Guess what? Homeschool.com’s Summer Freebie (Summer Fun!) Extravaganza is in full swing!
During our month long event, we’ll be offering lots of great information on:
o Summer learning loss
o Summer homeschooling
o Summer bucket lists (fun!)
o The importance of play
o Free website trials
o Free courses
o Summer reading suggestions
o Summer science experiments
o Summer math
o Summer arts and crafts
o Summer recipes
o Father’s Day ideas
o And MORE!
Also of interest – our Great Summer Resource: 101 Things To Do This Summer and our Summer Fun (Summer Education) magazine!
Our 101 Things To Do This Summer list went live on Homeschool.com yesterday – and today, our Summer Fun magazine was added ! The magazine is centered around the 101 Things list – so make sure you check both out!
Articles include –
- Summer Learning Means Summer Fun
- It’s Back! The Summer Bucket List Challenge!
- Journal Your Way to Lasting Memories this Summer
- 5 Benefits of Taking Summer Enrichment Workshops
- Summer Vacation with a Charlotte Mason Flair
- Explore a Castle of Light
- Homeschooling on the Beach
- Art at the Beach or Anywhere (tutorial)
- Make Your Own Sidewalk Chalk
- Summer Reading Inspires Summer Learning and Fun
- Make Freezer Bag Ice Cream
- Soaking Up Sun Science
- The World’s Safest Potato Launcher
- Go the Day without Electronics
- Gardening: A Summer Family Experience
- Welcoming Birds into Your Backyard
- Will You be Homeschooling Through the Summer?
- Music can Keep Kids Learning Over the Summer
- 101 Things To Do This Summer
Summer fun? You bet! :)
Can you believe that summer is right around the corner? Summer – full of hot dog roasts, swim parties, fireworks, lightening bugs, family vacations, lazy mornings…and at some point, that spoken statement that almost all parents dread, “I’m bored”!
In response to this age old conundrum (really, how can they be bored when there is so much fun to be had?), we’ve compiled a list of 101 ideas to keep your children’s minds and bodies busy during the summer months. Many are suitable for kids to complete on their own, some require parental permission and others can be completed as a family.
Kids can choose any activities they are interested in and complete them in any order they’d like. The list includes check- off boxes, but if you (or your kids) prefer a little more structure, please note the Summer-Boredom-inator and the Boredom-inator Weekly forms that go along with our 101 Things To Do list. These forms were submitted by one of our loyal readers–and we think they’re a GREAT addition!
Click Here for our Great Summer Resource: 101 Things To Do This Summer list!
Does My Homeschooler Need a High School Diploma?
This is a guest blog post from Alpha Omega Publications
Though there is certainly value in having a high school diploma, many homeschool families cause themselves unnecessary stress as they seek to obtain a diploma through the “proper channels.”
Today, many colleges are recruiting homeschoolers not because they possess a specific type of diploma, but because they exhibit academic abilities and character traits that enhance the classroom experience and campus life. Ultimately, preparing an accurate transcript of your student’s high school coursework plays a much larger role in gaining admission than the diploma itself.
HSLDA recommends carefully tracking your homeschooler’s course content, textbooks and resources, methods of evaluation, sample papers and tests, and instructor name(s) beginning in 9th grade to simplify transcript preparation. Families that choose to do their own recordkeeping and issue a parent-signed diploma can find professional diplomas online for a practical price.
For families that don’t enjoy record keeping, programs like Monarch store student records securely for seven years to make transcript preparation simple and quick. In addition, distance learning programs like Alpha Omega Academy remove all record keeping responsibilities and provide official transcripts and diplomas for their graduates.
Though there are many homeschool-friendly colleges across the country, each institution has its own unique admission requirements that range from transcripts and GPAs to SAT/ACT scores and more. Preparing an accurate transcript is a great place to start, but connecting with admission staff at the college is the best way to ensure you have everything needed to apply to the school of your child’s choice.
Alpha Omega Publications is a leading provider of PreK-12 Christian curriculum, educational resources, and services to homeschool families worldwide. AOP follows its mission every day by creating and providing quality Christian educational materials to thousands of students through curriculum, educational books and games, support services, family entertainment, and an accredited online academy. To learn more, visit www.aop.com or call 800-622-3070.
How to Begin Preparing Your Homeschooled Student for College
The high school to college transition is a test for many teenage students. In order to truly begin preparing your homeschooled child for college, you should first consider your role in your student’s eventual success. The ways in which you prepare him or her can partially dictate how your student and his or her application appears to an admissions officer. You can equip your homeschooled teenager for college by considering the following guidelines for success:
- Build autonomy and initiative into your lessons
Both you and your homeschooled student can benefit from promoting a learning environment of autonomy and initiative. College presents a new level of freedom for students, and some individuals may find the combination of classwork, social life, and distance from family challenging. To limit stress during this transitional period, ensure your student has risen to the level of academic responsibility that is necessary for college success. If you have not utilized exams in the past, introduce these now, as many college courses include several tests. Continue to emphasize projects and research assignments, and assess your child’s ability to independently manage classwork and other personal responsibilities. Once your student reaches college, he or she will be solely responsible for meeting a variety of stringent expectations—the months that remain are an ideal opportunity to practice this endeavor.
- Address ACT/SAT prep
Preparing for the ACT or SAT is a central part of every high school student’s journey to college. It is thus important to take the necessary steps to prepare your child for his or her preferred exam, including introducing the different types of test questions (essay, grid-in, multiple-choice, etc.). Begin by incorporating broad skills into your day-to-day curriculum (such as reading texts for evidence or composing an essay with a clear sense of organization), and then complete targeted ACT/SAT lessons as exam day approaches. Utilize a variety of resources, including written guides and practice tests, videos, student study groups, apps, and so on. Remember, too, that each college has specific ACT/SAT requirements, so do not hesitate to contact admissions offices if you have questions.
- Take a course outside of the home
Eventually, all homeschooled students must learn to be accountable to not only themselves, but also to the people they work with. The real world is rich with individuals with different worldviews, values, and opinions that diverge from our own—and this includes future professors and employers. To truly prepare your child for college, consider participating in classes outside of the home. For instance, many community college credits are transferable, and they can serve as an indicator of a student’s readiness to take on the challenges they may face in college.
Many students begin planning for college as soon as late middle school, and there is no reason for the case to be any different for a homeschooled learner. Preparing for college is largely the responsibility of your student, but there are certainly guidelines for success that parents can follow to help ready their children for their college and professional careers, and the steps above are an excellent place to start.
Sasa Afredi is a contributing writer for UniversityTutor.com, the world’s largest global marketplace for finding independent tutors.
This is VERY interesting, and I wanted to share it with you – this website offers comprehensive maps of pre-contact and at-contact Native North America. The maps use Tribal Nation’s original indigenous names for themselves, and show where Tribes were just before contact with outsiders. They are great teaching tools.
These maps are part of the Tribal Nations Map series – which cover the Nations indigenous to the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America, South America and Alaska.
The maps are available as posters, laminated posters and art canvases.
The most comprehensive maps of traditional homelands in existence……
This is a guest blog post from Educents.com
Do your kids know how to write the cursive alphabet?
At least 41 states do not require public schools to teach reading or writing cursive, according to USA Today. The discussion around learning to write cursive has provoked many opinions of what’s important for future generations to know. Some suggest children should learn programming instead of how to write cursive. Others claim we lose motor skills swapping out a pen for a keyboard. The pros and cons of learning cursive have been weighed, but what will be the final decision?
Here’s how the Educents community responded:
How will they ever be able to read historical documents such as the constitution, etc if they don’t learn to read and write in cursive? -Sara J.
No, it’s not relevant anymore. Learn typing instead. -Robert C.
I don’t think it has been taught in our school for at least the last 10 to 15 years. Cursive writing will become a lost art in America. I think it should still be taught. -Claudia A.
Honestly, it’s no longer important. Teach them to sign their name; then teach them to convey their thoughts, and be persuasive, via oral and written communications. Why would we want to spend valuable school time, beyond a day or two, teaching someone to sign their name in cursive? Why don’t we spend time teaching calculations via abacus or slide rules? -Gary F.
Yes. When my teenager who has always been homeschooled started public high school, his classmates couldn’t read his papers because he wrote in cursive and no one else did. His teacher said he always knew which paper was Hayden’s even if he forgot to put his name on it! -Kelly B.
Yes! It’s part of my children’s 2nd grade homeschool curriculum. They just started doing it, and they are so excited about it. -Angela M.
I’m a former primary teacher. Second grade is rather young to begin, but the kids are always excited about it. Don’t worry if they have difficulty mastering it at first; they will when the brain and muscles are ready. -Kathy F.
I can read Shakespeare, Mark Twain and the Bible among other things all without ever needing cursive. Just don’t get the hype. -Mike E.
Handwriting Resources for Kids
Web Learning Resources for Kids
- The WriteWell App – A simple and intuitive web-based tool that makes writing fun and effective. With its unique visual and tactile interface and library of interactive essay templates, WriteWell is a convenient tool for teachers and students at home or in the classroom.
- Handwriting Worksheet Wizard – StartWrite helps teachers, homeschoolers, and parents create handwriting lessons quickly and easily. This program saves hours in lesson preparation time, yet allows you to easily create fun, meaningful worksheet to teach handwriting.
5 Ways Stay At Home Parents Can Make Money For Kid’s College
The days of bake sales for school fundraisers are fading fast into the sunset and this is just pocket change compared to the high cost of a college education. According to some sources, the average cost of a higher education can easily top $30,000 per year in some cases and those figures are rising annually.
For stay at home parents, in many instances there’s time between changing diapers, making meals and doing laundry to make some extra money at home. This extra cash can then be invested or put into long-term savings plans to send our kids off to college one day in the future. Take a look at these five ways to make some money on the side inside of our own homes:
#1 – BE A WRITER
While many people are turning to blogging these days to earn extra money on the internet, what proprietors of those free websites that host these posts don’t tell you is how difficult it can be to build an online audience in order to get paid through advertisers or other venues. There are some places that legitimately pay authors for their work, take BlogMutt for example.
On the surface, it doesn’t seem like they pay that much, $8 per small piece (250 words), but if once you get the hang of it and work your way up to higher levels that pay more for lengthier articles, writing two or three articles per day can net $25 or more, which can add up quickly over the course of time.
#2 – BE AN INVESTOR
While many people are investing in things that are likely to grow in value over time, like gold for example, other commodities like diamonds are often overlooked. The rising cost of this precious gem grows around 7% annually in the United States and even more in other countries. Thanks to our nation’s love affair with all things retro, even costume jewelry has increased in value over time.
#3 – BE A SELLER
Thanks to the internet, garage sales are directly competing with online sales venues like Ebay. If you’re considering this avenue, be sure to find a niche like kid’s clothes, toys and games. This way you can turn your children’s cast-aways into cash. It may take a while to build an online clientele, but it’s worth the wait and a bigger payoff in the long run.
#4 – BE AN ENTREPRENEUR
The world is full of people who have turned their hobbies or artistic endeavors into extra cash, and in some cases big business. Do you have an artistic side or hobby that you could be selling? Everything from building bird houses to painting water colors on canvas, anything is fair game and can come with a price tag at the end of the project.
#5 – BE A TUTOR
Since you’re already homeschooling your own children, during your off hours you could be tutoring other kids on the internet at sites like tutor.com or inviting local students into your home for some one-on-one learning time. You could concentrate on a specific field of tutoring like prepping high schoolers for the SAT’s or list yourself as a general tutor for elementary children. That’s up to you and your specific expertise.
Wherever your talents lie, outside of being an outstanding parent, use your special skills to enrich your children’s future lives by earning extra money towards their college education. As the old adage goes, if you’re doing something you truly enjoy and earning cash at the same time, you’ll never work a day in your life.
7 Steps to Improve Time-Management Skills for Homeschoolers
This is a guest blog post written by Julie Petersen
The daily schedules of homeschoolers can be difficult to organize and overwhelming to maintain. No one can do it all by themselves. Between school lessons, running a household, parenting and being a spouse, family member or friend, life gets hectic. And when you remove public or private outside schooling, it only adds to your daily scheduled tasks.
Having a routine is step one. And making it a visual plan for everyone in your family to see is imperative for success. Managing time does not have to be such a daunting task. There are plenty of ways to enhance your overall organizational skills and increase your productivity.
- Set a basic family schedule.
The first thing you need to put in place is a daily schedule and list for the entire family. A basic routine is an essential part of time management, and in regards to homeschooling it can make or break the experience and results. Pick one day out of the week for laundry, one for bathroom duty and one for dusting. Assign roles and chores to family members, and stop trying to do it all by yourself.
- Set your priorities.
Make a list and take a few minutes to think about what you need to accomplish. Start each morning and jot down your goals. This can help overwhelmed and busy individuals better identify what’s most important, and to know what can be left until the next day. Do not push yourself to have everything done in a snap. Instead focus on what needs your full attention and learn how to set your own standards. No matter what order, decide what has to get done, and what you can schedule in at a more convenient time.
- Start with the big picture and work backwards.
When scheduling for a homeschool student, you want to begin with the full year. Take a look at the courses, lessons, books and service activities you might need or want to include, and what your overall goal is for the school year. For each bullet point on your yearly list, begin to break it down into months. Go into more detail and describe how many hours spent on each subject or area of study you need. Then break down you months into weeks. This process of scheduling curriculum will help you to better review goals with your student, and prevents over-scheduling.
- Learn what you teach.
You have to comprehend and understand the material you are teaching. This can be a daunting thought for some parents, however it’s a wonderful way to maintain your own education and intelligence. If you need to brush up on a subject, do so on your own time before you begin the lesson with students. This means having a personal planner, as well as a daily school planner, and being able to find time for you, as well as for your homeschoolers and family.
- Get feedback from the student.
Regardless of how you feel you are struggling with time management, it’s always beneficial to listen to what your students and children are going through. Ask them if they would rather do math first thing in the morning, or later in the afternoon. This is one of the great benefits of homeschooling, and allows a more specific learning environment catered to a child’s needs. So ask students to open up about how their brains work and how they learn best.
- Be realistic.
You will want to reference take a structured schooling planner before attempting to schedule your own homeschooling lessons. You may often forget to include spaces of time for things like bathroom breaks, recreational activities or lunch breaks. These small activities add up and by the end of a day you may have neglected to allow the time necessary to achieve your goals. Don’t fall behind in your lessons or get overwhelmed with your schedule.
- Be flexible.
No matter how well you plan ahead, or how structured your days may be, it’s important to remember we are all human. Students will make mistakes, get sick and bring with them the unexpected. They are learning about life and all its wonder, which is bound to come with a few natural bumps in the road. Don’t get discouraged or stressed out, remember to remain flexible even when organized. And allow yourself some down time so you can reflect on your own life and maintain the demands of homeschooling.
These techniques and tips should be used as your constant guide. When you are feeling stressed out, remember a good plan can make any schedule work. And if you feel that you may be falling behind, take the time to implement some new methods.
Use a planner, online resources and any material you can find, and work with the other individuals of your home to be sure you can give your homeschoolers the education they deserve.
Julie Petersen is an English language tutor and a content marketing specialist. She is the author of AskPetersen blog where she shares essay writing guides, articles and samples with students. Contact Julie on Linkedin.
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Tips for Teaching Your Struggling Student
(from a homeschool mom who has survived to tell it!)
Do you have a child like this?
He (or she) sits down with a page of problems or questions in front of him. Two hours later he has done only three of them (and two of them are wrong!) You have tried everything to get him to do his work. Rewards work only for a day or two, and now all you know to do is punish him and take away privileges—and you find you must do that daily, if not hourly. People have suggested that he has a “learning deficiency,” but you can see that he is very smart and that he has a very logical mind—in fact, he often shows a great deal of common sense. He can figure things out or fix something that is broken. He can sit for hours doing something he wants to do (so much for the “attention deficit”). You know there is no problem with his brain. So you conclude that he must be either lazy or rebellious. Yet when you talk to him, he really seems like he wants to try, and you are certain that he wants to please you.
I had a child like this! And I have spent many hours talking to other mothers who have one. I would like to share some tips with you that I believe will make a big difference for you and your student. Below are just a few of my tips for teaching and motivating your child. You can view and print the entire document free at www.statehistory.net.
- Your goal is learning, not busywork. Copywork can be used as a “punishment” because it takes time and effort away from things he wants to do, but it will not be a learning tool with this child. He can copy pages upon pages without ever engaging his brain.
- Your goal is mastering a skill, not doing a certain number of problems or pages. If he can master the skill in five problems, why make him do twenty? (Remember, though, that he will need to reinforce the skill by review work on successive days. You cannot assume that learning it on one particular day means that he has mastered it forever.)
- Your goal is to make him engage his mind. If he is not learning, then he has not engaged his mind. If he does not engage his mind, he will not learn. Unless he engages his mind, you are both wasting time.
- Start by giving him only what you know he can do and gradually increase the amount he can do until he can work independently.
- Competition should be directed toward competing against himself and seeing his own progress. Otherwise, it will just intimidate and discourage him.
- His greatest motivation will be saving himself work and getting finished more quickly. This may appear to be laziness, but it can be turned into efficiency and diligence. Make him see that by applying himself diligently to something in the beginning, he saves himself work in the long run. What better life lesson could there be than this?
- Never “settle” for less than mastery. You may lower the level temporarily if you see that he is unable to master it, but after you back up to a simpler step always return to the harder step. Every time he says “this is too hard” and then actually accomplishes it, make a big deal of it. It will give him encouragement the next time he faces something that he thinks is too hard.
© 2003 by Joy Dean. Published by A Helping Hand, www.statehistory.net
VISIT www.statehistory.net for curriculum by this author for age 4 through grade 12, including hands-on state history project studies available for all 50 states as well as US History and US Geography workbooks that cover all 50 states in order of statehood.