• Parenting

    Published on 10-25-2011 08:41 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Homeschooling with Technology,
    3. Parenting

    by Laura Grace Weldon
    Reprinted with Permission from the GeekMom blog

    Since we live on a small farm we donít have the time or the means to travel. But we have always wanted our children to be global citizensóto truly understand how fully they are linked to their fellow beings on this beautiful blue green planet.
    When they were small we read the stories, ate the foods, played the games, and celebrated the festivals of far-off lands. We took the opportunity to offer friendship to foreign visitors through National Council for International Visitors and we connected with elders who shared the cultural richness of their immigrant past.

    As our children got older we enjoyed a variety of materials that helped us discover the global fibers that run through history, art, science, literature, really through any field of interest. Here are a few:
    Cartoon Guides by Larry Gonick
    Dropping Knowledge links people globally who ask questions, exchange ideas, and start initiatives related to pressing issues
    Published on 09-06-2011 03:46 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Homeschooling Styles,
    3. General Homeschooling,
    4. Parenting

    by Marty Layne

    I am often asked how I did math with my children. Did I use any formal approaches? What text books did I use? Many moms worry about how well their children are going to learn arithmetic if they themselves feel a bit wobbly about it all. I canít help but think about what John Holt wrote in his book How Children Fail about the struggle that so many of the children he taught had with basic arithmetic. He described the panic that he saw in those childrenís faces whenever it was time for arithmetic. The students panicked because what happened during addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division seemed totally arbitrary, unpredictable, and confusing. They had no solid understanding of the one to one correspondence of numbers, the reliability of numbers, or trust that adding, subtracting, multiplying or division made sense and followed predictable patterns.

    Iíve been curious about how children acquire an understanding of numbers since my early 20ís. From the reading I did then and since and the years of observation of children becoming conversant with numbers and their operations, I think that one of the things that contributes to a childís grasp of the sense of number is experiences, real-life experiences with the properties of numbers and vocabulary around those operations. Math readiness, exposing children to number in daily life, is vital.

    This may seem daunting, but it is not as daunting as it looks. Everyday experiences are
    Published on 05-03-2011 05:42 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. General Homeschooling,
    3. Parenting

    by Lisa Shusterman

    If youíre a parent, you Homeschool. Even if your child goes to school everyday of the week. Because being a parent means being a teacher. There is never a moment when youíre not teaching your children whether it be by word or by example. To travel is also to teach. Partly itís about teaching yourself as you learn about new places, cultures, people and, of course, new things about yourself. Partly itís about teaching others, as you serve as an ďambassadorĒ of your country. And, when you travel with children, itís about teaching them everything they are being exposed to.

    In June 2008, our family embarked on a one year, around the world, educational event. Its purpose was simple and yet complex. We wanted to live a life totally different from what we had built for ourselves here in the United States. We wanted to experience the world and see everything it had to offer and we wanted our children to see life beyond the microcosm that they had come to know as their life. Over the course of the year we visited forty locations in seventeen countries spanning six continents.

    We are not an extraordinary family, just an ordinary family who did an extraordinary thing. The seed for this adventure was planted about twenty years ago. During the earlier days of my career, I had a client who decided the he, his wife and their young daughter were going to take a year off to sail. What a marvelous, adventurous idea, I thought. Since I get sea sick,
    by Published on 02-22-2011 07:47 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Homeschooling with Technology,
    3. General Homeschooling,
    4. Parenting

    In high school and college, I never really envisioned my life with children. I'm sure lots and lots of young women can easily picture themselves pushing strollers and warming up bottles, but those images never even crossed my mind. I was going to be a career woman. Possibly a magazine writer or television writer, where the only thing I would be warming up was my third cup of coffee in order to meet my latest deadline.

    So imagine my surprise, when at age 30, I had two school-age children, both with special needs, who were now not only my kids, but my students. What twists and turns life can take! The first few years of homeschool were so overwhelming I couldn't even begin to imagine adding a work load on top of my other responsibilities. But over time, my boys and I got into a nice groove, and I began to crave that stimulation that job and career can bring. It took more time than I hoped to pin down a stay-at-home position, but eventually it did come, and I have been a WAHM and homeschooling mom ever since.

    This journey has left me bruised and battered, but oh so much wiser, and if I can help other parents find the balance between work and homeschool, then my adventure will be all the sweeter for it. Here are my five top tips for moms and dads who work at home and homeschool their children.

    1. It's all in the curriculum. You can be a parent who creates all your own curriculum OR you can be a work-at-home mom, but you simply cannot do both. Finding a curriculum that lets your children work at least somewhat independently is crucial to finding balance. Computer based curriculums are good for independent work, especially if you have enough computers in your home that each child can work at his or her own computer. Our family used the Time4Learning homeschool curriculum for almost four years because all of the lesson planning, testing, and record-keeping are done for you on the computer. It also has the benefit of ...
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