Friday, August 26, 2016

Thoughts on Starting the Year!

Somehow it is almost the end of August and many of us are gearing up to start another year of home education.   But, some are starting for the first time "officially".  I was inspired to write this as I talked to some moms at my church who are starting to home educate this year.

I started thinking back on the last 12 years of home education.  I remember that first year I thought that maybe homeschooling would be a good idea.  I remember being scared.  I actually started practicing with Singapore Math books the spring and winter before to just see how it would go.  I think now I would have just gone to the zoo more and counted some animals, but  I was worried and a dry run seemed like a good idea.

So I have been thinking this week, what would I tell my old self 12 years ago, and what would I tell moms who are starting in 2016?  This is what I came up with.

1.   When your vision of the perfect school year is ruined by about day three, remember it is OK to have some really bad days.  Those days do not make you a bad home educator.  You are not Mary Poppins and there are no chalk drawings to jump into.  Take a deep breath and go outside, make a blanket fort, serve a snack, go for a walk, or put everyone in the car and go to the park.  Tomorrow is a new day.  

2.  Plan for the future, but don't worry about home educating past this year.  I remember starting with a six year old and one of the common questions people asked me was, "What are you going to do about high school?"  I was busy thinking about what to serve for dinner and managing 5 other children.

 No one knows the future.  I could not have even imagined all the on-line classes, co-op classes, and resources available to my high school students today.  I also did not know how I would change in the process of home education.  So another deep breathe and tell folks that you are just trying to get through this year.  You will evaluate at the end of this year what you are going to do next year, then smile and walk away.

3.   Complete your school day and then stop.  Really. Being consistent over time is more important than working many hours each day.   If you work 4-5 days per week, you will have achieved great things at the end of the year.  Kids can only absorb so much.  Go back to item one and serve a snack. 

 5.  Take a deep breath and remember that this is the only year your child will be 5, 6, 10. 14, 16 etc.  Sometimes that is great news and sometimes it is sobering.  

6.  Find a friend that you can call when things are hard and be honest with.   Remember to also celebrate with them when things go well.

7  Reach out for help.   Ask others how they schedule their day, what they do when their child refuses to do a math page,  or what they let go of in their lives to keep homeschooling.  Don't assume that everyone else is Mary Poppins and you are not. 

8.  Finally, don't forget to smile at your children and hug them.  Your goal is not to just give them information, but to build a wonderful relationship with them.  Enjoy the front row seat in watching them become the  person God created them to be.  It really is a privilege.

Becky with one of the real Mary Poppins.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Give-Away Ohio Homeschooling Guide And Directory (Five Copies)

Hello--A big thank you to all who took the time to enter the contest!  The contest is over, but you can still purchase Renee's book on Amazon.  Click on the book below to purchase a copy.  Thank you again for your support of Ohio Homeschooling Assessments.  

I get many questions from families on how to start home educating in Ohio, about field trips, and available resources in their area.  I had the privilege of connecting with Renee Brown and reading her book Ohio Homeschooling: Guide & Directory Here is a summary of what is included in her book as listed on her web page. 

· Homeschool Legalities
1. Requirements for Home Education
2. Sources for legal assistance, if needed.
3. Academic Assessment Requirements, Options and How-To’s.
4. Recent changes to educational laws regarding home education.

· Enhancement Opportunities
1. Homeschool Co-ops, Support Groups & Meet up groups.
2. Enhancement Class Options


· Field Trip Destinations
1. Arts, Business & Industry, Farms, Nature Centers
2. History, Sports, Zoos and more.

· Homeschooling Methods
1. Teaching Styles
2. Learning Styles
3. Curriculum options designed for specific styles.

· Additional Support

1. Statewide Support Organizations
2. Local Retail Stores
3. Online Stores
4. Used Curriculum Sources in the State
5. My Favorite Curriculum
6. Online Support

I feel this is an AMAZING resource for families home educating in the state of Ohio!   Renee answers your questions and provides great resources to help you with your home education journey.  Renee tells you how to get started on Home Educating.  She walks you through the process of notifying your district to home educate in Ohio step by step.   She talks about different assessment opportunities in Ohio, and includes a link to my blog. 

 Her resource pages are filled with field trips around the state, local groups, and how to choose the best curriculum for your family.  This is the guide I wish I'd had when I started home educating years ago.  I found several organizations and resources in my area that I had not heard of.  She has done excellent research from which you will benefit immensely.

Please know I verify entries.  If you need help, email me.

PS: How to become a  Public  Follower.
To become a follower--Under "I would love it if you would follow my blog Publicly.Please click on "Follow" below."
 On the right hand side is a button that says Follow.   Click on that button and follow the steps. You may also use a Google Account, Twitter Account or Yahoo Account.  Click on one and follow the steps.    Thanks so much!! In order for your entry to count you must follow publicly.

To LEAVE A COMMENT  Click on the word "Post a Comment" at the end of the post and a box will pop up. Leave the comment there.

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Renee Brown provided a copy of OHIO Homeschooling Guide & Directory for me to review.  I gave you my honest review, and was not required to give a good review. This post contains affiliate links.

Friday, August 05, 2016

Olympic Memories. . . . Atlanta 1996

I hope you are enjoying watching the Olympics in Rio.  For me they bring back memories of my time as a volunteer at the 1996 the Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia.

   My husband was in graduate school at Georgia Tech and I was a teacher with the summer off.  We volunteered and were assigned to be ushers at the volleyball venue.  All ushers had shirts with gold rings. 

My husband and I before the gold medal match for men. 

We watched over 82 matches of volleyball, and became quite versed in the rules.  We also were able to attend the dress rehearsal for the opening ceremony.

 It was a great experience.   They say once you are a part of the Olympic Family you are always a part of the Olympic Family. Though, I am guessing they are not saving a seat for us in Rio this year.

Enjoy the Games!

~ Becky