Rabu, 07 Oktober 2009

10 Secrets Of A Successful Homeschool

1. Have fun. Attitude is everything with home learning. Enjoy learning and your kids will enjoy it. Make it drudgery and they will respond as well. Try to make even boring tasks, pleasant at least. This is not to say that everything must be a 3-ring circus, but if you have a fresh, upbeat attitude even with times tables and spelling tests, this will reflect well on your children's enjoyment and learning potential.

2. Limit interruptions. My biggest interruption is the phone. Get a good answering machine and use it during regularly scheduled learning time. Or use voice mail. Record a message that states from this time to that time we are home educating and will get back to you after we are finished. Tell friends and relatives that this is the case, and eventually they will learn to respect this. This also means well meaning drop in visits and babysitting for friends, etc. Keep your children's learning time sacred and your family will benefit from this.

3. Dedicate your time to their learning. If you are doing 101 things while your children are trying to do bookwork, how can you expect them to concentrate and finish tasks at hand? Keep your focus on them, it is a priority that rewards!

4. Keep it simple. Be careful not to fall into the "Curriculum of the Month" club. Trying and swapping and changing your education plans with every new program that breezes by will kill your children's spirit. This is not to say that you should stay with something that is not working, just be careful not to flit about like a butterfly in a field of flowers. Your children will quickly learn that all it takes in a bit of whining and they'll have a new book, workbook or system in no time. Also, simplify your life. Too many commitments and outside activities and responsibilities can really wreck havoc with your schedule. Try to keep your life simple and you will be rewarded.

5. Have FAITH! In yourself, your kids and in God. If you are doing the best you can, you will be rewarded. How can you do any worse than an overworked, underpaid public school teacher with only 6 hours and 24 - 30 children to teach? Overcome your own shortcomings with help, tutoring assistance and your own re-education. Don't count yourself short. Children learn in any environment even the slums of Calcutta! Provide them with your time and enthusiasm, good basic materials and faith and you will do as well if not better than that poor teacher can. You have the best interest of your children in your heart. Let it work for them.

6. When in doubt READ! If the washing machine is flooding, the baby is sick, your toddler is fussy and lunch is burning don't just give up, get reading. Reading is the best way for your kids to learn and retain. Gather up the brood and snuggle on the couch with a good classic. Reading aloud is a wonderful activity for your family. Even experienced readers will love to hear a story aloud, especially when they don't have to sound out each word and get through those they may not know. There is a rhyme and rhythm to books read aloud that delights even little ones. Make it a drama performance, use voices change the sound levels of your voice, and discuss the plot. You can even tape record your story time so that pre-readers can listen again and again and enjoy the story while you worry about that washing machine!

7. Surround yourself with home school mentors. Whether it's an online group, or a support group, or just a great mom you met at church or at the library, keep in touch with these people! Ask questions; ask for helpful advice, most likely, they will be happy to help, because someone in their life helped them. Don't do this alone. Even a good home education magazine will help you in your quest. Read home education books when you are in need of a little boost.

8. Use the Library! What a wonderful resource most public libraries are. Not only books of any and every subject but reference books, video tapes, audio tapes, learning materials, computer accesses, computer software and so much more. With just a notebook and some pencils, I truly believe you could educate your children with just a library at hand! Don't spend a fortune on all these reference books for home. Use the libraries! And the librarians love homeschoolers

9. Take frequent break days. If you are sick, or some family obligations make a day difficult, take a day off. Instead of great big weeks off or even the whole summer, take frequent days off through the year to refresh and empower you. The children will be pleased and you will get a chance to regroup. Just make sure they aren't every other day!

10. Watch for outside time stealers! Field trips and social outings and classes for this and that are important, just make sure you are not overdoing it. Too many errands and outings can kill a day's learning and overwhelm your schedule. Remember that you are home schooling not car schooling! Try and schedule a day that is busy and three or four days that are not. Your family will appreciate this!

copyright © 2006 by Sherri L. Chekal

Sherri Chekal is the art director at Westvon Publishing. She is the editor of the popular www.TheParentTeacher.com and the www.TheHomeschoolShop.com websites, as well as offering her graphic talents to several bands through websites, promotion and writing skills. She plays with the Fulton County Bluegrass band in Ohio. She homeschools her two daughters and is quite the Renaissance woman of talents and skills. She is the art director for the bluegrass newspaper, www.TheBluegrassJournal.com

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Homeschooling And The Family

According to the National Center For Education Statistics, almost 1.1 million children underwent homeschooling in 2005 alone. That's a lot of children. Once upon a time, homeschooling used to be a radical statement - something like a declaration of independence. It was the conservative Christians who advocated homeschooling in the '80s and legalized it in every State. But the typical homeschooler of the day is not religiously motivated.

Recent surveys indicate that parents are actually quite fed up of the public school systems where much of the learning is superficial and compulsory. They are also concerned about negative school environment ranging from drugs and abuse to negative peer pressure. As a result, we have a surprising mix of people who form the homeschooling world of today. They cut across all religious and regional borders. Their main aim is providing meaningful and productive learning through a method that strengthens the bond between the various members of the family.

All these families have one thing in common - a long enduring commitment to the sanctity of childhood. The children in these families are accorded a primary position. Many believe, and rightly so, that homeschooling allows parents to bring up children in a more natural and nurturing environment. Public schools can make one nervous, diffident and downright mean. Children who get schooled at home are protected from these damaging negative influences till they reach an age where they can handle it.

Homeschooling draws the whole family into the almost religious task of schooling. Everyone is put to work. The parents together form a bond with the children. Any experience can be turned into an educational experience. Both the parents are aware of exactly what is going into their child's head. Parents also have greater control on the kind of religious and moral values that the child imbibes. Even watching a movie together can become a learning experience. Trips to the libraries and other places become educational as well as recreational.

A homeschooling family is primarily dependent on the income of one earning member. That means that often spending has to be curtailed and proper planning of expenditure is a must. This helps to bring the family members together and everybody gets involved in the process of saving money.

Having a parent at home to supervise, to nurture and care for the children brings with it a lot of love and caring. Even your husband chips in and there just is no room for boredom. Yes, problems do crop up, and there are a lot of misgivings in your mind. But when you know that your kids can always count on you, and your kids know it too, then homeschooling becomes a richly rewarding experience.

This free article is provided by the FreeArticles.com Free Articles Directory for educational purposes ONLY! It cannot be reprinted or redistributed under any circumstances.

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Family Values: Are you sacrificing your family for your career?

Do you want to know what the worst feeling in the world is to a man or women who is working hard to create a better life for themselves? It is when we take a step back from our work and realize that what we consider to be the most important element in life, our family, is getting pushed down the list of important things and being ignored altogether. When this situation has been going on for a long time, virtually undetected, some family relationships get ripped at the seams.

I will never forget the night that this very same realization happened to me some years ago. I was spending days, even weeks, on the road working hard to close bigger and bigger accounts for my sales position. One night on the road I was in my motel and received a call from my wife. She was reminding me to be home early the next day to attend my daughter's big play at her local junior high school.

There was just one problem. The next day was my chance to close a huge deal that I was working on for months. I was sideswiped when my prospect called me back that very night, before I talked with my wife. The client wanted to meet and I was in his area by chance working on another deal.

I couldn't pass it up. It meant earning an extra thousand dollars per month if I got this sale and I felt that my family was just too important to pass it up. I'm getting to the worst part now, and that is that I lied to my wife and daughter on the phone when I said that I would be there. I already knew that my work was going to come first by signing up this big account, but I didn't have it in me to tell them over the phone. I knew that I was going to sign the deal, make a lot of money, miss my daughter's big day, and then make up an excuse why I was not there.

Now considering that I was already doing very well and considered pretty successful at the time, that night was a very low point in all areas of my life. I realized then and there that I was putting aside what matters to me the most, my family. And they were loosing faith in me, not expecting me anymore, not caring, breaking away...

The next morning I woke up and realized that I wouldn't have been able to live with myself had I gone through with the appointment and missed my daughter's special event. Money cannot replace love and family. I phoned my appointment and totally expected this man to hang up on me and find another company to do business with. However, I told him the truth. I explained that my family needed me and that I understand if he wants to do his business elsewhere with someone that is more reliable.

That was the day that I made the right decision to put my work aside and be there for my family, and risk loosing the “big account” that I was after. Needless to say the business man that I had to cancel on respected what I had to say, and he even rescheduled the meeting. One week later I successfully signed the deal. Moral of the story? Put your family first, work hard in between, and success in all areas of your life will follow.

This free article is provided by the FreeArticles.com Free Articles Directory for educational purposes ONLY! It cannot be reprinted or redistributed under any circumstances.

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