This year, my teens have been studying chemistry at home. Well, we have included a few others from our homeschool support group in our journey because it makes it more fun for them and, honestly, having them share the costs makes it cheaper to buy cool science lab gear. Continue reading Science Labs
I frequently am asked “What curriculum should I use with my preschooler?”
After teaching a lot of preschoolers in my home (including my own forever children as well as almost two dozen foster children), I’ve learned a lot about what works with most children and what doesn’t. I’ve learned that Continue reading Teaching a Preschooler at Home
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?
Three years ago, a mom in our group started a Shakespeare Club geared to kids of a wide variety of ages–from kindergartners to high school students. At first only our two families were involved, but I loved the idea of doing Shakespeare together. I’ll admit it–I hated Shakespeare when I was in school. I couldn’t understand much of what he wrote and dreamed of finding an interpreter to turn his words into English that I could understand. But as an adult, Continue reading Shakespeare Club
Algebra Club? That will never work.
Or so I was told by a few people when I suggested the idea a few years ago. I envisioned a club, not a class, for homeschooled students; a supplement to studying algebra rather than a main source for learning algebra. We wouldn’t have a textbook, homework to grade, nor any quizzes and tests. Instead I envisioned this as a way to make algebra more fun by adding a social element to it, some bits of history trivia and stories, some hands-on activities, manipulatives and games that would work better with a group of children than with just my two teens alone. These were the parts of teaching math that I loved when I was a classroom teacher, but Continue reading Making Math Relevant (and perhaps fun, too)
One of the things I love about homeschooling is the freedom to set our own schedule based on our own priorities. This freedom is so important when disaster looms.
This past week, the meteorological tracking models predicted that Hurricane Matthew was about to strike very close to our home in south Florida–so close that if they were wrong by even a few miles, we’d be at ground zero. We’ve been through a few hurricanes previously. When Wilma hit, we had furniture piled against the front door and we pushed against that furniture for what seemed like forever as we battled to keep the storm from pushing our front doors open; we later discovered that a couple of our neighbors had not been able to prevent theirs from flying open. During Frances, a huge tree in our backyard was partially uprooted and hung over our house, threatening to crash into it until we found a neighbor Continue reading Homeschooling During a Hurricane
A mom worriedly told me that her young daughter didn’t do a lot of math lessons this past year. She had worked on her basic math facts and learned to use math in real life situations as they came up, but she worried that this wouldn’t be enough. Could she pass her homeschool evaluation without a lot of other written math assignments to show?
As a young girl, when I was homeschooled as my family sailed the world, I did book work one day a week. Mondays. Only on Mondays Continue reading Enough Math?
I see so many questions online that basically ask, “Can I homeschool this way?” or “What’s the right way to homeschool my child?” followed by a bunch of replies which tell the person exactly the right way to teach some child the posters have likely never met, as though children are cogs and there’s only one right way to teach them all.
I have experienced many more schools than the average person. I went to at least thirteen schools (including a couple of bouts of homeschooling that I count as one “school”) between Continue reading Can I Homeschool This Way?
Could I count Zumba classes or maybe even walking as P.E.? How about bowling or swimming?
I see questions like these online periodically. Perhaps they are followed by responses that declare that they won’t count unless instruction is involved or that give some other warnings of what it would take to actually count for a high school credit.
Perhaps it’s because I spent quite a number of years attending and later teaching in a wide variety of schools. Maybe it’s because my husband still works in schools. Whatever the reason, these sorts of questions always make me think Continue reading What Counts for P.E.?