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
12
2014

Anatomy of a Homeschooling Room

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With the homeschool year starting again for us, I wanted to share some room organizing ideas with you all. I’ve previously shared my homeschool room in great detail and you can see those posts here. I even did a Homeschool Room Video Tour if you’re so inclined and have about 10 minutes to spare. But today I wanted to just highlight some of the key components of our homeschool room. Not because I think you need a dedicated homeschool room, but because I think there are definitely some important elements that will aid whatever area you’ve set aside for your educationally focused family. Is that the new politically correct term for homeschooling? “We’re educationally focused”. I don’t know. Anyhoo…I have a couple of ideas I wanted to share with you to help you get your homeschooling groove on!     1. Work Space. No matter where you choose to do school, your children will need some sort of decent space to work. This includes laying out books, … [Read more...]

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...]

AUG
04
2014

Homeschooling 101: Homeschooling on a Budget

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I’m back today with another helpful Homeschooling 101 post.  We’ve talked all about getting started, choosing and gathering curriculum, homeschooling through various grade levels, and today we’re talking about homeschooling on a budget.   Homeschooling is flexible in so many ways, and that includes budgetary concerns. There are many options for homeschooling on a budget. Here are some things to consider when creating a homeschooling budget: Curriculum (most likely the greatest expense) Testing Fees Printing or Copying Costs Building a Home Library School Supplies Extracurricular activities or lessons Annual State Conventions Technology Aids There are so many ways to save money and homeschool successfully. Below I’ve listed a few ideas to help get you started! Use your library Not only does the library have an expansive selection of materials, it can be successfully used to build an entire curriculum if you take the time. Along with books, … [Read more...]

JUL
21
2014

Homeschooling 101: High School

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I’m back today with another Homeschooling 101 post.  Today we’re talking about homeschooling through highschool.   Homeschooling through the upper grades can be an overwhelming and intimidating thought that can create alarm in some of the most relaxed homeschooling parents. So I wanted to start off this post by encouraging you. YOU CAN DO IT! Aside from the academics required, your primary goal is to prepare your student for their adult life. Homeschooling can help continue to build a bond with your student, and cement your relationship during a tumultuous time in their lives. Having a parent they can count on for training and sound advice will have eternal rewards when it comes to their future. Homeschooling through high school can also allow students to experience more things without the confinements of a classroom setting. You’re free to get out and actually participate in various things that interest them, along with learning in a more hands-on fashion. You … [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...]