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.

Home Schooling in High School: Planning A Course

You have done your overall planning for the four years and you know which classes your student needs for this year. Now what? There are a number of alternatives for teaching the different subjects.

1. Many purchase textbooks for each class and have the student work through the texts, answering the questions and taking the tests. This can be an easy way with at least some assurance that you are covering all the bases. For a student who works well independently, this could work. It would give that student a starting and finishing point. Skills developed using this method may include reading comprehension, some writing skills and some time management skills. On the other hand, for a student who struggles with reading and writing, or needs more interaction with others, it may not be the best way. Also, it may be boring for some students. While those unfamiliar with the subject matter, using a textbook can help, but remember that no textbook perfectly covers every aspect of the topic that you may consider important for your child to learn.

2. Others choose to delegate one or more of the courses to specialists in those fields. This can be in the form of a local class (home school co-op, community college classes, enrollment in a private school that works with home schoolers) or online.

3. Perhaps you grew to enjoy unit studies in the earlier grades or your student gets bored with the textbook / class choice. You can integrate different subjects into a unit study or just apply the unit study approach to individual classes. At the high school level, you can actually get much more input from your children and allow them to do much more of the planning. Here are some possible steps:
· Find a scope and sequence online for the subject or a grade level textbook (borrow or find at Goodwill or library sale). Using a scope and sequence or table of contents in a book provides an outline or list of concepts usually covered for that subject. You have the option of excluding or including different parts, but this provides a guide.
Brainstorm – make a Mind Map of all the ideas that come to mind. To make a mind map, begin by writing the large topic in the center of a blank sheet of paper. Branch out adding more to this web of ideas and groups of ideas. Write anything that comes to mind. Later you can rewrite using only the ideas that you want to use.
· Brainstorm or make additional entries for each of the ideas on your mind map.
· Enter the activities and resources on the course plan in your planner where they can be checked off as completed.

4. With a little more planning, you can combine subjects like History and English. As you brainstorm you would use the scope and sequences for both of these subjects. By doing this, you can include a number of types of assignments that develop a wide variety of skills including research, hands-on-projects as well as reading and writing. I am not suggesting you double count work done in an integrated class. This can allow for more in-depth coverage of an area.

If the unit study approach sounds interesting, but hard to implement, try it first with one class. As you become more experienced, you can expand to other courses. You may also benefit from working with a home school consultant in this area. As a home schooling parent, you are in the driver's seat of your child's education, and you have many choices.

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.

Home Schooling – Why Do It?

Many people look at home schoolers and wonder how and why they do it. Some people think home schooling is a hassle and think "why don't you just send your kids to school so they can be taught by a professional?" It all depends on your world view.

If you believe that you don't have as much to offer your child as a teacher does, then you will think that home schooling is not for you. Actually home schooling can be a positive experience for both parent and child. The parent gets to do some soul searching deciding to take on this endeavor and the student has the benefits of individualized attention and curriculum.

Homeschooling is legal in most states and can be done without fear of doing something illegal as it was at the beginning of the home school movement or in many countries today. We have a tremendous privilege to be able to choose how and what our child learns. There are many people in other countries who would love to home school their children, but are just not allowed to.

Choosing how and what your child learns can be seen as a huge burden and responsibility, but actually can be very rewarding. When you pay attention to what your child likes and how he learns best and then you find a system of learning that you both can live with, true learning takes place. Most school classrooms can't offer the individualized curriculum that home schooling offers. You can't just take your children out of school and let them play, but playing games and creating projects can teach your child many valuable skills.

When you examine what you truly believe about education and learning and trust the fact that this child was given to you to teach and enjoy, then you can move towards home schooling with confidence.

Home Schooling in High School: Making a Four-Year Plan

Before you begin home schooling your ninth grader, you and your child should sit down and plan out, in general, what you will cover over the next four years. If you have already begun high school, making this plan should be a priority. In the state of Washington, an independent home schooling family must complete courses that approximate the courses that the public school students in their school district must complete before graduation. If you are home schooling through a private extension program, you are responsible to fulfill the graduation requirements of that private school. Other states will have other guidelines, but they should be similar. Be sure and learn about those guidelines from your statewide home school organization. They often have that information on their website.

Most states would have similar graduation requirements. This can also vary depending on what the student plans to do after graduation. First, find out your state's the minimum requirements for graduation. Second, find out what students planning on attending community college should do. Finally, find out the requirements for students who plan to begin at a four-year college.

Another variable is how credits are counted. Traditionally, a one-credit class in high school meets for 50 minutes for 180 days. These credits count 150 clock hours as one credit which is the equivalent of 50 minutes times 180. Schools have diversified this standard, so be sure you know how they will be counted in your state or school district. For the purpose of this article we will assume one credit as 150 clock hours. College-bound students should earn approximately six credits each of the four years of high school, or three each semester. Most classes are one credit, but some are one-half.

Generally, students are required to earn 3-4 credits (or years) of English and Math. History or related classes comprise 2.5 – 3 years, including State History (if not studied in Junior High or Middle School), American History, and World History (and / or geography, government, economics). Lab Science and math-based science is essential for those going into a related area in college. Students need two-three years of science. Other requirements or electives include physical education, health, occupations, world languages, and fine arts.

Other important considerations include:

  • "What does the student plan on doing beyond high school?"
  • If going to college, "What does the college requirements for admittance?"
  • Whether going to college or not, "What job skills can the student learn to gain job experience and a means to help pay for college expenses?

Home school families may get help on these steps with variations of these two:

1. Find a consultant that will help you in your initial planning and anytime you need help.

2. Find a private school extension program to plan with you and provide a constant guidance and possibly accredited diplomas.

For general information, including your state laws, statewide home school organizations and resources visit: http://www.hslda.org

Homeschooling High School Without Tears

Homeschooling requires a lot, but homeschooling high school really takes effort. As a homeschooling mom of six, I am now homeschooling 2 high school aged children. Both of them are very different and have very different educational requirements. Yet, I have found with each of them that I need to keep that motivated while challenging them academically. The only problem I have is that we have a budget to stick to; Which means that I don't have a lot to spend on getting them the variety of courses that they need.

For this reason, I began to research the various FREE online courses that are available on the internet. I began to realize that I literally had a wealth of resources right at my fingertips. There are so many amazing options with the open course warehouse that colleges across our country have made available. These courses are high quality, and are usually from amazing universities such as MIT and even Yale.

During this past year, we have been able to use these courses to gain incredible knowledge, and then to validate this knowledge we have taken the CLEP test that corresponds to each course. This not only gives them viable course work for high school, but also college credit as well! It is definitely a win / win situation for each of them. This used to be a fairly unused method of dual enrollment. However, in the last few years, with the explosion of open course ware CLEP testing for college credit is growing exponentially.

If you are wondering how you can find these courses and others like them, you can use a great web site called Let's Homeschool High School . This site has been invaluable for me as I have planned my children's high school years. I am impressed by the level and quality of the courses that I have used and am even more excited because we have been able to take amazing courses for FREE, with simply the cost of the CLEP tests. My oldest daughter is now applying to colleges, and has most recently applied to Mercer University and was pleasantly surprised at how home school friendly they were.

For those of you who prefer to homeschool via textbooks and not the internet, the same can be done through your local library. You can purchase a CLEP study book and then check out the books you need to study for the exams for FREE. This allows you to get the material and formulate it into a course type setting. You can then easily take the CLEPT test to validate your course and again gain college credit that can be transferred to almost every college in the United States.

Home School High School

Yes for someone who haven't tried home schooling high school, making their own child's home school records and transcripts sounds impossible. They have lots of doubts and uncertainties thinking they will ruin or jeopardize the college life of their child. Well, it's normal to feel that way if we have the reason to do so. But there are times we need to check twice if the way we judge our abilities is right. Maybe we are just lacking self-esteem. Of course we cannot be professional teachers but we can educate our children since we know them better than anyone else does.

First we like to know the reasons why we hesitate to home school our child.

Possible reasons below:

  • Ignorance
  • Intimidated by others who criticize you
  • Complicated
  • Takes a lot of your time
  • We would rather pay someone to do it.
  • We haven't heard of someone who made their own child's records and transcripts
  • We don't know where to find help

Now we try to weigh them up with these solutions :

  • To be an educator of your child requires having the right tools and information. As long as we know how to read, write and willing to learn, we can do it.
  • We must not to listen to misleading and intimidating words around us since they don't know how we feel about the importance of educating our child. Knowing that it is our responsibility as parents to provide quality education to your children will move us to go on.
  • We must avail the necessary tools such as videos, audio, books, e-books and coaching programs that cover all the difficult areas of accomplishing your task.
  • Making records and transcripts is easy, fun and simple. Just to give one example is to learn how to record our student's experience on our own Official Home School Transcript, by subject and by year. This can be delightful since we can do it anywhere, anyplace and at our own convenient time. It need not to be formal.
  • Working to earn money to pay for agency demands a lot of our time than the hours we will spend educating our child. Teaching our child will cost us very minimal amount while agencies will cost thousands of dollars.
  • Many parents have been successful in home schooling high school I'm sure we can too. And college love children who were homeschooled.
  • Today coaching program is available. We are not alone to carry the load. We just need to find out where to avail the assistance that we need.

Reading these solutions may still not convince us that we have the capacity to stand as an educator to our child. We may still have the fear and doubts that we will jeopardize our child's college chance. As I said, it is normal to feel that way. But knowing that thousands of parents had been successful and in homeschooling their child, so we can do it too.