The truth is that no matter how conscientious, intelligent, committed and disciplined you are, there will be times in your homeschooling when you just feel, well, uninspired. Where you're tired of educating, discouraged by your children's progress, certain you're not doing a good enough job, completely out of creative ideas, bored, or just plain frustrated. Continue reading »
February 14th - It seems like a day just for lovers. Chocolate hearts, flowers, "I love you" cards… most of us tend to think Valentine’s Day is more for us parents than for the children. And no doubt, homeschooling parents, probably more than anyone, need some time together away from the kids! So how can Valentine’s Day be a teaching opportunity within the homeschool? Continue reading »
Everybody knows Valentine’s Day is the holiday of love. But why not make it the holiday of learning, too? This special day has its roots in both Christian and ancient Roman traditions, based upon the legendary Saint Valentine. Continue reading »
Young children, as well as many special needs children, often struggle with keeping attention and focus during academics. Tips for Keeping Children Engaged Part 1 looked at some simple ways to help keep students engaged and interested in school work. Here are some additional tips for how you can help your child to stay on track and maintain his/her focus. Continue reading »
While Kindergarten in public schools generally starts at age 5 or 6, many homeschoolers choose to begin some type of academics much earlier with their children. While every schoolteacher knows that the early elementary years are synonymous with short attention spans for many kids, homeschoolers also have the added excitement of trying to involve children as young as two. Fortunately, homeschooling offers the flexibility to accommodate the wide range of focusing ability that children bring to the table, whether the result of age, maturity, or special needs. Continue reading »
Words, words, words! A variety of research, such as that by the University of Kansas, has demonstrated that the number of words children know dramatically impacts their success in other academic areas. While reading to children is one of the best ways to help them gain a strong vocabulary, at some point it is helpful to study vocabulary words in an intentional way. For older children this is often incorporated as part of English or Reading curricula, but for young children, such as those who have just learned to read, what options are there for learning vocabulary? Continue reading »
Many homeschoolers take a break from schooling at least some of the time in December, in order to enjoy the holidays. January can bring a new jumpstart to the educational process, as families "get back into the groove" following traveling, hosting, and Christmas events. The new year is the perfect time to take a look at your homeschool and do some reevaluation – what is going well? What needs to be changed? Continue reading »
Photo courtesy of John Manoogian III under Creative Commons licensing
New year, new opportunities, new resolutions! For most of the world, the New Year's resolution list might include such optimistic intentions as losing weight or starting a new hobby. But what about homeschoolers? While many people make optimistic and grandiose plans for 2011, the New Year's resolutions of homeschoolers might just look a wee bit different from those of the general public...
"What do you want for Christmas?" It's probably the line most often quoted this time of year, following "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays". Santa asks it, parents ponder it, and even passersby on the street use it as a greeting line for children. But is it the question homeschoolers really want to ask? Just like home educators seek to teach their children academic subjects, many also seek to inculcate something even more important - character. And this time of year is the perfect time to focus on the character quality of giving to others. Continue reading »
Check out these great sources for educational Christmas gifts that kids love! These gifts encourage science, exploration, filmmaking, and more... Continue reading »
The ubiquitous Christmas symbols are out in force – holly wreaths, festive Christmas trees, eggnog, and of course good ol’ Santa himself. But many homeschoolers seek to move beyond the cultural harbingers of the season to focus on the birth of the Christ child; to celebrate God coming to earth. One of the most meaningful ways to help the family emphasize the true meaning of Christmas is through creating a Jesse Tree. This wonderful tradition not only centers the significance of the holiday around Christ, but it serves as an advent calendar as well, marking each passing day to count down until Christmas.
If there's ever a time to put aside the books and break out the project supplies with the kids, it's Christmas! With all of the emphasis on baking, making crafts, decorating, learning the history of Christ's birth, and establishing family traditions, Christmas for homeschoolers is like sitting down to a buffet of children's enrichment. Even if you homeschool with academics throughout the month of December, be sure to save some time in the day for some special family projects that will bring the family together and make the season meaningful for your children!
Visiting with family and friends is the highlight of the holidays for many homeschoolers. Unfortunately, before the festivities and merry-making can begin comes a part of the holidays that most families dread - the process of "getting there"! These ideas for filling hours in the car will have your whole family enjoying your travel time. Continue reading »
Family, food, homes, health, friends - without a doubt these blessings are the core of many people's reasons to be thankful during this Thanksgiving season. However, homeschoolers have some unique motivations for gratitude that are easy to overlook. Take some time this season to reflect on the things you appreciate about homeschooling, and the blessings that homeschooling brings to yourself, your children, and your family.
There are many ways to help children understand the significance of Veterans Day and the importance of those who have fought and died for America, as well as those who currently serve to protect our nation. Try out some of these ideas to make this Veterans Day a meaningful and educational experience for your children. Continue reading »
Modern technology has brought unprecedented opportunity for teaching students. According to Internet World Stats, as of June 30, 2010 there were almost 2 billion internet users (anyone currently in capacity to use the internet) worldwide. A 2003 report by the National Center for Education Statistics details that 19.4% of homeschoolers engaged in distance learning through the Internet, email, or other use of the web. This figure, which almost certainly has grown in the past 7 years since the report, does not include the multitude of homeschoolers who supplement at-home learning with the use of the Internet. From instantaneous definitions for vocabulary words to full lesson plans for any grade, without a doubt, the World Wide Web has changed the way the world does education. Continue reading »
Author Aldous Huxley wrote, "Everyone who knows how to read has it in their power to magnify themselves, to multiply the ways in which they exist, to make their life full, significant, and interesting." Although most homeschoolers have an awareness of the importance of reading for children, it is always helpful to review the evidence that backs up our feelings. With the cooler weather coming, fall is the perfect time to take a fresh look at why reading is such a critical factor for children’s success, as well as get reinvigorated toward making reading one of the foundations of the homeschool curriculum (and part of everyday family life).
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Cooler weather outside gives homeschoolers just one more reason to focus on reading! Although reading aloud is an excellent family activity for children of all ages, including those who have long been reading on their own, it is particularly important for children in elementary school. During this critical time period, parents have the opportunity to truly instill a love for reading that has the potential to influence the child’s academic development throughout his or her school years. Continue reading »
Many homeschoolers focus on some level of memorization during the early years, when the brain is most malleable. By capitalizing on young children's incredible capacity to memorize, homeschoolers can establish pegs of knowledge which children can easily recall later in their education, when they are old enough to understand and process the meaning behind those facts.
Homeschoolers have the same challenge as any teacher; how to best teach children according to the ways they best learn. By understanding your child's learning style, you can make learning more enjoyable for him or her, increasing the chances of learning success. Here are some strategies for teaching each type of learner. Continue reading »