Homeschooling an Only Child

In the homeschooling community, most families have 2-3 children. It is far from uncommon to see families with 5 or more children. However, what you rarely see are families with only one child. If you are one of them, you might feel like your family is the odd one out. It might even make you feel like perhaps homeschooling is not the best option for you. After all, if it were, wouldn’t there be more families like yours that do it? However, just because homeschooling an only child is not common doesn’t mean that it is not possible.

Why You’re Behind in Homeschooling

Do you ever feel like your behind in homeschooling?

Like everyone else is farther along than you?
Like your child is NEVER going to learn                                    ?

Me too! I think every homeschool mom feels behind in homeschooling sometimes. We stress ourselves out, wonder what the problem is, and struggle to keep up.

I believe there are 2 leading factors in the behind mentality, and both can be fixed today!

Read the full post at the Southeast Homeschool Expo

Creating Independent Learners

As homeschool parents, we are responsible for our children’s education. WE take on that responsibility oftentimes when our children are young. By the time they reach middle school we are educating younger siblings, and may be getting overwhelmed with the responsibility of educating so many different grades.
At this point it may be time to start easing our children into independent learning.  This is an important thing for our children to learn. Independent learning can help them learn responsibility, prepare them for college, and helps them truly engage in the material.

But how can we create independent learners?

Read the full post at the Southeast Homeschool Expo. 

 

Four Reasons to Consider Homeschooing

 

The number of homeschoolers is growing by leaps and bounds.  In fact, in one state, there are more homeschoolers than private school students.  There are many reasons why people choose homeschooling; they range from personal preference, to special needs. If you have ever considered homeschooling before, you are not alone. Here are just a few reasons to consider homeschooling.

  1. Flexibility- Homeschooling leaves so many options open. Homeschool families can take vacations when they want, and are not tied down to a public school calendar. Some homeschool families’ school year round, stopping for breaks as needed. Homeschool families can sleep in and do school later, or arise early and have the rest of the day to play.   Part of the beauty of homeschooling is the flexibility!
  2. Learning is Customized- Children learn differently. One child may struggle with math, another with reading. Some children may need a little more time before moving on. Some children learn while moving around, some need visual aids. Homeschooling allows the parents to cater to each of their children’s individual needs. This cannot be done in a public school setting. If a child is in a class with 15 other children, and 12 know the material, the teacher will move on. The alternative is true also, if three know the material and 13 don’t, the teacher will need to spend more time teaching while the three who know it are bored. Homeschooling allows children to learn at their own pace, and in the way they learn best.  As parents, we are our children’s best teacher, and the one who loves them and wants to see them succeed. If curriculum is not working, you can change it! If a child needs more time, you can take it. Homeschooling allows parents to customize the learning to fit their child.
  3. Learning as a lifestyle- Homeschooling allows children to see that life happens every day. Children do not need to be “in school” to learn. There are learning opportunities everywhere! When you homeschool the whole world is your classroom. One way that many homeschoolers integrate daily life into homeschooling is through field trips. Many times businesses are more than willing to accommodate a small group of homeschoolers, and because the class size is so small, the children are able to have more interaction and hands on opportunities.
  4. One on One Ratio- You can’t beat the student/teacher ratio in homeschooling. If your child has a problem they don’t understand, you are right there to help them. This means you will know when they have mastered the material. There is no waiting until the teacher has time, or until parent teacher conferences to realize your child doesn’t quite “get it”. You will know what they are learning, how they are learning, and how they are doing in school all the time

Author Bio: Misty Bailey and her husband have been married for over a decade and have three beautiful children. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey.

What do I NEED to Teach?

When parents decide to home school, one of the first things many wonder is what do I need to teach? Or am I qualified to teach?  The teaching is one of the things parents are most afraid of when it comes to homeschooling. Don’t let fear rule your life! You are the most capable person on Earth to teach your child. You have been teaching your child since birth. You have already taught your child to walk, talk love, get along with others, pray, feed themselves and many other things I’m sure. Nothing changes when your child reaches school age. You are still more than capable.

 

Learn more at the Southeast Homeschool Expo

Keeping Grades in Homeschool

Keeping grades in homeschool may seem a little silly. After all, you are their teacher. You know whether or not they are learning right? While this is true, it is also important to keep records and documentation while you homeschool.

Benefits of Keeping Grades

Keeping grades when your child is young will benefit you when your child enters high school. He will already be used to having grades, and you will be used to keeping them. Keeping grades will also help you if your homeschooling is ever questioned by the school system in which you reside.

What Should I Grade?

I do not recommend keeping grades in every subject when your children are small. In the early elementary grades, I would recommend keeping grades for Math, Grammar and Language Arts and Spelling. Spelling tests can be given weekly and grades recorded easily. Most math curriculums come with Math quizzes and tests. Grammar and Language Arts programs may come with tests, worksheets, or another method of review.

As your child gets older you can expand what you grade to include subjects like History, Science, Geography and Foreign Language.

How do I record Grades?

There are many options out there for homeschool record keeping, including recording grades. I use the Well Planned Day Planner, and highly recommend it. There are also free printables out there that you can use in your homeschool to help with recording grades.

Grading scales are up to you, the homeschool parent. We use the 90/80/70 method for grades. Ninety percent or less is an A, 80 percent or less is a B, and so on. It is easy to remember, and seems like a fair system.

Tips to Remember

Don’t put a lot of focus on a grade. Remind your child that grades are just to help you know what your child is learning, and what they need to work on. Mastery is key, and ultimately you want to know your child has mastered what you are teaching, not whether or not they get straight A’s. You want to see improvement, and progress. Not stress them out over a letter grade on a paper. For more information on keeping grades in homeschool check out this sites: How Do I Grade My Student?

Misty Bailey is a wife to Roger and a homeschool mom to three beautiful blessings. She resides with her family in Southern Ohio. She loves helping new homeschoolers and has a Homeschool 101 eBook for those getting started. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey. You can also find her on Facebook and Pinterest.

 

5 Online Resources to Help with Math

In the few years I have been homeschooling, and have helped mentor new homeschool families, I have heard of one common struggle-teaching Math! Whether it be geometry, algebra, multiplication or something else, homeschool families tend to hit a wall often while teaching (or learning) math.

My first few years I switched math curriculums a few times before finding one that fit for our family (CLE Math but now Teaching Textbooks). However, even though the curriculum is great, I have still had to supplement with some online resources. As a homeschool parent it is important to know what is out there in terms of teaching Math, and where you can go to get help if needed. Head to the Southeast Homeschool Expo for some online resources to help with math.