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5 Extracurricular Activities for a Holistic Education

5 Extracurricular Activities to Give Your Child a Holistic Education


Kids can only learn so much from traditional education, which is why it is vital that they also get involved in a host of extracurricular activities. These recreational pastimes for children aid their development and help them discover their passions. Extra curricular activities also can help kids to make friends and find positive role models. You want your child to become a well-rounded adult with much to contribute to society. You can help give kids a kickstart by sparking a passion for any one or more of these extracurricular activities that help give your child a holistic education.


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5 Extracurricular Activities to Give Your Child a Holistic Education



1) Music


Studying music has shown to improve test scores and help students do better in school. Music also can provide kids with a new way to express themselves. Additionally, the study of music helps kids to concentrate and can give them a sense of accomplishment as they learn to achieve their goals.


Get Videos on Folk Musicians and FREE Lesson Plans

 

There are many different instruments with which kids can start. One popular option is the drums. If you think this might be a good fit for your child, then you can learn more here.


 

2) Sports


Sports are an excellent outlet for getting exercise and building teamwork skills. Many kids even find themselves meeting some of their best friends through sports.

 

With so many different sports to choose from, your child will find something that works for them. If your kid has a hard time staying active, then participating in sports may provide the perfect fun way to get regular physical activity.



3) Art


Art is a fantastic way for children to express themselves and let their creative sides run wild. Many kids get a great sense of accomplishment when they create a beautiful piece of art.

 

There are many ways to get your child involved with art. While you can have your child take lessons, you could also involve them in crafts at home. The process of making things is essential to childhood development, no matter how you go about it.



4) Drama


Participating in performing arts can help kids to boost confidence. Drama also increases empathy because it requires your child to walk around in someone else’s shoes. Learning to play a character can help kids to see things from a different perspective and be more understanding.


Find our Plays & Skits at TeachersPayTeachers

 

Drama can help kids build trust and learn to rely on each other. When they are on stage, they need to trust that their scene partner will always have their back if they forget a line or something goes wrong. Even if your child never becomes a star, the performing arts can significantly change their life.



5) Writing


Writing is a pastime that has many professional advantages. One of the most sought-after skills in the professional world is strong writing. Starting young can help your child to succeed in their career.


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Writing can help children to process their thoughts and express themselves. It also may assist kids in their overall communication skills. Encourage your child to write short stories, poems, or to keep a journal.



The Bottom Line


Childhood is the perfect time for people to explore a plethora of different activities to find the things that they enjoy. Hopefully, these suggestions will give you some ideas about what your children might like to do in their free time. It's great to open their minds to all sorts of possibilities. Something may spark a career choice.


However, it is essential not to force your child to do anything that does not interest them. While encouragement is helpful, pressure can be counterproductive and may cause resentment. You need to strike a careful balance. Remember that your kids are just kids, and they may not become the next Olympic athlete or musical prodigy, and that is okay, just let them enjoy their extra curricular activities. 



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Preparing Teens for Life after High School

How Your Teen Can Prepare for Post-High School



Your teen has spent the majority of their childhood getting an education. Deciding what they're going to do post-high school is often a challenge. However, to ensure that the senior year is less daunting than they expect and that they're ready for whatever the world throws at them, here are some of basic ways to prepare teens for things to come.

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preparing for future life roles after high school teens career choices


Look at College Options
Around 67% of high school graduates enrolled in college in 2017, and so it's extremely likely that your teen is looking at college as a viable future option. While this is an important stepping stone toward their careers, it's vital that they spend time considering the right college options. 


To do this, you should consider looking at Cornell University GPA requirements on CampusReel, among others, as this will help your teen find a college where their application is likely to be accepted. You should also take them to open days and apply for brochures that can help your teen find out what each college can offer them.

Take AP or Honors Classes
If your teen wants to stretch themselves academically and be in a good position for the level and type of learning that college offers, consider enrolling them in AP and Honors classes. Not only will these types of classes assimilate the types of projects that they'll commit to at college, but they can also help boost their qualifications and grades so that they can apply for higher ranking colleges and job positions in the future.

Visit Their School’s Career Team
One of the benefits of establishing your teen’s plan for the future while they're still at high school is they will have access to their school’s career team, who can help them plot their goals and long-term dreams. Not only can the team discuss a number of careers with your teen, but they'll also be able to give high school students advice for their college applications and help them find future work experience within the job sector holds their interest. Our local college career center offers things like: building trades, welding, nursing, childcare, broadcasting, and graphic design.

Study online to get a certificate in Early Childhood Education.

Get a Part-Time Job
Is your teen lacking in real-world experience? If you're concerned about how your teen will cope with their sudden entry into the real world, you should consider encouraging them to take on a part-time job. Not only will this force them to improve their time management skills by having to balance this job with their studies, but it will also allow them to boost many of the necessary skills for adulthood, such as independence and communication. It also allows them to experience working for and learning to follow the rules of other adults. So, it can change their attitude toward following your intstructions too.

Study for Exams

However, the most important thing your teen should do before they leave high school is study for exams, which gets them in a good position for their future, whether they want to go to college or go straight into the world of work. To help teenagers achieve their full potential, there are many resources online that can help teens study and excel at their end of high school tests. CLEP tests are great tests for college.


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Black History Homeschool Homework Ideas

Homeschooler Homework Ideas for Black History Month


What time is it? It's time to learn about black history! These black history homeschool homework ideas will prepare your homeschooler for an oral report on their favorite person in black history. We've organized the famous black Americans by school subject so that you can choose one that fits your interest. With so many famous African American achievers, there's no sense in studying a subject you find boring!



Black History Homeschool Homework Ideas


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12 Black History Homeschool Homework Ideas



Art





Sports



History





Classroom Skits 



Science



Language Arts

Write a bio after researching one of the Black History People in this list.




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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.

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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


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!
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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.

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Homeschooling Advice