Children that are homeschooled achieve higher test scores by 15 to 30% then their public school friends. This includes homeschooled children with parents without a formal education and families that come from a variety of income ranges. *
I think that is great news, right. Even after sharing the statistics with you, I know you are still not sure how you can homeschool your kids. This thought might be plaguing you:
“I don’t know enough fill in the blank
to homeschool my kids.”
“Don’t I have to have a degreeor becertifiedto homeschool my kids?” What would you say if I told you that anyone can homeschool their kids if they choose to? It’s true. Let’s take a look at the most popular statement (the one I have heard most often.)
“I don’t know enough MATH to homeschool my kids.” Especially when it comes to higher level math such as Geometry, Trigonometry, and Calculus. I can relate to that. As a teenager, I was sick often and missed much of my high school years. Talk about gaps in your education. My illness left a big gap in math! Along with unsupportive teachers but that is another story. How can we teach subjects that we believe we don not have enough knowledge in?
Purchase self-teaching curriculum for your homeschool student.
Join a co-op that offers the subject you feel weak in.
Have a friend teach the subject.
Take a class at the local public school.
If this seems simple that’s because it is simple. As homeschoolers today we have publishers beating down our doors with solutions to this very concern. Another resource is the internet. With careful planning and a little research you will be on your way!
If you are still feeling unsure be watching for my next posts. I believe I can help you with that.
Share what creative solutions you have come up with when you feel that you are lacking the knowledge.
This month we are getting started on our Home Building Block/Unit study. We will cover social studies, math and science. The less obvious academic subject covered is language arts. It is important that he, my son, takes away from this project the ability to work together and respect others ideas. While the academic subjects are supporting these life values.
Through the year we have been casually talking about what types of houses people lived in. These have been pointed out while reading books, watching a movie, anytime the topic arises. Some great books are Robinson Crusoe, Swiss Family Robinson, Little House on the Prairie to name a few. I also may make up a story when a moment presents itself.
For this block/unit I have chosen 1 Kings 5 and Luke 6:48 to bring in biblical reference of character and weight and measurements, types of wood used and stone cutting. It will be read from the The Living Bible because of the contemporary language such as “gallons” verses “cors”. The story has detailed dimensions of the temple that Solomon built which will cover simple geometry.
After reading the story we talk about the details of how how the temple was built. I ask him open ended questions to encourage conversation. Depending on his mood I might have a great talk. If not that’s fine too. His father will ask him later on in the day about the story.
“How did you feel about the story?”
“What was your favorite part?”
Luke 6:48 is our backdrop for our drawings of a house standing on rocks and surviving the raging stream. He will have an opportunity to create his own depiction of the story. The verse makes for copy work and cursive writing practice.
Here are some words that are for your knowledge or you can use them as vocabulary for your child.
bushel: a unit for measuring an amount of fruit and grain that equal to about 35.2 liters in the U.S. ad to about 36.4 liters in the U.K.
gallon: a unit of liquid measurement
cor: an ancient Hebrew and Phoenician unit of measure of capacity
bath: ancient Hebrew liquid measure corresponding to the ephah of dry measure (ephah is also an ancient Hebrew unit if measure equal to 1/10 homer or a little over a bushel.)
area: the surface included within a set of lines.
square: a four sided shape that is made up of four straight sides that are the same length and that has four right angles.
He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock.
1 Kings 5:18
So Solomon’s builders, Hiram’s builders, and the Gebalites quarried them; and they prepared timber and stones to build the temple.
Now for Some FUN!
We move onto the more exciting part of this study, the fort building. I will bring out one of the books on tree houses for him to look at and a basic carpentry book. This is when we brainstorm ideas on how we are going to accomplish building the his fort.
Write a list
Create a Mind Map
anything else you think of . . .
A suggestion I read is to visit Habitat for Humanity or a home building retailer. Assist him to cost out the fort project. It is also a challenge to find materials for free. My friend built a chicken coup with free materials from Freecyledotorg.
Basic List of Woodworking Hand Tools
A. Measuring Tape (12′) they make measuring tapes that have the fractions labeled on the tape to make it easier to read especially if your child is just learning about fractions.
B. Ruler (12″) wooden ones are easier to read than the clear or colored plastic ones.
C. Hammer (7 – 10oz for smaller children, 16oz for older children with better hand eye coordination)
D. Screwdrivers: flathead and Phillips
E. Nail set
F. Handsaw (western or Japanese style)
G. Coping saw
H. Block plane
I. Brace Drill (Hand drill)
K. Sandpaper (100, 120, 150, 180 grits)
L. Glue (white or yellow) water proof for outdoor projects
M. Screws and nails (a box each of 1 ¼” and 1 5/8″ drywall screws and a box each of 3d, 4d, and 6d finish nails will get you through most projects in this book).
N. Clamps (See the lesson on building the step stool for information on clamps).
O. Safety glasses (it may take some extra effort, but find a pair that fits your child. They will become frustrated quickly if every time they start to swing a hammer they have to push their glasses back up on their noses. Manufactures do make child size glasses it just might take some looking around to find them.)
Don’t let feeling disorganized stop you from home schooling. I was recently at a home school unschool gathering and a sweet mom said she didn’t think she could home school. When asked why she said it was because she was disorganized. My goodness, me and many friends would have to have thrown in the towel a long time ago if that was a prerequisite. But yet my children are brilliant despite of my organizational nature.
Here is what I suggest to all prospective home schoolers who have this concern. Start with a program that lays it out for you. There is a link to Easy Peasy that is all online and free at the end of the list.
The above two programs are challenging for some students but keep in mind that you do not have to go by grade level and you can always talk to an adviser for assistance.
Here is a program that is literature based and filled with hands on lessons. It is Winters Promise. We have used it and there was something for everyone. My oldest used it for High School 9th grade without complaint.
A program I have used is Oakmeadow. My oldest son did not like it at all. I thought he would because he likes textbooks but he didn’t like this program. While I didn’t receive step by step lessons (which I like) but each lesson in the book includeded most areas of study so we worked on one lesson then simple moved to the next. You can view samples online. This is a good program because like Winter Promise an artistic child has options and so do children like my son.
This is an adorable short video from Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne. Chapter II Pooh Goes Visiting and Gets Into a tight Place
After taking my older boys to classes they are taking I came home to my 9 year old playing with the T.V. on (rest assured, he was not home alone.) I said “It’s time to turn the T.V. off.” He turned it off and said he was going to read his book. My eyes widened I’m sure and asked if he was reading his Winnie the Pooh book “Yea” and he ran down the hallway and into his bedroom.
Shortly after he asked if he could read from the book to me. Now I’m thinking this is a great example of self initiated learning. After he reads a very funny moment from the story he said he was wondering about Poohs voice. I can hear Pooh in my head from when I was a little girl but just couldn’t get my own voice to sound like Edward Pooh. Thank goodness for Youtube. And right this moment he is writing something about Pooh. I can’t keep up with him this morning!
Today my son gave me a surprise. A home school surprise. Your probably wondering what that could be. It’s simple, he spelled December. Your thinking “So what.” What surprised me is that I don’t how he learned that word. We do not use any spelling curriculum. None of my children have used any programs. Yet they spell, they write, they just know how to spell. I get these surprises all the time. And it always amazes me.
Just to think of all the time we, as children in public school, spent on weekly spelling test. All that time we could have been playing, pretending our creating a new universe. I should tell you that he is 9 years old. He also decided to write a story. He is learning how to spell by writing his story too. I must add that helping him spell words for his story is much more enjoyable then a spelling drill. For the both us.
You can have a tears free math program. It’s simple. You just have to trust your child, get to know him and livemath.
What ever math curriculum you are using this idea will work. It doesn’t matter what your approach you use either. It all has do with your relationship with your child and your relationship with math. Because math is every where, right.
Let’s start with trusting your child. I know, that’s hard to some extent isn’t it. How can we trust them to know when they have had enough formal math for the day when we have to remind them to brush their teeth, right? How do you know when you have enough of anything? Maybe you can’t think anymore. Things are confusing or maybe you know what your doing and it’s boring. You have to trust him by respecting him. This isn’t a battle of conformity to your will. The goal is to have an understanding of math. To start, the next time he says he doesn’t want to do math today, surprise him and tell him okay (with a smile). There are many ways to go about this and maybe we’ll visit that another time but for now let’s start here with trusting him. This is going to bring me to the next point, getting to know your child.
You know your child but do you really know him. When was the last time you asked him “What do you want to do?” and then you did what he wanted to do. When was the last time you went on a walk together or played on a play ground together. And I mean together playing on the play ground. These are opportunities to getting to know him. But you need to be mindful and present. It needs to be all about him. You are not spending time with him to lecture or teach. Your spending time with him to get to know him. Now you can livemath.
Summer is the perfect time to relax and spend mindful time together. Number one, you need to do math where he can see you and invite him to do it with you. At our house we use the grocery store flyers to find sales and match a few coupons. I have done this in front of all three of my boys and now my youngest understands division and percentages. Of course the money portion is picked pretty quickly too. Games are great tools for math! Everyone knows about Chess and how it can expand those thinking skills. Build anything and with anything. You can build anything with Duck Tape. These are just some ideas. Remember not to make a lesson out of it. Don’t discount the computer. My second oldest son has made some interesting pixel art.
Let’s put this all together. The first and most important thing to do is build trust and respect between the two of you and we do this by getting to know him. The second thing to do is to livemath. Now, here I am going to mention Waldorf education. I believe that this style of educating really brings math to the table in a natural way. However, it really doesn’t matter what style you choose to teach math. When he says he just can’t think anymore or he’s tugging at his hair. Trust that he’s done for now and come back to it another day. As you are building this relationship you can talk about what he is feeling, where is he getting frustrated at. You might need to find a different approach to teach that particular concept or move on until he seems ready for it. It all come down to trust.