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Setting the Stage for Academic Success

August 22, 2011
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The start of the school year is the perfect time to prepare your children for academic success.  Homeschooling families have the unique ability to create learning environments and educational plans that best suit each individual child.  At Laurel Springs School, we have twenty years of experience collaborating with the families of homeschooled children.  Because we focus on the specific abilities and needs of each child, our school serves as a trusted partner for homeschool parents who seek the peace of mind that comes with a fully-accredited school with curriculum and credentialed teachers. 
One of our parents recently said, "My boys have been homeschooled for their entire education. I was hesitant to turn over this control to a school when they began high school at Laurel Springs School. Much to my delight, I did not give up control but found a wonderful, nurturing environment in the LSS teachers and staff who share our desire for the highest quality of education, character development and self-expression. You have maintained that intrinsic value of learning for knowledge's sake and not just for a grade." 
As the school year begins, our education team recommends that homeschooling families who want a successful and enjoyable experience with their children ask themselves the following questions:
How does my child's environment contribute to effective learning?
From our years of experience with homeschooling families, we know that our students learn in a variety of environments. Many parents find a space for learning in their house, such as the kitchen or dining room, a home office, or even a dedicated homeschooling room.  Other homeschooling families find themselves
traveling regularly, and discover ways to take advantage of educational opportunities in new cities and countries.  Some parents homeschool because their children are pursuing athletic or artistic goals, and find themselves setting up study spaces at an athletic training facility or a studio. Whether they are working from a kitchen table or gymnastics facility, homeschooled children will be most successful if their learning environment is rich in educational resources, provides quick access to the learning team of parents and other instructors (such as Laurel Springs teachers), and has limited distractions.
How can I teach my child time management skills?
Parents who choose to educate their children at home have the enviable advantage of being able to arrange their schedule to include academics in ways that are best-suited for the family and each child.  Our
Learning Styles Profile is a valuable tool that gives parents a holistic portrait of how their child learns, including what times of day their child is able to best absorb new information.  We encourage our parents to create a homeschooling schedule that establishes a routine for their children.  For example, one of our parents says that her son prefers to focus on one subject for each day of the week, rather than tackling every subject every day.  Another one of our parents reports that he used the information from our Learning Styles Profile to schedule his daughter's most challenging subject for early afternoon, which is the time she learns best.  As homeschooled children progress into middle and high school, parents can help them take on increased responsibility for managing their own academic tasks.  One of our current middle school students, who is involved in intensive ballet training, brings her laptop to the ballet studio; she says, "I can manage my own time and prioritize what's important.  I get more done this way."  Another student scheduled coursework around her goals with a local volunteer organization.  Because Laurel Springs courses are asynchronous, students have ultimate flexibility in managing their time in the way that is best for them.  Parents should be active in helping their children to understand the importance of academic time management skills, and serve as guides for children to put their plans into action.
How can I guide my child toward socialization opportunities?
Socialization is among the most hotly-debated homeschooling topics.  Some parents worry that the choice to homeschool will negatively impact their child's ability to interact with peers.  Laurel Springs offers the best of both worlds: children enjoy the flexibility of homeschooling with an
accredited program and teacher support, and also have many opportunities to engage with other children.  Children in grades K-12 have access to options such as our pen pal program, a variety of clubs, and our private online social network.  Laurel Springs also offers activities that blend academics and socializing, such as Student Council and National Honor Society.  A recent graduate said, "I made friends at Laurel Springs that I will have for the rest of my life."  Our school actively collaborates with homeschooling parents to provide social activities for our students that result in meaningful relationships.
As the school year begins, we share your excitement in creating a positive academic experience for your children.  At Laurel Springs, we are deeply invested in the success of our students, and want homeschooling to be a fulfilling process for the entire family.  If you are curious about
college preparatory distance learning, please register for one of our virtual open houses
, which allow you to meet our caring staff and teachers, and have your questions answered.  We look forward to collaborating with your family to provide exceptional teacher services and curriculum personalized specifically for your child.



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