Apr 06

Tips for getting started with homeschooling

If you’ve made the decision to home school your children, you’re probably wondering “Now what? Where do I start?” Here are some tips to get you going down the right path to home education:

  • Contact your state’s home group; find them by doing an internet search for “Your State” and the phrase “home schooling”.
  • Find the local home schooling parent’s support group. You’ll find people ready to help you get started as well as families eager to do kid’s activities together.
  • Find out about your state’s home schoolinglaws. Talk to your local school board to ensure they have approved home schooling for your child. They will check your home schooling proposal.
  • Purchase any material you need to keep you up to date on home schooling. Get together books and other supplies that you’ll need to have on hand.

And Now What Happens?

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Feb 05

It’s almost Spring, get your worksheets here

Although it’s still Winter for most of us, there’s already a lot stuff on the site for the Spring theme:

Spring worksheets and downloads

Spring arts and crafts ideas

Spring lesson plans

Enjoy!

Dec 20

Homeschooling for free

Did you know that you can do homeschooling for free? It takes a bit of creativity and planning on the behalf of parents, but it can be done! Of course, nothing is absolutely free – you’ll still need materials like pens, pencils and art supplies. But you don’t have to spend a fortune on books and materials if you don’t want to. The secret is in learning to take advantage of the resources around you.

One of the first hurdles for homeschooling parents is creating a learning curriculum that meets the needs of their child. Many solve this problem by purchasing complete curriculums or even hiring professional curriculum planners – either of which can cost from hundreds to thousands of dollars!

But if you take a few hours to thoroughly research what’s available on the internet, you can find plenty of free information on homeschooling curriculums to help you plan out your yearly and monthly lesson plans. There are also forums where you can interact with other home schooling parents to share information.

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Dec 10

Anger management worksheets

Dealing with children who have anger issues may be challenging, and it needs thought & imagination. A child’s mind is normally not developed to deal with intense feelings of anger. They cope with these emotions in their own childlike manner which usually involves acting out or throwing a tantrum.

Unaware of the specifics which cause these behavioral actions, children are not prepared to report or share their feelings. Finding a program and/or resources for effective anger management in children will likely need planning & well thought out programs. Someone that is developing an anger management program for children needs to think about activities & exercises that may interest children.

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Nov 30

Parents as partners

Parents and teachers may look at young children’s learning from different perspectives, but they share a common goal: making sure that children receive the best possible education. Mutual respect and communication between programs and families takes advantage of both perspectives to provide children with the kind of care and education that will help them thrive. Today’s family members and caregivers have many responsibilities and time constraints. It takes extra effort on both sides to build strong partnerships.

Tips for caregivers and teachers:

  • Listen carefully to parents — they are experts on their own children, too. Families can provide important information on a child’s behavior outside the program or classroom.
  • Be sensitive to different cultures and child-rearing beliefs. Never make judgments on parenting styles; always make an effort to respect the family’s values and beliefs.
  • Share pertinent information about the child on a daily basis, especially in programs caring for infants and toddlers. An established system for keeping records and reporting to parents about each child is key to good communications.
  • Welcome parents into the program or classroom. Ask parents to drop by for lunch or snack, or arrange after-work events like socials or pot-luck dinners. Working around parents’ busy schedules sends a message of being sensitive to families’ needs.
  • Communicate with parents about children’s assignments or activities ahead of time. This will allow parents to set time aside for working with their child or coordinate family schedules with school expectations. Parents also appreciate regular, meaningful progress reports early in the year with time and recommendations to help prepare children for the next levels of their education.

Oct 09

Kindergarten transition made easier

Learning to walk and how to dress one’s self are big steps for a youngster, but entering kindergarten is one of the most pivotal times in a young child’s life. Kansas State University assistant professor of elementary education Lori Norton-Meier gives tips on how children, and their parents, can make the move to kindergarten a breeze.

Going to kindergarten is a big transition for kids because it is the start of a new experience in a new environment, she explains. “There is usually more focus on academics and more expectations upon entering kindergarten. Whether children were cared for at home or at day care, they have to adjust to a new way of doing things and different classroom structures, such as larger classes.”

Youngsters may be anxious about entering kindergarten because they do not know what to expect. “They have been told about kindergarten and may feel some of their parents’ tension and may be fearful of the unknown,” Norton-Meier indicates. Other concerns for students may be finding the bathrooms and where they will eat lunch, and wondering when they are going to learn how to read.

Norton-Meier also points out that kindergarten is a big transition for parents. It’s a time when parents realize how quickly their child is growing up and gaining more and more independence–and may bring up memories, both positive and negative, of when they were in school. “Parents know that kindergarten is the start of a journey for both their children and themselves and they just hope their child will adjust well and have a good experience in school.”

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Sep 01

H1N1 flu prevention in schools

Recently the United States government unveiled their guidelines aimed at stopping the spread of “2009 H1N1 influenza”  in schools. Now that school is starting again in most countries in the Northern Hemisphere, there is a growing concern about what’s going to happen.

What does all this mean for people working in schools?

Basically, it’s a guideline for good hygiene, like hand washing. In addition to this, both students and staff members with flu-like illness (showing symptoms of flu) are requested to stay home at least 24 hours after fever symptoms have ended.

The government also urges schools to have plans ready for continuing the education of students who are at home, through phone calls, homework packets, Internet lessons and other approaches. They also suggest seting aside a room in school for people developing flu-like symptoms while they wait to go home,  and the usage of surgical masks for ill students or staff and those caring for them.

This all sounds reasonably simple, but takes a lot of coordination and resources from schools. It would require an “influenza action team” on all schools.

How is your school handling this? Are you doing anything special or is your school just waiting to see what happens? I’d love to hear from you, so please post your comments …

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