Archive for the ‘Homeschool News’ Category

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: http://www.hslda.org/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 (www.christianvssecular.com)

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

Texas Education Board Approves Conservative Curriculum Changes

A decision by The Texas Board of Education to change the curriculum in Texas social studies textbooks has brought on a tremendous amount of controversy between the democratic and republican members. A few of the primary decisions that were made and heavily argued over are the following:

  •  The Board removed Thomas Jefferson from the Texas curriculum, “replacing him with religious right icon John Calvin.”
  •  The Board refused to require that “students learn that the Constitution prevents the U.S. government from promoting one religion over all others.”
  • Classification of historic periods (still B.C. and A.D., rather than B.C.E. and C.E.)
  • Students are now required to explain the origins of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and its impact on global politics 
  • Former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir will be a required learning 
  • There will be a reference to the Second Amendment right to bear arms in a section about citizenship in a U.S. government class
  • Arguments over including hip-hop as an example of a significant cultural movement (Will Not happen)
  • Denial to add the names or references to important Hispanics throughout history
  • Teachers in Texas are now required to teach the Judeo-Christian influences of the nation’s Founding Fathers, but not highlight the philosophical rationale for the separation of church and state.

The proposals have been met with final ratification from the board, but the final vote will come in May, after a prolonged period of public comment on the recommendations. Still, the conservatives clearly feel like the bulk of their work is done; after the 120-page draft was finalized last Friday, Republican board member Terri Leo declared that it was “world class” and “exceptional.”

What is your opinion on this? Let us know!

Public School vs. Homeschool Socialization

My people believe that homeschool deprives kids of the socialization benefits that you get from public school. I believe that no matter what educational avenue a parent decides, the true result of any socialization is up to the parents and how they incorporate socilaization into the child’s life. There is an abundance of socialization tools out there now for homeschoolers and it is up to the parents to participate in them. You do not have to go to public school to do this. What do you think?

An article by Reverend Brenda Hoffman states, “Truth be told, most homeschool parents feel that the public school’s social life is enough of a reason for them to homeschool. This is because, in the majority of schools, the social life that takes place in public schools is mean-spirited, competitive, exclusive, status-seeking, snobbish, full of talk about who went to whose birthday party and who got what Christmas presents and who got how many Valentine cards and who is talking to so-and-so and who is not. This begins as early as first grade. You’ll see classes divide into leaders (usually the popular kids), their bands of followers, and other outsiders who you can tell have been excluded from these groups for one reason or another. Many parents will even note that they haven’t ever seen their children doing anything really mean or silly until their child(ren) went away to school.”

Give us your opinion on the differences of public school vs. homeschool socialization and what it is you do to incorporate socialization in your childs life.

Stereotypes of home-schooled children are incorrect

Great Web letter by 13-year old Sarah Prater:

I’m 13 and have been home-schooled for eight years. I think people need to know more about home schooling because of the unfounded stereotypes that seem to label every child who is home-schooled. While some people do home school primarily because of their beliefs, special needs children or other reasons, it does not mean that all home-schoolers are religious fanatics or that they can’t cope with the stresses of public school. Many parents home-school because of the faulty public education system, possible multiple school transfers, fear of gang violence and school shootings.

One of the big issues that are brought up in discussions about home-schooling is socialization. A lot of people have the opinion that home-schoolers spend their lives at the kitchen table, apart from the rest of the world. While schoolwork is the same no matter how you are educated, home-schoolers aren’t tied down at a desk for six hours, five days a week during the school year. Instead, they are free to extend their classroom to museums, colleges, hospitals, capitol buildings, state parks and other locations at any time of the year. Family vacations can be to anywhere at any time. Read the rest of this entry »

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