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April 30, 2009

The Single Parent and Homeschooling

Filed under: Daily News — dailynews @ 12:01 am

by Amy Tjaden
Homeschool.com News Editor

I was sitting here thinking about the various challenges we face as homeschooling parents. I recently posted the article about a homeschooling mom suffering from a chronic illness that can make it very difficult to get through a day of homeschooling.

What other challenges are out there? What are obstacles are parents overcoming to remain committed to homeschooling? This led me to think of single parents. How do they do it?

I did some brief research into this area and found that, according to the National Home Education Research Institute, 2% of homeschooling families are headed by a single parent. The author at that website stated that single homeschooling parents are “…a rare subset of a rare breed.” How true.

The biggest obstacle facing these parents, according to my research, is financial. I found a site that stated that most single parents who homeschool live off of government assistance or a life insurance policy. However, from reading blogs or comments from actual single parents, this is not the case at all.

Many of these parents work odd jobs, or do freelance work from home. One comment I read was from a mother who does freelance writing and web design. Her income is not stable but they manage and her ex is good about child support. Another mom babysits in her home and even has a paper route.

I’d really like to hear from any of our readers that are single parents who homeschool. How do you do it? Why do you do it? What are you biggest obstacles? What are the benefits? I want to hear your story and share it with our readers. Send emails to newseditor@Homeschool.com.

Copyright 2009 Homeschool.com

April 29, 2009

Teams Compete in Birding Competition

Filed under: Daily News — dailynews @ 12:01 am

by Amy Tjaden

Homeschool.com News Editor

 

A homeschooling team from Suwanee, Georgia swooped in to win the overall competition at Georgia’s 24-hour Youth Birding Competition.

 

This marked the 4th year of the competition and record numbers turned out to look and listen for birds. There were 140 participants ranging in age from 4-18.

 

Awards were presented, a banquet rounded out the event and $1200 was raised for conservation. Most of all the kids had a great time and learned a lot.

 

To read more about the event and to see a complete list of competition results, check out this link.

 

Copyright 2009 Homeschool.com

April 28, 2009

Homeschooling Mom Starts Support Group

Filed under: Daily News — dailynews @ 12:01 am

by Amy Tjaden
Homeschool.com News Editor

Homeschooling is already a challenging task. What happens when a homeschooling parent suffers a chronic disease?

Fibromyalgia is a condition in which the sufferer experiences pain, stiffness and tenderness of the muscles and joints. In addition to that they might experience fatigue, anxiety, restless sleep as well as a variety of other symptoms.

Fibromyalgia is the most common disease to affect the muscles. It generally affects women between the ages of 35-55 but, in rare cases, can affect men and children. The cause of fibromyalgia is a mystery.

Beverly Nash has been a homeschooling mom for 7 years. She has suffered a variety of symptoms for 8 years but it was only recently that she was given the diagnosis of fibromyalgia. She immediately joined support groups.

She was grateful to have found support groups but felt she was unable to connect because no one could relate to her day to day experiences as a homeschooling mom suffering from fibromyalgia. No one could understand the motivation required to get through a day of teaching when her entire body is in pain or the guilt behind having to skip a day of schoolwork.

Beverly decided to form her own support group, specifically tailored to homeschooling moms who suffer from fibromyalgia. Her reason behind the group is to simply provide support and encouragement to moms who might be having a hard day with homeschooling due to their fibromyalgia.

Beverly says that while the main focus of the group is homeschooling and fibromyalgia, she encourages members to chat about every day topics as well. When asked what her hope for the group is, Beverly said, “I want people to feel that they are supported, understood, and cared about by fellow group members. I also want people to feel acknowledged. I think that most people that” have fibromyalgia have people in their lives that either do not acknowledge their pain or simply do not believe the syndrome even exists. I feel that between our connection as mothers, homeschoolers, and fibromyalgia sufferers, we” can” create an understanding,” compassionate, and supportive group.”

Homeschooling Moms with Fibromyalgia is a Yahoo! group and all are welcome to join. It is a private group that requires approval to join in an effort to keep email addresses private and to prevent spam.

If you are a homeschooling parent that faces hurdles for whatever reason, we’d like to share your story. Please email us at newseditor@Homeschool.com.

Copyright 2009 Homeschool.com

April 27, 2009

Homeschooling Events Around the Country

Filed under: Daily News — dailynews @ 12:01 am

by Amy Tjaden

Homeschool.com News Editor

 

As homeschooling grows in popularity, events that showcase homeschooling are popping up all over. Here in Nevada we recently celebrated Home Education Awareness Week. Nebraska recently celebrated with a similar event. I also reported on Oregon’s Apple Pie Day to be held at the state capitol on May 7th in Salem.

 

I feel these events are important. If possible, homeschooling families should attend these events to show their continued commitment to homeschooling and to show the numbers of people who are homeschooling and who support homeschooling. It may sound cliché but there is truly strength in numbers.

 

I thought I’d list a few of the events that are coming up in early May for homeschoolers around the country.

 

*May 1-2 The Christian Association of Parent Educators homeschool convention in Yakima, Washington.

 

*May 1-2 The Georgia Home Education Association annual conference in Atlanta, Georgia.

 

*May 1-2 The Oklahoma homeschool convention in Oklahoma City.

 

*May 8-9 Christian Family Schools 25th Annual Expo homeschool convention in Escondido, California.

 

*May 8-9 Christian Homeschool Association of Pennsylvania convention in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

 

*May 8-9 25th Annual Homeschool Book Fair in Arlington, Texas.

 

*May 15-16 Montana homeschool convention in Kalispell, Montana.

 

If you live in the areas listed, I hope you’ll attend. If you do attend I’d appreciate hearing from you about the experience so that I can share it with our readers. As always, I can be reached at newseditor@Homeschool.com.

 

Copyright 2009 Homeschool.com

April 25, 2009

Student Sent Home with Feces in Backpack

Filed under: Daily News — dailynews @ 1:00 am

by Amy Tjaden

Homeschool.com News Editor

 

We all have our own reasons for deciding to homescool.

 

For some families it is about instilling a certain set of values. For some it is about basing education on religion. For some it is about spending time with their children. In many cases it is a combination of all of those things.

 

For me it is all of those things and the fact that I’ve been witness to too many terrible teachers within the school system. I used to work within the school system and it was that experience that sealed my decision to homeschool.

 

I won’t go into detail about my personal experiences. But I will share this news story with you. Let me just say that from the things I saw, this really comes as no surprise.

 

A child in Washington State was sent home with a bag of feces in his backpack. With it was a note from the teacher that stated, “This little turd was found on the floor in my room.”

 

The child in this situation is in kindergarten and spends half of his day in special education classes. His parents have pulled him from the school and he will continue his education in another school within the district.

 

The superintendent says that they have taken the appropriate action but that the teacher still has a job.

 

Funny how school officials and legislators, when speaking against homeschooling; claim that only the school has our children’s best interest at heart. Really? I realize there are caring teachers out there but how can anyone care more than a child’s own parent? This situation proves this teacher does not have the children’s best interest at heart and is apparently not equipped to handle the stresses that come with being a teacher.

 

I’m not saying this particular situation wouldn’t be frustrating but there is a right and a wrong way to go about things. This teacher chose the wrong way. What other things is she doing wrong?

 

In the past few months we’ve had stories about a principal molesting his elementary school students, a high school teacher selling pot to his students and another school official getting busted for child pornography. That was just in this one city.

 

And people actually can’t understand why I’m not willing to send my children off to school to spend eight hours a day with people that the school system says are safe. Yeah, right. It is quite apparent the schools have no idea who it is they’re hiring.

 

Copyright 2009 Homeschool.com

April 24, 2009

Homeschool: Then vs. Now

Filed under: Daily News — dailynews @ 1:00 am

by Amy Tjaden

Homeschool.com News Editor

 

The myths surrounding homeschool are slowly beginning to fade as the number of homeschoolers increase. The stereo-types are being broken down.

 

This is because the word is getting out that homeschooled children do more than sit at their table and read books. The reason they do more is because, as the number of homeschoolers rises, the available resources are increasing.

 

The resources available to homeschool families today include co-ops, sporting organizations, and so many available curriculums that it can be a daunting task just trying to choose one. The resources available to homeschool children rival that of public and private schools.

 

I recently read a comment from a parent who, herself, was homeschooled. She says that her experience was much different than what her kids experience today. There wasn’t much available and there weren’t a lot of kids in the same situation. So, she did actually sit in her house most of the day.

 

The average homeschooling family of today spends more time outside the home than actually in it. I’ve heard parents say they have trouble finding time to get to actual sit down work because they are so busy with social and educational activities outside the home.

 

I’d like to hear from any homeschooling parents who were homeschooled. It would be interesting to hear the comparisons between then and now.

 

Copyright 2009 Homeschool.com

April 23, 2009

Teen Speaks to Group about Autism

Filed under: Daily News — dailynews @ 1:00 am

by Amy Tjaden

Homeschool.com News Editor

 

April is a busy month. Not only is it National Poetry Month, and the month in which we celebrate Earth Day, but it is also Autism Awareness Month.

 

Many families with autistic children choose to homeschool because they feel that public schools are not well equipped to work with the needs of an autistic child.

 

Current statistics show that 1 out of 150 children will be diagnosed as autistic. It is the fastest growing developmental disability. Early diagnosis and intervention can make a significant difference.

 

I came across this article about Karen Willis. The homeschooled teen recently gave a presentation to her local homeschool organization. Willis was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome when she was 4.

 

This inspirational teen is accomplishing more than one would probably expect from someone with autism. Her goal, and her parents’ hope, is that one day she’ll live independently.

 

Copyright 2009 Homeschool.com

April 22, 2009

Academics and Extracurricular Activities

Filed under: Daily News — dailynews @ 1:00 am

by Amy Tjaden

Homeschool.com News Editor

 

A vote is scheduled for this morning regarding the Tim Tebow bill.

 

The Tim Tebow bill would allow homeschoolers the opportunity to participate in public school sports. The bill has been brought before committee four previous times. It has yet to make it to the senate floor.

 

The main concern is making sure students meet academic requirements in order to participate in sports. Otherwise, the fear is students will drop out of school and claim to be homeschooled so that they can play.

 

Sen. Hank Erwin, R-Montevallo, who has brought the bill before committee, says that he will work to smooth out those issues before bringing the bill before the senate to debate.

 

I realize I’m totally swimming against the current here, but I don’t believe in the entire philosophy behind the good grades to play sports requirement. I understand the theory behind why the system works that way but it seems hugely flawed.

 

First, it completely overlooks students who don’t play sports. There are students who go to school but do not participate in any extracurricular activities. Who is looking after their scores? No one. The message is that unless you participate, no one cares what happens to you.

 

Second, the public school system is designed to work with only one type of learning behavior. Some children are very smart but not very good students, simply because the way the system is set up. They struggle in this system and then they are further stifled because they cannot participate in extracurricular activities; areas they might shine in if given a chance.

 

Third, it reinforces the idea that education is extrinsic. Students will learn enough to make the grade so that they can get what they want; in this case, participation in extracurricular activities. But, in most cases, they aren’t really learning anything. They’re retaining information long enough to pass a test and then they’re letting the information go.

 

I guess what I’m saying is that my solution to the issue would be to remove academic requirements from the extracurricular activities. Allow participation to any student who wants it. I don’t suppose that idea would go over too well.

 

I’d like to hear your ideas on the issue, newseditor@Homeschool.com.

 

Copyright 2009 Homeschool.com

April 21, 2009

Accomplished Authors Found Among Homeschool Community

Filed under: Daily News — dailynews @ 1:00 am

by Amy Tjaden

Homeschool.com News Editor

 

No doubt we’ve all heard of Christopher Paolini who at 15 began writing Eragorn. The first book in the homeschooler’s Inheritance cycle went on to be a movie. Paolini is now working on the fourth book of his series.

 

Maybe you’ve heard of Melanie M. Jeschke. The homeschooling mom is the author of The Oxford Chronicles. Now there is Cati Gerwitz. The 18 year old, a homeschooler from New York, recently published her first novel, Home with You.

 

All of these authors have homeschooling in common. It got me to thinking. I’m sure there are budding authors among our readers. I can tell you that I have a couple of half written stories, outlines, and character profiles sitting on my computer. Will I ever get around to actually completing and publishing anything? I don’t know. But I keep trying.

 

What about you? What are your adventures in the writing and publishing world? Any tips for our readers? Does anyone participate in Script Frenzy or NaNoWriMo?

 

It is a little late but Script Frenzy is a challenge that takes place in April in which one has to crank out a script in one month’s time. I’ve never tried it. But if you go to scriptfrenzy.org you can look around and prepare yourself for next April. They have a plot generator that can be a lot of fun for the kids.

 

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) takes place in November. The challenge is to write a 50,000 word novel in one month. I have tried this a few times and I reached the goal once. It is an incredible feeling. You can check them out at nanowrimo.org. They have a young writers program. November may seem a long way off, but it is never too early to be thinking over ideas.

 

If you’d like to share the details behind your literary adventures, whether it be poetry, scripts, short stories or sagas, send me an email at newseditor@Homeschool.com.

 

Copyright 2009 Homeschool.com

April 20, 2009

Group Makes and Donates Cloth Bags

Filed under: Daily News — dailynews @ 1:00 am

by Amy Tjaden

Homeschool.com News Editor

 

I had been hoping to hear from our readers about their Earth Day plans and activities. I’ve yet to receive any stories but I did come across this bit of information and decided to share it. Maybe it will inspire.

 

A homeschool group out of Ithaca, NY has made reusable, cloth shopping bags that they will donate to a local food pantry. The idea behind the project is to educate people about plastic bags filling up landfills and to encourage shoppers to seek alternatives, such as the cloth shopping bags.

 

The homeschool group is part of a larger organization called Roots and Shoots, a global network of more than 8000 groups in more than 100 countries, started by Jane Goodall. The youth program works to improve the world through service projects that help community and environment.

 

The shopping bag project came together through both Roots and Shoots and another organization called Sew Green. Sew Green, based out of Ithaca, teaches people about sustainable sewing.

 

To learn more about the organizations that helped make the project a reality, you can visit www.rootsandshoots.org and www.sew-green.org.

 

If you would like to share your Earth Day news or any other homeschool news, you can contact me at newseditor@Homeschool.com

 

Copyright 2009 Homeschool.com

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