AUG
11
2014

Homeschooling 101: Homeschooling an Only Child

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I’m back today with another Homeschooling 101 post.  Today we’re talking about homeschooling an only child.   Sometimes when we think of homeschooling, we envision a larger family. But that’s just a stereotype; there are many families who  homeschool an only child. One thing I’ve learned over the years, is that homeschooling families are as diverse as the world we live in! Don’t be intimidated by the size of your family, large or small, you can homeschool if you are committed! Not only do you have the added benefit of truly being able to tailor your curriculum to your child, but your child will also benefit from one-on-one teaching. And since you only have one student, you’ll most likely find you can finish school a little faster than most which gives you a lot of opportunities to add in fun activities like field trips, and other hands on projects! It also gives you time to participate in other homeschooling groups which I’ll talk about below. I know … [Read more...]

JUN
30
2014

Homeschooling 101: Kindergarten & Elementary

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Hi everyone! I’m back today with another Homeschooling 101 post.  Today we’re talking about homeschooling kindergarten and elementary level students.   Make it fun! Elementary years can be an exciting time. Students at this age are eager to learn new things, but might also start to become reluctant when things start to get harder. With homeschooling you have the flexibility to take subjects that might otherwise be somewhat boring, and turn them into hands-on type activities that make the learning process much more exciting and memorable. Now that your student has entered into elementary school, you will need to check with your state laws regarding curriculum, subject requirements, testing, and any other regulations that might be relevant to your area. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take the opportunity to make it fun. With a little bit of planning, you can add in relevant hands on projects, lap booking, note booking, field trips, science experiments, and anything else … [Read more...]

JUN
16
2014

Homeschooling 101: Preschool

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Hi everyone! I’m back today with another Homeschooling 101 post.  Today we’re talking about homeschooling preschool students.   Homeschooling Preschool Homeschooling a preschooler is probably one of the most exciting times. They’re excited to learn, and keeping school fun at this age is a must! While there aren’t any specific curriculum requirements for preschool, I encourage you to focus on creating a love of learning and keep your curriculum to the basics. Preschool is the perfect time to start because you and your child will have the opportunity to grow and learn together. In essence, preschool is a very forgiving year. It’s a time to try new things, enjoy time with your child, create fun art, make mistakes, change the way you do things, get a schedule figured out, and in a nutshell get acclimated to homeschooling. I like to use the preschool year to help students get used to a little more formal schedule without the pressure of having to do a certain amount of … [Read more...]

MAY
26
2014

Homeschooling 101: Babies & Toddlers

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I’m back today with another Homeschooling 101 post for you! Today we’re talking about homeschooling with babies and toddlers in tow. I know this can be a challenging time, and I encourage you to set a schedule that works for your family during this time. Don’t worry about what other families might be doing!   Homeschooling with babies and toddlers in tow is a common occurrence for homeschoolers. And while it can be slightly daunting trying to teach math while nursing a baby, and trying to occupy a busy toddler, I can assure you it can be done. As mentioned previously, flexibility is a key point in homeschooling. Depending on the year, school might need to be arranged to fit the needs of the younger ones in your home. Here are some tips and tricks to homeschooling with younger children in your midst. Include your toddler I know it might sound crazy, but my number one tip to homeschooling with toddlers is to include them in your lessons whenever possible. Even … [Read more...]

MAY
19
2014

Homeschooling 101: Standardized Testing

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It’s that time of the year again! Time for the dreaded  T E S T I N G. So for today’s Homeschooling 101 post, we’re going to dig into the details of standardized testing and homeschooling! Are you excited? You should be because I’m here to encourage homeschoolers everywhere! Testing isn’t as bad as you think, and YES YOU CAN DO IT!   As with everything, you’ll want to start by checking your state requirements to determine if standardized testing is required. Some states offer testing or yearly assessments which are less stressful for the student, so it is good to know what your requirements are. I prefer to test regardless of my state requirements because I use the tests to gauge how well my students are doing. We choose to test annually starting in 2nd grade. In my state testing is required starting in 3rd grades and every odd grade after that. I begin in 2nd grade to give my students a “trial run” test. This allows them to get used to the test itself as … [Read more...]

MAY
12
2014

Homeschooling 101: Discipline

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I’m back today with another Homeschooling 101 post for you! These posts are for people who are thinking about homeschooling but don’t know where to start. They’re all about sharing information on getting started, choosing curriculum, organizing your home, and staying the course! Today we’re going to talk about homeschooling and discipline. Discipline can be a touchy subject, and so I’ll share how we do it, but please feel free to use whatever works best in your home and with your family. The key to discipline in your homeschool is to be consistent. Reward good behavior, and have consequences for poor choices.     Homeschooling is a very exciting and scary venture for most parents. And once we get over the scary part, we move into the excited phase! We pick our curriculum, organize school areas, get new supplies, and have an overall sense of thrill for our first day of school. Our children are often just as excited as we are about a fun new year! However, as … [Read more...]

MAY
05
2014

Homeschooling 101: Teaching Multiple Grades

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Hi everyone! I’m back today with another Homeschooling 101 post for you! Today we’re going to talk about the inevitable teaching multiple grades all at the same time. It’s one of the biggest challenges in homeschooling, but fear not, it can be done!   Four children = Four Grade Levels Oh My! Depending on your homeschooling family, you may find yourself needing to teach more than one grade level simultaneously. While this may seem like an overwhelming situation, with a little preparation and patience you can successfully teach multiple grades. Here are some tips to teaching multiple grade levels at the same time. As most of you know, we have four children, and this year has been the first year that I’ve really had four different grade levels going all at once. I’m not gonna lie to you, it can slightly overwhelming! But with a little prep work and a few tips from this veteran homeschooling mama, we can make it work!   Group Work: I suggest that you try to do as … [Read more...]

APR
07
2014

Homeschooling 101: First Day of School

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Hi everyone! I’m back today with another Homeschooling 101 post for you! Last time around we discussed Storage Solutions and  Organization. And today we’re going to talk about the inevitable FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL!   Once your curriculum is ordered, lessons are planned, the work area is organized and ready, it’s time to start school! Typically students and teachers are excited for the first day and it’s no different in your homeschool. To help foster our excitement I let students help to set up the school room, purchase supplies, and organize their work area. Once it’s officially time to start school, everyone is excited and ready to go! Some people like to start school on a Wednesday, so they’re only doing three days the first week, then break for the weekend, and then start in on Monday with a full week of lessons. I typically start on Monday, but keep the first day light and fun. Remember, there is not one “right” way to homeschool, and what works for one … [Read more...]

MAR
31
2014

Homeschooling 101: Homeschool Storage Solutions

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Hi everyone! I’m back today with another Homeschooling 101 post for you! Last time around we discussed Student Organization. And today we’re going to talk about homeschool storage solutions and a few extra things too!     Student Work Long Term Storage. The records you are required to keep will be determined by your state requirements. Most states do not make you keep everything for each year. However, many will request an attendance sheet showing hours and days completed for each student. Some states will also require a list of curriculum used each year as well. Find out what your state laws are before you delve into the practice of storing all of your student’s work. You’ll find that it adds up quickly and many of us don’t have the storage space required to keep all of everything over the years. For the time being, I have chosen to keep our work for my own fond memories. I also have a hard time throwing out a full year’s worth of sweat and tears! So for … [Read more...]

MAR
24
2014

Homeschooling 101: Student Organization

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  Hi everyone! I’m back today with another Homeschooling 101 post for you! Last time around we discussed Teacher Organization, so today we’re going to talk student organization!   Organize Student Daily Workload Most of you know I’ve used some form of the workbox system developed by Sue Patrick for the past several years. I have to say that organizing our daily work has been a sanity saver for me. Put, the workbox system is a way to organize all of the daily school work for your student. You can use rolling carts, plastic crates, file folders, accordion files, or whatever else fits your needs. See a workbox video tutorial here. Here is a close up of my Vika Alex Drawer Units $79.00. There are only 5 drawers in these, so right now we’re putting two subjects in a couple of the bottom drawers. Using this organizational system, you will keep everything needed for one subject into each drawer, file folder, or whatever organizer you choose. That way … [Read more...]