Friday, November 21, 2014

This week's Carnival of Homeschooling is up - Looking Forward, Looking Back

Janice is hosting this week's Carnival of Homeschooling at Janice Campbell - Making time for things that matter.

She starts the carnival with:

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It seems just yesterday that all the trees were glowing with reds, oranges, and yellows, but now “all the leaves are brown, and the skies are gray,” a line that I now cannot get out of my head (click and listen at your own risk). We’ve had an extended autumn it seems, with many beautiful days, and now we’re tucked in until spring. Well, except for the holidays, of course.

This 463rd Carnival of Homeschooling offers a smorgasbord of creative ideas, inspiration, and practical tips. As you read each post, I hope you’ll find kindred spirits among the bloggers, and lots of good things to read as you sit by the fire and sip tea.
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Enjoy!


Monday, November 17, 2014

Another cool benefit of homeschooling - Take your daughter to work day

I've worked most of my career as a software engineer.  I recently joined Snowflake Computing.  The last seven months have been a lot of work, but I'm excited by the potential of the company.

For the last couple weeks my youngest daughter has been asking if she could come with me to work sometime.  I think she is motivated by the adventure, spending time with dad and a really cool used book store.

So come Wednesday we'll take the train together and ride to work.  She'll bring her school work along.  I'm sure we'll chat on the way up and we'll go out to lunch.  She'll spend some time in a conference room and the company break room.

I think it will be a great exposure to the real world.  She'll have a better understanding of what it is her father does.  It will be more real to her.  And it may even become a more interesting option for her to consider.  (Though right now she is very interested in neuroscience.)

This is another cool benefit of homeschooling.  We didn't have to ask permission from some school official.  We didn't have to fill out any forms.  We have the freedom to make our own schedule without having to worry if someone else would let us.

I love homeschooling!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Please remember to send in a post for the next Carnival of Homeschooling

Please remember to send in a post about homeschooling for the next Carnival of Homeschooling.  The next carnival will be held at Janice Campbell - Making time for things that matter


This will be the 463rd edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling.

Go here for the instructions on sending in a submission.

As always, entries to the Carnival of Homeschooling are due Monday evening at 6:00 PM Pacific Standard Time.

I have a reminder mailing list. If you would like email reminders, please tell me. 

Carnival of Homeschooling

Friday, November 14, 2014

This week's Carnival of Homeschooling is up

Monique is hosting this week's Carnival of Homeschooling at Living Life and Learning.

She starts the carnival with:

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I love hosting the carnival of homeschooling because I get to read these awesome posts and learn about new blogs as well. We are getting into the cold weather here so I’m not looking forward to our super cold winters full of snow just yet. We’re spending a lot of time outdoors, cleaning up leaves and enjoying the cool fall weather.

However, this morning we woke up to snow which makes me so sad but the kids loved it and couldn’t wait go get out there. This time of the year I’m really looking forward to Christmas and the holidays but it’s also a great time to evaluate how things are going in our homeschool.

How well are we progressing and how well is our homeschool curriculum working for us are things that I start to think over and see where I can improve or streamline.

I’m definitely looking forward to taking some time off of our regularly scheduled curriculum to do some fun lapbooks and notebooking as well. We read a lot of Christmas books and take more time to play board games and do the fun arts and crafts as well.
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Enjoy!


Carnival of Homeschooling

Monday, November 10, 2014

Unexpected fruits of homeschooling, or another reason why I love homeschooling

Awhile back someone gave my wife some gift cards for Barnes & Noble.  For a family outing we recently took our youngest two children to Barnes & Noble and told them they could use some of the gift cards.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that my fourteen-year-old daughter decided to buy two books on neuroscience.  Currently she is fascinated by the human brain.  She had already been doing a little reading on the brain, but she is now planning to work through both books.

Homeschooling is wonderful for helping children to be open to possibilities sooner.  Rather than waiting until the "normal" time to learn about the human brain, my daughter is studying now, because she is interested now.  If she was in a public school, it would be much harder for her to find the time to study on her own.

This is just another reason why I love homeschooling.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Please remember to send in a post for the next Carnival of Homeschooling

Please remember to send in a post about homeschooling for the next Carnival of Homeschooling.  The next carnival will be held at Living Life and Learning


This will be the 462nd edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling.

Go here for the instructions on sending in a submission.

As always, entries to the Carnival of Homeschooling are due Monday evening at 6:00 PM Pacific Standard Time.

I have a reminder mailing list. If you would like email reminders, please tell me. 

Carnival of Homeschooling

Thursday, November 06, 2014

This week's Carnival of Homeschooling is up - Living and Learning

Mary Nix is hosting this week's Carnival of Homeschooling at The Informed Parent.

She starts the carnival with:

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Is he well educated?”
“Yes, I think so, as far as he’s gone,” I answered. “Of course he will go on being educated every day of his life, same as father. He says it is all rot about ‘finishing’ your education. You never do. You learn more important things each day…”  – Gene – Stratton Porter –
We never really do stop learning do we?   Every day the sun rises and sets and within those waking hours, we are busy living and most often learning as well.
I hope you will join me and visit all the submissions for this week and share the link here on your own site or within your social media accounts.
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Enjoy!


Carnival of Homeschooling

Monday, November 03, 2014

An important lesson to teach our children

Sometimes as homeschooling parents we can get caught up in the mindset that academic topics are the most important things to teach our children.  And while I agree that it is important for our children to know how to read, write and do arithmetic, academics are not the most important things we teach our children.  I love history, see great value in science and even understand how the arts help round out a person, but I would be sad if my children got perfect SAT scores and straight A's through college, and turn out to be lazy and/or rotten people.

Some of the areas Janine and I focus on are: having a relationship with God, knowing how to work and being kind to others.

Recently I've thought of another area that I'll work with my children.

For more than a year part of my planning process is to consider the following questions:

Why am I doing what I am doing?
Is there something more important that I should be working on?
If so, why am I not working on it?

Part of this goes back to a post I wrote: Why do you do what you do?

I try to use these three questions to stay in Quadrant II activities and not get distracted with busy work.  Reflecting on these questions helps.

It occurred to me this last week that I haven't encouraged my children to ponder on these questions.  They are developing into competent people who love God, can work hard and are kind to others.

I'll now try to encourage them to make sure that when they get busy, they are busy with important tasks and not just busy work.


The job of a parent never ends.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Please remember to send in a post for the next Carnival of Homeschooling

Please remember to send in a post about homeschooling for the next Carnival of Homeschooling.  The next carnival will be held at The Informed Parent


This will be the 461st edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling.

Go here for the instructions on sending in a submission.

As always, entries to the Carnival of Homeschooling are due Monday evening at 6:00 PM Pacific Standard Time.

I have a reminder mailing list. If you would like email reminders, please tell me. 

Carnival of Homeschooling

Friday, October 31, 2014

This week's Carnival of Homeschooling is up

Jennifer is hosting this week's Carnival of Homeschooling at Homegrown Mommy.

She starts the carnival short and sweet with:

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Sit back, relax and enjoy another fabulous episode of Carnival of Homeschooling!
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And then jumps into all the posts.

Enjoy.

Carnival of Homeschooling

Monday, October 27, 2014

Things I like about homeschooling by Baby Bop



Dictated by Baby Bop (our 8 year old son) to his mother (Janine).

I like homeschooling because…

1.  I can make a lot more friends this way.
[I guess he doesn't worry about socialization.]

2.  On holidays, we do special things.

3.  I can build a lot more awesome stuff.

4.  I can read the books I want.

5.  I can play with my stuffed animals a lot more.

6. I can study about dinosaurs and classical music. (ps. I love dinosaurs).

7.  I like to clean the kitchen.
[This one surprised me a little.]

8.  I like homeschool co-op, choir, play practice, and park day.

9.  I like that our violin teacher comes to our house in the middle of the day.

10. I like to make up sentences. (ps. It is really fun to do so).
[Note: to encourage writing, I have Baby Bop draw pictures and write what ever he wants.  I then correct what he as written and praise what he has done correctly.]

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Please remember to send in a post for the next Carnival of Homeschooling

Please remember to send in a post about homeschooling for the next Carnival of Homeschooling.  The next carnival will be held at Homegrown Mommy.com


This will be the 460th edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling.

Go here for the instructions on sending in a submission.

As always, entries to the Carnival of Homeschooling are due Monday evening at 6:00 PM Pacific Standard Time.

I have a reminder mailing list. If you would like email reminders, please tell me. 

Carnival of Homeschooling

Thursday, October 23, 2014

FYI: No carnival this week

I had a little bit of trouble lining up a host for this week's Carnival of Homeschooling, and we only had three submissions, so I've forwarded the three entries to the host for next week's carnival.

Carnival of Homeschooling

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

This week's Carnival of Homeschooling is up - The History Edition

Sara is hosting this week's Carnival of Homeschooling at The HSBA Post.

She starts the carnival with:

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History is our theme at The Homeschool Post this month.  We’re sharing our ideas for bringing history to life for our kids through bookseducational shows, field trips, time lines, and more.
Since it’s our turn again to host the Carnival of Homeschooling, I thought I would feature some history-related posts from our own writing team:
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Enjoy!


Carnival of Homeschooling

Monday, October 13, 2014

A report from my daughter on a homeschool conference

My daughter wrote this:

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As part of my home school education I take two classes from a private school which has an online program. I take their English and Science classes. I think I especially benefit from the English class, as grammar and punctuation is something I struggle with. 

Each year this academy has a conference where the students who attend the academy physically and the distance learners get together in a lodge up in the mountains and get to enjoy many youth speakers. Some of the topics are self esteem, relationships with family, setting goals and using our differences for good. I just got back from the conference last week. It was my fourth time going; I really enjoyed it and I think I learned a lot.

One of the things I like about this conference is the sense of community it breeds between the distance education students and the academy students. There are teens attending from all over the world.

Another nice thing was how motivating it was. After four days of speakers I felt ready to take on the world. And this is especially useful as I’m starting high school. Things can be pretty overwhelming.

In conclusion, being home schooled doesn't limit your growth opportunities, it just changes them, and I think it changes them for the better.
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Friday, October 10, 2014

Please remember to send in a post for the next Carnival of Homeschooling

Please remember to send in a post about homeschooling for the next Carnival of Homeschooling.  The next carnival will be held at The HSBA Post.


This will be the 459th edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling.

Go here for the instructions on sending in a submission.

As always, entries to the Carnival of Homeschooling are due Monday evening at 6:00 PM Pacific Standard Time.

I have a reminder mailing list. If you would like email reminders, please tell me. 

Carnival of Homeschooling

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

This week's Carnival of Homeschooling is up - The Wonder of It All Edition

Mama Squirrel is hosting this week's Carnival of Homeschooling at Dewey's Treehouse.

She starts the carnival with:

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Welcome to the 458th Carnival of Homeschooling!
"Now personal delight, joy in living, is a chief object of education; Socrates conceived that knowledge is for pleasure, in the sense, not that knowledge is one source, but is the source of pleasure."--Charlotte Mason, Philosophy of Education, p. 302
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Enjoy!

Carnival of Homeschooling

Monday, October 06, 2014

A sign of things to come

When Janine and I first started blogging, nine years ago, it seemed that a lot of the other homeschool bloggers were in a similar place in life.  Over the years a number of our favorite bloggers stopped blogging, or at least stopped blogging about homeschooling their children, as their children grew up and moved out.

We got a peak of this two years ago when our oldest enrolled in the local junior colleges.  But our homeschooling activity took a huge drop this year.  Our oldest daughter left in April to serve a mission for our church.  Then about six weeks ago our second daughter left home to attend a university hundreds of miles from us.

This year we have gone from having all four children around to only having two. Our 14-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son still keep us busy.

But this week we are down to one child.  Our youngest daughter has gone off to a homeschool youth conference.  She'll be back Friday, but the house sure is empty.

In general I think to be a successful parent means my children will be competent enough to move out and live on their own.  We want them to be successful, but we will miss them.

And at some point down the road we too will stop homeschooling.

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Please remember to send in a post for the next Carnival of Homeschooling

Please remember to send in a post about homeschooling for the next Carnival of Homeschooling.  The next carnival will be held at Dewey's Treehouse.

This will be the 458th edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling.

Go here for the instructions on sending in a submission.

As always, entries to the Carnival of Homeschooling are due Monday evening at 6:00 PM Pacific Standard Time.

I have a reminder mailing list. If you would like email reminders, please tell me. 

Carnival of Homeschooling

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

This week's Carnival of Homeschooling is up

This week's Carnival of Homeschooling is up at Notes From A Homeschooled Mom.

The carnival starts with:

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Welcome to the 457th Edition of the Carnival of homeschooling! The theme this week is homeschool freedoms. For me, homeschooling was all about freedom, but probably not in the way you think. I will let the HSLDA to their job as they see it, and I will let the lobbyers lobby. I am most concerned about freedoms on a much smaller and individual scale, to raise and educate my kids in the way I thought best. 

 This is important to me because as a homeschooler, I still see a lot of group thinking. I don't really see a point in having the legal right to homeschool, only to check with everyone and their mother before deciding on a curriculum, event, or even a political stance. Homeschooling is an individual endeavor, and I believe that while input and opinions are nice, they are just that. We have to remember that as parents, WE ARE IN CHARGE. So during my homeschool years I was very careful to make sure I never answered to state guidelines, the school board, the principal, the teacher, homeschool organizations, homeschool groups, my parents, relatives, or even friends. I was able to give my children the attention they need as they needed it, and to educate them according to their learning styles and gifting. It has truly been a freeing experience.
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Enjoy!


Carnival of Homeschooling

Monday, September 29, 2014

California homeschoolers - remember to file your R4 form

An easy option for California homeschoolers is to form a private school.  All the students in the private school can come from your family.  As a private school the State of California gives you a lot of freedom.  Part of the process of being a private school is each year you have to fill out what is known as the R4 form.  It is supposed to be filed between October 1 and October 15.

We take advantage of this option and each year Janine files the form.  I've forgotten who is the school principal of Cate Academy.  I think I was the principal at one point.  She may even rotate the position every couple years.

I have heard of California homeschoolers who have forgotten to file, but I've not heard of anyone getting into trouble in the last test years over forgetting to file.  Even with this history, I think it is best to try to follow the law.

So if you are using the private school option to homeschool in California, remember to file the R4 form.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Please remember to send in a post for the next Carnival of Homeschooling

Please remember to send in a post about homeschooling for the next Carnival of Homeschooling, which will be held at Notes from a Homeschooled Mom.

This will be the 457th edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling.

Go here for the instructions on sending in a submission.

As always, entries to the Carnival of Homeschooling are due Monday evening at 6:00 PM Pacific Standard Time.

I have a reminder mailing list. If you would like email reminders, please tell me. 

Carnival of Homeschooling

Thursday, September 25, 2014

This week's Carnival of Homeschooling is up - The "Ozymandias" edition

C T is hosting this week's Carnival of Homeschooling at Petticoat Government.

She starts the carnival with

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Welcome to the 456th Carnival of Homeschooling! This carnival's theme is "Ozymandias."


Doesn't it just make you happy to say the name "Ozymandias"? My voice becomes sonorous and commanding, and I envision stark desert scenes, which I love, having mostly grown up in the American Southwest.

Written in the early 1800s, the sonnet "Ozymandias" by Percy Bysshe Shelley deals with many themes in its short 14 lines. Among them are travel and history, the effects of time and the natural world, artistic creation, hubris, recording one's deeds, and the collapse of human power.
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Enjoy!

Carnival of Homeschooling

Monday, September 22, 2014

My daughter's essay on: Why Homeschooling is a Viable Educational Option

My daughter wrote the following essay for her college writing class:


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When you hear homeschooling, what do you think? Some people think about kids that eschew technology, stay inside, and hide from the rest of the world. Other people think about academic geniuses who are too gifted for a typical education. The real answer is neither of those. Homeschooling is an effective education option where the parents are diligent educators and the children take responsibility for their education. Yet, homeschooling is often overlooked because of the many misconceptions and a lack of knowledge about how it can function well. I will refute several common misunderstandings about homeschooling and present some of the benefits.

There are many misconceptions about homeschooling such as homeschoolers are not socialized, can’t get into college, and can’t survive in the “real world.” Having been homeschooled myself, I think I have enough firsthand experience to realistically address these assumptions.

 The one criticism I hear most frequently is that homeschoolers are completely inept around their peers because they do not have any social opportunities. True, we don’t spend eight hours a day sitting in a room with our peers, it doesn’t mean we don’t get to experience social situations. Personally, I don’t think sitting in a room with someone for eight hours really counts as a social opportunity. Second, I would argue that homeschooling means we get to choose our social situations, which is much more reminiscent of real life. There are many extracurricular activities open to homeschoolers in their community or through homeschooling groups. I had the opportunity to participate in sports, music, choirs, and countless extracurricular activities with kids my age. Most homeschoolers have many opportunities to make friends with many different types of people. Homeschooling, when well rounded, won’t limit social development.

Another common stereotype is that homeschoolers can’t get into or do well in college. Without a high school transcript it does make things trickier, but it’s not impossible. Each school has slightly different conditions, but an increasing number are quite open to homeschoolers. Responses from a recent survey stated the following:

“In addition to Harvard, prominent schools like Yale (CT), Princeton (NJ), Texas A&M, Brown University (RI), the Carnegie Mellon Institute (PA), the Universities of Arizona, Maryland, Virginia, Hawaii and many others all have flexible transcript criteria, accept parental evaluations, and do not require any accreditation or a General Equivalency Diploma (GED). At Kansas State University and others like Lipscomb University and Middlebury College (VT), transcripts are optional.” 1

Some states’ schools have more picky criteria, but normally this can be remedied by taking placement tests or submitting community college transcripts. With any college application process, important factors are always ACT and SAT scores, extracurricular activities, and in the place of high school GPA, a community college transcript or placement tests. These are all equivalents to opportunities students have in public school, so by no means will homeschooling limit a student’s college options if they strive for a well-rounded education.

Additionally, once they reach college, homeschoolers are proving that they can handle the coursework. According to an article analyzing a recent study in U.S. News Education, “Students coming from a home school graduated college at a higher rate than their peers-—66.7 percent compared to 57.5 percent—and earned higher grade point averages along the way.” 2

Lastly it is often thought that homeschoolers can’t survive in the “real world.” What constitutes the “real world”? First, it is true that homeschoolers do spend a lot more time at home or in controlled situations, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. In a lot of ways homeschooling prepares students better than the typical classroom because it gives them more of an opportunity to see life outside of the classroom. In a functional homeschooling situation, the homeschooler can observe competent adults and learn life lessons from them. There are so many things that are important about how the world works that can only be learned by watching or doing, not through passive learning in a classroom. I’ve learned real life skills such as cooking, managing finances, working a job, and dealing with difficult situations thanks to my homeschool lifestyle. Contrary to popular belief homeschoolers, can deal with the world because they are properly prepared by their family.

In addition, there are many overlooked, beneficial aspects of homeschooling. Homeschooling can be a very positive education experience. It provides an opportunity for building closer family relationships, learning life management skills, and personalizing education.

First, homeschooling helps improve and maintain closer family relationships. Let’s face it, school takes up a lot of time. In between classes from eight to three, extracurricular activities, and homework, it’s a wonder that family dinner is ever squeezed in. I’m not saying that homeschooling isn’t busy, but there are more opportunities to spend time with family. For instance, you can do homework and classes around one another. I did homework with my sisters. My mom had to supervise the education of four kids in very different grades and learning positions. As a result of this she would delegate sometimes. I remember my older sister going helping me with math fact sheets when I was in grade school. My younger sister and I helped our little brother learn to read. Homeschooling didn’t just mean that my parents were deeply involved in our education; it meant that we were all involved in helping each other learn. We were excited about learning. My family spent a lot of time around each other a lot. I am really close to my siblings. I would not trade my family relationships for the world. If anything, to me, being homeschooled is worth it just for that reason alone.

Second, homeschooling teaches life management skills. With kids in different grades, the parents have to let the children take a certain degree of responsibility for their education. The older I got, the more responsibility I had for my education. My mom let me plan my own schedule and take initiative for which subjects I wanted to study. She trusted me to make good decisions and to stay focused. Additionally, because of this flexibility there were more opportunities for employment during high school. Since I wasn’t tied to my schedule, it was easier to adjust for exceptions or other opportunities.

I was able to work throughout my high school career. I worked as a nanny ($8-10 per hour) or a clerk ($9 per hour) most weekday mornings. These were great opportunities for learning and money making. I would not have had the chance to save nearly as much money for college without such a flexible schedule. I learned valuable time management skills because I was getting an education, involved in extracurricular activities, and working all at the same time. Because of this unique opportunity, I have not had the common freshman short coming of lacking self-control. I can get my homework done, stay focused, and not waste time because I have been responsible for my time management for years.

Third, homeschooling provides an option to personalize education. Usually in public schools, the teacher either has to adjust the course material to the lowest common denominator in the class and let the other students get bored or teach to the quicker learning students and let others fall behind. It’s definitely a tricky balancing act I don’t envy. With homeschooling, you can take it at your pace. Sometimes, that means flying through course work quickly. Other times it means adjusting your schedule and really taking time to master the material. Homeschooling provides a way to accommodate for quirks and find a learning method that works best.

In my case, it was about adjusting for me being slightly dyslexic and a very late reader. My mom was able to make the best educational choice for me by utilizing books on tapes while slowly covering phonics- many times. Had I been stuck in a classroom with thirty other children it is unlikely that I would have gotten the patience I needed. It’s much more likely that I would have been put into a remedial class and come to view myself as less able to learn. Because I was homeschooled, I wasn’t comparing myself to thirty other kids who could read better than I could. I wasn’t even aware of how delayed my reading was until years after I had overcome it. I didn’t lose my love of learning or become discouraged because I had time to bloom in my own season.

Homeschooling is a worthwhile education option that can provide a quality education if well implemented. The benefits of strong family relationships, time management skills, and an individualized education enabled major educational and social growth in my life. As more people become aware of the advantages of homeschooling it will gradually become an accepted educational decision.

Works cite

1. Klicka, Christopher J. “Homeschooled Students Excel in College”. Home School Legal Defense Association. September 20, 2006. Web. Np. September 17, 2014.

2. Sheehy, Kelsey. “Home-Schooled Teens Ripe for College”. U.S. News Education. Np. June 1, 2012, Web. September 17, 2014