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Home School Life

Notice: This article is for those considering Home-schooling.  It is very bias towards the benefits, and NOT intended to offend.  Home-schooling is not for every family, every parent, or every child.  Public and Private schools have many benefits as well.  Some children thrive on the competition in large group environments.  Some parents may need their children in school full time so they can work.  Public schools teach children about patience and diversity.  The list goes on and on.

The bottom line is: Whatever is right for YOUR family, is right.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~  Now on to some fun….

Home School Life

Many people ask me:  How do you home school?  How do you get it all done?  How much do you work every day?  Don’t you worry about….. ?(socialization, academic standards… the list goes on and on…)

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This article isn’t to address the worries, because there aren’t any.  There is no downside to home-schooling.  Every experience that is offered in public is offered in home-schooling except:

1) We teach to 100% mastery, not the 70% minimum that schools do.

2) With smaller settings and more time, each lesson can go above & beyond.  Ex: My daughter studied the state North Carolina, the history of the Wright Brothers and then built a plane.

3) Her peers are children with similar values & interests, not just same age & zip code.

4) We are not required to be in a building by any set time of the morning & out of it by any set time in the afternoon.  We come and go as we choose.  Much less stress on our family.  

5) My children are so much healthier: they get more sleep, have balanced meals 3X/day, get more exercise and fresh air, and while exposed to plenty of germs still, we get to skip the stomach bugs and strep throats that are rampant in such large groupings of kids.

If I haven’t talked you into it yet, your reservation might be: HOW to homeschool…

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The answer is: everyone has a different plan.  The secret is to learn about everyone else’s plan and then see what works for you.

I have a three part plan:

1) Amazing Educational Experiences in the community

2) Daily minimum requirements

3) Extended day enrichment.

 I like the plan below because:
1) I feel like I’ve covered all the basics.
2) I feel like they are getting very special enrichment opportunities that they wouldn’t have elsewhere.
3) I feel like I’m using all my curriculum (and not wasting or forgetting some).
4) I feel like my kids are aware of their daily requirement.  (In theory, we as parents won’t be running school around the age these kids enter 7th grade and up.  All the veterans attest to that age being self motivated.  The older children know their tasks and they complete them.  I think this begins that check-list-to-playtime.)

Educational Experiences:

Weekly Classes at the Madame Newton Science Academy http://www.mnescienceacademy.com/ ( (Science – CHECK)

Weekly Classes 4H – Lego Robotics, Nutrition and Photography also at the http://www.mnescienceacademy.com (Again, Science – CHECK)

Monthly Classes at the Houston Museum of Natural Science and/or Spring Creek Nature Center (Again, Science – CHECK)

Weekly Home School choir with http://www.singandrejoice.com/Home.html (Music – CHECK)

Flute and Violin lessons with a teacher (Again, Music – CHECK)

Weekly Co-op Class  (A co-op is a group of home-schooling families that get together and have a special arrangement to share teaching responsibilities) (More time with peers, group learning environment, re-enforce basic skills – CHECK)

Daily Physical Activity: swim, ride bikes, go for a walk, play at the park, or if out and about: Wonderwild, Bouncing Bears, etc.  (Exercise – CHECK)

Camp Fire Girls – (Leadership & Team Building skills – CHECK)

Daily minimum requirements, Read, Write, Math (On days when the girls have class, all that’s required additionally is this:)

For the 5 year old: Practice her music (15 minutes), One lesson of http://www.redapplereading.com, Hooked on Phonics, Reading one BOB or Beginning reader book together, and math enrichment (hands-on math / worksheet)

For the 9 year old: Practice her music (15 minutes), write to me in her journal, 30 minutes of reading, 15 minutes of ALEKS Quick Tables, minimum 3 Topics mastered on ALEKS math. http://www.aleks.com/

Extended day enrichment (On the days when there is no class, we spend the day getting into detailed projects):

Sign language (Signing Time DVD), Story of the World History, Life of Fred Math, Beast Academy Math, Music Theory, Science Experiments (Magic School Bus Kits), Science / History DVDs, Piano lessons with mom.

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We, as humans, can’t feel like we accomplished something… anything…. until we know what is required of us.

With my goals and daily requirement spelled out this, we can start and finish our days.  We can joyfully PLAY guilt-free once the job is done.  No matter what your plan is, I encourage you to write it down and share it with your children.

I hope my plan enlightened you, either to brighten your plan or brighten your outlook on home-schooling.

If you have any questions, I’d be happy to help you with them.

Send them to obsessivemothersguide@gmail.com and look for your answers in upcoming columns.