Archive for the ‘Homeschool Curriculum’ Category

Eeny Meeny Miny Mo: Which Curriculum is the Best Way to Go?

homeschool curriculumChoosing a homeschool curriculum can be a daunting task, especially if you are considering switching from a curriculum that was unsuccessful for your child’s needs. There are some things to keep in mind during the process that can help you choose a curriculum that fits both the needs of you and your child.

Consider the following questions as you shop:

What type of learner is my child? Every child learns differently, each at his or her own pace and with his or her own style. Home education gives you the freedom to cater precisely to your child’s learning style, in a way that is difficult to implement in a typical classroom setting. Choosing the right curriculum for your child’s learning style will help keep your child motivated while they learn; High interest will help your child learn faster and retain the information longer than they would with materials that do not hold their interest.

Is it all inclusive? Some products include everything you need, while others rely on you providing some of the materials yourself. Determine whether or not you will need to borrow materials from the library or purchase separately, and whether or not those resources are available to you.

How much time will it take to prepare lessons? Lesson preparation time varies from one curriculum to the next and is an important to factor when you are making your choice. Start by determining the time that you have in your current schedule and look for curriculums that fit that same time frame.

What are other parents’ opinions of the programs? The feedback other parents provide about the available programs can be invaluable to you as you make your selections; these parents have tried the programs and can give you firsthand insight into what works and what doesn’t work. Blogs and homeschool support groups are also great resources for this kind of information.homeschool curriculum

Asking these questions as you consider which educational products to use with your child will help narrow down your choices. At Nest Learning, we are always happy to answer any questions you might have about our products and offer guidance to help you find materials that are the most appropriate for your situation.

Top Parenting Resources: Are There Other Alternatives to Retention?

Different parenting resources present disagreeing data about whether or not holding a child back another grade in school after failing standardized tests helps improve academic performance. While some argue that giving a child another year to “catch up” is a positive alternative, many specialists and parents claim retention can do more damage to their child’s learning and social development.

 According to Karl Alexander, a professor at Johns Hopkins University, grade retention “at any age raises the risk of dropping out of school later,” and has a negative impact on all areas of a child’s academic achievement and socio-emotional adjustment.  Another study conducted by the University of California also found that students who have been held back another year attribute being retained for their “poor peer relationships, poor self-esteem and their continuing struggles at school.”  This is why it is imperative that you consider the following alternatives before deciding to hold your child back another year:

 Alternative #1:  Diagnostic testing and supplemental curriculumThrough proper diagnostic testing, you’d be able to accurately identify your child’s academic level, as well as skills.  This allows you and the school to clearly determine if your child is in the right grade level, using the appropriate curriculum.  If you feel there is a need to “beef it up”, don’t hesitate to go over a variety of supplemental curricula that’s available to you.  Once you find one that best fits your child’s needs, integrate it with your child’s school work because this can help emphasize things learned in school.

 Alternative #2:  Remedial classes and additional course work.  Coordinate with your child’s teacher to identify your child’s academic weaknesses, and find out if additional course work can help earn the extra credits she needs.  Encourage her to join study groups and if at all possible, hire an effective tutor who can provide one-on-one help in understanding new lessons and completing school work.  Consider enrolling your child in summer classes or, if his school offers them, extended day and extended year programs.  Many parenting resources support that getting children involved in homework clubs and after-school programs can help increase their learning success in the classroom.

 Alternative #3:  Extra-curricular activities.    Get your child involved in other non-academic activities.  Help him make new friends by participating in sports activities like football and basketball, or joining groups such as choir, scouts and dance.  Exposing him to things outside school can help boost his academic performance, establishing a good foundation for long-term academic success.

Wordly Wise 3000 Makes Homeschool Vocabulary Fun

Wordly Wise 3000 enriches vocabulary skills while making vocabulary learning fun. The homeschool vocabulary curriculum contains riddles, crossword puzzles, hidden messages and many other engaging activities to help kids in grades K through 12 absorb up to 4050 new vocabulary words!

With Wordly Wise 3000, students build their reading vocabularies while simultaneously strengthening their reading, critical thinking, and writing skills. Here you will find a Wordly Wise books and word lists for every level of vocabulary curriculum!

Are you purchasing for a school, university, or institution that needs to order with a PO? Are you interested in a volume discount?  If so, we are here to help –  just click here!

We love our blog followers so much that we’d like to give you a chance to win some of these fantastic vocabulary  books – Wordly Wise.  All you need to do to enter is click now, purchase any Wordly Wise curriculum product using the COUPON CODE: NLB7 and you’ll be automatically entered into our drawing. Three lucky winners will receive two additional Wordly Wise books (of their choice) absolutely free!! Participants must use coupon code to be entered. Tell all your friends and family! This special contest will end on Monday, 9/13/10 at 8AM. So ENTER NOW!!

Homeschool Curriculum That Works

Saxon Math

Homeschool Curriculum

Finding the appropriate homeschool curriculum can be a bit tricky, but once you find one that fits perfectly with your child’s learning style and pace, believe me, it will be absolutely rewarding.  Studies show that homeschooled kids tend to be more academically advanced, mature, confident, and eager to learn than their peers.  An effective homeschool science or homeschool math program, for example, can teach your children to think outside the box, explore what hasn’t even been conceived, and discover new ways to solve problems much earlier than kids who are publicly or privately schooled.

If you have been researching and planning about homeschooling your children, then you are on the right track!  Preparation is crucial.  It will save you plenty of time, energy and stress in the long-run.  To better help you, we’ve listed 5 Easy Steps on How to Prepare for Homeschool:

Step #1:  Learn everything you can about homeschooling. Read up on everything—from your state’s laws and school district’s requirements, to different homeschool science or homeschool math curriculum available.  Talk to other parents who have experience in or are planning on homeschooling their children.  Not only will you be pleasantly amazed at the many things you can learn from each other, you will also be creating a community of friends for you and your children.

Step #2:  Discuss your homeschool plans with your children. Get them excited about it.  Ask them where they want to go for their field trip, or what science experiment they want to do first.  Get them involved in planning their lessons and projects.

Step #3:  Procure a fun and effective homeschool curriculum. Focus on your children’s interests, and find a homeschool curriculum that fits their personalities best.  Whether homeschool science, homeschool math or any other subject, you need to make sure it’s age-appropriate and tailor-made to satisfy your children’s learning needs.

Step #4:  Stock up on educational toys, games, books, DVDs and school supplies, and get organized. They don’t have to be expensive; what you’re really after is quality.  You also want to get a good supply of flipcharts, coloring supplies, paper, pens and pencils, and make sure they are stored properly.  Make full use of your organizational skills, and don’t allow a bad storage system affect your level of effectiveness and efficiency.

Step #5:  Turn to remarkable and successful members of your community who are willing to share their experiences with your children. Get your kids involved in church and community.  Having different mentors from different fields can be an excellent learning experience for them.

If you’re looking for an age-appropriate, yet mentally stimulating homeschool curriculum, visit NEST Learning today!

How Homeschool Curriculum Can Help Your Public School Child Meet State Education Standards

As more and more parents become increasingly disappointed and unhappy with local public schools and weak enforcement of state education standards, the need for additional and effective homeschool curriculum continues to grow.  Parents have come to realize that if they want their children to meet and keep up with the state education standards for their appropriate grade level, they’re going to need quality Math curriculum or English curriculum that they can use to teach their children outside of school.

The Common Core State Standards Initiative contains documents that provide what your child should know by a certain grade level. As a parent responsible for your child’s education, you will want to read the standards and evaluate whether or not your child meets the requirements. In addition, here are three things you can do to make sure your children are not lacking in good education:

Support your child academically. Knowing what your child learns in school allows you to effectively monitor his learning progress.  Don’t hesitate to discuss his performance in school with school teachers and staff.  Find out his academic strengths and areas for improvement.  You also want to make sure he gets his homework done, and if necessary, find a good tutor to help with homework.  Create an environment that is conducive for learning, and help your child prepare for his exams.  Maximize your child’s learning progress by using effective and engaging Math homeschool curriculum or English homeschool curriculum that can help you facilitate learning, even after public school hours.

Support your child’s learning at home. Remember, your child can easily mirror your attitude towards education, so make sure to create an environment that appreciates and values learning.  You also want to monitor her video game, television, and Internet use, and make sure you provide high-quality educational media.  Encourage her to read, as you teach her the beauty of words and imagination.   Take time to talk with your child, and encourage active learning at home.

Be creative and engaging. When teaching your child, it is normal for you to run out of ideas and activities, so be very creative.  Do not limit your learning materials and learn to explore other educational media like educational DVDs and computer games.  Use everything and anything to teach your child, and allow each experience to be as enriching as possible.

Light in the Tunnel

At present, each state sets its own academic standards, but the enthusiasm to really reinforce it varies broadly.  And with the hope that this is going to change soon, especially with the recent reinvigoration of the debate about the creation of common state education standards that are of international calibre, parents can turn to homeschool curriculum to help ensure their kids remain on point with these standards.  Keep in mind that preparing our children for college and the real world is ultimately our responsibility as parents.  And creating a productive younger generation will ultimately determine the future of our nation.

To find the appropriate homeschool curriculum for your child’s grade level, visit NEST Learning today!

FREE iPad Giveaway With Any Homeschool Curriculum Purchase

FREE iPad Giveaway

FREE iPad Giveaway

NEST learning has a new amazing offer! For EVERY homeschool curriculum item you buy, you get an automatic entry to win a FREE iPad. ($499 Value) Official Terms and Conditions

Two winners will be announced with one being on Friday, April 23, and another on Friday, April 30. That gives you only two weeks to have the chance to win the FREE iPad, making your odds very good! The 16GB Apple iPad is the newest rage in technology. All of the built-in apps on iPad were designed from the ground up to take advantage of the large Multi-Touch screen and advanced capabilities of iPad. And they work in any orientation. So you can do things with these apps that you can’t do on any other device.

In addition, NEST is offering a savings of 20% Plus, FREE SHIPPING on ALL Alpha Omega Curriculum! This only happens once a year anywhere, so now is the time to stock up for the best deals of the year.

Start your shopping now! K7CRZCX5TUZK

Shop by Brand:
Wordly Wise Saxon Math Scholastic BJU Press
Apologia Science School Specialty YWAM Alpha Omega Publications
Horizons LIFEPAC Standard Deviants Switched on Schoolhouse

Live Butterfly Garden Rising to Be a Top Educational Toy

Live Butterfly Garden

Live Butterfly Garden

One of the educational toys on the market that is gaining huge popularity for its creativity, learning aspects and entertainment is the Live Butterfly Garden for kids by Insect Lore.

With a live butterfly garden you can explore the life of insects with live butterfly, ladybug, ants and other insect kits for education and home use. Insect Lore (a creator of live butterfly garden kits) lets kids witness the wonder of the butterfly life cycle with child-and-insect friendly habitats. Kids can see the caterpillar’s transition as it grows, changes into a chrysalis, and finally emerges as a lady butterfly.

A live butterfly garden comes with a mesh cage and 5-6 larvae that will turn into caterpillars and then into butterflies. All of the food that will be needed is provided.

with this educational toy, kids watch the progress of the larvae turning into a caterpillar, the caterpillar spinning his cocoon, and then the butterfly emerging in just a few weeks time. Kids will then have to let the butterflies go after 3 days so they can find food.

The live butterfly garden and other Insect Lore products teach kids about science and nature and the process in which different insects go through. It also teaches kids to learn to let things go for the benefit of nature and others.

I bought this educational toy before for my 4-year-old niece and it has been one of her favorite gifts to date. It is something that most people do not think to give and is very exciting for kids.

The Importance of Homeschool Record Keeping

Homeschool Record Keeping

Homeschool Record Keeping

It’s every homeschooler’s nightmare. A local school district official knocks on the door and asks to see your homeschool record keeping. However, after a brief moment of panic, the realization dawns that this isn’t a nightmare after all. You’ve done your homework and are prepared for such a visit. After spending a few minutes looking over your records, the impressed official heads for the door, satisfied you are in compliance with the law.

It rarely happens, but what if it would happen to you? Would you be prepared? Record keeping is a critically important part of a homeschooling parent’s job. However, the importance of homeschool record keeping goes way beyond being prepared for an unexpected visit from a school official.


Why is record keeping so important? The documentation of your children’s Christian homeschool education can serve many purposes beyond simply proving compliance with the law. Children applying for scholarships or other honors may need school records in order to satisfy eligibility requirements. The college application and admission process depends heavily on the existence of detailed homeschool record keeping. In addition, a child entering or re-entering a public or private school can be placed more easily and appropriately if adequate records have been kept. Homeschool records also help provide the opportunity for personal and/or professional evaluation of student progress and planning for future academic pursuits. Finally, some families may elect to keep records for nostalgic reasons or for the purpose of providing a way to showcase a child’s homeschool experience for family and friends.

Still, it’s difficult to know where to begin. Since no two homeschool experiences are the same, it’s impossible to design a record keeping plan that works for every family. This guide is intended to provide the information you need to assist you in developing a record keeping system that meet your specific needs.

Who and When?

Whether you’re a first-time home educator or a veteran who has never made homeschool record keeping a
priority, every homeschooler should start keeping detailed records now! While you may never need to use some of what you collect, the benefit of having comprehensive records far outweighs the time invested to create them. Besides, it doesn’t require much time in the first place? While the time required will vary from family to family, most homeschoolers must invest relatively little time in order to create and maintain a well-designed record keeping system.


Now that you’ve decided you should keep records of your family’s homeschool, what should you maintain? The
answer to this question is determined to a large extent by the consideration of several important factors

  • Where do you live?
  • With what laws must you comply?
  • How old is your child?
  • Will your child be entering a public or private school in the future?
  • Is your child college-bound?

Where you live plays a significant role in answering the question of “what,” In the United States, state laws
govern the education of all children, including children who are schooled at home. Since failure to comply with
the laws of your state can result in the loss of your right to homeschool, knowing and understanding your state’s laws is vitally important in determining what records you need to keep for your children. An online search for your state’s homeschool laws can help you determine records you are required to keep.

Another important factor to consider when determining what records to keep is the age of your children. While it is strongly recommended to keep records for all children, it is especially important to keep meticulous records for high school aged children. These records can significantly impact the college and/or job application process of your teenage child. In addition, if it’s likely your children will eventually be placed in a public or private school, detailed records will make the transfer process much easier, potentially eliminating the need for extensive placement testing.

Though some families have very few requirements to satisfy, they still choose to keep records of their children’s homeschool experience solely for personal and/or sentimental reasons. So, even if all you want to do is show off your child’s academic abilities to family and friends, homeschool record keeping is a great idea!


There are as many different ways to keep homeschool records as there are reasons to keep them! Exactly how you keep your student records should be determined by many of the same factors considered above and may change as your homeschool journey progresses. Factors like location, age of children, academic goals, and others also affect how you should keep your records.

While there are many possible record keeping methods, one of the most effective and efficient ways to compile academic records for children of all ages is to create a portfolio, a collection of documentation intended to demonstrate a homeschool child’s academic progress. The contents of a homeschool portfolio will vary from family to family according to specific legal requirements, as well as personal preference. However, a comprehensive portfolio always contains some variation of many of the following items:

• Student data page: General student information, such as name, birth date, address, etc.
• Medical records required by law, such as immunizations
• Documentation of compliance with state requirements that may or may not include the following items:

– List of specific goals and objectives for each academic subject
– Documentation of communication with local school district officials
– List of educational materials utilized, including author and publishing information for all books,
curriculum, DVDs/videos, and software
– Sampling of student work in all subject areas, particularly those required by law like math and
science: Samples should be representative of both type (workbook pages, written compositions,
quizzes, and tests) and quality of work completed by the student.
– Documentation of required and/or voluntary assessment: Assessment can be measured and reported
through a variety of means, including report cards, standardized testing, professional evaluations,
grade reports, and transcripts.

• Report of extracurricular activities, such as field trips, homeschool group or church activities, sports, music, drama, etc. These can be presented in journal format and may include photographs and student assignments specific to the activity.
• Documentation of special awards, honors, accomplishments, and achievements earned.

A portfolio can be compiled completely from scratch or can be created using packaged record keeping programs available in a variety of formats. Electronic curriculum options, such as online or computer-based curriculum can provide easy access to much of the documentation needed to put together a complete record of your children’s home education.

So, why are you waiting? Wherever you are on your homeschool journey, don’t wait for a knock on the door to begin your homeschool record keeping. Start creating a record of your children’s homeschool experience today!

Record keeping is a critically important part of a homeschooling parent’s job. However, the importance of
homeschool record keeping goes way beyond being prepared for an unexpected visit from a school official.
Wherever you are on your homeschool journey, learn how you can begin your homeschool record keeping and start creating a record of your children’s homeschool experience today!

Source: Alpha Omega Publications

Getting Started Homeschooling

Getting Started Homeschooling

Getting Started Homeschooling

Know Your State Law

  • Homeschooling is legal in every state in the United States.
  • Obtain information about your state home schooling law.
  • One source is to contact your local school district who can provide a packet of information concerning home schooling, including a synoptic paragraph about legal requirements. Inquiries can be made with no strings attached.
  • Another source of information is to contact your state home school organization which also can provide information about home schooling in your state. Other home schoolers can provide you with the proper telephone number.
  • In addition, those interested in home schooling can contact Home School Legal Defense Association, a national home school legal organization. They can provide information regarding legal requirements as well as membership into their organization.
  • All of these suggestions are made as points of reference and are not necessarily considered to be endorsements.
  • Learn more about your state’s homeschooling laws:

Obtain Homeschool Curriculum

  • Most states expect you to obtain a reliable curriculum, although some states have the authority to approve or disapprove your choice.
  • Many states expect you to teach the academic disciplines such as spelling, handwriting, English, reading, math, science, and history.
  • Most state home school organizations hold curriculum fairs during spring or summer.
  • You should purchase basic curriculum first and then add extras such as charts, globes, maps, science kits, manipulatives, and flash cards.
  • You should look for a curriculum with daily lesson plans that take the guesswork out of what you need to teach your child on his grade level.
  • You should purchase curriculum early (possibly 2-3 months before teaching) in order to become familiar with the format and to prepare lesson plans.
  • Christian vs. secular textbooks (

Set Up Your Home School

Begin Keeping Records

  • Many states require a record-keeping system.
  • Store records in a filing system by school year and child.
  • Store samples of your student’s work as well as standardized test results.

Organize Your Time

  • Develop a school schedule based on the number of days your state requires.
  • Consider a year-round schedule vs. a nine-month schedule as well as a daily schedule.
  • Include long-term projects, seasonal activities, ministries, holidays, and vacations in your schedule.
  • Develop a teaching plan based on the number of children you have.

Prepare Lesson Plans

  • Plan at least one week’s lessons ahead of time, gathering materials for lessons, collecting resources for lessons, preparing visuals, etc.
  • Use a daily lesson plan book for lesson number and pages, activities, and student textbook and workbook pages.
  • Review the evening before to refresh your memory and to put materials in place for the next day.

Find a Support Group

  • Attend several meetings to become acquainted with the group and its purposes.
  • Assess group goals and standards to be sure they are in keeping with those you want and have for your family.
  • Inquire of the group or other homeschoolers about how to obtain good magazines and helpful newsletters.
  • Join helpful homeschool specific social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, and Blogs to help you discuss your needs and concerns with other homeschoolers

ABCs of the Best Homeschool Curriculum

Alpha Omega Publications

Alpha Omega Publications

Wondering what’s the best homeschool curriculum Christian parents can use to successfully educate their
child? If you’re like most homeschool parents, you probably spend countless hours researching different
products to find the perfect resource to improve your homeschooling experience. Although quality, Christian

homeschool materials do provide excellent academic learning opportunities, you may be surprised to learn the best homeschool curriculum is actually YOU! That’s right! Like a living, 3-D textbook, your life is constantly on display and “read” daily by your child. Therefore, with such a great responsibility to influence your child’s education, what attitudes and actions should be consistently shown in your life as a Christian homeschooling parent? Consider the following ABCs to successful homeschooling:

AAttentive. Be sensitive to your child’s “learning edge” and customize your curriculum to meet his interests.
Use the benefits of one-on-one interaction to make the most of your teaching time.

BBrave. Be ready to face the challenges from those who question your decision to homeschool. Going
against the educational flow will require strength of character to “speak the truth in love.”

CChrist-like. With Jesus Christ at the center of your homeschool, let the Holy Spirit guide you through the
work that lies ahead in teaching your children.

D – Disciplined. Be willing to submit to God’s authority and live in obedience to His Word.

E – Enthusiastic. Love learning yourself and your children will love to learn, too.

F – Friendly. No man is an island. Develop relationships with other homeschooling families. Not only will
your children appreciate the social interaction, but you will also enjoy the encouragement from other home
school parents.

G – Grateful. Teaching your children is a privilege. Be thankful with a humble spirit.

H – Hardworking. Determine to complete the endless, daily tasks of maintaining a home and homeschooling
your children.

I – Ingenious. Creative thinking is a must to keep learning fun and inspirational.

J – Jolly. “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine” (Proverbs 17:22). Have fun when you’re teaching and
learn to laugh at yourself when you make mistakes.

K – Kind. Let your speech and actions show the tender love of Christ. After all, it takes just as much energy to
say and do something nice as it does to do something mean.
ABCs of the Best Homeschool Curriculum
© MMVI Alpha Omega Publications, Inc.
804 N. 2nd Ave. E., Rock Rapids, IA 51246-1759 • 1.800.622.3070 •
L – Long-suffering. Homeschooling is a life-long adventure with lasting benefits. It’s always too early to quit!

M – Mushy. When it comes to homeschooling children, sincere words of appreciation, hugs, and kisses are
always a good idea.

N – Neat. As much as possible, keep your home clean and tidy.

O – Organized. Keep up with lesson plans, grading, and transcripts to meet state requirements.

P – Professional. Since homeschooling is God’s job for you, work to the best of your ability and don’t let a
half-hearted approach ruin your homeschooling day.

Q – Quiet. Your calm spirit provides the peaceful learning environment your children need to learn best.

R – Respectful. Never make fun of your children. Remember that every question is a good question, no matter
how many you answer each day.

S – Smiley. Let God’s love be reflected in a happy face. Smiles are contagious.

T – Teachable. Teachers never know it all, so keep learning right along with your children.

U – Unselfish. Share all that you have to help your children succeed. The rewards always outweigh the costs.

V – Virtuous. Be a truthful homeschooling parent who displays integrity in thought, word, and deed. Mean
what you say and do what you promise.

W – Worshipful. Show your children how to come before a holy God as you sing and give praise for the many
blessings in your life.

X – EXemplary – Since children learn best by example, you are the best homeschool curriculum they’ll
ever have!

Y – Youthful. Stay young at heart and never grow too old to play with your children.

Z – Zealous. Protect your homeschooling rights. Defend the cause by keeping informed and getting involved in
your state’s political process.

Through March 26, 2010, save an extra 17% off our already low prices on any Alpha Omega products including LIFEPAC, Switched on Schoolhouse, Horizons and Weaver brands!

Source: Alpha Omega Publications, Inc. Whitepapers


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