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"Stand By Your Man" - Homeschool Addition

In our Sunday School class on "Love and Respect" I learned a new strategy for dealing with teenage boys! Women tend to relate best face-to-face while talking. The book suggests that men relate best shoulder-to-shoulder without necessarily using words. If you are struggling with your teenage son, try to spend some quiet time doing nothing, saying nothing, and accomplishing nothing. Just be by his side, whether in the car or doing another activity he is interested in. Chances are, he will interpret that outing in a positive way.

In my own life, I have seen how that strategy can work. When I have a difficult subject to discuss with my boys, it goes over best if we are NOT talking face to face. It helps if we are on a walk, or in the car, and are both looking forward rather than at each other. It's almost as if these guys feel threatened when we look them in the eye. Like a pack of wolves, they can perceive eye contact as a threat and fight back.

If you are struggling with your boys and desperate for ideas, it may be worth a try. Shoulder-to-shoulder, avoid eye contact. Let me know if it works!



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Only "Actual Teachers" Should Read This!

A virtual school had an advertisement with a parent testimonial stating:

"We have found the K12 curriculum to be far above anything we could have done on our own, plus we have the added advantage of an actual teacher for help"

Don't be fooled! Homeschooling parents ARE actual teachers - the best possible teachers for their children.

That same virtual school had another advertisement that said:

"Student/student interaction is also actively encouraged, so (this virtual school's) students are always well-educated and well-socialized."

In my opinion, any group that worries about children being "well-socialized" are NOT homeschooling groups. It's one of those "ah ha" statements that really indicates a lot about a group. Any time someone tells you that you need a classroom experience to be "well-socialized" you can confidently stand your ground. Be polite, but firm, and explain that your homeschooled children ARE well-socialized, and they didn't need a classroom environment to get that way. Friends and family, people of all ages, and the normal comings and goings of your life provide all you need to "socialize" your children.

Remember: you ARE an "actual teacher!"

Remember: you are providing your children with all the social skills they need to shine in this world.



The HomeScholar provides a free monthly e-newsletter, daily blog support, low cost videos and private consultations -- everything you need to successfully homeschool through high school.

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The Intangible Benefits of Homeschooling

From Eeyore to Tigger:

The tangible benefits of homeschooling are many. You can see the benefits of academics, socialization, and specialization. You can see the quality of the kids that receive moral and ethical values, with lots of time for family. There are also intangible benefits of homeschooling.

I recently worked with a family who decided to pull their student out of public school as a sophomore. While he was a very sweet child, I noticed that he was withdrawn - never looking me in the eye. I briefly wondered about depression. After a month of homeschooling, I saw the family again. The child and mother we teasing each other and laughing - poking each other in the ribs as they walked! The student looked me in the eye and said, "hello" while smiling! The cloud was lifted!This is not the first time I've seen an Eeyore become a Tigger. This is one of the intangible benefits of homeschooling. When the constant negative feedback of school is removed, and the student is molded and shaped through real life experiences and a loving family, the cloud can be lifted.


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Shocking! A Positive Homeschool Message on TV!!

Shocking! A Positive Homeschool Message on TV!!
Check out these amazing videos. They are glowing reports on the "how and why" of homeschooling. Pretty surprising given the usual tone of homeschool reports on network TV. I was particularly taken by the discussion of "Thomas Jefferson Education" since this is what we did in our homeschool without knowing there was an actual name for it! TJEd is all about finding your child's passion and building on it throughout their homeschool years. Similar to what my husband talks about in his articles on "Raising Superheroes." Read them here and here. I think you will enjoy these clips.

Part I
"Three ways to homeschool"

Part II
Why Families Homeschool


The HomeScholar

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Is Your Child Bored with High School?

If your child is bored with high school topics, you can consider two choices: college options and non-college options.
College options include going to a university at an early age (either as a regular student or "Non-matriculated" student) or attending a community college before going to the university. College policies vary on non-matriculation. College like to get money, however, and usually non-matriculated students pay the full price (no scholarships). Since it's basically "free money" for the college, they are highly motivated to accept those students. With these options, the student is in a classroom with college-age people on a daily basis.

Non-college options include homeschooling college and other distance learning opportunities, where most of the academic work is done at home, similar to homeschooling. View this quick video on the process:

Also check out my Dig Deeper page on homeschooling college:

These are the books I recommend on the subject:
"Accelerated Distance Learning" by Homeschool Graduate Brad Voeller.

or Bears Guide To Earning Degrees By Distance Learning

Here's how it works: You pick and choose from online classes across the nation. All the work is done at home. All the results from those different online experiences are all sent to one university. If you choose to do it all four years of college this way, some (but not all) of the upper level courses require you to fly to the distance location for testing once a quarter. That University will provide "accreditation" for all the credits that are earned. Those accredited transcripts will be sent the next University your student wishes to attend. It's possible to homeschool college from one quarter to all four years.



Looking for a college? Try my Teachable Moments DVD, "Finding a College"
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Homeschooling High School? Start Here!

Homeschooling High School? Start Here!

Amazing FREE 5-Part Mini-Course Reveals:

"The 5 Biggest Mistakes

Parents Make When

Homeschooling High School"

Click Here To Get FREE Mini-Course

Welcome! Get your homeschooling high school questions answered here!  High school transcripts, record keeping, grades, credits, course planning and college admissions - I'm here to address your concerns. Email me your questions and be sure you subscribe to this blog because I update the content daily.  Enjoy your visit!

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Obsessive/Compulsive Mathematics

My husband asked me, "Do all homeschoolers finish the math book?" The answer is "OF course not!" The truth is, some homeschoolers have their child do every single problem in every math book before moving on. Other homeschoolers skip many problems or even chapters each year without giving it a second thought. I encourage people to come down firmly in the middle of this controversy. What's important is NOT how many problems they do, or how many days of school you have. What's important is that the students are learning. If they can learn math with only 1/2 the problems, then that's great! Don't punish them with additional math problems that might beat the love of numbers right out of them. On the other hand, it's not helpful to move on before a child understands the math concept they are on. Balance is key.



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The Great California Homeschool Earthquake?

The media seems to be saying this is THE BIG ONE.Here is a link to the Fox News story, but I've heard the same on other news programs.,2933,335808,00.html

"California parents who don't have teaching credentials no longer can home school their children, according to a recent state appellate court ruling."

But here is a summary from a California Homeschool group:

"The law in California has not changed. This is the opinion of one court. CHN strongly believes this opinion is incorrect, and homeschooling by using one of the alternatives to public school currently available under California law remains legal. The implications of this ruling and possible actions are currently being discussed by CHN, along with HSC, CHEA, Family Protection Ministry and HSLDA. "

And another summary from Homeschool Association of California

My internet friend, Julie, expressed it this way:

"People are getting phone calls from relatives that they are doing illegal activities. I went with my kids to cook a meal for the homeless at our church, something we do once a month, and I was hit up with the questions about legalities. " and "While leaders are paying attention and being vigilant, it isn't any reason to panic."
Julie in San Diego

I know that it is concerning to hear these inflammatory statements on the news, but I don't think there is a need to panic. It might be a great time to write your own state legislators, and let them know how important homeschooling is to you. It's a great exercise for kids as well - a good civics lesson. But keep in mind that California law has not changed, and state and national agencies are currently working on the problem. Let's watch, and keep our eyes on reputable sources. Try to avoid listening to news reports from agencies and people that don't really know homeschool laws.

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Never Ending Record Keeping

Never ending record keeping

Are you writing your own comprehensive records for your student? Frustrating, isn't it! One thing to remember about the Comprehensive Records - you're never done until graduation. It's like homeschooling in that you never really "finish." You can add touches and change things.... At some point you have to add final grades and final graduation dates. So don't worry that it doesn't feel complete. You won't until your student is finally away to college. Even if your student takes community college classes, you'll still be adding things to the transcript. Try to relax and have fun with it as you constantly edit, review, and revise. And if you need some help with the process, I'm here for you!


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Rethinking Failure

Recently I've shared with some of my homeschool "failures" like literature analysis and nature studies. I didn't even mention art and Washington State history! Everyone feels like they have failed at some points. I think it may be an issue with motherhood in general: a chronic feeling of guilt.

Now that my kids have graduated from homeschool, I can see that these "failures" weren't really failures at all. Many times it was me adjusting my homeschool to meet the learning style of my children. I perceived them as failures because I wasn't able to get them to love learning by meeting MY learning style. Love of learning came when I met THEIR learning style. Now with my 20/20 hindsight, I can say that I didn't "fail" at literature analysis, nature studies, art, or state history. Instead, I adjusted the way I taught to match my children's way of learning - and that is a success.

Someday when you are looking back on your homeschool, you may find that some of your "failures" were actually successes as well! Just something to think about the next time you're feeling guilty....



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I am The Weakest Link

I am The Weakest Link

Although I took calculus in college.... OK, that's not completely true. I actually took calculus TWICE in college because I failed it the first time! Allow me to start again....Although I have taken calculus repeatedly, I don't actually know any calculus right now. In fact, from the time my kids were in Algebra 2, I was completely lost. My boys both used Saxon Math with DIVE CD's for Advanced Math and Calculus, and we supplemented that with The Teaching Company course called "Calculus Made Clear." The boys managed to learn calculus without me. I watched them do the assignments. I smiled when they told me about complex concepts. I nodded wisely as they would work out tough problems, I observed them use the solution manual to work out each problem. I did everything supportive I could ... except teach.

I primarily added value by confiscating the answer key when I gave them tests, but they did great on the tests even without it. The hardest part was correcting their tests. I didn't even know what the symbols meant! Using skills I had mastered in Kindergarten, I just made sure their answers looked exactly like the answer key. They basically taught themselves Calculus! Unbelievable!

The upper subjects like Calculus and Physics can be very intimidating, but it IS possible. If you are facing an obstacle, whether it's upper math or whatever, be brave! You will be amazed at what your kids can learn! Give them the opportunity and see if they can fly!

The HomeScholar

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The Flip-side of Co-ops

I was speaking one day to a group of homeschoolers. During the Q&A time, one mother said to me, "Do I have to use co-ops for high school or is it possible to do it myself?" I was surprised. Of course you don't "have to" use co-ops. Co-ops can sometimes serve a purpose in home education. A lot has been written about the plus side of co-op classes so I probably don't need to reiterate these, but you might want to consider the "flip-side" of co-ops when you are planning your classes next year.
  • The commute time: It takes time driving back and forth
  • Time away from home: You will have less time doing your home-based homeschool activities
  • Less time for fun: There is less time for extra-curricular and other fun activities
  • Homework: You have to finish homework that the co-op assigns, which may lead to extra fussing with your kids to complete the work
  • Germs: In any classroom environment, germs are rampant
  • Expense: Homeschooling can be expensive, and adding the cost of co-ops can be rough
These are just a few things that people in co-ops have shared with me. Parents always know what is best for their children but I wanted you to have the benefit of others experience. If high school co-ops are in your future, you might plan to address these issues with your family.


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Too Many Credits??

I deal with the problem of "too many credits" now and then (I'm actually working on one right now.) You can handle it a few different ways.

  • You can keep only the most recent credits.

  • You can lower the credit value of all classes.

  • You can eliminate classes that could also be considered an "activity" instead (so ballet would be an activity and not a PE credit.)

  • You can pick and choose some classes to drop off the transcript if you have more than the usual requirements. (Drop the 5th history class.)

  • You can combine classes together (British Literature and Ancient Literature make one European Literature class.)

  • You could also explain the situation - tell the school that this is what your child did, document that it is high school level, and let them see what your child is really capable of.

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Respecting your Young Men

Respecting your Young Men

A while ago, a portion of one of my newsletters was plagiarized. I consulted my in-house "lawyer in training" - my son Alex. Every time I think of our interaction that day, it really warms my heart. On Sunday, during our "Love and Respect" Sunday School class, I think I finally realized why Alex's help was so important to me that day. He was protecting me - which was demonstrating that he loved me. In the book, it talks a lot about cycles, and how love LEADS TO respect, and respect LEADS TO love. So I started thinking about what I did to show my son respect that day. I think that the moment when I asked his opinion of the situation, adult to adult, was the moment that he knew I respected him.We won't even think about all the times I completely *fail* at the love and respect cycle, but I did think it was interesting to see on situation in which it worked. I hope it will encourage you.



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Does General Science Count?

If your child is in 9th grade, and they take General Science, then in my opinion it's a high school credit - simply because your child is high school age. I figure that if a kid takes remedial anything in a public high school, they still put it on the transcript, right? Just label it "general science" so you're all above-board about it. If Physical Science was taken in 10th grade, then again it's a high school credit, and label it physical science. Biology and Chemistry are more obviously high school level.

One other detail. Most colleges need to see only three years of science, so if your child ends up with four years of science, you'll have a bonus year! (Yeah!) So if you want to, you can leave off 9th grade science, and say General Science 10, Bio 11, Chem 12. That's fine too. Whatever you choose isn't that significant. Colleges will often pick and choose which classes will fulfill their requirements. If you have more than enough science, they may not include it anyway. I view it like Driver's Education - just put it on the transcript and if the college wants to use it then they will, and if they don't, they won't.

By the way, the books don't really agree about credits like this - they all have a unique opinion on what is a credit and what isn't. I think you have the freedom to decide for yourself whether you want to call it a credit or not.



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