Sunday, October 28, 2012

Helpful Tips When It Comes To Homeschooling Your Kid

The public school system is suffering from budget cuts and has become a place where children easily fall between the cracks. However, private school is often too expensive. If you homeschool your children you will not have this issue any longer. When you are homeschooling your children you will make sure that your kids learn as much as they can.

Consider a blog online for your child to write. Writing is an important part of any curriculum, and writing blogs is an updated way of keeping a journal. You should give your kids something to write about that they enjoy. Make the settings on their blog private. Your child will be interested in learning how to research topics for the blog, a skill that will be useful throughout the years. You might also encourage them to use the blog as a platform for fiction writing.

Go on nature walks with your children. They are educational for many reasons. Let your small kids pick up leaves. Your kids can learn how to find trees in nature. Let older children research each species. Take photographs so the natural habitat will not be disturbed.

Explore the vast variety of forums and internet groups for homeschooling on the internet. These internet resources will bring a world of knowledge to you, without ever having to leave home. Not only will they be a great support system for learning about homeschooling, but they will also be able to contribute to lessons you have planned about geography and other cultures. This can make learning about the world available for your children in their own home.

Don't forget to use art in your lesson plans, even when you're not teaching art itself. Assign your children to make renditions of things that they read about in their studies. Singing, acting, sculpting can all be outlets for their creative expression. Let them immerse themselves completely in the subject matter, and watch for great results.

The biggest benefit to homeschooling is the ability to ensure that your child learns all that they need thanks to teaching them in the way that suits them best. You could for instance make the entire curriculum more concrete by including some experiments. Using dominant learning styles helps your child be more successful at learning.

Learn as much as you can before you begin the process of homeschooling. Join an internet group to get valuable ideas and insight on homeschooling. These groups have useful tips and advice that will help you to improve your own curriculum. Connecting with others who feel the same way you do about homeschooling can make the process seem easier.

If Homeschooling during the high school years, you can look into high school fundraising ideas to will help you out financially when it comes to taking field trips or other extracurricular activities. These activities are important and will help in the development of the child along with getting them outside.

Now you are armed with plenty of information, it's time to put together the ideal homeschooling plan for your children. Keep what you learned here in mind when making future educational decisions. With fortitude and sheer will, you will be the best teacher a kid could have. Your children are fortunate that they have a parent like you.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Teenage Home Schooling

The idea of homeschooling through high school can be scary for many parents and usually it is through feelings of inadequacy where the parents do not feel fully qualified for the job!

This happens when the parent does not have many qualifications themselves so ask themselves the questions of how could they be qualified to do that job.

It is a fact of homeschooling that many homeschooled teens can actually complete four years of traditional high-school studies in 24 months or less.


Well if you sat down and thought about it then it does seem possible when there are no distractions and the teenager is able to focus on the task at hand.

Now I am a teacher/lecturer myself and I can tell you that with over 40 years being in this profession I have witnessed major changes in the administrative workload that goes with the job. The amount of time that is spent on taking registers, collecting paperwork, preparing for activities and especially science classes, the time to tidy up and then the time spent on disciplining is all time that is eating into the actual teaching and learning times.

In fact to be honest I often ask myself the question.

"Did I train to be a teacher or an administrative manager"

Of course in the days when I completed my teacher training in the 70's it was all about developing your techniques as an educator in the classroom and all of us were assessed on our ability to relate to the students to pass on our subject knowledge in an effective and stimulating manner. In other words we were encouraged to become teachers that would inspire students to learn and develop. So be it... today we fill out forms and tick boxes.

Anyway I am getting carried away with the realities of being a teacher today but it absolutely true that the large part of a school day would be taken up in mindless administrative tasks that are totally eliminated with a teenager that is being schooled at home.

This could be one reason a family make the decision to home school their teenagers,others could be the travelling time to get to school, bullying issues, peer pressure issues or teenagers that have special needs that are not accommodated by the schools within travelling distance.

All of these factors can result in teenage stress which in turn affects learning and attainment levels.

If a family decides to homeschool their teenager then good planning and record keeping will be essential.

Of course most importantly your teenager must be up for the idea as well. You can plan your home school program with your teenager's strengths and weaknesses in mind. Also important is their learning style, are they a kinesthetic learner, a visual learner, an auditory learner or a combination of a few styles. Go for a program that will enable your teenager to pursue their interests and also cover the basics that they will need to progress further into adult education.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Completing Homeschool High School Records

Do you have perfectly crafted homeschool transcripts and course descriptions, ready even now for the event (soon to come) in which someone will ask you for them? Most folks don't, either, so don't feel badly. I have a friend who called me recently in a panic, because she needed a transcript on Monday (it was Friday). Since she homeschools in California under the private school law, she had never even considered that she might need a transcript some day. When her son decided that he wanted to enlist in the Navy, surprise--the Navy wanted a transcript!

I have another friend that needed help with her homeschool records. Her problem was that she just wasn't quite sure what school work they had done. She said that she was a binder person, but when she showed me her homeschool binder during our first day together, I opened it up and there was nothing there! She had some labeled sections, but there were no papers, no curriculum, nothing there! So we dug through the tub of stuff that she had brought with all of her homeschool pieces, and I helped her put together a transcript.

We went through every little bit of her homeschool. We went over how many hours she spent on American Sign Language, and every little bit of their activities. As I was leaving, I asked her what her plans for the weekend were, and she said that they were going to a Latin competition. This was the first time she had mentioned Latin! Latin was not in her binder or her tub--she had forgotten that they did Latin!

When it comes to keeping homeschool records, it doesn't matter how gifted of a home educator you are and it doesn't matter what wonderful intentions you have; there also has to be at least a small amount of follow-through. To be real, you can do your follow-through the same way I do my taxes: once a year, I panic and do my taxes. If once a year you get your act together, that is enough follow-through for you. To be honest, if this mother had made her transcript every year, she would not have forgotten four years of Latin; you just can't forget four years of Latin year after year.

So make sure you take some time each year to record what you did that year! That way, you'll avoid trying to remember four years of homeschooling in one sitting, and be ready to create great transcripts for your high school graduate!

Forgetting about record keeping is one of "The 5 Biggest Mistakes Parents Make When Homeschooling High School." If you are thinking about transcripts, you are probably not going to make this mistake! Learn how to avoid all 5 mistakes in my free e-mail mini-course.

My Total Transcript Solution will show you how to create an AMAZING homeschool transcript that will impress the colleges! Lee Binz, The HomeScholar, is a homeschool high school expert. Both her two boys earned full-tuition scholarships at their first choice university. Learn how she did it on

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Tips for Teaching Young Children

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

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

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

1. Young children learn when subject areas are integrated
Offer children thematic units rich with content and they will be interested and motivated, especially if you can bring real things to touch and explore that relate to the theme.

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

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

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

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

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

3. Children often do not have the vocabulary to express themselves
Inexperienced teachers sometimes misinterpret a child's unwillingness to participate as stubbornness or bad behavior when in reality, the child may lack the skills to explain himself. Use reflective listening to help children communicate why they are upset.

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

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

4. Children progress when concepts are taught in a structured, step-by-step way
When concepts are presented in a structured step-by-step process with each step building on previous knowledge, children learn with less effort.

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

5. Children's abilities to observe and process information develop at varying rates
Some four-year old children have superb small motor coordination and draw and cut beautifully, but have delayed speech patterns. Other children may be verbally eloquent but be physically uncoordinated or be at a scribbling stage in drawing.

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

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

6. Children learn best when given things, objects, and stuff to explore
When teaching young children, always use concrete materials, as children need sensory experiences when learning new ideas and concepts.

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

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

7. Children need instruction, practice and time to learn new skills and concepts
A child doesn't learn to ride a bike by only looking at the bike and exploring its properties, he/she also needs time to practice and guided instruction.

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

8. Children won't learn if they are over tired, hungry, upset or worried
Be flexible and understanding with young children. Check to see if kids are hungry. It's easier to let a child eat part of her lunch early, than attempt to make a hungry child concentrate on a task.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, October 1, 2012

How to Decide If Home Schooling Is for You

You might have been attracted to the prospect of home schooling your kids. It is likely that you have seen or heard about parents who talked about the benefits of this form of education and that drew your attention and interest towards it. You want to be able to give the same benefits to your kids.

The problem is that it is not all about benefits. There are also some very real disadvantages to this form of education. You have to be aware of those just as you are aware of the advantages.

Here are some steps that you can follow in deciding if you should switch to home schooling for your children:

· First of all, you should ask yourself why you are considering home schooling for your children. Is it because you want them to have freedom? Is it really for them or are you the one who will benefit from it?

· You should ask yourself if that is something that you can handle. It might mean more freedom for your kids but it would also mean a great amount of responsibility on your part. Is that something that you can handle?

· Try to connect with other parents who are into home schooling their children. There are groups for that in most areas and they would welcome your inquiries. Ask them about everything that you want and need to know about this form of education.

· Tell your children about home schooling and ask their opinion about it. You should never go ahead and switch to this form of education without telling your children first because they are the ones who will be affected by it the most. If they do not agree to it then don't go ahead.

· There are many curricula that are currently available now for home schooling. Search for the one that fits you and your kids. Pick the one that can really help them to improve as well rounded individuals.

· Do some research and if possible undergo training on the proper teaching methods. Remember that you will be taking on the role of your kid's teacher and that is not a simple task. You have to be as well prepared as your children for the change.

· Prepare a room in the house that will serve as their classroom. It is never a good idea to just use the other rooms when you are teaching them, because there are so many distractions there. Invest in setting a dedicated room.

· Have a plan on how you will be undergoing your kid's daily lessons. Make a schedule on when you are going to give them breaks and up to that time you are going to teach them.

· Be sure that you include a plan on when you will be taking your children outside on tours and when you would be meeting other people. This is an important component of their education.