Category Archives: Homeschooling Help

Homeschooling a Reluctant Learner

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Do you have a child who just doesn’t like school? Everything seems like a chore when it comes to learning. They don’t want to do math, reading is a bore, and getting them to sit and concentrate is a near impossible task…. If this is your child, you may have a reluctant learner. Most kids are reluctant in school at some point in their education career, but reluctant learners are different. They really don’t seem to like school. At all.  Here are some tips for homeschooling a reluctant learner.

Debunk the Myth

What is the myth? The myth is that your child doesn’t want to learn. That is not true. All children WANT to learn. Whether it be how to play the new minecraft game, or how to climb the tree they are gazing at out the window. The key is to find out what it is that they WANT to learn.

Slow Down

Don’t push. Really. Who says a child HAS to read at five? If reading is hard, slow down, and pick it up in a few months. Forcing a child to learn something they are not ready for can cause emotional stress on the child, and exasperation for you. Let them work at their own pace. That is the beauty of homeschooling.

Set Goals

What does your child like? Figure that out and set a goal. You can have X for 10 minutes AFTER we finish this page of math. The key is to get them to want to finish their work, in order to move on to the next thing.

You can set bigger goals for the weeks accomplishments. If you finish all your assignments this week, we will have pizza for dinner on Friday. Or something along those lines. Find out what excites them and use it to your advantage.

Get Them Involved

What do they want to learn about? Find out and tailor your lessons around that. Unit studies may be a great approach for the reluctant learner because all the lessons are focused on one topic. I had a friend whose child was fascinated with tornadoes. That is all he wanted to talk about or learn about. So, she did a study on tornadoes, for a MONTH! The science of them, the history of the worst tornadoes, math related to how long they travel, books and spelling lists related to tornadoes, it was a LOT about tornadoes. BUT, he learned, and not reluctantly. Because it was something he was interested in.

Having a reluctant learner can be a challenge, but you can homeschool your child! Find out what interests them, slow down, and get them involved. These tips will help make your days a little smoother.

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.

 

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.