Category Archives: Homeschooling Help

Reasons Not to Homeschool

Reasons Not to Homeschool

As a homeschooler, I am sure you have heard many excuses as to why people can’t homeschool.  Many times these reasons are honestly just excuses, and that is fine. Despite the many advantages of homeschooling, I understand that it is NOT for everyone. However, I have had to ask myself through the years, are there legitimate reasons not to homeschool? And, I have found that there actually are!

  1. Money will sometimes be nonexistent. Most homeschool families live on one income. If this will be your family, you may find that sometimes, the budget will be tight. What does this mean? It means that the pay for all your hard work will be hugs and kisses, and that things like fancy clothes, new minivans, or six figure homes will probably not happen! If you like these things and don’t want to tighten your budget….don’t homeschool!
  2. You are the only one responsible for your child’s education. You cannot blame the teacher, principal, school, or anyone else if your child is not learning. If you don’t want this responsibility, don’t homeschool!
  3. Because everyone else is doing it. Just because all your friends are homeschooling doesn’t mean that you should. If you are considering homeschooling to follow the crowd, I encourage you to fully weigh your decision. Homeschooling is hard, and you will need encouragement, and the desire to continue on the homeschooling journey. If you are homeschooling just to follow the crowd…don’t homeschool!
  4. Your spouse is not in agreement. In order for homeschooling to work you must be in agreement with your spouse. Otherwise, it will never work. Homeschooling requires a united front. If one wants to homeschool, and the other doesn’t then take the time to pray about the decision, research, and fully understand the concerns your spouse may have. If an agreement is not made then don’t homeschool!
  5. You will absolutely fall in love with homeschooling! Homeschooling will probably take over your house J You will have messes, books everywhere, and freedom to educate your children in the way you see fit. You will know your child’s friends, and you will know what they are learning. You will be the one teaching them to read, which is an amazing feeling. You will also get to show them the real world not the walls of a classroom. This is fun! And once you start there is NO turning back, you won’t want to. If you don’t want to chance falling in love with homeschooling then…don’t homeschool!

 

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 101

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If you have ever thought of homeschooling, but was not sure where to start this post is for you! When I first began homeschooling, I was overwhelmed with all that was required, and all that I felt I needed to do. Luckily, I had a great friend walk me through that first year.  Here are some tips she recommended, and some I would like to add. These are great recommendations to help you out when you first begin homeschooling!

  1. Find someone who homeschool. It may be a friend, a friend of a friend, a family member, or a stranger you meet in the library. Ask around and see if anyone you know, knows someone who homeschools. Believe me when I say you can find SOMEONE who homeschools if you look hard enough.
  2. Research curriculum. There is no perfect curriculum out there so I recommend you get a bunch of catalogs and look over them. Try to find somewhere to look at curriculum. This could be a used book store, or a homeschool convention. If you know other homeschoolers ask them if you can look at their curriculum. Seeing the books in person is a lot different than just peeking at them online. You can get a better feel for it in person. Also, do not spend a lot of money your first year. Just buy a few things to get you started. You will learn more about your style and what you and your children like after that first year.
  3. Find a Homeschool group. If you do not know if there is one near you start one. The homeschool group I started began with 3 moms who had preschoolers, but had the desire to homeschool. Our first “official” year we had 6 families. We are on our 4th school year together and now have over 50.
  4. Enjoy your children. This is the most important! I wish I could go back to my first year and relax. There were so many tears and I pushed too hard. It was not fun! The 2nd and 3red year was much more relaxed and now that I am ending our 4th year I feel I have learned so much. If you slow down and just enjoy the time you have with your kids it will make your life so much easier. Yes there needs to be time to learn, time to teach and time to do school, but most importantly their needs to be time to enjoy each other as a family!
  5. Research the homeschooling laws in your state. If your children are in public school find out whom you need to notify and when, BEFORE you pull them out. If you have preschoolers and plan on homeschooling long term get acquainted with the laws before your child is school age. The laws vary from state to state so check out Homeschool Legal Defense Association to find out more information.
  6. Read books on homeschooling and different philosophies. You can also look into homeschool magazines. Some of my favorites are Homeschool Enrichment and Home Educating Family. You can also read blogs from families who homeschool and get ideas.

Beginning homeschooling can be overwhelming. But, remember the hard work will be worth it! Hopefully these recommendations will help you as you start your journey.

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.

 

Organizing a Homeschool Portfolio

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Whether or not your state requires homeschool assessment it is a good idea to keep a record of your child’s schoolwork each year. One way to do this is by keeping a portfolio. Homeschool portfolios can be as in depth or simple as you want to make them.

Step 1: Choose a binder large enough to hold your child’s work. For many this will need to be at least 1 ½”. If you are not going to be including Math or Grammar samples due to having them somewhere else (like a workbook), you can get by with a little smaller.

Step 2: Purchase tabbed dividers and filler paper to organize your child’s homeschool portfolio.

Step 3: Decide how to organize the portfolio. Are you going to divide it up by subject, month, season, or quarter? How you divide it up is ultimately up to you.

Step 4: Include important documents like your homeschool approval letter (if you have one), a list of curriculum used, and a sample school calendar. This should all go right in the front of the portfolio.

Step 5: Start putting in samples of work. Many parents only put in their child’s best work, but that is not always a good idea. You want to see a progression throughout the year, so it is okay to put in work that is “so/so”. Good ideas to include in the portfolio are Math drill sheets, grammar tests, book reports, science experiment papers, artwork, History notes, and any other item you deem important. Don’t forget about field trips! I always grab a pamphlet from every place we go and put it in the kid’s portfolios. Field trips are learning experiences too.

When it comes to organizing a homeschool portfolio, don’t stress! Homeschool portfolios do not have to be difficult or overwhelming. Make them fun! Let your kids pick what they want to keep. You may be surprised what they deem important enough to hold on too. Also, snap a few pictures throughout the year and at the end place them in the portfolio with their end of the year assessment (if required). I am always surprised how much my children have grown from the first of the year to the end. Homeschool portfolios are supposed to highlight your child’s work, but they can also serve as a “yearbook” of sorts. One day you may be looking through them with your grandkids remembering all the fun that homeschooling was that year.

Misty Bailey is a Christian wife and homeschool mom. She resides with her family in Southern Ohio. 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. You can also find her on Facebook and Pinterest.

Must Haves For Back to Homeschool

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It is back to school time! Some parents may cringe, some parents may get excited, and for most homeschool parents it means “stock up” time. I hit the aisles at our local Wal-Mart as soon as back to school sales start. Here are my must haves for back to homeschool:

  1. Good Pencils, not the cheap $1 ones! I recommend the Ticonderoga brand.
  2. A great pencil sharpener. I was so excited when I bought an old style pencil sharpener for our homeschool. The manual ones last longer than the electric ones, but no matter which way you go I would recommend investing in one.
  3. Red ink pens are necessary because like it or not you will be grading papers. And, sometimes kids make mistakes :)
  4. A great Homeschool Planner. I highly recommend The Well Planned Day, but there are also great planners online free.
  5. Binders are great to purchase for teacher planning, and homeschool portfolios
  6. Crayons, I typically buy 30 boxes each year. This gives each child a new box every month.
  7. Glue sticks are a must! I buy enough of these to get us through all school year. You will also want to buy bottles of glue, and maybe some tacky glue for crafts.
  8. Notebooks, kids love these to draw in and use for school. You can typically get this for around 15 cents apiece during back to school sales.

These are just a few items that I think are must haves for back to school. So, check your local ads, make your list and get shopping for back to homeschool!

Misty Bailey is a wife to Roger and a homeschool mom to three beautiful blessings. She resides with her family in Southern Ohio. She loves helping new homeschoolers and has a free 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. You can also find her on Facebook and Pinterest.

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.