Category Archives: Homeschool

Five Days of Tips for Homeschool Parents: {High School} Helpful Links, Day 5 #tipsforhomeschoolparents

5 Days of Tips for Homeschool ParentsI am joining up with about 50 other bloggers from the Schoolhouse Review Crew to bring some helpful tips for homeschool parents. I am going to be sharing a ton of helpful links with you over the next several posts.

Unfortunately a lot of people decide not to homeschool high school. This is very unfortunate, in my opinion. Why would you put your kids in public school at the height of their life changes (physically and emotionally) especially if you have homeschooled them for any length of time. That just seems so very wrong to me. But, that is just my thoughts. So, with that, I will share some hopefully helpful high school homeschooling links.

Some main areas to think about are:

  • Curriculum
  • Grade Tracking & Transcript
  • SAT / ACT Testing
  • Dual Credit
  • College Entrance

It would be good and helpful for you and your student to sit down before they start their ninth grade year and discuss what they might want to do after they graduate high school. This will help you get a plan of action for classes together. Also make sure to check your state laws regarding graduation requirements.

HSLDA has a lot of helpful information here.

Lee Binz with The Home Scholar will provide you with a wealth of helpful information!

What we chose to do with regards to curriculum was to go with BJU Press Distance Learning Online. This was a program that covered everything necessary while making sure to cover the classes I no longer felt qualified or able to teach. This is not something you have to do, this is something we chose to do.

Grade Tracking & Transcript

I have kept our grades in an excel file by grade. This works really well for me. Otherwise I did share in my post yesterday a couple of different online tracking options. I *think* they even offer a transcript area, but I can’t guarantee that.

I made my son’s transcript using Microsoft Word.

SAT and/or ACT Testing

Doing these will be helpful for scholarships should you be going this route. Our family personally decided to skip taking either of these tests because a lot of local community colleges (where our son will be starting college) require their own entrance exams anyway. So why put forth the time, cost and the effort for these tests?

A lot of homeschoolers DO choose to do them. You can find a local area offering the preparation and taking of the tests. You might even be able to find them at your local community college.

Although we didn’t choose to do either of these tests, we did do the CAP Test that is available through Christian Liberty Press for $25. We chose to do the online option and the test results were almost immediately sent to my email. This will tell you where your student falls grade-wise within each subject. You can take it yearly – or whenever you want.

Dual Credit

This is also something we didn’t do – mainly because we didn’t have the money. HOWEVER, with that said, a lot of colleges offer a significant discount for the classes taken as dual credit. This is definitely something I would suggest checking in to if your student intends on going to college.

FAFSA

This is government assistance for college. It is filled out online near the beginning of the year. You will want to fill it out after you do your taxes but as quickly as possible as the funds are available as first come, first served. Honestly I was surprised at how easy the process was! Here is their website: FAFSA.

College Entrance

As I’ve mentioned, we are going to be pursuing the local community college option to start. So that is the extent of my knowledge but from what I understand large colleges are very happy to accept homeschoolers. Our basic plan is to finish high school and then have him take the entrance exams and then take classes. Pretty simple.

College Plus is an online college a lot of homeschoolers choose to use as well.

Each day I will share ten other bloggers joining in on this series (each day will be 10 DIFFERENT bloggers) with a link to their blog. This will make it super easy for you to go visit and see what they are sharing (each blogger is sharing different tips!)…just click the links here:

Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break
Latonya @ Joy in the Ordinary
Laura @ Day by Day in Our World
Leah @ As We Walk Along the Road
Lisa @ Farm Fresh Adventures
Lori @ At Home: where life happens
Meg @ Adventures with Jude
Megan @ My Full Heart
Melanie (Wren) @ finchnwren
Melissa @ Mom’s Plans

Enjoy the journey!

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Five Days of Tips for Homeschool Parents: {Organization} Helpful Links, Day 4 #tipsforhomeschoolparents

5 Days of Tips for Homeschool ParentsI am joining up with about 50 other bloggers from the Schoolhouse Review Crew to bring some helpful tips for homeschool parents. I am going to be sharing a ton of helpful links with you over the next several posts.

Monday I shared {Getting Started} Helpful Links, Tuesday I shared {Free Curriculum} Helpful Links and yesterday I shared {Curriculum} Helpful Links. Today we will look at some links that will help with homeschool organization! {In all honesty, I don’t think we EVER TRULY get this one down! But … we all seem to continue to try!}

There are some online programs available to help with schedules and tracking. I have tried them and personally don’t like them (our schedule moves around too much) but I know a lot of people do. The most popular ones I’ve heard of are HomeschoolTracker and Homeschool Skedtrack.

Personally, when it comes to keeping track of assignments, courses and grades – Excel works perfectly for my needs. But many people prefer a different method.

Personally, I like paper planners that I can touch. There are some popular ones:

Hey Mama! Homeschool Print Planner (it is also available in digital if you would rather it that way.)

Here are some FREE printable planner pages.

I’ve heard that many people like the A Simple Plan planner from Mardel.

There is also The Well Planned Day planners.

Homeschool Lesson Organization

Many people like the workbox system. Check out what See Jami Blog and Heart of Wisdom have to share. Or Penny shares about the crate system.

FlyLady is well-known in the homeschooling circles. She helps with HOME organization and cleaning.

Curriculum Choice has a post that covers MANY different homeschool organization tips.

Amy over at Raising Arrows shares Organizing the Large Family Homeschool but don’t let that fool ya – anyone can benefit from what she shares!

Homeschool.com has an interesting article with a lot of good information. This one even touches on Time Management.

Sonlight has a wealth of information in this post! WOW!

A big thing I want to share here is DO NOT GET OVERWHELMED with organization … it will all be okay!

As a side note: You can get FREE homeschool ID cards through Homeschool Buyers Co-Op.

Come back tomorrow as we close our our week of Tips for Homeschool Parents and I share {High School} Helpful Links.

Each day I will share ten other bloggers joining in on this series (each day will be 10 DIFFERENT bloggers – but this time it is only nine!) with a link to their blog. This will make it super easy for you to go visit and see what they are sharing (each blogger is sharing different tips!)…just click the links here:

Dawn @ Double O Farms
Debbie @ Debbie’s Homeschool Corner
Desiree @ Our Homeschool Notebook
Diana @ Busy Homeschool Days
Diana @ Homeschool Review
Elyse @ Oiralinde: Eternal Song
Emilee @ Pea of Sweetness
Erin @ For Him and My Family
Jen @ Chestnut Grove Academy

Enjoy the journey!

Five Days of Tips for Homeschool Parents: {Curriculum} Helpful Links, Day 3 #tipsforhomeschoolparents

5 Days of Tips for Homeschool ParentsI am joining up with about 50 other bloggers from the Schoolhouse Review Crew to bring some helpful tips for homeschool parents. I am going to be sharing a ton of helpful links with you over the next several posts.

Monday I shared {Getting Started} Helpful Links. Yesterday I shared {Free Curriculum} Helpful Links and now today we will discuss some of the most common, most loved paid curriculum. I am going to sort them by subject:

All Inclusive (meaning all subjects are covered)

BJU Press

ABeka

Alpha Omega

Answers in Genesis

My Father’s World

Christian Liberty Press

Five In A Row

Sonlight

Classical Conversations

Tapestry of Grace

Bible

Grapevine Studies

History

Notgrass History

Diana Waring

Language Arts

Growing with Grammar

Institute or Excellence in Writing

Logic of English

Sharon Watson

Math

Math-U-See

Teaching Textbooks

Life of Fred

Saxon

Science

Apologia

Supercharged Science

Magic School Bus (You can often find these on sale for 50% off.)

The 101 Series

Foreign Language

Visual Latin

Latin Alive

Mango Languages (This can often be found for free use at libraries.)

Like the free curriculum I shared yesterday, there are a TON of other curriculum out there, these are just the more popular ones (and most I have personal experience with). Ones I am comfortable recommending to others.

As an additional note, you can often find used homeschool items for sale. I do this most of the time. There are MANY, MANY, MANY Facebook groups. But the two others that I use the most are:

homeschoolclassifieds.com

VegSource.com (look for the homeschool currriculum area)

Tomorrow I will share {Organization} Helpful Links!

Each day I will share ten other bloggers joining in on this (each day will be 10 DIFFERENT bloggers) with a link to their blog. This will make it super easy for you to go visit and see what they are sharing (each blogger is sharing different tips!)…just click the links here:

Annette @ A Net In Time
Brandy @ Kingdom Academy Homeschool
Brenda @ Counting Pinecones
Carol @ Home Sweet Life
Cassandra @ A Glimpse of Normal
Chareen @ Every Bed of Roses
Cristi @ Through the Calm and Through the Storm
Crystal @ Crystal Starr
DaLynn @ Biblical Womanhood
Danielle @ Sensible Whimsy

Enjoy the journey!

Five Days of Tips for Homeschool Parents: {Free Curriculum} Helpful Links, Day 2

5 Days of Tips for Homeschool ParentsI am joining up with about 50 other bloggers from the Schoolhouse Review Crew to bring some helpful tips for homeschool parents. I am going to be sharing a ton of helpful links with you over the next several posts.

Yesterday I shared about {Getting Started} Helpful Links so click on it if you missed it and need it!

As you continue your research of homeschooling, I thought this would be a good time to share some FREE homeschooling curriculum resources:

First, you can check out my Links 2 Free Stuff area here on the blog!

Now I will share some others…

Easy Peasy

Check out Homeschool Buyers Co-Op’s post on Free Curriculum

Ambleside Online (Charlotte Mason style)

Khan Academy

IXL has SOME free helps: IXL

Math Is Fun

Math Mammoth has some free YouTube videos. We have used and like Math Mammoth.

HomeschoolMath.net

Daily Grammar

English Grammar 101

The Science Spot

One of the things we have done (and continue to do) is look at different reading sites (like My Father’s Word and Sonlight) and look at their reading lists and then see what we can get of those from the library. A free way to know you are getting good quality reading in! As homeschoolers, we could NOT live without our local library!

There are a TON more that have free printables and worksheets – almost too many to list – so I will let you do basic searches for fun stuff like that!

Tomorrow I will be sharing common paid curriculum links.

Each day I will share ten other bloggers joining in on this series (each day will be 10 DIFFERENT bloggers) with a link to their blog. This will make it super easy for you to go visit and see what they are sharing (each blogger is sharing different tips!)…just click the links here:

Melissa @ Grace Christian School
Michele @ Family, Faith and Fridays
Missica @ Through the Open Window
Monique @ Mountain of Grace Homeschooling
Rebekah @ There Will Be A $5 Charge For Whining
Renita @ Krazy Kuehner Days
Sarah @ Renaissance Mama
Sasha @ Such a Time as This
Tawnee @ Adventures in Homeschooling
Tiffany @ The Crafty Home
Tina @ Desperate Homeschoolers

Enjoy the journey!

Five Days of Tips for Homeschool Parents: {Getting Started} Helpful Links, Day 1

5 Days of Tips for Homeschool ParentsI am joining up with about 50 other bloggers from the Schoolhouse Review Crew to bring some helpful tips for homeschool parents. I am going to be sharing a ton of helpful links with you over the next several posts. This first post will be for those just starting out with homeschooling so if this is you – read on. If it isn’t, maybe you know someone who might find it helpful. If so, please share it with them! Our oldest son’s Tae Kwon Do instructor recently asked me about getting started with homeschooling. These are some links I thought she might find helpful – so I thought I’d share them here as well!

Today we will cover:

  • Learning Styles (student)
  • Teaching Styles (parent)
  • Homeschooling Approaches

But first, check your homeschooling state laws at HSLDA.

Learning Style

If you are just thinking about homeschooling, or just starting homeschooling, you will want an idea of what your child/s learning style is. What is a “learning style”? Basically it is how they learn the best, or what their preferred way of learning is. Some kids learn best by hearing, others learn better by touching. Which is your child? Here are some links to help you with learning styles:

Weird, Unsocialize Homeschoolers shares How to Homeschool: Determine Your Child’s Learning Style

From Time4Learning: Learning Styles

Homeschool World: Discover Your Learning Style

Marianne at Abundant Life has this to say about Learning Styles and the Homeschool

Here is a “quiz” to help determine learning style.

Teaching Style

The next thing you want to consider is what kind of teaching style do YOU have? Yes, YOU! Here are some links to help you understand these a little more:

This one is a bit long but skip down about half way (if you want) and it will be worth the read! Homeschooling 911 shares What’s Your Teaching Style? (And Why It Matters).

Homeschool Approaches

Then there are homeschooling approaches…which will you be? Do you prefer textbooks? Or do you want to be as far from those as possible? Do you want to follow what your child has interest in? Here are some places to find help with what learning approaches are…

Homeschool.com has this to share: Homeschooling Approaches

Hearts at Home shares about Homeschool Teaching Methods.

Oklahoma Homeschool has an excellent article Homeschool Teaching Methods with some additional resources.

Eclectic Homeschooling has this neat quiz that might help you learn a little about your homeschool philosphy: What Kind of Homeschooler Are You?

Huge FREE Resource!

A really cool FREE resource for getting started with homeschooling is offered by The Old Schoolhouse Magazine and is called Homeschool Welcome Basket.

Each day I will share ten other bloggers joining in on this series (each day will be 10 DIFFERENT bloggers) with a link to their blog. This will make it super easy for you to go visit and see what they are sharing (each blogger is sharing different tips!)…just click the links here:

Jeniffer @ Thou Shall Not Whine
Jennifer @ A Peace of Mind
Jennifer @ Faithful Homestead
Joelle @ homeschooling for His Glory
Joesette @ Learning Curve
Kari @ Random Acts of Boyhood
Katie @ Katie’s Daily Life
Kemi @ Homemaking Organized
Kim @ Homestead Acres
Kylie @ Our Worldwide Classroom

Enjoy the journey!

*THIS* is what it is ALL about !!

Today was THE PERFECT example of what homeschooling should look like in my eyes !! P, our second grader, was working on handwriting and his assignment was to make large letters and then draw an animal on the letter that starts with that letter (s is for snail). This boy doesn’t really like to write or draw so I was surprised when we wanted to do it at all, let alone he wanted to do SEVERAL!

As he is trying to think of animals, or something, to put with the different letters, I mentioned that he might get out his dictionary and look up the letters and see what kind of ideas that would give him. (Keep in mind that I have been trying to get him to pull out this book and look at it for a couple months now.) So, he got it out and started looking up different letters and finding different things to draw. Next thing I know he is just looking through it finding different things and just enjoying learning.

At this point I’m starting to want to get refocused back to our regular work but decided to just “roll with it” and see where this went. I was really enjoying watching him enjoying learning. Next thing I know, he’s asking about using a Thesaurus (which he was recently introduced to in his English class). So we pulled that out and he started looking at that too!

Low and behold if the next thing I know – this child is writing a story! This child cannot stand to write more than three letters twice in his handwriting class! I’m not sure if my amazement is coming completely across or not – but this is UNHEARD OF for this child!

All I could do was stand there and smile – and thank the Lord for the opportunity to homeschool, to get to SEE these moments MYSELF. And I was thanking Him for keeping me from redirecting him and for just rolling with it. If I hadn’t, we would have missed SO MUCH!

Here is a picture of his story … and it is a pretty long one too! Such a happy, impressed mama here!

FearfulBoy

So, here are some words from a homeschooling mom in their eighth year of homeschooling — DO NOT lose sight of what is important. DO NOT be so focused on what “you’re supposed to be doing” that you forget to enjoy what you ARE doing. Let them learn IN THEIR OWN TIME and let them follow rabbit trails … you never know where they might lead! I am SO HAPPY I did today! To God be the glory!

Enjoy the journey!

Field Trip – Northwestern Territory Historic Center

We took our first field trip with our new homeschool group today. There were three groups that went and we were in the last of the three. We visited the Northwestern Territory Historic Center (NTHC) in Dixon, IL which isn’t TOO far from our new house. Although I wasn’t sure what the field trip would present, it wasn’t out of our price range (donation only) so I figured we couldn’t lose by going. I’m so glad we went!

Some of you may be more knowledgeable than me, but I didn’t find out until we moved here that Dixon, IL was President Reagan’s boyhood home town. This is something I think is really cool! With that…this is what is at the top of the stairs when you enter the NTHC…

ReaganJellyBeans

Keep in mind that my son (to the right) is 6’4″…that gives you an idea of the size of this thing!

ReaganJellyBeans2

The building is actually an old three-story high school! The main floor has the office and gift shop. The second floor is the “meat” of the center…it is where you find the story and the manikins and the wall plaques full of all kinds of information to read.

WallPlaques

This is where the next part of our journey began … it was a guided tour by a wonderfully knowledgeable older gentleman who apparently has donated quite a few items. (Was neat to hear him share his stories!)

They have a lot of these displays through out – to help show the change in clothing of the Indians as they traded. They had a neat thing where they put four items that were not available back in these times throughout the displays in an effort to keep the kids engaged – their job is to find those four items. It worked like a charm with our group!

HC1

HC7

It was neat to actually SEE some of the different items used long ago and hear what they were used for … man things were different back then! We are so spoiled these days!

HC8

The kids got to make a real rope using a rope making machine – I think we all really enjoyed that part!

Rope

They also had several dioramas which were really neat to look at. The one below was my favorite because they had a map with it – which is EXACTLY what P (our 2nd grader) is working on in his BJU Press Heritage Studies class!

HC5

HC6

And last but not least, I got to learn about the boogeyman. LOL (Which is kind of appropriate considering Halloween is tomorrow – which we don’t celebrate – but you get my point.)

Bogeyman

The top floor is the original high school gymnasium … interesting that it was on the TOP level (where all the sound would go DOWN to the classrooms below).

The main purpose of this center is to share the story of how the local area had changed and grown over the years. Additionally, there were several rooms dedicated to information about Ronald Reagan. Overall our time there was just under two hours. We really enjoyed it and would definitely recommend this location to others in the area!

Enjoy the journey!