Thursday, December 16, 2010

Perjalanan Ke Cipayung

PERGI ke Cipayung untuk antar istri pelatihan di Cipayung membuat saya mengingat beberapa kegiatan yang sangat akrab beberapa tahun yang lalu di tahun 1997 - 2000an. Ya, melewati kota Bogor. Sudah hampir lebih dari 5 tahun saya tidak ke kota hujan tersebut. Padahal kota tersebut sangat menyenangkan, tapi kalau sudah ingat macetnya??? Biasanya urung ke sana.


Kemana Rasa Kantuk Saya?

SEMALAM saat saya akan pergi ke kursus privat saya di Duren Sawit, saya dalam kondisi yang cukup lelah setelah seharian mengajar. Namun karena terikat komitmen maka apapun kondisi saya saat itu harus berangkat. Setan mengatakan "Nggak usah berangkat, kamu 'kan lelah, masih bisa dicoba besok lagi, telpon aja murid kamu mereka pun bisa menerima alasan kamu."

Alhamdulillah saya tidak menuruti kemauan setan, dan saya pun tetap mempersiapkan peralatan untuk mengajar. Sesaat kemudian saya sudah berada di mobil saya siap meluncur ke tujuan. Dalam perjalanan rasa kantuk yang luar biasa mulai menyerang. Kopi yang saya bawa sudah sudah saya minum habis dan masih mengantuk padahal perjalanan baru setengah perjalanan.

Saya teringat bahwa saya baru saja membeli kaset Juz'amma, lalu kaset tersebut saya putar. Tak berapa lama melantunlah ayat-ayat suci Al Qur'an yang dibacakan dengan rindu oleh Qori yang membacakannya. Saya lupa nama pria yang melantunkan Juz'amma tersebut. Tak berapa lama saya pun mengikuti apa yang dilantunkan Qori tersebut. Setelah sampai di tujuan, dan mulai memberikan materi, ternyata hal luar biasa  terjadi yaitu saya tidak merasa mengantuk lagi. "Heran, saya tidak mengantuk, padahal tadi saat di mobil saya sangat mengantuk".

"Apakah ini karena saya melantunkan ayat-ayat suc Al Qur'an di saat mengendarai mobil memuat mulut saya bergerak jadi membuat aliran darah yang menuju ke otak menjadi lancar, sehingga oksigen bisa saya serap dengan baik?".

"Wallaahu a'lam, tapi saya akan melakukannya lagi saat berkendara seorang diri".



Fadjar Setyanto
Kursus Bahasa Inggris "my engliah"

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Is Homeschooling legal?

Is Homeschooling legal?

Without a doubt, homeschooling is legal in all the 50 States of
the U.s. But, that is just about where the similarity ends. Laws
and regulations regarding homeschooling vary from state to state.
Interpretations of these laws can vary from scholl district to
school district. Additionally, these laws may change every year.

The National Home Education network is a wonderful resource when
it comes to the legalities of homeschooling. It has a listing of
the actual state laws for each state in the U.S. Reading the laws
that pertain to your state is perhaps the best way to get accurate
information about these laws. But, most people need to get the
laws interpreted by a qualified attorney. You can get valuable
information from the support group at your locality. Additionally,
many state education departments have online resources that will
help you in interpreting the state requirements for homeschooling.
The internet is also a good source of information.

It is a good idea to check out your state laws regarding
homeschooling before you start educating your child at home. This
will prevent any nasty surprises on the way. If you have to move,
you will need to be aware of any tests or exams that your child
may need to take.


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How to Homeschool Your Child

How to Homeschool Your Child

Now that you have decided that homeschooling is the way to educate
your child, get ready for the ecstasy and the anxiety - the road
ahead is a bit bumpy, but the rewards more than make up for it.
Producing a well-adjusted and well-rounded personality is no mean
achievement.

First of all, it is important to check out your state laws on home
schooling. Some states need an affidavit filed with the State's
education department. There are basically 3 categories for
homeschooling laws. These are: private school laws, home education
laws and equivalency laws. Find your state laws. You may also need
to maintain a portfolio that records the child's educational
progress. It is important to look into the legal requirements
BEFORE you start homeschooling. Some States also stipulate a
minimum educational qualification for the parent or teacher.

Next, look for a support group. If you live in a friendly or
curious neighborhood, well-meaning friends will try to dissuade
you. At the very least, they may put a lot of uneasy questions in
your mind. A support group that consists of like-minded people
will insulate you from the criticism, pressures and questions of
regular school-goers. Many groups organize fun events like visits
to the zoo, museum, tours to the ice cream shops etc. And if your
children hit it off with other homeschoolers, they will be able to
build lasting relationships that do not fade when their friends
change schools. These groups provide an important avenue for
socialization.

The next important thing to do is to select a curriculum.
Depending upon the method of homeschooling, you may choose various
tools that aid you in this process. The internet is also a rich
resource for homeschooling. Do some research and look into the
material that is available.

Set certain ground rules. Homeschooling requires a lot of
self-discipline and hard work. Here is a comprehensive list of the
things you will need:
1) Eagerness to learn
2) Hard work and effort
3) Discipline
4) Time and patience
5) Flexibility
6) Enthusiasm

Consider why you want to opt for homeschooling. Your motives and
your reasons are important pillars on which the whole edifice of
your child's lessons depends. Also, consult with your children.
Ask them what they feel about homeschooling.

Select a curriculum or custom-make a curriculum that best suits
your child. Record keeping is an important part of homeschooling.
Look into the various methods of record keeping. Set up a
schedule. Your child does not have to learn 6-7 hours a day. Allow
him or her to dictate the time. Flexibility and fun are the
cornerstones of homeschooling. Do not stuff too many skills into a
single term or year. Prepare a skill list. Make the child learn
the skills that he is ready for.

Gentle parenting is the secret to successful homeschooling.
Children make great advances in learning and show more enthusiasm.
They also turn out to be surprisingly well balanced and well
informed when they are taught at home.


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Homeschool teachers

Homeschool teachers

The teacher is the key to the success of homeschooling. In most
cases, the teacher is a parent or a close relative. In some cases,
parents may divide the subjects between them. Rarely, if both
parents are busy, they may hire a homeschool teacher. Whatever the
case, children need time with their parents. Parents, as a rule,
make very good teachers.

Teaching does not involve a clinical presentation of facts.
Learning has to be integrated lovingly into daily life for it to
interest the child. That is where parents come in. Grandparents
also make great teachers, especially since they have an abundance
of patience.

If you feel anxious about your skill or knowledge, relax. There
are countless homeschooling resources that are aimed at helping
you. Professional curriculum packages, support groups, online help
desks, virtual schools and library resources are all available.
When you start out, you may want to make use of the commercial
curriculum packages. Readymade software also allows you to record
and log important achievements.

Local support groups are an excellent source of help, ideas and
material. This is where you get to meet experienced homeschoolers,
who will be more than happy to offer their insight and advice.
Once you settle into the homeschooling routine, you will find
yourself tailoring the curriculum to suit your own needs.

Homeschool - staying connected

Homeschool - staying connected

The world has become a jungle of knowledge. Wherever you turn, you
find a new fruit that just has to be passed on to your child. In
the middle of all the knowledge flying to and fro, we sometimes
forget to talk and relax with our children. A mom who doubles as a
teacher needs to leave the teacher behind and simply become mom
for a few hours everyday.

Listen to your child. Do not just hear the words, but notice the
emotion too. Many children find it difficult to express exactly
what they want. Talk to your child about general stuff and allow
him to be 'just a kid'. When you talk to your child, as for his
opinions. Few things please him more. It also adds kilos to his
self-confidence.

Most parents interrupt when their children talk. We, as adults,
detest it when someone cuts across our lines. Kids keep mum
because they are forced to be silent when we shut them up. But
this is unhealthy and unfair. Allow your child to finish and then
express your views in a rational manner. The child should have the
confidence to confide in you.

Gentle parenting is the key to successful homeschooling. Be a
parent first, and then a teacher.


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Homeschooling with a disability

Homeschooling with a disability

If you feel that your child suffers from a disability that
seriously hampers his ability to stick to a routine, then
homeschooling is your best choice. The child will be constantly
under your supervision. But he will be gaining a lot of quality
education, in spite of his disability. This is rather surprising,
considering how children with disabilities are stigmatized in
public schools.

Goal setting is an important part of homeschooling a child with
disability. Set the number of working hours per week for the
child. A child with a disability may have his bad days. Structure
the learning hours according to the needs and interests of the
child. Use the computer. This way, he will have all the
necessary information right at his fingertips while staying within
the confines of his home.

Field trips and other educational activities are just as
important. Get help from your support group. Visit places of
interest and interact with other children in the group. Take your
child out for some activities, so that he can socialize. Let him
set his own pace with making friends. This will help in
strengthening his self-esteem.

Above all, remember that homeschooling is just the same, even when
your child suffers from a disability. You will just need to look
for the right opportunities and the easiest alternatives to
achieve the same goals.


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Homeschooling - the darker side

Homeschooling - the darker side

It's not all hunky-dory and smooth sailing on the homeschooling
front. Like all things in life, there is a downside that has to be
seriously considered when you explore the homeschooling option.
Though one man's bane may be another man's boon, there are certain
common reasons for concern.

The responsibility of teaching your child rests solely on you. You
cannot blame anyone else if your child is seen wanting in the
skills that his peers excel in. If your child cannot do the things
that are expected from other children of his age group, it
reflects badly on you as an educator as well as a parent.

A critical part of homeschooling is the time that you have to
spend with your children. You may have to give up your friends,
shopping and other entertainment and dedicate all these to your
child. This can become frustrating at times. You have to learn to
take the aggravation with equanimity and wait for the rewards with
patience and enthusiasm.

A parent who is dedicated to tutor his or her child single
handedly does not realistically have much time left over for a
career. This means that the family is robbed of an additional
source of income. In turn, this may lead to stress over finances.
You will have to train yourself to live on a strictly controlled
budget. While this is a matter of habit, it does need some getting
used to.

You cannot take a break when you feel like it. Feelings of guilt
will assail you if you neglect studies just because you are
feeling blue. You also fear that the child will take advantage of
the situation. Even when you have given homework, you have to be
around to give a helping hand. This means that anytime your child
is around you, you are on duty! For some, this may mean working
every waking hour. The child studying at home also needs to get
out more. This comes from staying at home all the time.
Interaction with adults and other children needs to be given
special attention.

Children tutored at home cannot develop in the various directions
that are open to children attending public schools. To achieve
that kind of exposure, you either have to be a super-parent
skilled in everything, or enroll your child to various activities.
This may not only prove too costly, but also be
counter-productive.

It is sometimes observed that homeschooled children do not do as
well in SAT tests as their school-going counterparts. Without a
diploma or a GED, some students find it difficult to get into the
military.

Lastly, if you envision enrolling your child to a public school,
there may be a certain period of emotional as well as social
adjustment. A child who is used to being at home for the whole day
and enjoying so much of uncontained freedom may have to undergo
some distressing emotional upheavals before he or she gets used to
the rigors of a regular school life.


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Homeschooling the teenager

Homeschooling the teenager

As children start maturing into adults, parents feel insecure
about homeschooling. Many parents then discontinue the
homeschooling process and happily hand over the reign to outside
authorities. But is this really necessary? Is the strictly
compartmentalized education provided in schools a better option?

If social concerns are worrying you, look for interest-oriented
associations, clubs and societies. These offer a lot of support
for leaders, opportunity for shared experience, and foster a sense
of belonging. Make up your own group or share this responsibility
with someone else. Home education support groups provide fantastic
opportunities to meet your child's needs. This is the best way to
develop intelligent, self-motivated, healthy and able young
people.

If the growing burden of some of the higher level Math or Science
seems to be beyond you, enlist the help of someone who knows more.
You can even barter your own services and thus save some money.
With homeschooling becoming more and more popular, support groups
will have innumerable resources that help you find the right
teacher for your child.

The underlying principle that guides homeschooling is this: any
child has the innate capacity to grow, develop and achieve its
full potential. All it needs is the right environment and all the
right answers. Be there to provide these and think twice before
you turn over this responsibility to a third party.


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Homeschooling online

Homeschooling online

If Johnny is fascinated by the blinking cursor and struggles to
master the movements of the mouse, you may want to look into some
of the recent developments in homeschooling techniques. Gone are
the days when parents had to buy material from vendors and then
pass it on to their children with explanations. Today, you get the
full course details, material and test papers online.

Children love to sit with the computer. In addition to making them
feel like an adult, the computer also makes use of the visual and
sound medium to make learning fun and easy. Streaming video and
audio show various scientific processes in great detail. The
colorful pictures and the various techniques used help to
effectively bind the data to the child's memory.

Many online resources have a fun testing center that aims to
measure the knowledge and skill level of your child. Complicated
math and science problems are dealt with deftly and elegantly.
A visit to an e-library can also be fun, especially when there
is an audio clip that reads out the passage to you.

E-learning has just begun to revolutionize the world of studies.
If harnessed properly, a child can assimilate an astonishing
amount of information from that great resource sitting right there
at your table - your P.C.


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Homeschooling Methods

Homeschooling Methods

For many people, homeschooling may call to mind the picture of two
or three children sitting at a table and writing feverishly in
their workbooks, while mom or dad stands nearby. This is the not
entirely true. There are different methods of homeschooling,
and the method you choose will decide the curriculum and your
style of teaching. Given below are some of the most influential
and popular homeschooling methods.

The Charlotte Mason method:
Charlotte Mason is known as the founder of the homeschooling
movement. A homeschooler herself, she was passionate in her zeal
to lay out the foundations for an effective a complete
homeschooling program that is fun and educational at the same
time. This method focuses on all the core subjects with emphasis
placed on classical literature, poetry, fine arts, classical music
and craft. Mason used a variety of books from classical
literature, which she called 'Living Books'. Since this method
encourages a passionate awareness of literature, the child is read
to daily from the 'Living Books'. After this, the child is asked
to narrate what she has heard. This process begins at the age of
six, and by ten the child is expected to write her narrations in
her book. Mason also advocated the use of 'Nature Diaries'. After
each short and interesting lesson, the child is asked to go to
Nature and draw observations from Nature. Thus the child also
gains a sense of respect for her environment. Mason believed that
development of good character and behavior was essential to the
complete development of the child's personality.

The Eclectic Homeschooling:
This is a mixture of various homeschooling techniques. Here, the
innovative parents trust their own judgment and pick out the
topics that make the best curriculum for their child. Such parents
continuously look out for the best products that will meet the
needs of their homeschoolers. Most Eclectic homeschooling
curriculums are improvised. This means that the basic curriculum
is ready-made. The parents then make changes in the curriculum to
accommodate the individual needs and interests of their children.
The child's gifts, temperament, learning style and interests
dictate the curriculum. Eclectic programs include visits to the
museum, libraries and factories.

Unschooling:
A Boston public educator name John Holt laid the beginnings of the
unschooling method. He believed that children learned best when
they are free to learn at their own pace and when they are guided
by their own interests. His message was to 'unschool' the child.
This method is a hands-on approach to learning, where the parent
takes definite cues from the children. There is no definite
curriculum, schedules or materials. This method is the most
unstructured of the various homeschooling techniques.


The Montessori Method:
This method began in Italy, when it was observed that children
have acute sensitive periods, during which they undergo periods of
intense concentration. During such phases, a child will repeat an
activity till he gains a measure of self-satisfaction. The
Montessori method depends on a prepared environment to facilitate
learning. All the materials used in this method are designed to
satisfy the inner desire for spiritual development of the child.
The materials used progress from simple to complex, and are rather
expensive.

These are just a few of the methods of homeschooling. Whatever the
method, the underlying factor is flexibility and a keen interest
in the desires of the child. The secret is to use the child's
desire for knowledge to further his education.

Homeschooling hours

Homeschooling hours

How many, how often and when? These are some oft-repeated
questions when it comes to homeschooling hours. Flexibility is of
course one of the key underlying principles behind homeschooling.
This flexibility applies not only to the curriculum but also to
the number of hours. It is only natural that parents, especially
if they have just started out on homeschooling should feel that
their children should be at their books all the time when regular
school-goers are at school. This is not only fallacious but can
also be damaging and counter-productive.

One of the most ignored but glaring drawbacks of the public
schooling system is the sheer waste of time and energy that it
causes. Many periods are simply wasted away and the child
effectively derives only 1-3 hours of study everyday. Then, there
are days when the studies become too intensive and other days when
it's only games and no work at all. There is a lot of 'invisible
wastage' involved here.

Early on in your homeschooling practice, work out a schedule. It
is advisable to stick to the same hours everyday. A routine makes
it easier to learn and gives structure to the learning experience.
It also tells the students that parents are strict about their
learning. A routine also allows your child to free his mind from
other activities and concentrate on studies. He knows that a
particular time is strictly set aside for learning.

The actual number of hours that you need depends on the curriculum
you have chosen and the learning style that suits your child. If
you are dealing with a subject that seems to be more complex, you
may need to sit with the child for a longer period. Using various
techniques, it may be necessary to demonstrate what you are trying
to teach. For instance, a lesson in Algebra may take more time
than a lesson in English.

Homeschooling does not refer to the practice of sitting in front
of the books and learning the printed matter. Field trips,
watching documentaries, visiting factories and libraries also make
up an important slice of the homeschooling process. It makes sense
to intersperse these activities so that learning becomes fun.
You may want to finish off the few hours of textbook learning
in the morning and dedicate the afternoons to these kinds
of activities.

Given the fact that too many public school hours are wasted in
meaningless activities ranging from talking to extra-curricular
activities, do not allow public school hours to dictate the time
you should spend teaching your child at home. Remember that at
home, he is getting a high-quality one-to-one time that is highly
productive. About 1-3 hours of study is enough in the primary
level. It is of course true that the more number of hours you put
in, the more learning takes place. This is also the reason why
homeschooling children are much smarter and more balanced than
regular school going children.

Homeschooling and the family

Homeschooling and the family

According to the National Center For Education Statistics, almost
1.1 million children underwent homeschooling in 2005 alone. That's
a lot of children. Once upon a time, homeschooling used to be a
radical statement - something like a declaration of independence.
It was the conservative Christians who advocated homeschooling in
the '80s and legalized it in every State. But the typical
homeschooler of the day is not religiously motivated.

Recent surveys indicate that parents are actually quite fed up of
the public school systems where much of the learning is
superficial and compulsory. They are also concerned about negative
school environment ranging from drugs and abuse to negative peer
pressure. As a result, we have a surprising mix of people who form
the homeschooling world of today. They cut across all religious
and regional borders. Their main aim is providing meaningful and
productive learning through a method that strengthens the bond
between the various members of the family.

All these families have one thing in common - a long enduring
commitment to the sanctity of childhood. The children in these
families are accorded a primary position. Many believe, and
rightly so, that homeschooling allows parents to bring up children
in a more natural and nurturing environment. Public schools can
make one nervous, diffident and downright mean. Children who get
schooled at home are protected from these damaging negative
influences till they reach an age where they can handle it.

Homeschooling draws the whole family into the almost religious
task of schooling. Everyone is put to work. The parents together
form a bond with the children. Any experience can be turned into
an educational experience. Both the parents are aware of exactly
what is going into their child's head. Parents also have greater
control on the kind of religious and moral values that the child
imbibes. Even watching a movie together can become a learning
experience. Trips to the libraries and other places become
educational as well as recreational.

A homeschooling family is primarily dependent on the income of one
earning member. That means that often spending has to be curtailed
and proper planning of expenditure is a must. This helps to bring
the family members together and everybody gets involved in the
process of saving money.

Having a parent at home to supervise, to nurture and care for the
children brings with it a lot of love and caring. Even your
husband chips in and there just is no room for boredom. Yes,
problems do crop up, and there are a lot of misgivings in your
mind. But when you know that your kids can always count on you,
and your kids know it too, then homeschooling becomes a richly
rewarding experience.

Homeschooling and college

Homeschooling and college

As children grow out of their little pants and are ready to begin
their teens, many parents wonder if they should continue with the
homeschooling program. They fear that colleges may not give equal
opportunities to a child educated at home.

Many fears of this kind were put to rest when 2 homeschooled boys
got admission into Harvard. Harvard does not require a high school
diploma for gaining admission to their degree program. Many
colleges are more interested in the knowledge and behavior of the
homeschooled children rather than their high school diplomas. In
fact, other things being similar many colleges prefer
homeschoolers because of the diversity and richness they bring to
their college life.

Admission requirements may vary. While some colleges require the
child to appear for the SAT, others may need a general equivalency
diploma. And some may not care for any tests at all. The criterion
may vary depending on the college that you wish to apply to. But,
college courses really do not require any high school background
or special training.

It is common to come across parents who frantically try to shift
out their homeschool children to high schools because they fear
unavailability of college admissions. But college admissions are
open to all educated individuals, regardless of whether they are
educated at home or at a public school.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

What is Homeschooling

What is Homeschooling

The term 'homeschooling' basically refers to the process in which
one or more children of not more than 2 families are instructed by
parents or legal guardians, or a member of either household. The
laws that define homeschooling vary from State to State. The legal
requirements for establishing a homeschool also vary with the
State.

For most children, the actual process of learning begins much
before school. Many children already know their alphabets, the
names of animals, colors and other more complicated stuff before
they reach school. This is mostly due to the hard work of a member
of the family who has taken the time to teach the child.
Homeschooling is just a natural progression from here. Instead of
sending their children to a public school, parents make their own
curriculum and teach their children in ways that best suit the
child. This is homeschooling, in its most simplistic form.

Before you decide to go in for homeschooling, there are certain
important matters for consideration. First off, meet with parents
of other homeschoolers. Find out the pros and cons of
homeschooling. Then ask yourself why you would want to adopt this
method. This is a very important aspect, as the success of the
program depends on the clarity and sincerity of your purpose.

Next, it is time to consider the expenses of homeschooling. It may
cost anywhere between a few hundred dollars to a few thousand
every year. More importantly, you are also effectively shutting
out any job opportunity for one of the parents. It is only obvious
that one parent will have to stay at home full time to manage the
homeschool. A home-based business however is a great alternative.

Are you qualified to take on homeschooling for your children?
Teaching is a continuation of your own learning process. With the
advent of the internet, information is aplenty. There are various
books and resources for those interested in homeschooling. Go
through the various methods of homeschooling and choose one that
is most suited to you. It helps if you know what kind of learning
style your child has. Also, find out what your child feels about
homeschooling before you start.

Every state has its own laws regarding homeschooling. For
instance, in North Carolina, you must first file a 'Notice of
Intent' to start a home school. In this you have to mention if the
school is a 'Private church' school or a 'qualified non-public
school'. The persons providing the education are required to have
at least a high school diploma. You have to maintain an annual
record of the child's attendance and disease immunization. Every
year, the child is required to undergo a standardized test. Each
student attending the eleventh grade has to take a nationally
standardized test. These are the requirements in North Carolina,
but it is enough to give you a good idea of what homeschooling
entails.

Homeschooling may seem like a lot of fun and freedom from the
outside. However, things are seldom as simple as they seem.
Homeschooling is a lot of added responsibility and hard work. But,
if successful, it will forge a strong bond of love and respect
between parent and child, while providing your child with the best
form of education he needs.


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Unschooling your child

Unschooling your child

Unschooling is the most fluid style of homeschooling. There is no
curriculum and no set boundaries. Many parents feel a bit
apprehensive about such freedom. But, even unschooling has certain
guidelines that make it a great method of homeschooling

Firstly, allow your child to express interests. Let her select the
topic. If she wants to learn about flowers, tell her about the
various flowers, their functions, parts of the flower, rare flowers
etc. But don't go overboard. Allow her the freedom to stop when
she has had enough. This process of learning may take a month or a
day. It is up to the child to decide how much she wants to learn.

Expand your child's areas of interests using videos, books, magazines,
puzzles and games. Go to a museum or take her to a library.
Simultaneously, broaden your own interests. The more you know, the
more the child gets to learn.

Notice all opportunities for learning. When in the kitchen, point out
the vitamins in fruits and vegetables. What makes tomatoes red, and
why are leafy vegetables good? If you don't know the answers, don't
worry. Look it up. Lastly, don't worry if the going seems slow. This
is just the way kids learn. Give them time and lots of encouragement.

Structure the School year

Structure the School year

Now that you have begun your homeschooling schedule, there are
various questions that trouble you. Should you study continuously,
take a number of short breaks or a long vacation? What about
public holidays? When should you take a break?

The answer to these questions and many more like these are
actually quite simple: Do whatever suits you best. This is one of
the appealing benefits of homeschooling. You do not have a set
pattern to follow. You do not HAVE to take that autumn break, or
close shop for a prolonged summer vacation. Flexibility is the key
here. For some practiced unschoolers, even a definite curriculum
is not necessary because lessons are a part of their day- to-day
life. But this may not be the case with beginners. Beginners may
need to chart out their activities to fall into a pattern.

Before you plan the structure of your classes, consider some of
the most important issues. What method of homeschooling will you
be following, what is your teaching style and your child's
learning style, what are the work and play schedules, what are
your vacation plans. Some families plan small 1-week vacations at
different times of the year. Other families prefer to go away for
a month or more. Consult with the members of your family, and
chart out a holiday schedule that most suits you.

There are some positive benefits in following the traditional
summer vacation schedule. Firstly, your children can benefit from
the various summer activities, camps and classes. Your child's
schedule will coincide with that of his school-going friends. A
summer job may be possible. A longish summer break also means that
both parents as well as children get a break from their daily
lessons. This could also be a major drawback, as it is sometimes
difficult to get back on track once the classes resume.

On the other hand, there are some advantages to taking numerous
small breaks in the course of a year. Firstly, children do not get
bored since they get time to explore other interests. You can
cover more topics in the extra time that you save. You can also
take family trips and vacations during the less popular periods of
travel. This means lesser crowd and better prices. But beware if
your child becomes restless when other children are enjoying their
long summer vacations.

As far as homeschooling is concerned, you and your family are the
people in charge. Taking care of the individual needs of the child
is the primary focus of this system. So, tailor the school year to
suit your child's needs. Periodic evaluation is a must. Set some
realistic goals and see if you are able to achieve these goals.
Most importantly, avoid burnout - both in yourself and your
children.

Social concerns of homeschooling

Social concerns of homeschooling

Social skills is an area of deep concern when it comes to
homeschooling. Many critics point out that since man needs to hone
his social skills, a homeschooling environment where social
interaction is limited is detrimental to his growth and
development. But studies have proved this wrong.

Children put into the fiercely competitive school environments
lack the confidence to hold a conversation. Such children show
little genuine interest in the topic of conversation and don't
know how to interact with people of various age groups,
especially their elders.

Children who learn at home are more aware of the implications and
the purpose of their learning. They will ask intelligent questions
and make accurate observations. Children begin their life by
imitating their parents. Homeschooled children therefore pick
up the sterling qualities they see in their parents. On the other
hand, they are protected from the detrimental influences of their
peers.

These children are thus better equipped with the tools necessary
to face the world. The positive reinforcement that takes place
in the homeschooling environment as opposed to being abandoned,
embarrassed or ignored in a normal school environment strengthens
their self-esteem. Children turn out to be better balanced and
well-rounded as they progress into adulthood.

Record keeping in Homeschooling

Record keeping in Homeschooling

A topic that frequently comes up in meetings and forums that deal
with homeschooling is record keeping. The importance of record
keeping cannot be ignored. It is not only legally required in
various States, but also provides important milestones in your
child's learning experience. An interest-initiated homeschooling
approach means that the topic of studies is far ranging and
multifarious. Thus, it can be something of a challenge to write
quarterly reports for the school district, when it is difficult
to classify learning into neatly pigeonholed areas.

Record keeping is important not only for the sake of regulations.
It is also an exciting way to record and document the learning
process of the child. When most of the learning is done through
play and there is no clear cut index of topics that have to be
covered, it is necessary for the parent to keep some sort of a log
which records the child's progress.

The records you keep can be as simple as a daily journal, or as
elaborate as a software program. If you participate in a support
group, you probably have set forms and requirements. But even so,
keeping track of daily work makes reporting easy and efficient.


There are various record keeping methods used by various
homeschools. Some of the more popular ones are:

Journal:
This can be maintained by the teacher or the student. This
basically aims to keep a log of what was learned and what was
done. Recording memorable events that happened in the course of
the year is a great way to reminisce later on.


Daily planner:
Lay out the plans and the assignments for the week in a teacher's
planning notebook. Check each item as it is covered. Maintain a
separate area where any additional things can be recorded. This
includes educational trips, visits and videos etc. Any extra
topics that were covered are also recorded in this area. Make a
summary every quarter.

Portfolios:
This consists of a collection of varied materials that show what
the child has achieved and done during the course of study.
Portfolio assessment is a very effective way to chart the child's
progress. It gives structure to the otherwise loose and flexible
form of schooling called homeschooling. A drawing portfolio will
consist of some paintings or sketches that are considered the best
in that quarter. A language portfolio may consist of essays,
stories, reading-logs, spelling samples or letters. Progress in
mathematics, fine arts, history, science and social studies can
all be recorded this way. The biggest advantage is that portfolio
assessment places control in the hands of the children. Having a
tangible record of what they have established eggs them on to
greater heights.

Other than the above-mentioned systems, there are also purchased
record-keeping systems that lay out a good checklist. Some of
these allow one to personalize the organizer. Irrespective of the
methods used, record keeping in one form or the other is
essential. Your child's future may well depend on the
well-maintained record that you have meticulously kept over the
years.

Montessori Homeschooling

Montessori Homeschooling

Developed from the work of Dr. Maria Montessori, this style of
teaching aims at duplicating natural laws that a child faces in
life. Thus the aim of the teacher is to control the environment
and not the child. It was observed that children who are left free
to interact with their environment developed an innate
self-discipline, love for order and natural curiosity.

The Montessori method of teaching is especially suitable to the
preschooler who wants to do everything by himself. Finding ways in
which your child can participate in the cleaning, washing,
cooking, gardening and other 'adult' activities sets the perfect
backdrop for the learning experience. By providing such
opportunities for independence, the child's self-esteem also gets
a huge boost.

Artistic, cultural and scientific activities abound in the
Montessori 3-6 class. There is no TV, junk food, or computer.
Material is selected carefully. The child is never forced to work.
Instead he is encouraged to do things that interest him, and the
teacher picks up the teaching from cues given by the child.  The
Montessori method focuses on the child's inborn ability to learn
from his surroundings. Thus the teacher aims to encourage the
natural curiosity of the child. He is never forced to learn or
explore. When the child understands why he needs to learn
something, he will love the learning process.

Maintaining Discipline in Homeschooling

Maintaining Discipline in Homeschooling

When the child stays at home all day, and mommy is the teacher,
there are certain issues of discipline at stake. It is easy for he
child to misconstrue the freedom he has at home and feel that
homeschooling is just a long summer holiday. This is a potential
landmine and children need to be disciplined right at the start.

Homeschooling gives you and your child a truly immense amount of
flexibility. You and your child decide where to learn, how much to
learn and when to learn. But,these should be decisions made at
the beginning stages. If your child is too little to take an
active part in the decision, chart out a few hours of the day for
the various activities, and stick to it. When there is no outside
agency to supervise and no exams to answer, it is easy to get
sidetracked. If your child is old enough, consult him and find out
when he wants to learn. Apply your parental discretion and come up
with a timetable.

Homework is also a part of homeschooling. What this means is that
once lessons have been taught, the child should be asked to do
some part of the course work by himself without your guidance. You
will need to make sure that your child sits willingly and finishes
his work.

Courtesy, manners and punctuality are some of the various facets
of discipline that a child has to imbibe in the early years of his
life. The school where he interacts with his peers, his seniors
and juniors and his teachers mould these values quite
automatically. At homeschool, the child should be taught the
importance of speaking and behaving in a proper manner and
appropriate corrections need to be meted out if behavior is
unsatisfactory.

It is advisable to keep aside a particular room or a part of the
room for your homeschool. The child should be expected to reach
his desk at the appointed time, in proper attire with all the
necessary material. It is easy to allow the school to become an
extension of play if these ground rules are not laid out and
followed. As the teacher, supervisor, principal and janitor rolled
into one, you should also approach the study area with a cool
professionalism.

Homeschooling is doomed to fail without patience. In spite of all
the precautions and steps one takes, it is easy for a child to get
familiar' at homeschool. At such times, it may be difficult to
discipline the child and get him to listen to you attentively.
When this happens, switch to something new. Allow the child to
take a breather and enjoy a break yourself.

Homeschooling is not easy. It requires a lot of hard work and
patience. The very informality of the whole procedure sometimes
works against it by making it too easy. If you take steps to
establish rules at the very beginning and adhere to these rules,
your homeschooling experience will be a huge success.

Is Homeschooling legal?

Is Homeschooling legal?

Without a doubt, homeschooling is legal in all the 50 States of
the U.s. But, that is just about where the similarity ends. Laws
and regulations regarding homeschooling vary from state to state.
Interpretations of these laws can vary from scholl district to
school district. Additionally, these laws may change every year.

The National Home Education network is a wonderful resource when
it comes to the legalities of homeschooling. It has a listing of
the actual state laws for each state in the U.S. Reading the laws
that pertain to your state is perhaps the best way to get accurate
information about these laws. But, most people need to get the
laws interpreted by a qualified attorney. You can get valuable
information from the support group at your locality. Additionally,
many state education departments have online resources that will
help you in interpreting the state requirements for homeschooling.
The internet is also a good source of information.

It is a good idea to check out your state laws regarding
homeschooling before you start educating your child at home. This
will prevent any nasty surprises on the way. If you have to move,
you will need to be aware of any tests or exams that your child
may need to take.

How to Homeschool Your Child

How to Homeschool Your Child

Now that you have decided that homeschooling is the way to educate
your child, get ready for the ecstasy and the anxiety - the road
ahead is a bit bumpy, but the rewards more than make up for it.
Producing a well-adjusted and well-rounded personality is no mean
achievement.

First of all, it is important to check out your state laws on home
schooling. Some states need an affidavit filed with the State's
education department. There are basically 3 categories for
homeschooling laws. These are: private school laws, home education
laws and equivalency laws. Find your state laws. You may also need
to maintain a portfolio that records the child's educational
progress. It is important to look into the legal requirements
BEFORE you start homeschooling. Some States also stipulate a
minimum educational qualification for the parent or teacher.

Next, look for a support group. If you live in a friendly or
curious neighborhood, well-meaning friends will try to dissuade
you. At the very least, they may put a lot of uneasy questions in
your mind. A support group that consists of like-minded people
will insulate you from the criticism, pressures and questions of
regular school-goers. Many groups organize fun events like visits
to the zoo, museum, tours to the ice cream shops etc. And if your
children hit it off with other homeschoolers, they will be able to
build lasting relationships that do not fade when their friends
change schools. These groups provide an important avenue for
socialization.

The next important thing to do is to select a curriculum.
Depending upon the method of homeschooling, you may choose various
tools that aid you in this process. The internet is also a rich
resource for homeschooling. Do some research and look into the
material that is available.

Set certain ground rules. Homeschooling requires a lot of
self-discipline and hard work. Here is a comprehensive list of the
things you will need:
1) Eagerness to learn
2) Hard work and effort
3) Discipline
4) Time and patience
5) Flexibility
6) Enthusiasm

Consider why you want to opt for homeschooling. Your motives and
your reasons are important pillars on which the whole edifice of
your child's lessons depends. Also, consult with your children.
Ask them what they feel about homeschooling.

Select a curriculum or custom-make a curriculum that best suits
your child. Record keeping is an important part of homeschooling.
Look into the various methods of record keeping. Set up a
schedule. Your child does not have to learn 6-7 hours a day. Allow
him or her to dictate the time. Flexibility and fun are the
cornerstones of homeschooling. Do not stuff too many skills into a
single term or year. Prepare a skill list. Make the child learn
the skills that he is ready for.

Gentle parenting is the secret to successful homeschooling.
Children make great advances in learning and show more enthusiasm.
They also turn out to be surprisingly well balanced and well
informed when they are taught at home.

Homeschool teachers

Homeschool teachers

The teacher is the key to the success of homeschooling. In most
cases, the teacher is a parent or a close relative. In some cases,
parents may divide the subjects between them. Rarely, if both
parents are busy, they may hire a homeschool teacher. Whatever the
case, children need time with their parents. Parents, as a rule,
make very good teachers.

Teaching does not involve a clinical presentation of facts.
Learning has to be integrated lovingly into daily life for it to
interest the child. That is where parents come in. Grandparents
also make great teachers, especially since they have an abundance
of patience.

If you feel anxious about your skill or knowledge, relax. There
are countless homeschooling resources that are aimed at helping
you. Professional curriculum packages, support groups, online help
desks, virtual schools and library resources are all available.
When you start out, you may want to make use of the commercial
curriculum packages. Readymade software also allows you to record
and log important achievements.

Local support groups are an excellent source of help, ideas and
material. This is where you get to meet experienced homeschoolers,
who will be more than happy to offer their insight and advice.
Once you settle into the homeschooling routine, you will find
yourself tailoring the curriculum to suit your own needs.

Homeschool - staying connected

Homeschool - staying connected

The world has become a jungle of knowledge. Wherever you turn, you
find a new fruit that just has to be passed on to your child. In
the middle of all the knowledge flying to and fro, we sometimes
forget to talk and relax with our children. A mom who doubles as a
teacher needs to leave the teacher behind and simply become mom
for a few hours everyday.

Listen to your child. Do not just hear the words, but notice the
emotion too. Many children find it difficult to express exactly
what they want. Talk to your child about general stuff and allow
him to be 'just a kid'. When you talk to your child, as for his
opinions. Few things please him more. It also adds kilos to his
self-confidence.

Most parents interrupt when their children talk. We, as adults,
detest it when someone cuts across our lines. Kids keep mum
because they are forced to be silent when we shut them up. But
this is unhealthy and unfair. Allow your child to finish and then
express your views in a rational manner. The child should have the
confidence to confide in you.

Gentle parenting is the key to successful homeschooling. Be a
parent first, and then a teacher.

(word count 211)

Homeschooling - the darker side

Homeschooling - the darker side

It's not all hunky-dory and smooth sailing on the homeschooling
front. Like all things in life, there is a downside that has to be
seriously considered when you explore the homeschooling option.
Though one man's bane may be another man's boon, there are certain
common reasons for concern.

The responsibility of teaching your child rests solely on you. You
cannot blame anyone else if your child is seen wanting in the
skills that his peers excel in. If your child cannot do the things
that are expected from other children of his age group, it
reflects badly on you as an educator as well as a parent.

A critical part of homeschooling is the time that you have to
spend with your children. You may have to give up your friends,
shopping and other entertainment and dedicate all these to your
child. This can become frustrating at times. You have to learn to
take the aggravation with equanimity and wait for the rewards with
patience and enthusiasm.

A parent who is dedicated to tutor his or her child single
handedly does not realistically have much time left over for a
career. This means that the family is robbed of an additional
source of income. In turn, this may lead to stress over finances.
You will have to train yourself to live on a strictly controlled
budget. While this is a matter of habit, it does need some getting
used to.

You cannot take a break when you feel like it. Feelings of guilt
will assail you if you neglect studies just because you are
feeling blue. You also fear that the child will take advantage of
the situation. Even when you have given homework, you have to be
around to give a helping hand. This means that anytime your child
is around you, you are on duty! For some, this may mean working
every waking hour. The child studying at home also needs to get
out more. This comes from staying at home all the time.
Interaction with adults and other children needs to be given
special attention.

Children tutored at home cannot develop in the various directions
that are open to children attending public schools. To achieve
that kind of exposure, you either have to be a super-parent
skilled in everything, or enroll your child to various activities.
This may not only prove too costly, but also be
counter-productive.

It is sometimes observed that homeschooled children do not do as
well in SAT tests as their school-going counterparts. Without a
diploma or a GED, some students find it difficult to get into the
military.

Lastly, if you envision enrolling your child to a public school,
there may be a certain period of emotional as well as social
adjustment. A child who is used to being at home for the whole day
and enjoying so much of uncontained freedom may have to undergo
some distressing emotional upheavals before he or she gets used to
the rigors of a regular school life.

Homeschooling with a disability

Homeschooling with a disability

If you feel that your child suffers from a disability that
seriously hampers his ability to stick to a routine, then
homeschooling is your best choice. The child will be constantly
under your supervision. But he will be gaining a lot of quality
education, in spite of his disability. This is rather surprising,
considering how children with disabilities are stigmatized in
public schools.

Goal setting is an important part of homeschooling a child with
disability. Set the number of working hours per week for the
child. A child with a disability may have his bad days. Structure
the learning hours according to the needs and interests of the
child. Use the computer. This way, he will have all the
necessary information right at his fingertips while staying within
the confines of his home.

Field trips and other educational activities are just as
important. Get help from your support group. Visit places of
interest and interact with other children in the group. Take your
child out for some activities, so that he can socialize. Let him
set his own pace with making friends. This will help in
strengthening his self-esteem.

Above all, remember that homeschooling is just the same, even when
your child suffers from a disability. You will just need to look
for the right opportunities and the easiest alternatives to
achieve the same goals.

Homeschooling the teenager

Homeschooling the teenager

As children start maturing into adults, parents feel insecure
about homeschooling. Many parents then discontinue the
homeschooling process and happily hand over the reign to outside
authorities. But is this really necessary? Is the strictly
compartmentalized education provided in schools a better option?

If social concerns are worrying you, look for interest-oriented
associations, clubs and societies. These offer a lot of support
for leaders, opportunity for shared experience, and foster a sense
of belonging. Make up your own group or share this responsibility
with someone else. Home education support groups provide fantastic
opportunities to meet your child's needs. This is the best way to
develop intelligent, self-motivated, healthy and able young
people.

If the growing burden of some of the higher level Math or Science
seems to be beyond you, enlist the help of someone who knows more.
You can even barter your own services and thus save some money.
With homeschooling becoming more and more popular, support groups
will have innumerable resources that help you find the right
teacher for your child.

The underlying principle that guides homeschooling is this: any
child has the innate capacity to grow, develop and achieve its
full potential. All it needs is the right environment and all the
right answers. Be there to provide these and think twice before
you turn over this responsibility to a third party.

Homeschooling online

Homeschooling online

If Johnny is fascinated by the blinking cursor and struggles to
master the movements of the mouse, you may want to look into some
of the recent developments in homeschooling techniques. Gone are
the days when parents had to buy material from vendors and then
pass it on to their children with explanations. Today, you get the
full course details, material and test papers online.

Children love to sit with the computer. In addition to making them
feel like an adult, the computer also makes use of the visual and
sound medium to make learning fun and easy. Streaming video and
audio show various scientific processes in great detail. The
colorful pictures and the various techniques used help to
effectively bind the data to the child's memory.

Many online resources have a fun testing center that aims to
measure the knowledge and skill level of your child. Complicated
math and science problems are dealt with deftly and elegantly.
A visit to an e-library can also be fun, especially when there
is an audio clip that reads out the passage to you.

E-learning has just begun to revolutionize the world of studies.
If harnessed properly, a child can assimilate an astonishing
amount of information from that great resource sitting right there
at your table - your P.C.

(word count 216)

Homeschooling Methods

Homeschooling Methods

For many people, homeschooling may call to mind the picture of two
or three children sitting at a table and writing feverishly in
their workbooks, while mom or dad stands nearby. This is the not
entirely true. There are different methods of homeschooling,
and the method you choose will decide the curriculum and your
style of teaching. Given below are some of the most influential
and popular homeschooling methods.

The Charlotte Mason method:
Charlotte Mason is known as the founder of the homeschooling
movement. A homeschooler herself, she was passionate in her zeal
to lay out the foundations for an effective a complete
homeschooling program that is fun and educational at the same
time. This method focuses on all the core subjects with emphasis
placed on classical literature, poetry, fine arts, classical music
and craft. Mason used a variety of books from classical
literature, which she called 'Living Books'. Since this method
encourages a passionate awareness of literature, the child is read
to daily from the 'Living Books'. After this, the child is asked
to narrate what she has heard. This process begins at the age of
six, and by ten the child is expected to write her narrations in
her book. Mason also advocated the use of 'Nature Diaries'. After
each short and interesting lesson, the child is asked to go to
Nature and draw observations from Nature. Thus the child also
gains a sense of respect for her environment. Mason believed that
development of good character and behavior was essential to the
complete development of the child's personality.

The Eclectic Homeschooling:
This is a mixture of various homeschooling techniques. Here, the
innovative parents trust their own judgment and pick out the
topics that make the best curriculum for their child. Such parents
continuously look out for the best products that will meet the
needs of their homeschoolers. Most Eclectic homeschooling
curriculums are improvised. This means that the basic curriculum
is ready-made. The parents then make changes in the curriculum to
accommodate the individual needs and interests of their children.
The child's gifts, temperament, learning style and interests
dictate the curriculum. Eclectic programs include visits to the
museum, libraries and factories.

Unschooling:
A Boston public educator name John Holt laid the beginnings of the
unschooling method. He believed that children learned best when
they are free to learn at their own pace and when they are guided
by their own interests. His message was to 'unschool' the child.
This method is a hands-on approach to learning, where the parent
takes definite cues from the children. There is no definite
curriculum, schedules or materials. This method is the most
unstructured of the various homeschooling techniques.


The Montessori Method:
This method began in Italy, when it was observed that children
have acute sensitive periods, during which they undergo periods of
intense concentration. During such phases, a child will repeat an
activity till he gains a measure of self-satisfaction. The
Montessori method depends on a prepared environment to facilitate
learning. All the materials used in this method are designed to
satisfy the inner desire for spiritual development of the child.
The materials used progress from simple to complex, and are rather
expensive.

These are just a few of the methods of homeschooling. Whatever the
method, the underlying factor is flexibility and a keen interest
in the desires of the child. The secret is to use the child's
desire for knowledge to further his education.

Homeschooling hours

Homeschooling hours

How many, how often and when? These are some oft-repeated
questions when it comes to homeschooling hours. Flexibility is of
course one of the key underlying principles behind homeschooling.
This flexibility applies not only to the curriculum but also to
the number of hours. It is only natural that parents, especially
if they have just started out on homeschooling should feel that
their children should be at their books all the time when regular
school-goers are at school. This is not only fallacious but can
also be damaging and counter-productive.

One of the most ignored but glaring drawbacks of the public
schooling system is the sheer waste of time and energy that it
causes. Many periods are simply wasted away and the child
effectively derives only 1-3 hours of study everyday. Then, there
are days when the studies become too intensive and other days when
it's only games and no work at all. There is a lot of 'invisible
wastage' involved here.

Early on in your homeschooling practice, work out a schedule. It
is advisable to stick to the same hours everyday. A routine makes
it easier to learn and gives structure to the learning experience.
It also tells the students that parents are strict about their
learning. A routine also allows your child to free his mind from
other activities and concentrate on studies. He knows that a
particular time is strictly set aside for learning.

The actual number of hours that you need depends on the curriculum
you have chosen and the learning style that suits your child. If
you are dealing with a subject that seems to be more complex, you
may need to sit with the child for a longer period. Using various
techniques, it may be necessary to demonstrate what you are trying
to teach. For instance, a lesson in Algebra may take more time
than a lesson in English.

Homeschooling does not refer to the practice of sitting in front
of the books and learning the printed matter. Field trips,
watching documentaries, visiting factories and libraries also make
up an important slice of the homeschooling process. It makes sense
to intersperse these activities so that learning becomes fun.
You may want to finish off the few hours of textbook learning
in the morning and dedicate the afternoons to these kinds
of activities.

Given the fact that too many public school hours are wasted in
meaningless activities ranging from talking to extra-curricular
activities, do not allow public school hours to dictate the time
you should spend teaching your child at home. Remember that at
home, he is getting a high-quality one-to-one time that is highly
productive. About 1-3 hours of study is enough in the primary
level. It is of course true that the more number of hours you put
in, the more learning takes place. This is also the reason why
homeschooling children are much smarter and more balanced than
regular school going children.

Homeschooling and the family

Homeschooling and the family

According to the National Center For Education Statistics, almost
1.1 million children underwent homeschooling in 2005 alone. That's
a lot of children. Once upon a time, homeschooling used to be a
radical statement - something like a declaration of independence.
It was the conservative Christians who advocated homeschooling in
the '80s and legalized it in every State. But the typical
homeschooler of the day is not religiously motivated.

Recent surveys indicate that parents are actually quite fed up of
the public school systems where much of the learning is
superficial and compulsory. They are also concerned about negative
school environment ranging from drugs and abuse to negative peer
pressure. As a result, we have a surprising mix of people who form
the homeschooling world of today. They cut across all religious
and regional borders. Their main aim is providing meaningful and
productive learning through a method that strengthens the bond
between the various members of the family.

All these families have one thing in common - a long enduring
commitment to the sanctity of childhood. The children in these
families are accorded a primary position. Many believe, and
rightly so, that homeschooling allows parents to bring up children
in a more natural and nurturing environment. Public schools can
make one nervous, diffident and downright mean. Children who get
schooled at home are protected from these damaging negative
influences till they reach an age where they can handle it.

Homeschooling draws the whole family into the almost religious
task of schooling. Everyone is put to work. The parents together
form a bond with the children. Any experience can be turned into
an educational experience. Both the parents are aware of exactly
what is going into their child's head. Parents also have greater
control on the kind of religious and moral values that the child
imbibes. Even watching a movie together can become a learning
experience. Trips to the libraries and other places become
educational as well as recreational.

A homeschooling family is primarily dependent on the income of one
earning member. That means that often spending has to be curtailed
and proper planning of expenditure is a must. This helps to bring
the family members together and everybody gets involved in the
process of saving money.

Having a parent at home to supervise, to nurture and care for the
children brings with it a lot of love and caring. Even your
husband chips in and there just is no room for boredom. Yes,
problems do crop up, and there are a lot of misgivings in your
mind. But when you know that your kids can always count on you,
and your kids know it too, then homeschooling becomes a richly
rewarding experience.

Homeschooling and the family

Homeschooling and the family

According to the National Center For Education Statistics, almost
1.1 million children underwent homeschooling in 2005 alone. That's
a lot of children. Once upon a time, homeschooling used to be a
radical statement - something like a declaration of independence.
It was the conservative Christians who advocated homeschooling in
the '80s and legalized it in every State. But the typical
homeschooler of the day is not religiously motivated.

Recent surveys indicate that parents are actually quite fed up of
the public school systems where much of the learning is
superficial and compulsory. They are also concerned about negative
school environment ranging from drugs and abuse to negative peer
pressure. As a result, we have a surprising mix of people who form
the homeschooling world of today. They cut across all religious
and regional borders. Their main aim is providing meaningful and
productive learning through a method that strengthens the bond
between the various members of the family.

All these families have one thing in common - a long enduring
commitment to the sanctity of childhood. The children in these
families are accorded a primary position. Many believe, and
rightly so, that homeschooling allows parents to bring up children
in a more natural and nurturing environment. Public schools can
make one nervous, diffident and downright mean. Children who get
schooled at home are protected from these damaging negative
influences till they reach an age where they can handle it.

Homeschooling draws the whole family into the almost religious
task of schooling. Everyone is put to work. The parents together
form a bond with the children. Any experience can be turned into
an educational experience. Both the parents are aware of exactly
what is going into their child's head. Parents also have greater
control on the kind of religious and moral values that the child
imbibes. Even watching a movie together can become a learning
experience. Trips to the libraries and other places become
educational as well as recreational.

A homeschooling family is primarily dependent on the income of one
earning member. That means that often spending has to be curtailed
and proper planning of expenditure is a must. This helps to bring
the family members together and everybody gets involved in the
process of saving money.

Having a parent at home to supervise, to nurture and care for the
children brings with it a lot of love and caring. Even your
husband chips in and there just is no room for boredom. Yes,
problems do crop up, and there are a lot of misgivings in your
mind. But when you know that your kids can always count on you,
and your kids know it too, then homeschooling becomes a richly
rewarding experience.

Homeschooling and college

Homeschooling and college

As children grow out of their little pants and are ready to begin
their teens, many parents wonder if they should continue with the
homeschooling program. They fear that colleges may not give equal
opportunities to a child educated at home.

Many fears of this kind were put to rest when 2 homeschooled boys
got admission into Harvard. Harvard does not require a high school
diploma for gaining admission to their degree program. Many
colleges are more interested in the knowledge and behavior of the
homeschooled children rather than their high school diplomas. In
fact, other things being similar many colleges prefer
homeschoolers because of the diversity and richness they bring to
their college life.

Admission requirements may vary. While some colleges require the
child to appear for the SAT, others may need a general equivalency
diploma. And some may not care for any tests at all. The criterion
may vary depending on the college that you wish to apply to. But,
college courses really do not require any high school background
or special training.

It is common to come across parents who frantically try to shift
out their homeschool children to high schools because they fear
unavailability of college admissions. But college admissions are
open to all educated individuals, regardless of whether they are
educated at home or at a public school.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Homeschool - Field trips

Homeschool - Field trips

If you are going over a particular subject with the family and
feel that a field trip would be beneficial, then that's what you
should do - go for a trip. If you are attached to a support group,
you can plan to include other children too.

Here are some guidelines that will help you plan:
1) Collect the rates
2) Allowed ages
3) Special highlights
4) Size of the group
5) Timings
6) Eating facilities

Inform your support group of all these details well in advance so
that the necessary circulars may be sent out. On the appointed
day, arrange to meet with other parents and children in a
particular place. Plan the mode of travel and reach the place at
least 10 minutes in advance.

The field trip is not just fun. So, let your kids bring their
writing material. Allow them time to stare and admire. Do not
hurry them along. Collect data beforehand so that you can clear
doubts. Get help from a guide, if necessary. And most importantly,
have fun and enjoy the time you spend with your children.

Homeschool burnout

Homeschool burnout

When a parent takes on the responsibility of educating his or her
child, homeschool burnout is one of the more common issues they
have to deal with. There are many reasons that lead to this
burnout: an illness, a new baby, added responsibility, change in
routine etc.

The symptoms of burnout vary from lack of patience to overeating
and crying without any apparent reasons. Surprisingly, a burnout
need not be such a bad thing. It is a wake-up call - an indicator
that things are not going well and that you need to reschedule.
Reversing or avoiding a burnout is possible if you get fair
warning.

Firstly, lower your expectations. Do not be a perfectionist. Take
the good days with the bad. Next, when something does not seem to
work, look for alternative methods. Flexibility is a key
factor. If tension starts mounting, take a break. When necessary,
change the style of teaching. For instance, small children love to
take on their spellings when they quiz an adult.

Avoid overkill. Do not pack too many activities for the sake of
socializing your child. A worn out mom means a grouchy kid and
that means no happiness. Get support from your spouse or a
neighbor or a support group. Don't try to achieve everything by
yourself. Homeschooling means 'happy schooling' - don't forget
that.

Grading in homeschooling

Grading in homeschooling

Grading in homeschooling is done by the teacher-in-charge. In most
of the cases, this means mom! In this situation, grading can get a
bit tricky because it can be a little difficult to grade your own
child. There is no benchmark against which you can evaluate your
child's performance. In most cases, you also have no awareness of
how well other children are doing. So, obviously the traditional
method of grading is perhaps not the best method to follow.

When grading a child undergoing homeschooling, it is more
important to assess whether the child has understood the subject
that is being taught. Inherent in this is the fact that if the
child has not understood something, you will go over it again.
This will work in your child's favor in 2 ways. Firstly, the child
knows that if he or she fails to catch on, the topic will be
repeated till it is mastered. Secondly, the child also knows that
once the topic has been mastered, he or she will get full credit
for his hard work. Getting full reward for the hard work put in is
a great motivational factor, especially for kids.

When assessing your child's abilities, do not allow emotions to
overcrowd your rationale. Do not yield to the cries and tears of
your child if he or she resists certain topics or subjects. If
mastering these skills is necessary, then you as the teacher (and
not as the parent alone) have to go over the topic over and over
till it sinks in. When dealing with tougher concepts, the child
may get restless and may even show frustration or belligerence.
When the child is still young and unable to understand the
importance of his lessons, it is your responsibility to see to it
that the child develops the skill set necessary for future growth.

In case you belong to a state that requires yearly tests, this
will help you to judge your child's ability vis-à-vis his peers.
Even if it is not mandatory, you may want to test your child every
year. These tests will reveal the variations in the child's
learning pattern. It may show up unexpected areas of strength and
hitherto unknown areas of weakness. This enables you to structure
your teaching to cover the areas that are weak, and build upon the
areas that are strong.

In case your state requires a homeschool report card, keep a
record of the yearly development and scores of your child. Include
pertinent areas like punctuality, discipline etc in the report.
You may also need to keep a record of the number of working days
and attendance schedules.

While grading your child, make sure that you use as many external
tests as possible. There are several websites that deal with the
various age groups, and allow free downloading of question papers.
This is an excellent and cost-effective method to assess your
child. Homeschooling, if done in the proper manner, will boost the
child's confidence because he will be studying to satisfy his
natural curiosity. The scores therefore will reflect his true
intelligence.

Financing homeschooling

Financing homeschooling

When people talk about teaching their children from home in the
absence of any definite or structured curriculum, it is perhaps
natural to think that homeschooling is cheap. But this is far from
the truth. Although homeschooling does not stick to any particular
text, this is perhaps more of a bane than a boon, when it comes to
finance.

Disadvantages of public schooling

Disadvantages of public schooling

When we consign our children to public schools, we feel satisfied
that they are receiving 'quality education'. But, are we really
getting our money's worth? More importantly, are the children
gaining anything from this kind of a learning procedure?

Socialization is hailed as one of the greatest advantage of
schools. This is the place where the child picks up the rudiments
of social skills that help him survive. But in truth, a regular
school-going child can interact only with his peers. He may bully
younger children or fear older ones. He does not know how to
behave with an adult. This is because in the school environment
he interacts only with his peers. A homeschooling environment
brings in a more natural social environment.

A regular school going child cannot read literature. He cannot
keep silent or think in depth about any one thing. The artificial
'busy'ness imposed upon him by the school disallows quiet
contemplation. Rowdy and destructive behavior, as seen among
peers, is more noticeable in school-goers.

There is little long-standing knowledge among regular school goers
because most things are learnt for the exam. There is no
correlation of facts with life. The child may know a lot, but
understands very little. This is where the homeschoolers beat the
regular school goers. Ultimately, homeschoolers emerge more adept
at facing the outside world.

Benefit Of Home Schooling

Benefits Of Homeschooling

Why let Tim and Lisa learn at home than send them to school?
Well, first of all, you don't have to wake them up at 7 every
morning and bundle them off to school with umpteen numbers of
instructions, and wait with an anxious heart till they return.
Homeschooling gives you more control over the influences that
affect your child. The growth and development of your child
is removed from the realm of the unknown. You, and you alone
can decide what your child needs to do or learn. Tailoring
the curriculum to suit the needs and interests of the child
is one of the most obvious benefits of homeschooling

Individual attention is another salient benefit of
homeschooling. For instance, if Lisa needs more time to learn
Math, then she can reduce the time for her English lessons.
There are no fixed hours of learning per subject. This means
that a child has the advantage of assigning more number of
hours to the subject that seems tough WITHOUT any additional
pressure. The amount of time needed to learn each subject
will depend on the abilities and interests of the child.

The schooling of the child becomes an extended family activity.
Parents get involved in every step of the learning procedure.
Field trips and experiments become family activities. Thus,
the child receives more quality time with his parents. The
entire family shares games, chores and projects. Family
closeness becomes the focus here. The child is also free of
any negative peer pressure while making choices and decisions.

Competition is limited when it comes to homeschooling. The
child does not need to prove his ability with regards to other
children. His confidence remains intact. Since parents have a
deep understanding of their child, they can plan the learning
program to pique the child's interest. It is also possible to
intersperse difficult tasks with fun activities. A tough hour
with Algebra can be followed by a trip to the nearest museum.
Learning becomes fun. Parents can also tailor the curriculum to
suit the learning style of the child. Some children learn through
reading, while others need to write, and still others need to see
objects in action.

Homeschooling allows parents to take control over the moral and
religious learning of the child. Parents have the flexibility to
incorporate their beliefs and ideologies into the child's curriculum.
There is no confusion in the child's mind either because there is
no variation between what is being taught and what is being practiced.

Lastly, more and more parents are getting disillusioned with the
public school system. They believe that their children are being
pushed too hard or too little. Other worrying issues pertaining to
discipline and ethics also make the school system less welcome. Many
repudiate the educational philosophy of grouping children solely on
the basis of their age. Some parents themselves have unhappy memories
of their own public school experience that motivates them to opt for
homeschooling when it comes to their own children.

Homeschooling is the best way to teach a child if you have the time,
the ability and the interest to follow through with his education. After
all, nobody can understand or appreciate your child more than yourself.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Better Blood Sugar

Better Blood Sugar

Take control of your diabetes with tips on how to monitor, stabilize and lower your blood sugar.

See other topics in Ailments

Guide to Stable Blood Glucose

Do you want to live longer, boost your energy, and shed extra pounds? If your answer is yes, it's time to take control of your blood sugar.

Are you ready to learn more about blood sugar and why its so important? Our guide gives you the tools to begin living a healthier life today!
Better Blood Sugar Begins Here
  1. Why blood sugar matters
  2. 25 foods for better blood sugar
  3. What is insulin resistance?
  4. Introducing the glycemic index
  5. Could you have metabolic syndrome?

Fadjar
Ramuan Bisnis
Kursus Inggris "my english"

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Scholarship at Nothingham

Posted: 02 Dec 2010 01:51 AM PST


MSc Scholarships 2011-2012 at Nottingham University Business School for EU and International students. Application deadline: June 2011.

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