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New to Homeschooling?

Starting out homeschooling is a daunting thought! It can feel overwhelming and frightening, you may have to deal with those close to you criticising your decision. Then there is the choice of curriculum- the bewildering array, and the conflicting voices all saying their’s is best can be very confusing! Whether you start out at day one of school, or start when your children are a bit older, my advice is to take it slow! Consider what are your essentials… I would suggest maths, and english (reading and writing basically!). Make this your starting point. If your children have already been in school, do not feel you have to reject the curriculum the school used. Consider sticking with the maths and english/language curriculum they were already doing. This will bring continuity for them, you can always change at a later date. Join your local homeschool support group. If you have heard of any curriculum and want to know more about it, there is a good chance someone close by will already be using it. Other homeschoolers are always happy to answer questions, also ask if anyone has had negative experiences with the curriculum. Remember, what has been amazing for one child, may not suit your child. Once your confidence grows, then add other subjects. Part of homeschooling is not only educating your child, but learning about your child in a new and different way. Finding out how they learn, what fires their imagination, their interests and likes all help inform the course of their education. Many home educators build their child’s education around their child’s natural interests. Even if the early days of schooling is reading together, it is a start. Educating a child is a very long marathon. Do not sprint ahead at the beginning and become worn out! Take your time. Do not be surprised with feelings of failure, and a sense that you are not doing the best by your child. We all battle these thoughts. They are not helped when we feel the world is watching, judging our decision to home educate. Children learn at their own pace, but they do learn, they are created for learning. It is important to find people to love and support you through this journey. Other homeschoolers will be a great source of encouragement- well they should! Find people you can connect with, and who will love you and your family. Online there are many blogs, and forums where there is advice, encouragement and support from people who want you to succeed. Finally, seek to keep yourself in a spiritually...

Teach Your Child to Computer Program

There was a very interesting article in today’s Telegraph about the sorry state of IT education in the UK. It sounds as though computing has not progressed much since I was at school. IT education still seems to focus on the teaching of Microsoft Word and Excel (surely these should be taught in business/administrative classes). As a result businesses are finding it hard to source with the coding skills they require. As a consequence business are teaching teenagers the coding skills the industry needs in order to grow. This is staggering! In a modern economy a healthy supply of well educated coders is essential. With youth unemployment at such high levels why are kids not leaving school with these skills, they could start businesses from their bedrooms, as Shakespeare said “Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie”. The Telegraph goes on to list a few online coding curriculums, which are free. So after the October break we will be taking a look at these more closely… will keep you posted how that one goes! Want to learn how to code? Here are six useful websites: Scratch A visual programming language for children age 6 and up, developed at MIT. Allows users to create and share interactive games. Hackasaurus In-browser ‘x-ray goggles’ which allow you to see the HTML elements that make up every webpage – and lets you edit them yourself. Thimble Code ‘spellchecker’ and preview window which makes web editing simple. Create your own functional page in minutes and host it online. Hackety Hack Learn the Ruby programming language from scratch with this free downloadable software. Code Academy Learn the basics of Javascript, Python and Ruby through these fun interactive online course. Suitable for teenagers and upwards. Code School More advanced tutorials in Ruby, Javascript and CSS design which allow you to share your progress with the coding community. Share this:PrintFacebookTwitterEmailLike this:Like...

Creative Writing Prompts for Homeschool

We have never followed a set curriculum for creative writing, instead we have taken inspiration from the work we are doing in other areas to inspire our writing projects. For example when we studied the Royal Family, during the Queen’s Jubilee my daughter was given the task of writing a story entitled “The Naughty Corgi”. By giving her either a title or a first line she has a foundation to work from, and the project work already finished helps inform her writing. We also use the text we are reading to inspire creative writing. Ideas will depend on the text, by using key events in the story to inspire a story. For example if reading “Little House on the Prairie”, a story about a time the child went on a long journey, or if there was a time they met with a dangerous situation- like Laura in the book. The child can also wite about their favourite, or least favourite, character; explaining what they are like, what they do and why they like/dislike the character. If studying an event or character in history the assigned task would be to retell the story, or write a biography on the person. To teach grammar and language skills we use the Charlotte Mason inspired text book “Language Lessons”, one of the activities in these texts books is to study works of art. A follow on activity from this introduction to art appreciation is to write a story around the painting. My son, who has a vivid imagination has found this a lot of fun! However, there are always times when we want a writing project but the above does not easily lend themselves to the occasion. So here are a list of 20 prompts you can use for Primary age children: Write a story about what you did on holiday. Write a story about your pet. Write a story with the beginning: “One day I had an adventure in the woods…..” Write a story about what you think the future will be like. Pretend you are a journalist. Write a news story about a volcano erupting (or earthquake!) Make the page look like the front cover of a newspaper, with a headline and a picture. Write a letter to your best friend. Re-tell your favourite Bible story Keep a journal for a fortnight Write a story of a conversation between you and some you have studied from history. Write about a musical instrument you play: what it is like, how long you have to practice, who teaches you, what songs can you...
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