Saturday, October 17, 2009
Homeschool Curriculum Tips & Homeschool Activities
1. courses offered by an educational institution,
2. a list of all the courses of study offered by a school or college,
3. a program or plan of activities.
Your "homeschool curriculum" probably matches definition #3, above. New homeschoolers often become confused over "which curriculum to use" or "where to buy a curriculum."
In reality, a homeschool curriculum is simply "a plan of homeschool activities" that you use in your homeschool. It need not be an expensive curriculum, nor does it need to incorporate textbooks or workbooks.
Homeschoolers can use textbooks and workbooks if they'd like. But it certainly isn't necessary.
Your child will learn more readily and more fully when you and they homeschool in a manner that best complements their own unique learning styles. Spend a bit of time determining your child's own learning style. Consult the book, Discover Your Child’s Learning Style, by Mariaemma Willis. Then, based upon your child's learning style, create your own curriculum -- your own program or plan of homeschool activities.
Remember: Homeschooling is not a school at home. Don’t confuse yourself or your children, thinking that it should be. You’ll only make it harder on yourself.
As John Holt warned: “To parents I say, above all else, don’t let your home become some terrible miniature copy of the school. Live together, as well as you can; enjoy life together, as much as you can. Ask questions to find out something about the world itself, not to find out whether or not someone knows it.”
Remind yourself each day that your duty is to guide your child, not force instruction upon him. Your role is to help him learn how to learn and to encourage him to seek answers to questions, find materials and information that will help him learn, explore the things that interest him, and find new and challenging ways to learn.
This, then, will be your family's homeschool curriculum!
For more help with creating your own homeschool curriculum, using homeschool activities, or hundreds of educational ideas for weekly homeschool lessons, see our Home page at EverythingHomeschooling.com.
Monday, July 6, 2009
Summer Learning: Retaining Skills and Knowledge
It's been noted that school children lose about 2 months of knowledge over the summer. As a result, school teachers spend 4 to 6 weeks re-teaching material that students forget during the summer.
Homeschooled children have an advantage over traditionally schooled children during the summer months. Here's a few reasons why:
1. Homeschooled children are accustomed to learning every day, whether it's a weekday, weekend, holiday, or vacation. Learning is simply a natural part of each day, just like eating, sleeping, playing, living.
2. Homeschooled children have a sense of responsibility where their education is concerned. When learning is a natural part of each day, it ranks right along with brushing teeth, getting dressed, giving hugs, caring for others, helping friends or family, choosing a book to read, making something new, solving problems, and other daily activities. Education isn't something that occurs only at school. Rather, it's a natural part of a homeschooled child's everyday life.
3. Homeschooled children enjoy learning, they enjoy challenging themselves, and they enjoy finding new things to learn, whether it's summer, fall, winter, or spring. With the freedom and flexibility to explore a world of knowledge, they are off and running! One idea will lead to another, and -- just like a tree that branches out into new and varied directions -- the homeschooled child follows new topics that consistently branch off into areas of new knowledge and fascinating activities.
Join us at EverythingHomeschooling.com to share ideas on Summer Learning through our Message Board, or to see dozens of Summer Activities that have been suggested.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Vacations or day-trips can provide plenty of learning opportunities. It's usually easy to include geography, history, and science themes during most trips. Include math concepts, too, by figuring distances, speeds, miles per gallon, costs for attractions, lodging, meals, and the total cost for the entire vacation.
Even if you don't leave home, there's plenty of activities to keep children learning all summer long. Join your library's Summer Reading Program. Books can open doors to new worlds, new experiences, and new knowledge -- a wonderful way to gain an education!
Become involved in 4H or summer programs at the local Parks & Recreation Department. Try new hobbies. Try old hobbies! Take art classes, music classes, woodworking or weaving classes.
Visit local museums, nature centers, zoos, state parks, and other areas of interest. Then create crafts and activities based on the places you visited and the things you saw there.
Make a list of all the new things children want to learn, then learn them together. Jot down fun learning ideas on paper, cut them into strips, then place the strips into a jar. Draw a "learning idea" strip from the jar each day, then create fun ways to learn about the topic.
Use books, such as 365 Simple Science Experiments or The Everything Kids' Science Experiments Book for educational science projects. Check into the Summer Smarts Activities or the Summer Bridge Activities books, too.
Our EverythingHomeschooling.com site provides dozens of learning ideas! And new summer learning ideas are added all the time!
Friday, May 1, 2009
Homeschool Activities + Homeschool Lessons + Unschooling
It's a great time to try the "unschooling" method of homeschooling, too. Our site provides a section just for unschoolers or for those of you who would like to incorporate some of the unschooling strategies into your homeschools.
You might be so impressed with how much your children learn through "unschooling" over the Spring and Summer, you'll continue unschooling year-round! If so, come visit us often at EverythingHomeschooling.com, and watch for our expanded "Unschooling" section debuting soon on our Everything Homeschooling website.
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Successful Homeschool Activities
We hear from many parents who are thinking about homeschooling their children. Some of their most-pressing questions revolve around "grading" and "testing" their children. However, grading and testing are tools that are used for judging a large mass, when you, otherwise, do not have the time nor opportunity to determine a child's true knowledge, skills, and abilities, one-on-one.
Most tests simply show how well children do in taking tests. They are an indication of test performance, and little more.
When considering homeschooling or a homeschool curriculum, try not to become overly concerned about "grading" and "testing." "Grading" is done through discussing each day's learning experiences with your children. "Testing" is achieved through observing their strengths and weaknesses in the subjects and topics you've been covering.
Yes, tests can be "interesting" and quizzes can be "fun" when they are kept in perspective. But for determining your child's learning successes, you can focus more on discussions and observations to see, first-hand, how well your child is progressing or where he or she might need extra help.
For more insight, see EverythingHomeschooling.com.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
How to Start Homeschooling
When starting to homeschool your children -- the best place to start is WITH your children. Discuss what THEY want to learn, what they want to do, regardless of their age.
Remember that "homeschooling" is not "school at home." Rather, it is a natural part of living and learning each day. When families try to "school-at-home," both parents and children often end up disappointed, confused, or frustrated. That's why we are here for you.
Flexibility, variety, and fun ways of learning ARE the KEYS to successful home education.
If you're just starting out, it's helpful to check your state's homeschool regulations and see what they require. The state laws often sound intimidating, but generally they're quite simple to comply with. If you have questions about your state laws, please e-mail us.
In many cases, homeschool families keep a homeschool portfolio, which can include homeschool records. Our "Homeschool Forms" page includes printable Weekly Planner Sheets, Reading Logs, and other forms for our subscribers. For "Homeschool Forms" see EverythingHomeschooling.com. You may use the Forms if you are unschooling, deschooling, homeschooling, or eclectic-schooling.
To use our Weekly Lessons, see our Home page.
Go as far as your children would like to go with the activities -- and, most importantly, let them branch off into any other directions. That's the beauty of homeschooling -- pursuing amazing paths and new adventures sparked by one small idea.
Do the Weekly Challenges, the Hands-On Activities, the Daily Activities, Daily Writing Prompts, Field Trips, Unit Studies -- described on our Home page and designed to provide ideas and inspiration that are interesting, enjoyable, and educational. Write down the activities your children do on the Weekly Planner Sheets from our "Homeschool Forms" page. (Older children can write down the activities they do each day or each week, to save you time.)
The main goal of our site is "Click and Do." It's simple for working parents, single parents, stay-at-home parents. We provide hundreds of educational activities throughout each year.
Simply "Click and Do" the activities, and allow your children to learn, to explore, and to pursue the activities and special interests, or follow new ideas, as well. Help guide them along the exciting paths that inspire or enthuse them.
Feel free to e-mail us with your questions. Our contact information is on our Home page.
Friday, January 9, 2009
Homeschool Curriculum & Homeschool Lessons
This is one of the questions we're often asked at Everything Homeschooling.
Yes, we do!
However, different people have different concepts of what a curriculum is. By definition, a curriculum is "a course of study" or "a set of courses."
The Weekly Homeschool Lessons and Homeschool Activities at EverythingHomeschooling.com follow, or complement, the "Typical Course of Study" that most educational institutes follow across the nation.
Yet, even those educational curriculums will vary, depending on the regions or districts where the curriculum is being used.
What one probably means when asking if Everything Homeschooling provides a curriculum is: Do we provide a "packaged curriculum"?
A "packaged curriculum" is not the best educational resource for homeschooling your children.
Why not? Because every child is unique, every child has his or her own learning styles, and every child learns at his or her own pace. A "packaged curriculum," on the other hand, is not designed specifically for your individual child's learning style, pace, or interests.
At EverythingHomeschooling.com, we help YOU help your children learn, by providing Weekly Homeschool Lessons and Homeschool Activities that interest YOUR CHILDREN. Plus, this Homeschool Curriculum can be adapted to YOUR CHILD's individual learning styles and abilities, at any time.
The best Homeschool Curriculum is the one that captures your children's interests, keeps them wanting to learn more, and helps them retain what they've learned. This occurs when the homeschool lessons are fun, interesting, and hands-on. And also because the homeschool curriculum is adaptable, flexible, and varied -- to work for YOUR child!
This is the type of homeschool curriculum we offer at EverythingHomeschooling.com. It's easy to use, very affordable, and, above all, it helps to make your homeschool successful, interesting, and enjoyable, as well as educational for your child.