Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Homeschool Curriculum Tips

Creating a curriculum for your home school can be quite a daunting task. Knowing what subjects to teach, how to teach them and what materials are best to use can be overwhelming. However with patience you will discover that there are a variety of methods to build a homeschool curriculum that will be beneficial for your child.

On facet to consider when building a curriculum is the learning level and style of your child. You will want to make sure that you obtain teaching materials that are age or skill appropriate. Children learn different subjects and grasp different objectives at varying ages and levels so it’s imperative to obtain learning materials that are reflective of a child’s cognitive ability. Likewise, in creating a curriculum you have the benefit of considering your child’s learning style. People in general learn differently. Some children are visual, some are more tactile and others have the ability to just listen and absorb information. Knowing which particular learning style is more closely related to your child’s will allow you to incorporate activities into the curriculum that will make it easier for your child to retain information. For example, if your child is visual using diagrams or drawings to relay information may be extremely helpful in their learning process.

An additional area to consider when building a home school curriculum is making sure your child learns the essentials. Although some parents view educating from home as an opportunity to provide knowledge to their child in their own specialized way it is still important that the essentials are placed in a curriculum. Depending on the age of the child the material will change but reading, writing, arithmetic and comprehension activities should be a basis of any curriculum. There are many resources that will help you create or even purchase an age or skill appropriate curriculum so your child will not lack in these basic skills.

Also, when building a curriculum you should definitely consider any alternative objectives or ideals you would like to incorporate. If you are home schooling your children because you would like to implement religion into their education you may want to purchase religious based activities that can assist with the reading and writing portions of a curriculum. Similarly, if you are looking to create a curriculum that is more eclectic and offers your children a variety of ways to learn you should research a variety of non-traditional methods of teaching such as the child-centered Montessori method that will help your child learn more effectively.

When creating a homeschool curriculum remember to make it informative, interesting and most importantly fun. And afterall, that’s the key to effective education.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Best Reasons For Homeschooling

For people who wonder why other parents choose to teach their children from home or are themselves considering the transition from public or private school themselves, there are some very good reasons for homeschooling. Some parents do so because they wish to offer their children a certain type of education that may not be available at the schools in their districts. Others because they are concerned about the safety of schools in their area. These are just examples of the many reasons why parents choose to educate their children from home. Knowing that there are a variety of reasons can make you more assured in your decision to consider teaching your children from home.

One popular reason for the decision to home school is the concern for the quality of public and private education. Many parents are concerned that their children may not receive the proper education in a public school. Some public schools are understaffed and overcrowded with students. Depending upon the district or location of the school vital supplies are often lacking because of budget cuts and lack of funds. Some students use very dated materials just to learn which is unfortunate. In addition, a peak in school related violence over the years has many parents worried about their children’s safety. Privately funded schools offer quality in education but at a price tag that many parents cannot afford. In an effort to protect their children from a negative school environment or a low-grade education some parents have decided to forgo traditional schooling and take on the task of educating their children.

An additional reason for homeschooling is to have the ability to implement moral or religious instruction in their children’s lives. Public schools in the United States do not incorporate religion in the curriculum. This is because public schooling is considered to be available to everyone and applying any particular religious doctrine to a curriculum could be considered bias and discriminatory. There are private schools such as parochial schools that offer religious instruction in addition to a regular curriculum but again there is a tuition cost associated with this type of schooling. Parents who feel and believe that religion should be a thoroughly inclusive aspect of their children’s education will choose to teach from home. Sometimes the home school curriculum of parents who prefer the integration of religion with academics includes reading and activities revolving around the preferred religious doctrine.

A final reason amongst many for choosing home education is to protect children from negative social influences. There are some parents who believe that home schooling their children will prevent them from being subjected to negative influences such as drugs, alcohol, peer pressure, provocative dress, gangs and other negative vices. They believe that schooling their children at home and providing their children with positive outside interactions such as volunteering will allow their children to grow up without being swayed to be something they are not simply to fit in.

Overall, there are a variety of reasons for providing an at home education for your child. The decision to do so must be made with the benefit of the child and the family in mind.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Homeschooling Your Teenager

Ensuring that your teenage children receive the proper education is vital. Teenagers are preparing to learn major skills that will assist them in making them independent capable individuals. Providing your teenager with the adequate skills and knowledge via homeschooling programs can at times be a testament to the validity and quality of a home school education.

Teenagers need a definitive curriculum that will prepare them for life beyond their school days. This is particularly true if your child is considering college and wants to be competitive with other students. Some parents are able to tailor a curriculum to provide their child with a competitive edge. Others may need to purchase a college preparatory curriculum that gives an outline of what a child should be learning.

Providing your teenager with a curriculum that meets or exceeds what is taught in a traditional high school will ensure that he/she is prepared to take a general education diplomacy test which is the equivalent to a high school diploma and is needed to get many entry level jobs. It can also prep a teenager for the scholastic tests such as the SAT or ACT needed for college admission. For subject that you may have hesitancy in teaching due to a lack of personal knowledge it is best to obtain the assistance of a tutor. It is essential that you prepare your teenager for these major tests which will determine their ability to obtain employment or go to college. Make it a priority to get the necessary material and use the resources to prepare your teenager for the future.

An additional tip for homeschooling teenagers is to make sure they have a social outlet. Traditional schooling options basically provide the opportunity to socialize because of the time that many students have to spend together over many years. This chance to interact with others at the same age level outside of the home can be limited if not directly pursued. Making sure that your teenager is actively involved in other pursuits such as volunteering or even working a part time job which can provide him/her with a social outlet. In addition, for occasions such as proms, dances or field trips which are usually planned by schools it may be a good idea to network with other parents who educated their children from home to possibly form a group that can arrange these types of activities. This way your teenager can still experience many of the coming of age activities that many other teenagers do despite being homeschooled.

Most important is to be flexible with your teenagers. Teenagers are a tricky bunch to teach let alone understand. We have all been through this very interesting time and being receptive to the needs of your teenager while ensuring that they receive the proper education will make the process of home education go a lot more smoothly.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Homeschool Programs

Homeschooling is a big decision, one that can change your lifestyle. Choosing a homeschool program can be difficult and confusing. There are plenty of resources online and everyone seems to have an opinion on which one is right for you. First thing to do is take your time and not to rush. Some choices need to be made. Are you going to have your child be through online courses? Are you going to buy the books and develop your own curriculum? Are you going to buy pre-made course work and go through a home school institute?

There are plenty of homeschooling programs online, just doing a search for “homeschool programs” results in a sea of information with everyone fighting over your enrollment. One thing you should know is the state laws about homeschooling. Check for the state required tests that you will need to keep your child in accordance to the statute. You should decide on the type of schooling you are going to do for your child. A general description of various styles of homeschooling are unit studies, all in one curriculum, student paced learning, and online studies.

Unit studies are used for teaching children of multiple grade levels. The lessons are tailored to have multiple studies incorporated into the lesson plans. A unit about native Americans can have history, sociology, math, science, and economic incorporated with the lesson. This can teach the kids different things all at the same time for it to go across the board with the difference of academic level

All in one curriculum is like teaching a whole school year that is exactly public school. They are divided into the subjects that are tough at other schools. This is good if you plan to re-integrate the child into the school system.

Student paced learning is like the all in one, but the student can learn at their own pace. They have the same amount of work to do, but it’s not as strict.

Online studies are another option. This is where a student can go and log onto a virtual classroom and get instruction from an accredited teacher. Video conferencing can be used and the child can meet other homeschool students.

Be sure you choose a program that’s right for you and your child. Don’t many any hasty decisions and research the pros and cons thoroughly. This is a major life decision.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Accredited Home Schooling Programs

Accredited home school programs might sound like a contradiction in terms, but it isn't. While there are many programs available either as packages or individually developed by you, one requirement is that it be comprised of sound educational material and excellent motivational tools. We would encourage you to make this a prerequisite for any homeschool program you use. You may want to pick up a copy of The Complete Homeschool Guide.

Not only are many there home school curriculums and programs of superb scholarship, but on this website, we can also help with the motivational and inspirational materials necessary to enhance your specific home school requirements.

Your children can achieve an accredited diploma from their homeschooling when using online programs, however despite what some may try to say at the time of writing there are only seven accredited online homeschool programs in existence, so again when choosing who provides your accredited homeschool curriculum and program you must properly check the provider out first.

All in all homeschooling can be a very good option and if done well can provide advantages for your children, however it is crucial to do your research before starting and make sure that you’re not making any mistakes that could provide problems in your children’s education further down the line.

There are parents out there who choose not to use an accredited high school program as they feel takes away some of the control they have over heir child’s learning experience. Many people consider this to be a big mistake as not attending an accredited home school can limit many children in their future aspirations, or at the very least add complications to the future studies.

There are a numerous benefits of using the accredited homeschool curriculum materials within an accredited homeschool program. However the great majority of homeschools are actually non-accredited simply, so when choosing a provider one must tread carefully.

There is no doubt that it is advantageous for a child who is being homeschooled to get a diploma. This opens up so many, many more doors for them when it comes to applying for colleges and the like. Most colleges either do not accept a non-accredited diploma, or they have special requirements for applicants with non-accredited homeschool diplomas. There are even times when an accredited homeschool diploma is actually necessary for a job.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Used Homeschool Books

If you are teaching your children from home, and are concerned with costs, used homeschool books are one way to save money.

Frequently, families who home school their children are a one-income family so money is an issue. Educating your children at home can be expensive if you purchase homeschool textbooks at retail prices.

Being supplied with current books, class materials, computer equipment, an internet connection, supplies, etc cost money and will add up quickly. You should also consider the cost of a tutor for the subject areas you are not so willing to handle. The total costs can boggle your mind. One bright point is that if you intend to add more kids to your school room, they do come at a bit of a discount with the above mentioned items having already been purchased.

Used homeschool books, textbooks, lesson plans and teacher's guides can often be found on Half Price Books' education aisle. You can also find used curriculum at other used book stores, garage sales, thrift stores, and libraries. Some local homeschool support groups host used book swaps for their members.

Public libraries can be a great source for used books but they aren’t always accessible, and buying new books can rapidly drain the budget. There are many resources available for homeschooling materials. Many homeschool groups have book fairs and other organizational event that are a great place to pick up slightly used books and materials.

Newspaper classifieds and websites like Craigslist and Ebay offer good opportunities for buying and selling new and used homeschool books and materials, not to mention finding and announcing homeschool groups, activities, and events.

Other online resources exist, and you may consider joining Paperback Swap or Book Mooch. Both companies allow you to list old materials on their websites and exchange them for books you desire.
Many curriculum suppliers such as Sonlight, The Well Trained Mind and Winter Promise, host homeschool forums where you can buy and sell used materials.

If you would rather buy used homeschooling books in person, check local garage sales, thrift stores, library sales and used bookstores. Half Price books often has curriculum available for sale. You can also contact area homeschool support groups to see if they sponsor book swaps or used curriculum sales for homeschoolers.

When buying used homeschooling books, make a list of materials you need. Stick to this list in order to avoid buying materials just because they're a good deal. Be specific about titles, editions and grade levels so you can make sure you buy the correct materials.

Of course, the cost for homeschool books gets divided if you have more than one child, or if you share books with other families.

Homeschooling does not have to cost a fortune, and purchasing used homeschool textbooks can reduce your homeschooling cost significantly. In spite of the home school expenses, people advocate the benefits of homeschooling far outweigh any of these problems or expenses. Having the freedom to decide what your child learns combined with how and when it is taught is key. The child and parent mutually benefit from this life-enriching experience.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Home Schooling Methods

There are plenty of homeschooling methods. Some are formalized systems such as Montessori homeschooling, a classical education method, and structured distance learning.

No one method is the right method. Different home situations, ages, and resource is help determine the best method for you and your homeschoolers.

All of the homeschooling methods covered traditional areas of education such as social studies and science, language, mathematics and the like. Many homeschoolers combine aspects of many different methods to best suit their situation.

Do you have fast Internet access? Do you live near a public library? Are you sharing responsibilities and resources with other homeschoolers? These questions will help point you in the right direction.

Regardless of the method, you will want to work within the basic format. Just as in traditional schooling homeschoolers proceed through grade levels, depending upon their age and progress. Each grade level is broken down into academic subjects. Each academic subject is further broken down into topics to be covered for that year were great.

There are many guides available to help the homeschooler structured their time. The complete homeschool guide provides links to worksheets and outlines that can be used as is, or modified for special needs.

All homeschooling methods strive for the same goals. To ensure were that the basic subjects are covered and age appropriate or ability appropriate manner.