The Successful Homeschool Family Handbook – A Must For Homeschoolers

Parents deciding to homeschool their children often experience some anxiety about making this important decision. This is quite understandable, considering homeschooling is life-changing–for parents and children alike.

If you have thought about homeschooling without making a commitment yet, or if you are already homeschooling with a desire for greater excellence in your children’s education, Dorothy and Raymond Moore’s book, The Successful Homeschool Family Handbook: A creative and stress-free approach to homeschooling may be the resource you need.

I offer this brief review of a book that offers extensive advice with foundational research to parents who are already homeschooling, and those who are considering homeschooling. The information contained within this volume offers sage wisdom lighting the path to successful homeschooling for all families.

Success or stress?

Moore and Moore start off their book by addressing the issue of stress in schooling at home. The truth is, teaching a child at any age or grade level is incredibly challenging. This is even truer when your own child becomes your student, and you their teacher.

Although the public school system may not be ideal for your family, you must give much consideration to the reality that you will become a teacher. Just as certified teachers holding a college degree are required to constantly update their skills and qualifications to teach students in the public sector, it is as equally (if not more) important that you do the same.

Reducing and eliminating stress.

Homeschooling can absolutely be a success in your family. However, it can create a tremendous load of stress, too. It is important to be aware of this and be prepared to deal with it productively.

To maintain a healthy homeschool, there are a myriad of aspects, some of which have a tendency to be overlooked by homeschooling parents. This oversight or avoidance leads to stress. A few areas Moore and Moore discuss include (along with many others) standardized testing, socializing your children, and organization.

Tried and true.

Moore and Moore conclude their research and insight with two final parts in their book that provide encouragement and advice from fellow homeschooling families. These two sections offer wisdom from parents who have “been there, done that” in the world of homeschooling. These personal stories show just how successful and rewarding homeschooling can be for any family. Finally, the Moores close with their own offering of knowledge to help encourage parents, as well as additional information on the history of learning at home.

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!

Guide To Homeschooling – How To Teach Unfamiliar Subjects

It is inevitable that as your child advances to a higher homeschooling level, you encounter subjects that you are unfamiliar with. Here are some tips for you, as a parent, in order to help yourself – and help your child.

1. Study the material together with your child, separately. By studying along with your child and using your child’s materials, you will be able to assist your child more as you tackle one subject skill or concept at a time. Should there be anything that your child does not easily understand, you will be able to translate and explain the concept easily to your child in a more mentally-digestive language as the concept and the subject is still fresh in your mind.

2. Use multi-media such as video courses, ebooks, online course to study along with your child. Explore as much sources as you possibly can. In multi-media, a child’s interest is further increased as it involves not only one sensory perception such as visual, but it includes aural or auditory as well. Computer courses or online course are also more interactive to the child and thus, learning becomes significant and more information is retained.

3. Try doing some research in the internet. There may be online courses for one subject. Learning the subject along with your child and using other references will allow you a broader view of the subject.

4. Ask the assistance from your homeschooling support group. You may know a homeschooling parent who has more knowledge on the subject. Exchange of ideas will be helpful. A mother can help you with the subject you are unfamiliar with and you can help her with a subject she is unfamiliar with. Also, you may use peer tutoring along with other older kids. An older homeschooled kid may have learned and may excel on the subject. Peer tutoring is also one way of tapping into your child’s group learning behavior.

5. Hire the assistance of a college student from your area who is majoring on the subject. Not only will you be able to help your child, you will be able to help another’s child as well. Extra hours of tutoring jobs after school a few hours a week will go a long way for your child and for the college kid’s budget needs.

Tips for Homeschoolers – Start the Year Out Right

As a homeschooler starting a new school year, one of the best things you can do is make sure you start your year out right. This doesn’t mean you have to make a big production or a party. Just remember that it’s a new year and sometimes that’s a great time to make any necessary changes.

Whether your changes are big like a whole new math curriculum or small like changing your schedule, the beginning of a new school year is the best time to start. If you have decided to make some changes, determine which changes you are going to make and then decide what needs to be done to make the changes happen. Get started right away.

If you have been homeschooling for a while, you know what is working and what isn’t. But remember, just because a specific curriculum, game, or schedule worked for another child, it does not mean that it will work for all children. Be sure to make changes that appropriate for your particular child’s learning style as well as to the schedule that best suits your entire family.

Many families use the new year or the new semester as a time to try something new. Maybe you want to set new goals this year or try out a new homeschool group. Just because you make a change to something new doesn’t mean it will be the best fit and you’ll want to stick with it. Don’t be afraid to try something new, you can always change it up again if it isn’t working.

If you just find that you are in a rut and need a change – any change, try out a different teaching style. For instance, if you are a unit study family, try out a box curriculum or if you are a strict schedule person, try out a little unschooling. You might be surprised to see how your family thrives when you mix it up a little.

Maybe you need a new approach, a new attitude, or a new subject to mix things up? Consider adding an internet class or online game to change things up. Start your morning with some exercise or a nature walk. Look into a homeschool group or extra curriculum activities.

Whatever you feel your need are, and no matter when you begin your school year, remember… it’s a new year. Now is the time to make the changes you need to make your homeschool run more smoothly and effectively.

What changes will you be making this year?

Tips for Homeschoolers – Take a Break

Taking a break can be very important to a successful homeschool. I do not mean that you need to take a lengthy summer or Christmas break several times a year and I don’t mean that schooling year-round is bad. I mean, that you need to recognize when your kids, and YOU, need a break.

There are many ways to take a break so you can recharge and be ready to get back into the swing of things and your normal schedule.

  • Have an UNSCHOOL DAY – If you are a traditional homeschooler, and not an unschooler, you may wish to have an UNSCHOOl day to break from the norm. Tell your kids that you they can pick anything they want to work on and learn about today. See where the day takes you. (Don’t worry, one day won’t kill the schedule!) If you are an unschooler, maybe plan the day for the kids with worksheets and reading lists and see what happens.
  • Take an unplanned fieldtrip – Feeling like no one wants school today? Take an unplanned fieldtrip to a park, museum, library, even the shopping mall. Decide to walk around, talk about whatever you want to talk about, stop and relax (and don’t think of the schedule). Have a lunch out. Walk outside. Go to the dog park and name the types of dogs. Look at nature and talk about trees. Just get out of the house and away from the schedule for the day and see how much more focused everyone is the next day.
  • Let the kids teach – Tell the kids that today, they do not have to do school, but you need to learn. Have them teach you for the day. It’s silly but everyone will have fun and both you and the kids will be surprised how much you learn.
  • Have Game Day – Spend the entire day playing board games, cards games, and physical games. Have everyone play even if it’s a game for little ones or big ones. Help the little ones by working in pairs. Have big sister suffer through Candyland. Everyone will have fun playing games, taking turns picking what is next, and just spending time together.
  • Take Dad lunch – Need to take a break from the grind and get out of the house? Take dad lunch at work. Meet him in his lunchroom, at a park, or, if that’s not feasible, find a restaurant nearby and take him there. Enjoy talking to dad over lunch for a change. Maybe show the kids around his office. The kids will like to see dad and even dad will enjoy the break!
  • Don’t be afraid to have movie day – If you really need a total break. Head over to the library or local movie store and rent some movies. Make some popcorn and cuddle up for some movies. They can be a mix of educational and fun. Let each person in the family pick a movie. Movie day can be fun and educational.
  • Take it outside – Even in the winter months, you can take some time outside to enjoy the weather and take a break from school and chores. Got snow? Build a snowman or have a snowball fight (look at you sneaking in PE). Walk around the block and enjoy the beauty (name a few trees and you have Science). Just get out and breathe in that rejuvenating air.

How do you take a break in your school?

8 Simple Tips For Selecting The Best Homeschool Writing Curriculum

When I was an English teacher, curriculum planning was a breeze. The curriculum committee at the school district decided what learning materials were appropriate for the students in my classroom. At the beginning of the semester, everything I needed was delivered to me in a large, heavy box.

With the help of the dense-packed teacher’s manual and numerous ancillary materials, I was able to create daily lesson plans with little difficulty. But for most homeschool parents, the curriculum planning process is seldom so straightforward.

Because writing is a foundational academic skill, many homeschool parents place special emphasis on selecting an appropriate homeschool writing curriculum for their children. But with so many options, finding the best homeschool writing curriculum can seem like a formidable task.

As a foster parent, I’ve investigated a variety of homeschool writing curriculum options for the child currently in my care. Here are some guidelines to make the decision-making process a little easier for you and your family:

1. Build your homeschool writing curriculum from any item or opportunity to help you teach writing. This includes activities as simple as writing poems or song lyrics. Young children especially are natural poets. Inspiration to write poetry can be found anywhere. Reading some children’s poetry books can help stimulate the creative process.

2. Since writing is a fundamental skill, buy your homeschool writing curriculum first. To keep from being overwhelmed by all of the options in the marketplace, read reviews online and talk with other homeschoolers about their experiences with the curriculum.

3. Because writing covers a broad range of topics, some families buy more curriculum than they actually need. This problem can contribute to impulse spending, as some parents fear they won’t do a good job unless they have all their bases covered.

4. Not all homeschool writing curriculum needs to be purchased. Library books can be used for teaching literature, and you can share books with other homeschoolers.

5. Keep your own personality and needs in mind when considering a purchase. Some writing programs, such as those published by Bob Jones University Press, require active planning and participation by parents while other programs, such as Houghton Mifflin English Curriculum, tend to be self-directed and require less parental involvement.

6. Keep your child’s personality and needs in mind as well. A child lacking motivation to write would not be engaged by a traditional homeschool writing curriculum emphasizing grammatical rules and formal language structure. A better option might be a workbook that’s fun and breaks the writing process down into manageable sections.

Many students enjoy the sense of accomplishment they feel when they complete a writing workbook. These positive feelings can carry over into their next writing workbook. You can also supplement any written work with oral assignments.

7. If you don’t like writing, or if you prefer to have everything organized and planned out, consider using a traditional textbook and teacher’s manual. Although this option is more expensive, you’ll benefit from having expert guidance to take you step-by step through each concept.

Teacher’s manuals also assist parents with evaluating their children’s written work. Some include extra printable worksheets and other instructional materials on CDs.

8. Above all else, remember that teachers teach, books don’t. The actual amount of learning that occurs depends largely on the quality of interaction between you and your child.

Basic Tips on How to Home School Your Kids

It is estimated that around 1 million students are homeschooled in the United States every year. Homeschooling is an excellent way to stay close to your children; give them the proper care they need while helping them become well-rounded adults. Homeschooling allows you individualize; to find education that is best suited for your children.

Reasons for Homeschooling

Find out whether you share the following thoughts about why homeschooling is required: (i) Parents have religious belief that they can provide better education at home; (ii) Parents thinking that the environment at school will not be congenial for their children; (iii) Homeschooling will help develop character and morality of a child; (iv) There are subjects taught at schools that are not in accordance with the faith, thinking of the parents; (v) The child has special needs or disabilities.

Now, the question arises whether or not homeschooling has any adverse affects on a child’s education; maybe not. Homeschooled children have above average test results on the ACT and SAT college entrance exams. Also, homeschooled kids are sometimes better at social adjustment than kids who go to school. The way the homeschooled children make up for not attending a regular school is by participating in homeschool support groups, scouting, church and recreational activities, and other associations.

Getting Started with Homeschooling

One way of knowing more about homeschooling is by joining local support groups. Such groups can be found by word of mouth or through public or private schools, religious groups, or state or national associations. Each state has at least one homeschooling association. These groups offer necessary advice and information and hold conferences at which families who school at home discuss legal, philosophical, and teaching issues. Some school districts allow homeschoolers to attend public school part-time.

Following are different homeschool methods: (i) Diane Lockman’s authentic classical trivium (The Classical Scholar) unit studies, (ii) Charlotte Mason’s methodology, (iii) Montessori or Waldorf methods, and (iv) eclectic blends of different styles.

Is Homeschooling for Everyone?

No. Homeschooling is hard work. It can also be expensive, as you have to pay for educational materials and extracurricular activities. You may also be faced with a loss of income if one parent has to quit a job to homeschool. References: The Responsibilities of Homeschooling Homeschooling means being able to devote yourself to your children all day through. You, as a parent will fully responsible for the direction, depth, and breadth of your child’s education for the rest of its life. This is a very big responsibility and should not be taken lightly.

Ask yourself these questions to see whether you are ready. Why do you think you want to homeschool? What is it that your child will be able to achieve by being homeschooled that he or she will not receive in a regular school? What do you consider a “good” education? These questions can help you make the decision, and help you create the right environment that will be best your children.

Are You Aware Of These Benefits Of Homeschooling?

Did you know that there are benefits of homeschooling your child as compared to sending him or her to a public school? In this article I will be sharing with you three pros of teaching your child from home.

Benefits Of Homeschooling # 1 – Your Child Gets To Spend Time With You

When your child is young, it is really important that you develop a close relationship with him or her. This will definitely go a long way, especially when your child is older. If you are your child's teacher, obviously you will get the chance to spend quality time with him or her. I am sure you would love to see your child grow and learn. This is one opportunity that you do not get if you send your child to a public school. When your child gets the chance to spend time with you, the bond between the two of you will strengthen, and in the later years, that will pay dividends.

Benefits Of Homeschooling # 2 – Your Child Is Safe From Bad Influences And Bullying

The next real advantage of teaching your child from home is that your child is not exposed to bad influences and bullies that may be present in public schools. You do not want your child to live a wayward lifestyle as a result of bad company. Neither do you want your child to end up becoming a victim of bullying, which cannot always be controlled in schools outside. When your child learns from home, your child is guaranteed a safe environment, because the environment will most likely be your home.

Benefits Of Homeschooling # 3 – Your Child Learns Better

Research has shown that children who get their education from home grow up to be more successful in life than those who went to public school. Well if you think about this, this is quite true, because public schools tend to have a rigid education system, whereas homeschool education systems tend to be more flexible. What do I mean by the latter? Well, a homeschool education system is meant to suit the child's preferred style of learning. Not only that, but this system also capitalizes on daily life events to teach a child new concepts. For example, a day in the kitchen can be an opportunity to teach the child about weight measurements and volume measurements.

I hope you have learnt something new about the benefits of homeschooling. I hope you will take some time to reflect on what I have mentioned here too.