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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Homeschool Myth #3 - I Have To Do A New Lesson Every Day

This is basically directed towards those parents who already know there is going to be a "problem" subject or topic. For my daughter it was fractions and verbs.
Every year, when we would go over fractions in math, she just struggled horribly. She could not understand the concept. For as artistic as she is, she can not "see" math problems. The first year I homeschooled, I was almost pulling my hair out. I was stressing over the fact that going "forward" was not going to work, but if I didn't, what if we got behind? The "homeschool police" (there really isn't any, just the entity you make up in your mind) were going to get me because we were behind a few lessons!
A friend of mine told me to CHILL OUT! What was more important, that you ended the year at lesson 180 or that your daughter understands fractions? That was all I needed to hear. I went back to the reasons why I homeschooled, and this was one of them. When you are in a public or private school. You must go with the group. If Tommy is stuck on fractions, the teacher can not hold up the whole class for him. He will just have to get extra help. So he now needs to get help learning fractions and try to keep up with the rest of the class. See the problem?
There was only ONE in my class. And her "getting it" was so much more important. We worked on fractions for 2 weeks. And she got it, mind you she would forget most by next year, but I didn't have to do another 2 weeks, it only took 1 week. The year after that it was a few days. Same thing happened with her verbs.
I can NOT stress enough to any homeschooling parent, new or old. Remember why you are doing this. You wanted to give your child a better education. You need to stop thinking like a "school" who would leave your child behind and keep thinking like a parent who will pick up your child from behind and walk with them side by side.
Saturday, March 21, 2009

Thomas Kinkade - Art for Homeschoolers

Thomas Kinkade -

When I tell people that I homeschool, one of the many questions they ask me is what do I do for Music, Art, and Gym. Well, for art, we use the Thomas Kinkade "Learning to Draw" set.

My daughter, who is my artist, fell in love with this. After her first lesson with Mr. Kinkade, I could not believe the difference! I scanned them on my computer and send them to everyone! (yes, I am like that!)
There are workbooks to work in along with a DVD of Thomas Kinkade teaching specific techniques and explaining other aspects of drawing. I can't think of anything better than Thomas Kinkade teaching your child how to draw.

What does your homeschooling family do for "art" time?
Saturday, March 7, 2009

Homeschool Myth #2 - You Have To Mimic Public School's Schedule

One of the greatest things about homeschooling, other than being able to teach your children, is that you can do it whenever and wherever you want to! There is NO law that says you have to do homeschool from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. There is no law that says it has to be Monday through Friday. There is no law, at least not in N.Y., that says you have to homeschool September to June. There is no law that says it has to be done in your home.
Every state has time requirements for the homeschooling family. You need to check out what your state requires. The requirements I have in N.Y. are 180 days and 900 hours for elementary and 990 for junior/senior high school.
As long as you follow these time requirements, the sky is the limit for you and your children. Some parents don't start their schools until noontime. Other work out the best starting in the afternoon. Some also do school on Saturdays.
You can spread your 180 days out as you see fit and what works the best for you. I don't suggest, however, that you space your homeschool days too far apart as it is sometimes hard for the kids to recall lessons.
You can take the whole winter off if you want and homeschool all summer. You can choose to not take the same vacations as your public school does, and get done so much sooner than they do.
We do a lot of traveling to and from doctor's appointments, trips to visit grandma 250 miles away once a week, and my paper route. My children do most of their "seatwork" in the car.
Flexibility is an awesome and essential part of homeschooling. Do not let this myth keep you from doing the best thing you can for your child, homeschooling them.

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