Sunday, March 20, 2011

Tips to Start off Right

Parents, who are new to homeschooling, ask me frequently what I would suggest that they did to start things off right. It really isn't just an easy cut and dry question. There are many things that I would suggest, but to sum things up there would be about five things that would be the most important.
  • Enroll in a homeschool school program or submit your declaration of homeschooling to your county.
  • Determine which homeschool curriculum you should use by matching it to the needs of your children. Look at their learning styles and determine what type of curriculum would make them fly!
  • Keep attendance records - remember you can count your field trip days!
  • Keep good grade records - try to make each child a year end report card. I keep their tests for a few years, as well.
  • If your current curriculum is a source of daily frustration... CHANGE IT! It's better to waste a little money (try to sell on ebay) than to suffer for a whole year.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Resources for Homeschooling II

In our last post, we mentioned the huge amount of great homeschooling teacher resources that are now available. Yes, it really gets confusing once you start looking! But, a few points of interest may help you understand what you need to be looking for.

1) There are many types of homeschool curriculum, but here are the main categories.
  • Text based - out of the box curriculum - This type of curriculum is usually workbook based and is comprehensive for all subjects and all grades. "Out of the box" simply means that it is ready to go right out of the box! A few examples would be ABEKA, Bob Jones, and Alpha Omega.
  • Computer based - This type of curriculum used DVDs or software to educate the student. The lessons may be computer based where the student reads them and then does activities or answers questions to practice the information learned. A DVD or prerecorded lesson is a program where there was a teacher that taught the course and someone recorded them while they were teaching a live class. Many homeschoolers like this method because it makes the student feel like they are in a class. A few examples of this are ABEKA DVDs, Switched on Schoolhouse, and Bob Jones Hard drive.
  • Online Curriculum - This type of curriculum is totally based online. It is "live" or synchronous education. The student is being taught by something that is happening at that moment. This method of education is very easy for the parent, in that the parent just "directs" what the student is learning. Most online curriculums also offer the parents record keeping options. This allows the parent to see how the child is doing, and also gives them the option to make the child go back and do over the lessons that they did poor on. A few examples of these would be Time4Learning, and K-12 education.