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    Homeschooling 101: Socialization

    Hi everyone, I have another Homeschooling 101 post for you.  Today we’re talking about that dreaded word… SOCIALIZATION!   One of the first questions I am asked regarding homeschooling is… “What about socialization?” I almost hesitate to even include this topic in my series … [Read More...]

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    Happy Labor Day 2014

      Hi everyone! It’s Labor Day! I like to think of it as “relax because the rest of the year’s gonna be crazy” day. So that’s what we’re doing… We’re taking the day off! The day off school that is. We’ll be hanging out and Barbequing, marshmallow roasting, and hanging with a few friends. … [Read More...]

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    2014 September Monthly Meal Plan

    Good morning everyone! Well, we’re finally back in school. I don’t know where my summer went, but I’m always excited when we get to start new curriculum and a new year. Fall is one of my four favorite seasons, and I H.E.A.R.T. September back-to-school time! And this is when my meal plans really … [Read More...]

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    Back-To-School for Homeschoolers!

    I H.E.A.R.T Back-To-School time! It means fall is coming, we get to start new and exciting curriculum, and we get new school supplies! Goodness all around! But what does Back-To-School look like for a homeschooler? I mean, don’t we just come downstairs and start school? No back-to-school … [Read More...]

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    Homeschooling 101: Special Needs Students

    Good morning! Today I have another Homeschooling 101 post to add to my series.  Today we’re talking about homeschooling special needs students.   First off I want to encourage you that you are not alone! There are several families that have chosen to homeschool children with … [Read More...]

SEP
01
2014

Homeschooling 101: Socialization

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Hi everyone, I have another Homeschooling 101 post for you.  Today we’re talking about that dreaded word… SOCIALIZATION!

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One of the first questions I am asked regarding homeschooling is…

“What about socialization?”

I almost hesitate to even include this topic in my series because of it’s sheer silliness. But I know for new homeschoolers, the issue of socialization can be one of their main concerns.

Just so we’re all on the same page, let’s define socialization.

According to the dictionary, socialization is defined as a process whereby an individual acquires the knowledge, language, social skills, values, and behavior to conform to the norms of a group or community.

 

Regarding Homeschooling and Socialization

Studies have repeatedly shown that homeschoolers on average outperform their public school peers, not only academically, but socially too. Homeschoolers tend to have more self-confidence as well. They are also shown to score approximately 37 points higher on standardized achievement tests than the public school student average. (Statistics taken from www.hslda.org.)

So clearly homeschooled students have continued to show academic excellence through their scores.

But what about their ability to succeed as adults?

Many fear that by choosing to homeschool their children, they will by default isolate them from the outside world. And in turn, raise children who are not prepared for adulthood.

Due to sheer circumstances, the public school environment tends to lend itself to encouraging students to conform to their peers. Conversely, homeschooling parents focus more on teaching their students responsibility, character, service, compassion, and other essential life skills that will benefit them in their adult life.

Since homeschooling parents are more able to focus on social and emotional characteristics of their children, youth are more likely to model the behavior of their parent. Public schooled students more often emulate the values and conduct of their peers. With more parental involvement in their upbringing, studies have indicated that homeschooled students show less behavioral issues than those in the public school system.

Another advantage we have as homeschoolers is the freedom to tailor our curriculum. We have the opportunity to expose our students to education through field trips, hands-on learning tools, and pursue things that interest them more freely than their publically schooled peers.

We also have the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of community groups, clubs, and sports activities. Things like church youth groups, Awanas, local clubs, art classes, book clubs, science clubs, homeschool co-ops, physical education classes, local community groups, and dozens more, are all excellent ways for homeschoolers to avoid the issue of being socially isolated.

As homeschoolers we are not required to chain our students to desks all day. Instead we can experience the world around us more freely. This flexibility provides the homeschooled student with a well-rounded and balanced educational experience.

 

Your Part in Socialization

Now, I realize that I can spout off statistics to you all day. But the socialization of your student will ultimately come down to your commitment as a homeschooling parent. While all of these wonderful opportunities are available to most homeschoolers, as a parent you will be responsible for getting your students involved in the various activities and experiences that are available to you.

I have to be honest; at the beginning of our homeschooling journey I too was concerned about the issue of socialization. Since then, I’ve learned that socialization is a myth at best. It’s usually an issue that is brought up by those who aren’t fully educated regarding homeschooling, and those who don’t support the concept.

Due to my fear of raising un-socialized children, during our first year of homeschooling I enrolled our children in a variety of groups, and extracurricular activities.

My husband and I affectionately refer to this time as “the year we over-socialized”.

Since then I’ve learned that it is okay not to participate in every single activity out there. We’ve paired down our involvement to include only the things that make sense for our family, and activities that are of true interest to our children.

Over the years, I’ve come to realize that our kids are doing just fine. They get along well with others, are good at working as a team, and are able to successfully interact well with people of all ages. They are also more self-confident and don’t usually worry as much about what other people think.

After 7 years of homeschooling, I still struggle with self-doubt, and I still worry about my children’s future. As a parent, I don’t think it would be any different regardless of our educational choices.

But God has been good to show me bits and pieces of how we are eternally affecting our children through our decision to homeschool.

While our daily life isn’t always blissfully free of behavioral issues, I can see glimpses of the people that they’re growing into. I have witnessed positive character traits emerging, and I can rest knowing that they’ll be well prepared for adulthood, and eternity.

 

All that to say that “socialization” is honestly a NON-ISSUE. So let go of your worries homeschooling moms and dads, and just enjoy the time with your children.

 

Looking for some fun additions to your homeschool journey? Here are some extracurricular options to help get you started.

  • Keepers at Home: www.keepersofthefaith.com
  • Contenders of the Faith: www.keepersofthefaith.com
  • Science Clubs
  • Book Clubs
  • Literature Clubs
  • National Competition groups
  • Team Sports
  • High School Sports (Most local high schools offer spots to homeschooled students who qualify.)
  • PE Classes
  • Homeschool Co-ops (Search your local area and “homeschool group” for a listing.)
  • Civic Organizations (Fire Stations, Libraries, hospitals, businesses, etc. usually offer tours for homeschool groups.)
  • Local Museums
  • YMCA: www.ymca.net
  • Dance, music, art, ceramics, and drama classes via your local community education center.
  • Field Trips
  • Reading programs
  • Community theatre
  • Community volunteers programs
  • Chess clubs
  • Computer club
  • Speech and Debate clubs

For more detailed information regarding homeschooling and socialization visit the HSLDA Socialization webpage.

 

For more information on homeschooling check out my Homeschooling 101: A guide to getting started!

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AUG
30
2014

Happy Labor Day 2014

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  Hi everyone! It’s Labor Day! I like to think of it as “relax because the rest of the year’s gonna be crazy” day. So that’s what we’re doing… We’re taking the day off! The day off school that is. We’ll be hanging out and Barbequing, marshmallow roasting, and hanging with a few friends. Have a great day, we’ll be back in swing with school stuff tomorrow! Until then…Happy Labor Day! … [Read more...]

AUG
27
2014

2014 September Monthly Meal Plan

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Good morning everyone! Well, we’re finally back in school. I don’t know where my summer went, but I’m always excited when we get to start new curriculum and a new year. Fall is one of my four favorite seasons, and I H.E.A.R.T. September back-to-school time! And this is when my meal plans really start coming in handy. Getting back into the groove of things always takes time. I somehow forget…or maybe block out…just how much of my day is taken up by educating our children! Point being there really isn’t much time for me to think about meals these days! Anyway,  I hope my plans help you out as well, and can take at least one thing off of your busy plate each day!   Download the 2014 September Monthly Meal Plan: 2014 September Monthly Meal Plan PDF 2014 September Monthly Meal Plan Word Doc (Editable)     Coming soon! I’m working on putting them all together in a book for you as well to make it a little easier each month! And since you always ask, … [Read more...]

AUG
26
2014

Back-To-School for Homeschoolers!

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I H.E.A.R.T Back-To-School time! It means fall is coming, we get to start new and exciting curriculum, and we get new school supplies! Goodness all around! But what does Back-To-School look like for a homeschooler? I mean, don’t we just come downstairs and start school? No back-to-school fanfare? Well, honestly I don’t think we’re much different than other kids. But then that could be just me…because I hype it up and all. We shop for new supplies just like other folks do… This year we managed to only get a few things because we still had some left over from last year. Our list included things like scissors (do your kids misplace scissors like mine? No clue where they go…), glue sticks, dry-erase markers, colored pencils, line paper, rulers this year because our old ones writing had faded, and of course our favorite Ticonderoga pencils! This year we spent $75 total on supplies. I looked and last year we spent $150, so that’s half! And I know it’s WAY less than your average … [Read more...]

AUG
25
2014

Homeschooling 101: Special Needs Students

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Good morning! Today I have another Homeschooling 101 post to add to my series.  Today we’re talking about homeschooling special needs students.   First off I want to encourage you that you are not alone! There are several families that have chosen to homeschool children with special needs. The needs may range from something such as attention deficit disorder to children with more severe and multiple handicaps. Often bringing special needs children home to be educated is a wonderful way to reach an otherwise reluctant student. As their parent you can offer your student the security, stability, flexibility, and encouragement they need to be successful. While I do not personally have special needs students there are a wide variety of websites and information available to homeschooling your students. One thing I’ve learned about this topic is that each student’s needs are unique, and so your approach to homeschooling them will also have to be individualized … [Read more...]

AUG
24
2014

Homeschool in the Woods Review & Giveaway

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I’m so excited to try a new history unit this year! While we’ve used Abeka in the past, and it’s been fine, I really wanted to have a little more fun this year and do something out of the box. Sometimes you’re just ready for a change!   After careful consideration we’ve chosen to go with the Homeschool in the Woods Middle Ages unit to start with. We’ve done several years of United States History and it is time to start looking into some world history. We haven’t started yet, but after looking through it and getting everything ready I wanted to share some of my first thoughts on the curriculum as well as how we set it all up. --> And make sure to read to the end, because I have a great giveaway for you too!   First Impressions: My first impression of this curriculum is that it is going to be lots of fun! It is very hands on, and we love lapbooking and notebooking over here, so it’s a great fit for us. The activities look engaging and the text is definitely … [Read more...]

AUG
20
2014

Watermelon Agua Fresca Recipe

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Okay, this has to be the absolute yummiest most refreshing summer drink I’ve tried in a long time! And not only that but it’s also one of the easiest recipes I’ve made too! It’s my totally awesome Watermelon Agua Fresca recipe! Let’s get started with the deliciousness shall we?   Ingredients: 4 cups cubed seeded watermelon (I just buy mine seedless and throw it in, didn’t really measure it.) 1/2 cup water Tajin Seasoning (You can find this in the produce section) ice cubes Optional: Pinch of sugar to sweeten it up. We didn’t add sugar, ours was sweet enough as is! Optional: Lime slices to garnish. You can also squeeze in a little if you like!   Directions: Add watermelon and water in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour over ice into a fancy cup and sprinkle with a little Tajin seasoning to give it some kick! Add the lime to garnish then sit back and enjoy the warm summer afternoon!     That’s it! Seriously. I kid … [Read more...]

AUG
19
2014

2014-2015 First Day of School

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What!? Yep, it’s that time again. Back-to-school time! Honestly, I don’t think I was quite ready. And neither were my kiddos. We were knee-deep into summer, and enjoying all of the lazy, fun-filled, play-date filled, marshmallow roasting days. And now I can’t believe I have kindergartener, 3rd grader, 5th grader, and *sigh* a 6th grader…a.k.a. middle school! Say WHAT!? That tall girl in the middle is only a few inches shy of being the same height as me. She already steals my shoes. When did that happen? Last time I looked she was 4 and starting preschool. Please hold while I have a small melt down… I’ve been in denial for a few months now. Thank you for understanding, I know you can relate. So…what happened to summer you ask? Who knows. It’s eluded me, and most every one else I’ve talked to too! But, I find the best way to start school back up, is…in the words of Nike…Just do it.   Did I feel like starting? Um, no. Did I have a huge headache that day? Um, yes! … [Read more...]

AUG
18
2014

2014 Omnibus

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Good morning readers! It’s that time of year again… and I’m honored to have the pleasure of announcing the iHomeschool Network 2014 Omnibus Sale! I know you’re all excited to get the deal of a lifetime, so you better speed read this post, the sale is only available from August 18-24, 2014! (NOTE: I am participating in the group giveaway, however I am not in charge of the downloads. If you experience difficulties downloading, please visit the Omnibus FAQ page for more help. Links included in this post are affiliate links.) What is the Homeschool eBook Omnibus? The Homeschool Omnibus is a digital stockpile of books to carry you through the school year with encouragement and practical how to’s.     What is COAH contributing to the Homeschool Omnibus? This year I wanted to add something new, so I’m contributing a copy of my Classic Literature Mega Pack Vol. 2 for the sale.   And not only that, but you’ll also receive 83 ebooks and 24 audio MP3s as well, … [Read more...]

AUG
17
2014

The Picture Smart Bible Giveaway

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Hi readers! I am really excited to try out a new Bible curriculum this year. It’s The Picture Smart Bible and I love the detail that they’ve put into this program and my kiddos absolutely love drawing their way through the bible! So I’m hoping this will be a great fit for us!   Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product through one of these links I receive a small commission. What is The Picture Smart Bible? For those of you who don’t know, The Picture Smart Bible is a curriculum that teaches all of the book of the Bible in illustration form. Each Bible book has its own full page illustration sheet with the exception of some of the shorter books that have been combined. It also comes with a time line as well as maps to help students grasp the lesson further. They currently offer New Testament and Old Testament lessons, and you can get them individually or as a set. They also come in CD, download, and printed formats so you have a lot … [Read more...]