Rabu, 12 September 2012

Emergency Course Descriptions for Anxious Homeschool Parents

Some homeschool parents are really organized; they keep up with their high school course descriptions each year, so that when senior year arrives, they're ready to pop their student's comprehensive records into the mail with all those college applications, and sit back and wait for the scholarships to roll in. Then there's the typical homeschool parent, who just never seemed to get around to starting on those course descriptions...

If you find yourself sliding into that second category, now is the time to get caught up! Set aside just one weekend and you can pull together a pretty good comprehensive record in time for college application deadlines. Although this marathon approach is not the recommended way, here are a few helpful tips when you find yourself in a pinch and need course descriptions right away.

During this marathon weekend, take your transcript and expand it with as many details as you can from your memory, using any records you have, and adding as many details as you can. Even if you haven't kept records, you have kept some things. Perhaps you have receipts from your purchases which you can go through, and come up with as many details as possible of what you purchased.

If you keep a high school planning guide, which reflects each class your child takes each year, that will be a big help. If you start with the current year, that's usually the easiest to remember, and will encourage you to keep at it, all the way back to your child's freshman year.

There will be little things that you'll forget by doing it this way, because there is a lot to remember, but if you start with the current year, you'll remember that you did World History, which will probably prompt you to remember that you did American History last year, etc. List each curriculum or experience for each class on the planning guide, which is like a worksheet to help you fill out as many details as possible.

If you are completely unprepared for course descriptions and have no records of previous coursework, start by putting together a list of the classes you remember your student took. After you have that list, modify it into sentences, and if you can, change your sentences into paragraphs.

This is like having your child brainstorm ideas for an essay; take the list and just add some words in-between. Start with a writing prompt like "In this class, the student will utilize Saxon Algebra 1 practicing with 26 tests and 13 quizzes." Basically, just take what you've written in your list and write it into a whole sentence.

Cutting and pasting descriptions that others have already written will be a big help too. If your child is in a classroom situation, such as a co-op or an online course, you can use the description of that course in your own write-up. Do a Google search of the curriculum used, and edit it to reflect your student's experience.

Rabu, 22 Agustus 2012

Homeschoolers and College Dual Enrollment

Dual enrollment (attending community college while still in high school) has become a very popular trend among many homeschool students. After all, the chance to reduce college costs is pretty attractive! There are some great benefits to this choice, but I've found that many parents are unaware of the potential pitfalls when their 16 or 17 year-old student participates in classes designed for older adults.

Our sons attended community college when they were 16 and 17, and one of the most surprising things we experienced was the abundance of pornography. There was pornographic material for sale in the student bookstore right next to the engineering books (because presumably engineers are males). One parent told me that her daughter signed up for an English class, and one of the pieces required for reading was pornographic in nature.

During one of our son's foreign language classes, they showed movies of unclothed people, in order to "experience the French culture". In their speech class, the class and the teacher were great, but another student in class gave a speech that was pornographic in nature. My children were trying hard to act cool, but as a parent, I was pretty mortified that I put them into that situation.

At a college fair I went to, a representative from one community college took me aside and told me to give a message to homeschoolers, that their children are sitting next to adjudicated adults - people who have just been released from prison and registered sex offenders. Community college is an adult environment. There is no way that adjudicated adults can be refused admission.

We were also astounded by the vulgar language. One of the calculus teachers would drop the F-bomb when he spoke all the time. I think he was trying to be cool and trying to fit in with the group. It's important to note that not all teachers do all of these things; we just found these to be true.

Community college is similar to a public high school atmosphere without the moderation that comes from being with other children. At community college you will see people smoking without being concerned that they're smoking, people swearing, etc. They bring this content into the classroom because they're all primarily grown adults; it's not a children's environment.

Students who are perfectionists tend to have more difficulty in community college. This is not an academic problem, because they can get an A with little effort. The problem comes when students transition from community college to a university. When they go on to university, all of the sudden much more effort is required to earn an A. When they realize they didn't get A's because they were a genius, depression can be the result.

Rabu, 25 Juli 2012

Halloween Coloring Pages to Honor the Spirit of This Scary Festival

Halloween is a holiday celebrated every year on the night of 31st October, the day before Western Christian feast of All Hallows. Halloween can also be known by its different names such as hallowe'en, Samhain, All Hallow's Eve, Summer's End, Lamswool, Witches Night and Snap-Apple. Originated in Ireland, the festival is greatly celebrated in some other countries including USA, Canada, Japan, UK, Sweden, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland itself. It is a belief that the main reason behind celebrating All Hallow's Eve is to honor the dead.

Typical Halloween activities include costume parties, ghost tours, trick - or - treating, lighting bonfires, visiting haunted houses, apple bobbing, playing pranks, reading scary stories and watching scary movies. Earlier turnip was traditionally used as a symbol of Halloween to remember the souls but later pumpkin gain popularity due to its availability in the universe.

There are several activities for children associated with the Halloween festival. One such activity is Trick - or - Treat in which children in Halloween costumes of ghost, witches, devils or monsters visit houses asking for treats of candies, money etc. or a trick to perform mischief on the housemates if they do not give them a treat. Other activities such as apple bobbing, walnut shells are also enjoyed by the children. Addition to this, children do Halloween coloring which is a fun activity for all age kids. Halloween coloring pages is a good craft activity which is so simple to color that kids love to do and that can be hung all over to decorate the house for the Halloween party. These Halloween coloring pages have the scary sketches of ghosts, skeleton, monsters, goblins, pumpkin and witches which entertain kids. There are also available Halloween printable coloring pages that let children to take the printouts of the coloring pictures and use their creativity and imagination to color those beautiful pictures. There are times when the printer does not work properly or it might have lost all its ink at the same time kids are demanding of Halloween printable coloring pages, in that case there is a great collection of Halloween online coloring pages which allows children to color cool pictures of ghost or haunted house online. They just have to click on their favorite Halloween picture and once the page has loaded, pick the color from the palette and click on the picture to color it in.

The people of Ireland brought the tradition of carving the turnip on the occasion of Halloween but later on they discovered that it was easier to carve a pumpkin because of its extra large size. However, along with other coloring pictures, pumpkin coloring pages in a variety of pumpkin shapes and sizes are available for kids that can either be printed or colored online.

Rabu, 13 Juni 2012

Now Celebrate Thanksgiving With Fun-Filled Thanksgiving Coloring Pages

Thanksgiving is a special kind of holiday which is celebrated in a handful of countries around the world. It is mainly celebrated in the United States on the 4th Thursday in the month of November and on the 2nd Monday of October in Canada. The significance of celebrating Thanksgiving Day is to commemorate the sign of a good harvest being reaped by offering thanks to the gods. This is a traditional holiday that traces its roots back to the year 1621 when the pilgrims from Plymouth offered a great Thanksgiving to the gods for a good harvest in that year. Thanksgiving is observed as a religious and cultural tradition now days.

In today's world Thanksgiving Day is celebrated with the cutting of an over roasted Turkey which is the main dish during the dinner. Here families sit around the table and offer prayer and thanksgiving before feasting off on the turkey. All the family members come together for this one special occasion and since this holiday comes before Christmas it is celebrate with much pomp and fair as Christmas. There is also a tradition of family members and friends saying thanks to one another for all their help and support. It is usually offered as a toast to the person whom you referring to while thanking.

Thanksgiving Day has a special place for little children. Because people send many thanksgiving letters to their family members, friends and loved ones, there are also special cards available only for small children and kids for allowing them to write thanks to their loved ones in their own way. These are called as the Thanksgiving coloring pages. People send in thanksgiving coloring pictures too. These cards are available in all the books and gift shops. These cards consist of very simple drawings of a Father, Mother, Sister and Brother or a Family as a whole. What makes these cards more interesting is the fact that they are mere drawings and the kids are given coloring materials to color these drawings and write their own Thanksgiving message for their family members and friends. This a fun activity for the kids as they are busy engrossed with their coloring books while the parents can cook the thanksgiving dinner peacefully. There are specific but simple instructions on these pages and cards that allows the children to properly color the required drawings given on the pages. Also there are blank pages provided for the children where they can draw their own drawing and color them accordingly.

Due to the rush on Thanksgiving Day many parents do not get the time to buy these coloring books for their children. Hence another alternative is the Thanksgiving coloring pages. These pages are available online and one can download an entire sheet and print them for the kids. It is very easy because one has to just select the page of the specific image, download it and print it so that the kids can do their color accordingly. It's a time saving process.

Selasa, 15 Mei 2012

What Your Children Should Know When You Choose Home Schooling

Every so often we hear about parents deciding to home school their kids. Normally it sounds as if the parents were solely the ones who decided on it. While it is true that the parents should ultimately be the ones to make the decision to switch over to home schooling, the children should have a say in it as well.

They are the ones who would be most affected by it and so they should be aware of what they're getting into. Children should be made aware of the difference between home schooling and traditional education. They might not fully understand it yet, but they should be told.

As parents, here are some of the most important things that you should explain to your children about this:

Why?- You should explain to your children why you are choosing this for them and you should be honest with what you tell them. If you are switching them away from traditional schooling, then you should explain it long before you do the actual switch. If they have never known any other form of education then you should still explain things to them.

The Advantages- There are advantages to this and that is the reason why you decided to switch over to it. You have to explain things to them so that they would know why it is actually to their benefit that they are following a different education program from the other kids. They should see that they are actually getting something good out of the situation.

The Difference- Letting your child grow in ignorance of how the world works would not turn out well in the long run. You have to explain to them the way that traditional education works and how children learn in it. You have to answer their questions about it in an honest manner.

Ask Them- When you think that they can decide on their own, you need to ask them again if they would like to try traditional education. You should explain the advantages and disadvantages of doing so without exaggerating anything. They should know things as it is.

Exposure- You have to expose your children to the outside world as much as you can if you are going to decide that you want to home school them. You need to take them out to different places so they could learn from them.

Socialization- An important component of home education is the part where you would take them to meet other people. It is crucial that they should be able to socialize with children of their age as well as adults too. They should feel at ease when talking with other people.

The most important thing is that they should never feel that they are losing something because they are being home schooled. If anything they should feel the privilege of having the freedom to do a lot of things that other children cannot do. That should be one of your aims when you decide to get in your kids.

Jumat, 20 April 2012

How to Decide If Home Schooling Is for You

You might have been attracted to the prospect of home schooling your kids. It is likely that you have seen or heard about parents who talked about the benefits of this form of education and that drew your attention and interest towards it. You want to be able to give the same benefits to your kids.

The problem is that it is not all about benefits. There are also some very real disadvantages to this form of education. You have to be aware of those just as you are aware of the advantages.

Here are some steps that you can follow in deciding if you should switch to home schooling for your children:

· First of all, you should ask yourself why you are considering home schooling for your children. Is it because you want them to have freedom? Is it really for them or are you the one who will benefit from it?

· You should ask yourself if that is something that you can handle. It might mean more freedom for your kids but it would also mean a great amount of responsibility on your part. Is that something that you can handle?

· Try to connect with other parents who are into home schooling their children. There are groups for that in most areas and they would welcome your inquiries. Ask them about everything that you want and need to know about this form of education.

· Tell your children about home schooling and ask their opinion about it. You should never go ahead and switch to this form of education without telling your children first because they are the ones who will be affected by it the most. If they do not agree to it then don't go ahead.

· There are many curricula that are currently available now for home schooling. Search for the one that fits you and your kids. Pick the one that can really help them to improve as well rounded individuals.

· Do some research and if possible undergo training on the proper teaching methods. Remember that you will be taking on the role of your kid's teacher and that is not a simple task. You have to be as well prepared as your children for the change.

· Prepare a room in the house that will serve as their classroom. It is never a good idea to just use the other rooms when you are teaching them, because there are so many distractions there. Invest in setting a dedicated room.

· Have a plan on how you will be undergoing your kid's daily lessons. Make a schedule on when you are going to give them breaks and up to that time you are going to teach them.

· Be sure that you include a plan on when you will be taking your children outside on tours and when you would be meeting other people. This is an important component of their education.

These are just some of the things that you can do in starting out home education for your children. This would be an important step for both you and your kids.

Selasa, 20 Maret 2012

Tips for Teaching Young Children

How do we teach in a way that hooks into a child's natural desire to learn?

Children are naturally curious. They explore, experiment, touch, ask questions, and are motivated to learn. To them it's all play, and they don't need adults praising them for their efforts.

Wondering how you can help children succeed? Consider the following characteristics of how they learn to help you teach in ways that improve their ability to make sense of new concepts.

1. Young children learn when subject areas are integrated 
Offer children thematic units rich with content and they will be interested and motivated, especially if you can bring real things to touch and explore that relate to the theme.

Basic literacy and math concepts can be taught and reviewed as the theme content is shared. A "winter" theme offers many opportunities to teach the letter W, to count and record the number of mittens on snowmen constructed in an art lesson, or to create patterns for paper scarfs.

A child learning about the life cycle of a butterfly may act it out with creative movement and poetry, paint the process with a large paper and paint, illustrate and label the stages in science and literacy lessons and listen to related stories and songs. Avoid pursuing a theme if the children have lost interest. Ask yourself if you are presenting enough "real objects". New themes get everyone motivated and enthusiastic.

2. Children learn in lots of different ways 
Visual learners watch closely when you demonstrate an activity and like to draw and play with shapes and puzzles. Auditory learners understand ideas and concepts because they remember information they have heard, follow spoken directions well and remember songs easily.

Although all children learn through touch, some learn best combining touch and movement (tactile/kinetic learners). Some children like structure while others learn more easily in an unstructured environment.

If you want busy, happy and on task children, give them a variety of lessons that meet the needs of different learning styles.

3. Children often do not have the vocabulary to express themselves 
Inexperienced teachers sometimes misinterpret a child's unwillingness to participate as stubbornness or bad behavior when in reality, the child may lack the skills to explain himself. Use reflective listening to help children communicate why they are upset.

Sometimes children work well in groups, learning to share and develop ideas. At other times they just need to be alone with ample time to figure things out for themselves.

Do not expect perfection. Relax and have fun with your students!

4. Children progress when concepts are taught in a structured, step-by-step way 
When concepts are presented in a structured step-by-step process with each step building on previous knowledge, children learn with less effort.

For example, expecting a young child to understand the concept of a food chain without previous experiences with, and vocabulary about, chains and links is assuming too much.

5. Children's abilities to observe and process information develop at varying rates 
Some four-year old children have superb small motor coordination and draw and cut beautifully, but have delayed speech patterns. Other children may be verbally eloquent but be physically uncoordinated or be at a scribbling stage in drawing.

Just as children develop physically at different rates, they also progress academically, socially, emotionally, and artistically at varying speeds. Effective teaching happens when teachers remember that learning is developmental.

Offer open-ended activities to meet the developmental stages of all students. An open-ended activity involves children at a wide range of developmental levels. Children are less frustrated working at their own level and they do not have to compare their results to a set of identical worksheets.

6. Children learn best when given things, objects, and stuff to explore 
When teaching young children, always use concrete materials, as children need sensory experiences when learning new ideas and concepts.

Take advantage of the many educational learning materials available to teach geometry, number sense, pattern skills, symmetry, classification and other math concepts.

Use science materials like magnets, light paddles, scales, weights, and collections of birds' nests, as well as book character toys and puppets to enhance literacy.

7. Children need instruction, practice and time to learn new skills and concepts 
A child doesn't learn to ride a bike by only looking at the bike and exploring its properties, he/she also needs time to practice and guided instruction.

Practicing concepts and skills does not need to be dull and repetitive. Do not automatically think "worksheet" when you think of skills practice. There are lots of ways to practice skills using puzzles, games, diagrams, art and more.

8. Children won't learn if they are over tired, hungry, upset or worried 
Be flexible and understanding with young children. Check to see if kids are hungry. It's easier to let a child eat part of her lunch early, than attempt to make a hungry child concentrate on a task.

Sometimes a child needs to be left alone and creating a small retreat space in the classroom can help students who are too overwhelmed by home or other circumstances to cope with their peers or teacher.

9. Motivated children pay attention 
Young children are generally motivated to learn about everything. Unless they have often been made fun of when investigating or presenting their knowledge, they have a strong desire to find out and share information.

Reinforce thinking processes rather than praising the child. Saying "That's an interesting way you sorted your blocks. Tell me what you were thinking" rather than, "Samuel is so smart" will focus the children's attention on exploring the blocks. Making too much fuss of any one child can result in a competitive atmosphere.

10. Children learn by teaching others 
When children have an opportunity to communicate their new knowledge to adults or other children it helps solidify concepts. Some children need extra time to find the correct words to explain what they are thinking so patience is necessary.

To help children share their knowledge, use descriptive words as they play or work and they will copy your vocabulary.

11. Children Need to be Active 
If children have been sitting still too long, they will let you know it's time to move. Even the best, well planned, interesting lessons fail if the children need a break.

Take plenty of movement breaks, go for walks around the school, march around the classroom or jump up and down! You will have more alert and focused students.

Selasa, 14 Februari 2012

Completing Homeschool High School Records

Do you have perfectly crafted homeschool transcripts and course descriptions, ready even now for the event (soon to come) in which someone will ask you for them? Most folks don't, either, so don't feel badly. I have a friend who called me recently in a panic, because she needed a transcript on Monday (it was Friday). Since she homeschools in California under the private school law, she had never even considered that she might need a transcript some day. When her son decided that he wanted to enlist in the Navy, surprise--the Navy wanted a transcript!

I have another friend that needed help with her homeschool records. Her problem was that she just wasn't quite sure what school work they had done. She said that she was a binder person, but when she showed me her homeschool binder during our first day together, I opened it up and there was nothing there! She had some labeled sections, but there were no papers, no curriculum, nothing there! So we dug through the tub of stuff that she had brought with all of her homeschool pieces, and I helped her put together a transcript.

We went through every little bit of her homeschool. We went over how many hours she spent on American Sign Language, and every little bit of their activities. As I was leaving, I asked her what her plans for the weekend were, and she said that they were going to a Latin competition. This was the first time she had mentioned Latin! Latin was not in her binder or her tub--she had forgotten that they did Latin!

When it comes to keeping homeschool records, it doesn't matter how gifted of a home educator you are and it doesn't matter what wonderful intentions you have; there also has to be at least a small amount of follow-through. To be real, you can do your follow-through the same way I do my taxes: once a year, I panic and do my taxes. If once a year you get your act together, that is enough follow-through for you. To be honest, if this mother had made her transcript every year, she would not have forgotten four years of Latin; you just can't forget four years of Latin year after year.

So make sure you take some time each year to record what you did that year! That way, you'll avoid trying to remember four years of homeschooling in one sitting, and be ready to create great transcripts for your high school graduate!

Forgetting about record keeping is one of "The 5 Biggest Mistakes Parents Make When Homeschooling High School." If you are thinking about transcripts, you are probably not going to make this mistake! Learn how to avoid all 5 mistakes in my free e-mail mini-course.

Rabu, 04 Januari 2012

Teenage Home Schooling

The idea of homeschooling through high school can be scary for many parents and usually it is through feelings of inadequacy where the parents do not feel fully qualified for the job!

This happens when the parent does not have many qualifications themselves so ask themselves the questions of how could they be qualified to do that job.

It is a fact of homeschooling that many homeschooled teens can actually complete four years of traditional high-school studies in 24 months or less.


Well if you sat down and thought about it then it does seem possible when there are no distractions and the teenager is able to focus on the task at hand.

Now I am a teacher/lecturer myself and I can tell you that with over 40 years being in this profession I have witnessed major changes in the administrative workload that goes with the job. The amount of time that is spent on taking registers, collecting paperwork, preparing for activities and especially science classes, the time to tidy up and then the time spent on disciplining is all time that is eating into the actual teaching and learning times.

In fact to be honest I often ask myself the question.

"Did I train to be a teacher or an administrative manager"

Of course in the days when I completed my teacher training in the 70's it was all about developing your techniques as an educator in the classroom and all of us were assessed on our ability to relate to the students to pass on our subject knowledge in an effective and stimulating manner. In other words we were encouraged to become teachers that would inspire students to learn and develop. So be it... today we fill out forms and tick boxes.

Anyway I am getting carried away with the realities of being a teacher today but it absolutely true that the large part of a school day would be taken up in mindless administrative tasks that are totally eliminated with a teenager that is being schooled at home.

This could be one reason a family make the decision to home school their teenagers,others could be the travelling time to get to school, bullying issues, peer pressure issues or teenagers that have special needs that are not accommodated by the schools within travelling distance.

All of these factors can result in teenage stress which in turn affects learning and attainment levels.

If a family decides to homeschool their teenager then good planning and record keeping will be essential.

Of course most importantly your teenager must be up for the idea as well. You can plan your home school program with your teenager's strengths and weaknesses in mind. Also important is their learning style, are they a kinesthetic learner, a visual learner, an auditory learner or a combination of a few styles. Go for a program that will enable your teenager to pursue their interests and also cover the basics that they will need to progress further into adult education.