Battling homeschool stereotypes

My children are thriving being homeschooled as well as several other families I know. Every child is different. However, many people try to stereotype them based upon limited or no exposure to homeschool families. So if they see a well adjusted family they may think that is how all homeschoolers are. Same applies if they see a bunch of misbehaving brats with fanatical parents. It’s not. Just like public and private school children, each is different. They are just being taught at home by their parents instead of in a class.

Plus, many people think their way of schooling (public, private, or home) is the BEST way for everyone and those who do school differently are somehow inferior. That is not true. Every family and situation is unique so what works for one may not work for another. There is no one way of schooling that is best for every family all the time.

As for the idea that homeschoolers miss out on social events, that isn’t totally true. Yes. They miss daily traditional classroom things, but they get social interaction other ways. Homeschool children do not spend their entire days at home. Many regularly participate in group activities like lessons, sports, co-ops, community and church events, etc. Because they are not limited to mostly being around other children exactly their own age, homeschool children often are more comfortable interacting with people of various ages than those who attend school. Some areas even have events like prom and graduation just for homeschoolers, so they don’t even have to miss out on them.

Plans for 2012-2013 school year

Where has the school year gone? Between Richard being sick and our vacation this spring, we have fallen rather behind. That means we will be doing summer school to finish up. If everything goes well, we will be living on our boat which means fewer distractions demanding our attention. Hopefully that will allow us the time needed to get everything done.

Even if we don’t quite manage to finish up, I still need to decide what they will be doing for next year. They will be in 3rd and 6th grade. Hard to believe Richard will be half done with school.

They will continue with Christian Light Education for reading, language arts, and Bible. Karen will probably also use them for math since she is doing better since I switched her into it. Richard will do Math-U-See level Zeta which covers decimals and percents. I always struggled with that so it will be good for me to review it with him.

They will be doing health for science. As part of that, we need to do a physical fitness test. Karen will use Health, Safety, & Manners 3 from Abeka which is a basic introduction to good health. Richard enjoyed going through it and I think she will too. This is only one semester so I’m not sure what else to do the rest of the year.

I will order Science F from Sonlight which covers health, medicine, and human anatomy for Richard. He’s already done the Abeka Health 3, so this will cover many of those topics in more detail as well as others. I can’t decide if I want to get the 4 or 5 day package. The 5 day has four more books than the 4 day. I just don’t want to get overwhelmed. On the other hand, those 4 books seem like things he is interested in like DNA and fossils. I’ve given up trying to do my own unit studies or cobble together related books. I’m just not organized enough to get through a full year like that.

I just added it all up. Richard’s will be $335 or $375 depending which science package we get (4 or 5 day). His is more expensive because of the Sonlight science. Karen’s will be less because we can use Richard’s old reader and teacher guides. It will be $145. That’s a total of about $500 for both of them.

Study time

School is out or almost out for summer break in many places. That means parents are planning for the upcoming school year. Some families will decide to homeschool. One question that new homeschool families have is how long should they spend studying. Well, that depends upon state law as well as what curriculum or program you will be using.

Flexibility is one of the great things about homeschooling. That includes being flexible in study time. Unless required by law, there is no minimum time. Nor are there any requirements for when in the day you must do school. My kids have done school at almost all hours of the day, including delaying bedtime because they were still awake and interested enough to keep going. However, there are a few tricks to keep you from falling behind or feeling overwhelmed.

If you are doing a program like online, create a schedule by dividing your work out and making due dates so you don’t get behind. Too many online students get behind then panic at the end because they still have so much work to do.

Otherwise, you need to study for however long it takes to understand your work. Some days will be longer than others. Rather than a time schedule, create a goal/assignment list. As long as you get everything on the list done, it shouldn’t matter how long it takes. Some days my kids are done in 2 hours. Some days they work all day. However, it doesn’t have to be done all at once. You can study some in the morning then again later in the day if that is what works for your other activities.

It is a good idea to do school at least 4 days/week. I’ve found fewer days than that makes too much work at once so you tend to get overloaded. The more often you do school, the shorter you can make your study sessions. Your schedule should not be super rigid. After all, it’s homeschool and life sometimes interferes. If you miss a day or two every so often, that’s no big deal. It’s only when those missed days turn into missed weeks or *gasp* months, that you should worry.

The price of a clean room

Yesterday I found out the going price for a clean bedroom. I told my son to clean his room. He HATES cleaning his room. Instead, he paid his sister to clean it for him. He just sat back and told her where things belonged. She did all the work, although I think also he helped her make the bed. I don’t care as long as it got done by anyone other than me. So what’s the going rate for hiring your little sis’ to do your chores?

Apparently it is $3 for the work, and another $2 if it passed inspection the first time. I didn’t even get out of his room before she had her hand out demanding payment. đŸ˜†