Archive for the ‘Parenting Tips’ Category

How to Emotionally Prepare Homeschool Kids for College

I'm A Graduate Now What? College Preperation Resources!

I'm A Graduate Now What? College Preparation Resources!

College is a big step for any teen, homeschooled or not.  And while skeptics argue that homeschoolers and college don’t go together, research shows that on average, homeschooled teens can “match and often excel beyond their traditionally schooled counterparts in terms of grades” (Sorey and Duggan, Journal of College Admission, 2008).

Homeschooling kids and college fair pretty well in higher education, that’s really not much of a surprise.  But as with any major transitions, proper preparation is necessary.  Before sending your teens off to college, consider the following tips:

Tip #1:  Introduce the idea of college in a positive light. Don’t make it seem like it’s the end of the world, crying and weeping each time the word “college” is mentioned.  Watching your dear homeschoolers move on to the next level of academic success is a wonderful, joyful thing.  You want your kids to experience this exciting time not with fear but with confidence.  You want them to leave your home thinking college is a fun, learning time; the perfect time to make mistakes, as a matter of fact, so they are able to take on whatever life throws their way in the future.

Tip #2:  Teach them important life skills. From financial responsibility to time management, prioritizing and budgeting, to balancing of checks—nothing is too irrelevant when you’re preparing your teens for college and adult life.  Let them work in high school or during summer breaks; let them earn their first car, and hone in on the value of hard work.  These practical skills are going to be their tools for success, remember that.

Tip #3:  Begin to clip their wings. I know this is much easier said than done.  I mean, exactly how do you expect a parent to let their kids go and decide for themselves?  Not without a fight, I tell you!  But as we all know, we’re going to have to let our children learn from being independent—from the good and the bad that come at the cost of freedom.  This will prepare them for the real world.

Once your homeschooled teens are ready for college, let them try traditional on-campus life even for a semester.  Encourage them to build positive friendships to make college life an experience they will never forget. Additionally, make sure your homeschooler is prepared for college with these college preparation resources.

Homeschooling Kids 101: Educating Skeptics

Buy Homeschool Parenting Resource Books

Buy Homeschool Resource Books

The kids are about to start homeschool and everything is ready!  You and your husband have bought homeschool resource books, spoken to a few homeschooling families, and even selected the most appropriate homeschool curriculum for your children . . . Everything is in place and you’re eager to move on to the next challenge: informing your family and close friends.

And while many of them will surely support your brave decision to homeschool kids, some might be a bit skeptic.  You should expect this, and not allow it to cause unnecessary stress.  Be thankful your children are surrounded by people who actually care about the kind of education they receive.  Take their concern as an opportunity to educate them about homeschooling.  This is the most effective approach in building a strong support system.  You may follow these three easy steps in educating skeptics in your family and group of friends on homeschooling:

Step #1:  Inform and educate those in doubt. Answer their questions on point, and try not to focus the conversation on what’s wrong about the public school system.  Be objective and clear when providing information, as clarity is always the best persuader.  Share the things you learned from researching and talking to other homeschooling kids and families.  From the new movement’s history to current status, share as much information as they want you to.  Let them know of famous homeschoolers from different periods of time, and use these successful figures to show how a different education system can also lead to remarkable, ground-breaking accomplishments.

Step #2:  Address all concerns. Issues about socialization and teacher qualifications are most frequently asked, so prepare to go at length when discussing these points.  Mention how you plan to incorporate social interaction with your child’s homeschool curriculum, and be ready to answer questions like “what about prom, sports, college?”  You will need to take a stand, and rightfully so, as the parent, and explain how you feel about these things.  When it comes to cultural diversity and being able to interact with other races and groups of people, talk about the trips you plan to take as a family, and how you feel such an experience will educate your children.

Step #3:  Prove skeptics wrong. You cannot please everybody, you know that.  What you can do, however, is to turn your homeschooling kids into homeschooling ambassadors.  Keep a portfolio of their work and progress, and show them to family and friends—both skeptics and supporters—when you get a chance.  Sharing your homeschooling kids’ success is good because not only does it help boost your child’s confidence, it also serves as testament that you made the right call.

But remember, your decision to homeschool your child is yours to make as a parent.  And although you will always find a skeptic in a bunch of supporters, this shouldn’t derail you from your goals.  Educate the skeptic, and if your efforts still do not bring your the results you want, do yourself and your family a favor and shrug it all off.

To get the help you need on homeschooling your child, visit our parent resources section for  homeschool resource books.

Why Homeschool?

Find Homeschool Resources Here

Find Homeschool Resources Here

Why Homeschool? Homeschool education is perhaps one of the biggest and most monumental reforms in our education system since mass public schooling took effect about a hundred years ago.  As the practice of homeschooling children gains more support from families, many have become increasingly disappointed at the decline in quality of public and private school education in the U.S.  And who can blame them?  Think about it for a second.  Why is it that when our kids take those aptitude tests that measure our rank—in terms of intelligence—in the world, they always score near the bottom?  If our public and private schools systems work, how come our kids never score better than an average Asian or European kid in math, science or literature?

For those who ask “Why Homeschool?” I say “Why not homeschool?” Let me give you two most important reasons why homeschooling children may be a better choice for your family:

Reason #1: Homeschooling encourages children to learn from their mistakes. One of the problems with traditional schools is that they tend to emphasize how it’s ultimately wrong to make mistakes.  The more errors your children incur in their exams, the lower their final grades become.  Everything is quantified by numbers, and if theirs don’t meet the school’s standards, there are serious consequences.  The homeschool movement, on the other hand, teaches children that mistakes can lead people to discoveries.  This foundation then is able to hone a culture that isn’t scared to make mistakes and create a generation that recognizes opportunities amidst problems.

Reason #2:  Homeschooling turns the world into one big classroom. It encourages curiosity and inspires creativity.  Learning is facilitated by different people, like an artist your child meets at the museum, the doctor at the hospital, or the baker at the store.  While day school system forces children to sit in class for 6 to 8 hours, 5 days a week, homeschool education teaches them to explore and discover at their own pace.  The world becomes their classroom, boundless and never-ending, exactly the way learning and education should be.

There are many more reasons why homeschool is preferred by a growing number of families in the U.S. today.  And it varies, depending on the parents’ priorities when it comes to educating their children.

Tell us your story.  Why does your family prefer homeschooling your children?  What do you think are its benefits?  Would you recommend homeschooling to other families?

Teaching Your Children Using the Right Communication

Teaching Your Children

Teaching Your Children

The way parents and teachers communicate with their children has an effect on their way of thinking and how they develop emotionally and educationally. As parents and educators you really need to make sure you are asking questions, encouraging, and making statements to your children as often as possible versus making commands and supplying them immediately with the correct answer. Treat your child with the same respect you would your best friend.

The following are some ways you can communicate with your child more effectively to create a better learning environment:

  • When your child shows interest in something or is trying to learn on their own, do not be quick to step in and correct them, but let them know that you are there to help if needed. Not doing things exactly right in the beginning and then figuring out the solution to the problem on their own is a great way that children learn effectively.
  • If your child is in the middle of a project, show genuine interest by getting down to their level and asking them how they did what they did.
  • When you are doing something in front of your child, try to remember to describe your actions out loud so they can hear and learn from you.
  • Give specific positive feedback! If a child does something, do not just say “Great Job!” Give specifics on what they did that you like encouraging them to do more. For example your child is doing an art project, tell them something like, “That’s so colorful! It really stands out on that pink paper.”
  • If your child wants to talk to you, make sure you are looking directly at them and do not have many disturbances going on like the TV or reading a book.
  • Ask questions to your child that get them thinking beyond the task at hand. For example, “How does this work?”, “What other vegetables are green?”, Why do you like this?”, etc.
  • If at all possible, try to correct your child by pulling him/her aside and letting them know quietly. Correcting a child in public is not only embarrassing but will lead to resentment and a feeling of not being respected or valued.
  • Get down to the child’s level to talk to them rather than standing over them.
  • Try to always talk to your child in a calm manner. If needed, take a moment to cool off and then talk to the child about correcting their behavior. Children do not learn well from yelling because rather than focusing on what you are telling them they are focusing on your behavior.
  • Listen carefully and politely. Don’t interrupt the child when he is trying to tell his story. Don’t use put-down words or statements.
  • Assist the child in planning some specific steps to the solution.
  • Show that you accept the child himself, regardless of what he has or has not done.
  • Do you you have any great parenting tips or stories? Let others know by commenting below.

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