Archive for the ‘Homeschooling Tips’ Category

Fall: 10 facts kids will love

We found this great article to pass along: Fall: 10 facts kids will loveWatch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

Is your child falling behind?

Is your child falling behind?

Every mom worries in the middle of the homeschool year if their child is having a difficult time grasping some concepts especially those in math or vocabulary where it’s either you know it or you don’t. Every child has his or her own pace for learning, but being proactive and identifying signs can save your child the trouble of playing catch up at the start of the school year.


Signs of Falling Behind

  • Struggling with the lessons with a lack of enthusiasm of a subject they used to like
  • Negative reactions to the curriculum due to the choice of the curriculum and it does not match their style of learning
  • Progress reports (at school or your own homeschool) show decrease in grades or learning overall
  • Math & vocabulary are common subjects that indicate a student is struggling

Suggestions & Starting Points to Look at

  • Find extra tutoring to fill in any gaps your student have missed in lessons
  • A check up for eye sight and hearing, because young students cannot make the connection that their eye sight and/or hearing are affecting their learning
  • Find support and mentors such as setting up a family discussion to share and help your child as a group with your child present and involved. This is very similar to a teacher-parent meeting
  • Outside events such as a death in the family would need the expertise of a counselor
  • Perhaps the curriculum does not match. Go back and check if the learning materials and books fit their style of learning or challenge your child in a different way
  • Providing more time and supplements to the school day

Final Solutions

  • Start analysing their past work and pin point specfic problems he or she had with the subject
  • Start a schedule to catch up on the school work. If this means another hour a day on that particular subject. Make this goal and stick to you incrementally
  • Use a guided lesson plan to systematically work through problems. This means that if you found the problems such as, multiplication. Find a guide that will break down these lessons to learning the table, then learning the order of operation, then practice.


There are no worries for your homeschool if you are being alert and attentive to your homeschooler’s needs. The student will give you signs if a subject matter becomes a struggle. Watch for those and again, be proactive!

Homeschool teachers, are you seeing signs of what you think might be a struggle? Let us know here on facebook:

Power of Who- Everyone has a seed of greatness within them!

Power of Who

Everyone has a seed of greatness within them! The Power of WHO provides a step-by-step plan to help you find your dream through the power of relationships. Great information for your families and teens.

Planning Your Homeschool Curriculum for Fall 2011!

While summer is in full swing across the nation, many homeschooling families are planning out what the fall school semester will look like for their children and choosing their homeschool curriculum materials. Although there is no reason to sound the alarms and call an end to summer, there is definitely a need to check your calendar and count how many weeks until school starts.

There are a few things that you’ll want to have in order before classes actually get started for the new school year. This may be a good time to clean out any clutter that has been left behind from previous years of homeschooling, or the general clutter that busy families tend to create and leave behind. Perhaps you still need to find a support group that will be a good fit for you and your homeschooling family, or some extra-curricular groups. This is even an ideal time to start streamlining some meal planning in advance while you have the time to teach older kids how to cook.

One of the biggest obstacles for you to overcome is the research and purchase of the homeschool curriculum that best suits your family’s needs. This is one of the things on your list that is best done now, while you are fresh off of the semester, than later, when your judgment is hazed by the glow of summer. Make a list of what has been successful in the past, or ask other homeschooling moms what curriculum they like best and why. Make sure that you have exhausted all of your questions and that you have asked about any additional details before making a decision on the best homeschool curriculum for you.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

Switched-On Schoolhouse 2011Some of the most widely used curriculums are heavily promoted during the month of July. Alpha Omega Publishing (or AOP), is a Christian publishing company that proudly provides quality, Bible-based curricula for students in preschool through 12th grade. Their Christian curriculum choices include Switched-On Schoolhouse, LIFEPAC, Horizons, and The Weaver Curriculum. Saxon Math and Phonics is the nation’s best-selling and most thoroughly researched skills-based mathematics program for grades K-12, and Saxon curriculum has consistently been one of homeschoolers’ top choices when it comes to math curriculum. Rosetta Stone Homeschool features predefined curriculum paths for learning, so parents can be sure their students are moving forward… even if parents don’t speak the language themselves. The choices are endless, but only you can know what will be the most suitable choice for your family.

Once you are ready to purchase your homeschool curriculum materials, don’t wait! Give yourself time to order it, receive it and review it carefully before your school season begins. Not only will this allow you to check off one very major important decision on your list, it will give you more time to enjoy your friends and family, and enjoy the fun that comes with the season of summer.

How to Homeschool without Breaking the Bank

homeschool Homeschooling is an option parents are increasingly deciding to make.They are becoming dissatisfied with the public school system, and they want to ensure their children receive a quality education. One thing many people do not realize, though, is this quality can be costly! When one considers most homeschooling families are, of necessity, one income households, it becomes especially important to manage these costs. Here are some tips on how to keep your costs down without sacrificing excellence:

  • Utilize the library. Your public library is a wealth of resources, from books, to DVDs, to special offerings like lectures and classes.


  • Use community resources. State parks offer classes for kids. Community gardens often welcome participation. There are volunteer opportunities abound, not just in charitable organizations, but in places like theaters and symphony halls. What better way to teach children about the world than to get them involved in their local community?
  • Share and share alike. Why not form a co-op or barter goods and services? Parents can get together to educate their children, taking turns teaching and sharing curriculum. If you’re not the founding type, find a group already in existence and join up! You’ll not only save money, but you’ll also make valuable friendships.
  • Utilize educator discounts. Often, bookstores and other retailers will extend the same benefits to homeschool educators that they give to teachers. Don’t hesitate to ask!
  • Know your area. Some states allow homeschoolers access to public school resources. Take some time to learn the local statutes and regulations. You may be surprised to find a treasure trove of resources.
  • Don’t be afraid to buy second hand. Yard sales, Ebay, and kids’ consignment shops are all good places to look for educational materials, and some homeschool groups even host curriculum sales.
  • Get plugged in. Sign up for emails from homeschool groups, curriculum websites, and even local museums and attractions. You’ll be in the loop when educational materials you’ve been eyeing go on sale, if the zoo has a free day, or when the museum has its annual membership drive and lowers prices.
  • Remember that the world is your classroom. Learning is not limited to a classroom and textbooks. A day spent hiking can turn into a valuable lesson on local flora and fauna. Visiting historical sites brings home history in a way simply reading about it does not.

homeschool As you can see, there are many ways to cut expenses without reducing the impact of the experience. Once you get started, you’ll come up with your own strategies for saving as well. Remember to think outside the box, isn’t this the kind of creative thinking homeschooling is all about?

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.

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!

Earth Day Activities and Projects To Teach Your Kids

Earth Day 2010

Fun Activities for Earth Day

Earth Day activities and Earth Day projects are a great way to celebrate Earth Day’s 40th Anniversary on April 22, 2010! Earth Day is about creating awareness and promoting appreciation for our Earth. What a great time to teach your children about their planet and how to take care of it! At NEST Learning we are celebrating by offering you tips and supplies to create fun  educational Earth Day activities for your kids.

Here you will find helpful resources for protecting the Earth with our Earth Day books, Earth Day projects, Earth Day DVDs, Earth Day classroom decorations and many other Earth Day activities. Plus, we have listed some do-it-yourself ideas that you can implement at home.

Earth Day Projects and Earth Day Activities:

See who can come up with the most activities to help conserve the Earth’s resources. Then set a week where the kids have to implement those activities and every time they do they get a sticker. At the end of the week, the one who implemented the most ways to help save the Earth gets a special Earth Day Gift!

Some ideas to talk about for Earth Day would be:

  • Reduce Electricity by turning the lights, TV, computer, and household appliances off every time you leave the room. Even when appliances or DVD players are off they still use electricity if they are plugged in.
  • Shut off the water when not in use. When brushing teeth turn off the water while actually brushing and turn back on only when needed.
  • Ride a bike or take a bus instead of taking the car.
  • Hang dry clothes rather than using the dryer
  • Eat Organic
  • Recycle – make separate containers for plastic, glass, aluminum and paper. Take aluminum to a recycling plant and show them they can get money for doing great things. Take old clothing or unwanted toys to a local thrift store, church, etc. to help others and reuse those materials.
  • Collect food scraps to turn into a great compost for the yard. Maybe have the kids pitch in to buy a composter so you can start doing this as a ongoing project.
  • Get reusable bags to use for grocery shopping, packing lunches, etc.
  • Take nature walks or go camping to point out different bugs, plants, trees, and more and tell about each of their importance for being on the Earth.
  • Reuse trash to make cool art projects, containers and gifts.
  • Find local festivals that are celebrating Earth Day in your area top take your kids to.

There are many more fun Earth Day activities and Earth Day projects to teach your kids about the benefits of conserving resources. Be creative and let your kids come up with their own ideas as well. Plus, save a little money on your utility bills while in the process!

To purchase supplies and materials to help you teach your children about the Earth this Earth Day  see our categories below to shop now!

Earth Day Books Earth Day DVDs Earth Day Classroom Decorations
Earth Day Projects Earth Day Activities Earth Day Toys

The Good Samaritan Intermediate Activity #2

The Good Samaritan  Intermediate Activity 2


Objective:   The children will identify excuses people use for not helping others.
Principles / Values:  Charity, Compassion, Service
Scripture reference:  Luke 10:25-37

Activity:  The teacher will lead a discussion about the excuses the priest and Levite used for not helping the wounded man. The children will examine their own lives and see if they use excuses for not helping others and look for an opportunity during the coming week to help someone. 


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


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers