After the summer it can be a daunting task to get back to the homeschool regime. It would make your like a whole lot easier if you organized yourself and the homeschool supplies a few weeks ahead of this.Here’s a simple guide to get you ready to home school after the summer vacation.
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Sort out what you already have into two piles


Before you step out and start buying new homeschool supplies take stock of what you have left over from the previous home school year. Make two piles as you empty your cupboards. The first pile is for the stuff that you are sure will come in handy in the next academic year. The second pile is for stuff that you are not sure you can use anymore. This would include stuff that is still brand new but that your children have outgrown. Get rid of any junk that you can not re-utilize. If it is in good condition give it away to a charity or offer it online to anyone on your homeschooling help forum.


Stock what you will be using in an easy to follow system


You can take all the things from the first pile and sort them out before you place them in storage. For instance you can group individual items together to make it easier to find something. Place all the coloring things like felt tip pens, markers, crayons, oil paints, poster colors, and water colors in one shelf. That way when you need to get anything related to colors you know where you will find it. You can organize all the other stuff in a similar and easy to follow manner. Tell your children how the cupboard is organized so that they too understand and follow the system when they take out or put back the homeschool supplies on their own.


Buy the rest of the homeschool supplies and store them


Now that you know what you have, you also know what you need. So get going on making the purchases that you need to. Once you have all the books and supplies that will be required for the next academic year of homeschooling again make use of the storage system. Store the supplies away in a manner that will make it easy for you to put your hands on the right item when you need it. Now you are ready to go back to homeschool.
Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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Join forces with other homeschooling parents to plan learning activities for your children during the summer months. Given here are just a few ideas that should help jog your imagination. Find the perfect activity for your child and let them have fun as they learn through the summer holidays.
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Reading Club


If your child had trouble reading, joining a reading club will be an easy way to ensure that he keeps practicing his reading skills all through the summer. The club can meet once a week to read a book which all members enjoy. After the book is finished they can discuss the plot and the characters in the book. Maybe even have a debate on an interesting topic related to the main story in the book.


Camping Trip


While it can be quite tedious arranging a camping trip all on your own for the family, it can become a whole lot easier if you team up with another family or two. Each adult can take on some responsibility and the children can have a variety of activities to do on the trip. Hikes, treks, collecting flora samples for a herbarium, or learning songs at the bonfire at night, all the activities should keep the children entertained and happy.


Cook off Competition


Children enjoy working with their hands, and what better way to indulge this than to get them to cook up their own treats? Once they have gained some competence in handling the recipes on their own, you could arrange for a cook off competition. One week it could be a salad competition, the next it could be cupcake decoration, another choice would be making a pudding using chocolate. There’s limitless stuff that you can do in these competitions with the kids.


Do it yourself kits


Making model planes is a good hobby, as is constructing your own shelves to store toys and books on. Depending on the age and skill level of your child you can pick up one of many do it yourself kits to give them a entertaining and engrossing project for the summer.Pick up something that intrigues them and you will have a good project on your hands.


Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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For homeschool students the summer is the ideal time to enhance their science skills by entering science based competitions. It could be essay competitions, or ones which involve actual working models. You don’t have to even travel physically to a specific location if you participate in the number of virtual science fairs run by certain organizations. Go through the list of science fairs that you can find online. Pick the one that appeals to you best and enter the competition.
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A cursory search I made threw up ten international science fairs, and a couple of  hundred state, regional and local science fairs in the United States of America. No matter which state you reside in there is some science fair that you can take part in. Either in person or virtually. The general outlook of most of the fairs is to make the children learn more about how science works and to encourage them to take up future careers in the scientific field. The awards and competitions serve as a major motivating factor for this.


Homeschooling students who do not live in America need not fear. There are science competitions both of national and international stature in most countries. In Australia The Science Talent Search is an annual, science based competition open to all primary and secondary students in the state of Victoria. Others in teh country and not in the state of Victoria can take part in the Great Australian Science Show.  Neighboring New Zealand has the Realise the Dream competition. The science based fun is not all restricted to down under.


If you live in Canada you can enter the Youth Science Foundation Canada’s competition or try the annual Canada Wide Science Fair.In Europe you can participate in the Contest for Young Scientists in the European Union. There are also country specific science fairs such as the Expo – Sciences in Belgium, the Jugend forscht in Germany, the Esat BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition in Ireland and the Young Physicists’ Tournament in Austria. Most of the science fair competitions have a fairly strict set of regulations so make sure that you follow them all in order to qualify for the competition.


Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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When you don’t attend a regular school there is a tendency for the summer vacation to be nothing great to be excited about. You know that school will continue as usual even if the rest of the regular school kids are having a couple of months off.This may be a good time to vary the routine for homeschool students.
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As a homeschool parent you could make the conscious decision to not teach curriculum related topics in summer school, and instead take up some topic which is of interest to the student. You could add more field trips and even a short visit out of town to make it seem less like regular school days.Getting out of the house and visiting specific places can keep the excitement level and motivation to learn about new things high.


While museums and libraries may be good places to visit they are predictable and too educative to be considered fun. I think some local tourist hot spots may also be a good cultural outing to consider. Try a weekend away in a historically important spot as well. A trip to grandparents is also a good break from regular routine if they live in an other town.


What can possible summer school topics include? Developing a hobby is a good idea during the summer months. Have the children join a class which is not taught by you. This will allow them an outing where they learn something new, make new friends and get accustomed to a new ambiance.


Possible hobbies include Music in any form such as vocals (singing in the church choir), instruments ( picking up a new instrument such as the piano, guitar, flute, violin, or anything else that interests the child), and dance (classical forms of dance, or more contemporary ones).


Another good hobby would be Arts and Craft where many activities can be performed based on the ability of the child. Stencil printing, spray painting, paper sticking, jewelery making, sculpting with clay, wood shaving, and fabric painting are just a few ideas that they can get started on.


Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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Summer is the perfect season to bring in new learning activities into the lives of your homeschooled children. You are not as focused on classroom activities, formal lessons are on a break, and its time to have some fun. Make that fun instructive and you have a set of learning activities that you can do in the summer holidays.
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Run a Lemonade Stand


This may not be the most original idea, but if undertaken seriously it can help teach the children a number of key personality traits that they need to develop to be successful. To set up the business they need basic resources. The lemonade will have to be made and served. The pricing will have to be done just right. The patience needed to sell a product will need to be developed. The jazzing up of the lemonade stand can be a creative activity that promotes self expression as well as provides advertisement for the small concern. Bagging a garden umbrella and a couple of chairs can make life more comfortable as you try to build the business successfully. As you can see, there’s a whole lot more to running a lemonade stand than merely squeezing lemons.


Organize a Summer Concert in the Park


There is a lot of talent that can be harnessed into the production of a Summer Concert. The activity can help develop organizational skills in the children, as well as offer them, and their friends an opportunity to showcase their multiple talents. Get them involved in the stage management, costume designs, ticket pricing and sales. It can be a simple tableau or an elaborate musical, guide them to see what is the best event for them to manage.  Each aspect of the show can become a learning experience. Make it even more special by adding a charitable cause to the event.Make it a fund raiser for a special cause that the children can relate to. It will be a secondary goal that they can feel good about accomplishing when they produce the perfect Summer Concert. Its good to learn social responsibility even as they have fun.


Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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There are more children being homeschooled today than ever before. The statistical data seems to suggest that most parents tend to prefer homeschooling their children rather than sending them to a regular school to attend regular classes. What is the reason for this drastic shift in the way education is imparted?
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I’m homeschooling to instill my values in my children.


I want my children to get the best education possible.


I want my children to grow up with good characters.


 I want to spare my children the violence they would face in school.


 Socializing with children their own age is not the best way for them to gain maturity.


 These are just a few reasons that parents give for homeschooling their children.


It is true that homeschooling provides a truly unique education that is characterized by the individualized instruction that the parent gives to the child. While some parents may follow the guidelines given in a home school program, they do not necessarily all teach the topics in the exact same way as instructed. Certain differences are bound to come in as the teaching is not mechanical and bound to some syllabus and related exam that must follow.


As a homeschooling parent you can proceed at the pace that your child picks up topics in different areas. It is not unusual for parents to be teaching first grade math to a child who is already reading second grade language books. The ability to proceed as the child picks up new topics is one that is limited to homeschooling. It is just not possible for a teacher in a regular school to teach her class full of students in this manner.


In a regular school the lesson is taught in a “one size fits all” manner. The interaction between the teacher and the children is mostly limited to the class time and in most cases the students are not active participants in the learning process. Yes, homeschooling can be a demanding and exhausting chore, but it can make the difference in how your child learns to relate to the world.
Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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Homeschooling has become a choice that more and more parents are opting for these days. The reasons for homeschooling may differ but it is undeniable that more children are being homeschooled by their parents today than ever before. A number of these homeschooling parents worry about just how well they are coping with educating their children. They may have high ideals but are they really succeeding in passing on the kind of instruction that they hoped to? This is a question that can be easily answered if the child is allowed to compete with his peers in contests.
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Are there any contests for homeschool students?


There are a number of competitions and contests that a student of a regular school has opportunity to compete in. This allows the student to get a fair idea about just how good he is compared to his competitors. In case of home school students there are no regular ongoing contests like in a school, but there are a few contests that are organized specially for them. These contests are organized in different subjects and so allow them the luxury of testing their capabilities against other home schooled children in their grade or age group.


How to find relevant contests for homeschool students?


If you go through a search engine with the keyword phrase “contests for homeschool students” you will end up with a search engine result page full of websites that offer details about various contests and scholarships that homeschool students can be eligible for. There are grade specifications and subject oriented contests that you can enter your homeschooled child in. Such competitions help broaden the child’s horizon and give him valuable learning experiences. What’s more if your child intends to join college having participated in such contests will make his application stronger.


Preparing for the contests


Each competition has its own rules and objectives. Once you decide what your child is to compete in make sure that you help him prepare for the contest. This kind of special coaching geared up specifically to the contest does not need special material. Most of the contests are based on topics that the child would already be covering in his homeschool classes so you can use the homeschool resources you already have to help the child prepare for the contest.
Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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Festivals can be used as a great learning tool with your homeschooling class. As most festivals revolve around specific events (such as Independence Day or Thanksgiving)or individuals (such as St. Patrick’s Day or Christmas) your child can be taught about this cultural history in a fun filled manner.
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Spin a Tale


The best way to teach a child about his heritage and culture is to make it a story rather than a lesson. After all we always remember exciting stories told to us by our grandparents and manage to remember a lot more details that way about history than when we read about it in a boring history book which insists on giving us years and dates to remember.


So try and tell them a story about the festival. Make it more about the real people who were involved in the sequence of events than a general overall view. Its always more interesting to hear about how the Indians helped the Pilgrims than to read about how much hardship the Pilgrims suffered.


Get the Hands Busy


Doing activities related to the festival can be entertaining and educative. The simplest activity would be to make a card themed with the festival. Make them come up with all the symbols of a festival and then draw them up on the card. For instance if they are making cards for Independence Day they could draw up the flag, or fire crackers.


If its for St Patrick’s Day make them think green with leprechauns and four leaf clovers. Add some rainbows with pots of gold. There a lot you can do with Christmas as well, think Santa, snowflakes, snowmen, the tree, gifts and so much more. Each festival has special symbols and you can use any of these to help the children make their cards.


Enact Plays


Dramatics is a great way to get kids involved. Make them write a script and then design their own costumes. Involve other home school students you know and make a production out of it. It does not have to be an elaborate event, just one where the children can have some fun and learn a bit more about their history and culture.
Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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A number of reasons exist for parents to send their children to a regular school. There are just as many reasons if not more for parents to make their children follow a homeschool program. Let us consider a few of these reasons.
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Socializing and interacting with their peer group


There are some who would believe that the only advantage a student of a regular school has over students who follow homeschool programs is the fact that they have a better grip on socializing. This point can be debated considering the awkward stage that most school children go through adjusting to their peers. Often social acceptance comes at a major cost to self esteem. There are cases of ragging that can scar young minds. There is also the ever present white elephant of peer pressure in the room which makes students to things that they know are foolish and often detrimental to their health.


The attention received by the student from the teacher


From an academic point of view homeschool programs may be treated as being better than regular school as they allow the student teacher ratio of 1:1. The kind of attention that a homeschooled student receives is much better than what a regular school student will get in school. However just having the attention of a teacher does not guarantee a good learning experience for the student. The parent who is homeschooling has to work hard at bringing the best possible educational experience for the child.


Games and routine physical activities


In a regular school the students are exposed to a number of physical activities and team games. Those who show an aptitude for sports are rewarded by winning school level events. The organized sporting events in a regular school however, do not cater to each student. In case of a homeschool student the parent is able to ascertain which game or sport the child enjoys and then allows the child to develop that interest. At the same time not all homeschooled students get the kind of attention to physical activities that they should. So essentially it is up to the parent and how they deal with this aspect of their child’s development.
Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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Many homeschooling parents enjoy teaching their children at home. They can be quite organized about the time they spend in the “classroom” and equally particular about the play time that their children enjoy. It can be however quite a herculean task to come up with fun activities day after day for the children to do. After sometime all the ideas in the text books get exhausted and the children still want things to do.
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Go online and discover new sites


This is where the internet can become a great source of help for homeschooling parents. Just a quick search for appropriate activities will give you a number of websites that offer interesting activities to do. Some of these activities can be done online on the website, while others are ideas for what you can do with the children in the home. There is so much data available online that it can take you a while to go through it all.


Keep a record in your diary


As you surf the internet and come across ideas you like jot them down in a diary. Some of the ideas may seem ideal for use immediately while others could seem more appropriate for a later day. You need to write down any activities that you feel would be fun, or that would be educational to the children. Then at a later date you will have your own ready set of ideas and activities to dip into without having to go through the entire internet surfing process again.


See what works best for your children


Just because an activity has been described so well that you fall in love with it may not be the best reason to do it with your children. Take into consideration the usual things that they enjoy doing before you begin trying out any new activities on them. Sometimes a complicated activity can seem like too much work for the children, so then break it up into more manageable parts for them. Do remember the primary idea is that the children enjoy doing the activity and learn something from it.
Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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Science is all around us. In the flutter of the butterfly or the roar of the car engine we can find science related principles to study. There is always the possibility of converting anything that you see into a science observation. Take it one step further and you can make it an interactive science activity. Be it biology, chemistry or physics, we are surrounded by possible homeschooling science activities.
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Why can’t there be long term science activities in regular school?


As a homeschooling parent you have the option of having a long term science activity going on simultaneously with your classes. In regular school it is not possible for the science teacher to have an ongoing science activity that lasts more than a week. She has too many other things to do and cover with the students. However as a home schooling parent you can take your time with a long term science activity.


What activities can you plan?


Pick up any activity that your children enjoy. For example it could be star gazing for an astronomy related long term project. Help your children study the night sky over a period of a year. Make maps of the night sky and mark the constellations that you can identify. See how the constellations move from month to month. The stars that you could see staring straight from the window will move and twist in the sky as the seasons change.


Growing things are always a source of fascination


It could be an interesting science activity to grow your own herbs. How do you convert it into a science activity? Make two herb gardens. One can be grown out in the back yard and the other can be grown indoors. See how the lack of sunlight affects the growth of similar plants. Study the growth spurts in the plants that are growing out in the back yard and see if they coincide for the ones growing indoors. It is the records of all the data that you keep that will make this an interesting activity. Think up of other activities that your child enjoys and convert it into a science activity.
Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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As a homeschooling parent you will need to keep records to help you with the daunting task of teaching all the subjects to your child at home. Things would perhaps go easier if you were able to separate these records into different heads giving you an easier overview of what you have already done, what you wish to do and what all your child has accomplished. The easiest way to keep records is to break it down in terms of time.
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The Daily Planner


This can be used to write down what you intend to teach each day. You could add a section at the end of each page to remind you of just what all you actually did manage to cover out of the planned lesson. You can fill in the plan one week in advance so you know where you are headed during the week. At the same time be flexible as you never know what can come up in a week.


The Weekly Portfolio


This record keeping is for the day off, usually it would be Saturday or Sunday. Here you can file away any worksheets or art work that the children have produced as part of the curriculum in the week as well. It can help you mark the progress that your child is making.


The Monthly Journal


Over here you can keep a record of the monthly educational outings that you take with your child. If you went to the museum, took a field trip, or visited the nursery, mention it here. Ask your children which educational trips they would like to take once they are a little older. Try visiting the library every week and see if you can manage something more exciting like a factory once in a while.


The Year Book


Besides adding photographs of different trips and activities that you have performed during the year add records of what all the child has learned and accomplished in the year as well. Have your child also write about what he has experienced during the school year. Make it a record that can be shown at a later date to college counselors as well.


Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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It can be difficult for a parent to get the degree of formality required to make the transition from parent to teacher in a homeschool. This is especially true when you are starting out homeschooling your young pre schoolers. In this case it comes in handy to establish a formal identity for the homeschool. Here is what you can do to make the transition from parent to teacher easier for your child to understand.
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Have a separate school area


It gives the child a chance to adjust from a home area to a school area physically. It also allows you to organize all your homeschool materials in an easy to access manner. It is easiest if you have an extra room to spare for a classroom. That way the minute the child enters to door he knows that now its time to study. Even if you do not have the extra room try and demarcate a study table that can be brought out when its time to hit the books.


Make up a school name and provide the child with an identity card


Establishing a name and providing the child with an identity card also helps him to shift from an informal home environment to a more formal learning environment. Also it is a fun activity which you can indulge in in arts and crafts class. Let them get creative with the name, possible logo and the color scheme as well.


Set up a clearly marked and easy to follow schedule


Most children do better in class when they know what to expect next. A clear schedule that you follow with regularity can help a long way in this. Of course there will be days when the child does not want to follow that schedule and you need to be flexible enough to deal with that.


Set up a memory book or year book for each academic year


Help your child record his homeschool year in a memory book. Use photographs, and other art work that you made during the year to decorate the book. This end of the year activity will help signal the end of the academic year. Explain how you will now be taking a break but will come back for a new year the next session.
Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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Unlike in Germany, where homeschooling is actually illegal, in Canada homeschooling programs are legal. The regulations for home based learning come under the provincial jurisdiction. This means that each province in the country may have a somewhat different set of rules to follow for homeschooling your child. This is similar to the United States where each state has a different set of legal rules for homeschooling.
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If you are Canadian citizens and are not living in Canada but elsewhere in the world you will have to look into the homeschooling regulations for the country that you currently reside in. The one exception to this is the families of military personnel. Even if they are posted to a military base in another country the military base is considered to be a part of the country of origin, in this case Canada. Therefore those living on the military base are also considered to be still on Canadian ground legally.


If you are not a military family and reside outside Canada you will need to adhere to the homeschooling rules of your country of residence. If you are in Brazil, Bulgaria, Hong Kong, Germany or Sweden it will not be possible for you to homeschool as it is not legal in these countries. This list is by no means comprehensive and there may be other nations where getting your child to follow the homeschooling programs may be problematic at a legal level. So please do your own research on the matter before you begin to homeschool your child abroad.


If you are foreigners who are living in Canada, you are free to follow whichever homeschooling programs you like for your children. Depending on the state that you reside in you will need to consider the legalities of the process. As per the Immigration and Refugee protection Act every minor child in Canada, other than a child of a temporary resident not authorized to work or study, is authorized to study at the pre-school, primary or secondary level. This also allows you to put your child into a public school if you wish to not homeschool your minor child.


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While homeschooling is legal in all 50 states in the US this is not true of all other countries. In some countries in Europe, such as Germany, it is illegal to homeschool your children. So it is indeed lucky for you if you have the choice of following a homeschool program for your child no matter where in America you live. In fact you can even teach your children at home when you live abroad for some period of time as long as you conform to the legal requirements of the state that you will return to live in.
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Exposure to the world


Now it is debatable as to who has better exposure to the world. A child studying in a regular school or someone being homeschooled by their parents. In some cases students who are following homeschool programs are given a very good view of the current affairs of the world. They learn the cause and effect of current problems faced by the global community and debate possible solutions. Of course a child who is actually globe trotting while being homeschooled will naturally have a bigger advantage.


Legal issues


Each state has its own set of legalities with regard to homeschooling. If you tend to move around every couple of years you will need to check what the local laws for the state you are living in are. Even if you have a permanent residence in a particular state you can not stick to the legal needs of that state while you live in an other state. So make sure you cover the legal groundwork. Your homeschool support group will be able to help you find out the legal necessities of homeschooling in your resident state.


Homeschool and Private School


While in some states there are laws that mark a difference between those who homeschool their children and those who attend private schools, it is not true of all the states. In many cases the state assumes that a home school student is a private school student. In some cases homeschool students are actually registered with private schools for record keeping purposes. So it would be in the best interests of your child’s future for you to be aware of the laws governing homescholling in Your State!


Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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Homeschooling means different things to different people. Some think of homeschool as a means to teach the child all that they were taught, others want their child to decide what he or she really wants to learn and then teach them that specific topic. There are different methods that a parent can use to teach a homeschooled child. Of these unschooling is the most controversial as it leaves the progress of the education solely on the shoulders of the child being taught.
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Even if a parent has the courage of conviction that the child will learn the skills he or she needs in life through unschooling, it is difficult to get away from keeping records. The state agencies which watch over homeschooling families need to be presented with some form of records that mark the progress of the child over the school year. For those parents following the child led unschooling method of teaching it can be difficult to come up with homeschool records.


After all it is not possible to plan a child’s day when using unschooling, the child decides what he wants to learn on a day to day basis and the parent then follows suit. So how does the parent keep track of just what was done and satisfy the state authorities? Here’s how they can probably keep track of what the child is learning and satisfy the need for records without going crazy over neat and tidy notations on a day to day basis.


Keep a daily sheet for all the work that the child has covered for your own reference. This will be easy to write down and file. Then use these details to make a formal record for the state authorities. The simplest way would be to make a progress sheet per subject on which you mark out all the topics that need to be covered as per the state curriculum. Now add a column for date, and write down when it was covered. Add another column for a grade if you wish to highlight the proficiency of the child in the topic. Repeat it for all the academic subjects the child has covered.


Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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The study of science is characterized by attending classes of theory and then putting it to the test in a laboratory experiment. With parents who teach homeschool science is the lack of a formal laboratory in the home a limiting factor? While some may think so, it need not necessarily be so. There are many ways to conduct experiments and the lack of a laboratory need not be a limitation for a home school student if the parent is able to harness the power of available resources.
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Use what you have readily available at hand


Almost every topic that is covered in elementary school science is easily explained using stuff around the house. If you are talking about the nature of matter and need to explain solids, liquids and gases, just take them into the kitchen. Use water to set as ice for solid state, it is already in bottles as liquid state, then boil some on the hob to form water vapor to show them the gaseous state.


Don’t stay indoors


If you need to talk about living and non living things, use the family pet, the garden and other household appliances as examples. Let them understand the concept as best as possible. To teach them more about plant life help them plan their own garden. Each part of the plant will become a biology lesson on its own. If its animals you want to talk about see that they follow the family dog around. You can discuss similarities and differences with humans as well.


Keep a box with stuff that can be used for experiments


If you want them to learn about the properties of magnetism just give them a set of differently shaped magnets. A horseshoe shape, a rectangle, a circle, and whatever else they like. Now let them play with the magnets as you explain polarity and attraction. You can also get a few light weight iron things that they can use with the magnets.


So if you give it some thought and a little preparation it can be a great experience teaching homeschool science even in the absence of a formal laboratory. All you need to do is use your imagination and all the junk that you have at home.


Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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Unit studies allow a parent to teach a child all possible aspects of a topic or theme in a single schematic manner. This means that if a child is learning about hometown he will learn about the geography of the state and the location of the hometown. Then he will learn about the places of interest in the place which deal with the history of the hometown like museums, the city hall and other related places.
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It all fits together like a jigsaw puzzle


He will learn about the governance and the civic aspect of the city that he resides in. He will also learn about the famous people who came from the town.There will also be an introduction to the cultural aspects such as the music or fine arts that are associated with the place.If the child can learn so much about the hometown in a unit study wouldn’t it be a better idea to use this integrated method of teaching in a homeschool curriculum?


Do you need the textbooks?


While it is true that unit studies allows you to combine a number of resources to teach a set of related skills, it is too soon to start throwing out the individual subject related text books. It is reading about the different aspects of the unit in different subject books that allows the child to understand the interrelated nature of the discipline or topic that he is studying.It tells him how the history of the place is related to the geography of the place. It also shows him how the geography of the place can lead to difference in the civic governance.


Unit studies and beyond


It also tells him how the history of the place can affect the present day life. While it fun for the whole family to participate in unit studies related field trips and activities, it is the student alone who will have to use that information in a higher grade in subject specific slots. So while it is a good idea to include some unit studies in the homeschooling curriculum, the parent must also instill a healthy respect for each different subject in the child.


Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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Tumisu By CC, via Flickr
Tumisu By CC, via Flickr
In regular school each academic subject is taught in a different class and at times by a different teacher. The same is not necessary in a homeschooling program where the parent can teach the child using unit studies.
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What is a Unit Study


The Unit Studies Approach is a Homestudy method that integrates all the different school subjects together under one theme or topic.This is the unit which is studied and teaches the child all that there is to know under that particular topic at his grade level. This method is based on the assumption that a curriculum is not rigid but teaches the child what he needs to learn in a flexible manner irrespective of the subject divide that the academicians have placed on it.


Planning a Unit Study


As a homeschooling parent you would like to know how to plan your own unit studies. First off you need to pick a topic that interests your child. It could be anything that piques his interest. Don’t worry that there may be nothing to make it into a unit study, it will be surprising to see how this integrated study method can link seemingly unrelated study topics.


What can you add?


Now pick the level of depth that you would like to deal with and begin gathering research material to help you plan the unit study. Some basic theory can be covered with the resources you have at hand. Now add to the fun and games by chalking up field trips, hands on activities and internet based games to the unit study. Make sure you keep track of what all you have covered in a journal.


Try and have some schedule so that you cover a set number of items related to the topic in a fixed number of days, but remember to be flexible. Enthusiasm for the topic is the way to go. Once you have covered the unit study completely it would be a good idea to have a celebration of some kind. It could be a presentation or a special field trip or even a small party at home.


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Free-Photos By CC via Pixabay

Moving from homeschooling to regular school can be a monumental step. It is a decision which can not be made lightly on the spur of the moment. For the process to be smooth and the transaction to be successful certain tasks need to be taken care of before hand.If you went through your initial education as a home schooler and now want to get into a regular high school you will need to get a few things in order before you can join classes.
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Keep the records well and keep them updated


As part of your homeschooling help your parents would have to keep detailed records about your progress in each grade level. This assessment file which is kept over the years is what is essential for a regular school to see just how well you have been doing over the years. This transcript also serves as a sort of report card. It would be a good idea to under go some standardized testing to help your case.


Organize your other records


Those whom you asked for homeschooling help will be able to assist you here by telling you what other records could be needed by the local high school as well. Some of these could include health and immunization records, photocopy of your birth certificate, a transcript, and photocopy of standardized test results. You can never tell which record would be required by the school authorities and so it is a good idea to go in well organized with all the records you have.


Ask homeschooling help forums what to expect


Nothing teaches you better than practical experience. So don’t be shy to ask for help from homeschooling parents whose kids have joined regular high school. You can find some such people on the homeschooling forums that you use on a regular basis. While the state rules may differ in some cases, most of the procedure is likely to be similar. This will give you a good idea of what to expect. You can also get some good tips on how to deal with some issues that are bound to arise.
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DariuszSankowski By CC via Pixabay

The homeschool curriculum you follow is essentially a guideline to help you teach your children. Do not make the mistake of following it so rigidly that you lose the advantage of teaching your children at home at the pace that they are comfortable with. Each child is different. Just because your first child enjoyed coloring it does not follow that your second child will also like it as much.
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Change the way you teach to suit each child individually


As the parent you need to adapt the homeschool curriculum to suit the learning patterns of each individual child. Sure you can use the same material and resources, but you will have to tweak it a bit to ensure that each child gains from it in the best possible way. For instance some children are very visual, they need to see pictures and videos to understand a topic. On the other hand other children are more likely to listen and learn if you let them close their eyes and hear your voice.


The homeschool curriculum is not rigid, so don’t make it so


Just because the lessons are given in a certain order in the resource book is no reason to teach them in the same order. It would make much more sense to teach them about things that they know a little bit about and are interested in first. Then you can always follow that up with introducing totally new concepts. Tailor make the class to suit the needs of the child that you are teaching. Who but you would know what suits your child best.


Use unit studies to comprehensively cover a topic


In case your child is interested in a specific topic it would be a good idea to browse the internet and check what free unit resources are available for that topic.  Pick up a unit which includes audio, video and written material. That way no matter how your child processes data there will be some part of the unit that will cater to it. Watching movies, reading lapbooks and even creating your own models are a great and composite way to learn about a specific topic.


Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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As you fend off a crisis in your life it may well affect your ability to deal with the home school curriculum simultaneously. There can be all kinds of special situations where you may face an out of the way crisis. It could be a simple thing like the death of a near and dear person, or something far more catastrophic such as a physical natural disaster like an earthquake or a tornado aftermath. Truth is a crisis of any magnitude can make it nearly impossible for you to continue your regular home school schedule and studies.
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How to deal with this unexpected diversion?


Do not feel guilty about the crisis. As the parent and teacher it is important for you to understand that you are not the reason why the crisis occurred and so you are not to blame for its aftermath. As a human being you need to cut yourself some slack to be able to deal with an emotional or physical crisis. So the children will get their schooling disrupted for a few days or weeks. It is fine to accept the situation and then deal with it in the best manner possible.


Get back to the schedule in whatever small measure you can


A personal tragedy or a national crisis, it does not matter what caused the problem in home schooling. What matters is your determination to overcome the issue and get your children back into some form of normalcy where they resume their schooling. Sometimes dealing with memorizing facts from the school books can be the best way to deal with the tragedy that the family has faced. A sense of routine and order is very much appreciated by children. They need the structure that daily routine offers in their day.


Give them answers to help cope with the crisis


The human being is a curious creature. If children have questions about the crisis make sure that you give them age appropriate answers to help them cope. It is a life lesson that will serve them well even once they have grown up. So even when you feel that you can not answer their probing questions or feel irritated when they ask too many questions, try and answer them the best that you can.
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A few decades ago regular schools were the only logical choice for schooling because most parents just did not have the resources to teach their children at home even if they wanted to. Thanks to the advance of technology this is no longer a limiting factor for parents looking forward to teaching their children at home. These days it is easy to get homeschooling help if you chose to teach yourself.
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Homeschool Curriculum


If you are homeschooling for the first time it can be a bit intimidating to sift through material and design your own home school curriculum. In this case you can get homeschooling help by picking up a ready made curriculum from any number of established publishers who cater specifically to parents who are teaching their children at home. If you are keen on designing a child specific curriculum, you can get help from an educational advocate who will work with you to formulate the ideal curriculum.


Computer based learning


Learning need not be restricted to books and copies either. It is the age of multimedia and nothings brings that home better than the personal computer.  These days you can avail of computer programs on DVDs that allow your child an interactive learning experience on any topic your heart desires. The tutorials are available for different subjects and are structured to meet requirements of learners at different grade levels, allowing you to pick the ones that are best suited to your child’s learning capabilities.


Online Schools


Should you feel that you are getting stuck with a particular subject you can also enroll your child in an online class. Some private schools allow you to choose the specific subjects that you want your child to learn online, while others have a package deal for all the subjects that you have to cover in a particular grade. You can pick up the deal that is ideal for your child based on your expectations. Make sure that you look into the reputations of any online schools before you enroll your child so as to save yourself heartache at a later date.
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Get them to do experiments


A hands on approach to home school science can make the subject your child’s favorite one. While it is important that the child understands the theory written in the science book, it is the experiments that make it an interesting learning experience. If you can capture the attention and interest of the child, the quality of learning will be greatly enhanced. The best way to do this is to ensure that the child is able to do at least one experiment per chapter. It will then become like the highlight of the school day, not to mention the fact that it will probably stay in the memory for a long time.
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Small or big it does not matter


Don’t think that the grander the experiment the better it is. You don’t have to go all out and do large scale experiments and invest in major equipment. The idea is to spark the curiosity of the child. A small science experiment kit with some special material is all you really need to conduct experiments at home.  A simple litmus test can be exciting for a child. As long as you think ahead and plan well conducting science experiments at home will not a chore that you regret in the long run. You can even look into ready made kits as the children grow older and are able to handle more experiments on their own.


Different aged children can also do a combined experiment


The good thing about science is that in any given experiment you can discuss it at various levels. Sort of like how you can draw a scenery in each grade level and never repeat the ones you made before. Similarly the experiments you conduct can have something new to teach children at different grade levels. Its also more fun for the children to conduct the experiment as a team with each individual handling his own part in the experiment.Working together as a team also gives them a feeling of what it can be to handle peer interactions.There’s just one thing, make sure that they are well supervised so that there are no accidents.


Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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A toy is the best teacher that a child can have. The more you play the more experience you gain. Science based toys are an excellent way to help your home schooled child learn more about the subject. There are a number of such toys that you can buy. Here’s a list of some such toys that can help the child develop a keen interest in homeschool science.
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 Magnifying glass


To ability to see things which can not be seen by the naked eye can be both exciting and educative for children. Not everyone can afford an electronic microscope but a magnifying glass can also do the trick when you are trying to explain the world of the small things that surround us.


Magnet Kit


By its very interactive nature playing with magnets fascinates children. They can literally spend hours playing with magnets and bits of iron filings. Introduce them to magnets of all sizes and shapes with a magnet kit. Let them learn the polarity of a rectangular magnet, the strength of a horseshoe magnet and the fun with which a round magnet can be used to stick art on the fridge.


Circuit Makers


As electricity is a modern miracle that we often take for granted it can be interesting for children to build their own circuits. Make sure that they don’t plug into the power supply for the house, but a couple of LEDs and batteries ought to do the trick for completing their circuits. Once the circuit is properly tested you may want to break it and let them find the fault and repair it. The sense of achievement should they succeed would be great.


Binoculars


Watching far off things come close can be a fascinating experience for children. Understanding how the lens works will be much easier when you can actually see how the objects look through the binoculars. You can use the binoculars to foster other non science related hobbies such as bird watching as well.


Specific to Curriculum Kits


If you do not want to waste time, money and effort on science toys that are not related to the homeschool science curriculum, you may want to invest in Curriculum based Science Kits. That way the children still have fun with experiments and the parents don’t feel that they are wasting time.


Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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The traditional “school at home” method which is similar to the different subjects being taught class after class in a regular school is not the only method that can be used for homeschooling. A number of more relaxed and flexible methods are often used by homeschooling parents. Here are a few of these techniques and a brief look at how you can incorporate them into your own homeschooling curriculum.
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Unit Studies


This is an integrated way of teaching the child a number of different subject related material based on one central topic or theme. It enhances the creative skills of the child and allows him to explore different aspects of the same topic. It helps the child to learn without any fixed and rigid subject structure. The method does need some preparation by the parent before it can be implemented at the level of the child. It includes field trips and hands on activities to help understand the topic better.


Montessori Method


This method was first advocated by Dr Maria Montessori who said that learning was a natural, and self-directed process for the child. Dr Maria said that the learning process  followed certain fundamental laws of nature. It was the job of the teaching to guide the child to follow this learning curve on his own. The teacher must not force her own preconceived prejudices on the child. The child is allowed to learn at his own pace and sometimes no two children in the class are on the same page.


Unschooling


While the term may sound strange, it was originally coined by John Holt to mean that children were not sent to school. However today the term refers to a method of teaching where the adult steps back and allows the child to learn what he likes, how he likes. learning takes place in a natural way following the interests and passions of the child rather than the syllabus approved by the state. While this method allows the child a great measure of creative freedom in gaining his own education, it can make record keeping a bit difficult for the parents.


Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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PublicDomainPictures 1 By Cc Via Pixabay
PublicDomainPictures 1 By Cc Via Pixabay

Science is all around us. We don’t really need a classroom to observe different aspects of science at play in our daily life. Take the electricity in the house that makes such a difference to our lives, or something as complicated as the mass transportation systems of buses and trains in the city. The colorful blooms in the garden can be used to explain biology and the flying butterflies can be used for a discussion on the principles of flight. Everything uses science and it is this aspect that can help make homeschool science interesting.
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Get those brains ticking


Learning science is not so much about getting the right answer as it is about stimulating the brain to think. When you teach a child how some scientific principle works and then demonstrate it with an experiment you enhance their curiosity. Thinking up new experiments based on the same principle that you demonstrated helps them to expand their learning capacity besides making the subject more interesting.The idea is to help them develop the ability to teach themselves.


Two experiments a day policy


A good way to enhance their interest in science as a subject is to ensure that you conduct at least two experiments a day. This may sound like a lot but you must realize that an experiment does not have to be complicated, even measuring the time it takes for an ice cube to melt can be an experiment.  This policy will ensure that you explore different aspects of science together. You can even allow them to pick one experiment while you get dibs on the second one. The interactive activity is likely to be all the more rewarding when they want to do it themselves.


Record personal experiences


The wonder of an experiment that amazed them, or the spectacular failure of another experiment can all be relived if you take care to record these personal experiences. You don’t have to write essays of five hundred words to do so. A camera can come in handy and a picture with a pithy caption can be all that you need to record the event. Looking through this record will make it interesting for the children to see what comes next.
Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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kovescence By CC via Pixabay

You have been wondering about how you will possibly teach your child homeschool science. Is it intimidating you because you were not a good science student yourself? It should not. You don’t have to be. Science is not a tough subject to teach, especially not to your own child. All you need is the right methods and you will be able to handle the job to your own satisfaction.
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Access the child’s instructional level


Naturally you are not going to teach the child quantum physics when you begin the grade one homeschool science topics. You need to know what level of instruction your child is likely to be comfortable with. All children pick up science or any other subject at their own pace. Since you are in a close one-to-one relationship with your child there is no one better suited than you to access the child’s educational level.


Select the course topics that will appeal to your child


In any given homeschool science curriculum you can choose to be flexible about how you want to teach your child and what you want to teach first. Once you have decided which curriculum you will be using as a guide to your science homeschooling you can pick out the topics that you know your child will enjoy learning about first. Once you start teaching them these topics and establish guidelines for learning the rest of the topics will be much easier to cover.


Don’t limit yourself to the curriculum books


Like with any other topic in unit studies even homeschool science can work well without curriculum books. All you need to know is the basics that you want your child to learn. After that it is up to you to use the school books or any additional material that you may have collected to do the actual teaching. This level of flexibility to teach your child is the reason why you chose to home school your child. So make use of it.


After you teach your child a topic you need to assess if the child has actually picked up what you taught. This is not to undermine your confidence in your teaching skills, but a means to assess how well your child picks up what you teach.


Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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redcctshirt By CC via Pixabay

Hands on is the best way to learn science. If you are teaching homeschool science to your children it is best to get them involved with the practical aspect of science. make them perform a number of experiments in all the topics that they study and you will find that their understanding and retention of scientific facts is much better. Unfortunately not everyone is able to cope with homeschool science as the grade levels begin to go up. Here’s what you can do then.
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Get a science kit based on the curriculum


These days you have science kits available for all grades and any topic that you wish to teach. Most of the kits are based on actual homeschool science curriculum topics and will be easy to incorporate into your teaching. The whole family can get involved in these science kit based projects and make learning fun. From catching butterflies to casting rockets out in the sky, from classifying pebbles to identifying plant leaves, no matter what the activity it will help your child learn without you having to teach them directly.


Make the older children learn with the younger ones


Sometimes the younger kids end up learning far more when they see you teaching the elder ones. In the experience of most mothers the younger siblings nearly always learn most basic skills at a far faster rate than the older ones have. This happens because they get the chance to observe the elder kids up close and learn from their mistakes. The same principle can be applied while teaching homeschool science. Let the younger ones help with the experiments to understand the topics faster.


Get the child an online science programme to learn from


After a certain grade you may not be able to cope with the science level needed to teach the child. Don’t panic. A number of science learning based websites offer tutoring online to homeschool science students who enroll in their programmes. While a number of sites offer the online tutoring service it is wise to make sure that the programme that you subscribe your child to is one with a good reputation. It is easy to check for the reputation of a website on home school learning forums.


Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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cegoh By CC, via Pixabay
cegoh By CC, via Pixabay

As a home schooling parent the general idea is to keep the children gainfully occupied doing things that they can learn skills from. If they are not studying their school books, you will line up educational and informative activities for them to do. This stems from a belief that if the children do not have something to do they will get into trouble or fall behind their peers who are in regular school. While getting them to do these activities will help them gain an advantage it can also have a negative effect on the children. Having free time to themselves to indulge in activities that they want to is also important for well rounded development of a child.
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The concept of free time is essentially time that is unstructured and unregulated by adults. The child knows that during that hour or two in the day he can indulge in any activity, which is safe and acceptable to the parent on his own terms. This is where the creativity of the child will begin to bloom. Here is how the child will be able to break free from the daily routine or scheduled tasks, chores and activities to do what he wants. Even if what he wants to do is nothing more than sit and day dream.


The primary reason why home schooling parents don’t cater for free time is that the child tends to come back to them within the first ten minutes saying he’s bored and he doesn’t know what to do. Don’t immediately come up with ideas for activities to fill up the free time. Let them be and you will be astonished at all the different ways that they will come up to entertain themselves with. It can take a while initially for them to get going since you have always scheduled their day for them and they will not know instantly what they can do with the free time. Just make sure that they don’t use the time to sit and watch TV or play video games. The idea is to get them away from screens and activate their dormant imaginations.


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StockSnap By CC via Pixabay

Keeping track of all that you have covered with your child over an academic session can be quite a daunting task if you are not in the habit of regularly noting down what was taught in the homeschool classroom. One way to make it easier to make your homeschool portfolio is to ensure that you maintain a homeschool planner regularly during the academic year.
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In the homeschool planner you can make an additional notation of what all you actually managed to cover as opposed to what all you wished to teacher. This will help you keep track of what you need to mention in the homeschool portfolio. The planner can be weekly or monthly and you need to keep it updated so that you have all the information you need on hand at the end of the academic session when you sit down to make the progress report.


Additional things that you can keep a track of are family projects that were undertaken during the year. These could include a number of things such as the Lego model village you constructed, the bead necklace and earrings set that you fabricated, the modeling clay sculptures that you made, or the rocks that you collected on a family trek. You can take pictures of these projects and add them in the homeschool portfolio under extra curricular activities.


Another tool that can help trace the progress of the child in a particular field or task is external certification that he or she has gained. For instance certification for completing a grade of piano lessons, or participation in a science based workshop, or singing in the church choir, or any such special activity that the child has undertaken. These must also be recorded in the homeschool portfolio in the  academic year that the child participated in these events.


Keeping track of all that your child did over the year in a simple lined notepad will also help your end goal of marking the child’s progress in the year. If you have the time and energy you can even make a nice powerpoint presentation of what the year was like with photographs, videos and a formal script. One for each academic year will be a great way to introduce your child to a college counselor.


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Recording the progress of your homeschooled child is an important part that many first time homeschooling parents do not pay much attention to. However if at a later date your child wishes to study in a regular school or college a yearly record of the child’s learning activities will be needed for the teachers to assess the child’s level of preparedness. Here is how you can make a homeschool progress portfolio for the academic year for your child.
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Details pertinent to the child


Make the first page page a cover page that gives the academic year, a photo of the child and some decorative art. The second page will give details of the name of the child, contact information, along with a little pen picture which describes what the child likes and dislikes. The third page can be a personal presentation that the child gives on any projects that were undertaken during the academic year. The fourth page can be a presentation that the parent gives about what all was undertaken in the current academic year.


Subject wise details of what was covered


The fifth page will give the subjects and unit studies that were undertaken during the academic year. Any additional integration of activities of character building nature can also be given a mention here. The sixth page onwards a subject wise break down of what was taught and the level of proficiency that the child has attained can be mentioned.Cover languages taught, maths, science, social studies and any other subject that has been taught in detail with the topics covered.


More than academic studies


After the academic subjects are covered you may make a mention of the physical education activities such as a sport that was picked up by the child during this period. For instance if he is swimming or cycling for the first time during that academic year make a mention of that. Also add details of musical training if the child has picked up an instrument. You can make a mention of any visual or creative art form that the child has been taught during the academic year as well.
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Public Domain Picture By CC via Pixabay

Homeschooling parents are usually striving to give the best of education to their children. They want to teach the children all that they should know in a relaxed and tension free atmosphere. This system allows them the flexibility to do so as and when they like. One major tool that the home schooling parents use is the computer and internet to get resources to make use of. It is quite common for homeschooling parents to use the computer in order to get material to teach their children, but they miss out on one big opportunity.
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What’s this missed opportunity?


They do not let the computer become a teaching tool on its own. Computer aided teaching is not a new concept. It has been around for a while and it has been proved to be highly effective. In computer aided teaching the computer takes over the role of the teacher completely. The lesson or topic being taught is covered comprehensively by the computer software program allowing the child to learn at his own pace. In case a particular concept is unclear the child can loop back and learn that section again. Some more advanced programs even have extra examples that the child can use to clarify the concept.


Use the computer independently


Allow the child to use the computer independently. It can become a secondary teacher with whom he or she can learn when you are unavailable. Get the grade and age appropriate software programs which allow your child to gain new knowledge in an easy to understand manner. Think of the computer as a substitute teacher who gives the parent a break and still does not disrupt the learning schedule of the child. There is a lot that the computer can help you achieve without putting you out to extra work.


Its okay to play games


Most parents are paranoid about their children using the computer to play games. Why make it a big issue? All children need some down time, and a couple of games on the computer do not mean that they are not paying attention to their lessons. Of course excessive gaming will need to be monitored, but an occasional break from studies can be understood.


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andrelyra, By CC Via Pixabay
andrelyra, By CC Via Pixabay
As a group of companies realized the severe shortage of skilled manpower in technologically related fields could seriously cripple the industry, they set about rectifying the situation at the grass root level. They decided to make science and technology more interesting and exciting for students in school. As part of this initiative they set up various science fair competitions that would allow the students an opportunity to use their skill in science to create projects that would allow them to win good monetary awards. Money does make the world go round, and can be a major motivating factor with some cash prizes going as high as $100,000. Surely not a small amount for a student to win, I am sure parents will agree.
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Depending on the competition that you enter you could win any amount of prize money. Some competitions reward all ten finalists with $1,000 and also pay for their round trip to the exhibition venue, like the Discovery Young Scientists Challenge. Others offer scholarships to prestigious universities if the winner would like to peruse higher education in a related field. Others like the DuPont Challenge Science Essay Competition may not be exactly dependent on a working project model, but again offer more immediate rewards such as a visit to Walt Disney World and Kennedy Space Center besides a $3000 cash award to the winner. These may be awards better suited to the enthusiastic youth participating in the events.


Besides the immediate benefit of exposure to the cream of the scientific world, and the possible benefit of a financial award, there is also a potential long term benefit. That of an exciting and promising career in the field of science and technology for the students. Just as much as high school football games are a talent pool for scouts to look for future college players, these science competitions are a hunting ground for potential employees for the technology related companies. You never know when a student may have a game changing idea which when developed correctly can be marketed for a tidy profit. The best part is that the student with the next big idea could just as well be you!


 Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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Public Domain Picture By CC via Pixabay

As a homeschooling parent you are aware that there will be some subjects that you may not be very comfortable handling after a certain grade level. The basics are easy for you to teach in any subject, but if you have limited experience with teaching science, you and your child could get frustrated as the level goes higher and you are unable to answer all his questions. There are a few simple ways to deal with this challenge of teaching homeschool science.
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Use the expertise in your local homeschool support group


It is more than likely that you already belong to a home school support group in your city. You can tap members of this group who are better qualified to teach home school science than you are. They can take the science classes for your child and you can either pay them for this or trade off classes for their children in some other subject that you are comfortable handling. It would be a mutually beneficial relationship.


Consider online homeschool classes with a science course related to their grade


If you are not a member of a homeschool support group, or do not have a person who is comfortable handling science in the support group, you can consider an online science course. The student can learn science on the computer with the help of online teachers. Just because they are learning from an online course does not mean that they are not being homeschooled. Plus they will have the benefit of more than one science teacher as most such websites hire a number of professionals to help with the courses.


Send them to a private school for just the science subjects


If you feel that computer aided instruction is not an option you could consider sending the children to a private school in the vicinity just for the science subjects. They do not have to attend regular classes, just subject specific ones. Another alternative would be to approach the science teacher in such a school and ask them to consider private tuition for your children. You know what will suit your needs best. So consider all the options well before taking the final decision.


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Public Domain Picture By CC via Pixabay

Organizing homeschooling activities can take a lot out of a parent. It is best to try and combine these activities with another parent who is homeschooling their children, or to use homeschooling resources that are available to you for free. This gives you some respite from the continuous planning of events that homeschooling can involve.In addition it keeps your children gainfully occupied.
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Since life itself can be a teacher, there are a number of regular activities which can be fun and a learning experience for homeschool students. Some such activities can include visiting the public library, going to church, participating in community sports, and spending time at the city’s recreation center. So if your child wants to read a particular book series that he enjoys, he can use the resources at the public library rather than buy the books.


If he wants to play football or basketball or baseball, he will find a full team and sports equipment waiting for him at the community sports center. Not only will he enjoy the physical workout but also make friends and hone up on his social skills. This is an area that usually does need a little extra work with homeschool children as they are not used to spending too much time with their peers.


If you are looking at more specific resources which can not be found at general community centers you may want to consider joining a homeschool cooperative. Such co-ops are basically a group of homeschooling families that come together to pool their resources. You can get books, teaching material, and even a teacher for a specially difficult topic to cover in such groups.


You can circulate the material and resources that you have available with you and you get to use the material and resources that the other families have provided as well. Its a symbiotic relationship which works out well for all homeschooling families involved. The benefits are more than the obvious financial ones. Y0u make friends who can help you out and actually understand the peculiar difficulties that homeschooling and throw up. This support group can be a real help in difficult times.
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Public Domain Picture By CC via Pixabay

There are a few common mistakes that homeschooling parents tend to make and these five about head the list. These are not woes that are necessarily of parents new to homeschooling. Even those who have been teaching their children at home successfully for a while now can still end up making these errors. Being aware of the potential problem can help you to think proactively of possible solutions.
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1. Over scheduling classes


There is a good lesson plan and one which will over burden both you as the teacher and your children as the students. You need to factor in the time that you can actually spend teaching and preparing for classes before you set up a crazy schedule which has you pulling at your hair within a week.


2. Under budgeting for resources


Since you have to buy your own resources and study material for teaching your children you need to make a realistic budget to help you plan your expenses. Some basic material is a must, the rest you need to pick and choose based on just how useful it is likely to be. Remember if its something expensive that you will use just once or twice, its just not worth spending on.


3. Multi tasking to exhaustion


You need to be skilled at handing a number of tasks at one go when you begin to homeschool. There is not just the studies, but also the feeding, cleaning and a whole lot of other chores and errands that you need to run. Don’t make your life so jam packed with activities that you exhaust yourself. Remember if you fall ill the full family suffers. So take care of your health first.


4. Being too rigid with the plan


Having a plan is a great thing. It keeps you focused on what you have to do and it also allows you to keep track of what all you have achieved in a given time frame. The trouble starts if the plan is not flexible enough to take some knocks. No matter how great your original plan is, you should be able to make minor changes in it if circumstances change.


5. Not keeping records


With the great number of things that you need to keep track of it is sometimes easy to forget keeping records of your child’s progress. You tell yourself that you can always make the report later on, but eventually you will forget. This can cause discrepancies in the record keeping of your child’s progress which can affect him adversely at a later date should he choose to return to regular school or attend college.
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If you are planning on considering home schooling for your child, it would be well worth answering these questions honestly. It will give you an idea about just how suited you are to become a homeschool teacher.
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Do you have patience to deal with your own children? Many people can be extremely patient with strangers but tend to lose their cool very fast when it comes to misbehavior of their own children. The parent seems to take it as a personal affront if the child is unable to process the lesson being taught in the very first shot. Since children can only learn in a relaxed environment and if you are unable to stay relaxed, homeschooling is going to be pure misery for both if you don’t have an ample supply of patience.


Do you have the time to homeschool your children in addition to your regular routine duties? For every lesson that your child learns you will be spending time preparing the lesson, teaching the lesson and then evaluating what the child has grasped in tests. If you have a set of duties that you must perform in addition to teaching your child you will soon be running ragged trying to catch up. Can your routine handle changes and flexible teaching slots? A child can be in a mood to study one day at a particular time and may not be quite as attentive in the same time slot the very next day. Can your schedule handle this on a daily basis?


Are you any good as a teacher? Please be brutally honest with yourself as you answer this question. Some people are born with a talent to explain things to others in an easy to understand manner. Other learn to teach children as best as they can. Is it in your nature to explain a concept from scratch to a child who will know nothing about the concept till you introduce it to him or her? How good are you at working out alternative methods to teach the same concept if the first way fails to register success with the child? Remember you can be the best or the worst thing that has happened to your child.


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Public Domain Picture By CC via Pixabay

You have struggled through the high school homeschool curriculum with your child and now its over. If he or she were attending a regular school there would be a formal Graduation Ceremony for you to attend. So why should a child miss out on a graduation ceremony just because he is homeschooled? Hasn’t the child worked hard at mastering the homeschool curriculum? Hasn’t the child graded well in all his tests and evaluations? Why shouldn’t you as a family celebrate the event in a graduation ceremony? Here are a few ideas for a graduation ceremony for your home schooled high school student.
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The Guests


To make it a special day you need to share the event with the friends and family who are close to you and your child. Make a guest list of all the people you would like to invite to the graduation ceremony. Don’t go overboard with the number and make sure that you include the people your child wants to be present.


The Venue


This will depend on the total number of guests you are planning on having. If the number is manageable at home, its ideal. However you may find it easier to have the event in a conference room of a hotel. That way you won’t be physically running around on the day of the graduation ceremony to get things done. Of course you need to consider your budget and a home based ceremony can work out just fine.


The Dress


Some students may have an aversion to the traditional gown, specially if they are boys. In this case you may retain the hat with tassels, and chuck the gown in favor of a dress shirt and trousers. Thereby achieving a formal look which is acceptable at such a ceremony.


The Memories


A memory board filled with snapshots of the child at different stages of homeschooling is a great conversation starter. If the child has a creative skill it should be showcased. Paintings, or poems may be put up on the board. More active skills can be showcased with a performance during the ceremony. make sure that you print out a certificate scroll for the presentation.
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If you are planning to homeschool your children here is a set of skills that you should develop. They will help ensure that things run smooth in your home school classes.
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Cultivate the habit of learning new things


Many times you will be faced with the prospect of teaching your child something that is new to you. By cultivating the habit of learning new things all the time you will make it easier on yourself when you need to research and learn a new topic for a lesson that you need to teach your children.


Have a positive attitude towards all subjects


There is always a subject that you did not like back when you were in school. For some its math or others English grammar, it does not matter what it was that you did not like about the subject. You have to be very careful not to transfer that negative attitude that you had towards a subject in school on to your child as you teach that subject in homeschool. The cultivation of a positive attitude towards all subjects will go a long way in making the child choose which subject he likes best for himself.


Control your children without resorting to harsh punishments


There is a need for discipline in the classroom. Without some measure of control in the hands of the teacher there is no attention to be had from the children. Plus if they do not pay attention to you when you are teaching, there is no way that they will learn from you. Still, to gain that attention you need to have control without putting the fear of physical punishment in their heads. Can you actively engage the attention of your child without resorting to a raised voice or a tap on the cheek? Its a skill you need to master.


Use your time wisely and consistently


There are always a million things that need to be done. You have distractions at every corner. You need to train yourself to focus on the task at hand without losing the flexibility to add new tasks to your schedule. By using your time wisely and consistently you will be able to teach the children and run the house in a manner that brings you ample satisfaction.
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DanceERB  By CC via Pixabay
DanceERB By CC via Pixabay

Traditional school begins in the morning and most teachers want the children to learn new topics while their minds are fresh. That’s why the heavy learning subjects tend to be taught in the first half before recess and the lighter and more physically demanding subjects tend to congest the second half of the school day in traditional schools. Is this the best way to organize your home school schedule? Not always. In fact most home schooling parents tend to differ when it comes to fixing their schedule. No two families will follow the same home school schedule.
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The biggest advantage you have when you homeschool your child is the fact that you get to decide what to teach, when to teach it and how to teach it. This means that the home school schedule is open to your interpretation of best for your child. What works best for you is the schedule you should follow. This means that blinding aping traditional school and teaching them lessons at the crack of dawn may not always be the right solution.You need to just plan out your schedule in advance to know how much you need to cover each day to finish covering the full portion of each grade that you are teaching.


It can get specially tricky when you need to run two parallel schedules for children who are in different grade levels. In case you are teaching two children who are not too far apart in grade level it is still possible for you to overlap topics so that the basics can get covered and revised without additional work for yourself as the teacher. This way you get to cover the topic and save time on the schedule as well. Another thing that you need to factor in to the home school schedule is the fact that when you are teaching your children at different grade levels, they will have different levels of concentration. So make sure that you are ready to let the younger one off the hook with another gainful activity as you continue to explore the topic in depth with the elder one.
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Hebi65 By CC, via Pixabay
Hebi65 By CC, via Pixabay

Since we can find some sort of science in every single activity we undertake in our daily routine, its not that difficult a task to boost your child’s interest in science even if you are homeschooling him. What is important is your attitude towards science. If you had enjoyed many activities based on science in your childhood it would be easier for you to pass on that interest, but for most parents science has hardly been a fascinating subject when they grew up. So what can you do to boost the interest of your child in science at home?
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A Scientific Investigation


Children are naturally curious about the world around them. You can make use of this curiosity to interest them in scientific investigations of problems that they would like to solve. Simple investigations could involve sorting, ordering and counting activities. For instance when they are playing with their toys ask them to sort them according to types- soft toys, dolls, blocks and other toys. Then ask them to order them from smallest to largest in each group. next ask them the number of toys in each group. As they grow the investigations can get more complex. For instance the tracking of sunset each day for a month to get the exact time of sunset and moon rise.


Tools of the Trade


Science related tools and gadgets can pique the interest of children. Simple tools like magnets, balancing scales, a magnifying glass, see through containers of different shapes and sizes which can be used to hold interesting things are all intriguing. Make it a point to conduct one science experiment in the week using some of these tools. It will help stimulate their interest in different fields of science. As they grow older the tools can become more complex. You can invest in a stop watch, a thermometer, and even circuits and wires as they get more interested in making things work for themselves if they get tired of just observing other things.


The amount of effort you put in will be the key to how well you boost your child’s interest in science. There have been established studies which prove that the parent’s involvement can help increase the interest of a child in STEM subjects. So do your bit for your child.
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homeschool curriculumTo be able to develop a scientific understanding of common place events around us it is essential that children understand the basic concepts behind them. In order to do so they need to be taught a few fundamental basics across a multitude of scientific topics. Don’t worry about some topics or concepts being out of their grasp, once you begin teaching them, it will amaze you how quickly they pick up complex concepts. It all comes down to what you share with them and how you do it. Here are a few simple topics that you can begin with.
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Build that Base


At an elementary level there is no need to go into too many details. Let them learn a few basic concepts. Simple scientific principles related to forces in motion can be a great way to start. Do some pulling and pushing activities, even drop a ball to show them how gravitational forces work. Move on to energy based forces like cars and the fuel that makes them go.


Introduce kinetic and potential energy, pulleys, pendulums, maybe even magnets. Talk about friction and its effect on the energy based force. Soon they will be able to identify different types of forces being exerted and energy being utilized. You can even make a game of identifying the energy types around you as you take a walk in the park.


Get more on that Foundation


Most kids love the invisible attraction of magnets, so its a fairly interesting topic to deal with. Get out a compass, a few magnets in different shapes and sizes and some iron made things and begin the experimentation process. First you show them a few tricks and then hand over the tools to them to have some fun.  As they find different ways to pull stuff or repel stuff with the magnets keep talking about why it happens. The theory becomes part of the practical and their understanding of magnetism improves.


If they are bored with magnets you may even move on to electrical circuits. Of course you have to be very very careful about what they can and can not do. Make sure you have a talk on safety rules about electricity before you begin work on circuits. These will also demonstrate more scientific principles related to electricity to them.


 
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If you have decided to make an infographic you need to consider three core components that go into the construction of any infographic. These include the visual aspect, the content and the knowledge being represented. Let us consider each of these core components in further detail.
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Visual Aspect


Since the infographic is essentially a visual essay you display has to be very well considered. The color coding that you follow in the display must be clear and well defined. If you are using red to highlight main points, and then black for the sub points in one section, this should be done in every section of the infographic. Don’t use too many colors that clash and make the representation unattractive.


If you are using graphics ensure that they are the right size. Too large and they will overwhelm the data, too small and they might as well not be there. If you are making your own graphics ensure that they supplement rather than distract from the main facts and figures. Use reference icons where appropriate.


Written Content


The actual stuff you write should include time frames when dealing with statistics. If you have specific important dates you should have them printed in the infographic as well. This gives the reader a good reference to process the data. The statistics should be clearly mentioned in number next to the visual representation that you have made for them above.


The scale may have to be adjusted and so must be provided in a corner of the infographic for the convenience of the reader. You can also make references to specific sources from where you have taken the data. This adds credibility to the data that you have provided on the infographic.


Knowledge Shared


This can be divided into two main aspects. The first is the facts that you have shared and the second is the deductions that you made from the facts given. The inferences drawn are usually discussed in printed material that accompanies the infographic in more detail, but a small set of deductions can be added right away into the visual representation itself.
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dougbelshaw By CC Via Flickr
dougbelshaw By CC Via Flickr

What are infographics and how do they help?


Infographics are those attractively displayed facts and figures that are commonly used to illustrate statistics. They can be in the form of time lines, flow charts, marked maps, pie charts, bar graphs, or vein diagrams. Its sort of like a visual representation of numeric data which makes it easy for the reader to understand the numbers involved. They are attractive and easy to remember as compared to just trying to learn up facts and figures by heart. They are used often in magazines and newspapers and can help improve the understanding of a subject at a glance. That is why its a good idea to use inforgraphics as a teaching aid in the homeschool classroom.
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How can you make your own personalized infographics?


Thanks to the number of websites online that allow you to make infographics based on your own data it is very easy to come up with attractive infographics. All you need to do is have your facts and figures ready then fill them into the form online and viola, you have a personalized infographic ready for use. You will need to pay some attention to the color scheme and font sizes so that the end result is a well represented and attractive one. Also remember not to try and cram too much data into a single infographic. That can make it confusing to understand, specially for a child. Just keep it simple and stick to the main facts you want to convey.


Using infographics in a lesson in the homeschool class


Once you have discussed the data represented on the infographic you may want to encourage your children to draw conclusions from this data. Have them reference the facts that have been provided in the visual teaching aid to support the conclusions that they have drawn. This will help them with developing an ability to truly understand what certain statistics really mean. If they enjoy working on it you may even ask them to develop an infographic of their own. Ask them to research the facts and come up with a visual representation based on them using the free online tools to create their own infographic.
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Josch13 By CC via Pixabay
Josch13 By CC via Pixabay

In continuation from the last post we are talking about easy to do activities for elementary level home school science students. These activities help them gain a better understanding of the scientific processes that surround us, grounding them well in building a base for scientific understanding in the future. We spoke of forces, energy, magnets and electricity and now we move on to even more complex scientific principles.
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Move into the Light


It is best to keep to simple and familiar concepts like light and sound when dealing with elementary school science students. These are things that they already know about, then you can introduce a few more details about them. For example they can be shown how to reflect light with a mirror, or split a ray of white light into all the colors of a rainbow using a prism.


Talk about natural light from the sun, electric lights at home, and even camp fires flames that you can build up on a camping trip. Why restrict yourself to light, try and make them understand the concept of shadows as well. A shadow puppet show is a fun way to explain how shadows are formed and how they can be used. You can even do some experiments on absorption of light rays.


Journey into Sounds


Sound can be as fascinating as light. Soft sounds, loud sounds, vibrations of a knock on the door, adding a string of sounds on a drum to make a beat, even using the piano or synthesizer keys to create music are great ways to help your child learn about the nature of sounds. Help them discover the concept of volume. How some things are best heard at a soft volume and others enjoyed better louder.


It can be fun to take away the sense of sight by asking the child to close their eyes and then play at creating different sounds using a multitude of things. You can use a pencil to drum the metallic pencil box, you can drop a book on the table from a height, you can simply clap your hands. Come up with different sounds and then ask the child to guess what made that sound. Repeat the sound when the child’s eyes are open.


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homeschool curriculumThe popularity of homeschooling has never been higher. More parents are choosing to home school their children than ever before and this has also led to certain styles and models or homeschooling. One term which recently came to my notice was “Eclectic Homeschooling”. Here is what this new term is all about.
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What is eclectic homeschooling?


Eclectic Homeschooling is not a style of homeschooling like Classical or Monterrey. Neither is is a typical method of homeschooling such as lectures, or unschooling. It is in fact  nothing like a philosophy or custom of homeschooling. It is simply the practice of picking the best and most helpful of resources out of all that are available to a homeschooling parent. So if you have been sifting through material and using the best out of what you have, you are already using this technique.


How do you become an eclectic homeschooler?


This is fairly simple. You can build your classes based on the individual interests of the child whom you are teaching. Then you can pick and choose from all the resources available to you before you decide what you will cover with the child and how you will teach him. If there are some parts of the resource that you feel your child will find difficult or boring you simply don’t touch on those parts. You keep the topic interesting by using multiple resources from your stock. Of course this will involve a fair amount of research on your part. You can get a lot of help from other homeschooling families in your community or even in online forums.


Helping others as you were helped


Naturally it would help if you shared what you did with your child so that other parents get an idea of what they can do with their material and resources. You can work with another homeschooling parent to jointly develop material that both of you can use for your respective children. You can share the individualized teaching plan that you made for your child and find that when you exchange plans with others you suddenly have a host of new ideas that you can use.


 Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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online homeschoolJust being a homeschooler does not mean that your system of studies is the same as any other homeschooling family’s. Besides the traditional homeschooling technique which is modeled on regular school there are a multiple number of choices in techniques and methods available to homeschooling  parents today. Some of these are briefly discussed here.
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Charlotte Mason Method


Charlotte Mason (1842-1923) developed a method of teaching children about the world that they live in without hassling them. It is a peaceful method which negates all stress that the parent educating the children can feel. For instance her idea of a nature walk involved the mother sitting on a picnic blanket and letting the children run around the park finding out things that interest them. You can see how such a laid back attitude would help the educator stay stress free and still explain the facts of life to her children as they bring rocks, leaves and even insects to show her.


Montessori Method


Dr. Maria Montessori (1870-1952) was another innovative educator who decided that it was best to let children learn at their own pace. This method of teaching has gained wide spread acceptance in pre-school and primary school levels even in regular schools. Allowing the children to progress at their own pace individually may not be possible in higher classes in regular school but its something easily done in the homeschooling atmosphere. There are even places where you can be trained as a teacher in the Montessori Method.


Unit Studies Approach


This is another popular homeschooling techniques where the parent does not teach individual subjects but instead focuses on a topic as a whole unit. For instance if you are learning about the city that you live in you will cover history by visiting the town’s landmark buildings, you will learn about geography by learning where the city is placed on the map of the country. The special attractions of the city will be discussed in terms of commercial activity and also the industries that the city hosts are explained to the child. In short all the possible subject disciplines attached to the topic get  covered in a unit study of that topic.


Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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home school curriculumHomeschooling parents have a multitude of methods of teaching available to them today. Besides the Charlotte Mason Method, Montessori Method, and Unit Studies that were mentioned in the last blog post there are other techniques that are used by homeschooling families. Here we discuss a few more techniques that can be used by homeschooling parents.


 
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The Waldorf Education System


This Waldorf education system was based on the thought process of Austrian scientist and thinker Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925). He was a proponent of the more spiritual education system where in man is seen as a combination of spirit, soul and body. This means that he develops also in a three fold manner passing through three different development stages. Thus the education provided to the human being at each stage must  correspond to the state of development he is at. The system works well with the parents more involved in spiritual development along with regular development of the child. However the more logically inclined parents may not be comfortable with this system of education.


Unschooling


This is a education system which is guided by the child and not by what  the parent wants to teach. It is also somewhat controversial as people argue that it may not lead to a well balanced education for the child if he is allowed to pick what he wants to learn about. Here’s how the system works.  The child is allowed to explore the topic of his interest for as long as it interests him or her.


For instance if the young boy is fond of cars the parent will introduce him to the different aspects of cars. This could include the cars on the road, the different brands of cars available in the market, the way the engine of a car works, and even how a car is driven. The only rule is that the child must show some interest in the topic when it is being discussed. And if the interest shifts to some other topic mid way the child should be allowed to pursue the new interest.


So amongst all these different methods of homeschooling what would be ideally suited to teach science? Lets find out in the next post.


 Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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online homeschooling We have seen that a number of methods to teach homeschooling students exist. So what works best to teach science to homeschool students? There is no one size fits all solution to teaching science. The personality of your child will determine which method is likely to be more successful than the other. At the same time your guidance as a parent is important to introduce the child to the world of science in a systematic and easy to figure out manner. Here are a few tips and tricks that you can use while teaching science to your children.
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Use their senses in practical experiments


Science needs to be experienced with all senses to be absorbed well. This is why it is always a good idea to show them scientific principles in the guise of fun  experiments before they get covered in class. All kinds of science experiments can be done at home even in the absence of a formal laboratory. A quick search online will give you many ideas that you can use with your children. No matter what  grade your child is in, you can always adapt the material available to their level. In fact on some sites you will find science experiments graded on basis of their difficulty level. That way you just have to look for science experiments that will suit your child’s grade.


An Eclectic Homeschooling approach works best


Eclectic Homeschooling  is simply the practice of picking the best and most helpful of resources out of all that are available. Its practically scientific in its definition. You look through everything that you have and then decide what resources you will use to teach your children.Its as simple as that and so its just the right approach to teaching science.


Give their curiosity free reign, but be close by to help


As they grow children will want to explore more of the world that they are in. You can help them by making them think up of and conduct their own experiments. After you finish with a topic in your science class ask them how best what they have heard can be put into practice. Let them come up with full fledged experiments that they can work on. Self help is often the best kind of help.


Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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SplitShire By CC via Pixabay
SplitShire By CC via Pixabay

For someone who is relatively computer literate it can be easy as pie to find free homeschooling resources online. First open up a search engine such as google, bling or yahoo. Then type in a few keyword phrases related to what you are looking for and viola you have a whole host of websites waiting to be explored.


Unfortunately it can take a while to sift through the search results to find the websites that suit your purpose. This is where the inexperienced browser can get hopelessly lost, but you won’t get lost here. Take a look at these excellent websites that offer free homeschooling resources.
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The United Nations Cyber School Bus


If you are thinking of teaching your child about the various countries in the world, this is an excellent site to visit. Run by the United Nations Organization this website offers great details about individual countries and the problems that they face. It is ideal for a teenager whom you are trying ti teach social responsibility, but may not be a good idea to use on an elementary school child. After all it is way too soon to be laying the world’s problems on their young shoulders.


The Discovernator


Want to access one random and interesting piece of trivia at a time? Try out the Discovernator  from the people who run Discovery Channel on TV. the screen sprouts one trivia fact for your consumption and you can then move on to the next one if you have the time or inclination. It is a great tool to improve your child’s general knowledge and awareness levels. The facts can be recent events, important firsts, or just plain interesting things to know. Fair amount of science related trivia does show up on the site and keeps you hankering for more amazing facts.


Free Rice


Interested in combining learning with charity, you can do it right on this site. It was originally conceived as a way of online charity but you can actually practice your lessons quite well on the site. Be it a foreign language or mathematics problems, you need to answer correct to move on to the next level. There is also a section for SAT practice.


Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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condesign By CC via Pixabay
condesign By CC via Pixabay

Visiting the homeschool forums will show you that opinion is divided over having a formal curriculum or just developing your own among homeschooling parents. While some feel that having a formal curriculum is a necessary tool to help teach their children in an organized manner and cover all topics, others want to be more flexible in their approach to homeschooling their children. The truth is there is no “one size fits” all curriculum out there. You have to mix and match the best you can.
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This is easier when the children are in the elementary grades as you have a good idea of just what all they need to be taught in each subject. You can pull in material for free from the internet and design your own worksheets. You can even model your own worksheets based on existing ones that you find. There is no need to buy expensive material and specified curriculum per subject at this stage. It gets trickier when they grow older and the more complicated topics begin.


It can be tough narrowing down the topics to be taught if you have no general guideline from a specific curriculum.By using an accredited curriculum you get to depend on a trusted and tested teaching tool while homeschooling your child. It is not necessary to buy the most expensive material out there. It may not suit the teaching goals that you have set for your child. Instead you must look for what seems in tune with the learning goals that have been put in place for your child. Does the curriculum seem to help these? If yes, then by all means buy it.


There are a number of teaching tools that do not cost too much and can make a considerable difference to your teaching methodology. Consider getting e-books as an alternative to physical books and using online schools. Not everything that the child learns must be taught by the parent. If you enroll your child in an online school for a specific subject, it will enhance the learning experience for your child and give you some free time as well.


Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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homeschool resourcesSummer’s here and its time for a break from studies and homeschool classes, but you really don’t want the children to suffer from brain drain. So you need to give them everyday activities that challenge their brains and keep what they have picked up in class in regular practice.
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Adding and Subtracting


Set up a lemonade stand in front of your house and let the children handle the calculations with the money that comes in. They will be adding and subtracting with regularity and may even surprise you with their new skills at the end of summer when they return to the homeschool class room.


Watch a baseball match and cheer for your favorite team. Have the child keep track of the score and how many runs will be needed to win. If someone is coming up for a record ask the child how many more runs he will need to score to come level with and break the old record.


Dividing and multiplying


Have the children baked a batch of cookies with you in the kitchen? Now have them divide the cookies equally amongst family members. If there are some extra you can even help them practice their fractions.


Take them shopping and when you add more than one of the same item ask them to multiply the cost so that you know how much you need to pay at the checking counter. They can even help fit things into a budget that you have decided and check how many items fit in to the budget.


Time Management


Set up a daily routine where they have to do a fixed number of activities in a specific amount of time. Let them read the clock and decide how much time they need to spend on each activity to complete everything as per the stipulated time. Each minute of every hour can be made to count.


Have them construct a countdown to a big up coming event. They can draw up a countdown calender and count off the days to the D-Day. This will keep their enthusiasm about the upcoming event alive as well.


Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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Is looking for free homeschooling science resources eating into your teaching time? Here’s a simple solution. Check out the first website listed below to see what printable worksheets and papers you can use. And use the second website as a great way to pass the time in an educational manner for your children online.
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Donna Young’s Homeschool Resources and Printable Sheets


This website was started by a homeschooling mother so she had a pretty good clue about would work in a real life situation. Her experience and all her effort with her own children is shared on the site. Some additional material has been donated by her friends. All in all the site is quite good with a lot of different sections including one for Science, besides others for Maths, History, English, Handwriting and Art amongst others. The printable sheets are well designed and easy to work with for middle grade home school students. Best of all they are absolutely free. You can check back for regular updates on the website.


 Trailblazing from the Royal Society of Publishing


The website highlights the major scientific achievements that have taken place since 1650. The interactive time line gives you an overview of interesting medical advances, books published and scientific breakthroughs that have occurred down the years. The time line offers events in a spate of every fifty years in one go. Click the timeline to move on to the next 50 years in the history of scientific discovery. The site has been set up to commemorate 350 years of existence of the Royal Society of Publishing.


The red dots cover scientific achievements while the white dots have more literary events associated with them. Just dipping into the facts is a major learning experience for the children browsing the site. If you want them to go into more details you can download the .pdf file that the site offers. It may be a good idea to develop a questionnaire based on the facts that the site highlights to ensure that your child is actually learning something. Even if they just browse through the site they will pick up enough trivia to stay entertained.


Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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387310 By CC via Pixabay
387310 By CC via Pixabay

In homeschooling, as with any other task, it is possible to reduce your stress level by having clearly defined objectives and goals. So before the start of the academic year make a list of learning goals that your child needs to achieve in the coming year. Here are a few factors that you must consider before you set these goals and targets.
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Consider the child’s age and development stage


As not all children are the same, you will have to find out what the ideal rate of progress is for your child. Ensure that the learning goals that you set are challenging to the child, but at the same time do not overwhelm her. The grade level appropriate curriculum can act as a guide to you in this matter.


Consider the child’s interests
Every individual child has a set of interests and passions which can be used to further her education. Some prefer science, others like learning foreign languages. It does not matter what field the interest focuses on. Ensure that the learning goals that you set take into account these interests of the child.


Consider the child’s strengths and weaknesses


Some children are able to tackle reading and writing well from an early age. Others take a while getting used to written work. Work out more advanced learning goals based on the child’s strength. Also have some goals that help improve the child’s weaknesses. A healthy mix is what you are after.


Consider your own limitations


While you would like nothing better than to be available all the time to help your child meet all her learning goals, there will be times when you will need to do your own work and chores. When you set the learning goals for the year make sure that you take in to account the times when you will not be available and adjust the goals accordingly.


Consider the help you can get


Trying to do it all when homeschooling your children can create a great deal of stress in the parent. It makes sense to get some help from friends who are also homeschooling. This will reduce your work load and still allow your child to meet her annual learning goals.


Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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nikolayhg By CC, via Pixabay
nikolayhg By CC, via Pixabay

It has come to light that colleges are accepting more and more homeschool students these days. Is this because a larger number of home school students are looking to join regular college nowadays or because it is relatively easier for home schooling students to be accepted in to regular college these days? We don’t know for sure, but here’s what we do know. Colleges love homeschool students for the following reasons.
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High Test Scores


A study based on standardized test results of students including 5,402 homeschool students was completed in 1997. Statistics based on the study have revealed that irrespective of demographics, homeschool students perform better than public school students on standardized tests in all subjects. They tend to be higher by 30 to 37 percentile points in results than regular school students.


Self-discipline for completing work


Homeschool students have a lot more self discipline when it comes to completing their work. Being used to working on their own they do not need as much monitoring as a student from a public school would need to complete given assignments and project work. This ensures that they become the college professors pets without doing anything different than following the way that they have been taught to gain education.


Can join college much younger


In addition to doing really well on standardized tests as compared to their peers in public schools, on an average homeschool students  have the advantage of being able to meet the graduation requirements by the time that they are 16 years old. This makes it possible for them to go to college at a much younger age than a public school student due to the composition and flexible nature of homeschooling. The younger they reach college the more time and energy they can give to their education before setting off to start their careers.




Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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When you begin homeschooling your child there are a number of issues that you need to deal with. These include the reason why you chose to homeschool your child rather than send him to regular school, the objectives that you wish to meet and the methods that you will employ to meet these educational objectives for your child. Here also arises the question about whether the homeschool science curriculum you will follow will be a paid one or not.
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So much data available for free


There are any number of homeschool science curriculum available on the internet today. A good bulk of them are free providing you with all the material that you may need to teach your child and more. They give you concepts, ideas for experiments, possible helpful tips, and even lesson plans that you can use. So is it worth investing in a paid homeschool science curriculum? The answer lies in what you expect from the program.


Why buy a homeschool science curriculum


As a homeschooling parent you have more than one subject to teach your child. While I agree that there is more than enough free material available on the internet today, do you have all the free time available to sift through all that data and make up a logical syllabus for your child to follow? Most homeschooling parents do not have the luxury of sitting back for hours and searching the web for material that they can use. So it makes sense to pay for a curriculum which provides you with the ordered structure and resources that you will need to teach your child.


There is also the issue of support


Not everybody is comfortable with teaching all subjects. For instance a student of humanities would be not in her element when it comes to teaching the finer points of physics. In this case having an online support system for the science lessons also comes in handy for the homeschooling parent. If you have a problem, you don’t get stuck and waste time trying to solve it yourself. You have the option of asking an expert for their opinion. It is again a time saving tool that you gain if you use a paid service.


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Homeschooling is a huge responsibility on the parents because it is them who will determine just how and what the child learns. Every parent has the child’s best interest at heart but does that translate into a good education? Some forethought and a bit of study of the child’s natural inclination can help fix this problem. All you need to do as a parent is prepare yourself.
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Plan out what the child needs to learn well in advance


Unlike a set number of subjects that a regular school will offer your child, when you decide to teach your child at home it is you who decide the home school curriculum. As the parent it is your responsibility to give the child a well rounded exposure to all the subjects that he would need to learn about. After all educating a child has the express purpose of preparing him for challenges that he will face in life. So pick up the basic subjects that he must learn with care.


Get subject specific help for the home school curriculum you pick


In order to do so careful thought has to be given to the home school curriculum that you choose to follow. Do you want them to be more involved with international affairs? It would be helpful for them to pick up a foreign language if they are so inclined. Naturally all homeschooling parents may not be able to teach a foreign language to their child on their own. Some may require a separate tutor or learning program online in order to do so. Make sure you do your research well before you pick who will teach your child.


Map out the methods that you will follow as you teach your child


The home school curriculum can only tell you what to teach and give you a few tips on how to go about it. In the end it is the parent who must decide what method of teaching the child is best responding to. Then the parent must go ahead with planning future class room lessons in a similar and encouraging fashion. In the end it all comes down to what you as the parent expose your child to.
Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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251px-Worldmap_LandAndPolitical By CC, via Wikipedia
Worldmap_LandAndPolitical By CC, via Wikipedia

Thanks to the fact that you are homeschooling your children, you are in a uniquely flexible place. You can take your children on trips which would otherwise interfere with regular school classes. What’s more you can pick your travels in such a way that the children get a wide exposure to the world at large. Of course it is not possible for everyone to travel all the time, but you can certainly plan on a few special experiences by traveling to some renown spots from around the world. Here are a few experiences of a lifetime that you would probably enjoy just as much as your child will.
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1. Watching a play by Shakespeare at the Globe Theater in London – If your child has enjoyed reading the plays and poems written by the Father of English Literature, William Shakespeare, it would be an enchanting experience for him or her to actually see a play being performed at the Globe.


2. Surfing in Hawaii – Activities while traveling do not have to be restricted to intellectual ones. After all if your child is more of an outdoors and athletic type you may want to focus on those interests while traveling. Does your child love the beach the sea and to swim? Why not give him or her a chance to learn surfing in Hawaii? Ideal place for a family holiday and a once in a lifetime experience.


3. Make Ancient Greece come alive – Troy, Delhpi and Petra are fascinating places even in ruins. If your children have enjoyed reading Greek Mythology, they will surely enjoy traveling to the land of the Ancient Gods to see for themselves the land that Zeus blessed and cursed by turns.


4. A Camel Safari in the Sahara – While this may not be the ideal family holiday if you can not tolerate the heat, it would be the most adventurous trip that your children could make to experience life in a totally different part of the world. Do make sure that every one is medically fit to undertake this trip before you set off for it.


Even if you plan such a holiday trip once a year with your children you will be able to give them a fantastic global exposure increasing their educational opportunities by merely allowing them to travel to exotic and unfamiliar locations.


Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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home school programsThere is an abundance of homeschooling material available in the market and online today. Parents can pick up books, workbooks, and practice sheets from a variety of different vendors. In fact on some homeschooling forums you can even download material that other parents are sharing for free. The question that now arises is, where should you buy your homeschool materials from? The answer depends on what you are looking for in particular.


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 Traditional study books


Some parents prefer teaching subjects to their children the same way that they were taught. They will look for homeschool materials that provide them with well defined lesson plans and supporting books and workbooks that allow the parents to teach the lesson plans.Everything is predefined and the parent only follows the path set down in the master plan.


The biggest advantage of this system is that the parent does not have to waste time and effort thinking up of lesson plans that are well balanced and cover all that the child should learn in that particular grade. The time saved here can be put to good use in actually teaching the child the different lessons in an interesting and engaging manner.


The disadvantage of this system is that the parent loses the flexibility to teach what he or she wants to in their own time and way. The lesson plans have to be followed and there is little room for the parent to indulge in his or her own creativity as the study material is well defined and abundant enough for the child to follow.


New method of education


Some parents may find that despite using the traditional teaching methods they do not work all that well in a homeschool situation. This is where they may have to consider alternative methods of teaching. One that is fast gaining popularity is learning online under a tutor. Such learning is divided broadly into two types.


In the first case the material is at the disposal of the student to study as he wishes. In the second case besides the material the student also has an individual tutor available to solve his problems. Needless to say it is the parents who will be able to tell which method fits the needs of their child better.


 Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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power geralt, By CC Via Pixabay
power geralt, By CC Via Pixabay

A homeschooling program includes grade wise curriculum, subject wise lesson plans and a comprehensive list of all the books that you need to teach them. Using a homeschooling program developed by experienced teachers can make your life as a homeschooling parent must simpler. Or it can complicate it beyond belief. It all depends on the kind of homeschooling program you pick and how well it gels with your children.


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Do it yourself


The zeal of the fresh convert may be present when you first begin homeschooling you children and you may resent giving up any part of control. In this case its a good idea to supplement your ideas and views with a basic guideline provided by an expert homeschool teacher providing a homeschooling program. You get to pick and choose what you want to do in the lessons but you get a ready made set of lesson plans in which to fit in your creativity. In this case you save time and can concentrate on the things that matter most to you. That is the actual act of teaching your child.


Learning Labs


In case you are looking for more than just a basic guideline you may want to indulge in an online classroom type of set up where the child can be taught lessons through an interactive website or even an actual online tutor. This kind of a learning lab is quite popular with homeschooling parents who have children in higher grades. As the grades progress and the subjects like science and mathematics get more technical the parents may be unable to handle the teaching and may look to alternative teaching methods.


Hooking the child up with an online learning lab is a good way to let an expert on the subject teach your child in the comfort of your home. Just make sure that the website has a good reputation amongst fellow homeschoolers who are using their services. You can get genuine reviews for a number of websites on homeschool forums run on the internet. Chat with people who have actually used the labs rather than the ones promoting specific sites to get the real picture.


Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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AnnetteG By CC Via pixabay
AnnetteG By CC Via pixabay

There are a number of homeschool supplies that you need to buy for each academic session for your children. Getting them in bulk at the beginning of the academic year can make it easier on you later on. An advantage of getting the homeschool supplies in bulk is that you can often bargain for and get a decent discount on them. Some retailers will give you anything from 5 to 15% off on the supplies you pick up.
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Adding up the discounts


Things like notebooks, chart papers, craft papers, marker pens, coloring supplies and other stationery items can be had at a fairly good discount when bought in bulk. Other more expensive purchases like black or white boards, educational tools and toys, flannel boards, lenses, magnets, etc., can also work out cheaper when clubbed with bulk buying of homeschooling supplies.


A retailer is more likely to give you a discount for these items if you are picking up a great deal of stationery from his store. You will have to watch out for the quality of the supplies when you pick up the stuff. It is a must to retain all your invoices as if you have a problem in the future you will have to bring in the invoice along with the faulty supplies to avail of an exchange.


Used books and educational toys


There comes a time when the child will outgrow the books and toys that have helped him learn invaluable lessons. If the things are in a fairly good state many parents tend to sell these supplies online or even in simple garage sales. Instead of having to buy everything new, you can save some money by picking up some used supplies online. Make sure that you look at the description tags.


On most sites selling used products there is a gradation system which divided the stuff into “almost like new”, “with some wear and tear”, and “well handled but still useable”.  Go through all the products available and their condition with care. Some may need extra expenses to ship them over to your city, in which case compare the price of a new product to that product plus shipping charges to see if its worth buying.


Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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magnet-Nemo, By CC via Pixabay
magnet-Nemo, By CC via Pixabay

When you are homeschooling your elder child you may find it difficult to occupy the younger one with gainful activity. Here are a few home based science experiments for preschoolers which can help you introduce your younger one to the entertaining world of science.
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Fishing with Magnets


This activity is going to take very little preparation and promises to be oodles of fun for your preschooler. To make the fish cut out nice bright pieces of paper. It can be any kind of paper that is light and can take a little bit of stress such as card paper, chart paper, glazed paper, or even magazine sheets.


Now make a few scales on the body and the eye and mouth on the head. You can even get your elder child to help you make the fish. Once the fish is ready poke some metal paperclips into the body of the fish. Make sure that you use the ones with the well rounded edges so that your child does not get hurt handling them. Make a small slit in the middle of the fish and fix the paper clip in the slit.


This will ensure that the iron paper clip does not come off with rough handling of the child. Once all the fish are ready you can lay down a small plastic sheet or rug, preferably of blue color to become the pond. The fish are then dispersed in the pond.Let the child have the pleasure of placing the fish in the make belief pond the way he wants to.


Next take a bar magnet and attach it to a string which is then tied to a small stick. The fishing pole is ready to use. The child is made to sit on a stool and begin fishing. To enhance the experience you can even have a small picnic basket with sandwiches and lemonade available next to the stool. provide a small wicker basket for the child to place the fish he has caught in and let the fun begin.


You can then begin a lesson on magnetism with your older child who will also understand the concept of magnets better having been part of the fishing experiment.


Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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About Screenshot
About Screenshot

There are a number of “best homeschooling” website lists doing the rounds on different social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Some of them can be useful, while others turn out to be pure self promotion by the bloggers themselves. Some of these lists have been investigated and a summary of actually helpful homeschooling websites is provided here and in the upcoming blog posts. Remember this is just a small portion of the huge resource list that is available online.
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About.com


This is one of the most trusted, well presented and frequently updated homeschool help websites. You can hunt for the homeschooling section in their onsite search engine, or just browse through whatever topic you are currently seeking information on. Their authors are usually certified experts in the topic that they write about. The information provided is well vetted and tends to be correct.


About’s Homeschooling section


They have authors who have been homeschooling moms and talk with experience on their side. The website also offers regular freebies that you can use by simply printing them out. They come up with activities on a monthly basis based on the special events or holidays that are likely to be celebrated that month. For instance activities for the month of December had some beautiful suggestions for Christmas. A number of free images were also provided for you to use in these activities. The homeschooling forum on the website also has active members who tend to give good advice on the whole.


IXL


If you have taught your child certain mathematics concepts and want him to practice them online, this is the site for you. They have a basic free profile with a few limited interactive exercises available for each grade. So let your child run through these first and if he really does enjoy it you can upgrade to a paid membership. Overall the interface is easy to understand and the child can practice a concept repeated with new problems with out you having to break a sweat over making worksheets. Only trouble is that you can not print out worksheets from this site. So all the work has to be done online.


Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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online homeschoolingHomeschooling your children can be a rather solitary activity for the most with you being the only adult involved in your children’s schooling. Sometimes it helps to know that you are not alone. That is why it is interesting to read about the experiences of other homeschooling mothers through their blogs. And once in a while you may hit a resource that they are sharing which you may have use for. Given here are three websites that may help to offer you a different view on homeschooling than your own.
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Circle of Moms


This is a community which has a lot to offer homeschooling mothers. You need to become a member of the website to participate in the discussions and contribute your own ideas, but you can access their pages even if you are not a member. Membership is free. There is a whole list of communities that are available and you are sure to be interested in more than one of them. Homeschool Mommies, Homeschooling/Unschooling, Homeschoolers of Children, and Homeschooling for the first time are all communities that you may like to join. There are of course many more choices available.


Confessions of a Homeschooler


As the title of this blog suggests, its written by a homeschooling mother who offers ideas on resources, projects, homeschool curriculum, digital scrap booking supplies, shares recipes, meal plans and cosmetic reviews. So if you wonder how another homeschooling mom deals with issues that rise in her life, you are going to enjoy Erika’s blog. The best part is that she tends to update the blog daily, so there’s always something new to take a look at.


Itsy Bitsy Learners


Its always tough when you begin homeschooling as you have no idea where to begin. At this website Alison offers valuable teaching tools for preschoolers. You will find useful information pertaining to your new born to 6 year old child. The preschool themes come in handy for you to customize activities for your own child. The free printables section is a good resource that you may like to make use of. You may want to check out their Valentine’s Theme Page.


Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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LJG By CC via Pixabay
LJG By CC via Pixabay

Teaching a few children at home is just as demanding as teaching a classroom full of children in regular school. To ensure that you can deal with the presentation of material to your homeschool students it would be a good idea to have some tools to help in the homeschool classroom. Here is a list of suggestions regarding teaching aids.


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The Black / White Board


This teaching aid is a universally accepted tool in almost any classroom, be it school, college or specialized training institutes.  The old black board and chalk would sometimes cause allergic reactions and be rather messy to clean up. Now its successor the white board is far more user-friendly. It would be a good idea to have one in the homeschool classroom to make a point visually appealing.


A Kitchen Timer


This simple device which can be set to 10, 20 or 30 minutes can help you save a whole lot of time in the school day. The children learn to finish the written worksheets in a timely manner, know how much time they have spent on eating their snack, and even how long a specific subject needs to be practiced. Once you have them focused on moving to the timer it will make it easier for you to partition your own work day with them. In case you don’t have a kitchen timer, just use the one in your cell phone. Almost all cell phones have one.


An Achievements and Rewards Board


On a simple chart paper that you pin up to the notice board or stick directly on to the wall of the homeschool classroom, keep a track of your child’s achievements in different subjects. Add some color coding like red for excellent, green for good and yellow for fair. It will be easier to motivate your child to do better in each subject as you mark their progress each week with a colored dot or star. You can also have corresponding rewards based on things that your child enjoys doing. Just don’t make the rewards anything edible. Its a far better idea to make it an activity that you two can do together.


Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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homeschool preschoolThere are a lot of reasons people will give you for homeschooling their children and while these may be good and valid reasons, they may not be the only advantages to homeschooling. Here are some advantages of homeschooling your children that other people do not realize. While they may not be evident easily, they do make a major difference in the long run.
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Weather emergencies are totally avoided


Wasn’t it worrisome to drop your children off to school when you knew a tornado was brewing? Or did a sudden snow storm come and cut you off from access to the children’s school for several hours? Well come blizzard, rain or hail, when the children are being homeschooled, you don’t have to worry about collecting them from school in inclement weather. They are always at home, safe and dry. The parents never worry about the vehicle breaking down or getting children home on wet and dangerous roads.


Class participation is unavoidable for the child


Teachers in regular school are unable to ensure that each and every child gets to speak up in class. If your child happens to be shy then he can easily dodge class participation by simply maintaining a low profile. However in the homeschool scenario with limited classmates around the child has no option but to speak up and share his thoughts. This allows the homeschool teacher much better access into how much the child has actually picked up during the day.


Your child can’t miss school and fall behind


Since you as the homeschool teacher set the pace for lessons and homeschool the child, it makes little difference if the child falls ill and misses a few days of schooling. Or if the family takes a trip out of station and there are no homeschooling classes conducted.  There is no pressure on the child when he returns to the homeschool classroom as there are no peers who have surged ahead and no make up work to catch up on. This can really eliminate a lot of stress that a child in regular school would have to go through.
Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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homeschooling high schoolDealing with challenges is part and parcel of homeschooling your children. Here are a few common problems that you may face and suggestions on overcoming them.
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Dealing with negative public opinion


Not everyone agrees with the need to homeschool. The majority of parents would prefer that all children be taught in public schools rather than by their own parents at home. This can lead to a homeschooling family being singled out for negative public feedback.


Don’t let it pull you down. You know that you have valid reasons for homeschooling your children and these do not have to be defended to the public at large. As long as you are convinced that homeschooling is the better option for your children and your family do not let public opinion bring you down.


Dealing with resistant children


Sometimes children get influenced by their peer group and decide that they want to go to regular school like their friends and not study alone at home. This is a difficult situation that can arise when your child is very social and wants to be around other children of the same age.


To help your child with this try and have combined classes with other homeschooling parents. This will allow your child to learn in a group and still be homeschooled. While such classes may not be possible daily you can arrange for them once every week with each class being conducted in the homes of all the children involved in the group.


Dealing with the actual teaching


You need to pick the right curriculum to follow. There are so many different methods of home schooling and you need to pick the one that suits you and your children. You need to ensure that you have a legally compliant homeschool that meets the requirements of your state’s laws. You need to keep track of the progress of your wards with written records.


For a first time homeschooling parent the sheer volume of work expected out of you can be worrisome,  but it can all be managed with a little planning and a lot of hard work. Take help of your support group both online and in real life.


 Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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homeschool scienceAs per legal state requirements you have to grade your child’s test papers when you home school them. This allows the state representative to gain an insight into how the child is progressing in his lessons. Don’t let the thought intimidate you. Take a look at how you can grade the test papers and what a typical grade scale should look like.
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Setting the Test Paper so its Easier to Grade


Try and keep the questions limited to a round number to make the grading easier. Typically a short test of ten questions is ideal for primary school students. This will make it easier for you to work out the percentage the child scores. The way to find out the percentage is to add up the total number of right answers, then divide the sum with the total number of questions and multiply this figure by hundred. For instance if there were 6 right answers on a quiz that had 10 questions that would mean (6/10)* 100. This would work out to 60%. Use a calculator to do the calculations if you are uncomfortable handling the math.


A Typical Grade Scale


Now that you have calculated the percentage of the test paper you need to assign a grade to it. This can be done using the simple grade scale that is given below. As we had 60% in the example it would work out to Grade D based on the grade scale here.


90-100% = Grade A;


80-89% = Grade B;


70-79% = Grade C;


60-69% = Grade D;


59% and below =  Fail


Grading Helps to Build Your Child’s Permanent Record


By using grades on your child’s test papers you can build up an evaluation of how the child is doing in each subject. Make sure that each of these test papers is stored safely in each subject right from kindergarten to 12th grade. There are two main advantages when you do this. First this portfolio can be used to show the external evaluator from the state that your child is learning and progressing well. Secondly, this can be used to make your child’s portfolio in case he needs on to get into traditional college later on.


Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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skeeze By CC, Via Pixabay
skeeze By CC, Via Pixabay

Planning out how you will spend your day is an important tool for any homeschooling parent. If you must balance household chores and running errands along with teaching your children their lessons it stands to reason that your time must be well segregated into slots. Here are some things to keep in mind before you set up a home school schedule for your children.
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Morning Hours Don’t Always Work Best


While traditionally the early morning school route has been followed in regular schools all over the world, with homeschooling it may not be the best idea. You need time to clean up the mess that invariably occurs in a home with small children, cook meals for the day and even take on outside errands. All these undone tasks will play at the back of your mind if you begin school early morning for your home school students.


Rather than being distracted by these chores and getting short tempered with the children for not finishing school work fast so that you can get to them, finish the basic household work before you begin class. If this means beginning your homeschool classes closer to noon than in the morning, so be it.


Schedule Set Times for Lunch and Play


It is easy to get swept up in lessons and want to finish a certain activity before taking a break for lunch. However in the long run it will be easier for your children to stick to the homeschool schedule if you do so right from the word go. That way they can anticipate their lunch and play breaks and will adapt to the routine better.


Of course they may take their own sweet time finishing simple tasks in the hope that the same activity can be continued after lunch or whichever break is coming up. So you will need to be on the look out for deliberate tardiness. Do consider the fact that the 3Rs are best handled when the children are fresh. Sometimes they may just be tired and that’s what causes the delay. Try and keep tasks that need more hands on time in the afternoon’s schedule.


Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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Teaching works better with visuals. That is why the classroom has a board for the teacher to write down salient points and may be make a diagram or two to explain the facts better. This is why seeing a video is more likely to help you remember concepts. Today there are any number of videos floating on a number of websites online. The trick is finding ones which are actually useful, entertaining and educative all at the same time.
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The Kid Should See This


Here you can get some help by finding others who have been through the whole lot and found a few good videos for their children. One such mother of two runs a website called The Kid Should See This. The site has a collection of interesting videos in a number of categories. These videos are picked up from Youtube on the whole, but some may link to different sites. Most of these videos are not made for children specifically, but have interesting data and are generally educational for the child viewing them. The section dealing with robots is well worth a look for those of you interested in robotics.


Interactive Biology


This gentleman has decided to set up short videos ranging between 5 to 10 minutes to explain all basic biology. From how cellular respiration works to how to read an electrocardiogram, there are more than 160 videos on all kinds of biological concepts that you may like to teach your homeschool student about. One especially good video describes the four lobes of the brain and their primary functions very well. The best part is that all the videos on the channel are educative and you can guide your child through them one at a time.


DNews


Anthony, Lacey and Trace run this channel on Youtube which explores all kinds of mind bending news from the scientific world. They have more than 400 videos and upload new ones every day. Some adult monitoring may be required as not all the videos relate to teaching scientific concepts. Some of them are fun while others are just plain weird facts that you may never have heard of before. All of it is interesting and at times they do explain scientific principles in easy to understand terms using examples from every day life.


Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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homeschool scienceWe all want the best for our children and usually take an active part in making that happen. However there is something like over achieving the goal here where the homeschooling parent tends to go overboard. Are you an overbearing parent who does too much for their kids? Does that make them resent you and unwilling to do what you say? Here are some signs you need to watch out for.
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Praise is good, over praising is not


Children like it when someone praises their achievements, however they have a finely tuned sensor to know just when an adult is over praising them. They know their worth and if you are trying to get them in a good mood by telling them that they did an ‘excellent job’ when they know that in reality it was just an ordinary ‘good job’, its not going to work. Instead they are going to wonder about what you want them to do next. So mete out well deserved praise, but don’t think they won’t notice when you lay it on thick.


Set realistic expectations


You are not training your child to be an overachiever. You are trying to give them an education as you homeschool them. In keeping with your educational goals, try and be as realistic as possible. Don’t set you expectations too high and expect the child to meet them. At the same time don’t under estimate the child’s sense of self worth by setting very low goals and expectations. Find the right blend and have clearly defined expectations for your own self to set your educational goals on.


Be clear, concise and brief


Till a certain age children learn best when you repeat instructions. However as their cognitive skills develop they are able to handle more complex instructions and do not need them to be repeated ever so often. Unfortunately very often the homeschooling parent does not ‘grow up’ as fast as the child does, and tends to keep on frequently repeating instructions as they would when the child was much younger. This can upset the child who is trying to get more independent.


Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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homeschool scienceThere are a number of websites dealing with scientific experiments and theory available on the internet. Not all of them are reliable and it’s important to peak your student’s interest with the right website. Here are some science websites that you can encourage your home school students to explore on their own and as part of science lessons in the classroom.


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NASA


The NASA website is a great way to learn more about space exploration projects currently in progress. There is even a Kids’ Corner which can be used by younger children in elementary school to gain more science related knowledge. The science projects suggested for children on the website are a good way to engage children in new experiments.


US Geological Survey


This government run website is also a good repository of educational material. The US Geological Survey site has easy to use partitions for primary, secondary and college undergraduate level educational resources. Just visit the section which is relevant to your homeschool student and find a host of interesting things to read and do. The holiday activity section is worth a visit and the games and puzzles on the website are a good way for homeschool students to test their knowledge.


National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration


From figuring out how the weather in space is predicted to learning what survives in the deepest oceans of the planet, the NOAA website is an incredible place for home school students to pick up all kinds of scientific facts. Their satellite images provide great visuals to support science learning and the student opportunities tab is something that high school and college level students may like to explore. Homeschool teachers can look into the educator’s resources freely available on the website.


American Chemical Society


There are high quality chemistry related educational resources available on the ACS website. They are divided by academic levels from elementary school through to college. There are also additional resources for exams and assessments. If your homeschool students wish, they can even become a part of the high school chemistry club being run by the website.


These are a few websites that offer authentic scientific information for free. Your homeschool student can gain science knowledge just by browing through the information provided on the websites…but they’re so engaging that they’ll be more likely to dive right in!


 
Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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Nemo, By Cc Via Pixabay
Nemo, By Cc Via Pixabay

All too often when you come across a really good resource online you want to share it with others who you know will benefit from it as much as you did. Unfortunately in being a Good Samaritan at times you may be breaking the law. You may not even be aware you are doing something illegal as copyright law is not something everybody understands clearly. Here are a few tips to share resources you find in a legal manner.


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Physical Material


The curriculum based text books that you bought and any teacher’s guides that came with the lot can be reused for each of your children. These materials can be passed on to others physically when you no longer are using them. However  any workbooks that you picked up are supposed to be used only by one child. Some homeschooling parents may like to save money by buying a single workbook and using it with multiple children by copying out the pages that have the practice exercises. Copying pages out of the work book is technically against copyright law. If you have decided to pass on a used workbook to another person that is also against the law.


Digital Resources


These include .pdf files, computer software, ebooks, and any other resource present in a digital format. Digital format is what you see as the soft copy on a computer. It also includes the audio visual files such as audio books and learning videos. If you have purchased any of these digital resources they must be for the use of your family alone. They can not be legally mailed to other people to allow them to use them. That is against the copyright law. Some companies allow you to use digital files on multiple devices for personal use, but other may prohibit this multiple machine usage model.


What about free stuff?


If you have picked up free downloads you can share them with others. However you can not share the downloaded file per say. You can share the url (unique resource locator) where the free download is available. This is essentially an address to a specific website page from where your friends can download the same free resource.


Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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homeschool suppliesAttention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD affects a number of children. Such children make careless mistakes, tend not to pay attention to details, and have a short attention span even with games they play. They seem not to listen when an adult is speaking to them and have difficulty organizing their own thoughts and deeds. All in all they are frustrating for an adult to deal with.


Handling such a child in school can be difficult for the teacher when she has 30 other students asking for her attention. In such a situation it may be better to homeschool such a child. The parent here will require expert knowledge about the medical condition and how to handle the child.
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Get Expert Help


Speak with your child’s doctor and learn more about the condition. Find out about treatment options and discuss which one you feel would work best for your child. Make sure that you have a composite treatment plan worked out including school based interventions that you can incorporate into your homeschooling style.


It goes without saying that you will have to have a lot of patience when dealing with a child who suffers from ADHD. Find a certified therapist who can help you in parent behavior training. A trained professional will be able to give you invaluable insights in to how to deal with your child and also provide you with psychological tools that will work well on the child. To find a good therapist ask your child’s doctor for recommendations.


Handle disruptive behavior to improve work productivity


Have clear cut consequences for not following instructions that you give. It may take a while but eventually the message will get through to the child that he must function as per your instructions if he wishes to get certain rewards. Give certain responsibilities to the child and see that he understands them. Reward him for behaving in a responsible manner.


Keep a record of your child’s behavior pattern. Record the incidents and study their frequency and other mitigating circumstances that led to them. Discuss the record with your child’s doctor to mark progress and improvement in the child. Ask how you can help to speed up the progress rate.


Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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jarmoluk, By CC Via Pixabay
jarmoluk, By CC Via Pixabay

Decompression is the phase that a child who has been attending regular school goes through when first making the switch to homeschooling. This is a period of time where the focus is on relaxing the child and helping them to understand that the hectic school life is now over. Now the child can have input in deciding what to learn, when to do it and where as well! Of course the homeschool teacher must ensure that the student is not so caught up the freedom of making choices that no actual learning takes place. To that end, here are some activities that are considered educational and will still enable your child to decompress successfully.
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Visit the Library


Take your child to the library and ask him to pick up a book that teaches him something he wants to learn more about. It doesn’t matter what book your child picks, what’s important is that he takes charge of wanting to learn something on his own. Help him to navigate the library’s cataloging system and get help from the librarian for age appropriate selections.


Play a Physical Game


This could be a game of baseball, basketball or just good old catch. Get your child out of the home and into the great outdoors. The physical activity will help release any pent up stress and anxiety that the child may have about leaving regular school and beginning homeschool lessons.


Use Educational Toys


You already have a bunch of toys lying around the home, so why not use them for an  educational game? It could be a math lessons, logic, sorting or anything else that would interest your child. If you have special educational toys available at home use those as well. It’s a good goal to make homeschool learning fun and any activity involving toys help with that goal.


Get Artistic


Art and craft projects are a fun and effective way to learn. This could be as simple as giving your young ones some paper and crayons and ask them to get creative any way that they like. For slightly older children, pick up a building project that challenges them from a craft store. Let them get used to thinking for themselves rather than just doing what a teacher tells them to.


Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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peridotmaize By CC, via Pixabay
peridotmaize By CC, via Pixabay

In most cases the decision to homeschool a child is made before the child needs to begin schooling and therefore will associate studies with just the homeschooling method. However, in some cases a parent may move out of the country, or find that regular schools are unable to cater to the special needs of their child, or some other reason may be instrumental in reconsidering their schooling decision. If you have been sending your child to regular school for a while and need shift to homeschooling after a few years, the period of transition can be a challenge if you don’t know what to expect.
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Handling decompression


Going from regular school to homeschooling is termed “decompression” by homeschoolers. Essentially it gives a greater sense of freedom to students who have left a possibly more stressful educational environment to come to one where they can dictate some terms themselves. In regular school, a child is used to following a number of rules and teacher’s orders. So when he shifts to home school the initial decompression period is a great way for the child and the parent to connect. It also allows the child to gain confidence in his own ability to figure it out, no matter what ‘it’ is all about.


Let your homeschool student relax


At this stage, relax as much as you can. There is no need to rush into lessons just because the school year is racing past. For the initial period, focus on setting up the infrastructure which you’ll use to educate your child for years to come. Have the child understand what can and cannot be done in the homeschool classroom. Stay loving and don’t give them too many rules to handle but do establish your authority as the guiding factor in the homeschool classroom. Pick up small, fun to do learning activities at first and then move on to the more complex lesson plans. Remember that playing with an educational toy or watching a video that explains a topic in the curriculum can qualify as studying.


Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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cinema-geralt, By CC via Pixabay
cinema-geralt, By CC via Pixabay

Ted Talks have helped share hundreds of good ideas the world over. Now Ted Ed takes this concept to children and their education. There are a number of interdisciplinary videos available on the Ted Ed website which can be used for teaching homeschooling students. Here we discuss just how you would use a video on the website to structure a lesson in your homeschool classroom.
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Select the video on Ted Ed


You as the homeschool teacher have to go through the videos available on the site and relate them to what you are teaching in the homeschool class room. For instance if you are talking to your homeschool students about  chemicals you can watch the video on the strengths and weaknesses of acids and bases. Take a look at the questions provided along with the video and make sure that you can answer them competently in case your homeschool students get stuck.


Add to the video seen


In the classroom give a brief introduction about the chemicals that you are teaching them. Then watch the video. Now discuss the multiple choice questions provided in the lesson with the video. Once the basic concepts are clear have them engage in a discussion of how these chemicals are used in day to day life. Debate whether using these chemicals is good or unhealthy. There you have it, an entire lesson based on a six minute video.


Have them use what they learn in real life


Now that they are aware of the different types of chemicals that exist in their lives, have them do a project where they can put this knowledge to use. Allow them to do a few simple experiments with some chemicals found easily around the house. You can do the litmus test for acids and bases in your homeschool science lab for elementary school, or you can do more advanced experiments for older children. Have them look at related videos to gain more knowledge about the harmful effects of chemicals and ask them to suggest how you can make a difference in your lives at home by using this knowledge.


Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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home schooling suppliesThere is simple video and then there is educational video content on the internet. While most of us use some video content to supplement learning for our children, there is one excellent source of free educational videos that tends to get overlooked. Adults have been raving about TED talks for a while, but many have no idea about a small subsidiary of TED Talks called Ted Ed.
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What is Ted Ed?


The website defines Ted Ed as “a free educational website for teachers and learners.” They are an extension of the original TED Talks mission to spread great ideas. They deal with worldwide experts on all kinds of subjects and have an ever-expanding library of video lessons from which your homeschooling students can choose what to learn. The lessons are a combination of the expertise of an educator blended with the skill of an animator making them compelling learning tools.


Two types of lessons are available on Ted Ed


The first kind are original lessons that are recorded by experts in the field which are available on the site and also can be viewed via their YouTube channel. The second kind of lessons are created by any website visitor to Ted Ed. These generally include additional data, or extra questions and sometimes even fresh discussion points on an existing lecture from the first category. You can pick and choose which lessons your child may watch to expand his homeschool knowledge bank.


Using Ted Ed in the Homeschool Classroom


You will have to do a bit of research as the library of lessons on Ted Ed is really vast. Head over to the website and select the lessons tab. Now you have the option to choose from subjects like the arts, business and economics, design, engineering and technology, health, literature and language, mathematics, psychology, social studies, philosophy and religion, science and technology, teaching and education. You can pick what you want to teach out of the videos and take a look at the lesson plan attached. This will include multiple choice questions, additional details and open ended discussion questions.


 Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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mojzagrebinfo By Cc, via Pixabay
mojzagrebinfo By Cc, via Pixabay

Watching movies is a favorite family activity for most of us. Young children watch animated movies and others on a regular basis. But what if you could turn that activity into something more than mere entertainment? What if you could make the movies a part of your homeschooling curriculum? Read on if you are interested in using movies as a basis for your homeschool lessons.
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Teach With Movies


TeachWithMovies.org is a website that offers a number of worksheets based on movies and television shows. So chances are that if you have seen a popular movie with your homeschool students, you can grab a worksheet here and convert it into a lesson. They even have a section on the website that categorizes movies by what subject they teach. You can take your pick from categories suh as History, Science, Literature and Social-Emotional Learning & Moral Growth. What’s more, the website is regularly updated with news and views from around the world, not to mention fresh worksheets each month.


Free to Use


Each movie has its own dedicated page which lets you know what the movie is about, how it will benefit young viewers, and even gives some preparation points that may help to explain the background of the movie. To prepare for eventualities, any possible problems that you may face are pointed out as well. At the end there are discussion questions which help the homeschooling student get a better concept about the concepts that were taught in the movie. And all of the above is available totally free to use for anyone, anywhere in the world.


Use as Template


If you find that your children may be able to use the movies that have been already viewed as lessons and can’t find related teaching material on the website, don’t fret. Make your own worksheets using the ones on the website as a template. Granted that it will be a little more work for you, but it will still be an interesting and engaging lesson for the children. Just imagine their review will consist of just watching the movie again!


Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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Public Domain Pictures, By CC Via Pixabay
Public Domain Pictures, By CC Via Pixabay

In the preliminary years you will be able to conduct homeschool science experiments with your primary grade youngsters without the need of special science equipment. However as the grade levels increase you will be looking at more specialized equipment . Here’s a look at the equipment that you will need at your homeschool science lab.
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Disposable or consumable items


Glassware like beakers and flasks, filter paper, pipettes, protective rubber gloves, big and small sized plastic containers to hold material, and litmus paper. These are all things that you will need to conduct experiments and will usually be used just a few times or may be even just once before they need to be replaced. Things like filter paper just get used once, and a test tube may break. Some of these things can be improvised from stuff you already have lying around the home, but some of it you will have to buy.


Specialized material


In the primary grades you can usually conduct the science experiments using things lying around the house, but at the grades go higher you will need to invest in more specialized material for your homeschool science students. This may include buying a thermometer, balancing scales, electric meters, calipers, tuning forks, a microscope, and a telescope. Naturally this is just an indicative list of what you may or may not buy. Once you have made a comprehensive list of all the science experiments that you plan to conduct in a year for a grade you will have a better idea of the exact material that you will need to have at hand.


Don’t break the bank


Much of the specialized equipment is not cheap. In fact if you are getting it cheap there is a good likelihood that it will not give you accurate experiment readings. It is better to browse through homeschooling forums and check for people who are looking to dispose of their equipment. There can be some good deals on science lab equipment on websites such as e-bay at times. Also remember you do not have to buy everything you need for an experiment. At times you can borrow equipment from someone who has it for a few days.


Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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OpenClips
OpenClips

Teaching science via experiments in a lab is not necessary, but it is recommended. There are two main benefits of doing lab work with your homeschool science students. The first is the most obvious one, the children think science is fun when they get to do cool experiments. These experiments tend to illustrate the scientific principles that have been deemed appropriate for the grade. The physical experiments help them better understand the concepts that they have been taught in a lecture in class. Essentially the kids have fun doing the experiments and learn better.
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The second benefit is related to future educational options available to the child. If you are hoping that your homeschooled child will attend regular college you will need to ensure that they do science lab at home. Most colleges want to see a record of experiments that the child has performed during the homeschooling years. So it is advisable to have a list of about 18-20 science experiments ready for the child to perform in each school grade. That way you are sure that each scientific principle taught in class has been adequately explained with a live science experiment. Make sure that you make a detailed log of just what all was done in each experiment. All findings must be well documented.


Science experiments can be performed for all levels of schooling at home. You just need to prepare yourself for the lab science portion of the lesson in advance. Once you have decided on the experiment make a list of all the material that you will need to conduct it. Procure the material and you are set for the experimentation stage. As you keep conducting experiments at home you will realize that some common materials tend to get used time and again. You can buy these in bulk and keep them handy in your homeschool science lab area. Of course it will help if you are organized enough to know exactly what all experiments you intend to conduct all through the year in advance, so that you can gather up all the material that you will need in one go.


Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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how to homeschoolThere is a lot of learning that you can sneak into the homeschool class as you help your children gear up for the holiday. You can make some Halloween decorations which can be placed around the house, or carried along while the family goes “Trick or Tricking”.
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Eerie Smoke in a Cup


In a styrofoam cooler add some hot water and cold dry ice. The result is an instant thick fog. The dry ice is essentially solid carbon dioxide  and can be picked up at local grocery stores with ease. As you add the water the carbon dioxide vaporizes and the fog is formed. The fog tends to head to the floor rather than to the sky as it is fairly dense. So if you carry your cup in your hand you can create the effect of eerie smoke spiraling around the body as you go walking around the neighborhood.


Spooky Jack O Lantern


If you are carving out a pumpkin lantern you may like to give it a bit more flare than just adding a regular candle to light it up from inside. In addition to the candle use a couple of thick incense sticks to allow the Jack O Lantern to exhale smoke as it sits by your front door. You will need to add fresh incense sticks as they get used up to continue with the smoking effect.


Bubbling Cauldrons


You can use any glass container for this experiment. Add some liquid soap, food coloring, and vinegar to the glass and keep it ready. When you want it to start bubbling add in some baking soda. Its the same principle as the baking soda volcano, but it very colorful if you add three different shades of food color to three different containers.


Creepy Liquids


This is a liquid density experiment which can actually be used for decorating at Halloween. Use a regular clear drinking water glass to add layers of, golden syrup, water with red food coloring, and oil. Add each layer of liquid to the glass slowly in the order listed here so as to get clearly defined layers. In the top layer you can add a couple of plastic bugs to add to the mood.
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beach-geralt, By CC via Pixabay
beach-geralt, By CC via Pixabay

Its all about Discipline


If you are going to be homeschooling, you need to make discipline your new best friend. Just make sure that you follow through with your plans for the day and that your children also listen to what you have to say. A routine is what you must develop and stick to.
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Learn your Style


Some children learn in a structured environment better while some prefer a more flexible approach. Similarly the teacher also has an natural individual style and if that is compatible with the child its the best way to teach. So learn the style that suits you and the one that suits your child and work it out to both your advantage.


Get help with the housework and the homework


Don’t become superwoman and overextend yourself. It is easy to say I’m at home the whole day and I can manage the kid’s education and do all the house related chores. However trying to do both can often result in exhaustion. You don’t have to kill yourself doing everything alone, just get some help in the day and see the difference it makes to your productivity.


Listen, really listen, to your kids


Adults know more than children. This is a fact, but children also know what suits them best. This is a fact that adults tend to ignore. If you pay close attention to what your child is trying to say to you, you will find it easier to deal with their problems and issues. Ignoring the input that they can give you will put up boundaries that you will find difficult to breach.


Thinking and planning and not wasting time


Do you find yourself think ahead planning what you will cook for supper when you are supposed to be supervising your child’s learning? Do you start thinking of the number of chores that you need to do and in what sequence when you are sitting and listening to your child read a lesson aloud? This is not wasting time. In fact these plans that you make up while you are in the homeschool classroom will in fact save you time later. So don’t feel guilty that your child does not have your full attention, but feel happy that you can multitask so well.
Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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By CC via Wikimedia
By CC via Wikimedia

There is a great deal of flexibility in setting up your homeschool curriculum, but if real life happens to interfere with this you can end up getting left behind the meticulously planned schedule that you have set. Naturally this will upset you and the children, but it is not the end of the world and you must not treat it with more importance than any other disruption to your regular class schedule.
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Some reasons why you may get left behind


An illness is usually the most common culprit. It could be either the child or your own health which has suffered causing the schooling disruption. There could have been a death in the family. If a grandparent or close family member has expired you will naturally be upset and may have other things taking up your time and attention. A job loss or job related move can also affect the study schedule. If you need to move to a new town as your husband has transferred to a new job it is highly unlikely that you will be able to maintain a normal study schedule as you pack and relocate. A new baby can also be the reason why the older child’s study needs get neglected just a bit. At times it can be more than one of these reasons coming together.


So what do you do to deal with this?


Just accept that your painstakingly arranged class schedule is shot. Now focus on what your child needs to catch up on. Take away extra activities that you may have planned and stick with the basics. Don’t feel guilty about shortchanging your child’s education. You will make it up at a later date when you are more settled and the reason for being left behind the schedule is addressed completely. Please don’t try to cram too much into the day trying to deal with the shortfall. Remember you are the child’s teacher. It is okay for you to go into more details in the next grade when you have more time on your hands. What matters is that the child comprehends what is being taught. Stay as close to the original schedule as possible to avoid making new plans. Keep yourself organized and focused on the essentials, everything else will follow.


 Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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online homeschoolIf you feel that your child is being deprived of a group classroom setting because he is being homeschooled you can always hold a group class for a specific subject at your home. Host other homeschooling children and their parents can return the favor.
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How it helps


Homeschool coop classes allow your child to learn in an interactive group. Simple skills like waiting for your turn to talk, raising your hand to get the teacher’s attention, ask questions about doubts in front of other people, and working with other students to find the answer to a problem can be developed in such group classes. The child also learns to develop respect for the teacher and his fellow students as they work on project assignments together.


How to set up a group class


If you have other homeschooling families in the city you can speak with them about sharing the education of their children with yours. This works well if one parent can take a subject like science and the other can take up other subject like mathematics. That way the children learn all the subjects they need to with minimal strain on the parents. It is best if at least two parents are present at each session if there are young children to be cared for. That way the actual studies carries on even if a young child is unable to adjust.


Conducting the group homeschooling class


Since there will be more than one child to consider the schedule for the group homeschool classes should be set up at least a month in advance. That way the teachers are also in a position to plan out what they want to teach and the children have a fixed schedule to follow. Try not to have more than two group classes in a week as it may not always be possible for everyone to join in if the classes are very frequent.


Remember the main purpose of the group class is to help your child interact better with people other than the immediate family. The studies is secondary here. Just make sure that group skills like class participation and working together on projects are developed.


Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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coombesy, By Cc via pixabay
coombesy, By Cc via pixabay

Depending on the nature of the child, he may be shy or awkward around people he is unfamiliar with. This is true of a certain age group irrespective of whether he is in a regular school or being home-schooled. To help him open up and interact freely with his fellow human beings there are a number of things that you can do as a parent.


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Plan trips with friends


If you intend to take a field trip as part of your teaching process, plan it out in advance with a friend as a joint outing for both families. The children will enjoy each others company and will be forced to intermingle. This will help them overcome shyness issues and teach them to deal with others their own age with compassion and fairness. Be consistent in the lessons that you want to impart and make the interactions as creative as you can. You can plan picnics, sports meets, crafting days and a whole lot more with other children.


Shopping expeditions


A simple trip to the supermarket can be turned into a socialization technique. Hand over your shopping list to your child and let him get the required items. Make sure that the list you give him is not too long, five or six products work best. Add an unknown or unfamiliar product in the list and ask him to let the sales assistant help him find it. Make sure that he knows how to handle the payment at the checking counter. It is a good primer to learn how to handle money in the real world. Be accessible nearby in case he has a problem.


Conduct a clean up drive


Organize a clean up drive in your neighborhood. Get your children involved in typing and printing out notices giving details of the activity, such as clean up drive of neighborhood park on Saturday morning at 9 am. Then have them distribute these to all the houses in the neighborhood. Bring out trash bags to the park and engage in conversations with the neighbors who have come to help. Your children will learn to be socially responsible besides picking up new friends.


Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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cherylholt by cc, Via Pixabay
cherylholt by cc, Via Pixabay

One of the most touted arguments against homeschooling seems to stem from the child’s need for socializing. The social interaction in public schools is said to provide the child with experiences to help him grow into a well rounded individual. The fact that homeschooling isolates the child and does not let him play around with other peers is seen as a major drawback.


Does this mean that your child is going to be an introvert with no social skills if you decide to homeschool him? Not at all. With a little planning and some effort on your part, it is possible to have your home schooled child interact well with other children his age. He can learn all the social skills he need and be considered adept in handling social situations. Here are some socialization strategies for homeschoolers.
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Play Dates


This is the easiest way to ease your child into social interactions. Head over to a friend’s house. It would be ideal if the friend is the same age group and being homeschooled, but even if he is not, it doesn’t matter. The child will learn to deal with other people and exercise the social skills he has. You can always suggest improvements in behavior when you return home.


Join some sporting activity


A sports program run for homeschool children is ideal, but if one does not exist in your city make your child join any city sports program. A team game is ideal for bringing out a multitude of social interactions. The child learns to deal with peers in a non threatening and enjoyable environment. Better still he gets some physical exercise while he plays the game as an added bonus.


Volunteer at a youth group charity


There is always a good charity that you can get involved with. Pick one that has its own youth group program. This way the child learns to give back to society as well as picks up ideas about how one can help the needy. It helps the child understand that not everyone is as fortunate as himself. If you don’t wish the child to be directly involved with too somber a cause, pick something related to saving the environment.


Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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We constantly hear sounds and react to them without even being aware of the interaction. We heard the doorbell and go to check who’s at the door. We wait for the introductory tone as we switch on the computer to know that the operating system has loaded. We listen to the beeps from the washing machine and know that the clothes are done and need to be removed from the machine. Here is a fun experiment that you can conduct with your children to explain the concept of sound.
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Turn to the Drum


This works best if you have about four or five people. All participants except for the drummer are to be blindfolded and made to stand in the middle of the room. Now the drummer is to beat the drum twice and the blindfolded participants must turn to the place they hear the sound coming from. The drummer will then change his position and beat the drum again and the rest must turn in the direction the sound comes from.


Variation in the activity


Repeat this a few times and then let the drummer change positions and not beat the drum. The supervising adult must then ask where the drummer is stationed. The children will be able to tell the position accurately as the drummer would have made some noise getting to his current location. Then ask the drummer to change positions again, this time the drummer will be careful not to make any sound as he changes positions. Now ask the children where the drummer is and they will not be able to pinpoint his location.


Explain the concept


Once they have had some fun with the drummer, or even at taking turns being the drummer you can explain the concept of sound to them. How we hear sound through the sense organ ear, and how sound is supposed to travel in waves are good initial discussions to have. Have them make different kinds of sounds using their voices, or different things lying around the homeschool classroom. Help them understand that there are a number of different types of sounds. It will be an interesting initiation.


Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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homeschoolingHomeschooling students are not used to the rigors of tests that a regular school student goes through. Very often the first standardized test that they attempt can be the cause of a lot of anxiety. The responsibility of making the test fun lies with the parent. There are many ways to take away the anxiety and make it a fun exercise.
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Treat the test as a game


If your child enjoys puzzles and games make the test appear like a game. Just like the children like asking riddles and coming up with brain teasers make the creation of the test a game. They understand what they have to test and then come up with their own questions to test the concepts. Then let them conduct the test that they have come up with on you. Once the parent answers their questions it is only fair that they answer a question paper that the parents give them.


Don’t time the test the first time round


Give the student an old practice test paper and let him or her answer it in their own time. Allow them to come up with all the answers taking as long as they like. When they are done correct the paper and show them the mistakes that they made. The next day or a couple of days later, give them the same question paper and tell them that it will be a timed test. Give them the allotted time and let them come up with the answers. Since the questions are familiar it will not be as intimidating as doing the test timed the first time. Gradually move on the timed simple tests the first time round.


Keep the environment stress free


Just because they are preparing for a standardized test is no reason why the children can’t have fun. During preparation give them snacks on the table. After preparation time take them out of the house for a trip to the mall. Hey, you can even make them take a break from the studies to do their household chores. Ensure that regular life continues even when the studies get picked up a notch due to the impending test. It will go a long way in keeping the students grounded.


Article Inspiration: About Homeschooling
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