Category Archives: Georgia Homeschooling Information & Updates

Four Ways to Celebrate NOT Back to School Day

Four  Ways to Celebrate NOT  going Back to School

As a homeschooler, do you ever feel like sometimes your kids miss out on school time milestones? For example, around the first day of school pictures take over your Facebook feed, and everyone shows how excited their kids are to be going “back to school”.

Our first year homeschooling I felt that my kids were missing out, and promised myself that the next year, I would do something different. This feeling led to us celebrating NOT  back to school day.

Having a not back to school tradition gives the kids something to look forward too. It lets them see that there are things we can do, because we are not going back to school. IT has become a celebration, a way for us to celebrate the freedom homeschooling.

Here are four ways you can celebrate NOT going back to school!

 

  1. Plan a park play date!  This is how we celebrate NOT going back to school. On the first day of public school in our district, we meet our homeschool group at a local park. We spend the day there, playing games, sliding, and basketball, whatever the kids want to do.
  2. Go out for breakfast! On the first day of public school make plans to go out for breakfast. Sit and watch the school buses go by and enjoy the freedom of not having to start school at a set time.
  3. Plan a field trip! Field trips are a huge bonus of homeschooling, as many public schools are ditching them due to budget cuts.
  4. Have a jammie day! Spend the day in your jammies, watch movies, eat popcorn, play a board game. The choice is yours!

These are just a few ways that you can start a NOT back to school tradition in your homeschool. For us NOT back to school day has become one of our favorite homeschooling traditions.

Do you celebrate NOT going back to school? If not consider planning something to celebrate the freedom homeschool offers next school year.

Author Bio: Misty Bailey and her husband have been married for over a decade and have three beautiful children. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued, homeschooling and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey.

Four Online Learning Tools for Teenagers

Online learning tools for teens

Our teens were born into a world where technology abounds. They easily adopt new technologies and many text as quickly as they breathe. Teens are tech savvy, and learn well through technology. Because of this, it is important to have tools available to them that are natural, and easy for them to use and understand.

Here are four online learning tools for teenagers that can make your and their homeschooling journey a bit easier!

  1. Khan Academy: Have a child struggling with math? Are your teen’s math lessons over your head? Khan Academy is FREE and there to help. With interactive tools, questions and videos, it can easily be a full on curriculum, or a tool designed to help when your teen is struggling with a certain concept.
  2. Evernote: Have a teen who is involved in co-op classes? Evernote is a great tool! Evernote allows teens to take notes on one device, and have them available at home to print. They can also share notes with others, discuss class topics, and much more. Teens are able to keep notes and gather sources for their homeschool projects, and then share when the assignment is due. Evernote as a high school learning tool would be a great way to get your teen used to the online world of note taking before starting college. The basic version is free!
  3. The Chemical Touch: Have a teen learning the periodic table? This app (99 cents) provides detailed information on the elements, standard amino acids, and nucleobases. This app provides your teen with a wealth of information right at their fingertips!
  4. Currclick: Offering a variety of online classes, books and resources, Currclick is a one stop shop for many homeschool families. Currclick can be used independently and is a great learning tool for teens interested in studying a certain subject in depth,  taking an online class with friends from across the world, or for a particular subject that mom may not be comfortable teaching.

Teens are able to teach themselves just about anything they want thanks to online learning tools. For more information about how teens are learning on their own check out this post, How Teens are Teaching Themselves. It also includes site recommendations related to comic strips, coding and game design.  

There are many online learning tools available on the web or mobile devices. Finding a learning tool that fits your teen’s needs and interests is easier than ever! Don’t discourage online learning, after all, our teens will need and utilize technology for the rest of their lives.

Author Bio: Misty Bailey and her husband have been married for over a decade and have three beautiful children. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey.

Four ways to Simplify Your Homeschool

Four ways to simplify your homeschool

A new homeschool year is just around the corner, and chances are you are busy planning. You may be feeling overwhelmed, and wondering how in the world you are going to get it “all” done. I know, I have been there! With three kids, in three different grades I had to do something to make our homeschool days a little easier. So, I simplified. And, you can too!

Here are four ways to simplify your homeschool:

  1. Combine Subjects: Even if you do have children in different grades, there are subjects you can teach together. Science, Bible, History, Art, are all examples of subjects that can be combined. These subjects can be combined using unit studies, curriculum like Apologia, God’s Design for Science, Mystery of History, My Fathers World, Heart of Dakota, or another similar curriculum. When you combine subjects you are able to teach just ONE time. This saves you time and maybe a bit of your sanity ;)
  2. Go Independent: One of the BEST changes we made in our homeschool was when I backed off. Yes, that’s right; I let my children learn more independently. This was HUGE. It gave them responsibility, and allowed me the break I needed to focus more on my preschooler. There are many curriculum companies out there that allow children to work on their subjects independently. Rod and Staff, Christian Light Education, Easy Peasy, Teaching Textbooks, AOP Lifepac, and many others offer curriculum that allows children to work independently in a variety of different subjects.
  3. Relax!: I have been homeschooling for over 5 years, and one thing I have realized is that no matter how “bad” I think the school year has been, my kids have learned. A lot. As homeschool moms we are often so hard on ourselves and run ourselves ragged to ensure our kids aren’t “behind”. When in reality, we really just need to relax! School will happen, our kids will learn, and stressing about it really does NO good.
  4. Stay Home: You know when I am the most stressed? When I have spent the week running my kids to all their different “socialization” opportunities. This takes time away from school, and adds to my overall stress level. My recommendation? Stay home! At least 1-2 days each week. Field trips are great, but three in one week? Not necessary! Co-op classes are awesome! But, those combined with piano, and soccer, and scouts? Not so much…. Minimize the activities and stay home a few days. Believe me. You won’t regret it!

How do you simplify your homeschool?

Author Bio: Misty Bailey and her husband have been married for over a decade and have three beautiful children. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey.

Great Learning Sites for Preschoolers

Great Learning Sites for Preschoolers

Online learning is becoming more and more popular, and our children are growing up in a tech savvy world.  Preschool is a great age to start allowing our children supervised learning online.

Here are some great learning sites for preschoolers:

ABC MOUSE– This learning website helps kids learn to read through phonics lessons. It also teaches young children lessons in math, music, art, social studies and much more! There is a subscription fee with this program.   

NickJr.com– With characters including Bubble Guppies, Dora, the Wonder Pets and more, your preschoolers will LOVE this educational site. Activities include games, craft ideas, recipes how to videos and more! Best part? It’s FREE!

PBS KIDS– This site is a favorite in our home, and includes characters from all the popular PBS Kids TV sows. Activities include sing a long songs, games, videos, craft and game ideas, and much more! PBS Kids is also free!

Starfall-This fun educational site is great for children learning their ABC’s or who are new to reading. The activities are simple, and fun.

Funbrain Jr– This interactive site includes printables, games, stories and more. It is a great site for older preschoolers to enjoy learning, and playing.

Fisher Price-Known as a leader in children’s toys, Fisher Price also has an awesome website dedicated to providing educational games and activities for you and your preschooler to enjoy together. Activities include, alphabet coloring pages, learning animal noises, shapes, numbers, ABCs, and more.

Learning online can be a great tool for the preschool age, and a great way to introduce them to technology at an early age. These sites are not mean to be accessed without parental supervision, and are best utilized WITH a parent. Also, each family needs to make their own rules regarding appropriate sites, and technology usage.

Author Bio: Misty Bailey and her husband have been married for over a decade and have three beautiful children. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey.

Homeschooling Multiple Ages with Unit Studies

Homeschooling Multiple Ages

As homeschool parents, we usually have a wide variety of ages in our home to teach.   When you get a wide variety of age groups together sometimes it is hard to teach them all at once. One way we have found to make homeschooling  multiple ages work is to use unit studies!

Unit Studies consist of picking a topic that interests all students. You then spend time learning about that topic in an interesting and engaging way.  Unit Studies are great for multi age learning. You can use a Unit study in a girl or Boy Scout troop, classroom or home school group. Here are some steps for creating a unit study for multi age homeschooling.  The example I am going to use starts with a book selection, but really you don’t have to base a unit study off of a book, this is just an example. If you do not use a book you can go to #2.

  1. Pick a book. For example, let’s say you wanted to spend time reading a book like Charlotte’s Web.
  2. Pick a topic. Since we are reading Charlotte’s Web, we are going to study farm life.
  3. Pick your For Art we will be making pictures of a farm, for Science we will be studying farm animals and how animals live and work on a farm. For a field trip, we will visit a local farm.
  4. Create lesson plans. Here is where multi age learning comes into play. You will want to ensure that all children learn at their own level.
  • For Art you can have younger children create pictures with stickers and construction paper.  You can make the project more difficult depending on age. Some children may free hand draw a farm scene. Older children may paint a picture, or create a drawing of one animal they found interesting.
  • For writing you can have older children write a report about what they learned on their field trip. Younger children can write 1-2 sentences.
  • For Science younger children can learn about different animals on the farm. Older children can learn about what roles these animals play and study their life cycle.
  1. Get the older ones involved! Any time we have done unit studies in a large group it always helps to remind the older children they are helpers. They can teach the younger ones by showing them how to use scissors, reading to them, or even teaching a class themselves!

You can continue this pattern with just about any subject. The key to unit studies and making multi age homeschooling work is finding a topic everyone is interested in and breaking it down into smaller pieces depending on age.    Older children will study the topic more in depth, while younger ones study it more hands on. Older children may read more non fiction books, while the younger ones read engaging stories. With some planning ahead homeschooling multiple ages will work!