As homeschooling has grown in popularity over the last 40 years, so have stories of its successes. And so, the question could be asked – how much of its success is due to where the education takes place? Is there truly no place like home when it comes to learning? Our current experiment in distance learning due to the Covid-19 pandemic should help answer this question.
Though the hard data is still being collected, we are hearing many parents and teachers voice concerns about a steep learning slide due to the school closures. Anecdotally, it does not appear that the mere act of moving education from school building to home has positively impacted learning outcomes.
So if homeschooling seems to be successful and distance learning less so, we should investigate the factors that could contribute to this discrepancy: Continue reading
“Go to a Park Day! Make some new homeschool friends and ask your questions!” I see this advice over and over again on Facebook groups in response to someone’s first post or initial question or two about homeschooling.
Park Days have been the traditional gathering place of homeschool families. Children are free to play and run off their excess energy while moms befriend and support each other. The encouragement shared among themselves ranges from parenting advice to curriculum ideas to easy dinner recipes. Many a life-long friendship has been forged in these early days of homeschool community.
But now in 2018, I am seeing Park Days fade and fold. Some of this is due to the aging of those original Park Day families. They are graduating their last children and while some continue to attend Park Days to support the newer moms, others have become too busy in their new season of life. Continue reading
Please note that this article intentionally does not address the pros or cons of vaccinations. My objective, as a homeschool consultant, is to help families prepare for the requirements of the new law; it is not to offer advice regarding medical decisions for their children.
Beginning July 1, 2016, all children attending a campus-based school in California will need to be vaccinated against 10 specific diseases. SB 277, recently signed into law by Governor Brown, eliminates the Personal Belief and Religious Exemptions which had been utilized by parents who selectively vaccinate or who do not vaccinate their children.
Listed below are three common school scenarios with details of how each will be impacted by this new law:
#1 – My Children Attend a Campus-Based School.
These children must be vaccinated by the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year unless granted a medical exemption by their doctor. Their schools will be checking for the mandated shots at time of initial school entry, transfer to a new school, and at 7th grade.
If vaccinations are an issue for your family, then parents can request a Personal Beliefs Exemption (PBE) from their medical professional prior to December 31, 2015. The form, CDPH 8262, should be turned into the school office as soon as possible. Continue reading
Rumors and legends abound about treasure dating back to the days of Blackbeard or Captain Kidd! What do these stories share in common? It’s treasure buried deep in the ground which is found only after an arduous search following a complex map. Why can’t treasure hunting be easy? Because, DUH, then the prize would have been found already!
What does treasure have to do with homeschool curriculum? More than you might imagine! Continue reading
If you’re a homeschooling mom, you might have had this conversation recently:
Friend: Did you hear about the Multiplicative Analysis class that Mrs. XYZ is offering?
You: No, tell me about it.
Friend: Everyone I know raves about Mrs. XYZ’s classes. She turns out math geniuses – way better than we could do at home. This class will make your Suzy and my Sally into kids who absolutely adore math!
Group classes for homeschoolers are proliferating. They can be found through support groups, in private homes, and in many other different venues. While a few carefully chosen classes can be a wonderful addition to your student’s education, too many classes outside the home or too many too early can pull you away from the very foundation of your homeschool. Here’s an edited version of an article I wrote several years ago to help you determine if a particular group class is right for your family.
George just asked you what would happen if you were to substitute ingredient X in place of chemical Y in today’s experiment. You haven’t a clue – but how do you admit that without sounding hopelessly unqualified to finish leading him through his science book? Meanwhile, Julie is three Shakespeare plays ahead of you and wonders if you’ll be ready to discuss them with her before she forgets what they were about. How do you tell her you’ve fallen asleep on the old bard four nights in a row? Do you find yourself longing for the days of a simple read-aloud? Are you beginning to realize that your students have advanced beyond you academically? What’s a homeschool mom to do?
The solution seems easy enough – sign up for a zillion group classes! So many opportunities are available now, including Hope Chapel Academy’s HELP classes, the Biola Star program, Potter’s School and other Internet classes, junior college courses, and classes taught by homeschool parents throughout the local community. But, prior to trading in your teacher’s hat for a chauffeur’s cap and before you mortgage your house to cover tuition costs, let’s take a quick look at the good, the bad, and the ugly of group classes.