Saturday, August 16, 2014

How to Prepare Your Homeschooled Child for College and Life, Part One

I am going to share some of my many years of teaching homeschool and let you know how we prepared our homeschooled kids for college and life. Of course this is a lengthy topic so I will break this up into parts.

First off, I have two older kids, one has graduated and is a RN. She had her degree at 21, and was the youngest to ever be admitted to the program. She was 18 by a few days. She was able to be admitted so young because she started junior college in 11th grade and completed all the prerequisite classes quickly. She never took a summer or winter term off. That was her choice, not mine. She knew what she wanted and wanted to get it done. Her sister is 20 and a mechanical engineering major. She is still in college.

At 21, our oldest  had a full time job making very good money and moved out on her own and completely supports herself. But let me back up a bit and start at the beginning. My other daughter is still in college and works part time. She is a mathematics/engineering major and was just given a grant for science and mathematics to continue her schooling. We are thrilled and feel lucky to have kids who are motivated and independent and have their heads on straight. But kids becoming independent and motivated to do well does not happen in a vacuum.
You as a parent must do your part.

First thing to teach your kids in homeschooling and life: HOW TO WORK

So let's start at the beginning. In life when you are are homeschooling, you are around your kids a lot and they are home all day most days. To keep your sanity and to most importantly teach your kids about life and how to function in this world, they need to work. At a young age, about three, my kids were given chores. Simple things like bringing small trash cans to be dumped or setting the table but regular, everyday jobs you must do because you are a part of the family and you have to help.

No allowance was ever given for regular household chores. You did these because you lived here and you need to contribute. Extra money earning jobs were given that the older kids could do to get paid for their own spending choices. These could be lawn mowing, washing cars, harder jobs around the house etc.

This establishes a work ethic in children very young. They had to learn to do the jobs without complaining either. I would warn them but if complaining continued, they would be given extra chores. This may sound tough but honestly you enforce this once, you won't have to say it again.

The same goes for doing school work. Seems like around first grade when school work became serious and we had to complete larger amounts of it, some of our kids would complain about things. Frequent reminders that a good attitude is needed and breaks when little ones are getting squirmy help to make things easier on mom and student. So first thing to teach kids is how to work hard without complaining. None of us are perfect but life is hard and learning to do a good job because that is what you need to do is so important. Many parents today are not instilling good work ethics in their kids.

Next time I will talk about what subjects you HAVE to cover in homeschooling in preparation for college and life. The list may surprise you.

Sharing with: Motivation Monday

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Teaching Kindergarten Addition

When you begin teaching basic math concepts in Kindergarten or first grade, I have found using manipulatives help to connect the concept for little ones.

We have had a set of little rubber animals for  almost 20 years that I used with each of the kids. It does not matter what you use as long as you have a lot of them. You could use any small similar items. This particular set has been great cause I use it to teach patterns, color grouping and many other preschool items plus they are fun to play with for the little ones.

teaching addition, using manipulatives in kindergarten

Here we are beginning to start addition. I take a sheet of paper and write out five problems a day and provide a handful of the rubber animals. My daughter uses the manipulatives to figure out the problems. Many children are very visual so this really helps them "see" the math problem. Also, the kids find this fun and it keeps them engaged.

Sharing with:
Hip Homeschool Hop

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Superbowl Cupcakes

My daughters and I enjoy making these football cupcakes as our Super Bowl desserts each year.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Getting Started in Homeschooling

Boy, the resources available today for those interested in schooling at home are endless. Back in the early days when I was first starting out, we had a tougher time finding like minded parents. But just as that was a good place to start back then, it remains the best place to start now.

If you are the parents of young ones, preschool age, finding other homeschool families is a good first step.
The amount of encouragement and advice you will get from other families learning at home, is invaluable to making the first big step and deciding to school at home.

If you can find a support group that meets near you, go ahead and join before your kids are school aged. When my oldest was four, I joined our first group. It felt great to be with others who could guide me on what  steps I needed to take legally to homeschool and also good resources for curriculum.

Preschool at home, supplemented with play dates and other activities is simple to achieve. Children learn so much just following you along in your day and helping when they can.

Make learning a part of play, offer some craft time and pick up some workbooks for preschoolers. Right now with a four year old I spend about 15-20 minutes a day on workbook activities and practice in writing and making sure she knows her letters and the beginnings of reading. Literally this is it. If a child is not interested, don't force it. Once my little one looses interest we are done. I have readied all four kids for school this way and they were well prepared. Play that includes pointing out letters and sounds is learning that they are not even aware of.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Subject of Socialization

In all my years of homeschooling, the most often asked question had to be about the girls' socialization.
I never really understood this as unless you kept your kid under a rock, how could they not be getting socialized. But I of course always took care in answering the question.
My girls were always busy. We had a support group, classes, Sunday school, groups we belonged to, sports, clubs. You get the idea.

I felt homeschooling offered a very balanced approach to socialization as they were often with kids and people of all ages, economic status, from other areas and not always the same kids every day. We worked with older folks doing volunteer work and also just felt comfortable spending good old days at home together. They never seemed to develop a restlessness to be on the go which is a good thing.

There are many different ways to keep kids busy and developing social skills. No one way is necessarily better than another. My kids all seemed very independent and not clingy. This is just my experience. Whether this had anything to do with the way we did things, I am not sure, but the results were good. Good old play and wearing a kid out so they don't even want to finish their donut is always a good thing.

Sharing with:
Link and Learn
Squishable Baby

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Marshmallow Snowman

I enjoy getting to do the crafts with my youngest again. Yesterday we made a cute winter snowman made of marshmallows.

I saw this idea here. Great site by the way so check it out. Anyway, who doesn't have these things lying around right. Partial bag of stale mini marshmallows, glue, black marker and construction paper.

I first drew the snowman in pencil and let Q draw the eyes, mouth, buttons and arms. I then, one at a time covered the circles of the body with glue so she could glue the mallows on one at a time. I told her to stand them up. Great idea for working those fine motor skills.

Yep, she was proud of her marshmallow frosty.

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Sat. Night Special
Sundae Scoop
Met Monday
Raising Arrows
Show and Tell
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Friday, January 11, 2013

How to Teach Your Child to Read the Easy Way

Hands down this is the easiest method I found for teaching my kids to read. I taught all three older girls to read with this book. No flash cards just a simple step by step program with scripted lines for parents. You don't have to hardly think but all my girls worked through this book and became excellent readers.

Early or late readers this book works either way. I taught two of the girls starting at five and one begged to learn early and was reading by four. I worked at the time and did not have time or energy for programs with lots of parts or cards or steps. Every day we could get to it, we would do one more lesson. It taught from a phonics based approach with some writing practices to be done when the lesson was completed.

I actually loaned out the book years ago and it was not returned to me so I am ordering this again to teach my youngest who is four. If she is ready we will start. Kids all learn to read at different stages.

Sharing with:
Homeschool Link Up