Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Avoid Homeschool Burnout

Your family can avoid homeschool burnout by discussing what is still enjoyable each day and what is not. Try these tips to reduce the chance of burnout in your homeschool:
  • Discuss what is working and what is not. Ask for suggestions and ideas to inspire and motivate learning.
  • Determine the ways your children learn best and use those learning methods.
  • Add more flexibility to your homeschool days, and take advantage of spontaneous learning opportunities.
  • Avoid over-scheduling your days. You need a good balance of quiet activities with the busy activities.
  • Add more fun and laughter to your homeschool lessons and homeschool activities.
  • Set aside homeschool curriculum packages or programs that are not interesting to your children. (If your children aren't interested, they won't learn as well.)
  • Switch from "busy-work" -- such as worksheets, writing assignments, or dull reading assignments -- to fun, hands-on learning projects and science experiments.
  • Try unit studies or "unschooling" for a while, rather than traditional subjects. Remember that "homeschool" is not "school at home." Experiment with different learning methods.
  • Ask children what they would like to learn this week, this month, this year. Encourage them to find and share fun ways to learn those things.
  • Take field trips to the library and allow children to check out books that appeal to them. Also guide them in selecting informative books that look interesting. Use those books as the backbone of your daily learning, and discuss the books you read.
  • Use arts and crafts as an excellent way to reinforce learning and to complement the topics you read, study, or explore.
  • Find online homeschool activities that promote family learning projects. Many interesting projects and activities are available at EverythingHomeschooling.com.
  • Reduce stress by lowering your expectations. Try not to do so much each day. Get support and help from others.
  • Have children record their daily lessons in their homeschool logs, organize their homeschool books and supplies, and clean up after homeschool experiments or learning projects.
  • Ask family members to help with daily chores around the home and to be responsible for specific aspects of the homeschool day.
  • Take time for yourself to relax and unwind. Spend at least an hour each day on something you especially enjoy, such as reading, painting, knitting, or sitting in the sunshine.
When you are rested, refreshed, and recharged, homeschooling will be easier, and children will be happier and will learn more! Happy homeschooling!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Start Homeschooling + Homeschool Activities + Unschooling Ideas

During the Christmas break, many families once again consider homeschooling. Here's a few things to keep in mind:

One of the first things you'll want to do is give your children some "down time" to decompress and to relax, after being in the school environment. There's no need to jump right into lessons today, or this week, or even next week. Just relax and enjoy being together.

Have lots of interesting discussions with your children, find out what their current interests are, and basically reconnect with who they are today. Ask for their ideas on things they'd like to learn, hobbies they'd like to try, things they'd like to build or create, etc.

Many children have lost the ability to think for themselves, after being in school. So allow them the freedom to relax for a while, to think for themselves, and to consider all the possibilities and opportunities now open to them, as a result of homeschooling.

Always keep in mind that homeschooling is not "school at home." Homeschooling is simply living and learning each day, in ways that are interesting for your child and fit your child's individual learning styles and goals. Yes, there will need to be some structure and organization to your days eventually, but focus on the above, first.

Other things, such as cursive writing and multiplication tables, can and will be learned in time. But, first, redeveloping a real interest and joy in learning is important for the child who has been in a school environment.

For lots of homeschool activities, homeschool lessons, unschooling ideas, and homeschool information, please visit us at EverythingHomeschooling.com.

Happy homeschooling!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Weekly Homeschool Lessons & Homeschool Activities

How do you find weekly homeschool lessons to keep your children actively involved in learning each day? New Weekly Homeschool Lessons are provided at EverythingHomeschooling.com.

It's simple, easy homeschooling, designed to make your homeschool run smoothly every day. It's a huge time-savings for you, too! The homeschool lessons and the homeschool activities are right there at your fingertips, any time, day or night! The research has been done for you, and your children can start learning and exploring right away, in a fun, interesting way.

At EverythingHomeschooling.com, we provide lessons for Grades K-2, or Grades 3-8, or Grades 8-12 Weekly Lessons for your children.

In addition, we provide Hands-On Activities, Homeschool Unit Studies, Virtual Field Trips, Writing Activities, Creative Thinking Activities, Unschooling Activities, Book Lists for Homeschoolers, Weekly Challenges, Science Experiments for all ages, and much more.

This site is here to make your homeschool experiences enjoyable, educational, and successful! Stay tuned!

Happy homeschooling!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Creating Homeschool Lessons & Homeschool Activities

It's not difficult to create Homeschool Lessons or Homeschool Activities. It starts with "wondering" and "thinking."

These are two critical abilities that some people "don't have time for" in their busy days. But it's imperative that people shift their priorities, so that they do, indeed, have plenty of time for wondering and thinking about a wide variety of topics each day. Especially homeschool families!

What is it that sets human beings apart from animals? "Wondering" and "thinking" are a couple of those elements that distinguish humans from animals.

Right there is a Homeschool Lesson, in itself. For your Homeschool Activities today, have children think of how many ways humans and animals differ from each other. Have them look at and compare pictures of both, research and consider instincts of both, wonder and think about the qualities of each species. Then write a descriptive paper on what they learned, along with drawings and illustrations, depicting some of the differences between humans and animals.

Wonder. Think. This is how Homeschool Lessons and Homeschool Activities are created, and enjoyed, and learned from.

Brainstorm with your children on more ideas that THEY would like to learn about. And, for more ideas and encouragement for your homeschool, be sure to visit EverythingHomeschooling.com!

Happy homeschooling!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Remove Child from School

About six weeks into the school year, I begin getting e-mails from parents who want to remove their child from school.

"My son is having problems in school. Can I take him out?"

"My daughter is being harassed in school. Can I withdraw her from school?"

Yes, and yes. No child HAS to go to a certain school. Every child CAN be educated at home.

So that you'll know your homeschool laws, check with your state's Department of Education. Don't rely upon information from your school or from the local school district. Call your state's Department of Education and request to speak with the Homeschool Department. (Every state Department of Education has a Homeschool Division.)

Armed with the information you receive from them, write a letter to your son's or daughter's school and explain that you are withdrawing them from school. There is no need to explain why, or to get into a lengthy discussion at your child's school, or try to "defend" your decision. At the same time, if you need to submit an "Intent to Homeschool" notice to your school's superintendent, you can do so. (The homeschool information you receive from the Dept. of Ed. will tell you if a Notice needs to be filed or not.)

Caution: If you start feeling overwhelmed by the legalese contained in the packet of homeschool information you receive from the State, don't let it bother you. Call your local homeschool support group, and they will explain what you need to do. It's truly much simpler than it sounds!

Once you have removed your child from the school system, the fun begins! And so does the learning! You'll be amazed at how much enthusiasm your child will begin showing for learning!

But FIRST, he or she will need to "decompress." This is a very important step that falls between the removal of your child from school and the beginning of the homeschool adventure.

Children are "conditioned" to function in a certain manner in school settings. When they are taken out of school, they need time to get used to NOT going to school. They need time to begin viewing their home as a place where their education will continue. They need to get a feel for how their days will play out in their home. They need a couple weeks -- sometimes more -- to get used to their new routine.

Don't worry. Your child won't "fall behind" during this decompression time. Many homeschoolers finish their homeschool year in half the time of a regular school year!

So go ahead, find out your state laws and withdraw your child from school. Then let the fun and learning begin!

If you need help or guidance, just contact us at EverythingHomeschooling.com.

Happy homeschooling!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Back to "HomeSchool"

August is "Back to School" month for some. For homeschoolers, it could be viewed as "Back to Homeschool" month.

However you think of it, one of the most important things to remember about homeschooling is that it's not "school at home."

Homeschool parents are scrambling right now to find the "perfect" homeschool supplies, the "most educational" curriculum, and some are even seeking teachers to teach their homeschooler and to grade assignments!

Please, parents, remember WHY you are homeschooling!

The reasons are varied, and each family has their own educational goals, objectives, and philosophies. Most reasons to homeschool have to do with family values, social issues, faith, flexibility, one-on-one learning, higher academic achievement, natural learning, unschooling as a way of life, and so on.

Whatever your reasons, avoid turning your homeschool adventures into a "school at home!"

For lots of fun and interesting homeschool activities, weekly learning ideas, reading suggestions, hands-on projects, thinking activities, and more, remember to visit us at EverythingHomeschooling.com.

Happy Homeschooling!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

How to Start Homeschooling

Many wonder how they can start homeschooling. What should they do first? Who should they contact? What should they buy?

A good place to start is with your local public library. They often help homeschoolers in a variety of ways. They usually keep a list of local homeschool groups or homeschool associations, too. Call or visit your library, and ask for a list of local homeschool groups or homeschool families.

Once you've spoken with some local homeschool families, you'll find out all you need to know about homeschooling in your area!

What should you buy? Really, you don't need to buy anything! You probably already have all you need right in your home and at your local library.

This summer, as you prepare for the upcoming homeschool year, spend some quality time talking with your children. Ask them what they'd like to learn this coming year -- whether they are 6 years old or 16 years old. Ask them for their ideas on how they might like to learn those things. They can come up with great, imaginative ideas, which we might've never considered.

The best "homeschool tools" are family discussions, imagination, creative thinking, brainstorming ideas, pursuing interesting topics and learning together, online access to educational information, and access to a world of information housed in your local library.

Those are the homeschool tools that make homeschooling successful, continuously interesting, and a joy to look forward to, year after year!

For more on "How to Start Homeschooling", click on our article here: EverythingHomeschooling.com.

Happy Homeschooling!