advantage of the many educational learning materials available to teach geometry, number sense, pattern skills, symmetry, classification and other math concepts.

Use science materials like magnets, light paddles, scales, weights, and collections of birds’ nests, as well as book character toys and puppets to enhance literacy.

7. Children need instruction, practice and time to learn new skills and concepts

A child doesn’t learn to ride a bike by only looking at the bike and exploring its properties, he/she also needs time to practice and guided instruction.

Practicing concepts and skills does not need to be dull and repetitive. Do not automatically think “worksheet” when you think of skills practice. There are lots of ways to practice skills using puzzles, games, diagrams, art and more.

8. Children won’t learn if they are over tired, hungry, upset or worried

Be flexible and understanding with young children. Check to see if kids are hungry. It’s easier to let a child eat part of her lunch early, than attempt to make a hungry child concentrate on a task.

Sometimes a child needs to be left alone and creating a small retreat space in the classroom can help students who are too overwhelmed by home or other circumstances to cope with their peers or teacher.

9. Motivated children pay attention

Young children are generally motivated to learn about everything. Unless they have often been made fun of when investigating or presenting their knowledge, they have a strong desire to find out and share information.

Reinforce thinking processes rather than praising the child. Saying “That’s an interesting way you sorted your blocks. Tell me what you were thinking” rather than, “Samuel is so smart” will focus the children’s attention on exploring the blocks. Making too much fuss of any one child can result in a competitive atmosphere.

10. Children learn by teaching others

When children have an opportunity to communicate their new knowledge to adults or other children it helps solidify concepts. Some children need extra time to find the correct words to explain what they are thinking so patience is necessary.

To help children share their knowledge, use descriptive words as they play or work and they will copy your vocabulary.

11. Children Need to be Active

If children have been sitting still too long, they will let you know it’s time to move. Even the best, well planned, interesting lessons fail if the children need a break.

Take plenty of movement breaks, go for walks around the school, march around the classroom or jump up and down! You will have more alert and focused students.

Summary

As children experience your love and acceptance and realize that you are willing to help them, they relax and learn. Keep a sense of enthusiasm, wonder and curiosity about the world around you, and your students will imitate your behavior. Your classroom may be one of the few places where their opinions and ideas are valued.

Writing Tips: Modern Missions

Richard Hannula authored, Trial and Triumph – Stories from Church History initially for his own children, but many others of all ages find it very helpful. Additionally, I see value in these mini-biographies as great writing prompts.

Students learning to write need to remember to:

  1. Use transition words: transition is like a bridge between two sentences or two paragraphs.

Examples: first, next, finally, obviously, certainly, in addition, while, third, first, finally, last, to begin with, to conclude, unfortunately, notwithstanding, equally important, between, similarly, first of all, on the other hand, consequently, soon, again, farther, hence, equally, therefore, although, further, underneath, thus, as though, however, though, accordingly, moreover, instead of, besides, yet, so that, as a result, otherwise

  1. Avoid contractions, abbreviations and overworked words.

All contractions – such as: she’ll, he’d, it’s (Easy solution: she will, he would, it is)

Abbreviations – such as: Sept. o.k. (Easy solution: write the full form)

Dead words such as: get, got, very, nice, you, your, good, just, lots, a lot, well, fine, so, fun, great, every, the end, (Easy solution: substitute with more descriptive language)

Slang: awesome, cool, fine, totally, rad, raspy (Easy solution: substitute with more descriptive language)

Many writing handbooks have lists of words that replace “dead” words with more descriptive words. I found mine in a book that I have had for many years. My internet search did not find Mitzi Merrill in From the Paragraph to Essay, 1988. Every student should have such a book for reference.

William Carey – Father of Modern Missions – 1761-1834

William Carey, a poor cobbler, sat in his workroom making, not shoes, but a leather globe of the world. With his huge hand drawn world map on the wall and the globe, he prayed for the heathen around the world. He made enough shoes to pay his expenses, but much of the time he preached to people who lived nearby. In spite of this opportunity and the many who believed in Christ, he longed for those around the world to be saved. He lived in a time where many of the churches believed that if God wanted them to be saved, He would do it without Carey’s help or anyone else’s. Later, Carey began attending a minister’s meeting. At the first one, he encouraged the churches to send missionaries. They scoffed at his idea and did nothing. Then in 1791, Carey presented an 87 page paper, An Inquiry Into the Obligation of Christians to Use Means for the Conversion of the Heathen. Again at the next meeting, he preached with great passion, “Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God.” Even with the deep moving message, the pastors again held back in fear. William took Andrew Fuller by the arm and pleaded, “Is there nothing again going to be done, sir?” Moved, Fuller spoke passionately to the men who reconsidered and began the progress. One year later, John Thomas and William Carey set sail to India where they began ministering to the Hindi. Six years later two English missionaries, Joshua Marshman and William Ward joined the team in India. God used these men to bring countless people from India to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. As a result, other churches formed missionary societies and began to send out missionaries. On his deathbed at the age of 72, Carey feebly said, “… when I am gone, say nothing about William Carey. Speak about William Carey’s Savior.”

John Paton – Witness to the Cannibals – 1824-1907

After three years of preaching on Tanna of the New Hebrides, John Paton left because of the danger. These people were cannibals. His wife and firstborn had died in childbirth and even then he had persevered. Then it was time to leave, but after a year, he came back having recruited coworkers. This time he went to the people of Aniwa. They thought he was crazy, especially after a long time of preaching and finally, John dug a well. These unbelieving people had never seen “rain” come from the ground, but when fresh water bubbled up from that well, the Chief asked to preach the next Sunday. Many people of Aniwa heard the Chief testify to his belief in Jehovah God, the God of Missi, as John Paton was called. Nearly all of these people came to Christ. Later, other missionaries went to the South Pacific Islands to preach and many believed. Generations of John Paton’s family now serve in South Pacific Islands as missionaries.

Amy Carmichael – Mother to Outcast Children- 1867-1951

As a young child, Amy learned much from her parents regarding her God. She learned to pray; her heart’s desire was to have blue eyes instead of brown. God did not give her blue eyes. Later in life she realized why God had given her brown eyes. In his sovereignty, God sent her to work with women in South India. In that country Hinduism and its caste system makes it difficult to live as we do. Amy’s brown eyes helped her as she worked with these people who all had brown eyes. Those “breaking caste” by becoming Christians or even working in another field than their family, were in grave danger. Carmichael raised children and testified of God’s grace for fifty years. Many books telling of her children remain long after her death at the age of 83. God used Amy Carmichael mightily!