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Team of Experts to Help You Handle Technology Boundaries

Team of Experts to Help You Handle Technology Boundaries


This post contains affiliate links. If you click and buy I may make a few pennies, but not enough for a latte.



Team of Experts to Help You Handle Technology Boundaries


It's a new world, with changes we could not have imagined years ago. Parenting has always been challenging, but these days the hardest parts of parenting involve electronic gadgets or technology. Whether dealing with smart phones, tablets, computers, social media, or video games, parents need help figuring out how to manage this new environment.

But how, exactly?

Imagine sitting down with a team of experts and having a heart-felt and encouraging conversation with educators and counselors, along with real parents, as they guide you to create a healthier home for your child, even in the midst of this technology-steeped generation. That's what you'll find in my new book, TechnoLogic: How to Set Logical Technology Boundaries and Stop the Zombie Apocalypse, designed to help you set logical technology boundaries in your home. TechnoLogic includes contributors from many disciplines and walks of life.

Check out who you get to sit down with, in our book-based conversation:


Todd Wilson


Todd Wilson of Familyman Ministries is the author of Taming the Techno-Beast, Helping You Understand and Navigate Your Child’s Electronic World book and workbook set.

Todd is a dad, writer, conference speaker, and former pastor. His humor is well known and his down-to-earth “realness” has made him a favorite speaker at homeschool conventions across the country. You may also have heard him speak on Focus on the Family. As founder of Familyman Ministries, his passion and mission are to remind dads and moms of what’s most important through weekly emails, seminars, and books.

Todd and his wife, Debbie, homeschool six of their eight children. Two of them have already graduated. They live in Northern Indiana and travel across America in The Familyman Mobile. Learn more at The Familyman website. Todd knows what he is talking about and has vast experience talking with parents about technology and many other issues. You can completely trust his knowledge, judgment, and experience as he consults with families around the world.

Kim McDaniel


Kim McDaniel is the co-author (along with Hilarie Cash) of Video Games & Your Kids: How Parents Stay in Control.

Kim has provided a lot of guidance and encouragement for TechnoLogic. A devoted parent, wife, and a professional counselor, she has provided clinical services to families, children, and adolescents for 20 years in a variety of settings, including residential programs, hospitals, and in her own private practice. She’s a strong advocate of parents taking control of the role digital media plays in their children’s lives. Contact Kim directly at thriveprofessionalcoaching@gmail.com. Kim also recommends the reSTART Center for Digital Sustainability website for more information and support.

Cris Rowan


Cris Rowan is the author of Virtual Child: The Terrifying Truth About What Technology is Doing to Children. You can find her book, programs, and informational newsletter at Zonein.ca

Cris is a well-known author and speaker to teachers, parents, and therapists throughout North America and in China in the field of sensory integration, learning attention, fine motor skills, and the impact of technology on children’s neurological development. Cris has a Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy and Biology, and is an SIPT-certified pediatric sensory specialist. Cris serves on the committee for the Institute of Digital Media and Child Development, and is the CEO of Zone’in Programs Inc., offering products, workshops, training, and consultations to help promote technology boundaries and enhance productivity. Cris is the creator of the Zone’in, Move’in, Unplug’in, and Live’in educational programs for school and home. Her Foundation Series Workshops help educate parents, teachers, and therapists about how technology affects child development and her Zone’in Training Programs help train other pediatric occupational therapists.

Real Parents and Families Around the World


Real parents have shared their family stories in TechnoLogic. Some stories are painful but they are always honest and revealing. Your comments and questions gathered from my work as The HomeScholar have provided much of the inspiration for this book.

Scattered throughout the book you will also find encouraging tidbits and tiny quotes that I call Lee's Lessons - helping you feel like I'm coming along side you to help with creating technology boundaries.

I'm very excited about the launch of my new book, coming out this week on Amazon! To look inside and pick up your own copy, click here!





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Technology Use Guidelines and Minecraft

Technology Use Guidelines and Minecraft

Technology Use Guidelines and Minecraft


The “Technology Use Guidelines for Children and Youth” were developed by a panel of experts, with contribution from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Canadian Pediatric Society. The guidelines recommend that teenagers 13 to 18 should engage in no more than two hours of technology per day. They do not make an exception for really, REALLY fun games or even educational games.

Why?

Even educational games can be strangely addictive. One of the most popular games right now is Minecraft. This seemingly harmless game gets a lot of positive attention due to its ability to promote creativity and imagination, but there is a darker side to it. Many parents whose children are deeply involved in Minecraft report that its addictive properties are unlike anything they have ever experienced.

You will discover many such stories through a quick internet search on “Minecraft Addiction.” Amazing, isn’t it? Page after page of articles and columns with titles such as, “Help, My Child is Addicted to Minecraft” and “How do I get my son to reduce his addiction to Minecraft?” Parents, tread carefully here. Even seemingly wholesome games can be detrimental to your children’s development.

Minecraft is an extremely popular game. Parents are being pushed hard by their children to allow early usage of it. There are violent components to it and there are wonderful components, what Andy Doan, a colleague of Cris Rowan's terms “digital broccoli” and “digital candy.” You have the positive part of Minecraft, the construction, the building … it’s an amazing game and it could be pro-social.

Sit down and play the game with your children, and see if you can work out some management tools, steering them toward the more pro-social aspects of the game. Ask yourself, “Is my child social? Do they have friends? Do they go outside and play? Do they get along with their siblings? Do they sit down and eat dinner, and have a social conversation with the rest of the family? Is their development okay? Is their academic performance okay?”

If for all of these questions, you’re thinking, “check, check, check,” then your child might be one who benefits from some aspects of Minecraft. If the reverse is the case, and your child is becoming asocial or antisocial (they don’t want to go out anymore, they don’t have any friends, they’re grumpy all the time, angry, they’re not wanting to come to the dinner table and socialize with the rest of the family, all they want to do is play video games) then you have a problem brewing.

The Technology Use Guidelines include even the hours spent on Minecraft - even the hours for school. You want your children to have a technology balance, so they can experience a full childhood and full education as well as have fun with things they love.



Does your child love Minecraft or other games? Have you struggled to create a technology balance in your homeschool? Check out my upcoming book to help you set logical technology boundaries in your home! This post is a brief excerpt from TechnoLogic: How to Set Logical Technology Boundaries and Stop the Zombie Apocalypse. Available in both Kindle ebook and print.





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Help for Parents with Strong Willed Children: Book Review

Help for Parents with Strong Willed Children: Book Review


This post contains affiliate links. If you click and buy I may make a few pennies, but not enough for a latte.


Do you have a strong willed child in your life? This book will provide help for parents with strong willed children! I read it while in Glacier National Park on vacation and it was awesome!

Cynthia Tobias is the queen of learning styles - the guru of kinesthetic, auditory, and visual learners - and an awesome author. Her gold-standard book is The Way They Learn, a classic for home educators which is helpful for choosing curriculum with your child in mind. She is more specific in this new book, geared toward parents with strong willed children. You Can't Make Me (But I Can Be Persuaded): Strategies for Bringing Out the Best in Your Strong-Willed Child.

I requested this book so I could understand more about the challenges parents face, and brainstorm solutions with my Gold Care Club members. I was shocked to find out how applicable this book is to my own life, even without children at home. I've come to realize that adults deal with other strong willed adults, from time to time, and the strategies remain the same. I could see much-loved extended family members between the pages of this book, and was able to use the lessons I learned in my day-to-day life.



The best part about You Can't Make Me is that it's written from first-hand experience by a mom with a strong-willed child. Cynthia doesn't promise it will all be roses and smooth sailing; she knows how difficult life can be. At the same time, because she has lived through it herself, she can provide balanced encouragement and options as you struggle with the daily challenges of a child or teenager who is not easily persuaded to do even the simplest things.

My favorite chapter is about turning conflict into cooperation, "How Can I Turn Conflict into Cooperation? Proven Strategies to Help you Both Thrive." You see, with a strong-willed person, you can't issue an order or they will immediately revolt. Cynthia Tobias recommends you ask questions instead, which may guide them to think through the situation or ask for help as they make their own decisions. She talks about choosing your battles, knowing in her own life that even the SMALLEST point can dissolve into the LARGEST argument if you make everything non-negotiable. She explains that parents often give far too many warnings, and instead should avoid threats and limit consequences unless completely sure they can follow through.
Five to Thrive tips for working and living with the strong-willed child.
Don't try to solve everything at once. Some tips will work better than others, but all of them will work to varying degrees depending on the child, the day, the mood, and so on. Remember, hundreds of SWCs (strong-willed children) have endorsed these strategies, and hundreds more are out there just waiting for you to ask them for more ideas. It won't be as hard as you think!

Throughout the entire book, she repeatedly reminds us to make sure the strong willed child always knows that your love is unconditional. No matter how big the challenge, unconditional love is the message they can take into adulthood, the irrevocable gift from a parent to a child. Each chapter begins with scriptural encouragement, a bonus for Christian parents feeling overwhelmed.

If you have a strong willed child of any age, this is a GREAT book. If you have a strong willed adult in your family, I also think you'll enjoy it - and then you'll be prepared if you end up with strong willed grandchildren in the future.

Great book, I loved it! Five stars! 

Available on Amazon here: You Can't Make Me (But I Can Be Persuaded): Strategies for Bringing Out the Best in Your Strong-Willed Child by Cynthia Tobias.



 

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Newbies Make EXCELLENT Homeschool Parents

Newbies Make EXCELLENT Homeschool Parents

Newbies Make EXCELLENT Homeschool Parents


Parents new to homeschooling, listen up! You and your spouse can be EXCELLENT homeschool parents, regardless of your skills, because you LOVE your child. That's what ensures your success. You want them to do well, and if you have a weak area, you can find resources for that. But because you love your child, you will be motivated to find those resources. A school teacher might not be as motivated to see an individual child succeed, because they have to focus on the entire group of children.

Christian parents, consider scriptural reasons why you can be an EXCELLENT homeschool parent.
Psalm 139:13-16 - Your child was given to you and was made for your family, so God knows you are the perfect person for this job.

Philippians 4:13 - You are capable. You can do ALL THINGS, even this.

1 Peter 4:8 - Love covers a multitude of sins. Even when things go wrong (and it will) your child will still be OK.

John 2:7-8 - Jesus gives step-by-step instructions for doing hard things. He doesn't command the end results (He will take care of that) but gives us nice, small, manageable steps.

Your abilities will not necessarily limit your ability to homeschool. Homeschoolers can be successful regardless of their culture or academic background. If you want to see statistics, and scientific reasons why this is true, you may want to look at this free class.

 Homeschooling - Why Homeschool Works with Dr. Jay Wile


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Cyber Monday with The HomeScholar!

Cyber Monday with The HomeScholar!

Cyber Monday with The HomeScholar!


My Cyber Monday sale is geared to helping you!  Finding the Faith to Homeschool High School will give you a refreshing perspective on homeschooling.

When you homeschool high school, sometimes the only thing separating success from failure is faith and a friend. This book will give you both! Imagine sitting across the table with a dear friend at your favorite coffee shop, sharing struggles and scriptures with each other. Let Lee Binz, The HomeScholar, be that dear friend who can lift you up with scriptural hope and encouragement.

Order your print or Kindle version today!  Finding The Faith to Homeschool High School

This BRAND NEW book is on sale in print format and in Kindle format.  Order your copy today and be encouraged each day of your homeschool journey!  A devotional that you can read over and over, each time gleaning a new perspective on God's word and the important tasks you are facing.

This weekly devotional covers the challenges parents face while homeschooling high school. Finding the Faith will support and encourage you along the way, throughout the year!

Let me help you "Find the Faith" as you work your way through your daily homeschooling journey.



 
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Home Field Advantage: 16 Resources for Homeschooling High School

Home Field Advantage: 16 Resources for Homeschooling High School


Home Field Advantage: 16 Resources for Homeschooling High School


Here are 16 resources for the BIG GAME we call homeschool high school. Read these tips for each step of the way. Each section has an article and resource, if you want some encouragement. Learn how you have the home field advantage as you homeschool through high school.

Tailgate Party = Elementary School

Learn to love learning
True socialization
Article: 6 Ways to Declare Homeschool Independence
Book: How to Homeschool Independently: Do-it-Yourself Secrets to Rekindle the Love of Learning

Pre-game Warmup = Middle School


Learn about high school
Stretch abilities, shore up weaknesses
Article: 7 Ways to Encourage Reading in Middle School
Book: Homeschooling Middle School with Powerful Purpose

1st Quarter = Freshman Year

Cover the core classes
Do not panic
Article: A New Beginning: Homeschooling High School for Freaked Parents
Book: How to Homeschool 9th and 10th Grades

2nd Quarter = Sophomore Year

Add foreign language and electives
Take the PSAT for fun
Article: Teaching Tips for Foreign Language
Book: Delight Directed Learning: Guide Your Homeschooler Toward Passionate Learning

3rd Quarter = Junior Year

Take the PSAT, and SAT or ACT
Attend a college fair and visit colleges
Article: Take the PSAT for Fun and Profit
Book:  Junior Year is the Key to Homeschool Success

4th Quarter = Senior Year

Apply to 4-8 colleges
Write essays, complete the FAFSA
Article: Complete the FAFSA for Fun and Profit
Book:  Senior Year Step by Step

Super Bowl Celebration = Graduation!

Choose a college, plan a party
Provide a transcript and diploma
Article: 15 Point Senior Year Inspection Checklist
Book: Graduate Your Homeschooler in Style: Make Your Homeschool Graduation Memorable

Winning Advice

Provide a college prep education
Create comprehensive homeschool records
Arrange helpful college admission tests
Include delight direct learning
Always be prepared for college or career
Article:  The Best High School Guidance Counselor Is YOU!
Book:  The HomeScholar Guide to College Admission and Scholarships

Read more about your home field advantage in this article! Home Field Advantage - Better Homeschooling through Football.

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Missionary in the Philippines to College Admission and Scholarships

Missionary in the Philippines to College Admission and Scholarships

Missionary in the Philippines to College Admission and Scholarships


It can seem pretty scary to be overseas as a missionary, and at the same time want your homeschooled teen to come back to the US for college admission. But guess what? It's possible! And homeschool parents just like you are successful! Check out this letter from Nancy, a missionary mom in the Philippines. See what tips you can glean from her, to help you as you serve the world community.
Dear Lee and Team,

Good news from this home school missionary family in the Philippines! Our son, Benjamin, was recently accepted at his first-choice school: Cedarville University in Ohio. This is not only a great Christian college, but is the only Christian college with an accredited degree in Industrial Design -- the area he would love to study. In addition, he received several scholarships, which have not paid all, but at least half of the tuition. We are still searching for more help because of our missionary income... but we trust things will work out!

We are so very grateful for all of the material you made available to us, Lee. I cannot tell you how helpful the videos were. I listened to them over and over. Because of your help and advice, I was able to put together a wonderful transcript, a beautiful additional extra-curricular activity sheet, along with stunning recommendations from former teachers and pastors. Also, we prepped for the college exams with your help! It was no small feat, because Ben was raised in Germany (K-9th grade) and he had to switch to all-English, Bible based home school that mom put together herself... and then take a timed, all-English, intensive SAT and ACT test! Wow. But he did it.

So off we go, from Asia to the Midwest. Cedarville has a special MK and TCK department to help students like Benjamin adjust to a Western culture. Yet another reason why we parents are so happy to have found this particular school. We are travelling cross-country on our way to Cedarville in Ohio and could not be more excited for this adventure to begin. MATS, an organization that provides lease vehicles for visiting/furlough-ing missionaries provided us our van.  They are also a great company that you could highlight for missionaries coming home to bring their kids to school.  They’ve helped us so much with our one-way drop off situation.

Lee, we could NOT have done this without your help. You calmed my fears that kept me awake at night. I was able to give appropriate grades, put down as class subjects those areas of learning that Ben had "studied" on his own over the years, and so much more. His participation in the church band for three years became his guitar performance class, for example! You were a true godsend to our lives.

Thank you, and may your sphere of influence increase all the more! May you always hear of the good fruit that you are bearing all over the world because of your down-to-earth, effective, clear, practical, and most useful information.  Cheers to your entire staff!

We will do a home-style graduation and good-bye party all rolled into one next Friday. We will have friends speak, and we will ask Ben to share about his journey and about Cedarville, so that all of the Filipinos in attendance can picture where the Lord is bringing him. In that we work with 450 children from the slums of Cebu City (especially those living on and around the dumpsites), and we try to help them in school, giving them tutorials and motivational classes, AND try to find scholarships for the college-bound ones who show promise......... it has been a very special gift to our family that God sent YOU to help us with our own son!  He certainly provides. We take care of His concerns, and He takes care of ours!!

Many blessings to you and a huge hug,
~ Nancy and Family, missionaries with Christian Frontier Ministries
Field Directors for IGC Foundation SE Asia
Facebook, Christian Frontier Ministries and Pro.Vision Kids
Read Nancy's Novel: Suluan - A Novel by Nancy Lueckhof

 


If you are living overseas and are homeschooling because you are military, missionary, or for other reasons live outside the US, I have a great resource for you to add to your home library. Consider getting this book, The Global Nomad’sGuide to University Transition. It will really help you make the transition from MK (missionary kid) and TCK (third culture kid) to college student as smoothly as possible.

Military or missionary? Learn more!

More about the Global Nomad's Guide: Overseas Homeschool Friends – Listen Up!

April, military mom in Spain: Living in Spain + Exploring Europe = Homeschool High School Credit

Donna, missionary in Angola: Daughter Says Mom is Best Teacher Ever!

Tracey, serving in Mexico City: Sometimes Support is Necessary

Renee, military in Germany: Homeschooler Wins Full Scholarship – Plus Some More!

Advice: Living Overseas? How to Plan a College Visit

If you would like help - consider joining the Gold Care Club so you can learn about homeschooling high school when it's convenient - even in your own time zone! The HomeScholar Gold Care Club



 
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High School Centered Around Interests

High School Centered Around Interests

High School Centered Around Interests


Tricia wrote to share her graduation story. Read about her success overcoming obstacles, and creating a high school centered around the interests of her daughter. You'll be so encouraged today!


 

I would love to share the story of my recent graduate from Homeschool because ours is such a testimony of what God can do when we don't see how it will ever work out!

We recently graduated our second daughter from our homeschool.  We definitely benefited from your resources and easy ideas for homeschooling High School.

 You took the fear out of homeschool High School!

Our daughter was really very sick with chronic Lyme Disease since the age of 12.  Many times she was bedridden for weeks or months at a time.  This made learning hard and we had to school year round.

At first I was pretty stressed out wondering how in the world we were going to get her through High School.  Then I found you!  Because of your e-books, emails and blog I was able to create a High School career centered around her interests and be creative with how she learned each subject.  Your clear method for keeping track of course work and putting together transcripts was so easy that I was even able to help friends when they were struggling.

I couldn't have done it without you Lee! 

I feel like I know you and if I ever see you I will definitely give you a hug because you helped me to see that homeschooling High School doesn't have to be hard, overwhelming, or impossible.

I recently wrote about making it to graduation on my blog, Abounding in Hope With Lyme

~ Tricia

Check out the beautiful photos of her graduation party, too! One day YOU will have a graduation success story!





Have you thought about high school graduation yet? It's worthy of celebrating!  What kind of party do you want to have?



 

 

 
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How Much College Debt is Acceptable?

How Much College Debt is Acceptable?

How Much College Debt is Acceptable?


Every person has to decide for themselves how much debt is worthwhile. I can tell you what my debt boundaries are, though, as you begin your research.

For me, I think it may be worthwhile only if you can pay back the debt within one year. Estimate how much your child could make at a minimum wage job while living at home for one year. That would be a reasonable amount of debt for your child to assume. Even without a well-paying, college-degree-worthy job, it's still possible to pay it back.

If you are a family struggling with finances, I don't think that I would take out debt as a married couple, but again, each family and marriage and financial situation is different. It may be healthy to ask grandparents if they would like to contribute to the cost of college in some way.

You CAN talk to the colleges to ask for more money. As some families decline their offers of admission, that frees up more scholarship money. For example, you can say something like, “This is our first choice college, and I would hate to disappoint my son, but we have other children to consider, not just one. We simply can’t afford this college, no matter how much we love it. How can we get more scholarship money so he can attend your school?” This article may help: Real Story, Real Money, Real Scholarships, about a mom who wrote a letter like this, and it was worth $8000 to her. So write or speak to the college.
The best money for college is money you save or are given without repayment necessary. There are three big and important things you can do to improve your chances of college scholarships.

  1. Apply for colleges first thing senior year and finish all applications by the end of November.

  2. Apply to 4-8 schools, with a mix of public and private universities.

  3. Apply to reach, fit, and safety schools: Reach, Fit, and Safety Simplified.


If you are worried about debt, then plan ahead to get college scholarships! Don't wait until you are desperate, but research ahead of time so you are ready to succeed!

These resources will help.

$3 Book on Kindle, so you can get an overview of the process


$15 Online Class, so you can learn details of this one specific topic

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Summer is an Easy Time for Hard Topics

Summer is an Easy Time for Hard Topics

Summer is an Easy Time for Hard Topics


Having "The Talk" about porn. Yikes! Yup, you just have to do it. No exceptions.

It's hard to get everything covered during a school year. Math, English, Science, History - it can all be pretty overwhelming on its own, without adding anything extra. So can I make a suggestion? This summer, spend a little time covering one of the most important topics in this strange new world of constant digital accessibility.  Have "the talk" with your children about inappropriate online pictures.

This book could be an excellent discussion starter for kids of many ages, to guide you through that talk. Just a little bit each day, and you'll have covered the majority of this uncomfortable topic by the end of summer.

Good Pictures Bad Pictures: Porn-Proofing Today's Young Kids Paperback


I read a very eye-opening article about what an expert in this field teaches his own children. The author is Mark Bell, a marriage and family therapist. He has 3 big suggestions:




  1. Monthly meeting with each child

  2. Casual chit-chat as topics come up

  3. Read books together to guide the discussion


This is the big message that he gives to his own children. "Pornography is a form of unhealthy sexuality that most often results in making a person more selfish, dishonest, isolated, unhappy, less empathetic and more disrespectful towards others, particularly females."

These are hard times to be a parent. Pro-active information can help prevent huge trauma in the coming years. Take some time to talk about these things now.

Just between you and me, my husband and I would have shared these duties. He would have had the monthly check-ins with man to man talks. I would have read the books and  had the casual chit-chats. But do what works in your family.

Just please, PLEASE don't ignore the problem. It's not going away any time soon. Filters are NOT adequate protection, they are just a beginning step in handling the larger issues.

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4 Key Ideas for Entertaining the Littles While Homeschooling the Bigs

4 Key Ideas for Entertaining the Littles While Homeschooling the Bigs

4 Key Ideas for Entertaining the Littles While Homeschooling the Bigs


Here are four fresh idea for parents with little ones at home. These ideas may be new to you, or ideas you have used before and need to dust-off and use again. I know it can be difficult when you are homeschooling with little ones, or have a large family. It's important to find ways to keep your sanity and make the family run smoothly. Spend a few moments reading about how to make life easier for you!

1. Make Fresh Playdough

The first plan might be to make fresh playdough today, to keep those little hands busy now! In my family, fresh playdough was always my ticket to instant peace at home.
Homemade Playdough recipe Or a Gluten-free playdough recipe option.

2. Create Busy Boxes

While they are occupied, spend some time creating busy boxes - it will be worth it! Make at least 5 boxes, so they have one each day of the week. If possible, make more, so you can spread out those activities even farther. The less frequent the activity, the more fun and special it is for the child. Busy boxes can be collected in plastic shoeboxes, old cardboard boxes, or even paper bags. By rotating them, you are providing a new-to-them experience that will give you about 30 minutes of sanity-saving time for older children or for yourself.

Ideas for Busy Boxes

25 Low Prep Busy Boxes or Busy Bags Activities

Quiet Time Boxes

12 Fun Busy Bag Ideas

DIY Quiet Time Busy Boxes

8 Busy Box Ideas

Why I Use Busy Boxes for My Toddler and Baby

DIY Naptime Boxes

Busy Box Organization

3. Create Older-Younger Sibling Partnerships

Pair your younger children with an older sibling to play. You can be proactive, and give ideas for an activity they can play together (like suggesting Legos, or Hot Wheels) or you can treat this as a 1/2 hour of free babysitting, where the older child is simply responsible for the younger one. You can be specific about the time, say 10:00-10:30 each morning, older Suzie is responsible for younger Sammy. It might be a good idea to encourage  "recess" where the two can go outside for fresh air for a while, hunting bugs, riding bikes, or picking flowers. Going outside together is great for sibling bonding, but it also can help children learn more when they have been outside and active for a while! This partnership might be for just 1/2 hour a day, but every half-hour of peace is worth the price of admission.

4. Read More Tips

If you are struggling with little ones today, or trying to homeschool a large family, or just trying to figure out a schedule that works for you, it might be a good time to read this book! “Managers of Their Homes” by Teri Maxwell.

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Transcripts & Applying to College Can Be a Breeze!

Transcripts & Applying to College Can Be a Breeze!

Transcripts & Applying to College Can Be a Breeze!


It's that time of year again, when my Gold Care Club members are graduating their children. I love hearing about their successes, and I feel their uncertainty about facing the empty nest after years of homeschooling. I got this sweet note from Jennifer recently. Check it out!
With a heavy heart I am writing you an email to say goodbye.  My last home schooled child is graduating in two weeks.  I have learned so much from you and your millions of resources.  O.K., maybe not millions, but your newsletter, website, and books.  Then the added bonus of meeting you when our family had just moved to the Seattle area.   You were a lifesaver then and your advice and amazing tutelage for transcripts was far beyond any type of  thank you I could give in return.

I have and will continue to tell friends and family, who are interested in home schooling about your site. You are kind and full of grace to offer this invaluable service.  You made applying to colleges and sending transcripts a breeze.  You prepared me for what our family was in store for with college admissions from the time my son was a freshman in high school.  It was a bit tedious to write a page about each class, but boy it was worth it not to wait until the kids were seniors to tackle the transcript mess.

What a relief when the application process began.  All I had to do as a counselor was reach into the home school transcript drawer and fax the information over to the various colleges. Let me add the colleges were VERY impressed.

When someone has such a large impact on your family, you need to let them know.  I met you when were at the home school college fair.  I cannot remember the date or location. Yet you saved me from making a huge mistake and I really appreciate you redirecting my thinking. My prayers go to you and your business.  You are invaluable!

Thank you again!  Keep up the good work!
Forever in your debt,
Jennifer

If you are graduating a student and would like to share your successes, I'd love to share your story too!

If you are still in the thick of it, how can I help?
My millions of resources: Homeschool Freebies
My newsletter: The HomeScholar Record
My books: amazon.com/author/leebinz

If you are still early in the high school years, please take Jennifer's advice - it's worth it not to wait until your children are seniors to tackle everything. Start early, so all you have to do is reach into your homeschool drawer and send colleges the information they need.

Are you feeling confident? Or do you feel like you need some help in the coming year?

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Underwater Basket Weaving: Sometimes Easy is OK

Underwater Basket Weaving: Sometimes Easy is OK
Relax!  Some classes will be easier than others!


Our homeschool group wants to have a choir/drama class this semester but they want it to count for 1/2 a credit for the high schoolers. We only meet nine times with three extra rehearsals/practices and the final performance is a short play that is to be memorized. There is singing, dancing, and acting in the play. They are also required to write a 3-5 page character study as well as an 8-10 page paper on the history of theater, etc. Is that enough to count it for 1/2 a credit? Some of the parents are balking at the paper but still want to count it for credit. If you wouldn't mind giving me your opinion, I would so appreciate it.
~ Renita


This sounds like a 1/2 credit to me. But remember, I'm not a "CERTIFIED TEACHER"  (Insert scary noise for effect, using this DRAMA BUTTON!)

Do you remember what it was like in high school? We used to joke about classes being "Underwater Basket Weaving." My friends took some easy classes. I took a class called "Polynesian History." My niece took a class called "Sports Communication" and listened to baseball play-by-play. In our local high school, a DECA class student had one job all semester long; she baked pre-made cookie dough every day of the semester. Someone else was in charge of buying, cooling, wrapping, and selling. All she did was bake cookies out of pre-made dough. Scoop, plop, 10 minutes, repeat ... and she received high school credit for it.

I think that as homeschoolers, we are pretty tough on ourselves and our children. It's OK to include lighter classes along with heavier, more academic classes. To be honest, I don't even think you would "need" to write a paper in that class. You can make the paper an optional essay that parents supervise and grade. That way you CAN please everyone.  I suggest that you be sure to make it the PARENTS' option, though, not the kids' option!



Please note: This post was originally published in August 2011 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Homeschooling is NOT the same as doing schoolwork at home. There is LOTS of freedom! My Gold Care Club will give you all the help you need to succeed!
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Stages, Ages and Grade Levels

Stages, Ages and Grade Levels
Many homeschool parents today are intimidated by the thought of homeschooling through high school, overwhelmed by the thought of college applications, and unsure of how to plan for the final steps of their child’s education.


Stages, Ages, and Grade Levels


Generally, parents tend to react in one of two ways to this challenge. Some are stressed out; they need minimal information, because if they are given too much information, they are immobilized and can’t do anything. On the complete opposite end of the spectrum are parents who need increasingly more information to overcome these challenges. These are the parents who want all of the information at one time, as soon as humanly possible. When they don’t get it, they become incredibly stressed and frustrated.

Both kinds of parents need information in order to succeed at homeschooling high school, but one kind needs a ton, and the other kind needs to know when to plug their ears and sing, “La la la, I can’t hear you!” No matter which kind of homeschool parent you are, knowing the five stages of homeschooling high school will put you on the path to success, and protect you from becoming overwhelmed.

The first stage of homeschooling high school starts in middle school, in grades 7 and 8 (sometimes grades 6, 7, and 8), usually from about ages twelve to thirteen. This is a time when you’re just training your students in good study habits, grounding them in the basics, and helping them to explore subjects that are starting to interest them.

The second stage of homeschooling high school is freshman year, which is grade 9, beginning at about age fourteen or fifteen. This is when keeping records and transcripts becomes important, because you’ll be submitting them to colleges when your student applies in their senior year.

The next stage in homeschooling high school is sophomore year, which is grade 10, about ages fifteen or sixteen.  This is a time when you need to work on some specific things to prepare for college, such as making sure you’re covering the courses that most colleges require for admittance.

The next stage is junior year, eleventh grade, beginning at age sixteen or seventeen. This is the time to work on finding colleges your student is interested in, and for making some campus visits.

The final stage of homeschooling high school is senior year, grade 12, at about ages seventeen to eighteen.  Senior year is when your student applies to college and gets ready to graduate.

Focus on the stage you are in, and what’s coming up, and avoid the temptation to get overwhelmed by the big picture! Step by step, you can successfully homeschool high school!

What stage are you in? Do you have a favorite stage? Please share!



 

 
Please note: This post was originally published in November 2012 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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Homeschool No-No List

Homeschool No-No List
I usually encourage parents to do their best, but today I'm going to pause our regularly scheduled encouragement, and tell you what NOT to do.



Homeschool No-No List


Homeschoolers make mistakes sometimes. We tend to worry and sometimes we go overboard! We've all been there! That's why it's great to get some tips on what not to do from homeschoolers who have been through it all before. Here are just some of mine:

What NOT to do:

  1. Don’t try to do 4 years of high school before freshman year

  2. Don’t try to write course descriptions for classes you haven’t begun yet

  3. Don’t think you have to change everything to homeschool high school

  4. Don’t make your children take tests for high school when they are in junior high

  5. Don’t expect your children to demonstrate “senior” behavior the first day of freshman year

  6. Don't expect your children to work longer hours than the working spouse in your home

  7. Don't expect perfection, or perfect attentiveness, especially not all day long


This is a good start, but can you add to this list?  What No-No items can YOU add? Please share!



Please note: This post was originally published in November 2012 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

See those cute buttons at the bottom of these blog posts?  Those are to make it easy for you to share these helpful posts with your friends who might need encouragement. Go ahead and give it a try. I promise that nothing will blow up!
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