This year, we tried Florida Virtual School (aka FLVS)–the online public school program run by the state of Florida–for a couple of courses for my teens with mixed results. Well, they have both earned good grades in the classes taken, but we’ve all learned something about public school courses–not just how to take them but their quality and the huge impact they’ve had on our homeschooling.
Continue reading Virtual School Lessons
Our homeschooling would be so different without our homeschool support group. I say this as I’ve just put a lot of finishing touches on our group’s fourth annual yearbook since I’m the editor-in-chief. Shutterfly photo books have, it turns out, a limit of one thousand photos per book, and we had reached the limit without completing all of our pages, so I had to go back and check over what the committee had done and weed out photos that were essentially duplicates so that we had space for photos from our big annual Talent Continue reading Creating Memories with Our Homeschool Support Group
Every year around this time, I ask my kids about what they’d like to study next year. The answers have varied a great deal but they’ve always made our studies more interesting for both the kids and me, and I know they learn more when they are fully engaged in what we’re studying. It can take a bit of creativity and work to figure out how to include their interests, but the rewards have been great.
For example, one year my son who was about ten years old at the time, asked if he could study Star Wars. My initial response was, “No, we can’t study Star Wars. Continue reading How Do You Use Kids’ Interests?
Just over three years ago, as I was putting together a scrapbook for my kids, I mused about how nice it would be to have a scrapbook put together with a lot of photos of their homeschool activities, field trips, clubs, and classes, that included the names of their friends, so that when they want to reminisce a decade or more down the line and can’t quite remember the name of some child they used to do things with, they could peek into that scrapbook and figure it out. Oh, yeah, that sounds like a school yearbook. I’m lousy at remembering names and didn’t want to have to figure it all out myself, Continue reading Our Homeschool Yearbook And How It Came to Be
One of my daughter’s classes this year as a homeschooled high school student is a class I’ve tentatively called “Design and Textiles: Fiber Arts.” Okay, I fess up. I cheated. I didn’t come up with that title completely on my own. Florida’s Department of Education publishes a list of all the course titles that public schools could choose to offer their students. The list is long, as in more than 60 pages long. While I know that I’m not required to use their course titles, Continue reading Fiber Arts
This afternoon, I watched my teenage daughter lead an art club that she dreamed of, planned for, and pulled off. Seventeen other homeschooled students (not counting younger siblings who played nearby in the park) participated. They listened as she explained her plan and made art together, and at the end of the hour and a half club, they each shared their work with the rest of the club. (We were surprised when even our two-year-old sat and drew for most of the time, rather than playing with the other toddlers. Then he stood and showed his scribbles to the group for his very first presentation.)
She wanted to get together with friends to do art, but she didn’t want a class where everyone would end up with a cookie-cutter drawing; she envisioned learning techniques, sharing ideas, and then creating individual works of art in a nurturing environment. Since no one else was planning something of that sort, she designed it herself and ended up with a monthly club that she hopes to include in a 4-H art project she’s working on.
This is a moment that reassures me that our homeschooling program is indeed a success.