Academics

Test prep (assessment series, part three)

Standardized test taking is a skill and one worth practicing. During the school year, you can practice this skill by using the tests included with your curriculum. If you only use informal assessments in your home school, your student will not be prepared for the biggies like the ACT or SAT.

How to assess (assessment series, part two)

Yes, I was a classroom teacher. No, I never ever used a pre-fab test. Why not? They weren’t good enough. I found they barely scratched the surface of what we were studying, and they never covered the cool stuff we added on the fly!

Schools of Thought

When your expectations are not being met

As a homeschool mom I set goals and try hard to reach them. I have learned over the years to make my goals attainable and not out of reach. Although I make them challenging, I don’t want to feel like I fall short all the time.

Why we homeschool

The main reason why we continue to homeschool has not changed in 14 years. It is to allow our children to learn at their own pace without holding them back OR ostracizing them for weak areas. To be able to spend extra time and effort in subjects that need work and to launch them in areas of strength.

Are you qualified to homeschool?

Some states require homeschooling parents to have a high school diploma or GED, but many states have no educational qualifications for homeschool parents. If some people we encounter knew that this was the minimal amount of education legally needed to homeschool, they might roll their eyes and think homeschooled children are merely sliding by with the bare minimum.

Getting Organized

The day I purged all the toys

Toys! Lots and lots of toys! We have three boys and the toys just add up. When birthdays and Christmases roll around the grandparents love giving gifts. Their gifts are great and the kids love everything they get. But, the toys pile up and they end up getting bored with having so much.

Our Homeschool Day

Even if I don’t get to everything in my homeschool day, I like to have a plan. This year, I bought each of my children, ages six through nine a day planner. Each week, I write out the lessons that they will be doing so they have a visual reminder of what they are supposed to accomplish each day.

Taking Inventory

In our home schools, we need to have a periodic assessment time. I’m not talking about counting the number of crayons or pencils you have. I’m talking about taking a good, hard look at what you’ve accomplished, how well you’re progressing toward your goals, and what your next steps will be.

Glimpses of Life

My child just turned 18. Now what?

Your child just turned 18. Congratulations to you and your offspring on making it through to adulthood! So, now that they are 18, you’re done. Right? Well, no. Like many parents upon the eve of the birth of their child, looks far out into the future and envisions the day of impending adulthood.

Are You Being Stretched?

There have been (and are going to be) a lot of changes in our lives lately. Some small, some big, but changes none the less. They are challenging me a bit. One of my dearest friends calls it stretching. I think I am stretched out.

Learning to Meet Our Children’s Needs

Most days you can find my daughters and I together. We spend time learning new things, playing with new toys, and simply hanging out with one another. Spending unprecedented amounts of time with my girls comes with the territory of being a homeschooling mom. It is easy to believe that because I spend so much time with my daughters there’s no doubt that I am giving them all they need and more.

Home Life

When you want to quit

We experience a whirlwind of emotions as homeschooling families but the worst is when you are convinced you want to quit. Nobody wants to admit defeat.

A song in the night

It wasn’t the dark that she was afraid of. It was the monsters. In the dark. She was convinced they were there and nothing could change her mind. Her bedtime routine had never had complications before, until now. It took awhile, but she eventually outgrew this stage. After prayer, consoling, and giving it some time, she finally was able to have a peaceful night’s sleep.

College-Bound

When Dual Enrollment Doesn’t Work

It was an ideal my husband and I had held dearly to since the beginning of our homeschool journey. Dual Enrollment! A silly as it sounds, in our minds we already had our preschooler earning college credit. Then our little boy grew and blossomed into an intelligent, sharp minded, polite and pleasant young man.

You CAN Teach High School!

I get it all of the time: how can you possibly teach high school? As a matter of fact, in thinking back over my 17 plus years of answering questions about our homeschooling experiences, this is the one question I seem to answer the most often.

7 College Considerations

Is it just me, or has going to college become more and more of a difficult road to travel? I mean, I remember just applying to a few schools and choosing to go to the one a lot of friends were going to.

Extracurricular

When the weather outside is frightful

The adrenaline tends to keep me going around the holidays. Dreary weather can’t get me down because my eyes are focused on what is ahead. The fun, family, baking and celebration of the Jesus’ birth. I keep the kids busy during these months, right into the new year. Enter the New Year. Our friend Winter.

Winter inspired art projects

Do you find yourself skipping art altogether because of a failed art curriculum in the past? Is it easy to trudge through your math and language arts books and somehow get through it by the end of the year. Then you leave your art plans by the wayside?

Building the family foundation

Children frequently equate love with time.  Time is their primary love language. So, whether you homeschool or not, make sure you carve out time to spend together, unplugged, and fully engaged!

Resources

Why we still love Here to Help Learning

I am blessed to be able to homeschool. It is not a blessing I take lightly or for granted. I am also blessed by curriculum that we use, and curriculum that we review and eventually incorporate into our daily schedule. Here to Help Learning is one of those curriculums.

Carschooling the easy way

Every homeschooling family has had busy days where we are in the car for long periods of time. Sometimes it is just running errands locally. Sometimes it is going on a long trip. Although we can have peace about just skipping school for the day or doing it when we are home; there are other options to keep our children busy and on top of their work.

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