Homeschooling Quick Tips

Summer vacation time can qualify as school time, too! Have everyone keep a journal of activities and enter them into their portfolios when you return.

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See your hometown! Make a list of daytrips in your local area and work through it one trip a week (or every 2 weeks). Doing something different now and then will refresh students and teachers minds.

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Learning to use public transportation can become quite a project. Help your student go online to your local bus service and figure out what busses to take to get to a desired destination. Then have them find out what the fares would be, time tables, transfers, etc. Record activities under geography and math.

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Low on funds? Check for free days at local museums, state and national parks, and other place of interest.

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Documentation is important, especially for high school. Write down what your student does in each subject, every day. Include time spent, dates, names of books, etc. Keep everything in a notebook or on a calendar, for easier assembly of transcripts later.

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Google this day in history, or visit http://www.homefires.com/dvd/ for a great monthly learning calendar.

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Reluctant reader? Try audiobooks.

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Indie author day is Oct. 8th. See if your local library is hosting an event. Meet local authors.

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Don’t forget your daily living activities. Baking cookies can fit into language arts, home ec, and math. Changing the oil in the car can fit into math, science, auto shop. Feeding and caring for pets – science, language arts, math, history.

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Teach history through reenacting. Check out museums, libraries, or  the Society for Creative Anachronism http://snip.ly/7sxem

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Midweek in the fall is ideal for visiting local attractions. Find out what’s near you and plan a field trip.

Collect information and questions before you go, to take full advantage of the learning opportunity.

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Even homeschoolers appreciate a packed lunch. Pack up some sandwiches, veggies, drinks and snacks. Grab and go have lunch at the park!

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Buy extra notebooks, paper, pens, crayons and other school supplies now, while they’re on sale. They always come in handy, even outside of school.

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Get out the sidewalk chalk while it’s still warm and do math on the sidewalk!

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Put those smartphones to use! Have your student practice taking, editing and posting pictures and videos.

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Take lots of pics and videos of your student’s creative work, projects, community service and volunteer work. These can also be added to the transcript portfolio.

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Visit a National or State Park and help the kids get their Junior Ranger badges.

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Let the kids cut up old magazines and make scrapbooks of their favorite things.

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Use empty dishsoap bottles for squirt guns and have a backyard battle.

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Visit your local library and enjoy their air-conditioning for an afternoon.

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Get out of the heat. Visit a nice, air-conditioned museum or science center near you.

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Teach them how to take care of stuff: wash and wax the car, fix the bikes, repaint a room – together

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Kids bored? Make a list of fun activities, games, projects, and chores they can choose from.

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Summer crazies? Start a reading hour (or two). Everyone just reads. Books.

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Short on space? One book can cover reading, vocabulary, cursive, grammar, and history, social studies, or science, depending on the subject. Choose classics, biographies, or consult a reading list in the subject your student is interested in. Add in math and you’re done.

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At a loss to keep your students busy when schoolwork is done? Try papercrafting. Videos, printables and instructions can be found online or at the library.

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Active minds in sick bodies need more passive activities at times. Reading, writing, and being read to are good between naps. A bit of the history channel or science channel are good passive learning tools.

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Try unschooling to keep things interesting. Let the kids “free range” as they budget for activities, choose movies and experiences (ice-skating, cookie making, crafting). Play together; participate in community activities; research, discuss, and debate commercialism, traditions, and facts. Enjoy each other.

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Want to learn a foreign language? Try apps like DuoLingo or Babbel, which offer several choices for free. Want to have even more fun? Learn along with your student, then practice on each other and friends and relatives who are fluent in the language you’re practicing.

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Feeling overwhelmed for the holidays? Let there be You Tube! Crazy Russian Hacker, Numberphile and Project EEME all make learning fun – and you can get some holiday preparations done.

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Where to start with homeschooling?

Once they’ve mastered the basics:

With the “three R’s” under their belt, your students can learn anything they want. For math levels, Saxon has good placement tests. Some curriculum programs will also have placement tests for grammar and vocabulary. For other subjects, let your child’s interests and reading ability be your guide.

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Where to start with homeschooling?

Reading and writing will enable your student to pursue every other subject they want or need to study. Help them to master the alphabet and writing; teach them to read with phonics, then make sure they read and write every day.

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 Where to start with homeschooling?

No matter what age or grade your student is in, start with evaluating their reading, writing and math skills.

Mastering math facts, addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, is the foundation of all other math and science. Drill on these until they are mastered and your student can then move on to other math and science concepts. For higher math levels, Saxon has good placement tests.

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This week I got frustrated, yet again, with Yak’s choice of essay topics. I found http://www.freewritingprompts.net and downloaded their FREE Middle School Narrative Essay Ideas. We have started using one a day and I am pleased with the results. Giving him new ideas has made his essays much more interesting.

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Need to have a face-to-face lesson with your homeschooler but you’re out of town? Use Skype, Face-time or Google hangouts and Dropbox or Google Drive. Skype or the other apps will enable a video call over computers, tablets or smartphones. Dropbox or a similar app will allow you to send “paperwork” back and forth. You can even zoom in on a whiteboard or paper lesson, just like across the kitchen table.

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We are having our transmission repaired and expected it to take only a couple days. Not so. It will take over a week and all the schoolbooks are in the RV. At the shop. We could go and get them, but for a few days we are pursuing “alternative” education. We have located the local library and the bus to get there. We are exploring new websites for math, science, grammar, social studies and the arts. Luckily, the reading material is on the Kindle and Kindle app on the boy’s phone. And we are pursuing edu-cational (educational vacation) activities such as hiking, biking, ice skating and exploring various day trip locations. Luckily we have the tow car…

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Do you have an obsessive video gamer? Rather than letting your frustration build, help your gamer seek out classes, books and info on writing code and designing games. Take them to the next level and help them build skills for future job possibilities.

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Handmade Soaps and Lotions; Simple Living, Slow Travel; Homeschooling, Roadschooling