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Pushed Out: When the School Says to Homeschool

by Jeanne Faulconer

What if the school is telling you to homeschool? More and more in the homeschool world, we hear from parents whose children have become known as force outs or “push-outs.” That’s because they are children who did not drop out of school or did not have parents who eagerly chose to homeschool, but who were strongly encouraged to withdraw — pushed out — by school officials. Their parents were not seeking to homeschool, but were pushed to do so, being told that the school cannot meet the child’s needs. Homeschool advocates are taking note of the many stories of kids who are pushed out of school to homeschool. Homeschooling can be a great way for children to learn, but parents in this situation need to be aware that the local public school is obligated to provide an appropriate education for the child. Continue reading »

TheHomeSchoolMom Blog: Pushouts - When the school tells you to homeschool />

College Admission Requirements: Homeschooling High School

by Jeanne Faulconer

Homeschooling is not public schooling, and homeschooling parents have wide latitude in what their children should study, how they should learn, and what qualifies a teen for graduation or a diploma. Homeschooling is governed by state laws, which vary from state-to-state, and you should check with a homeschooling organization in your state to see if there are course or “subject” requirements, and how homeschoolers show they have met those requirements in that state. If there are no course requirements, as with homeschoolers in most states, what should your child study and learn during high school, if college is on the horizon? Continue reading »

Homeschooling and College Admission Requirements />

Homeschooling and Grade Levels (Or… Relax)

by Jeanne Faulconer

Grade level, schmade level. Homeschoolers — relax.

If your children are below grade level in some way, they still first have to take the next step.

And if your children are above grade level, there are still more steps they can take.

That’s because homeschooling can be potential based, and homeschooled kids can follow their own arc of development as they reach toward their potential. Continue reading »

TheHomeSchoolMom Blog: Homeschooling, grade levels, and potential based learning />

You Decided to Start Homeschooling. Now What?

by Jeanne Faulconer

When you’ve suddenly taken your kids out of school to homeschool, there is a long list of things to do, and it all seems like it needs to be done quickly so your kids won’t be behind.

When you start homeschooling, one often overlooked aspect — especially if you hadn’t planned to homeschool — is the need for you and your child to come to terms with the school experience and the reasons you find yourself homeschooling.

To help you process the big change that comes with suddenly starting homeschooling, I recommend this… Continue reading »

TheHomeSchoolMom Blog: You Started Homeschooling. Now What? />

Scribes: Narration & Homeschooling

by Jeanne Faulconer

Your child can’t hold a pencil very well? Your child thinks faster than she can write? Your child’s handwriting is illegible? Your child can’t compose in writing even though he can tell you a great story?

Your child might benefit from having a scribe. Continue reading »

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Bad News/Good News of Starting Homeschooling in High School

by Jeanne Faulconer

Starting homeschooling during the high school years can seem intimidating or liberating — or both. There is both good news and bad news about starting out homeschooling in high school, but for many people the good outweighs the bad. Continue reading »

TheHomeSchoolMom Blog: The Good News/Bad News about Starting Homeschooling in High School />

Martinmas Lantern Walk: A Waldorf-Inspired Tradition

by Jeanne Faulconer

The Festival of Martinmas is observed by many Waldorf schools and Waldorf-inspired homeschoolers on November 11 each year, and you might enjoy creating a little festival to celebrate with your family or a group of homeschooling friends. Anything that involves children carrying their homemade lanterns is sure to be charming to adults and children alike. Continue reading »

TheHomeSchoolMom Blog: Latern Walk for Martinmas, a Waldorf-inspired tradition />

Ask Jeanne: Homeschooling with a Doubting Dad

by Jeanne Faulconer

We will be homeschooling all three of our daughters this fall (ages 9, 12 and 17). I am excited and nervous about this new adventure, but my husband still has a lot of doubts that this will work for our family. He recently said “I’ll never see you” and thinks homeschooling will take over our life. Are there any resources out there to educate him on the benefits, and to somehow involve him more in this change? Thank you. Continue reading »

Ask Jeanne: My husband still has a lot of doubts that this will work for our family. How can I educate him about and involve him in homeschooling? />

I am Homeschool Mom. Watch ME Change

by Jeanne Faulconer

You might have seen that the publisher here at TheHomeSchoolMom memed a couple of my sentences: I am Homeschool Mom. Watch Me Change Stuff. She did that when I designated October 1 as Curriculum’s Not Working Day, a holiday honoring new homeschooling parents who are struggling with getting their kids “through” their new curriculum at this time of year. The piece was about homeschoolers’ freedom to make changes and do what works, rather than sticking with an arbitrary curriculum. I encouraged parents to think more about how their children learn and to think more about the differences between school and homeschooling. I got a comment on Facebook that stopped me in my tracks. A friend of mine, Heather Jeffrey, a long-term homeschooler, made a quick comment by just rewriting the meme, striking out the last word… Continue reading »

TheHomeSchoolMom Blog: I am Homeschool Mom. Watch ME Change. />

October 1: Curriculum’s Not Working Day

by Jeanne Faulconer

October 1. We shall declare it an annual homeschool holiday. We’ll call it Curriculum’s Not Working Day — because now we have reached the time of year when so many of the new homeschooling parents who bought curriculum when we said, “Don’t buy curriculum yet,” are concerned about not being able to get through the curriculum they bought anyway. Continue reading »

TheHomeSchoolMom Blog: October 1 - Official Homeschool Curriculum's Note Working Day />

When Grandparents Don’t Like Homeschooling

by Jeanne Faulconer

Dear Jeanne,

Hi all, so I have made the decision to homeschool my son again for his 4th grade year. He also has a two-year-old baby sister whom I also intend to homeschool. I homeschooled my son up until 3rd grade, when I made the choice to allow him to go to public school because of personal health issues. Also contributing was the fact that my mother and younger sister would not stop arguing with me about how he needs this that or the other that he can get “more” of in public school, which I knew was wrong, but here I am having this argument again, and I don’t know how to deal with them. They have a tendency to be very opinionated — mostly behind my back but in front of my children. I don’t want to tell them they can’t take the kids anymore, but I’m tired of this! Do you have any suggestions that might help dealing with family that disagrees with you??? PLEASE HELP! Continue reading »

Ask Jeanne: When Grandparents Don't Like Homeschooling />

Instead of Curriculum: Tech with Raspberry Pi

by Jeanne Faulconer

This year as I was making my rounds as a homeschool evaluator in Virginia, I ran across a number of homeschooled kids who were using an affordable mini-computer called a Raspberry Pi in order to do computer projects and learn programming. According to the Raspberry Pi Foundation: The Raspberry Pi is a low cost, credit-card sized computer that plugs into a computer monitor or TV, and uses a standard keyboard and mouse. It is a capable little device that enables people of all ages to explore computing, and to learn how to program in languages like Scratch and Python. It’s capable of doing everything you’d expect a desktop computer to do, from browsing the internet and playing high-definition video, to making spreadsheets, word-processing, and playing games. Continue reading »

Raspberry Pi for Learning to Code />

Ask Jeanne: Work Full Time and Homeschool Five?

by Jeanne Faulconer

I work full time, and so does my husband. There is no way I could stay
home and be a full time mom. We have 4 high schoolers and the youngest
is in intermediate. The youngest we have the most trouble with, and I
am at wit’s end trying to get her at grade level of her peers without
medication. I have read about families who work full time and still
homeschool their children. If I could make this work in our lifestyle,
I would be interested in learning more about it. In addition, I
would like to start a “trial” period during the summer months. Are
their any resources available for summer curriculum and assistance
for full time working parents? ~ A Working Mom Continue reading »

Ask Jeanne: Is it possible to work full-time and homeschool? />

I’m Not Homeschooling At You

by Jeanne Faulconer

It’s not a good practice, but I admit it.

Sometimes I read the comments.

The ones that follow online articles about homeschooling.

Some of the comments are by people knowledgeable about homeschooling.

Some of them are by people who are interested in education and willing to learn about homeschooling.

Some of them are by people who are doubtful about homeschooling.

Some of the comments I enjoy most are by parents who don’t homeschool but who are supportive of all kids, regardless of the approach to education.

And some of them are by parents who send their kids to school — and who are really, really upset with me for homeschooling. Continue reading »

TheHomeSchoolMom Blog: I'm not homeschooling AT you; I'm just homeschooling. />

Ask Jeanne: Do Homeschoolers Get a Diploma?

by Jeanne Faulconer

“Do homeschoolers get a diploma? Half of my family is pro-homeschooling and half is anti-homeschooling. How do I convince my family that homeschooling would be a better and more positive solution than public school?” You have a couple of overt questions and a couple of implied ones. Let’s see what we can tease apart here, because these are common concerns for prospective homeschoolers. Continue reading »

Ask Jeanne: Do Homeschoolers Get a Diploma? />

8 Questions to Ask When Starting a Homeschool Co-op

by Jeanne Faulconer

Homeschool co-ops work well as part of the educational landscape of some families. However, you may not be able to find an existing co-op that is near enough your home to be practical, or it may not meet the academic, creative, or social goals you have for a co-op. The other problem may be that there is a flourishing co-op nearby, but the co-op is full and has a waiting list.

You can organize a new homeschool co-op yourself, and these 8 questions will help you decide the best way to do so. Continue reading »

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Teen Tech Project: Building a Computer

by Jeanne Faulconer

This week I visited with a homeschooling family whose son was anxiously awaiting his shipments from New Egg and Tiger Direct — full of the components he would assemble into his own PC.

This brought back fond memories, since two of my three sons undertook this same project during their teen years, and my oldest actually did the same after he graduated. Continue reading »

TheHomeSchoolMom Blog: Teen homeschool technology project />

Swapping Homeschooling Activity Bags

by Jeanne Faulconer

Put Homeschooling in the Bag – Your homeschool group or co-op might enjoy working together to create homeschooling activity bags for a swap. This was a fun idea our family did with a homeschool group, and it sort of works like a cookie swap at holiday time. You gather inexpensive supplies for a single hands-on pre-school activity, homeschool craft, or simple science experiment or demonstration (up through elementary age), and you put them in a zipper plastic bag with instructions. The beauty part is — you make up ten or twenty identical activity bags (according to the number of families participating), and you take them to the swap. Continue reading »

Put homeschooling in the bag with a homeschooling activity bag swap />

Roadschooling: What To Keep In the Car

by Jeanne Faulconer

Many of us homeschoolers are automobile-dependent. Living in rural or suburban areas and in some small and medium size towns and cities, we find that our communities aren’t “walkable,” and there is no public transportation to speak of. There is certainly no school bus serving our family. Since our kids aren’t in the “big box of school” we have to drive to many of the activities and classes our kids participate in. With three kids in a wide age range and with a diversity of interests, over the years I have found myself constantly traveling from one “homeschool thing” to another, also mixing in our regular errands. Continue reading »

Roadschooling: My list of />

Grandparents Guide to Homeschooling: Field Trips

by Jeanne Faulconer

As I’ve written previously in the Grandparents Guide to Homeschooling series, there are all kinds of great ways to spend time with your homeschooled grandchildren — just having fun, sharing your skills, providing child care, and helping them learn.

But the granddaddy of them all (pun intended), in my opinion, is taking them on field trips.

Field trips combine so much of the rest of the good stuff. They are great learning opportunities, they can be fun and adventurous, and they provide a kind of hands-on help that homeschooling parents really appreciate from their own parents.

And here’s the secret: they don’t have to be big deals — or, they can be. Continue reading »

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