Tag Archives: learning styles

To Homeschool or Not

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“To homeschool or not to homeschool” that is the question that many parents are asking themselves.  Most homeschool groups, private and public schools start in August, so now is the best time to be making that decision if your children are school age.

My first piece of advice is not to “cave in” to pushy advocates on either side of the education debate.  You MUST do what is right and best for your family.  And only you can determine that. Period.

With that being said, I’m definitely a home educating advocate (for many different reasons).   I’ve been homeschooling for a while (about to start our 16th year).  I’m  part of the leadership team for our local  homeschooling support group.  I’m an admin for Homeschooling Around the World  https://www.facebook.com/groups/567122276640599/?notif_t=group_r2j and Schoolin’ Swag https://www.facebook.com/groups/210519735725683/. You would be welcome at either or both groups.

For months I’ve been hearing daily of families who are considering home education (for many different reasons) and have some questions or are seeking a little advice.  If this is the case for you, then I recommend you just ask a homeschooler about it.  Homeschoolers love to talk about homeschooling (both the good and the not so good).  In fact it’s our favorite conversation.

If you have made the decision to home educate, of course I have some advice for you on how to start this adventure (oh yeah, it will be an adventure).  Here is my top 5 list explaining what I think should be done first.

1  Pray for wisdom and patience.

2.  Understand your state laws:   http://www.hslda.org/laws/   or  http://www.nhen.org/home.html

3.  Check out a local homeschool support group or co-op.  If you’re not aware of one, this link may help you find one  http://www.home-school.com/groups/

4.  Figure out your teaching method and your children’s learning styles.  This link has a free assesment for both you and your children  if you are unsure.   http://www.mardel.com/  Hover the mouse over “Homeshool” on the header.  From there click “Resource Center” and “Currently Homeschooling”. There you will have the choice of “Learning Style” or “Teaching Method” assessments.

5.  Remember that you want your child to love homeschooling so plan some fun and interesting learning activities and plan for unexpected learning opportunities.

For links to my posts containing advice on home education click here https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/homeschooling-advice/

Please know that I welcome your questions and comments.  Like I mentioned above,  homeschoolers love to talk about homeschooling.

betty jo

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Abeka, Lifepac, and FIAR, Oh My

Did you catch the line when the girl says, “You might be a homeschooler if you are filled with fear and dread when you hear the word ‘Saxon'”?  That may not be the case for all homeschoolers, but it is certainly the case for this homeschooling momma.  There’s other strange homeschool vocabulary words that give me shivers.  Abeka, Lifepac, and FIAR, oh my!  The list could go on but I’ll stop here so you won’t get frightened too.

I suppose I should explain.  Those strange words are names of popular homeschooling curriculum.  If you have ever had the opportunity of being around a group of homeschooling parents,  you have most likely been trapped in a discussion (aka debate) on which curriculum is best.

I suppose I should explain more.  First, every homeschool family is different.  God designed us that way.  With that being said, what kind of cirriculum works best can only determined by the individual family.  What works in your homeschool is probably not what works in mine or in the Jones’ homeschool.  The second reason why curriculum  discussions  are so scary is the reactions of others when I say (insert a slight southern, country, redneck accent), “Oh, we don’t use curriculum, I make it up.”

                                         Cartoon panic

However, over the course of our 15 year homeschooling journey I have practiced a more refined response to the “What cirucculum do you use” question.  “Our family learns with a history timeline based unit study approach that includes notebooking and lapbooking. We choose this reinforced learning method because it enables me to teach history, science, language arts, music, art, and religion to the children all at the same time just altering the lessons with more requirements for the higher grades. With these unit studies, we use online resources, text books, video, audio, and library materials. Each child has his own spelling and math programs based on their skill level. Also starting in the middle grades, each child gets to choose his own elective for each grading period. We research catalogs, talk with other home educators, read reviews, compare costs, and assess our children’s individual weaknesses and strengths before deciding on each years educational choices.”  That’s better, huh?

So my advice to the new or dissatisfied homeschooling parent is to pray it through before you start buying curriculum.   And figure out your child’s/children’s learning style and your preferred teaching method so you can narrow down your choices.

Learning Styles:

Kinesthetic – Student learns best with hands-on activities

Auditory – Student learns best through hearing

Visual – Student learns best by reading, viewing pictures, observing

Teaching Methods:

Unit Study – Reinforced learning in which the same topic is covered in several subjects

Classical – Latin, Trivium, Rhetoric

Charlotte Mason – Real life observation and discussion

Unschooling – Informal lessons determined by child’s interests

Traditional – Text books and work books

Eclectic – Some sort of combination of the above methods

For another article with advice for the new homeschooler wondering where to start click here  https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/03/24/another-new-homeschooler-and-another/

betty jo

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