How to Simplify Your Thanksgiving Holiday

how to simplify your thanksgiving holiday

Okay, be honest. Who’s stressed out already? All the planning, preparation, coordinating can get overwhelming even when we love to do it! Here are some practical tips to simplify your Thanksgiving holiday. Come on over to strategichomeschoolingandmore.com and read my guest post there.

Before you go, be sure to download my free Thanksgiving planner to help!

Enjoy the prep, planning AND your holiday!

Why Play Should be an Integral Part of Your Homeschool

Why Play should be part of your homeschool curriculum

Lately everywhere I turn homeschooling parents are over the question, “is my child doing enough to get ahead?” We are forgetting that play should be an important part of your homeschool curriculum.

The pressure on young children today is incredible. Even the developers of PBS believe that the biggest obstacle American children face in terms of education is being unprepared for kindergarten. 

No wonder parents are worried! Not only are parents over-teaching, but they are also over-scheduling, I believe it’s being done out of fear.

Over-scheduling

Consider this schedule: phonics lessons and grammar lessons in the morning, music and Mandarin lessons in the afternoon, and in between all that Moms are forcing their young children to work in newly purchased math workbooks and insisting that they complete multiplication and division problems. The words “algebra” and “geometry” are being tossed around at play dates.

These parents really think that they are doing the right thing. They’re giving their children a “leg up” right?

They are not. Here’s why.

Developmental Milestones

First, young children are not developmentally ready to pursue such academic activities. Are some seemingly “able” to do this type of academic work? Perhaps. But a completed worksheet does not equal a deep learning for a subject matter and even if you believe that your child is ready, there is evidence that doing so is more harmful than helpful.

Take a look at this article written by a mathematician </a>for reasons why worksheets should not be used with young children.

Just because they can, doesn’t mean they should.

Secondly, the importance of play has been so overlooked in the last decade or two that it is shameful.  Here’s what Edward Miller and Joan Almon say in their book Crisis In The Kindergarten: Why Children Need to Play in School.

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How To Prove Your Identity As a Homeschooler: And Why You’d Want To!

how to prove your identity as a homeschooler, homeschool id card
Can You Prove That You Are a Homeschooler?

Has anyone ever asked you to prove that you are a homeschooler? Sometimes merchants will ask, but more often, you will be the one to ask for special perks and discounts for homeschoolers. Having your own official homeschool ID card can save you money on homeschool supplies, admission to parks and hotels and more.

Teacher – Homeschooler ID Cards

Teachers can get discounts at places like Office Depot and Barnes & Noble, so why not homeschool teachers?Well, now you can too!I scoured the Internet looking for a decent, professional-looking and FREE homeschool ID template and I’ve found one here.

How to Create a Homeschool ID Card

I printed our cards this on heavy card stock and laminated them with clear contact paper.  They came out great!

The template is very user-friendly, and only took me a few minutes to print cards for our whole family.

This site is well worth browsing as it offers many other homeschooling freebies and discounts as well.

Enjoy!

Top Three Things to Help Avoid Homeschool Burnout

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…)

Five Biggest Mistakes Parents Make When Homeschooling High School

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.

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