December is a great month for crafts. Yes, crafts! A lot of parents may think that older kids do not like to make crafts, but that is far from the truth. Crafts are one of those activities that you can never be too old for. Plus, they are a great addition to any art curriculum. Personally, holiday crafts are my favorite to do. We consider ourselves a Christian homeschool family, but I also like to have fun with Santa Clause. So, we like to do two crafts during this time. One to celebrate the “reason for the season” and one to be festive. If you would also like to enjoy some holiday craft time this season you can easily find fun holiday crafts with a simple internet search. Happy Holidays Everyone!
As your child gets older, their school work will get more difficult. When I am talking to other homeschooling parents, math is probably the main subject I hear the most complaints about. Many parents forget how important math vocabulary is. If kids do not understand the math language, they will be lost, making it that much harder for them to advance. My advice is to remember education is not a race. It isn’t about how fast they get through the material, but that they learn the material. Adding the pressure of a timeline can cause math anxiety, which can actually make it harder for children to learn. Yes, we want our children to progress at a steady pace, but we also want them to learn in a way that improves their self-confidence too. So, what I am saying is- Take your time, be patient with your children, and make sure that your child has mastered each step before moving forward
If you have an 8th grader, who isn’t keen on creative writing, then helping them find an area of interest is important to help them find their creative juices. A topic that grabs your child’s interests, can give them the creative writing help they need. With it being the month of October, you could use a fall theme. If you participate in Halloween, your child could also use this as inspiration, as there are so many different ideas they can use to write their story. I know that my child is going through a vampire phase. Thank you Twilight, lol. At the moment, she is using the vampire topic, as her current writing assignment. Allowing your child, to pick what they want to write about, can really help them find their love of writing.
Does your 8th grader want a place to hang out and chat with other kids who homeschool? As parents, we want to provide our kids opportunities to socialize. Of course, it can be hard if you live in an area that is rural or does not have many other homeschooling families.
So, what is this place where kids can socialize, no matter where they live? Time4Friends! What exactly is T4F? It is a “Facebook-like” social network, created by Time4Learning, which provides teens with the unique opportunity to socialize with fellow homeschooling students of Time4Learning. Some of the cool features of T4F, is that students are able to create their own custom profile and can communicate via news feed, a forum, and/or live chat.
It is that time of year again. The time when public/private schools and some homeschoolers in general, begin their new school year. However, for those of us who homeschool year-round, it’s just another homeschool month. Even though, I am not changing our core curriculum or starting a new school year, I would still like to join the crowd of people sharing what they will be using for core this year. I know I always enjoy reading what others are using and I know that it is always nice to get ideas or suggestions on what to use, especially if you are new to homeschooling.
The core curriculum that we use is called Time4Learning. There are so many reasons why we continue to use this program. It’s a flexible and affordable curriculum. I like how I can pay month to month and can change grade levels at will. This allows us to school at our own pace. I also like that it is a Pre-K through 12th grade curriculum. Knowing that I do not have to change our homeschool curriculum for high school, unless I choose to, is such a stress reliever.
Does your 8th grader like to get online? Silly question, right? Most teenagers today have some way of accessing the internet. Unfortunately, most of the time they are online may be unsupervised. Of course kids do sneak around behind parents backs, but in some circumstances, parents forget that older kids need to be monitored. Even though they look like mini adults, they are not. Their brains have not yet matured to be able to foresee consequences. That is why at this age it is still super important that we as parents, make sure they understand that Internet safety for kids is no joke. So, what can you do to keep your kids safe while on the internet?
- Talk with your kids. Explain the dangers.
- Supervise them. Of course, I am not saying be a helicopter parent, but when they are in your sight, it doesn’t hurt to look at their screen or ask them what they are doing.
- Check their search histories. I know that some may argue invasion of privacy, but until your child is an adult, this argument isn’t valid in my book.
- Search filters! There are many you can buy, and some that are free. They can help protect your child from websites and images that are not appropriate.
Summer is here! Last month, I talked to you about homeschooling year-round. Maybe you have decided that you would like to try it, but are wondering how exactly to do it, especially if you have already finished up your last school year’s curriculum. No need to feel stressed, the good news is there are a few options I can suggest for you.
- Go ahead and purchase/start your next grade in your homeschool curriculum.
- You can purchase an online summer school program to use until you ready to start your regular curricula.
- Unit Studies are easy and a fun way to let kids learn about interest led topics.
- Learning games! Until you’re ready to start the next grade year, you can always have your child play education games.
- Roadschooling! Trips to places can be a great learning opportunity; Museum, National Park, Zoo, Beaches, etc.
Do you homeschool year-round? Whether you are new to homeschooling or have always homeschooled on a public school schedule. If you have always provided education the way the public school system did for you when you were a kid and/or your children in the past years, then the idea of homeschooling year-round may seem odd to you. You may even be wondering why would anyone want to. Am I right? There are many reasons why parents are now choosing to homeschool year-round. Below are 5 top reasons.
1. By educating year-round, you can choose shorter days or shorter weeks, since you will have more of the year to complete everything.
2. Since, there is no rule saying you must take months off at one whack, you can choose when you want to take time off: a day here, a week there, etc.
3. Children many need more help in certain subjects, have learning disabilities, etc. They need more time to learn.
4. Some families want their children to finish their education as quickly as possible. By schooling year-round, your child could finish more than one grade a year.
5. By educating without taking long breaks, it helps children from summer learning loss.
So, if you had not thought about or wanted to homeschool year-round before, I hope now that you might have 5 reasons to reconsider
Testing, Assessment, Grading, Accountability… all good things when kept in context. Recently, it seems as if we have allowed high stakes testing to rule education. It’s the proverbial switch, you know where the tail is wagging the dog. Testing is a way to see if students are learning… but it is only ONE way. For some reason, we have allowed authorities to place undue emphasis on single tests. This should never be. One test is simply looking at one little pocket of time in a student’s life. One test doesn’t accurately paint a picture of that students total year long achievement.
Accountability should be placed on student’s overall performance in school and on standardized tests.
Geography is that subject that sort of gets lost within history and social studies… but it is truly an important subject that deserves our attention. With budget cuts and high stakes testing, students have been missing out on detailed geography studies. The study of our world and where countries are located and the demographics for those countries help our students to have a global view of our world.
We see this often in the way European’s are educated. They know several languages, and all of the countries in Europe and Asia. They also visit most of them in the course of their lives. However, in the U.S. most people only know one language and rarely know countries other than Mexico and Canada. We can do better than this… let’s get our children hooked on knowing what exists in the world around them.