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10 Ways to Advance Your Homeschool Skills with Professional Development

10 Ways to Advance Your Homeschool Skills with Professional Development
Kelly was taking one of my free classes and explained her commitment to quality continuing education. She wrote, "I set time aside a minimum of 3 hours a week for my professional  development which includes research, project planning, transcript...
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October Gold Care Club Update

October Gold Care Club Update
New for this month in the Gold Care Club updates ...  How To Training Courses Quick Start : Keys to High School Success Beginner : Preparing to Homeschool High School - Live Convention Part 2/3 Intermediate : Delight Directed Learning Advanced :...
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Qualities NOT Measured by Tests [Free Printable Poster]

Qualities NOT Measured by Tests [Free Printable Poster]
Sometimes, I post something that really strikes the heart of my readers. An old post I had about measuring character qualities other than academic ones, was one of those posts.   It struck the heart of my readers so much so, that I had peop...
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October Homeschool Calendar Reminders

October Homeschool Calendar Reminders
When you're busy getting into the homeschool groove, it can be easy to forget about registering for tests, not to mention keeping up with changes to the FAFSA! (Don't forget - you should be filling out the FAFSA this month!) Here are some handy ...
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Making Homeschool Economics Fast and Easy

Making Homeschool Economics Fast and Easy
Economics is usually a 1/2 credit, semester-long class taught during senior year in high school. Sometimes homeschoolers want to provide a full 1 credit class on economics, or want to prepare for the AP exams in economics. There are a lot of different ways to cover economics as a homeschooler. Here are some options you might consider.

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



Fast and Easy Economics

Not everything in high school has to be hard. Sometimes you can do things the easy way. Remember when we were in high school? At my public school, there were definitely some classes that we fondly referred to as "underwater basket weaving" because they were so easy. At my high school, that's what our economics class was like. We learned supply and demand and how to fill out the 1040EZ, and that was it! Of course I was completely unprepared for economics in college, and rumor has it that I almost failed Econ in college for that reason. (The rumor is "mostly true" because I actually got a 0.7 my first time through the class. When I took it again, I was tutored by an awesome guy named Matt Binz, and earned a 3.7 the second time around. And no, that's NOT why I married him!)

If you want to teach high school homeschool economics the low-stress, simple, good-enough way, consider this option. Use the Whatever Happened to Penny Candy Book plus the coordinating workbook. Presto! 1/2 credit of high school economics. This material is "Free Market Austrian Economics" for those who know or care.

Book Whatever Happened to Penny Candy? A Fast, Clear, and Fun Explanation of the Economics You Need For Success in Your Career, Business, and Investments

Workbook A Bluestocking Guide to Economics by Jane Williams

Just a Little More Economics

If you want to beef it up a little, you might want to add the Basic Economics class from The Great Courses. That's a simple college level lecture that can help bring it up to a more challenging level but without making it a hard class.

Economics, 3rd Edition by Professor Timothy Taylor M.Econ. of Macalester College by The Great Courses

If you wanted to beef it up a little more, and make it even more challenging, you might consider using Economics in One Lesson, by Hazlitt. I found the book as a free PDF download on the Mises.org website, or you can purchase it on Amazon.

Economics in One Lesson: The Shortest and Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics by Henry Hazlitt.

Thorough and Detailed Economics

If you want to teach economics in a challenging, thorough, literature-rich way, then I love to suggest Economics in a Box!  This might be a semester of year-long course, depending on how many resources you use or add.

Economics in a Box: Understanding the Economic Ideas That Shape Our World 

Economics in a box includes books, DVDs, and CDs, and is taught from a Christian perspective. Again, this material is "Free Market Austrian Economics" for those who know what that means or care deeply about economics. You can read the syllabus here, if you are interested. These are the key ingredients of Economics in a box:

 Common Sense Economics by Gwartney, Stroup, Lee and Ferrarini
Money, Greed, and God by Jay Richards
Whatever Happened to Penny Candy by Richard Maybury
The Law by Frederic Bastiat
DVDs with John Stossel
Acton Media DVD
The Common Sense Reader CD from the Heritage Foundation


 Love Disclaimer: Big Mama Pride Warning Here! My son worked on the book Money, Greed and God by Jay Richards, providing some research, and he is mentioned in the Acknowledgments. Be aware that I love my son, and so therefore I love this book!

Honors Level Economics

If you want to cover a very rigorous, honors-level, full credit Economics course, consider getting Sonlight Curriculum Economics Program, or Thinkwell Economics or  Thinkwell Economics for Homeschool Students. I haven't used this set myself, or seen a copy, so I can't comment on the economics perspective or philosophy of the class. I have heard great reports, and I know that it is a full credit class that will prepare students for the AP exams in Micro and Macro Economics.

Delight Directed Economics

I homeschooled two boys. My older son did the bare minimum, and had a 1/2 credit homeschool economics class based mostly on Economics by The Great Courses. My younger son loved economics more than anything, and ended up with a whole credit of economics every year, using almost every resource known to man, it seems. He had a credit of economics, a credit of microeconomics, and a credit of macroeconomics. It was all delight directed learning. He loved the resources at Discovery Institute where he first met Jay Richards, attended Acton University during summer breaks, and presented at the Westerm Economic Association International Conferences as a high school student. If your child loves a subject, follow their interests in delight directed learning - even if you find it annoying. (Even when you failed the subject in college, like I did.) Try to find a mentor, if you can. And for goodness sake, include delight directed learning on the transcript! Just because they love something doesn't mean it can't be on the high school transcript. Loving it just means you can give them an "A" in the class!

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Sending Senior Year Transcripts to College

Sending Senior Year Transcripts to College

Putting together a homeschool transcript is one of the most important things to do before your student’s senior year. Is yours up to date and ready to send to colleges? Here are some helpful things to consider when putting the final touches on your masterpiece!

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39 Ways to Demonstrate Interest in a College and Maximize Scholarships

39 Ways to Demonstrate Interest in a College and Maximize Scholarships
What are colleges are really looking for? Students who really want to attend a particular college need to be able to convince the school that they will stay for all four years at that one school. Universities want students wh...
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[Free Book] Comprehensive Homeschool Records

[Free Book] Comprehensive Homeschool Records
Does thinking about college admission for your homeschool student fill you with dread? Or does the task of making your child's comprehensive homeschool records keep you up at night? Do you ever wonder how your humble homeschool can compete ...
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I'm Not Afraid to Teach High School Geology!

I'm Not Afraid to Teach High School Geology!
High school geology and earth science: learn about the rock types, different layers of the atmosphere, throw in some volcanoes and earthquakes…I think we have it covered. And truth be told, you can cover much of this in the lower grades, even into mi...
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Who is the Best College Coach?

Who is the Best College Coach?
Preparing your child for college launch is more complex than it used to be. Desperate parents are increasingly turning to professional coaches that cost thousands. But, who is the best college coach?  So, who is the best college coach? YOU are! ...
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Important FAFSA Facts for Homeschoolers

Important FAFSA Facts for Homeschoolers
Each year, the government doles out 150 billion dollars in education grants. Almost everyone can get some kind of aid, whether it's in the form of grants, loans, or work-study, whether it's from the government or from schools. All of this is determin...
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NCAA 101 for Homeschoolers

NCAA 101 for Homeschoolers

If you don't know, NCAA means National Collegiate Athletic Association.  If you don't know what it is, you probably aren't worried about it at all.  But if you DO know what it means, then as a homeschool parent you may feel stressed or insecure.  Let me help!

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Lee Binz
Hi JJ! That's not going to be a problem. You can mention that you use an integrated, literature-based curriculum, and that should ... Read More
Friday, 09 March 2018 18:00
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Ooops! Not Done With Math!

Ooops! Not Done With Math!
What do you do when you just aren't done with math before the year is done? Let me give you a few options, and you can decide which is best for your situation.


One Book In One Year is Impossible

You could measure math credits by counting hours spent on math. Some moms know their child can't complete a whole level each year. For them it makes sense to embrace the way God made your child, and give math credits not by textbook, but by the number of hours worked. In other words, it your young person worked at math for 45 minutes to an hour a day, then give credit for math, 1 credit per year. The title of the class is extra important in this option. You don't imply that your child got farther in the textbook than actually accomplished. To clarify that, you can call the class Algebra 1A, for 1 credit, for a whole year of work, for the first half of the textbook. Then call the class Algebra 1B for 1 credit, for a whole year of work the following year, for the second half of the textbook.

One Book Completed In Random Intervals

You could decide to give credit based on the completion date of each textbook. Some parents know the child is just working on their own time-table, being successful while only slightly slower than the average bear. Sometimes families will do year-round schooling, with math completion dates occurring at random intervals throughout the year. For them, it makes more sense to just give the credit on the month and year when each textbook was completed. So for this situation, math classes on the transcript might look like this:

  • Pre-algebra, 1 credit, completed 06/2014

  • Algebra 1, 1 credit, completed 12/2015

  • Geometry, 1 credit, completed 09/2016


That way is sometimes easier, I think, because there is less to keep track of other than completion dates. This may not be a good choice if a child is FAR behind, while still working hard all day, because they get short-changed for all the work they did just to get 1/2 way through a textbook.

Measure by Semester,  Not by Year

You could decide to embrace the random start and stop time of your homeschool classes. Some parents prefer to give grades each semester, rather than each year, because the timing is just too difficult to figure out when each class begins and ends otherwise. If you do that, then each 1/2 textbook you can enter half the number of usual credits and give a grade. So on the semester system, a math book is still 1 credit, but each semester is 1/2 credit. I to have some transcript templates with semester grades available for you to look at, but templates are usually just by semester or by year. You can still add one class at a time that ends at the semester, if you like. This works well if your child starts and stops many classes at somewhat random intervals. Every 6 months, update the transcript with what was completed in the previous 6 months.

Over-Picky Parents Expecting Perfection

You may need to just lighten up, and your child can complete a math book per year. Other moms are just expecting more than a public school expects. In other words, expecting a child who struggles to complete every single problem in the book, from beginning to end isn't always the best choice. After all, a child only needs enough practice to learn, not all the practice problems that are provided in the universe. And homeschoolers don't need to complete all the chapters in every textbook, either. If you complete 75-80% of the curriculum, then it's done. So maybe Algebra 1 or Geometry will be done sooner than expected.
If you need more help, I have some math articles to encourage you!

9 Ways to Actually Get Math Done This Year
High School Math Without the Moaning


What do you think? Which method would you choose?



 
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September Gold Care Club Updates

September Gold Care Club Updates
New for this month in the Gold Care Club updates ...  How To Training Courses Quick Start : Best Guidance Counselor Beginner : Preparing to Homeschool High School - Live Convention Part 1/3 Intermediate : High School Testing Advanced : College S...
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Teaching Occupational Education in 5 Easy Steps

Teaching Occupational Education in 5 Easy Steps
"Occupational Education" is the easiest class you will ever teach!  It is a homeschool requirement in some states (i.e. Washington State). I'm convinced it's the easiest class to cover in your homeschool. 



Here are five easy steps:

1. Wait until your child becomes motivated by money
2. Your child will seek (or be forced to seek) a job
3. Count hours on the job
4. When your child accumulates 150 hours, call it a credit
5. Retroactively write a course description

All done! Piece of cake.

What did you include in your Occupational Education credit in your homeschool? Please share!



 

Interested in learning what a successful book of course descriptions looks like? Check out my Comprehensive Record Solution!
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