I’m guest-blogging today over at Multitaskinmom.com. Come on over and read about what child-led learning is and isn’t, and how it relates (or doesn’t relate) to unschooling!
The Day I Fell in Love With Bees
I am a cyclist. Well, I don’t cycle on the roads as much as I used to; now I ride on my trainer in the garage most days, but I used to cycle on the road quite a bit. What does this have to do with beginning beekeeping? My story will tell you:
One day I was riding near an open field that had dozens of bee boxes on it. Apparently, the bees were also getting out for the day and were making their way across the road toward the orange and grapefruit groves in the distance. I rode straight into thousands and thousands of bees crossing the road as I cycled through.
Since I didn’t have enough time to stop before I was in the midst of them, so instead, I slowed down, and gently kept riding, all the while talking to them and assuring them that I wasn’t going to hurt them.
To my amazement, I saw many stop and hover near my right shoulder just waiting for me to pass. This happened over and over again as I rode through the swarm? pack? I’m not sure what you call them when they’re in flight.
That day, I understood just how intelligent and amazing bees are. Before this, though, bees and I always had an understanding. In my garden I’d love to see them (pollination, thank you!) and I never was afraid that they’d sting me, and I never, ever swatted at them. Why would I? I wanted them there.
Honey, Will You Buy Me Some Bee Boxes for My Birthday?
I don’t know about you, but by the beginning of May, you can stick me with a fork because I’m done. I’m tired. I’m worn out from all the curricular AND extracurricular activities. I’m barely hanging on, and the words you’ll hear most often from my mouth those days are, “just skip it!” My homeschooling mojo has left the building. My inspiration lies wet and soggy somewhere underneath a pile of once shiny-new ideas. I need a pick-me-up, and a Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino with almond milk just won’t do. I’m experiencing homeschool burnout.
I’ve been through this before. Many times. Here are three things that have helped me avoid homeschool burnout (in order).
Stop Feeling Guilty
I know you feel it. You can’t deny it. We homeschool moms are the ones who begin each year with our polished new ideas and clean schedules and high hopes. When we get to May and are reminded of all the ways in which our ideas didn’t pan out, we feel awful. It’s to be expected. But guilt (or remorse or regret) just don’t serve us. Throw those feelings away and replace them with a mind open to learning why those ideas didn’t pan out. For me, it’s usually because of one of these three things: (more…)
When the time for weekend family activities rolls around, there’s absolutely no reason to spend money just to have fun. There are scads of things you can do that don’t cost you a cent. These are just a few of them.
If you’ve never considered volunteering as a family, there’s no better time to do so. With a little research, chances are you’ll come up with a long list of organizations that need volunteers. Soup kitchens and animal shelters are two very popular options. You may be surprised at what a fun family activity this can be!
With all of the streaming services currently available, it’s never been easier to have a free movie marathon complete with buttery popcorn, large cups of soda and Raisinets. It’s actually possible to watch several seasons of the same series in one weekend. Binge-watching at its very best!
One fun family activity is backyard camping. It doesn’t cost a cent and can be as luxurious or rustic as you want it to be. Add a sense of realism to the adventure, by declaring your house to be “off-limits” for the entire time. Consider turning off the Wi-Fi as well. This is a great opportunity to play board games that are gathering dust in the closet and to catch up with what’s going on in each other’s lives.
When you are homeschooling high school, one of your major goals may be to have your kids get accepted into the college of their choice. If this is your goal, and the goal of your student, you will want to avoid these 5 biggest mistakes when homeschooling high school.
Not Checking Your State’s Requirements
You will need to check out the homeschool requirements in your state during the middle school years. Many of you who know me, know that I am a big proponent of skipping middle school. (Blog post on that to come.) Checking your state requirements is very important, and you will find that requirements vary widely from state to state and they might change every year. A simple online search will provide the information you need and keep you updated. After you understand what the requirements are, develop a plan, with the input of your student. Make sure that you have covered the legal requirements and the course requirements of that state as you homeschool.
Not Meeting College Admission Requirements
Every college will have a different set of requirements for admission. You need to know what the exact requirements are of each college you seek so that you can prepare adequately for the same. There are specific and blanket requirements for almost all colleges that you should know about. These include 4 years of English and Math, 3 to 4 years of social studies and sciences, 2 years of PE, and foreign languages, etc. Electives requirements will differ from college to college. When you know this, you will homeschool your child in such a manner that will enable them to get into the best colleges out there.
Not Beefing up the Transcript
One of the benefits of homeschooling high school is that your students have the opportunity to explore a vast range of subjects and activities. Discover your child’s interests and talents and provide opportunities for them to practice these talents and explore these options. Add these to the homeschool transcript and showcase their strengths.
Not Covering the Basics Well
Basics cover writing, reading and mathematics. It is important to ensure that your child has a very good basic foundation. When they have a good foundation, they will be able to use these skills to and apply them to whatever subjects they decide to study in college. Many incoming college freshman require remedial classes, because they did not fully learn the basics well. See our online video courses at Our Happy Medium Academy for effective courses on the basics that your student can complete at his/her own pace.
Not Reviewing Your Plan
Making a plan is a great first step! You should review your plan every 6 months to a year to be able to keep focused on the bigger picture. This will allow you time to make changes in academics or extra-curricular as needed.
If you take care of these mistakes, you will find it easy to focus on homeschooling your children and prepare them for a good college in future if that is indeed their goal.
Please welcome guest blogger, Amanda Stockdale. I think we must have been separated at birth, because this post makes my heart sing, and makes me want to stand up and shout, YES! A thousand times, YES
My long-time readers know that I am ALL about child-led learning. I have written about, and spoken at homeschool conferences on the importance of child-led learning, and I love Amanda’s post because there is so much beauty and truth here.
I use to be a 4th grade teacher.
It was my dream job.
I loved everything about being in a classroom.
Then my third year of public school teaching hit.
This was a bit different.
I was a new mommy.
I wasn’t entering that year as a new teacher any more. I didn’t have those innocent teacher eyes.
I had mommy eyes.
As each day passed, it got harder and harder to stand in front of my classroom with mommy eyes.
You see this class was different than any other class I’ve had before.
I taught preschool for 9 years before becoming a public school teacher. I had seen it all…
…and conquered it all with success.
But this year, I had a 4th grade boy who was the most precious, hard working student I had ever taught.
He was on a first grade reading level. read more…