Category Archives: Early Learners

Finding a Homeschool Group

finding a homeschool group

Homeschool groups can offer homeschoolers numerous benefits. A homeschool group can offer friendships for parents and kids, field trips, co-op classes and even sports groups. Being a part of a homeschool group can also help answer the “What about Socialization?” question.

But, how do you find a homeschool group? I know of a few different ways. I hope that one of these will work for you!

  • Find another homeschooler. This is the easiest way to find a homeschool group. If you don’t know anyone who homeschools, start asking around at the library, family events and talking to your friends. Just about everyone knows someone who homeschools.
  • Check Yahoo or Facebook. Yahoo offers group pages where you can search your area and see what comes up. You can also do a search on Facebook.
  • Go through your statewide support group. Many states offer some sort of statewide support group for homeschoolers. This page has a variety of different groups listed across Georgia, Florida, and Tennessee. If you see a group listed that is not real close to you, but you know where the area is contact the support group leader. They may be able to put you in touch with homeschoolers in your area.
  • If all else fails start one yourself!   I have actually had to do this, and promise you that it can be done! When I first began homeschooling I knew only one other homeschooler. They introduced me to another one, I met another at the park, another at the library and before I knew it we had enough people to have our first field trip. In four years, our group has grown to include over 50 families. And, we live in a fairly rural area J.

What are some benefits to finding a homeschool group? If you are a new homeschooler, those in your group can help you navigate the process. They can help you by letting you “see” curriculum first hand, and telling you what works and hasn’t worked for them. Friendships are also very important to our children; they need to know they are not the only ones out there who are not getting on that big yellow bus.

I truly believe finding a homeschool group is essential to homeschool success. When you have bad homeschool days (which we all have!), it is so helpful to know there is another mom out there having one too. The friendships that you can make with other homeschoolers are priceless. No one else truly understands what it is like to homeschool except homeschoolers.

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.

 

Memorization & Learning Fun

Mom with two children learning

Flash card drills.  Math fact tables.   Do they matter?  With so much to learn is it really necessary to drill the same things over and over again?  Well, opinions may vary but I would give a whole-hearted, YES!  Simply put, fact mastery makes all the higher level learning smoother.  While math is the obvious focal point for memorization, it is useful in every discipline:  bible verses, grammar rules, science tables and more.

Education from Kindergarten through graduation involves incremental learning.  In many ways, each year is a review of the previous year with exciting expansions in content and application.  Understanding the basic system encourages us to instill deep learning in our students.  Rote memorization is a foundational tool that allows us to build a terrific academic structure.  Now that offers motivation for we teachers, but how do we keep our students attentive and interested?

Learning through play is definitely one possibility.  Wonderful books on incorporating games into learning sit in the library waiting to share their secrets.  Hopscotch math was a favorite when our children were young.  Rolling over-sized diced to get the numbers and hopping out the math fact made for laughter and learning.  Old-fashioned board games, hand-held math fact timers and computer programs with spaceships offer diverse ways to prevent boredom in learning.  Instilling a love for learning begins with fun in learning.  Get all the senses involved as often as possible and get their bodies moving!

Music is a definite aid.  Put facts to music or rhyme.  Teach silly acrostics to help memorize disconnected pieces of information.  ROY G BIV and “My Very Educated Mom Just Taught Us about Neptune” are nonsense words that keep great information accessible. Clapping or other rhythmic motion may keep the attention of a very kinesthetic learner.  Very young children have learned the entire genealogy of Christ by putting it to song.  The power of music and movement is a great asset in learning. Use the things that speak to your student’s heart and help them take nuggets of knowledge deep into their minds.

Finally, grab every teaching opportunity!  Life is learning.  Opportunities to practice math facts at the grocery store begin with counting tomatoes in the package and progress to unit pricing and family budgets.  Calculating the miles per gallon of gas and the cost for every trip to Wal-Mart may just change your own spending habits—while your student practices multiplication and division.  Reading grocery labels, learning new words…even foreign words is possible on nearly every trip.  Listen to the interests of your students and look for lessons in those arenas. 

As home school parents, we have the potential to design curriculum that fits the hearts of our students.  It is a high and holy privilege.  Use the opportunities life presents, use the personality and preferences in your home…and enjoy the learning adventure!

Guide To Attending a Homeschool Expo

Have you stayed away from the Homeschool Expo just because of the magnitude of it all?  Looking at the listing of workshops or a peak into the exhibit hall can give you a deer in the headlights look!  Where do you start?

  • Plan ahead by reading about the available workshops and making a note of when it will be held.  If there are two you want to attend at the same time, consider which would be best to attend and get the other on CD.  If you go with a friend or a spouse, you can each attend one and share notes afterwards.
  • Have a list of curriculum you want to look over.  Plan on taking the time you need and ask the exhibitors your questions.
  • Know your prices.  If you buy at the conference it will save on shipping, but you will want to have some kind of luggage or cart on wheels to save your strength.
  • Do you have a budget?  If you do, don’t spend it all at once!  The school year is long and you will probably need something else before the year is out.

Attending the Homeschool Expo is educational and exciting.  The workshops and exhibitors are there for you.  You might also want to consider Homeschooling for Excellence, a one day conference for beginning homeschoolers.

http://www.southeasthomeschoolexpo.com/homeschooling-101

Great Homeschool Video

Have you ever thought of lap booking to increase your homeschooling fun and education?  Here is a video of a great Cells Lap book.  Search You Tube to see how homeschoolers do lap books.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvqjHiNKu2M&feature=related

Science Supersite for all Homeschoolers

This is one of the true supersites for education.  Take the time to learn how to use this site, you will be very impressed.

http://www.sciencenetlinks.com/ Providing a wealth of lessons, tools, and resources for K-12 science educators, Science NetLinks is your guide to meaningful standards-based Internet experiences for students.