Posts in Category: Uncategorized

Looking Forward to Another Year

Two of our grandchildren are visiting today. They are so sweet, cuddly, and full of ENERGY!

Seeing the “next generation” has made me think more about how homeschooling has changed . . . and will change.

Right now homeschooling is both classical and futuristic, at the same time.

Some parents are teaching their children Latin and Greek, studying ancient texts, and concentrating on polished handwriting, diction, deportment, and rhetoric.

Some parents are going online with smartphones and tablets for lessons from math and science to English grammar and world history.

Often, they are the same parents!

Of course, quite a few families are sticking with “tried and true” textbooks, workbooks, and “living books” that kids can hold in their hands and flip through the pages.

Hands-on activities are also popular: science experiments, art projects, music lessons, real-world skills such as knitting and woodworking . . .

And then there is the entire real world of museums, zoos, farmer’s markets, community theatre, and so many other ways that homeschooled children are involved in community life, including clubs and sports activities of all kinds as well.

With such a rich menu of ways to homeschool, what can the future bring?

I’m excited to find out – and to tell you all about it BEFORE it happens, in the pages of your favorite magazine!

—Mary Pride, Publisher of Practical Homeschooling® magazine

Best Homeschool Year Ever! It’s Who You Know . . .

This is an exciting time to homeschool. There is more help, more support, more resources, and more opportunities for homeschoolers than ever before!

Today’s topic is “who you know” – in other words, where to get in touch with reliable help from veteran homeschoolers, as well as meeting others who have similar questions and needs.

MEET THE POSSE
Your state homeschool group not only defends your ongoing right to homeschool (very important!), but also typically offers a website with great “how to get started” resources and one or more large conferences yearly, where you can see new curriculum in person and meet the “movers and shakers” of homeschooling.

Local homeschool groups now include both traditional homeschool support groups and co-ops, as well as (often) local homeschool sports teams!

To find your state or local homeschool group, click here.

In addition, you can ask your questions online at the world’s most popular Facebook page for homeschoolers here (yes, it’s ours!) or our online forum. In our forum, you can also find neatly organized previous discussions on many helpful topics.

Glad to meet you, and I’ll be seeing you online!
—Mary Pride, Publisher of Practical Homeschooling® magazine

Catching up over the summer

Is your child “behind”? By which I mean, “Is there still curriculum you haven’t covered yet for the current school year?”

If this is your situation, take a breath. You’re not alone! I’m going to explain how to handle this common problem.

Life hands us all kinds of interruptions, from family medical emergencies to beautiful days too nice to stay inside. However, we have the whole summer before us. Here are some things to consider:

    • Schools often don’t finish the entire book. If you cast your mind back to your own school experience, often the year ended with some chapters undone. This wasn’t the end of the world, because the next school year always started with a month of review.
    • Homeschool doesn’t have to be completed during the “school” year. You have 90 days of summer (more, if you count Saturdays). The kids can still get lots of afternoon outdoors play even if you spend the mornings catching up.
    • You’re in it for the long haul. Will your child be able to read and write well by the end of 12th grade? If so, he or she will surpass a large percentage of “schooled” children right there.
    • If you’re really behind, ruthlessly prune any time-wasting (even if “fun”) activities. Also cut back on the number of math problems, if necessary. Try doing only odd-numbered problems. This way you can often do 2 or 3 days of work in one.
    • Though I hesitate to endorse products, and nobody is paying me for this, the Summer Bridges workbook series is a quick way to catch up on the basics over the summer. These inexpensive workbooks are available at discount through various publishers, and provide a way to review an entire school years’ work in the summer months. You can also use them to focus on what hasn’t been taught yet.

There still will be time to catch fireflies and go swimming. That’s educational, too!

“Is it too late to withdraw my child this school year?”

Often parents whose children are facing serious trouble at school – bullying, meltdowns, physical illnesses, for example – ask us if it’s “too late” to take their child out, or if they should wait until the semester is over.

We’ve posted this question several times on our Facebook page, and those who reply all agree – rescuing a child from a bad situation is a good idea. And there’s no benefit to waiting.

To find out your state’s rules on how to withdraw, find your state homeschool group here: http://www.home-school.com/groups. On each state page, the state groups are ABOVE the line, while local homeschool groups are BELOW the line.

Most state groups have a “Getting Started” page that explains any steps needed in order to withdraw your child and start homeschooling legally. And you can always ask additional questions on our Facebook page.