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Monday, January 24, 2011

Homeschooling Info for those getting started...

     I don't/haven't homeschooled my child, but, I had researched the possibility and know that others are searching for the same info. So, to the best of my ability...here is all of the info I could find.


FIRST AND FOREMOST:


Homeschooling Laws By State This is needed because every state has different recommendations and rules. Be sure you know the rules before you start so you can be prepared.


Now for the ins and out of beginning...

Figure out your child's learning style so you can best decide a course of action for their learning. Also, you need to decide your teaching style and how much you are willing to put into this process. There are several approaches to teaching and learning:

  • "Structured - Sometimes called school at home, it can also include those who just like to have a very organized, goal-oriented day: A Day-Timer® School!
  • Interest-initiated - Some call this approach "unschooling." These families learn from real life experiences. Kids pursue their interests with encouragement and resources provided by their parents. These families might have a monthly calendar with a few key events noted on it.
  • Learning-style - Learning materials and activities are chosen based onhow their children learn best.
  • Philosophical - These homeschools are structured around educationalphilosophies studied by the parents.
  • Accelerated - Resentful of being called "pushy," these parents feel theirgifted children have special talents that deserve intense, daily focus. The children may also have determined goals to reach.
  • Accommodating - Some families need to structure their homeschooling around the special needs of one or more people in their family.
  • Unit-based - AKA the unit study approach, all learning is focused on a particular topic for for a period of time, each child learning at their own level of understanding.
  • Community - Community activities:  religious involvementyouth organizations, volunteer work: group situations that they or others like them have organized. Families spend a significant portion of their time learning from involvement outside the home.
  • Eclectic - Any combination of the above! Families pick and choose from all the wonderful options available to them and alter their course as needed." From A to Z Home's Cool
Now, I won't say you need to dwell on these approaches or learning style, it is just a handy tool in starting out. And while one mom may choose to buy a complete curriculum with books, workbooks and worksheets, you may decide to utilize the library for free resources. Or maybe free printable worksheets from online sites.
It all depends on WHAT you want your child to learn, HOW you want to teach them and WHICH way they learn best.

Here is a list of good sites:
School Express
The Teacher's Corner
Starfall
A to Z Kids Stuff

Plenty of games, lessons and worksheets.

If none of this sounds like what you are looking for, then perhaps UNschooling is what you need. You can teach your child through life experiences. They can make a grocery list and budget, plan meals for the week, cut coupons, search local ads for savings, find recipes, cook meals....in that experience, they are learning reading, math, economics, home skills, socializing...and much more. Planting a garden, raising animals, starting a small business, writing a blog...there are plenty ways to learn without learning at a desk with a teacher teaching up front. And if a child decides they ARE interested in learning more about any subject, you can help them find out everything there is to know about that subject. They would be learning, but, about things that interest them...making it more likely to be retained in their brains.

Keep in mind that you can use EVERY type of schooling and approaches while homeschooling.







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