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Homeschool Articles

Archive for June, 2010

Homeschool Materials for Kids with Special Needs

Here are Homeschool materials specifically designed for visual learners and other right brained learners, those labeled with dyslexia, autism, Asperger’s, and ADD and those who struggle with reading comprehension . The products are also highly effective in teaching beginning readers , providing them with the essential foundation for future learning.

Click this link to see full website.


Know Your and Your Child’s Learning Style and Multiple Intelligences Combined

Take the Memlectic Styles Inventory. Download now.

Schedule in “Fun Fridays”

There are times when mom and the children all become a bit weary of “doing school”. If that is true for your family then it may be time to add a “Fun Friday” to your school schedule. For many of our homeschooling years we scheduled in some fun things on Fridays. We still worked on math or science in the morning; but every Friday afternoon we planned something educational, yet fun and different. This added a much needed break from the regular routine. It gave all of us something to look forward to and ended the week on a pleasant note.

The easiest “Fun Friday” thing to plan is an education board game (or card game). Once you’ve purchased or borrowed several games, all you need to do is haul one out and start playing. We’ve had some favorites over the years that I’d like to share with you. Because I know how busy you are, I will include links to websites where you can either purchase or read more about the games.

General Knowledge

BrainQuest Game For Grades 1 – 6 (all levels can play together) by University Games.
The object is to be the first player to finish a race around the game board, designed to mimic a school playground, by correctly answering questions from the Brain Quest cards. Each of the 256 cards contains questions and answers in categories such as math, science, social studies, English, and grab bag (a euphemism for cultural literacy). Brain Quest’s folded cards prevent the I-saw-the-answer-on-the-back problem while allowing even the player asking the question to guess the answer. Website: BrainQuest.com

Vocabulary/Language

Rummy Roots – This is a go-fish type card game using Greek and Latin roots. The game can be played on several levels and provides a fun and easy way to learn 42 Greek and Latin roots, over 190 vocabulary words, and the ability to at least partially decipher over 2,000 words! Rummy Roots can be purchased online at Rainbow Resource Center.

Bethump’d With Words – This game will challenge your knowledge of everyday words and test your strategic skills. It is expressly designed for parents and children or teachers and students to play together. It enables teachers to stretch brain muscles while stimulating a fundamental interest in words, language, and, ultimately, reading. Bethump’d with Words board game comes in two editions: Discovery Edition and Senior Edition. There is also a book edition available. For 2-8 players. This game is discontinued by the manufacturer. Used versions can sometimes be found on Ebay.com or Amazon.com.

Link for many more grammar games

Literature/Shakespeare

The Play’s The Thing by Aristoplay – The game presents quotes, plots and characters from one Shakespeare play at a time in a fun way. (3 different plays included with the game but you can buy more later.) As players piece together sets and perform scenes, the play begins to make sense. Soon, players are ready to go on to the next Shakespeare play… and then the next. THis board game can be found online at Rock Solid Inc.

Math

Family Math (book); Author/Editor: V. Thompson – This is not a board game but a book that has many interesting math activities. Includes many games and reproducible charts. Comes in 3 versions: Family Math (grades 1-6) Family Math for Young Children PK-3, and Family Math: The Middle School Years Grades 5-8. Search for Family Math on Amazon.com

Find many more math games

Science

Somebody Game by Aristoplay – As a puzzle activity, players draw body part cards and place a body part on the body board. Level 2 teaches the locations and functions of major body parts. Learn the names, functions and locations of major body parts.

Mars 2020: A Space Exploration Game – The goal is to reach Mars by the year 2020. Along the way, players experience the science and logic of space travel, encountering challenges and malfunctions that can be handled by answering questions about space travel.

More Aristoplay Games

Geography

Where in the World by Aristoplay – Play as a card game to learn the countries on the continents. Play with the cards and boards to learn the location of the countries as well as the capital, population, flag, major religion, languages, currency, major imports and exports, literacy rate and seacoasts. This game can be purchased online at Rock Solid Inc.

GeoDerby/USA Board Game – Challenge your memory and learn new facts about our great country. An exciting way for the whole family to learn about the location of mountains, rivers, seaports, etc. A color-coded map is provided for players who need help in answering questions. You do NOT have to be an expert in geography to win this exceptional game. This game can be purchased online at Rock Solid Inc.

Music

Musopoly – This fun board game for all ages turns learning music theory and reading into a creative, fun time together. Students work together, not against each other, and everybody wins! The game comes with answers and ideas for beginning through advanced play. Includes more than a 175 cards, dictation slate & notes, dice, bright gold coins, and a very clear rule book. Use with 2 to 6 players, up to 12 in a group. This game can be purchased at MusicMotion.com.

Logic/Thinking Skills

Set Card Game – It sounds simple; players race to see which three cards (of the twelve showing) form a “set”. There are no turns, no waiting – the quickest to deduce a logical set wins the point. There is no age advantage; your children can beat you if their visual perception in sharper than yours. Even when played alone, the game is a mental challenge. MENSA chose this game as a top mind game in 1991 – chosen for originality, intellectual challenge, aesthetics, quality and longevity (you won’t quickly tire of this game!). Grade 1- Adult. Game can be purchased at SetGame.com.

For many more educational game ideas visit EducationalLearningGames.com.

In addition to games, you might use your “Fun Fridays” for any of the following:

* Movies/videos (the ones you wish you had time to watch but never seem to get to)
* Field trips / nature walks
* Craft and art projects
* Music time… listening to a particular composer, playing music together, dancing.

Be sure to involve the children in planning your “Fun Fridays”. Take some time to brain storm with them; come up with all sorts of ideas… from wacky to practical. Have fun with the brainstorming process and let the imaginations run wild (a trip to the moon?). Then, once you have your “Fun Friday” wish list, choose 4 things you can schedule into the next 4 Fridays. Get them on the calendar and start having some end-of-the-school-week fun!

Charmaine Wistad has successfully homeschooled her own two children from pre-school through high school. Now she is turning her attention toward helping other homeschool moms. Through personal coaching, Charmaine helps homeschooling moms thrive… not just survive! Visit her website to try a complimentary no-obligation telephone coaching session.

Single & Homeschooling

From http://www.homeeducator.com/FamilyTimes/articles/9-2article15.htm

Single and Homeschooling

by Teri Brown

“Ibegan homeschooling with my husband, and expected to have his support, his ideas, etc. so that it would not be such a big undertaking. I counted on him to homeschool the kids in areas that I am not proficient in and to be the one to take them to scouting, fishing, etc. Needless to say, the reality has become much different from the dreams we had.” Leslie Hill, single homeschooling mom.

When people think of homeschoolers they tend to think of the typical American family, only with more kids. As homeschooling becomes more and more mainstream we will start to see as many diverse homeschooling families as we see in the public or private school sector.

Many single parents, who might otherwise consider homeschooling, believe their marital status excludes them from this wonderful educational option. But with perseverance, flexibility and a strong network of support, single parent homeschooling can be done, and done well.

Leslie Hill of Oregon agrees. Hill, a widow, has been homeschooling alone for the past two and a half years and knows from experience the dedication it takes. ?It definitely can be done, but it takes a great deal of creativity, flexibility and commitment from all of the family members,? says the mother of four. ?It cannot simply be the single parent who wants this to happen – the entire family must be involved and committed to homeschooling.?

Commitment is important to any homeschooler, but maybe doubly so for those parents who are doing everything alone. The rigors of single parent homeschooling can be daunting for those flying solo.

“The biggest challenges about being a single parent and homeschooler, are not having the financial resources, time and energy to do everything we would like to do,” says Hill. “It is very difficult for me, as the sole parent, to be actively involved in all the various activities my kids would like to undertake. Just the physical act of driving them to and fro is exhausting and overwhelming.?

One single parent homeschooler interviewed finds the challenges to be mostly emotional. “I’d say the biggest challenge would be that I don’t have anyone to discuss everything with, no one to work everything out with. No one to boost my confidence when I need it, or bounce ideas off of when I feel stuck.”

Most single parent homeschoolers find that supportive friends or family are instrumental in helping them cope with the challenges they face, be it emotional or financial.

Jeanne Musfeldt hasn’t been a single mother for very long and is grateful for the help she has received. The Iowan mother of three has found that having a strong network of caring people has kept her sane during this period of transition.

“People at church and friends in general have been such a great help to us. This Christmas, we got so many things from so many people! The children were thrilled, and I was left feeling very loved,” says Musfeldt.

Having your children home 7 days a week is wonderful, but for many of us, time spent alone is a refreshing period that leaves us with more patience for our families. This is even more of a challenge for single homeschoolers than it is for two parent families. Though Musfeldt says she doesn’t need her ‘alone’ time very often, it is still an important need that has to be met in order for her to be all the things she needs to be. Friends often help out in that way as well.

“I have to be more creative in how I get that time alone. Friends from church have been great about helping me with this dilemma, too,” says Musfeldt. “There are times that I will send the kids to their rooms or outside for the afternoon, just to give me some alone time!”

“How do you get along financially?” is perhaps the most often asked question of single homeschoolers and certainly one of the most important. There is no denying that this is probably the toughest aspect of tackling homeschooling (or even single-parenting) on your own. But like everything else about homeschooling, it boils down to commitment.

“It is harder for me to find gainful employment, as I am not willing to put the children into the system. In my heart of hearts, I know that my children do not belong in the public schools,” says Musfeldt. “And I am looking into doing some tutoring in my home. There are things that can be done, either from the home or with the children in tow. It just takes looking and wanting to do this.”

Many of the single homeschooling parents interviewed received government assistance at some point when their children were younger – while they needed their parent full time. However, once the children were old enough to leave for any length of time most of the parents obtained part time jobs.

“Currently, we are receiving some government assistance. I would very much like to get to the point that we need no help. I hope that comes soon,” says Musfeldt. “We also get child support, and we have a paper route that we run once a week. It takes us about 3 hours to do it, and the children and I all chip in on this job.”

Leslie Hill also finds the financial challenge to be the most difficult. “I struggle with this issue every day because I would probably be in a better financial position if I would just put my kids into public school and get a full-time job. I am currently living on social security from my husband’s death and it is difficult.?

If it’s so difficult to be a single homeschooling parent why do these dedicated parents keep at it?

“I haven’t surrendered to the ‘get-a-job-put-em-in-school’ mentality because the longer I homeschool the more I realize the necessity of homeschooling in order to raise decent kids who feel safe, nurtured, loved and who enjoy learning.” Hill says. “I take each day as it comes, knowing that there may come a time when I will be forced to put my kids into school for financial reasons. At least they will have had the foundation of several years of homeschooling. I will also have the comfort of knowing (in later years) that I did the best I could to grow good kids.”

As one mother put it, “If you believe that homeschooling is best for your child(ren), then you owe it to yourself and them to try to find a way. A home business – even a family business, that the kids can help with – may provide the financial opportunity and an educational experience at the same time. There are some good resources available to get you started. You can do it!”

Hill has several tips on surviving on a small income.

– DON’T buy a curriculum.
– Take advantage of the library! Go to the library’s website, browse the books there and then put them on hold–great time saver. o If you have many kids (as I do), buy family memberships to the zoo, museums, etc. Initially, it seems expensive, but it is less expensive in the long run and allows you to see these places at a leisurely pace and often.
-Take advantage of every ‘ordinary moment’ to homeschool–learning math takes place at the gas station and in Costco, biology and botany happen at the park and while camping, etc. So much of our learning is done in the car on our way to and fro.

Hill confesses that she has definitely NOT mastered homeschooling on a budget, and I am often dismayed by the great many fun activities/classes that are available that we are not able to participate in. But I truly believe that most of the valuable moments in homeschooling happen while doing very ordinary things.?

Editor’s Note:
All homeschooling families can benefit from money-saving tips like those in the book by Melissa Morgan and Judith Allee, “Homeschooling on a Shoe String”. This great book offers a wealth of ideas from starting home businesses to obtaining free curriculum. Also, many community centers and organizations like the YMCA or YWCA offer memberships regardless of the ability to pay especially to families with children. These are well worth looking into even for a few months out of the year as most offer many free classes for children and even use of pools and swimming lessons. A supportive, loving homeschool group is invaluable to single homeschooling parents and it is my hope that homeschool support groups reach out to these families and children in very practical ways.

Teri Brown is a homeschooling Mom/writer who lives with her husband and two children in Portland Oregon. She has written for Home Education Magazine, Electic Homeschooling Online and Home Education Learning Magazine. She has also co-authored the book, Christian Unschooling: Growing Your Child in the Freedom of Christ, available from Champion Press. www.championpress.com You can reach Teri at unschoolr2@aol.com

SINGLE PARENTS CAN HOMESCHOOL!

Here is a group of single parents all over the world who are homeschoooling.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sph/

Members are 144. That means SINGLE PARENTS CAN HOMESCHOOL!

Here’s a forum of homeschooling solo parents:

http://www.homeschoolchristian.com/forum/forums/forum-view.asp?fid=34

Single Parents who homeschool exist and they can do it.

You too can.

The Impact of Stress on Learning

source: http://www.trainingplace.com/source/stress.html

Stress affects all of us. Today’s research suggests that stress can block chemical reactions in the brain that are necessary for learning. Stress can disrupt learning and memory development ( long-term potentiation (LTP)) as it forces the brain to revert to more primitive survival needs. To foster creativity and learning, educators should learn how to minimize stressful situations. The challenge is to introduce new ways or instructional strategies to reduce levels of the stress hormone (cortisol) and increase levels of the `happy’ hormone (DHEA).

We have much to learn about the impact of stress on learning and memory. This site (http://www.trainingplace.com/source/stress.html) provides educators with information, techniques, and resources for learning about stress and stress management as it relates to learning, As practitioners, the more we know about stress the more we can be proactive–not reactive to supporting learning challenges.

See http://www.trainingplace.com/source/stress.html#general for more info.

——————————

Source: http://www.dmu.ac.uk/Images/impact_stress_tcm6-15825.pdf

The Impact of Stress on Learning. Trevor Butlin
De Montfort University 2007

Excessive stress can result in a reduced quality of work as
concentration, memory capacity and thought processes are
affected. Prolonged stress can sometimes lead to ‘burn
out’. We all need a certain amount of pressure to work, but
stress occurs when we feel more pressure than we can
cope with. Individuals vary in their capacity to absorb
pressure, but the goal of optimum performance is achieved
when there is an ongoing healthy tension between being
relaxed and energised.
Symptoms of stress
> The acronym SPACE is a useful way of summarising stress
symptoms
> S – the situation (e.g. dealing with academic pressures such as
exams and personal pressures such family and relationship
difficulties.
> P – the physical impact of stress can show itself in neck, back and
chest pains, headaches, dizziness, appetite change, fatigue,
feeling ‘run down’.
> A – actions such as increased alcohol/drug intake, withdrawing,
becoming impatient, twitchy or aggressive, working longer with
little effect, disturbed sleep\and eating patterns.
> C – cognitions or thoughts such as ‘I can’t do this- I’m losing it’
plus disorganised or negative thoughts, not being able to switch
off.
> E – emotions e.g. feeling irritable, critical, sad, depressed,
apathetic.
What can students do to combat stress?
Physical health
> Physical relaxation is important and examples include music,
reading, walking, yoga, hot baths etc. Relaxation helps to activate
the parasympathetic nervous system which calms down the body if
it has been over aroused.
> Regular exercise, e.g. twenty to thirty minutes a day, three times a
week enhances mental and physical well-being.
> A healthy diet, multi-vitamin tablets, regular sleep patterns (seveneight
hours sleep each night) and reduced alcohol, caffeine, drug
intake can also help.

How can you help?
Suggestions for discussion
> You can help by looking for signs of stress and by listening, and
showing understanding and support.
> The student may need help to identify why things have got out of
hand and any changes that could be made to relieve pressure.
> Review work timescales and avoid ‘bunching up’ of assignment
deadlines if possible.
> Signpost to other sources of support. (See ‘Useful contacts’)
> Getting the right work/life balance is important. To keep working
without taking regular breaks is both unproductive and stressful.
Students could review this by drawing up pie charts showing a
typical day’s activities divided into hours and then comparing this
to a chart of how they would ideally divide up a day. What
changes could be made?
> Proactive action is important to combat stress rather than just
slumping in front of the TV!

> Stress can distort cognitions or thoughts so things get ‘blown up
out of all proportion’ and are not seen objectively.
> Some people are driven by lots of ‘oughts’ and ‘shoulds’ or aim to
‘be perfect’ adding more stress but students could consider what
they really want and what is important. A ‘good enough’
philosophy might help.
> Talking to friends, a tutor or a counsellor can really help as they
can give a different perspective and can encourage more realistic
thoughts.
> Remember stress is not about being lazy, it is a sign of more
pressure than the individual can cope with.
> If stress builds up over time and students ‘keep things in’ it can
lead to ‘burn out’ and depression.
> Emotional support from friends, family or a counsellor can help.

> Having fun and smiling more often is a good prescription!…

…Further information:
Reference material
for students
> The following booklets are available from Counselling and
Personal Support or at
www.mind.org.uk/Information/Booklets.
> ‘The MIND Guide to Managing Stress’
> ‘How to Cope With the Stress of Student Life’
> ‘How to Cope with Exam Stress’
> The following resources are all available from Counselling and
Personal Support:
> Handout: ’Helping Stress with Sport and Activity’
> O’Hanlon, B. (1998) ‘Stress – The Common Sense Approach’.
Newleaf. Dublin
> Holden, R. (1992) ‘Stress Busters: Over 101 Strategies for
Stress Survival’. Harper Collins. London
> Relaxation CD available on loan.
> Relaxation course available via the Counselling Service website

http://www.dmu.ac.uk/study/student_services/counselling/self_help.jsp

Web sites
www.thesite.org.uk/healthandwellbeing/mentalhealth/anxietyandstress

http://www.dmu.ac.uk/study/student_services/counselling/self_help.jsp

Other related Focus
On titles
> Difficult One-to- one Meetings
> Mental Health Problems
> Helping Students who are Withdrawn and Depressed

Creativity in Teaching

source: http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/256013/creativity-teaching

By HENRY S. TENEDERO
May 5, 2010, 12:25pm

We have always believed that students are not failing because of the curriculum.

Any subject may be taught as long as it relates to the learners’ learning style preferences.

New knowledge is formed on the basis of what has already been understood and believed.

It is rare, if not close to impossible, for a student to comprehend, remember or learn something totally unfamiliar. Some form of prior knowledge or a basic idea is necessary for a new lesson or task to be understood. Learners need to have their prior knowledge activated and should then use this for understanding and learning.

Research shows that learning is enhanced when teachers pay close attention to their students’ prior knowledge, and use this knowledge as the starting ground for a new lesson or activity.

In class, teachers can help students activate prior knowledge and use this for the task at hand in a number of ways:

• They can discuss the content of a lesson to ensure that the students have the necessary prior knowledge. Oftentimes, this prior knowledge is incomplete or may be characterized by false beliefs and misconceptions. Teachers must therefore take it upon themselves to break such myths and fallacies.

• Teachers can ask questions to help students see the relationship between what they are reading and what they already know.

• Effective teachers should be able to help students grasp relationships and establish connections by supporting their efforts to improve their performance.

EFFECTIVE STRATEGiES

People learn through effective and flexible strategies that help them understand, reason, memorize and solve problems.

Studies show that students develop approaches which help them solve problems from an early age.

Research also shows that when teachers attempt to teach learning strategies to students, substantial gains can be had.

• Strategies are important because they help students understand and solve problems in ways appropriate to the situation at hand. They can also improve and hasten learning. The broader the range of strategies and approaches children can use appropriately, the more successful they can be in problem solving, reading, text comprehension and memorizing.

In class, teachers must recognize the importance of students’ knowing and using a variety of approaches to learning. They should give students a task and provide a model of the inquiry process by asking key questions. For example, teachers can show students how to outline the important points in a text and how to summarize them.

It is important to ensure that students learn to use these strategies on their own, without relying on teachers for support. Teachers need to lessen intervention gradually and allow students to take greater responsibility for their learning.

Learners must know how to plan and monitor their learning, how to set their own learning goals and how to correct errors. Studies show that students may actually be using strategies for learning unconsciously, without being fully aware of what they are doing.

Self-regulation involves the development of specific strategies that help learners assess their learning, check their understanding and correct errors when necessary. It requires reflection in the sense of being aware of one’s own beliefs and strategies.

Reflection is the ability to distinguish appearance from reality, common beliefs from scientific knowledge, etc. It could be developed through discussion, debates and essays, where students are encouraged to express their opinions and defend them.

• In class, teachers can help students become self-regulated and reflective by providing the following opportunities to plan how to solve problems, design experiments and read books, and to let their students set their own learning goals.

(The author is the president of the Center for Learning and Teaching Styles, an affiliate of the International Learning Styles Network, based at St. John’s University in New York. He is a graduate of the AIM Masters in Development management and of the Harvard Graduate School for Professional Educators. He is the author of the following books: Cooking Up A Creative Genius; The HI CLASS Teacher, Breakthrough Ideas in Education; and Using Passion and Laughter in Your Presentations. He can be reached at htenedero@yahoo.com)

Socialization: Homeschooling vs. Schools

source: http://www.cbn.com/CBNnews/144135.aspx

Many homeschoolers share this sentiment when it comes to public schools, believing that the moral relativism, violence, peer pressure, drugs and promiscuity found inside their gates provide an inadequate setting to properly socialize their children.

Yet 92 percent of superintendents believe that home learners are emotionally unstable, deprived of proper social development and too judgmental of the world around them, according to a California study by researcher Dr. Brian Ray .

What makes homeschool socialization such a hot topic?

With approximately 4 million children currently being homeschooled in the U.S., along with a 15- to 20-percent yearly growth rate, many professional educators and school boards are concerned that this exodus will keep funds from entering the public education system.

Many teachers also believe that successful home instruction by uncredentialed parents undermines their expertise and jeopardizes their jobs.

Questions about inadequate socialization are often brought up as a means to disqualify homeschooling as a viable alternative form of education, but are the arguments valid?

A look at the research on this socialization debate shines further light on the issue.

There’s no place like home

Why is there such a dichotomy in the socialization experienced between homeschoolers and conventional students? It all has to do with the learning environment.

The National Home Education Research Institute disclosed that the 36 to 54 hours that students spend in school-related weekly activities make peers and adults outside of the home the primary influences in children’s lives – not the parents.

Realizing the harm that this constant exposure can produce, especially if it’s not countered by involved parenting, most homeschoolers are well aware of their children’s need for close one-to-one contact throughout the education process.

Jesus understood the importance of continual intimate contact with His students, as He ate, slept and fellowshipped with His disciples 24 hours a day. It is unlikely that Jesus would have entrusted their training to strangers.

So how do these different settings affect children? Dr. Thomas Smedley believes that homeschoolers have superior socialization skills, and his research supports this claim. He conducted a study in which he administered the Vineyard Adaptive Behavior Scales test to identify mature and well-adapted behaviors in children. Home learners ranked in the 84th percentile, compared to publicly schooled students, who were drastically lower in the 23rd.

Welcome to the real world

Many school socialization advocates argue that homeschooling precludes children from experiencing real life.

Instead of being locked behind school gates in what some would consider an artificial setting characterized by bells, forced silence and age-segregation, homeschoolers frequently extend their everyday classroom to fire departments, hospitals, museums, repair shops, city halls, national parks, churches and colleges, where real community interaction and contacts are made.

Dismantling the stereotype that home learners spend their days isolated from society at kitchen tables with workbooks in hand, NHERI reports that they actually participate in approximately five different social activities outside the home on a regular basis.

Furthermore, researcher Dr. Linda Montgomery found that 78 percent of high school home learners were employed with paying jobs, while a majority engaged in volunteering and community service.

Research presented at the National Christian Home Educators Leadership Conference divulged that homeschool graduates far exceeded their public and private school counterparts in college by ranking the highest in 42 of 63 indicators of collegiate success. They were also ranked as being superior in four out of five achievement categories, including socialization, as they were assessed as being the most charismatic and influential.

Biblical or worldly socialization?

When most home educators and school administrators speak of successful socialization, are they referring to the same thing?

Education researcher Dr. Michael Mitchell found that being popular, aggressively competitive, materialistically driven and self-confident are traits promoted in conventional schools.

His study shows that these campus ideals are discouraged by Christian home educators in favor of building their children’s character and dismantling selfish ambitions. Integrity, responsibility, respect for others, trust in God, biblical soundness and an amiable disposition topped the ideal social qualities they desired their youth to embody.

Many Christians who homeschool believe that the greatest socialization their children can have is to be trained to emulate Jesus, who is a servant of man. Home educators examined by Mitchell strive to dismantle any selfish ambitions and self-aggrandizement seen in their children, as opposed to cultivating them.

Getting ahead of one’s peers is not consistent with Jesus’ urging in Matthew 20:25b-28, which calls for Christians to seek a lowly and servile role to those around them. However, this does not mean that Christians are called to underachieve, as Colossians 3:23 exhorts readers to push for peak performance in every endeavor, but for the glory of God rather than for selfish ambition.

Pride is also promoted in the public schools. It is often repackaged as self-esteem in programs such as “Here’s Looking at You, 2000,” in which education researcher Dr. Amy Binder reports that students are instructed to believe that they are “the most important person in the world.”

Many Christian home educators assert that the kind of pride being taught in the schools is discouraged throughout Scripture by Jesus and Paul, who preach against lifting oneself up or putting oneself first in favor of assuming a lowly position among others, as seen in Luke 14:10-11 and Romans 12:3.

They often contend that traditional students are driven to achieve high marks in order to attain lucrative and prestigious jobs that can lead to lives of self-indulgence, while the Bible calls man not to be overcome by material concerns.

Even though God enjoys prospering His children, He also warns us in 1 Timothy 6:10 that “the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”

Negative socialization

The mass socialization conducted within schools has brought about a proliferation of delinquent behavior within this nation’s youth, reports education researcher, Dr. Michael Slavinski. He notes that student bodies are increasingly riddled with violence, drugs, promiscuity, emotional disorders, crime, contempt for authority, desperate behavior, illiteracy and peer dependency – just to name a few.

Today, parents are not as surprised to see reports of fifth-graders having sex in class; hear about school shootings; find drugs or condoms in backpacks; receive phone calls from the police and principals; or witness defiant, apathetic and unrecognizable tones in their children’s voices.

“Live and let learn,” say many parents. Most home educators are fine with this, as long as their children’s learning comes from mature, seasoned and embracing adults who have the children’s best interests at heart – above political or economic agendas. They believe that such training shouldn’t come from peers either, which amounts to the blind leading the blind.

When the Direct Observation Form of the Child Behavior Checklist was administered by education researcher Dr. Larry Shyers to identify 97 problematic behaviors in two groups of children, traditionally schooled students exuded eight times as many antisocial traits than their homeschooled counterparts. This lies in direct contrast to claims by public school advocates that exposure to campus life leads to proper socialization.

Light of the world

Many Christian parents are concerned that homeschooling would not allow their children to fulfill the great commission of sharing the gospel with non-believers. They often site Matthew 5:14-16 about being the light of the world.

Some Christian homeschool parents argue that even though young believers are to reach out to the lost, they are not called to immerse themselves daily in a hostile setting that constantly works to influence them in the ways of the world. They recognize that those with strong Christian upbringings are still vulnerable to the ungodly climate of the schools.

In Proverbs 4:11-15, King Solomon realized the vulnerability of his son, proclaiming his responsibility to train him in godly teachings and keep him from stumbling over the vices of this world.

Just as parents know that children are not prepared for war, many Christians believe that youth are not equipped to fend for themselves in the spiritual warfare taking place within schools.

A nationwide survey conducted by The Barna Group shows that 80 percent of Christian families send their children to public schools where their faith is attacked. Based on the study’s findings, it appears that their kids are the ones being “evangelized” by the religion of secular humanism. More than half of their Christian teens believe Jesus actually sinned and only nine percent hold to moral absolutes, while 83 percent of children from committed Christian families attending public schools adopt a Marxist-Socialist worldview, reports the group.

For more statistics on Christians in education, click on The Barna Group.

Consistent with these figures, Christian producer and occult expert Caryl Matrisciana reports that 75 percent of public-schooled American youth brought up in Christian households disown their Christian faith by the first year of college. NHERI finds that this is only true for less than four percent of homeschooled youth.

Most home educators would not trade the blessings that homeschooling brings their families and society for the world.

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, The Barna Group, NHERI, Dr. Michael Slavinski, Dr. Brian Ray, Dr. Thomas C. Smedley, Dr. Larry E. Shyers, Dr. Michael Mitchell, Dr. Linda Montgomery, Dr. Rhonda A. Galloway, Dr. Amy Binder

Why Yes, I Work Full Time AND Homeschool

source:http://www.homeschool-articles.com/why-yes-i-work-full-time-and-homeschool/

by: Julie Clark, homeschooling mother of three children,
executive assistant to her husband, a blogger and Foster Care Coordinator for a nationally acclaimed mental health agency.

Like most women in America, I find myself extremely busy. I am the mother of three children, the wife of a teacher, coach and part-time cattle farmer, a blogger, a homeschooler and, oh by the way, I have a full time job.

Many of the homeschooling families that I come in contact with are ones in which the husband works outside the home and the mother works at home as the resident domestic goddess and educator extraordinaire. When I mention to people that I have a full time job and homeschool, the cries of, “Wow – I could never do that!” increase exponentially and I am often asked how I can manage to do both. In this article, I will give you my answers to that question.

I am able to manage working and homeschooling because:

I have a wonderfully supportive network. In my professional experience as a Foster Family Coordinator and Child and Family Therapist, I have had the privilege of training families to open their homes to children in need. One of the main points that we attempt to convey as we prepare families for this monumental task is that ASKING FOR HELP IS A STRENGTH, NOT A WEAKNESS. I have learned to apply this in my own life and in the area of homeschooling, especially. Having a supportive network of friends who believe in what you do and ones who are willing to step in and help when you need it is essential to your ability to be an effective and confident educator. My network includes my Mother-In-Law who keeps my children twice a week so that I can attend meetings (and make uninterrupted phone calls – remember those?), a wonderful group of homeschooling neighbors who provide many opportunities for “socialization”, a co-worker who swaps with me for child care once a week for a few hours, a wonderfully engaged husband who tends to the kids in the evenings if I have work that is still pressing and a whole host of others who help me carry the load that would otherwise weigh me down and prevent me from being able to follow the call to educate my own.

Working a flexible schedule is very helpful but not necessary. For me, working a job that allows me flexibility has been an important aspect of how we schedule our days. Fortunately, I am able to work from home and can take time between my work tasks to do formal lessons with my children at various times throughout the day. Because I have been with the same company for nearly 15 years, I have built a relationship with my employer that enables me to have the flexibility to work for a paycheck as well as spend the time that I need to educate my children. Approaching your employer about a flexible schedule is easier when you have proven that you are a valuable and trustworthy asset to the team. But I know that some of you are shaking your heads and saying, “That’s nice for you, but I do not have the luxury of working at home or working a flex schedule.” If that is your situation, take heart. One of the beauties of homeschooling is that learning does not have to happen between the hours of 8 and 3. If you are able to work out child care during the day (remember, utilize your network!) you can do schooling in the car, at bedtime, at the dinner table, playing in the back yard, taking an evening walk, on the weekends and during those moments that you do have with your child. It will take more diligence on your part but it is possible, especially if you are schooling young children. One more word of encouragement in this area: Research has consistently shown that reading aloud to your child is the single most important thing that you can do for them. Read at the dinner table. Read at bedtime. If you are traveling in the car and someone else is doing the driving, read aloud instead of listening to the radio. Read to your children while they are playing in the bathtub. Listen to audio books instead of watching television. For more information on this topic I highly recommend “The Read Aloud Handbook” by Jim Trelease.

My teaching style is flexible and I utilize everyday events as “teachable moments.” I do not currently use a formal curriculum. We do make a point to read, write, and do math every day and I have lesson plans for those things. Other than that, we learn as opportunities arise. (My children are young and I do realize that as they grow older, the demands on my time will be greater as I will need to do more planning but for now, this system works wonderfully.) In the evenings while preparing dinner, instead of turning the television on so the kids can be “out of the way” we do math by measuring and counting. My preschooler builds dexterity and works on fine motor skills while he cuts strawberries for a fruit salad. When someone falls down outside and scrapes a knee, wet take that time to talk about our epidermis and the importance of keeping wounds clean. Being your child’s primary educator is a blessing. Because you have the responsibility of making sure that they are learning what they need to learn, you become mores aware of the fertile soil of every day life as opportunities for learning useful facts.

On-line resources play a huge part in our teachable moments. When we find a spiderweb outside and we want to learn more about how they catch their prey or how they manage to walk around their web without getting stuck themselves, we gather ’round the laptop and search youtube, goggle, and lesson pathways for spider information. Within seconds, we are transported into the fascinating world of arachnids and arthropods. By seizing upon the moment of interest, the information becomes crystallized in the memories of my children in a way that no pre-planned worksheet could possibly provide.

An attitude of thankfulness for my current situation. Truth be told, I would prefer to not work. I have learned to multitask and with the above things in place, I have managed to find systems that work for me and my family. I could get bogged down in pity parties and feel sorry for myself because I have keep so many plates spinning. (And as long as we’re telling the truth here, I often have to try VERY hard to resist that temptation.) I have found, however, that if I approach the source of potential pity with thankfulness, I am able to overcome the demons that would pull me into ineffectiveness.

So, are you thinking of homeschooling but don’t think you can because of your job? Be encouraged! With a great network, great resources, a willing employer and a willing spirit the possibilities are endless!
Julie Clark is a writer and content contributor for LessonPathways.com, an innovative new product that maps online educational resources into ready to teach units. She is a homeschooling mother of three children, executive assistant to her husband, a blogger (TheClarkChronicles.com), and Foster Care Coordinator for a nationally acclaimed mental health agency.

Advice On Finding A Homeschooling Mentor

source: http://www.homeschool-articles.com/advice-on-finding-a-homeschooling-mentor/

As a homeschooling parent you might be interested to learn that one of the most important assets you can have is a relationship with a homeschooling mentor. Put simply, a homeschooling mentor is someone who has “been there, done that” and has a vast amount of experience with homeschooling. Finding a mentor who is willing to share their advice and experience on what is involved in being a homeschooling parent is very useful, especially when you are new to the game.Where can you find such a mentor?

It is very possible that you already know someone who would make a perfect mentor for your homeschooling journey. And, if you already know them, and share a close relationship, this will make the mentoring experience much smoother for the both of you.

Another alternative, with today’s technology, is that your mentor could be an individual, or even a group of individuals, with whom you communicate electronically. Examples of this sort of mentoring include the use of the wealth of experience that you can find in many homeschooling forums and groups on the internet. Do not underestimate the benefits of other’s experiences, even if they live across the world from you.

Of course, finding mentors who are more local to yourself will have the added benefits of being able to guide you through your local legislative rights and requirements, which often differ from state to state, country to country.

What are some of the benefits of having a mentor?

A mentor, having been through the experience of homeschooling and its responsibilities themselves, can help you “shortcut” your journey through the legal mire and local authorities. They can help you look at other tracks to take when your home education hits a rocky patch, and they can suggest learning methodologies that you may not yet be aware of.

Not only can a mentor advise you as stated, but they may also be able to introduce you to a network of homeschoolers in your local area. Through your mentor, and other members of homeschool networking groups, you may discover a wide range of available resources and activities of which you were not aware. For instance, some groups even organise homeschooling conventions with up-to-date information on curriculums, learning styles, teaching ideas, etc. And other homeschooling teachers/parents can help you when you need to communicate with the school officials in your area.

Some of the characteristics in the “ideal” mentor include:

· A substantial history of homeschooling their own children;

· Children who are happy, sociable, and well educated;

· Contact with a network of other homeschooling families; and

· Willingness to spend time with you to assist you in your own homeschooling journey, whether it be in person, or through other mediums of communication.

Finally, a mentor-type relationship can be a time-consuming, but rewarding experience. Don’t just expect others to fulfil this role just because they are friends of yours as well as experienced homeschoolers. A true mentorship requires commitment from both parties and merely assuming such can damage an otherwise good relationship.

When you do find someone who is willing to make the investment of mentoring you through your early days, it is up to you to nurture this relationship and let your mentor know how much you appreciate their assistance. Gratitude can go a long way.

Make sure that you both sit down and talk about what your expectations are from one another so that you are both on the same page and will not become unduly frustrated.

Don’t fear, however, if your search for an all-in-one mentor leaves you without. Your mentors can be as varied as your educational plan. As stated earlier, the internet homeschooling community is a vast one. There are many forums and groups you can join for free where other homeschoolers are only too happy to assist with your enquiries.

There are also many good books, ebooks and websites on all areas of homeschooling, from getting started, to advanced educational theories on education. The choice really is yours and you should make the most of being spoilt for choice!
Melissa Murdoch has a passion for life span development and education, and believes wholeheartedly that a healthy society begins at home. For further information on how to get started in homeschooling, please visit YourHomeschoolCommunity.com.