Showing posts sorted by relevance for query homeschooling. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query homeschooling. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query homeschooling. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query homeschooling. Sort by date Show all posts

Why I Choose to Homeschool: Homeschooling with Online Classes through Connections Academy (INCA)

Why Homeschool? Should You Homeschool? 

Have you been considering homeschooling? Should you homeschool? Is homeschooling bad or good? Why homeschool? Have you considered free online public school? It's completely free and totally easy! We struggled with the decision whether or not to homeschool. Then, I saw a commercial on television for Connections Academy, so we did that for awhile and then we used what we learned to do homeschool on our own. Enjoy!


Why homeschool How to free homeschooling online
With Online Homeschool, there is plenty of time for field trips and extracurricular learning.
We visited an orchard and picked beautiful blue plums off the tree.

Why did I choose to homeschool?  

Why homeschool? There are so many things about public brick and mortar school I detest and dread. I hated the mean-spirited shaming I witnessed from one avid church-goer when my son mentioned he didn't really go/like to go church. It's true, he went sometimes, but I left him home with Daddy a lot (Daddy retired from church). This strikes me as ironic, because stereotypically many people believe "church people" or "religious extremists" homeschool. 

I go to church when the whim strikes me. I'm a bleeding heart, stuck somewhere between hippies and devout Christians. I guess, the remark hurt my feelings too.


I hated the complaints from my daughter of how much she hated recess. "There is nothing to do, no one to play with, and the teachers won't let me sit on the blacktop" Ah... memories. In early elementary, I walked around the edge of the blacktop waiting for the teacher to blow the whistle.


I hated picking my son up nearly every other day after lunch, because he had something with milk or dairy in it. I even had a note from the doctor, apparently, state law requires milk must be placed on EVERY child's tray! I sent in alternative beverages, but "Mommy, I just took a little sip of chocolate milk!" 


He'd have an asthmatic reaction, go to the nurse for his inhaler, and then... And then... poor nurse. Let's just say, it came out both ends.


Number one, the school bus! I hated leaving the safety of my kids to another person- someone I didn't know, no seatbelts on the bus, bullies on the bus, other dangerous drivers, etc. Just pulling into our neighborhood was a deathtrap. Waiting for the bus with the middle schoolers outside was too traumatic for Mommy. Well, it didn't seem right to me; my kids were just newly 5 when they started school.


They begged to ride the bus. I let my son ride a few times. The neighbor child had some problems. He was sort of a bully, but he was also bullied by the older kids. The nice, old man bus driver had him sit up front with my little one. My son came home with lots of amazing new life lessons. 


Then, the kid started causing trouble. The bus driver would pull over and wait it out. So, the bus was often late. No, thank you, we started driving the kids to school permanently once my daughter hit all-day kindergarten. She's a handful. I can't imagine she'd stay in her seat without a seatbelt. I didn't think the sweet, old man needed the added stress. 


I'd pick the kids up from school, have an after-school snack, try to squeeze in a little outdoor playtime, then it was time to make supper, get baths, do homework, and go to bed. 


Impossible.

I hated the homework! We'd be up late finishing projects for first and second grade! 

My son is gifted. We looked forward to a special program at the school, but it didn't start until third grade. In the meantime, he was placed in a class with high ability learners. Even so, the teacher felt there were problems. He understood concepts in ways other second graders couldn't- which led to arguments and frustrations. Since, we were planning to move, the teacher wondered if online school might work for him. This way, he could work at his own pace. I wasn't sold on the idea until...


The second lockdown at school. That's right, second. I shrugged off the first one. The second one was for the same reason, a bank robber near the school grounds and shots fired. I tried to get in the car line to pick up the kids, but the road was blocked by police cars. I called  a friend, Angie, she arrived a few minutes prior to me. She was told to get out of her car and head to them gym for safety. 


Yep, I was a mess.  


BUT... I can't homeschool. I don't have the patience. I'm not disciplined enough. My kids need socialization. I don't want other people to think we're freaks. 


WHATEVER.


It's just not like that anymore. I CAN (of course I can). We actually had LESS busy bookwork than regular school. The kids had online live lessons with their teachers and classmates. The teachers checked in regularly with emails and phone calls. As a learning coach, I was a big part of my kids academic experience, but not the teacher. So, I didn't have to worry about making major mistakes.



Free School Online Public Elementary Homeschooling
Indiana Connections Academy, Free School Online!

We homeschooled through INCA or Indiana Connections Academy. The supplies are completely free! This includes all textbooks, science supplies, art supplies, and companion DVD's and CDRom's for the online classes.

They took required state standardized tests in an university classroom. There are school sponsored field trips and local group gatherings. We met up with a local group of homeschoolers outside of INCA for recreation or SOCIALIZATION.


Yep, next to giving birth... homeschooling is the best idea I've ever had. I have more time to spend with my kids, hone my novel writing skills, and work as a freelancer.  


In case you're wondering, my kids were offered the opportunity to attend regular school year. They both declined with a resounding, "No way!"


Now, that we are experienced homeschoolers, we go it alone! I create online lessons and share them here on the blog. The kids do math with Kahn Academy, and we supplement with Brainpop. We love homeschooling. 

We get up when we want, go to bed when we want, study what we want, and have the freedom to supplement with field trips whenever we want. We are members of several clubs for homeschoolers and meet up with our friends at least once per week.


Recommended Reading:


Homeschooling 101: A Guide to Getting Started.*

The Ultimate Book of Homeschooling Ideas*

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Homeschooling During the Coronavirus?

School Closure Home Learning


Have you unexpectedly been tossed into the throes of homeschooling since the Corona virus pandemic? If you've suddenly had to to become the school teacher, cafeteria lady, and janitor during these school closures, you're well aware that home learning is more difficult than it looks. So, how do you do homeschooling during the coronavirus pandemic? As seasoned homeschoolers, we're here to help. Below is a list of our favorite homeschool resources and some articles specifically addressing these troubled times and how to help your kids cope. What a life lesson this is, right?

This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

For more on our personal journey scroll to the end.


Homeschooling During the Coronavirus?



Worried how school closure and remote learning will affect your child? Love them, support them, build them up, and they'll be fine. Think homeschoolers are weird? Maybe, depends on your perspective, but we're more normal than you think. We only had 7 months of brick and mortar school, but our previously homeschooled kids made the best of their first year of brick and mortar school. They miss school so much. When this is all over your kids will look forward to going to school too! I've added a photo album for our long time readers and fans. Enjoy!


homeschool success stories
I love this post! We have a similar experience.
Keep scrolling to see our homeschoolers' success in public school!

Tips for Home Learning and Coping during School Closures and Covid19 




Coronavirus Memes Covid18 Memes Apocalypse
These are scary times, so here's a Coronavirus meme to lighten the mood.

Educational Resources for Homeschooling during the Coronavirus

  • Many of our older homeschool resources that target elementary students are listed in the homeschool tab on this site: Homeschool Learning Lessons for Elementary Age You can also do a search on our site for specific types of lessons like, grammar, math, and science.

  • BrainPop has the most fun videos; I love them as much as my kids do. BrainPopJr. is great for the younger set. They are a paid service, but offer a free movie of the week and other free lessons.


  • Mobymax has free options for remote learning and homeschoolers. The great thing about this website is they find and fix learning gaps. Kids can take assessments to see where they fall and then do educational activities based on their grade level in different subjects. It's a great way to see if your child has been falling through the cracks in public school.



  • Khan Academy is not for the faint of heart. If you're all in to the homeschooling thing, give it a try. We used it for several years. It's a free learning resource originally targeted toward middle schoolers and high schoolers, but now offers lessons for elementary too. It feels a lot more like "real school" than some of the other online options and keeps track of your progress and grade level.

  • Why not give this difficult time a fun spin? Our Summer Camp Handbook is edutainment at its best! Enjoy science experiments, PE Activities, and more disguised as fun! 

  • We also love CrashCourse with John and Hank Green. (Yes, that John Green!) You'll even find some of their lessons on Khan Academy. These are super fun, especially for older students.

Best Homeschool Blogs











First day of public school 2019.

We hope these resources help ease your mind and put you on the right track for remote home learning during the Coronavirus pandemic situation. Remember, homeschooling isn't easy and not all parents nor all kids are cut out for it. 



Bowling allows for socialization and physical activity. During the quarantine,
bowl with your game console or set up milk jugs to knock down with a basketball.

Do the best you can. Don't overdo it! If you take it too seriously, your kids won't enjoy it and neither will you. Make learning fun, make it light, and focus on those skills that are best learned at home: writing letters, sending emails, tying shoes, telling time, how to follow a recipe, chores (consider doing laundry a PE activity,) working on cars, putting together puzzles, dice games, Minecraft Uno or any Uno game, and anything that brings your family closer together.



Dress up day.

Note:
This past year, my kids decided to go back to public school. My 15 year-old was placed as a high learning junior taking all senior and college level courses, my 13 year-old is a well-rounded, straight A, school loving eighth grader. 

In previous years, we spent a maximum of 2 hours a day on book learning. The rest  of our day was focused on healthy outdoor activities, field trips to museums, special events at the library, and a local homeschool group for "socialization." Turns out, it was more than enough. 

Take it easy, don't stress out, and remember that YOU CAN DO IT!









Made the grade, first semester honor roll.


Never played football in his life. Made the team!


Loving the school band.

My son was looking forward to performing in the high school play, finishing building a home for Habitat for Humanity, trying out different sports and clubs, and now, that will have to wait until next year. My daughter was on an academic team, loving art club, playing in the school band, and appreciating school for its many wonderful opportunities. I took great pride and joy watching them try new things. My heart aches for their loss and for the loss of those long time public school seniors who are missing out on their last school dance, possibly graduation, and all the joys of being a high school senior. If nothing else, this experience will teach us not to take life for granted. 

Never forget, no matter how stressful it gets, getting to stay home with your kids is a gift.

Good Luck, go hug your kids!



Free Online Homeschool Curriculum Recommendations

Curriculum Recommendations for Online Homeschooling


Whether you're new to homeschooling or you've been doing it for years, you're probably on the hunt for new, exciting, and engaging curriculum ideas. We get bored with the daily grind and change it up from year to year or even season to season. Here's a list of mostly free online homeschool curriculum recommendations that we've used and enjoyed. We've tried MANY other options, but these are our favorites.

This post contains affiliate links.

Free Online Homeschool Curriculum Recommendations
Free Online Homeschool Curriculum Recommendations.


Brainpop Jr. is my favorite program for younger elementary and preschool. The videos are fun to watch, and the kids always looked forward to using Brainpop Jr. for Homeschooling

Brainpop has a an online homeschool for middle school and high school, but we often found topics we wanted only on Brainpop Jr. The upper grade version is nice for supplementing classroom curriculum. If you use the paid version, you have access to more functions and all lessons.

MobyMax is a great online homeschool app to find out where your kids are in their homeschool learning experience. They can take placement tests in all subjects and then the program finds learning gaps and helps kids focus and build on the areas where they may be struggling. The content isn't as fun and engaging as Brainpop. It is a more definitive tool for classroom use, helping teachers to keep all students on track. MobyMax can be used as a supplement or as full homeschool curriculum up to eighth grade.

Khan Academy is (or should be) a household name for homeschoolers. In the beginning, Khan Academy targeted older students and even offered SAT prep. Now, they also offer more curriculum for elementary school. It keeps track of their lessons and lets you know when students are struggling or when they are ready to move to the next level.

The kids prefer Khan Academy math to any other online homeschool math program, but homeschool mom always liked to supplement with free Brainpop math videos to make sure the kids understood the talking points. Khan Academy can get monotonous for day to day homeschooling. Sal does a great job, but it can get a little boring after awhile. We also supplement our Khan Academy math with Life of Fred textbooks. These books are easy to read and tell a fun story while sneaking in practical math lessons.

Now, there are new instructors and new curriculum on KA. My daughter enjoys studying high school and college level psychology and art history through Khan Academy.

My son does well with virtual homeschool. So, for online high school homeschooling, we are sticking with Connections Academy. In Indiana, it is a free online public school. Connections Academy offers group gatherings and field trips. He gets through the assignments quickly (though, I'm told many homeschoolers struggle to get their lessons done on time) so we supplement with weekly enrichment including museum homeschool programs and educational YouTube videos like John and Hank Green's Crash Course in American History.

Sometimes, when he's struggling on a particular topic, (for high school all text books are online) we find a compatible Life of Fred homeschooling book to fll in any gaps. It's nice to have a good, old book that you can hold in your hand and flip through the pages. He enjoys reading them outside while enjoying his hammock.

Sure, Connections Academy has teachers and attendance to keep, but when it's all done, he'll have official transcripts for college. 

I prefer Connections High School to their Elementary program. The elementary program seemed a little too intense. Especially, when you want the freedom of homeschooling. They're still working out the bugs and it gets better every year, in the past, we had to have weekly check ups with the elementary teachers. For high school, signing in and doing your work suffices. As it should...

In 2017, this homeschool mom broke her leg. That made planning homeschool curriculum and doing enrichment activities difficult. So, my daughter was pretty much on her own. She did great with MobyMax (so I could keep up with her learning) and supplementing with YouTube videos of her choosing. But, homeschool mom felt like maybe she was failing her daughter by not being as involved. So, this fall, we are trying something new! Acellus. I stumbled upon Acellus last year when I was laid up in bed. Many other homeschoolers told me it was expensive, but I was sure I found a free or nearly free version. 

But whenever, I looked it up, I found the paid online homeschool version, which seems to be set up like Connections academy, but with a private school fee. That's not for us! I gave up for a while, and recently tried again. It seems they also have a homeschool app which is found on a separate website, PowerHomeschool. The homeschool app differs from the online homeschool version, because the videos are canned - meaning they are pre-recorded 

That's just what we wanted! We like working at our own pace. These videos are similar to videos my daughter finds on YouTube, but these organized by grade level. We'll choose math, science, language arts, foreign language, and music this year. At the time of this posting, the app is $9.99 per month, basically the same as the paid homeschool version of Brainpop. We're looking forward to starting her in the homeschool middle school program this fall. 

The PowerHomemschool website describe the homeschool curriculum like this: "Students proceed through the course in a step-by-step fashion watching a video lesson and then completing assessment problems. Students receive reviews and unit, mid-term, and final exams as they proceed through the course. Learning gaps are assessed and filled as students move through the course concept by concept."

Seems like a fair option to give it a test drive before you jump into their online school curriculum. 

We'll also supplement with Life of Fred fractions and beginning algebra. One thing I've missed the last few years, is doing hands-on science experiments. After previewing the Acellus app's science curriculum, I was excited to try it. With a Google search for online homeschool curriculum, the app is hard to find. They have moved it to a new website with a different name. Find it here: PowerHomeschool

Bottom line, don't break the bank to homeschool. We have SO many books, every year, I'd go out and buy new books. We never got through most of them. Find a free online homeschool curriculum, that works for you and stick with it. Then, supplement with fun enrichment activities and family outings.

We also involve the kids in day to day household concerns. We talk about finances, debt, and even recently including them in every step of the home buying process. That included going to a lender, saving for a down payment, creative ways to find extra money like garage sales, selling off items no longer needed, the highs and lows of Craigslist and eBay, getting a water and septic test at the state level, watching our credit scores, budgeting for groceries, finding ways to cut costs to save for the new house, and even going to a county courthouse to pick up documents needed to close. So many lessons here. At the courthouse, we all had to go through the security, empty our pockets, etc. The next steps, include renovating the new house. 

Family struggles and life lessons are often kept from kids. In my opinion, this tends to give the kids an unrealistic view of what it is like to be a grown up. They can't wait to get out of the house and start their own life, but reality gets in the way of their happiness. Keeping kids life lessons and keeping them in the know, helps them better prepare for the future. Isn't that what homeschooling is all about?

So, what do you think of this list of free online homeschool curriculum recommendations? Do you have something you really love? Tell us about it in the comments or find Kids Creative Chaos on Instagram and chat with us there!


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Free Online Homeschool Curriculum Recommendations


How to Make Homeschooling More Fun

Tips for Fun Ways to Homeschool Every Day


Has your homeschool become monotonous? When we homeschool everyday, it can become boring and repetitive. Find out how to make homeschooling more fun with this round up of tips from homeschool educators!


This post contains affiliate links.



How to Make Homeschooling More Fun


Here are some other homeschool websites that have come up with cool ways to make homeschooling more fun.

6 Ways to Make Homeschooling More Fun by True Aim.

5 Secrets to Add Fun to  Homeschool Routine by Rock Your Homeschool.

Homeschool Do Over by Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

Top 10 Fun Homeschool Ideas by Homeschooling-Ideas.

Tips to Help Kids Have Fun in Homeschool by Natural Beach Living.

Liven Up Your Homeschool by She Knows.

How to Make Your Homeschool More Fun by Homeschool Hideout.

Make Homeschool Fun by Abeka.


So, how do you make your homeschool days fun? Share with us in the comments and then hop over to Pinterest to follow our homeschool boards.



Recommended:

Fun Homeschool Curriculum Ideas

Homeschool Project Ideas from Kids Creative Chaos



Homeschooling Advice from Becky Hunt

Homeschooling Advice 


This guest post on homeschooling advice is by Becky Hunt from Experienced Mommy. Becky has homeschooled four kids (including one with special needs) for the past 20 years. Listen up!
This post contains affiliate links.
https://jumpermedia.co/story-highlights-how-to-get-more-ig-story-views-12-tips-ideas-to-make-better-stories-now-that-they-last-longer/

In case no one ever told you, homeschooling comes with making a lot of decisions.

Some moms are super-fast decision makers. They do a little research. They pick a book or a curriculum, or a study group, they buy stuff and BANG they are done.

No regret, no second guessing, no wringing the hands, no worry that they are going to ruin their kid forever.

Except I don’t actually know any of those moms.

I’m not saying every homeschooling mom friend of mine is a basket case, but let’s just say the vast majority of moms, especially those just getting started, do way too much stressing out.

My Story
I have a special needs daughter, Anna, who is 17 but operates at more of a one-and-a-half-year-old level. She is a category all her own and will always keep the nest full.

But I also have two boys and a girl, all three of which I homeschooled from kindergarten through 12th grade. My oldest son and daughter graduated from Purdue and my younger son is still studying there.

I assembled my own curriculum, didn’t do too much in the way of co-ops or groups, changed things up for each child, and generally made my own way.

The kids all got good scholarships, test scores, etc. and are doing just fine.

But it doesn’t matter how I did it.

The choices you end up making are a lot less important than the process you use to make them. And the key thing about the process is learning to RELAX!

The kids are going to be fine. You aren’t going to sabotage their futures and lives and jobs by choosing A instead of B or X instead of Y.

And that brings me to the first thing you need to relax about:

Relax About Curriculum
Yeah, you have to cover the three R’s, Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic, and yes, you need to work in whatever your state requires especially in high school.

But other than that, don’t sweat it!

Pick something that looks good, that fits with your direction and world view, and relax.

There is no magic prescription for the perfect education. How many expert educators would agree on a curriculum? Um, none.

Education is a long, long term process where we are exposing our kids to principles, ideas, facts and the world.

It is no simplification to say that all we are really trying to do is teach our kids to think. We are teaching them a process for learning.

That’s why the material itself isn’t that crucial. We are basically saying “here are some books and videos and projects: we are going to interact with this pile of stuff.”

We are going to:


  • Figure out what the books want us to do
  • Understand what the benefit of the content is
  • Learn how to get the important parts out of it
  • Learn how to skip over the stuff we don’t care about

And each time we go through a course or topic, our minds get better at learning, and that’s the whole point.

Which is also why the coverage isn’t the most important thing.

Relax About Coverage
Lots of text books have 50 chapters and I know so many moms who are stressed every week because their kid didn’t make through the 1.4 chapters necessary to get done by the end of the year.

But if education is about the process of learning, it just doesn’t matter whether you cover all 50 chapters.

What difference does it make if you plow through 10 extra chapters but the kid only remembers 5% of it and everybody is at each other’s throats the whole time?

If you are obsessed over getting a certain score on a standardized test, and the test has stuff on it your kid has never seen before, you have to have a plan for that. But you still relax and chill and be strategic at the same time.

Relax About Milestones
My kids didn’t start writing papers until they were in 5th or 6th grade. Turns out that was perfectly fine. It gave them a chance to have hundreds of really great books read out loud and discussed with them.

Kids don’t have know the alphabet, read, write or do algebra by a certain age. Relax. It will be fine. They will get it when they need to get it.

Not only will they eventually get it, they’ll learn better when they are ready for it.

Relax About the End Results
I wanted it all. I wanted my kids to excel academically, be well rounded individuals and get great jobs. But most importantly I wanted them to become men and women of character who love God and are kind, honest and unselfish.

Credentials flow from character.

And kids learn character from how you behave not from what you say.

So how do you relax about a big list of goals and dreams you have for your kids?

Well that’s a tough one, but you just have to realize that the end results will come from a steady, consistent relationship that you have with your children over a period of years.

You will sit with them, love them, fight and make up with them, learn with them, learn how to learn with them and persevere when you are tired and want to ship them off to school.

And it will all work out. The kids will be fine.

Just relax. - Becky Hunt - Learn more about Becky.

Recommended:
Homeschool Math Activities from Kids Creative Chaos


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Homeschooling Advice