Category Archives: Georgia Homeschooling Information & Updates

Homeschooling for Free?

childrenreading

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 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.

Homeschooling in Georgia: A Quick Guide

Homeschooling in Georgia

The state of Georgia is one of the best states to home school your child. Georgia’s laws are friendly to home schoolers and allow you a lot of freedom in the education of your child and minimal oversight.

Why and How to Homeschool in Georgia

Let’s admit it. Public schools and large classrooms don’t work for everyone. Or maybe your local area doesn’t have a quality public school. Whatever the reason, you’re on this website because you know public schools aren’t the best options for your children.

The research on homeschooling is clear (I would suggest linking to my article on homeschool statistics), homeschooled students drastically outperform their public school peers according to peer reviewed studies. Top colleges like Stanford love homeschooled applicants, and encourage them to apply. It’s likely your child won’t receive enough personalized attention in a public school, and will be working at other children’s pace, not his own. But at home, you’ll be able to make sure your child is learning at a challenging yet fun pace. I highly suggest homeschooling if you want your child to excel and prosper.

Home school Laws in Georgia

The home school laws in Georgia only require you to follow a few basic requirements that are easy to comply with. You are supposed to send in a declaration of intent within 30 days of starting a home school program, or by September 1st after the first year. This declaration will just contain some basic information including the children’s age and names, the dates of the school year, as well as the home school address. You’re only allowed to educate your own children in a home school. Also you must hold a GED or high school diploma.

You must teach reading, language arts, mathematics and social science in your home school.   Additionally the school year must be a minimum length of 180 days of 4.5 hours of teaching. Your child must also undergo standardized testing every 3 years and you must maintain those records.   In Georgia you’re not required to submit attendance records.   Overall, homeschooling in GA is simple and gives you a huge amount of freedom to teach your child as you wish.

You do need to keep in mind that Georgia educational department will not provide homeschooling materials or curriculum. You will have to therefore supply those on your own or through a home school program.

Home School Programs in GA

A great way to enhance your family’s home schooling experience is to meet other home schooling families. This is a great way to improve both you and your children’s social lives. Many local support groups often hold group field trips, barbeques, and parties. Additionally, other parents can help provide guidance and tips in regards to homeschooling and give you a supportive community.   If you haven’t decided whether you want to home school your children yet, these groups can give you an insider’s view into the lives of homeschoolers.  

Another excellent resource is your local library. Local libraries often hold events, read-a-thons, and other events that allow your children to both socialize and learn. Local libraries additionally are excellent resources for learning material, books, movies, and other materials. Not to mention that they make amazing places for research trips with your children. A local library is a homeschooling parent’s best friend.

Conclusion

Learning how to homeschool in Georgia is a worthy investment in your children’s futures.   The laws regarding homeschooling in Georgia give you a great amount of freedom in educating your children. Homeschooling provides a superior alternative to public school that will propel your children past their public school peers. Additionally there are many local homeschool support groups so that you have support and help in homeschooling your children.

 

How Does Your Child Learn?

youngreader

Chances are, you have an understanding of how you learn. You may be the type that needs to read something to figure it out, you may need to see something in action to understand. There are six different types of ways people learn. Figuring out what type of learner your child (and you) are will help you figure out how your child learns and will be very beneficial in your homeschool.

Here is a breakdown of the different types of learners you may have:

  •  Visual (spatial): Your child may prefer using pictures, images, and spatial understanding.
  • Aural (auditory-musical): Your child learns better while listening to music or other sounds.
  • Verbal (linguistic): Your child may prefer using words, both in speech and writing.
  • Physical (kinesthetic): Your child learns better while moving or using his body, hands, and sense of touch.
  • Logical (mathematical): Your child needs to understand the logic, reasoning and systems
  • Social (interpersonal): Your child may prefer to learn in groups or with other people.
  • Solitary (intrapersonal): Your child prefers to work alone and use self-study.

If you are not sure how your child learns, think about these different types of learners. Does your child love to read, and research information (Verbal or Visual)? Is he always on the go, and unable to sit still during Math (Physical)? Does he need a quiet place to read and study (Solitary)?

If you are not sure how your child learns there are different types of online and paper quizzes out there that can help you determine his and your learning style. There are also books, and online information that can help you narrow it down.

Chances are you may have a child who learns differently than you. I am a verbal learner. I need to read information to fully understand it. My children, are more kinesthetic learners. This means that textbooks don’t work well in our family unless they are accompanied by hands on activities. Learning this about my children helped me figure out the best way to teach them.

Once you realize what type of learner your child is you will have a much easier time actually teaching them. As your child’s teacher, you can adapt your methods to better suit each of your children. This luxury is something that public schools cannot offer their students! So, take advantage of it. Study your child, find out how they learn, and offer them that customized education that only homeschooling offers!

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.

 

Creative Writing: A Tool of Self-Empowerment

creative writing

Allowing children to risk expression of their thoughts and feelings in an imaginative way is one of the best things that you can do for them. When expressed via the written word, you have creative writing. Be it fiction or nonfiction, poetry or prose, well-developed or hardly so, creative writing is a fundamental tool of self-empowerment.

As the legendary Dr. Seuss noted, “I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient of living.”

Through creative writing, your child will learn how to, or gain more practice in:

  • Brainstorming
  • Creating something from nothing
  • Revising
  • Publishing (should that be your choice)

Another beautiful facet of creative writing is that age isn’t much a factor. If your child can speak, then they can also express themselves through writing. How? Easy…

My four-year-old tells the story and I write it. Every now and then, I’ll toss in a prompt, asking her for the character’s name or “What happens next?” You should see her face when I read it back to her. And though my eight-year-old is a little more advanced, he requires more guidance. Given good questions, he gets the ball rolling in no time.

Be careful not to assume that pre-teens and older children will quickly grasp the skill, or be bored with it. Instead, give them an array of topics—always reserving the right to choose their own. Once they’ve latched to a story, have them zoom in on that piece. Refine it at least three times a week, according to a planned curve (e.g. lessons on depth, originality, vividness, and fearlessness) or a good old fashioned spontaneous one.

For teens—or anyone who’s ready, for that much—diversify the writing genre. Dabble in business, technical, journalism, marketing, script writing, or whichever s/he happens to want to try. For instance, they can rewrite the script of one of their favorite television episodes or create a flyer for an upcoming event (real or imagined).

The point is just to get them writing, and knowing that with time and practice, it gets easier. I’ve taught adults who were trying their hand at creative writing for the first time, learn it and love it. And by learning it, I mean finding their voice and owning it!

In turn, with consistent writing, all age ranges improved their overall communication skills and comprehension levels. Others have also experienced an upturn in their:

  • Love of reading
  • Curiosity of other arts
  • Elected solitude
  • Empathy
  • Self-awareness
  • Self-esteem
  • Self-confidence

Have you tried creative writing? If so, how does it flow into your homeschooling environment?

Guest Author: Trelani D. (Homeschool Mom)

 

 

Randi’s Curriculum Choices

curriculum

Randi’s Curriculum Choices

There are way too many curriculum choices.  Some are excellent and a lot are not!  In creating this list, I didn’t want to add to all the noise and burden parents to just buy more stuff to put on their shelves. I wanted to keep my recommendations to only the books that are very, very special.  There are many more books, but most people don’t have very much time and their children don’t either.  So read and use the really good books first and then if time permits, read the rest.

Early Learners

 

Bible

  • Leading Little Ones to God/Marian Schooland (Best written beginning devotions)
  • Big Thoughts for Little Thinkers/Joey Allen Series of Books on Theology for Little Ones
  • Proverbs For Parenting/  (Must have book for training and disciplining children. Categories include: lying, fighting, honesty and many others)

Elementary

 

Georgia State History

  • This is Your Georgia by Bernice McCullar ISBN:0-932659-01-2

Middle/High School

 

Science and Geography

  • Exploring Our World by Tony Hare ISBN:0-7651-1027-x – This is an excellent book to use with all ages of children.  It can be used as a Geography or Environmental Science book from an ecological zone perspective.  Enhance study by using lapbooking techniques.  Its easy to use the unit study and Dina Zike’s dioramas to make the nine biomes come alive!
  • Hands-On Chemistry Activities with Real-Life Applications for grades 8-12.  by Norman Herr ISBN: 0-87628-262-1 – Now this is the way to study Chemistry!  Your students will learn more about Chemistry by working through this book than any old textbook.  You may have to invest in a few things that you can get from Carolina Biological Supply or some other supply house, but you can do this book with the whole family.  Fun and educational! Start this book in 8th or 9th grade, go slow and do 3-5 pages at a time.  Leave enough time to do the Bob Jones Chemistry textbook and you will have a great science student!

History -

  • Quest of a Hemisphere by Donzella Cross Boyle published by Western Islands – Don’t miss this great history book! ” Written in an engaging narrative style, Quest of a Hemisphere is a factual American history written from documents, manuscripts, journals, diaries, letters, newspapers, and rare books…  Illustrations feature the art of historical periods – reproductions of sketches and paintings, portraits of famous men by artists of their time, and copies of documents in the original style of printing.”  This is a great book for the Charlotte Mason approach or unit studies.

Government -

  • God and Government I and II by Gary DeMar – These books are great for read aloud and discussion.  Although there are many questions, the author follows up with the answers which are probably better for study than answering the questions for yourself.
  • Government by the People by David Magleby ISBN: 0-13-192159-2Generally used as a college textbook, this surprisingly well written government book is interesting and covers all the points that allows students to test out of their college government course.  Be sure to take the CLEP or SAT Subject Exam after completing this book!

Mathematics -

Don’t tell your child you were terrible at math!  The best way to teach math is to purchase a copy for yourself and a copy for your child and do the problems along with her.  I promise, it won’t be as hard as when you were in school. You will be so glad you did this!

  • College Outline Series – Pre Algebra ISBN , Introductory Algebra ISBN 0-15-601524-2, and Intermediate Algebra ISBN 0-15-601522-6Over and over this is my favorite set of Algebra books.  The subject Pre Algebra is essentially fractions, decimals, and percents which are usually taught in 7th and 8th grade.  Even with my public and private school kids, I have to pull out this book to help them learn concepts.  It is more systematically written and clearer than any other textbook I have used.  Once a person uses a well programmed textbook, they never go back!
  • Geometry – Notables Interactive Study Notebook ISBN 0-07-868213-4 – This is a consumable workbook that makes a very good Geometry textbook.  It doesn’t focus heavily on proofs, which is a good thing.
  • Videos – Chalk Dust – Chalk Dust might cost more than other videos but it does a better job and you can always resell it, so your net cost is not so great.
  • Prentice Hall Math Textbooks – Better than Glencoe and way better than McDougal Littel!  What does better mean?  Better formatting, better questions, better explanations.

Life Skills -

  • Just Do Something/Kevin DeYoung (Making Good Decisions)  Helps the reader understand that determining your career calling is not as important as establishing proactive behaviors to bloom where you are planted!

Special Needs

Textbooks for HI/LO – High interest for middle thru high school, low reading level 3-4 with larger than normal print, shorter chapters,  and clear questions. When your student has learned how to read and you want to transition him to a textbook.  These are good choices.  Interestingly, these are also good choices for the very young, academically gifted child.

AGS Globe, now part of Pearson has great textbooks for Mathematics, Science, Social Studies and Language Arts. http://www.pearsonschool.com/index.cfm?locator=PSZ1Ai

Contests

The National Bible Bee for ages 8-18     www.BibleBee.org

Magazines

Homeschooling Today