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Society. Learning and home learning. Homeschoolers

How to?

    Locate other homeschoolers in your area and try to get a feel for their interest in this undertaking. Most likely, they will be happy to have a group of like-minded people to consult and socialize with. You may need to put an advertisement in your local newspaper, flyers at the teacher supply store and online announcements in relevant newsgroups. Slowly, you will find a core group of people who share this interest.
You will have the most people in your group if you decide to be all-inclusive, as opposed to requiring members to be of a specific faith or non-faith. Also, as homeschoolers tend to be on a budget, it is not a good idea to charge dues. What you will want to do is develop a mission statement, which can go on all of your communications, including an email newsletter. You will also want to designate one or two contact people for the group. Also decide upon a time and location where a monthly meeting can be held for parents to put together a calendar of events for the following month. Many churches and libraries are willing to let you use classrooms or conference rooms for free or a very nominal fee. Once you have done this, put together an online bulletin board or subscribe to Yahoo Groups so that members may easily meet each other, have discussions and ask questions. You may then use that venue to announce upcoming events.
    What makes a homeschooling group great is what it offers to the homeschooling community. Consider a lending library, co-op classes, a membership business directory and a steady stream of events that cater to children of varying ages, as homeschooling families have children of all ages.
Perhaps the most difficult thing about homeschooling your own children is the potential for lack of interaction with other children who are in or close to their age group. Scheduling a series of group activities will be one of the most important things that your group will do. Try organizing a Park Day once or twice a month. Schedule regular field trips to go roller-skating, to the zoo, to a museum or other events. Try to schedule field trips that are free or that are very inexpensive. Gradually, families will get to know one another and will begin to offer their own events, as well. For example, you will be able to find parents who are willing to teach groups of students creative writing, conduct hands-on science experiments and generally introduce your children to other interesting topics. Another thing that some homeschooling groups do is perform community service. You may want to schedule one day a month for kids to volunteer at the local food bank, or to participate in community clean-up initiatives.
    A homeschooling support group will not only offer support to its members, but will be a resource for other parents in the community as well, who may be wondering about their legal right to homeschool, or what is available in the community for homeschoolers. Your group can serve as a guide for those who are interested in homeschooling but who aren’t quite sure how to go about it.
    Offshoots of the larger group may form, such as specific social groups for teenage homeschoolers, sports clubs or a chess club. Co-ops also frequently arise. A co-op is a group of homeschooling families who get together and teach each other’s children. For example, one parent may teach art, while another may teach writing and yet another math skills. Co-ops are usually not full time; they may be held one morning a week, or three mornings a week. There are a few that are very well organized and run full-time, but this is rare, and requires a large community with a great deal of interest and commitment.

Is home schooling for you?

    Home schooling is an educational choice that requires careful evaluation. Here are tips for consideration to help you make a prudent decision.
More parents are choosing to home school their kids than ever before. Reasons include fear of school violence, plunging standardized test scores, and diminishing values in public education.
While home schooling can be an effective educational option for many families, take time to carefully evaluate the pros and cons of developing a home school program for your child. Here are some points to consider:
  • In families that home school their children, typically the mother provides most of the instruction or supervises children's schoolwork. Fathers, on the other hand, chauffeur kids on field trips and to sporting events, and supplement the mother's instructional efforts by filling in as needed. There is no "set" method, though, so each family may choose its own way of doing things. Even single parents can home school, but it can be challenging to go it alone.
  • Home school curricula must be approved by the city or county Board of Education to be sure it teaches similar material as that which is offered in the public school system. In addition, tests and projects must be scored appropriately and with integrity so that home schooled kids don't get extra opportunities to revise or redo assignments that public school students do not have.
  • Extracurricular programs like sports, music, and art can be arranged in various ways. Some home schooling families exchange such services with other families. For example, a parent with art background can provide a weekly lesson to several home schooled children in the community in exchange for another parent offering writing instruction, and still another providing cooking, music, or auto mechanics training. Local libraries may offer similar classes at little or no cost. Some parents take their kids to the community high school for special classes like these to supply a classroom experience as well as the desirable subject material.
  • Home schooling materials and their costs can vary. Some programs provide workbooks at $4.00 each and answer sheets for $2.00, along with score keys. Others offer videos or computer programs for perhaps $200 that can accommodate and thus be shared by several children. Browse several programs online to find one that best suits your child's learning needs.
  • Parents should be prepared to supplement additional learning experiences that public education typically provides. These might include museum visits, field trips, competitive team sports, and literature or drama. Bookstores and libraries can supply materials to help parents get a feel for their new role as home educators.
  • Home schooling is not for everyone. Some kids learn well on their own in a quiet home environment. Others do better in an interactive classroom with up-to-date technology and a variety of learning methods. If home schooling does not bring out your child's best efforts and lead to good results in the form of grades and pride in academic achievements, be prepared to consider another educational option, such as private or public school.

Free home school curriculum

Choosing curriculum is one of the first steps in preparing for home school.
So, you’ve decided that home school is right for your child and wonder what to do next. One of the next steps is choosing the curriculum. The curriculum must suit your child. No one curriculum suits all children. For example, some children require a “hands on” learning style, while others don’t. It may also take a combination of the both learning styles.
The best way to choose a curriculum is to find a home school store which carries a wide variety of them. Once in the store grab a cup of coffee, a chair to sit in and look through all possibilities for your child’s grade. Look for learning activities that will teach your child, yet keep them intrigued and coming back for more. It may take a couple trips of a couple hours each to look through all materials.
If there is not a home school store in your location, you must regroup and search the Internet for different companies. Most companies will mail a catalog free of charge. The downside to this option is you cannot thoroughly look over the material and you may end up paying shipping and handling. Some companies have catalogs compiled of many different curriculums. This proves to be helpful if you are choosing a different curriculum for each subject.
Another good resource for choosing a curriculum is another home school family. They may have tried a variety of curriculums, and can give you a run down on each. If they still have the books, you can look through them. You can find other home school families through local home school groups/newsletters and the Internet.
One final thought, keep in mind an approximate curriculum budget. There is a wide range of prices when it comes to curriculums. Just because it is expensive, doesn’t mean its better than the one with less cost. Just remember, purchasing curriculum may be a trial and error processPurchasing curriculum will be a trial and error. In the beginning.

Tips for stay-at-home parents: Are you capable of home schooling your children?

Homeschooling your children can be as simple or difficult as you make it. Just follow your children's cues and watch them take an interest in the world.
It really is true. You do not need to be a certified teacher or have any formal college education to be able to homeschool your children. What you do need is the desire to give them the finest education you can offer and the motivation to stick with your projects.
Depending on the ages of your children, computer CDs are a great place to start their learning adventure. All the way from toddler to young adult, computer graphics can fascinate your children while you watch them gain enthusiasm for learning, right in their own home. Surf the Internet or shop your local discount and office supply stores for the wide array of educational cds available.
Another great place to start teaching your children is through the simple use of story books. Again, beginning with toddlers, books provide the greatest way to teach our children how to learn about their world. In creative stories, your children will learn anything from the basics of manners to more advanced knowledge like scientific discoveries and current events. Since new books are often very expensive, particularly hard-cover ones, shop used bookstores and keep your eyes open for any garage sales which might have some books available.
Magazines also offer a variety of learning adventures for your children. Animal stories are among the favorites for little ones and older kids will enjoy more adventuresome reading. Either way, magazine stay current and each issue offers something different in learning.
Don't discount the educational quality of television either. There are many great programs for children to learn through like Animal Planet, Discovery and local public broadcasting shows. Limiting the time spent watching television is as essential as choosing the best programs for your children.
And last but not least, you can provide the greatest learning experiences with your children just by observing the world around you. Take your children's interest in life and turn it into homeschooling. From the bees buzzing around your back deck to the birds that have built a nest in your front yard. The whole world abounds with learning opportunities it just takes your dedication to finding them and sticking with your children's interests as they grow.

Home schooling Tips: Lessons to bring education to life

Home school lesson guide with suggestions to supplement any educational program. Hands-on learning experiences for children brings life to dull material.
Homeschool families far and wide have an array of curriculum and lesson plan options available. Whether parents need a tightly planned and detailed set of lessons, or prefer to develop lessons from a loosely developed curriculum, homeschoolers at either end of the curriculum scale can benefit from ideas designed to spark greater interest in the student and ease the educational burden of the parents.
Straight lessons, taught and learned within the confines of four walls and a roof, can become boring and tedious in a heartbeat. But learning doesn't have to be that way. Adding some twists and turns, and a change of scenery now and then, can bring delight to a child's face and a breath of fresh air for weary parents.

For a change of pace, take a tour of your hometown. Talk to the kids about the different places they see, the kinds of people they meet, and the different activities going on in the world around them.
Take time for a nice meal out, maybe a picnic in the park, where you can sit and discuss the things you all have experienced. After you've talked about the possibilities for future study and investigation, let the kids out for some much needed play and fresh air.
Later, while the kids are hitting the books, parents can make some phone calls and arrange for some on-site visits, interviews, and hands-on experiences for the kids.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Take a tour of your local police department, and let the kids learn how the law works from the professionals on the street. Or explore the fire fighting equipment at a local fire station and see what it's like to live in a firehouse, never knowing when an alarm will send the firefighters out of bed and flying towards the fire trucks and the dangers they face daily.
Interview local senators and representatives, and take a tour of local courthouses or the state capitol, so the kids can see how laws are made. Talk with a judge and sit in on a court case in progress. Let them learn the criminal justice system in a personal and friendly way.
In addition to fire and police, take the kids on a tour of a local EMS/Ambulance service and hospital. See what really happens when emergencies happen. Let the kids learn a little more about what is involved in medical careers.
Set up tours and interviews with a number of different professionals around your community, to learn about business and business life. Check out the newspaper offices, photography studios, bakeries, building contractors and carpenters, television and radio stations.
Visit museums, space centers, college classes, historic homes, sites and buildings. Go to concerts and to the theater, and visit military bases. Go to a zoo or aquarium, and ask for a behind-the-scenes tour. It never hurts to ask. And the educational possibilities go so far beyond the traditional books. The list is endless.
And, don't forget to make good friends with your local library, not to mention any available college or university libraries. This is an aspect of homeschooling that rarely needs to come as a reminder. Homeschoolers many times live for trips to the library. Students learn research skills that will be invaluable in the years ahead.
Taking education out of the house (or classroom, for that matter) is almost a guarantee to ensure your students come away with lasting impressions. Reading about law, art, space, or history can take a gifted student far, if the student is able to make the reading come alive. But even the gifted students can benefit from a little hands-on learning. How much joy it is to see that child's face alight with the joy of learning.
Learning can, indeed, be fun.

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