Monthly Archives: November 2013

The Benefits of Homeschool: From A to Z

All about meeting the needs of children.  Homeschooling makes this easy;  you are there, observing and helping.

Bonding is easier when your family spends more time together.

Community.  Homeschool kids have more time to mingle with community members of all ages.  Instead of being mainly with peers all day they are learning to communicate with people younger and older on a regular basis.

Disabilities can be treated as gifts.  If you have a kid with a ‘learning problem” it can be treated in a whole new light at home, whereas at school, that child will likely face many difficulties.

Eating healthy is easier.  When you are there to provide nutritious whole foods, and junk food is not surrounding your kids’ table, eating healthy becomes the usual fare.

Free play!  Even in kindergarten there is very little, if any, time for free play.

Get to stay home.  No bustling about early in the morning trying to get out the door before you’re really awake.

Handling problems together.  Homeschoolers experience many things together, the good and the bad.  This way there is a loving adult to model behavior or just listen when something confusing happens.

Imaginations in tact!  Kids will get some level of brainwashing at school – probably at home, too, but at least then the values sinking in are within your comfort zone.

Joy of nature is more accessible.  You have pretty much unlimited time to spend outside enjoying sunshine, fresh air and wide open spaces.

Kids don’t need to be taught to learn.  I think every homeschooler has seen this – in many cases it is the parents who need to be re-taught

Learning can be fun.  Why not learning games?  No reason to have drudgery in your life.

Moms, Dads and caregivers get to learn from the kids.

No testing!  Though some kids may like the competitive edge of tests, I find that most families are glad their child’s learning time is not spent preparing for tests.

Outside classrooms are possible.  A deck, a porch or a picnic blanket can make a great study area, with maximum natural light.

Projects can get messy and can go on for long stretches of time.  Kids won’t have to pack up their project to start something unrelated and they can spread out and make a mess if that’s what it takes.

Quietness is available when needed.  Though many of our households would not really be described as quiet, at least it’s an option for kids to have some quiet time.

Read when you are ready, not when it is predetermined by someone who’s never                met you.

Sleeping in.  No alarm clocks.  Need I say more?

Time to expand on your interests.  You can follow your own path and study                              at your own pace.

Uses your brain but doesn’t tax it.  I don’t see many homeschoolers who are ‘exhausted’ but see many school kids in this state.  I think using your brain as you wish is less tiring than being told what to study and do during the day.

Vibrant homeschool gatherings – most of us have been lucky to have some; a warm spring day spent at the beach, cool field trips, a hike together.  Homeschooled kids usually are so happy to be with more kids.

Whenever you want to learn about something, you can just do it.

Xylophones or any other musical instruments can be played to your heart’s content.

You spend the days with folks that love you.

Zaniness allowed.  Get silly, laugh, roll around on the ground, climb UP the slide.                   A homeschool life can be full of fun.

Interviews With Homeschoolers: Lucas

Interviews With Homeschoolers:  Lucas

What is your age?

Eight and a half.”

How long have you been homeschooling?

My whole career.”

What are some advantages to homeschooling as opposed to going to school?

I like to stay home because I get to stay with my family more often.                                    And school is B-O-R-I-N-G.”

How do you know that school is boring since you’re never been?

Because my sister and brother have told me about school and it seems boring except for gym and art which I can mostly do at home, just not the gym part.”

Can you think of any disadvantages to homeschooling?

No.”

What do you do in a typical day?

I think of stuff. I ask Mom for a playdate with my other homeschool friends, I eat, I play Legos sometimes but not often anymore, I do some computer time about once every three days. Um, I listen to the radio and on Sundays I listen to the top 40 on Z107.3 but sometimes I miss it. I play outside, I travel sometimes to Boston, New Hampshire, Brewer, Bangor, Orono, Portland, Calais and Machias and Augusta-Gardiner. I play piano, baseball and hockey although I like baseball better. I like hockey in the winter more than baseball and baseball better in the spring and summer.”

What are your favorite things to do?

Play baseball, wait for the holidays to come, play hockey and climb things.”

What do you think you will be doing when you’re 15?

I will be homeschooling high school and doing high school sports like hockey and baseball although I’m going to quit hockey in college and just stick with baseball.”

What are your dreams for the future?

Go to the real baseball major leagues. Getting in the Hall of Fame.”

What are your suggestions for kids who want to excel in sports?

Practice, listen to the coaches, play hard and try and make a lot of plays. And always keep your eye on the ball (for baseball). For hockey, listen to the coaches, skate hard and shoot hard, and pass the puck, you can’t get through everyone. And it doesn’t matter whether you win or lose, just play hard and fair.”

What to you want to do as a grown up?

I want to have kids. Play baseball and that’s it. Oh, and I might want to cook.”

Interview With Homeschoolers: Shane

Interview With Homeschoolers:  Shane

(Mary/Mom) What is is your name and age?

(Shane) “Shane. I’m 11.”

How long have you been homeschooling?

Let me think….five years.”

What was your school experience like?

(Shane attended kindergarten and a half-day a week during 3rd grade)

I don’t know. I never liked school. It was so boring.”

What about the fact that you don’t see all those kids everyday?

Well, they usually do sports, too, so I see them at practices and games.”

What do you think are some advantages of homeschooling?

You get to do what you want to do. It’s not boring. And you can learn at the level you’re at.”

What are some disadvantages of homeschooling?

Hmmmm. Let me think. Huh. No clue. The thing I was going to mention was sports but I can do them through the school and I can’t think of any others”

What are some of your interests?

Lego Robotics, Music-writing with MuseScore, piano playing, programming, website building, cooking, pottery, baseball, technology.”

What do you do in a typical day?

Breakfast, computer time, homeschooling, snack time, just some stuff in between, lunch, outside time, snack, then we do something and then have supper. After supper playtime, we get read to and then bedtime. Sometimes in between we do a movie.

What do you think you will be doing in five years?

High school”

In a school?

Maybe.”

Any idea what you’ll do when you’re an adult?

Something to do with music, being a chef, or a programming engineer and something to do with robotics. Maybe a baseball coach or an umpire.”

What improvements could be made to make your daily life better?

An Ipod, a DJ table and a keyboard. Maybe minecraft”

 

 

Self Care on the Cheap

I’m sure we’re all pining for a weekend spa treatment near some sandy, sunny beach. The reality for most of us homeschoolers is that vacations without kids are rare. But there are ways to take care of ourselves that really feel good, cost nothing and can be done practically anytime. You may have a mini-spa-treatment you do at home already. Below I’ve listed a few that have helped lift my spirits and make things new again.

  1. Pop in a movie and take a nap. I’m sure there are varying degrees of television viewing going on amongst homeschoolers. Here there is no tv. We have a pc and Netflix. So once in a while I ask the kids if they want a ‘bonus’ movie, and surprisingly no one EVER says “NO, Mom, oh God, not THAT”. They get busy agreeing on something to watch and I get a blanket and make myself comfy on the sunporch couch. Pure luxury.
  2. Give your feet a treatment. I find this especially lovely once the kids have gone to bed. Get a bin of some kind, soak your feet in hot water for a while. When it cools off, wash them with a washcloth and dry them off. Then clip those nails and get some oil (I prefer Shea Butter), even adding a little splash of pure essential oil and massage your tootsies. I swear, after doing all this, you will thank yourself.
  3. Try Earthing. You may have already seen or read about Earthing but it basically means touching the earth and benefiting from this electrical connection. You can spend lots of money buying earthing shoes or bedding or you can go barefoot as much as possible outside. In cold climates touching a tree for 15 minutes every day can have a profound effect.
  4. Try a Youtube fitness video. There are lots of free videos out there to try. You can enjoy a high energy workout with some smiling faces without having to go anywhere or pay anything. Here’s one of my favorites: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Emn4yVD5xa0
  5. Babysitting Trade. If you are homeschooling, chances are you know other homeschoolers. Arranging a babysitting trade can work wonders. You babysit one night while your friends go out and then it’s reciprocated. It doesn’t have to be an expensive night out. A hike, a swim, a picnic or whatever. Take this chance to do what you love and make yourself feel good.

Got an idea for a mini-spa-treatment? Please leave a comment.