Arranging an Apprenticeship for Your Homeschooled Teenager

An apprenticeship is a good way to get on the job training in the field that interests your homeschool student. Vocational trade school apprenticeships are a good way to let your teenager see what suits their requirements. Depending on the field chosen the apprenticeship would require anything from ten weeks to two years of training and instruction.

Career Aptitude Testing

In order to figure out the skills, abilities and talents of your homeschool students, allow them to undertake a career aptitude test. This will help them match their interests and goals with the best suited career path for them. Some may be inclined to go into hands on work, while others may prefer to work on accounting and numbers. Nothing is better than the other, it’s just a matter of finding out what suits the abilities and passions of the teenagers. This will allow them to pick the right elective subjects in high school and focus on what they want in the future.

Job Shadowing

The teenager years can be confusing when there are so many choices open to you. In order to help the homeschool students get a better idea about what specific jobs entail, it may be a good idea to have them job shadow a professional. Job shadowing allows the teenager homeschool students to develop a better understanding of the merits and demerits of the job. It also shows them what skills they need to focus on in high school to be qualified to do the job themselves. That’e when the prospective accountant realizes that he better pay attention to mathematics in the homeschool classroom.

Finding Appropriate Apprenticeships

The U.S. Department of Labor website promotes apprenticeship opportunities. Just go to the website and look for the various apprenticeships that are currently on offer. The Apprenticeship Finder Tool will allow the homeschool teenage student to sort through the various available options. Pick the best matches in your city and state for the optimum experience. This will allow the teenager to undergo professional training, be paid for it and amass some experience that can be put on to the resume at a later date.

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A High School Diploma for Your Homeschool Student

Should your homeschool student receive a High School Diploma and a Graduation Party? Yes they should. Just because they are not part of a large academic institute does not diminish their achievement. The end of high school should be a special occasion marked with joy and festivities.

Creating the High School Diploma

Most parents will create their own diploma to be presented to their graduate. It could be a ready-made diploma that they purchase and customize by writing the name of the child, or it could be made from scratch by the homeschool parent. If the child is looking to join college, it would be a good idea to get a more professional looking one. Print it out and have it signed by the homeschool teacher, as well as the head of an umbrella group for homeschool students that you may be a part of. This will give it a more official touch.

Presenting the High School Diploma

It may be a good idea to get together with other homeschool students who are graduating the same year and have an official convocation ceremony for all of them. Get in touch with other parents who may share the excitement and would like to invite family and friends to watch the children receive their high school diplomas. It can be conducted in a community hall and you can even invite a guest speaker to give away the diplomas and give a motivational speech.

Graduation Party

Once the formalities of having presented the high school students with their diplomas are completed, the students should be allowed to celebrate. Have a party planned for them with food and music. It could even happen at the same venue if there is no other place available to the group to host the party. The younger siblings could come up with organized games and decorations for the venue. Homeschool Parents are usually good at dividing up responsibilities in order to make the event a success. The idea is to make the homeschool students graduating high school feel special.

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Preparing a Homeschooler for College

Many colleges are opening their doors to homeschool students today. While they may not have the same stringent conditions from a decade ago, they still have a bunch of requirements that your homeschooled child will have to meet. Luckily these conditions are fairly easy to meet with some amount of ground work and preparation. Here are things to consider if you want your homeschooler to end up in the college he wants.

Customized Courses

The advantage of homeschooling is that you can pick and choose what your high school student needs to learn in order to get into the college course of his choice. For instance if the child has a tendency towards History, give him course in American History, World History, Ancient History and more. Should he have a desire to learn more about Science, give him more applied science projects besides teaching the basics of the theory involved. This will ensure that his transcripts show his field of interest clearly.

Organized Transcripts

Transcripts are merely a record of all the courses that your homeschool student has completed in high school studies. They will ideally include a GPA from testing that was conducted on the student by a neutral agency. There are a number of tests that are conducted by various educational agencies. Getting in touch with your state educational board will give you access to the venues and frequencies at which these tests are conducted. Have your child tested regularly to get a good idea about where he stands among his peers.

Accurate Record Keeping

In order to verify that the transcripts are in fact a true reflection of the learning of the child, the colleges may insist on receiving the academic records of the child. This includes everything from the course name, brief description, text books used, material studied, other resources referred to, and any projects completed. Needless to say, these records need to be maintained by the homeschool teacher all through the high school years to give an accurate picture of the educational system that the homeschool student has undergone.

Speak to the college authorities about what their specific requirements are well in advance. This will allow you a couple of years to prepare all the documents required.

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Time Management with a Struggling Learner in the Homeschool Classroom

A struggling learner is one who needs to be given special attention in the homeschool classroom. Many such children may be afflicted with learning disabilities and the homeschool teacher will have to identify their learning blocks early in order to handle the issues. However some may actually be gifted children who are just not interested in the regular ways of learning and can pick up a lot from scanty resources. In either case handling them is a priority.

Set the Personal Priorities and Academic Goals

Very often the homeschool parent will have to decide between spending extra time on the struggling learner and leaving the other homeschool students alone to get on with their tasks. While it may not seem fair to spend extra time on one child, having well defined academic goals for all the students will ensure that no one in the homeschool classroom lags behind or feels neglected.

Have a Realistic Daily Plan

If you have a daily lesson plan for the homeschool students, try and make it as flexible as possible for the struggling learner. Remember that there can be good days when everything goes as per the plan, and there will be bad days when even the first item takes up the whole day. Keep spare activities up your sleeve in order to stay productive through the day.

Keep Spare Time in Hand

Time is always a premium commodity in the homeschool classroom as it is so limited. While you must make sure that you utilize your time optimally it is also necessary to keep some spare time in hand for yourself. Maybe an hour a day or a morning on the weekend when the spouse can take over the responsibility of the children. This allows the break that is essential for rejuvenation and better teaching in the homeschool classroom.

Delegate Within the Family

The family is a team that works and plays together. The homeschool family even more so. Each individual of the family should have a set of chores that they can do and must complete. This allows the struggling learner to gain a sense of confidence in areas where he can manage well.

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Is Your Homeschool Student a Right Brain Learner?

The left brain works differently from the right brain. The more dominant part of the brain determines the kind of person you are likely to be. It will affect your personality and even the way you learn. Why is this information important to a homeschool teacher? Knowing the way your homeschool student leans will make it much easier to teach them.

Left Brain Curriculum in Regular School

In regular school the teaching methods are geared towards children who are left brain learners. This involves having a set structure to the day in terms of classes to attend, learning new concepts by repeating them orally and in written form, and in general a predictable work day. Unfortunately a right brain learner would be a terrible fit for this system.

Right brain learners are constantly seeking change. They do not like check lists and reminders to do assigned tasks. These children enjoy spontaneous events which can help them learn new things. They like to do projects which involve loads of discussions rather than solving worksheets to gain the same knowledge. Most of them find mathematics boring.

Identify Your Homeschool Student

If the homeschool parent is having trouble getting the homeschool student to sit down and learn, they may consider the fact that they have a right brain learner on their hands. While these children can adapt to a left brain curriculum fairly easily, they will not enjoy all that it entails.

Here it would be the parent’s job to get them more involved with the activities being planned for the homeschool classroom. They are far more likely to enjoy doing something that they have been anticipating. Specially if it is somewhat creative in nature and allows them to do something out of the ordinary.

Teaching a Right Brain Learner

The best thing to do is to give them plenty of space to explore what interests them. Keep a general guideline but be flexible and open to switching plans for the day. Don’t make detailed lesson plans, instead make learning goals in general and go after them. Keep things as visual and emotionally charged as possible for the learning to stick in their memories.

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Is Your Homeschool Student a Struggling Learner?

Some children learn at a naturally faster rate than others. There is no need to be alarmed if your younger homeschool student seems to pick up lessons faster than the older one. However if the child has a problem retaining what has already been taught and reinforced, if he seems to have difficulty processing familiar material the second and third time, you may have a struggling learner on your hands.

How do you identify the struggling learner?

There are four primary ways that learning takes place. These include hearing, watching, writing and paying attention to what is being taught. Identify if your homeschool student has trouble with any of these processes. Some struggle with one, others with more of these processes.

The child is unable to understand what is taught in the first class, may have problem recollecting it in the next class or even have trouble building on an existing concept. Please remember that some topics may need to be explained more than once to a normal learner as well.

However if repeated attempts to teach the homeschool student the same material are failing, you may have to consider identifying the learning blocks. This can be done by teaching the child something using a single method. If that is easily grasped, move onto the next method, till you find where the problem lies.

Don’t add more stress to the situation

A natural reaction when faced with a struggling learner is to feel some panic about how to cope with the situation. don’t communicate your anxiety to your homeschool student. Try and stay focused and calm when you teach him. If you feel that no progress is being made in the lesson, switch to a less stressful activity for the time being.

It is important to correctly identify the learning disorder which is present. Most homeschool parents are unaware of dyslexia, dysgraphia, or other learning disabilities. They need to either educate themselves about the problems, or find professional help to diagnose the child. This allows the homeschool student to receive the help required in a stress free and friendly environment.


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Should You Make a Daily Lesson Plan for Your Homeschool Classroom?

One of the most time consuming items of scheduling is creating a daily lesson plan for each child in your homeschool classroom. The lesson plan includes everything that you need to cover with your homeschool student on that particular day. This will be required for each student individually.

It is a great tool for a homeschool teacher who is starting out and may not be sure about how to proceed through the day. It gives details about what needs to be done that day and in what order. This can make one less thing to concentrate on when you are new to handling your homeschool classroom.

Often while teaching the homeschool students may end up covering more material than originally planned for the day when they are working diligently. This happens when they get into the flow and want to know more about what they are learning. It is also equally possible for a number of lesson plans to get completely set aside in case of illness or other equally mitigating circumstances.

If for some reason your day doesn’t go as planned, the entire lesson plan needs to be revised for the next day. Instead of trying to map out every single day in detail, it would be easier to have a weekly plan about what all lessons need to be covered. That way the homeschool teacher has a good idea about how to stay on track even if the daily break up gets skewered.

Whether you should have a detailed daily plan or not is a matter of individual preference. Some homeschool teachers like to just keep an eye on a fixed number of lessons per subject to be covered during the week, without having a detailed plan for each day.

This is a big picture sort of manner of organizing your teaching. It works for a number of people. However if you are the sort of person who needs to have as much detail and structure as possible in the homeschool classroom, it may be a good idea to make the daily lesson plans before the academic session starts.

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Schedule Planning for the Homeschool Academic Year

Planning ahead is absolutely vital for the success of your homeschool session. Start with printing out a blank calendar for the academic year. Fix the dates that you are going to begin and end the academic session for your homeschool students. Mark the main holidays and count the number of days available.

Now make a couple of photo copies of this calendar so that each child’s schedule may be individually marked.Then make a master calendar for yourself as the homeschool parent giving tasks that need to be done in order for preparing for the children’s classes. Time consuming but well worth the effort.

Next pick out the curriculum you will be using for each of your homeschool students. This is important because it takes time to find the best one for each child as well as having the books delivered. However once this step is done with a major chunk of the planning is taken care of. Most curriculum will include the schedule for learning for the subjects.

Move on to making a list of goals that need to be met for each homeschool student. These could include specific academic goals, as well as general life goals such as teaching them to cook, clean, tie their shoe laces, and be more independent. Put everything they need to learn this upcoming year onto the list.

Create notebooks for each child. Decide if you want individual notebooks for different subjects or if you would rather use a five subjects in one type of notebook. The choice may differ for each homeschooling student based on the grade he or she is in. It will also depend on how much writing work they do as opposed to worksheets and projects.

Go through the study material and make lists of printed material that needs to be photocopied, as well as read alouds that may need to be printed out and made available to the homeschool students. Organize these handouts as per student, and subject. Put them into different folders and have them ready for the upcoming academic session. Now that you have done the basic prep, sit back and wait for the fun to begin.


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More Homeschool Field Trips to Everyday Places

Places that you may think of as commonplace, also have a lot to offer in terms of teaching opportunities to homeschool students. Just like going to the grocery store can become a good way to teach organization and mathematics, going to the music store can invoke a passion for learning new musical instruments. Here are a couple more field trips that can be planned by a homeschool parent to everyday places.

Zoology at the Pet Store

Interactive zoology is great when taught in a pet store. The anatomy of different pets such as dogs, gold fish, and parrots can be studied. Ask the store staff to help explain the different types of food they will require as well as accommodation they will use.

There can be an add on instruction on their digestive systems, and other physical differences as well. The homeschool students can be asked to research the scientific names of the animals they see. They may also be asked to research their natural habitat conditions.

While younger children may not be able to understand the scientific names of various pets, it would be fun for them to learn about them alphabetically. Start out at A and have them find animals from each alphabet they can. You can also ask them to find animals of a specific color.

Botany at the Garden or Park 

Allow the homeschool students to pick five different plants or trees in the garden. Now have them find out their common names, scientific names, potential uses for humans, and create a herbarium with their leaves.Let them add details such as when they flower, what fruit they give and more. They can create a whole report on what they found on their field trip and how they plan to use it.

Younger children who may not be able to complete a purely scientific study can be given a bag to collect bits of herbs and flowers that they like. These can then be studied in the homeschool classroom. Parts of a flower can be studied by dissection. They can also use the pickings from the garden to come up with interesting artwork.

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Field Trips for Homeschool Students to Everyday Places

There is a lot to be said about actually seeing and doing things, as compared to simply reading about them or speaking about them. You can create an interesting learning experience for homeschool students by creating field trips at everyday places that they are familiar with. Here’s a couple of places and activities to educate and entertain the homeschool students on their field trip

The Grocery Store

For young children create a bingo type card with a list of items that they are likely to see on different aisles of the store. As they find each item, they get to check it off on the card. Once they check off everything, they win a prize.

For older children hand out actual shopping lists that have been put together. For instance if they want to cook a specific menu for dinner, what all ingredients will they need? Have the list ready when you reach the store.

You could also organize a scavenger hunt where your homeschool students are given a list and asked to find all the items on it. They can take a basket along to gather their items. First one to get everything on the list wins a prize!

The Music Store

This one is specially interesting to people who are musically inclined. For your young ones create a sheet with pictures of different musical instruments. Now they have to go to the store and find out the name of each one and write it down on the sheet. They should ask the store staff for help if they can’t write as yet.

Older children can be asked to classify musical instruments that they see in the store into the heads such as percussion, woodwind, brass or strings. They can make lists of each type of musical instruments at the end of the visit.

Those who play music can be asked to create a simple notation for a musical piece and then play that on as many different instruments as possible. Keep the music piece to less than a minute and get the permission of the store owner in advance.

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