Ironclad Rules for Instant Homeschool Success

Ironclad Rules for New Homeschoolers

Dear New Homeschooler,

Congratulations and welcome to the most amazing and rewarding realm of planet Earth!

Whatever your reasons for “opting out” of the system, trust your decision, trust your instincts, you were 110% right.

Now…

Ironclad Rules for Instant Homeschool Success

1) Don’t Waste Time

You just clawed back an enormous amount of free time. School takes up 2 hours a day of a child’s/parent’s life just getting ready for school, getting to school, getting home from school, and recovering from it all.

Not to mention all the time wasted at school and dealing with homework!

But a major risk is squandering all this liberated time. Why would you want to do that?

Be VERY CAREFUL about increased TV watching, video game playing, organized sports participation, or over-scheduling as I’ve seen them poison many homeschooling families’ experiences.

2) Don’t Buy Complete Curricula

Too many families, partly out of fear and partly out of just ignorance/innocence, think they need or can benefit from a so-called all-in-one, purchased curriculum.

For one thing, this essentially just re-creates “school at home”. While there are kids/parents/situations and specific curricula where this may be fine….I think you can do much better (and cheaper!) by cobbling together your own curriculum.

For example…

Use Khan Academy for math, Susan Wise Bauer for English, and Charlotte Mason book lists for history and science.

Maybe throw in a foreign language tutor at LanguageConvo for $12 an hour, musical instrument lessons, a penmanship workbook, and some supplements from HomeschoolShare.com.

Enroll in a couple local homeschool classes on top of all that you’ll be good-to-go. Plus you’ll maintain the ever-important flexibility a thriving homeschool family needs.

3) Seek Out and Heed Veteran Advice

Newbies should lean on the grizzled veterans for all things – for curricular matters, to help break into the homeschooling groups, and for much needed support. We all started out knowing nothing and can all relate to the fears and worries of the new homeschooler.

Continually pick the brains of every single homeschool veteran you can. Some will have different styles and goals than you and may seem of little help but I want to encourage you to never rest on your laurels.

Listen to us. Trust us. We are the ones who’ve SURVIVED and THRIVED!

4) Create a House of Reading Maniacs

The benefits of extreme bibliphilia for children cannot be underestimated. Bookworms are much better behaved, have long attention spans, are never bored, and can much more easily do their academic work.

Even though I am a crazy-passionate math teacher….my number one suggestion for can’t-miss homeschool success is to do everything in your power to create book addicts.

How do you pull this off?

It’s very simple – PUT YOUR TELEVISIONS ON THE CURB.

Do this and yours will be drawn to books like moths to a flame.

No DVD movies, no Netflix, no mindless YouTube watching either!

You have to understand that education is all about what goes on between your children’s ears and that TV doesn’t just dull the mind, it FRIES it. Even “just an hour a day” has a hangover effect of 5 hours after the tube is turned off. So there’s no way you can “manage” or “control” or “moderate” TV’s deleterious effect on your precious children.

Every single time I work with a struggling student – whether homeschooled or in traditional school….there’s a TV in the equation (and/or Minecraft). EVERY SINGLE TIME.

And every single child I’ve met who grows up in a ZERO-TV house has been extremely thoughtful, well-behaved, and passionately interested in many things.

5) Keep Learning

Read homeschool blogs and never stop Googling your brains out. There are just so many amazing resources and insights within the homeschooling community – and more every day. Have you seen our Pinterest page yet?

Constantly think about how your children are doing and what type of future you want for them.

My Ironclad Rules aren’t simply “one approach” or just my opinion. They are the conclusion of much empiricism and following them is the most sure-fire way to ignite your homeschool with ideas, competence, and success.

Homeschooling, done right, should get easier and more rewarding every single year.

If you aren’t experiencing positive momentum….you are definitely doing it wrong. Revisit the guidelines above.

Still stuck? Ask for help. Reach out to me at HomeschoolDad.com. I’d love to hear from you. This is what I do. It’s my passion!

 

 

Dan (13 Posts)

Husband to Inez. Father of John and Christine. Homeschool Coach, Accelerated Math Teacher. Former derivatives trader and future scratch golfer! Follow our learning adventures at HomeschoolDad.com.


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Encouragement for New Homeschoolers

 

Our theme at The Homeschool Post this month is Advice and Encouragement for New Homeschoolers.  Everyone has a unique path to homeschooling — whether it’s special needs or homeschooling unexpectedly due to circumstances at public school or homeschooling from the very beginning — but most homeschoolers have some common fears or concerns from time to time.  Or maybe you’re a seasoned homeschooler who just has some doubts or is beginning to second guess decisions about homeschooling.  Whatever your current situation, we hope to offer some encouragement and advice from our own experiences to help you out.

Encouragement for New Homeschoolers

Encouragement for New Homeschoolers

Renee has gotten us off to a good start this month with her post 6 Revealing Questions for New Homeschool Moms.  Have you read it yet? I think it applies to both new and veteran homeschool moms!

Some other posts that might help encourage you:

Three Encouraging Truths Every New Homeschool Mom Should Know by Davonne

Three More Encouraging Truths Every New Homeschool Mom Should Know by Davonne

Advice for New Homeschooling Dads by Fletch

Carnival of Homeschooling: Encouragement and Inspiration (round up of related posts)

How can we help encourage you today? If you have a question for us, we’d love to help! Just let us know in the comments, on Twitter, or on our Facebook page.

 

 

Sara (81 Posts)

I'm a reader, writer, dreamer, wife, and homeschooling mom of 3 girls. We take a relaxed, eclectic, Charlotte Mason-leaning, Montessori-ish, literature-rich, delight-directed, almost unschooling-at-times approach to learning. Lots of unit studies, field trips, and lapbooks, too. I like to blog about our learning adventures (plus faith and encouragement) at Embracing Destiny.


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Experience Astronomy

 

One of our favorite family activities is star gazing. We have a small telescope and we’ve learned how to locate planets with it. We’ve also been to observatories and planetariums to get an even better view of the night sky. If you don’t have a telescope or a nearby observatory, just getting outside with a simple constellation chart can provide hours of homeschool lessons!

If you want to be more intentional about teaching Astronomy in your homeschool, read on for the details about a new online course that will help.  It was created by homeschool dad Luke Gilkerson.

Experience Astronomy: interactive online course for 6th grade and up

Experience Astronomy

When our kids were young, it was easy to teach them their alphabet and how to count. As the years pass, certain subjects become more difficult to teach. It can be easy to be intimidated by certain subjects – like the sciences.

This year, a new course is available that will help solve your problems: Experience Astronomy.

Why Experience Astronomy?

For centuries astronomy was considered one of the seven classical liberal arts of education. Experience Astronomy allows students to join this long-standing tradition and really grasp the God-created order of the heavens.

  • You, the parent, don’t have to be the expert: I’ll do all the teaching for you (via video).
  • It’s integrative: The course includes integration with history, literature, and even the Bible.
  • No special equipment needed: Your student will study the stars the way the ancients did—with their own two eyes.
  • It’s interactive: Your student will get outside on a weekly basis to take notes or draw specific observations in the sky.
  • From the comfort of home: All the required activities can be done online or in your own backyard.
  • Christian emphasis: The subject of astronomy is studies through a Christian worldview.

What Does Experience Astronomy Cover?

The e-course integrates astronomy with others subjects, such as history, classical literature, and the Bible. Throughout the year students learn:

  • how to use the sky for navigation,
  • how to find dozens of major constellations,
  • the phases of the moon,
  • the motions of the stars throughout the night and throughout the year,
  • how eclipses work,
  • how astronomy has shaped both the Biblical calendar and our modern calendar,
  • information about the planets, asteroids, comets, and meteor showers,
  • mythologies associated with the constellations,
  • and more!

What’s Included?

Experience Astronomy is a full-school year video e-course geared towards 6th to 9th graders.

  • Starting in September your students will look forward to the engaging, weekly teaching videos.
  • Students will receive a field guide and are expected to complete weekly outdoor observation activities, giving them a firsthand knowledge about the motions of the sun, moon, stars, and planets.
  • A course guide with supplemental reading, writing activities, and more will be provided.
  • Weekly online quizzes to test your students understanding of the materials will be provided. Don’t worry, the grading will be done for you!

Preview the first couple lessons, or go here to get answers to some of frequently asked questions.

Why Experience Astronomy? from Intoxicated on Life on Vimeo.

The course begins in September, but registration is open through the end of August.

ENTER CODE HSPOST BY AUGUST 25TH TO SAVE $10!

Have you studied astronomy in your homeschool?

 

 

Experience Astronomy

Sara (81 Posts)

I'm a reader, writer, dreamer, wife, and homeschooling mom of 3 girls. We take a relaxed, eclectic, Charlotte Mason-leaning, Montessori-ish, literature-rich, delight-directed, almost unschooling-at-times approach to learning. Lots of unit studies, field trips, and lapbooks, too. I like to blog about our learning adventures (plus faith and encouragement) at Embracing Destiny.


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