Monthly Archives: February 2014

Why Homeschooling In Rural Maine Rocks

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Maine is a great place to homeschool your kids with it’s beautiful setting and supportive community. Here are the reasons I love homeschooling in Maine.

1- The laws regarding homeschooling in Maine allow families to be flexible and creative in their homeschool format. Parents are able to find the program that best suits their child. Testing is not mandated but each child has their portfolio reviewed and/or is interviewed annually by a person with a Maine teacher’s certificate. In my experience I have found teachers who were currently homeschooling their own children or had homeschooled in the past as willing and supportive reviewers. I like the way Maine supports homeschooling by respecting family decisions while leaving the door open for ‘out of the box’ students who would not flourish in a school setting.

2-It’s so beautiful here and there are so many outdoor adventures to be had, all of which can be neatly packed into lessons for environmental studies, geography, animal sciences, geology, etc. For example, kids in our neck of the woods (and Maine is a big state) can study wildlife conservancy in numerous locations including Birdsacre Sanctuary in Ellsworth, Maine Environmental Research Institute (MERI) in Blue Hill and the Craig Brook National Fish History in Orland. Homeschoolers in Maine have a lot to appreciate – a beautiful outdoor classroom.

3-A Maine lifestyle can at times be rough, but it’s easier financially to homeschool here than many places. A rural life usually entails more work and more driving, oftentimes more planning ahead. But let’s face it, it’s cheaper to live here than in the city. It’s as least possible to live on one income enabling a parent to homeschool.

4-Mainers are for the most part very practical. We are a hardworking lot; a bunch of do-it-yourselfers. So when it comes to homeschooling, most folks around here are not surprised or put out by it. This creates a welcoming atmosphere for homeschooling families.

What do you love about homeschooling in Maine?

 

Five Fantastic STEM Resources for Homeschoolers – For Free

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The following sites include our family’s favorite internet places over the years for homeschooling. None of them involve mindless games or heavy advertising and all of them are free.  Hope you enjoy!

1-Khans Academy https://khanacademy.org/  The goal of this site is to offer free, world class instruction in math and sciences to all. I have found it particularly helpful when I have trouble presenting a new math topic to my eleven-year-old math whiz. 3rd Grade and up.

2-The Naked Scientist http://thenakedscientists.com/  It is only naked in the “stripping down science to its bare essentials” way.  Awesome podcasts, kitchen science experiments, a very cool science forum and updated science topics brought to you by Cambridge University. All ages.

3-Lego Digital Designer http://ldd.lego.com/en-us/  (free download) Check this building site out! Any child that loves engineering or building with Legos will enjoy and learn at this site. All ages.

4-MuseScore http://musescore.org/  (free download) Though it may not be strictly a STEM topic, this site has so much value I had to include it. Plus there is a lot of math involved with this music-writing software. Ages 8 and up and musical backround is helpful.

5-West Point Bridge Builder http://bridgecontest.org  (free download) Another great place for those builders in your family, learn how to build a bridge and watch a truck drive over it in a test run. If it crashes you go back and make your adjustments. Ages 7 and up.