Tag Archives: homeschooling

The Pro’s and Con’s of Homeschool Co-ops

Pros and Cons of Homeschool Co-ops

Now is the time of year when you begin seeing signs and hearing all about Homeschool Co-ops. Homeschool Co-ops can be a great thing! But, for some they are overwhelming, and another thing to “mark off” the schedule.

Before committing to a homeschool co-op it is important to weigh the pros and cons.

Pro’s of Homeschool co-ops

  • Socialization-This is a given and the reason many families choose to participate in co-ops. Homeschool co-ops allow your children to meet with the same kids week after week which encourage friendships to be built.
  • School like experience- One thing I hear often is “how will the kids operate in the real world”, while I don’t believe school is “real life” I know many parents want their children to experience a school like environment. Homeschool co-ops can offer this.
  • Takes care of the extras- Homeschool co-ops allow you to “mark off” the extras like music, art, and PE.
  • Allow children to learn new things-Homeschool co-ops allow children to learn from other parents, subjects that maybe you aren’t the most experienced at. Messy science experiments, calculus, finance and many other subjects can be taught at homeschool co-ops.

Con’s of Homeschool co-ops

  • Time- Time running to class, time coming home, time at class, time to prepare lessons (if you teach), are all things to consider. Especially if you are short on time BEFORE signing up for a homeschool co-op.
  • School like experience- Yes, this is a pro and a con. Many parents homeschool because they do not want their children to learn from others, or have the public school experience. If this is why you homeschool, then a homeschool co-op may not be the best choice.
  • Commitment- Homeschool co-ops require a commitment, this can be financial (co-ops often cost), a time commitment (you will often need to commit to the length of the co-op ranging from weeks to months), or a teaching commitment (many co-ops require parents to teach, help or work in another capacity during co-op).

In addition to evaluating the pros and cons, I also suggest you talk to the homeschool group leader, ask what will be required of you. Go over the classes with your children; make sure they WANT to make the commitment that a homeschool co-op requires. You do NOT want to be dragging them a few weeks in when they don’t even want to be there.

Before agreeing to a homeschool co-op it is important to know all the pros and cons. Hopefully this list will help you decide if a homeschool co-op is a good fit for your family.

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.

3 Unexpected Advantages of Homeschooling

Unexpected advantages to homeschooling

 

There are many advantages of homeschooling. Our kids perform better academically, we get to have a say in their education, and our families tend to be closer. But, these are all somewhat expected advantages of homeschooling.

When I began homeschooling I knew there were advantages, but there were a few that I was not expecting!

More Sleep for our Kids

A recent study found that teens are starting school too early to get a good night’s sleep. Sleep deprivation can cause depression, weight gain, and brain fog. Many teens are expected to start their school day when their brains are not even fully awake.

Homeschoolers are able to start school when they are ready; they are not rushed in the morning, and are able to get a good night’s rest. This unexpected advantage of homeschooling means that our kids are more ready to face their academic challenges than their public school counterparts.

Increased Responsibility

Homeschooled children tend to be able to work more independently, and are more responsible for their own education.  They tend to have more chores, allowing them to have better life skills.  This increased responsibility makes it more possible to stand on their own two feet as an adult.

Homeschooled children tend to be more responsible and more apt to think independently. Homeschoolers who have attended college claim that they feel more mature than their dorm mates because they know how to think for themselves and are less likely to cave to peer pressure.

Lack of Socialization

Yes, that is right, lack of socialization is an unexpected advantage to homeschooling. What does this mean?

Our children are less likely to succumb to peer pressure in schools because they are not in those “groups”. They are less likely to deal with bullying, violence, and other negative aspects of public school socialization.  They are not grouped by age and gender and expected to just “get along” with kids only their own age.

Public school socialization is not really socialization. In fact, recent studies have found that, ““The socialization of home-educated students was often better than that of their schooled peers.”

Why? Because they are able to live a normal life, in the “real” world with people of all ages. They are not in a school building for the majority of the week, confined to a desk, in a room with 20 other children that happen to have been born within the same year.

There are many unexpected advantages of homeschooling, these are just a few! What have you found to be the most unexpected advantage of homeschooling?

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 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 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.

Making Time for Your Marriage While Homeschooling

Making time for your marriage

 

No one will deny the fact that homeschooling is a full time job.  However, it is also not our only job. We have to keep up with our homes, parent our children, work at our churches, outside activities, our paid jobs, and still have time for our spouse. This can all take a toll on our homes and our marriages.

One of the most important relationships you will ever have is with your spouse. Homeschooling does not trump this. Making time for your marriage while homeschooling is important, and something that must be done.  How can you do this?

  1. Schedule Date Nights: Date nights are important and there are tons of inexpensive options out there. If childcare is a problem offer to swap childcare with a friend once a month. Or, put the kids to be early one night and order pizza and a movie.
  2. Get up Earlier: If your spouse leaves for bed while you are still asleep try to change this. Even if it is just once or twice a week. Get up with your spouse and have time together before they leave for work. Even 15 minutes of alone time without children can mean a lot.
  3. Go to Bed at The Same Time: Does one of you stay up later than the other? Make a commitment to go to bed at the the same time at least 2 nights a week.
  4. Get Creative: See if you spouse will help you grade papers in the evening and talk about the kids, or what happened in your day. Do dishes together, sit with your spouse while they work on the car, go grocery shopping together. Find ways to spend time together that you may not usually do. Get creative and see what happens!

Marriage is hard work, and is a relationship that needs nurturing. The only way to do this is by making time for each other. In the rush, rush, rush mentality of today’s society this can be hard. However, you must make the choice to make time for your marriage. Homeschooling is just one of the many jobs that you have; make sure it is not the only one you are completing.

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 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.