Home Education

All posts in the Home Education category

Home Educating and Working Full-Time

Published October 9, 2018 by lynn k scott

I am employed, full-time, outside the home.  I am also a home educator for my daughter. This post is to show working parents you can work (if need be) but still provide a quality education to your child(ren).

Home education, in general, is time consuming and hard work.  In addition to reviewing curriculum, reviewing coursework, grades (if you’re required by your state) and teaching your child.  Throw a full-time job into the mix and it’s downright tiring.

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Yet, I wouldn’t change our educational journey for the world.  It’s time that I get to spend with my daughter.  Granted, she’d rather be watching BTS or whatever music group has caught her attention, but it’s precious to me.

So, how do we make it work?  When she was younger, I would send work with her that could be done independently, while at a sitter’s house.  Now that she’s older, we go over “homework” that she will do while I’m at work.  She also has daily chores and she has to clean whatever mess she makes in the kitchen.

In addition to the basics such as history, English, math and science, Bible, she practices her guitar.  Some nights we dance to YouTube videos, she practices skateboarding or uses the Xbox for physical education.  We read books aloud and discuss them.  Once I, or her father arrives home, she is allowed to get the laptop out and log in to do her Spanish lessons.

A typical Wednesday goes like this:

  • I work
  • She calls me to check in (and clarifies any homework problems)
  • She practices guitar (daily)
  • I leave work early to pick her up for guitar lessons
  • Thirty minutes later we head home to prepare dinner
  • Depending on what dinner is, we may have time to read a chapter or two from our current literature selection
  • She helps prepare dinner and/or sets the table
  • We eat as a family and then we clean up the kitchen
  • Education resumes – time to review the day
  • I look at each assignment.  If there were problems (say with math) they are addressed
  • We cover new assignments
  • Discuss her day

While this may seem like a lot, it’s not too bad.  No two days are the same.  We adjust as the schedule as life plays out.  When I had to have surgery, she brought her books to the hospital and yup, her education continued.  Flexibility is something you have when home educating.

While cooking dinner we discuss the food we are preparing.  Since my daughter has a huge cancer risk (my side of the family is riddled with various forms), knowing what foods offer and how a our bodies process varies nutrients is always forefront in our home.  I am on a special diet, so she learns what different herbs, spices and vegetables have to offer.

Above all, education is more than books.   I will not say it’s easy.  I will not say there are days I want to give up.  There are days my daughter is less than cooperative.  When all is said and done it boils down to learning how to have life skills, learning to communicate effectively and knowing the quality time is irreplaceable.

 

 

Living History – A 9/11 Remembrance

Published September 13, 2018 by lynn k scott

As a native New Yorker, I take September 11th very seriously.  Not only was our country attacked, but my home state was attacked.  My daughter is on the cusp of being a teenager (just a few months from now).  This year, I exposed her to what 9/11 really means.

I did my personal remembrance at work.  I posted my favorite songs, shared stories, said more prayers and felt blessed.  I had friends share their memories of the day.  I printed out pictures for the project I would have my daughter complete for her history lesson.

Out of my five children, she wasn’t born when 9/11 took place.  For her, it was a history lesson.  For me, and many others, it was the day the world stood still as we watched in horror as our country was attacked.

When I got home, we opened the laptop, I had her read the memories of family and my friends.  She saw pictures.  Her mouth was opened and she covered her mouth with her hand.  She was being exposed to what evil looked like.  She was exposed to death and terrorism.  Yet, she was also exposed to heroes.  She was exposed to the faith, kindness, love of strangers and to patriotism.

She saw her mother lose composure.  A tear escaped when we were watching images put to Alan Jackson’s, “Where We You When The World Stopped Turning”.  She saw me, got up, gave me a hug and we watched the rest of the video.  She shed a few tears.  It was emotional.  However, my reality was her history.  I, and others, are living history.  I believe it’s important to impart our knowledge with the the next and future generations.

With a few projects under her belt, we brainstormed how to complete her project.  She cut out paper, wrote bits and pieces of what she took away from her “lesson”.  She arranged, glued and taped her project into existence.  I am proud of her work.  I am honored to share such an important day with her.

I am blessed to be able to home educate.  Knowledge doesn’t always have to come from books.  Use the resources around you to live, learn and thrive.

WE WILL NEVER FORGET!

Home Education vs Homeschooling

Published August 8, 2018 by lynn k scott

I will preface this particular post with a disclaimer.  This post is non-judgmental on how any family chooses to educate their child(ren).  You must do what is right for your family.

That being said, I have changed my category name from Homeschooling to Home Education.  One might think they are the same thing, but they really aren’t.  With public education promoting K12 online education or public charters, using a certified teachers to monitor students and mandating academic testing, this truly is not home education.  It’s homeschooling or public school at home.

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Some public charter schools will give stipends to parents to use their charter school aka public education.  Those charters are still receiving government funding and in essence, bribing parents, to use their program instead of a traditional brick and mortar school.

I choose to home educate and all posts on this topic, where my daughter’s education is concerned, will state “home education” in order to provide a distinction.

First, we follow a Christ-based curriculum.  I purchase all the books with my own funds (while still paying property taxes to the public school).  I want my daughter brought up in the Word of God not in the ways of the world.  I want her faith paramount, followed by a solid education.  Not all who home educate do so for faith-based reasons, but many do.  This is not allowed in public schools.  So if you can’t use a Christian curriculum, you are not home educating.

There is also more than just book learning.  It’s learning life skills.  It’s learning effective communication.  It’s non-common core.  It’s taking a break instead of pushing through a lesson, when it’s obvious the child needs it.  There’s regrouping.  The education is based on what is best for the student; not the school district.  I won’t even go into “unschooling” (follows no set curriculum; all child-led).

There is no bullying.  There aren’t any threats of violence; gun shots.  There isn’t forced socialization among cohorts.  There is the ability to learn from a diverse group of people of all ages.  Not sure about you, but I don’t want my child, who is still impressionable and learning to receive knowledge from cohorts who are in the same boat.  Thirty 12-year olds do not have the same knowledge as a 20, 30, 45, or even 70-year old person can impart on my daughter.

Home educated children surpass their public school counterparts on testing, studying ability and working independently.  Colleges, the military and trades all accept home educated children for these vary reasons.  We are teaching education; not teaching to test.

Again, educating your child is a personal and family decision.  I am strictly pointing out that using a public education is not the same as educating your child outside the rigid confines of the government.  Homeschooling used to mean this.  However, the public school system is trying to corner another educational avenue.  Those who truly educate at home want to impress that our children are not part of the public educational process; hence the need for distinction.

apples and pears

Back to Home Education

Published August 7, 2018 by lynn k scott

It’s officially less than a week a way:  Back to Educating at Home.

My tween is definitely not looking forward to next week.  Back to a pseudo-routine, new lessons, homework, crafts, physical exercise, learning a new language, formal course (or formal for us) on watercolor and painting.

Throw in weekend field trips, some type of volunteer work or give-back opportunities, learning meal prep, more life skills and it can be a bit overwhelming; esp. while I work a full-time job.

Yet, my working and our home education evenings and weekends with assignments completed during the day, work for us.  Maybe with my daughter choosing to learn Spanish, I’ll improve my skills as well.  There is a small mountain of books for me to go through to prepare her lessons and get myself situated as well.

It is a lot of work home educate (not using a charter).  It’s a lot of work to have a full time job and run a household.  Regardless of how busy it keeps me, this is a special time with my daughter.  We may have mini arguments and attitude about assignment completion, yet, she will remember these days when she has moved onto college and when she starts her own family.

I love the option of not having my daughter receive a cookie-cutter education.  More than that, I love she is receiving a Christian education, with Christian texts, and is able to have Bible as one of her core subjects.

Often times, I will have our pastor look at her text books, esp. when I am really excited to use them.  Ok, that’s where my inner nerd surfaces.  I love books.  I hope my daughter eventually reaches my level of excitement.  She does enjoy going to the bookstore.  I just love reading and if it’s history-based, even better.

One of her projects this year will be to interview various people about their jobs.  While she’s still in junior high, it’s not too early for her to think about what she may want to do as a part-time job in her teens or find something she’s passionate about.  First hand accounts, from people in specific industries, is more valuable than what you can read about a particular job (imo).  It also teaches interviewing and note-taking skills and how to effectively communicate.  This project will span over several years.  I look forward to comparing her first interviews to her last ones and seeing her growth.

I hope you will join us on this year’s educational journey.

Pet Peeve

Published July 10, 2018 by lynn k scott

A huge pet peeve of mine is when homeschooling parents encounter parents who say they can’t homescool or couldn’t imagine spending all day.  While, these types of comments are common, what I find some homeschooling parents berate working parents.

wrong way

While I believe homeschooling could be (and should be) an option for every family, it’s doable IF the parent believes they are up for it.  However, to make snide remarks about working parents using brick and mortar schools or daycares to “justify” working so they won’t feel guilty for working because they “choose” to.

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I cannot stress enough, working parents are the only ones with the ability to assess their family’s needs.  Do I think public schools are acceptable?  Not in this day and age.  However, that is my opinion.  I also don’t care for public charter schools that offer stipends.  To me, it’s the same public education, with a bit more freedom, but parents are essentially bribed by the stipends to follow the rules by the district.  Yet, it works for many families; just not mine.

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I work choose to homeschool, while working full-time, because I believe that’s what’s best for MY family.  We complete new lessons at night, ‘homework’ is completed during the day.  We utilize weekends for completing assignments; if need be.  We also have our field trips on the weekend or I may take off a day here and there to attend special field events not offered on the weekends.

Here’s an idea:  whether you are a stay-at-home parent or a working one, you do what is best for your family.  You decide if you can live on one or two incomes.  Your values are not necessarily the same as someone else’s.  Every famly is unique.  Please be careful painting everyone with the same brush; esp. when they differ with your beliefs.  Homeschooling is challenging enough.  Last I knew, none of us were God, so save your judgement and perhaps offer support instead of criticism.

Reblog: …Critical Thinking Detective – Book 1…

Published June 5, 2018 by lynn k scott

As a homeschooling mom, picking out the right curriculum can be challenging.  Getting reviews from other homeschoolers is a blessing.  It’s one thing to be able to see samples, but actual reviews are even better!  Had to share this review.  In case you’re wondering (like I was), this is gender neutral.  ~Lynn

When our family first began homeschooling, I found myself overwhelmed by the wealth of information available. I was undecided regarding personal goals for our children or which method of homeschooling was best. Through prayer and my husband’s leading, we determined there were three goals we were seeking for our children. We wanted them to read […]

via Review: Critical Thinking Detective Book 1 from The Critical Thinking Co.™ — A Homeschool Mom

She’s a bit abstact

Published May 25, 2018 by lynn k scott

My daughter has a love of painting.  She sometimes paints pictures but she paints a lot of abstract pieces.  I found a really good deal on canvas and some acrylic paints and she’s having a blast letting her creativity flow.   IMG_20180512_193938_494.jpg

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My personal favorite.

To be honest, her preferred medium is watercolor paints, and I continue to buy them for her, but she is learning to use a variety of paints and seeing how they work with her creations.

Sometimes her paintings are “unique” but some I just fall in love with immediately.  I have never been a big art person, but my appreciation for what someone can create is growing.  We have a small collection of her artwork lining various walls and doorways in our home.  She’s even had an offer to buy one of her pieces.

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Bold colors

I am incredibly proud of my lil miss.  She isn’t afraid to show people her work.  She is having fun but also learning a variety of skills.  Sometimes, she will paint just to paint.  Other times, I’ll assign something for school.  Regardless of the reason she paints, I truly hope she continues to develop her art; wherever it may lead her.

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Clay Creations

Published May 25, 2018 by lynn k scott

School may be winding down, but we still had time to get in another creative, clay creation.  I stopped off at the store to get a few new pens and my daughter HAD to have some clay.  Who am I to crush her creativity?  So we purchased more clay.  We normally go through a couple tubs a year.

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My daughter loves using her imagination to create.  Normally, painting is her primary form of art, but I encourage her to explore and play with different mediums.  I was pretty impressed with her two clay creations.  She made a couch; complete with pillows.  Her other piece..hmm…not sure what to call it.  It reminds me of something you’d see in a city park or something.  Regardless…it’s cute.

My daughter used some newly acquired, glitter glue, to give some color to her arches piece.  I like the simplistic look she chose and the contrast of the colored sections to the original clay.

 

Another school year is ending

Published May 22, 2018 by lynn k scott

My daughter is very much looking forward to next Friday; when her 6th year of school officially ends.  As a homeschooling mom, while she gets to enjoy a couple months off from academics, I am not so lucky.

Ok, it’s not that bad.  Today, I began my curriculum search.  I’m a “book geek”.  I enjoy reviewing the different options and what might suit my daughter best.  I typically order from one Christian site.  I add everything I want to my cart, then compare the books on Ebay and Amazon.  After all, no need to overspend, right?

When all is said and done, I’ll typically spend between $200-$300 for all her school books.  It may seem like a lot to some, however, when you factor in the public “school list” of all the supplies they ask the parents to provide, school shopping, etc., I definitely save more by homeschooling.

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I’ve already purchased her spelling and first set of math booklets (they are workbooks that the student moves through at their pace).  I selected her science, grammar and language art books today.  We will finish the second half of her history at the start of 7th grade and then I’ll figure out what we will do for the rest of the year.  There are so many options.  I have 8th grade history already selected.  If you homeschool, I highly recommend Notgrass for history.

I have to purchase her books early, so I can start reviewing them and planning out the upcoming lessons.  I know many parents like to take each day as it comes, but I am a working mom, so planning out the coursework helps me accomplish her studies and my work.

I am grateful and blessed to be able to home educate.  With all my medical issues that we faced this year, my daughter would have missed a lot of school.  I was able to teach from my hospital bed and while I was recovering.  I am so glad we returned to homeschooling.  I know we were led to do this.  It has brought us closer together and we’re constantly reinforcing our faith through her lessons.

My lil baker

Published May 18, 2018 by lynn k scott

Many of you know my daughter is homeschooled.  An area we focus on, besides core classes, is life skills.  It’s so important for a child to know how to take care of him/herself.  One area, that I truly enjoy teaching my daughter is cooking and baking.  She may not take initiative in cleaning her room or showering (what is with tweens???), but cooking and baking are becoming her thing.  She doesn’t even realize she’s reinforcing fractions, reading and science concepts.

Having worked in the hospitality industry most of my life, I am constantly taking pictures of my culinary creations.  My lil miss has picked up on this and now takes pictures of her creations.

Yesterday, I saw she posted a pic of green whipped cream that she was beating by hand.  I called her and let her know, she’d need to beat it a lot more.  Even I use the Kitchen Aid mixer for whipped cream; but to each their own.

I asked why she was making homemade whipped cream.  Without missing a beat, she replied, “to go with my bundt cake”.  Her inner artist comes out to play, especially, while baking.  Her homemade biscuits, that she made earlier in the week, received sprinkles.  I kid you not.  They were very colorful.

She then informed me that cake was gluten-free.  I was surprised, but happy.  She really wants to make sure I can eat what she makes.  I normally always cheat to taste everything she makes.

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I get home to see her bundt cake in a baking dish.  I let her know that wasn’t a bundt cake.  She said, “I couldn’t find the pan.”  I showed her where it was and then tried a little piece of the cake.  It was SOOOOOOO good!  I noticed it was slightly pink and had a little crunch, here and there.  I asked her about it.  Of course…should have known….SPRINKLES!!!  She cracks me up.  She puts her own spin on everything she makes.

It turns out the Betty Crocker bundt cake recipe can be made gluten-free just by substituting the regular flour with gluten-free flour.  I prefer to use Pamela’s Artisan blend as my gluten-free flour of choice.  The results are amazing and you’d never know it was gluten-free.

My daughter may not realize it yet, but she’s creating her own memories that she will pass down to her children one day.  My future grandchildren will get a kick out of hearing how colorful their mom’s baking used to be.  I’m so proud of the thoughtful, independent, capable, young woman she is becoming.

 

 

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