Homeschooling Materials You Will Need to Use

While homeschooling gives you a great deal of freedom to teach your children how you want, it also allows you to use unconventional resources and homeschooling materials. Here is a list of such materials that you will surely need to use in your homeschool classroom.

Study Books from Different Curriculum

These books will be required to cover the syllabus that you have fixed up for your homeschool student’s grade. You may be using a specific curriculum for all subjects or taking the best bits of a number of curriculum and working out your own system. You can get study books and reference books at a discount if you go for second hand books.

Activity Books and Worksheets

While worksheets allow your homeschool student to practice new concepts that you have taught in the class, activity books help keep him occupied when you have other things to do. Both have an important place in the homeschool classroom and you will be using them extensively. Activities that go out of the books into constructing your own projects will always be preferred by the students to merely coloring between the lines. Scholastic has some great books that you can check out.

Educational Toys and Board Games

A good educational toy allows the homeschool student to learn a number of skills while making it all seem like play. There are a wide variety of educational toys available for all age groups and grades in elementary school level. the toys will give way to board games as the children grow older. Again some of these games can be so much fun, that the learning that takes place is hardly noticed. Try Funskool for many entertaining and educational toys.

All Kinds of Organizational Tools

Placing all the school materials in order and organizing them in such a manner that you can reach everything when you need it requires great organizational skills. Or perhaps having the right tools and furniture can help. The right folders, shelves and cupboards in a classroom can make life much easier for both the teacher and the children. Consider getting special furniture made to fit in to your classroom if you really want to make optimum use of space.

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Note Taking for Homeschool Students

Taking down notes is an essential learning skill that a homeschool student must learn. Especially if they plan to go on to regular college. It is also a simple skill to learn. Given here are some tips that you can use to teach your homeschool student to take good notes down.

Create Your Own Shorthand Code

While you do not need to learn official shorthand, it helps if you have your own short cut codes while taking notes. There is usually no time to write complete sentences, so writing in symbols and key concepts helps keep up with the speaker. The homeschool student should be encouraged to develop a series of abbreviations that he can memorize and use with ease while note taking. The more familiar the homeschool student is with the code the faster the note taking will go.

Evaluate, Organize and Summarize

The homeschool student needs to hear what is being said, while simultaneously evaluating which points are important, organizing them into headlines, and then summarizing whatever has been said per headline in a couple of statements. It will help to have more occasions to practice the skill. Encourage the homeschool students to take notes of a sermon in church, a new broadcast on television or even a TED ED video.

Review and Revise On the Go

As soon as the speaker has finished speaking, go over he notes that have been taken down. This will help to add in details that you may have missed, or add more explanations that you may want to, and even make corrections and clarifications that you wish to write in. The longer you wait to revise, the less you will remember of what the speaker had spoken. That’s why its important to re-read the notes you have taken right away.

Formal Note Taking Methods

Two formal note taking methods are the Column method and the Mind Map method. In the Column method the  page is divided into three columns, where the first column is used for main ideas and the remaining two for filling in details and examples. In the Mind Map method the topic or central idea is placed at the middle of the page, then lines are branched out for subsequent sub ideas that are mentioned. Related ideas get lines from the same branch, new ideas get placed in a fresh branch.

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Making Time for Homeschool Children While Working From Home

The more time you spend with your children the better their emotional health will be. This is a fact supported by scientific study. This means that a homeschooled child should be very well adjusted indeed, or is there more to the story? Typically a homeschooling family is surviving on a single parent’s salary. This means careful budgeting for just about every activity. It also means that the homeschooling parent will try and find a way to boost the family income while working from home. Now before it all becomes too much for you, use these tips to spend more time with your homeschool students.

The Daily Fun Activity

While you will never neglect the children’s study schedule on purpose, it is easy to let the fun times slide, especially when you are feeling bushed for time. Children are very sensitive to the emotions of a parent and if you are feeling rushed for time, they are not likely to open up and talk with you. They will quietly do their own thing and not speak with you even if they do have a problem. The onus of keeping up the daily fun activity lies entirely on you. Don’t skip it, or you may realize you missed out on spending fun time with your children for weeks together.

Cook Together

From special treats like cupcakes to any regular meal of pasta and sandwiches. It really doesn’t matter what you cook together, as long as you have them reading recipes, measuring ingredients, and finally sit down together to enjoy the fruit of your effort together. There is a whole lot of learning happening while you and your children are enjoying each other’s company. Plus you have multi tasked by having them help you cook the snack or meal of the day.

Bed Time Routine and Story

As younger children love being read a story to at bed time, you can ensure that you spend quality time with them as part of the daily routine. In due course of time, as they become older, they may not wish to be read out loud to, but you can still continue to spend about fifteen minutes of time at night before bed time with them. This is the time when they can chat with you and have your undivided attention if they wish to share something important.

 

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Playing With Teaching Techniques in the Homeschool Classroom

homeschool techniques Helping a child learn easily can become much easier when the homeschool teacher pays attention to which teaching technique seems to work best on the homeschool student. All human beings do not assimilate new material in the brain in the exact same manner. Some people learn better when they read the book themselves, while other find it easier when someone else reads out the book aloud to them. These are three teaching techniques that can help your homeschooled student to learn their lessons faster.

Visual Learning

The homeschool student who prefers to read the book himself, will also find it much nicer to learn through diagrams and flow charts. These children need to be in control of the stimulus that is being provided to their brain. They will often read a paragraph and then go over it again in order to figure out something that they did not understand. They also respond well to videos.

Verbal Learning

Sound plays an important part of learning for these homeschool students. They tend to register things better when they hear it spoken aloud. Even when they are asked to read a lesson in a book, they have a tendency to read it out loud to themselves. These children learn nursery rhymes and songs that they listen to really quickly and if you want them to learn a new lesson you should probably read it out aloud to them.

Repetition is the Key

With children repetition is the key to real learning. By making the child repeat something new that has been taught, he will be more likely to remember it. According to your child’s temperament he may want to re-read something right away, or may not want to look at it at all till the next day. You know what kind of repetition will work best with your homeschool student and should apply it.

Your teaching techniques have to stay flexible as the way your child learns will also change as he grows older. The trick is to keep switching things around to find what works best for your homeschool classroom.

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Fostering Independence in the Homeschool Student

homeschooling programs The homeschool student receives a great deal more personal attention from the homeschool teacher than a student in regular school. This can also have the flip consequence of the student becoming a lot more dependent on the teacher to solve problems for her. Here are some ways to encourage your homeschooled student to become more independent in the homeschool classroom and subsequently in real life.

Allow her to make mistakes

When given a task to perform children will not always get it right the first time. As a parent you want to rush in and correct the mistake that they have made so that they do it right. however it makes more sense to let them struggle with the task and make mistakes so that when they learn the right way to do it, they learn it well.

 Don’t be in a hurry

Mastering a task takes time. If you have the patience to see her through each step, you will also have the satisfaction of helping her earn a sense of achievement when she completes the task. This means that you can not be in a tearing hurry to move on to the next lesson in your schedule. You will need to learn to take your time when you are teaching her to do something new.

Plan ahead for learning opportunities

Any task from the daily routine that you have been performing for your child can become a learning opportunity. Teach the child what goes into doing the task and ask her if she thinks she can handle it. If she agrees, allow her to take a shot at it. You will be surprised at how much you may have underestimated her abilities when you actually watch the task being performed.

Motivation and encouragement must be shared

While it is important to motivate the child to do a new task, it is equally important to encourage the homeschool student for a job well done. Even if the task has not been completed to perfection, the effort that has been put in must be respected by the parent and appreciated in words. You could also have a small reward treat to keep the motivation level up.

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Ignoring Parent Preachers When You Homeschool

homeschool tips The decision is yours, not some stranger’s

No matter why you made the decision to homeschool, there are bound to be people in your life who will question the decision. In some cases these parent preachers put forth so many contrary reasons why you shouldn’t be taking this step that you may begin to doubt yourself. The truth is that there is no parenting manual that gets handed out when you give birth to a child. We all stumble down the path as best we can, hoping to do well by our children.

If they aren’t family, they don’t matter

There is no need to bow down to the opinion of anyone who is not a part of your immediate family. If they are not affected on a daily basis by your plans to homeschool, then they really do not have any right to an opinion. No one is better qualified than someone else to be a parent and no one has the right to judge your life and your decisions. Everyone has the right to live their lives the way they want to as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else.

Let it roll off your back, it’s not important

The criticism of parent preachers is simply to be endured. Think of how easily a duck lets water roll off its back, and imagine yourself mentally doing the same with all their well meaning advice. It is not important enough of an issue to get into a disagreement with anyone. It is your choice and you made it after considerable deliberation. What someone else, who is not even related to you, thinks is of no importance in the scheme of things.

Stay polite but be firm

If you lose your temper, it  just adds fuel to fire. It is a whole lot better to stay polite and let them have their say. Then thank them for the advice and firmly lead your own way out. Just because you have a contrary opinion is no reason for you to share it with them and create animosity. Leave them with their thoughts and clear out of their way. Then proceed to do what ever it is that you have chosen to do.

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Mentoring Your Homeschool Student

homeschool science As a parent you want the best for your child, always. As a homeschool teacher, you need to teach your child to be able to get the best for himself all the time. Here are some ways that you can ensure that your child is able to deal with what life throws at him and come out on the top.

Limit the help you give your child

Spoon feeding a child may be good initially when the child is unable to help himself, but gradually you need to wean him off. Don’t rush in to the rescue till your child has had some time to think the problem through and tried to solve it a couple of times without success. Be present and be supportive, but force your child to think on his own.

Never underestimate what your child can do

Each child has a different set of strengths and weaknesses. Just because your child shows no interest in some aspect of studies, does not mean that he will be uninterested in others. Challenge your child constantly with small tasks to see what level of difficulty he can handle. Remember he does not have to complete each challenge you set him. Just attempt it to the best of his ability. Again be supportive of what he has been able to accomplish on his own.

Work as a team

A child who is unable to work with others will never be able to live up to his true potential. Teach him the importance of teamwork by encouraging him to work as part of a team with his homeschool classmates. Do a project where each team member needs to contribute in order for the project to be successfully concluded.

Anticipate problem issues and reinforce discipline

A child needs to know that the authority figure in charge will not be easily swayed. Ensuring that the discipline is maintained in the homeschool classroom means that you need to actively think about any problems that you need to avoid, and if you hit one, deal with it in a proactive manner. Your exploding into anger is about the worst way for you to deal with a discipline issue as you send the child the message that anger is acceptable.

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Identifying and Dealing with ADHD in the Homeschool Classroom

homeschool online The Inattentive Homeschool Student

Maybe your child child is unable to organize tasks and concentrate on important matter: there is a tendency to space out in class, forgetting to complete written work, and even not remembering specific assignments given. They usually shift their attention to things that they enjoy such as playing online games, painting, or building craft models. Their behavior can be seen as disobedient and rude by the parent and they may be scolded and punished as a result.

The Hyperactive and Impulsive Homeschool Student

The child is full of boundless energy and is constantly moving from one end of the classroom to the other. The unrestrained moving usually causes minor accidents, spills and breakages. They are usually jumpy and are very likely to hurt themselves. They also have a tendency to speak before they think often blurting out rather inappropriate things.

Coping Strategies for the Homeschooling Parent

When you have seen your child consistently show such ADHD related behavior for more than six months, you could get a medical professional to diagnose it formally. What does this mean to you? Your life may seem chaotic, but using these strategies you can cope with whatever your child throws at you.

  1. Don’t feel like a victim : There is no reason to feel victimized or desperate. It may not easy to deal with a child with ADHD but it can be done.
  2. Accept the diagnosis and move on : You will continue to love your child if he hurt his arm, so don’t love him any less just because he has ADHD. There is no resentment to be felt.
  3. Concentrate on what you wish : Don’t lose your temper, but focus on what you want your child to do. There is no need to intimidate the child, just reason with him about what you want done.
  4. Stay in control : If you keep your anger in check, exercise self control, and generally follow the rules that you expect your child to, you become a goof role model. Teaching the child self control is an important step in helping him deal with ADHD
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Correctly Diagnosing ADHD in Your Homeschool Student

homeschool curriculum There was a time when your child was inattentive, hyperactive and impulsive, you sent him outdoors to run off the extra energy. Once he had expended all the bubbling energy and come back indoors he would be in a better frame of mind to concentrate and study. Today, with few places for a child to run and play hard, he gets trapped in the classroom and may be labeled ADHD.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD is more commonly diagnosed in boys than in girls. Although the primary symptoms must be prevalent for at least six months before a medical professional is able to diagnose it as such, more often than not, the doctors just begin with the treatment, including medication, much before that. This is usually done after a teacher at school identifies problematic behaviors

As a homeschooling parent, how do you deal with a child in the age group of six to twelve years, who seems to exhibit impulsiveness, inattentiveness or a combination of both? Do remember that the behavior has to be consistent all through the day and not just for short periods of time for ADHD to be diagnosed. After all behavioral patterns differ for adults as well in different environments. Who remembers being attentive when the teacher’s voice was begging you to go to sleep? However there was no way the guy hitting homeruns is in any way inattentive.

Don’t confuse general lethargy towards studies and books with inattention due to ADHD. This is what commonly happens with most kids who are just bored with their books and don’t listen to their teachers.It is only when the consistently monitored behavior is negatively impacting academic work, relationships with others and unduly affecting life in general that you should consider potentially labeling it ADHD and getting a medical professional’s opinion. Please remember that even a normal child, specially a teenager, is more than likely to display these symptoms of ADHD.

Some amount of day dreaming, restlessness and rebellion are absolutely normal for most children. It is only when this behavior starts affecting the child’s grades over a long period of time that you need to take action.

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How to Tackle a Rebellious Child in Homeschool

online homeschool While many homeschooling children are angels when they are younger, as they grow older they can sometimes test the limits of their parents’ patience. They may throw tantrums in the homeschool class, not complete the work that you have given them, and in general make you question your decision to homeschool. Now it may be tempting to vent your angst by yelling at them to do what you ask them to, but its not going to make them behave any better. Here are some ways that you can tackle this rebellion.

Don’t Fret About The Homeschooling Student’s Behavior

It is never easy to have your authority challenged and your instructions ignored. However shouting at your homeschool student is not going to solve the problem. It will only make it worse. Instead, go calmly about the regular homeschool business of giving them work to do. Then withdraw your attention to teach the siblings their lessons. At the end of the assigned period evaluate the progress made by each child and give them stars on their behavior chart for how well they performed. Treating all of your students equally is important, as is not rewarding negative behavior with more attention.

Don’t Take It as a Personal Reflection of Your Teaching

Since you are the only teacher and the student is not interested in learning, you may take it personally. Remember that this is a huge mistake to make and does not do justice to all the hard work that you have put in to teaching your child everything he knows. It is a phase that the child is going to pass through. The minute he learns the valuable life lesson that he can’t always buck authority, he will go back to being the well behaved member of your homeschool that he used to be.

Check for Medical Reasons and Eliminate Them

Sometimes the child doesn’t want to study because the activity is causing him a problem. One child began hating homework simply because reading without glasses was giving him a headache. Another one had trouble paying attention for long periods of time because of ADHD. So make sure that you get thorough check ups regularly for your children in order to eliminate any medical problems that may be troubling them.

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