Home Schooling Benefits and Help

Some years ago a grandson came to live with me who have problems at school. He had bad attention span and was noisy in class. That, however, was only part of the problem. He was also bowel incontinent and at the ages of 6-8 years that was hard for teachers and students to put up with. After he was sent home within an hour of arrival on various excuses I decided to home school him.

As my education level was high having degrees from university the task was obviously not going to be that hard. In fact, it was so easy and so enjoyable for both of us that he picked up quite rapidly. He was attentive and easy to manage. Explaining things to him on a one on one basis meant that he readily absorbed the lessons.

There was also a lot of help available out in the community. There were even gatherings with other home school students. They could play games and interact as they would in a play-ground or class-room. The parents got along as well.

If someone is in a situation where the alternative to home schooling is a bad situation, then don’t hesitate to take it on. Anyone who has been to school and passed through primary with no trouble will have a great experience refreshing their memory and expounding on their knowledge.

Books are also available for parents to use to help students. They get the same text books as in a class-room with the added advantage that lessons can be ongoing once a subject has been introduced. It is surprising how many questions come up from time to time over dinner or when relaxing that add to the knowledge bank.

Children who are home-schooled in Australia are usually ahead of the pack when it comes to qualifying later in life. If someone is thinking about it then my advice is to give it a go. After all what do you have to lose?

Home School Methods – What Do Parents Use to Homeschool?

There are as many ways to home school as there are people out there that home school. Basically most people will range somewhere in the broad spectrum between “school-at-home” and “let the kids play all they want and they’ll learn what they need to know”. You need to know your style and the temperaments and learning styles of your children to be able to come up with an educational philosophy that you can both live with.

Children can learn with workbooks and they can learn with games. Some children love to work through a textbook and don’t want to be bothered with games while other children may complete a workbook but not remember anything they did.

There are all kinds of terms that are used to describe the styles of home schooling such as Eclectic, Classical, Unschooling, Traditional, Montessori, Charlotte Mason, and Unit Studies.

Homeschooling does stretch a parent but it doesn’t have to bend them out of shape. Each parent needs to evaluate what type of learning methods they feel comfortable with in teaching their children. Some people wouldn’t feel comfortable using anything but a structured curriculum that tells them exactly what to say. While others would feel very stifled to have to be tied to a curriculum that told them exactly what they had to do.

Homeschooling is mostly about relationships. If you have a great relationship with your child or work on relating with your child, you will be able to work through any curriculum struggle by communicating.

Children need some boundaries in their day. They may not learn anything by playing around all day, but then they may not learn anything by completing a workbook page either. They need some structure that they are required to follow and be held accountable if they step outside those boundaries. When you have some “have tos” in your life it builds character and makes the unstructured times more fun.

Home Schooling Nine to Twelve Year Olds and Socialization

When home schooling a child between nine and twelve years old, there is a lot of pressure for peer pressure. Keep in mind that not all children undergo this pressure to be with and like their peers, while distancing themselves from their parents. These preteens still need plenty of attention, eye contact, positive reinforcement and praise, personal communication, and good interaction with their parents. Believe it or not, children at this age do still enjoy being read to. Keep having positive attitudes toward learning; focus on making learning interesting and engaging. Make sure you use positive constructive criticism with the least amount of academic pressure possible. Focus on providing a safe, secure learning environment that encourages love, acceptance and reassurance. This will, in time, raise their feelings of self worth and help them understand where their values lie.

At this tender age of hormones, mixed emotions, changing feelings, group planning in curriculum is suggested. Preteens prefer learning skills that have a reason or purpose in real life. For instance, instead of offering busy work in language arts, ask your child to write a letter to a manufacturing company in regards to a defective household product for you. Not only would this make the child feel important but the learning task would be a skill much needed in real life. When learning math, use real life examples with money and budgeting, perhaps even balancing a checkbook. Use graphs and charts to set goals with earned money and savings. Reading about science from a textbook is one way to learn the subject, but performing experiments or identifying specimens in nature is much more engaging. Daily and weekly chores are necessary to learn responsibility and accountability as an integral part of the family.

Remember to always model what you want to teach. Learn new topics together. Dissect a grasshopper for science, work on the family budget together, etc. Homeschooling allows parents to design a curriculum that benefits their children. Find out where your preteen has strengths and weaknesses and plan your curriculum around that.

Homeschooling and Socialization:

When parents talk about home schooling their children, the most common concern is regarding socialization. Parents are concerned that their children will not learn how to adapt to social situations. Unless the homeschooling parent decides to isolate their children completely from the outside world, this is impossible. In fact, children who are home schooled have more interaction with people of all ages, not just their age group. The average home schooled child attends more educational field trips during the year than the non home schooled child. In addition, home schooled children have more opportunities for after school activities, such as music lessons, sports, and hobbies.

Children who home school feel equally comfortable with younger children, peers, and adults of all ages. Children who home school have daily social interactions with the family, neighborhood and the community. Because of this, studies have shown that children who home school have higher self esteem. Children who attend school do not experience real world situations, while home schoolers are definitely more prepared for the real world.

The type of socialization that is experienced in schools is often negative. Large school settings harbor conformity, teasing, bullying, defiant behavior, popularity contests, and competition. No wonder home schooled children have higher self esteem; children at home are learning kindness, patience, sharing, respect, and understanding. These home schooled children are not exposed to peer influences which foster peer dependency. Peer dependent children show diminished positive socialization, such as self-worth, confidence, reverence for their parents, and trust in peers. Although home school children may play with other children in the neighborhood and experience this peer dependence, strong morals and values are being taught at home that override these negative experiences.

Home schooled children learn to listen to their own instincts and let that guide them to make their own decisions. Conforming to a peer social group that does not value individuality does not foster independent thinking, which is necessary for a successful life.

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!

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.

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

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.