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Practical Helps

What I Wish I’d Known—about Homeschooling

My son Michael wasn’t all that thrilled to be homeschooled the first year we started. He gave me a month and then took matters into his own hands. He said we needed to set a schedule. We were doing something different every day! He wanted to have math at the same time followed by spelling (which I should be teaching, by the way) and then he wanted to go outside at 10:15 am. I said “sure,” and did my best to accommodate his desires because I was that kind of child-centered homeschooler.

Go Fish

Go Fish! is a children’s card game I played a couple times in my youth, around sixty years ago. For my father, Go Fish was not a card game, it was an adventure. He loved to fish. When I was a boy, he went fishing whenever he could. He took me fishing one time when I was very young. On this trip, he did everything for me. He found the worms, baited my hook and even put my line in the water for me. I caught a fish—or at least a fish swallowed the worm with my hook in it.

Homeschool Artists: How to Prepare an Art Portfolio

As a professor of fine art for over twenty years, I have often reflected on the most meaningful contributions of my career, asking myself, “What is the most worthwhile, and useful contribution I have given to young and hopeful art students?” Having worked with hundreds of young students, my answer is always: helping them develop a good portfolio. Often it’s also one of the last projects they ask me to review before they graduate.

Guidance for Choosing a Cognitive Ability Test

Cognitive ability or aptitude tests attempt to measure a student’s cognitive reasoning abilities. They help you know how information is learned.

Understanding and Evaluating the World of Online Education

What shall we do with online classes? We shall do the same thing homeschoolers have been doing with curricula since homeschooling began—experiment, find what works for us, talk about them to others and use them as a tool to homeschool our kids. We will educate ourselves about them and then move forward. The following information will help you do just that.

What are online classes?

Our definition of online classes includes:

Understanding Achievement Test Scores

Once you have chosen an achievement test and administered it, the final step of the annual process is interpreting the score report. I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling that this can be the most intimidating step. The typical score report seems to have more columns of numbers than a tax schedule!

Raising Renaissance Kids

When I was growing up, many of the families I knew had pizza night and game night. Not mine. We had go out to dinner night, usually every other Friday on payday. We didn’t have any other family nights, though. With my own homeschooling family, we’ve committed to family nights but changed them as the children have grown through different stages and interests.

How to Choose an Achievement Test

Many parents have questions about which achievement test would best fit their students. There have been several factors to take into consideration, but today, there is a new one: Do you want the test to be aligned to the Common Core? If you do not want a test aligned to the Common Core, then choose a test that was designed and normed before 2009.

Let’s Talk about Achievement Tests

Achievement testing is the educational topic most likely to incite questions and concerns among homeschoolers. Homeschool parents have questions about the nature of achievement testing and why some states require testing for homeschoolers. Many parents also become concerned that their children pass their grade at the end of the year. Given these concerns and questions, it is no wonder that some parents become quite contentious altogether about the topic!

Learning in the Autumn

One of the freedoms I cherished most about homeschooling was that my kids could discover the adventure of learning rather than the boredom of school. To actually break through the bonds of boredom and into that learning adventure, however, may require some out-of-the-box thinking and a willingness to try something new.

So, if you are ready, I’d like to start with a bit of a poetic meander through the obstacles of learning outdoors in autumn.

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