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Considering HomeSchooling

Considering home schooling? According to the U.S. Department of Education, the number of students being home-schooled is over 1 million families and growing.

While there are many philosophies and approaches to home schooling, all parents want to see their children reach their full potential.

An Untraditional School House

The new school house isn't a red brick building anymore. It incorporates family values with a whole world education. Inside and outside, your own backyard, kitchen table or even while traveling.

As a homeschooler one of the most important tasks for you to accomplish in your child at an early age is getting them interested in and developing good reading habits. At an early age learning to recognize letters, the sounds they make and words they eventually form should be an activity and not a structured assignment. A great reading activity for kindergarten aged children, for example is to read to them.

A natural progression in your reading activities with your children is that after you read them to a passage from the story; have them paraphrase the story back to you. This will help you to understand what level of listening ability and understanding they are at, as well has help them to begin building their vocabulary as they work to find new words they can use with their description of the story they are giving back to you.

Good reading activities don’t always have to occur at the house, or just before bedtime. While you’re running errands around town or on vacation, perhaps have the kids begin to collect words from signs, or spell objects they see. Encourage them to learn different ways to describe objects see. Instead something big, it may by huge, or enormous… or even of gargantuan proportion! Have you child arrange the words they have collected into silly sentences or phrases. Even something as simple as collecting letters from signs, license plates, and such to work their way through the alphabet is a good kindergarten age reading activity.

Not in the car, or travel around much? Use every day items around the house to do the same thing. Labels, there are plenty of labels around the house. Actually put labels on everyday items around the house so your child can associate the spelling, and reading with a tangible item. Then, after a while, take the labels off the items and help your child read and re-label the house.

Once you get your creative juices flowing, you’ll come up with many more reading activities. The key is to make reading activities an every day part of their life. Make an effort to spend an hour a day reading more with an hour less of television. T.V. is an extremely passive thought processing activity. While reading and using one’s imagination is a source of growth and a great foundation from which to build.

Getting Started With Home Schooling

  • Learn about your local regulations governing home schooling. Education laws vary by state and town.
  • Involve your child in the curriculum. Let your child choose some of the workbooks for each subject, but steer him or her to the appropriate grade level. The more your child is involved in the process, the more excited he or she will be about the subject matter.
  • Designate a separate area of your home to serve as the “classroom.” It should be someplace that is comfortable and free of distractions.
  • Connect with other home-schooling families through community groups or online. Such groups often organize field trips, discuss approaches to home schooling and share stories and advice.
  • Keep your child active. It is important that home-schooled children socialize with others. Encourage your child to become active in sports, music or clubs, just as any child attending school.
  • Look for “teaching moments.” For example, if you bake cookies at home, ask your child how many you baked. If you take a walk to the park, turn it into a lesson in science and nature.
  • Use unique learning tools to keep your student interested. SFK’s Reading Movies, for example, improve reading, comprehension and vocabulary skills and are entertaining at the same time.

About Laura Childs

Country Living enthusiast Laura Childs was a downtown city girl for many years before heading to the hills to live a sustainable lifestyle, raise her daughter, get back to the land, and learn the time tested traditions of a simpler era. Throughout her farm life adventures of raising animals, working from home, home schooling her daughter, and being more green, Laura Childs has been sharing on the GoodByeCityLife website through articles and personal musings since 1998.