A Look at Homeschool Socialization

homeschool socialization

One of the biggest questions homeschool parents get is “What about socialization?”. We’ve discussed here before about what socialization is, and how homeschoolers can make sure their children are socialized. So, today I am going to share some of the social advantages homeschoolers have, and how the statistics say homeschoolers perform socially.

HSLDA conducted a survey in 2003 of over 7,000 adults who were homeschooled. The surveys goal was to show that homeschoolers “grow up” better off than their public schooled peers, and that in fact they are well-socialized adults capable of handling society, and their peers. What they found was very interesting!

  • Homeschool graduates are active and involved in their communities. Those who participated in community services were 71% of homeschooled adults compared to 37% of non-homeschooled adults. Eighty eight percent of homeschooled adults were members of organizations like a church, professional group, etc compared to 50% of U.S. adults.
  • Contentment makes a big difference in our lives as adults right? Homeschooled adults are happier with their lives, compared to adults who were not homeschooled (59% vs. 39%).
  • Out of all the homeschooled adults, polled 95% say that they were glad they were homeschooled and 82% say that they plan on homeschooling their children.

In addition to the above facts, there are many more awesome social benefits to being homeschooled. One study conducted by the Seattle-based Discovery Institute found that homeschooled children tend to demonstrate fewer behavioral problems than their peers do. This result was found after counselors observed a group of children playing; they did not know which were homeschooled, and which were not. The results, iNational Home Education Research Institute president Brian Ray, believes are based in part due to who the main role models are in a homeschoolers life:

 “Public school children have, as their main role models, peers, while homeschool students have as their role models, adults,” he explains.

The study also found that homeschoolers tend to be less apt to follow along with negative influences.  Jeffrey Koonce, a school superintendent in Miller County, Missouri, has studied homeschool students as some transition into public schools. He has found that in most cases, homeschoolers are “socially adept” and mature than their peers. This could be because homeschoolers are around a wide range of ages, including adults, rather than being in a school with students all the same age on a regular basis.

If you have been concerned over how your homeschooled child may fare socially, I hope this has put your mind at rest. Homeschooling offers many advantages; social skills are just one of them!

Misty Bailey is a homeschool mom to three beautiful blessings. She loves helping new homeschoolers and has a Homeschool 101 eBook for those getting started. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey.



Great Educational Board Games for Homeschool Families

educational board games

One of our favorite things to do as a family is have family game night. We try to do this at least once a week! As a homeschool family,  I have to admit that sometimes… I like to make sure those games are also educational. After all learning can and does happen anywhere right?

Here are 10 educational board games that are great for homeschool families!

  1. Candy Land: What preschooler doesn’t love this game? It teachers colors, taking turns and counting.
  2. Scrabble: This game is great for a variety of reasons. It teaches spelling, letter recognition and vocabulary skills. Also, it is a lot of fun!
  3. Battleship: This game teaches boat recognition, and how to read a grid. It also is a great game for critical thinking!
  4. Monopoly: Budgeting and money management skills are learned in this fun game. It also teaches patience as it takes forever to finish one J.
  5. Uno: Preschoolers can learn colors and number recognition while playing Uno alongside the rest of the family!
  6. Jenga: This game makes you think. Where should you place the blocks? Where should you pull? No one wants to be the one who makes the tower fall!
  7. Guess Who: Helps teach kids memory skills, and helps them learn the elimination process. Which players have red hair? Which ones wear glasses? Identification skills are learned as well
  8. Operation: My kids have learned different body parts by playing this fun game! All kids like to take a turn being doctor J
  9. Where in the World USA: This game is great to help kids (and parents) learn USA geography skills!
  10. Spot it: A new spin on memory and visualization skills this game is fun for parents and kids!

Family game nights can be lots of fun! But, they can also be educational if you try one of these 10 games J.

Misty Bailey is a homeschool mom to three beautiful blessings. She loves helping new homeschoolers and has a Homeschool 101 eBook for those getting started. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey.


Five Great Language Arts Curriculums!

Great language arts curriculums

Its curriculum shopping season and as you are browsing catalogs, hitting up conventions, and scouring the web, you may ask yourself what the BEST curriculum is. Well, the truth of the matter is there is NO perfect curriculum. However, we can break it down and help you find a great curriculum that works for your family.

Here are five of the many great Language Arts curriculums out there!

  1. Rod and Staff- This is what we use and I love it! It is simple, it is thorough and it is inexpensive. Published by Mennonites it has terms that some kids may not recognize, but overall would fit most families. It is religious based, and uses scripture throughout the books. The teacher’s manuals are essential for full use of the curriculum.
  2. Sonlight- This curriculum is known as one of the top literature based programs out there. It is full of great books, fantastic grammar and spelling programs, and is all inclusive. It is religious based, however, they now have a program called BookShark that has the same format and lesson plans without the religious content.
  3. Veritas Press- Based on the classical approach to education; Veritas Press is a comprehensive Christian curriculum. Their grammar program gets great reviews!
  4. Essentials in Writing- This program contains DVD’s that teach writing skills for 1st-12th graders. Also includes worksheets to go along with the lessons. One of the top picks from homeschool moms on this post.
  5. Abeka- Abeka is known for its comprehensive curriculum and is used in various private schools around the country. You can buy a full language arts kit, or just certain parts of it. Another top pick from homeschool moms

These are just a few of the many great Language Arts curriculums out there. You can see some of these and many more at the Southeast Homeschool Expo!

Misty Bailey is a homeschool mom to three beautiful blessings. She loves helping new homeschoolers and has a Homeschool 101 eBook for those getting started. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey.

Homeschool for Free

Homeschooling for free

A common question many new homeschoolers ask is how expensive is homeschooling? The short answer is that homeschooling is as expensive as you allow it to be. There is curriculum out there that can fit any budget, from a substantial amount, all the way down to free. Yes, that’s right you can homeschool for free!

Here are just a few of many free websites out there offering free curriculum.

Khan Academy: Free math website complete with videos and tutorials for a variety of different areas in math.

Classical House of Learning : A place for FREE classical literature guides following a 4-year history cycle.

Easy Peasy All in One Homeschool: A free comprehensive homeschool program for student’s preschool through 8th grade.

Homeschool Share: Free Lapbooks for the Little Ones J

Ambleside Online: Ambleside Online is a free curriculum using the Charlotte Mason philosophy of education.

ABC Jesus Loves Me: is a complete preschool Bible themed curriculum.

Bible Road Trip: A free three Year Bible program for children and adults.

Starfall.com: Phonics site perfect for those who are learning to read.

Spelling City: Free spelling games and activities for kids.

Scott Foresman Reading: Free printable grammar and writing sheets for students in grades 1-6.

In addition to these great sites there are many other resources available right at your local library. Rebecca Rupp offers a book titled Home Learning Year by Year. This book includes recommendations for numerous resources that are available to create your own homeschool curriculum. Many of these are probably located in your town’s library. I have used this book for years and have found it invaluable.

Also, many libraries offer teachers kits. These kits are available on a variety of subjects. They may include crafts, books, audio, and many other resources. Check and see if your library has any to offer.

You tube and Netflix have many educational videos for kids.  One show that my children love to watch on Netflix is the Magic School Bus.  Another great one that is on You Tube is Liberty Kids. It is all about American History during the Revolutionary War.

These are just a few resources that I have used or found that are free and great homeschooling resources. If your budget is tight, and you’re not sure how you can fit homeschool curriculum into the budget, I encourage you to check out these resources. Even if your budget isn’t tight, we all love things that are free, right?

Author: Misty Bailey

Misty is a homeschool mom of three and has been homeschooling for over 4 years. You can read about her homeschool journey and more on her blog, Joy in the Journey.

To Test or Not to Test?

to test or not to test

If you live in a state where standardized testing is optional you may have asked yourself whether to test or not to test your children. I live in Ohio, we have two options for assessment each year we can give our children a standardized test, or opt for a teacher evaluated portfolio review. I have done both, and we honestly prefer testing. I know some cringe at that word, and that’s fine, but if you are on the fence here are some things to consider when wondering if you should test or not.

Your Child: Some kids are great testers, some stress out over the idea of taking a test. Some children have no problems with tests; they consider them fun, or a challenge. Some children are laid back, and don’t mind either way. When deciding whether you should test, your children consider your child.

Your Schedule: If you test, how many children will you be testing? Do you have the time to take a week and focus on testing your children? Do you have a new baby or a demanding toddler? Are your children independent and can they manage testing on their own? Consider your schedule before you decide to test.

Are You Okay With the Results?: Overall homeschooled children do outstanding on standardized testing. However, are you okay if they don’t? We have tested numerous times, and overall my children do great. However, one year one of my children scored a lot lower than I thought she would in one subject. I was crushed. I blamed myself, and we revaluated our whole curriculum in that subject. The next time we tested, she still scored low in that area. I had to realize that out of the nine areas she tested in it was okay that she scored lower in one. She is allowed to struggle with something. Make sure you are okay with the results no matter which way they go.

If you are still on the fence about testing let me give you some pros and cons I have found from standardized testing.  The biggest pro in my opinion is validation. I like knowing my children test well, and when someone questions me about homeschooling, I can say, “Well, they score very well on their tests each year, so I am pretty sure they are ok”. Now, I know how they are doing without a test, but some people really consider a standardized test the gold standard of academic assessment, so for me the validation is nice. I also like knowing how they are doing overall, and testing is a lot easier than keeping a portfolio all year. I also like that they will be used to tests before they take the ACT, or another college entrance exam.

There are two big cons in my opinion on testing. One is the price, and the other is time. We order our tests through family learning organization and considering I have multiple children to test, the price is a little high. I also don’t like taking a whole week just to stay home and test.

If you have been asking yourself whether you should test, just remember that testing is not for every family. Yes, there are pros, but there are also cons. Consider your schedule, your child and whether or not you are okay with the results. Whether or not you test, you will know how your child is learning, but for some testing is another good assessment option.

Author: Misty Bailey

Misty is a homeschool mom of three and has been homeschooling for over 4 years. You can read about her homeschool journey and more on her blog, Joy in the Journey.