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Help! My Child Knows More Than Me!!

Help! My Child Knows More Than Me!!


Help! My Child Knows More Than Me!!


I sometimes hear from homeschooling parents who are concerned that their child knows more than they do! Their child will ask them a question and the parent doesn't understand what they're talking about. Or the child will insist the textbook is wrong!

I am here to tell you, it's SO OK for your child to know more than you do! You don't HAVE to know all the stuff they are learning - that's their job, not yours.  Remember that you want your children to become auto-didactic (self-teaching), so they can succeed in college and in their careers.  Knowing how to teach yourself is one of the most important indicators of success. So when your child is learning on their own, that is a GREAT thing.

I did also have a strategy for "the answer is wrong" reply.  Sometimes the answer keys ARE wrong, but most homeschool curriculum will have a support email, or an 800 number you can call when such questions arise.  When your child thinks an answer in the textbook answer key is wrong, you can contact the book author and find out whether they're correct.  When I got frustrated with my children because of their protestations of incorrect answer keys, I would tell them that their answer had to look EXACTLY like the answer key.  If it didn't, the answer was marked "incorrect" unless or until my child called or emailed the textbook author to get the corrected answer.  That put it in the hands of my children to solve the problem, and not me.

Instead of saying "Help! My child knows more than me," realize it's wonderful that homeschooling will allow your children to learn at their own pace - even when they know more than you!  It's a good thing, not a bad thing - and certainly not a reason to prevent parents from homeschooling!



 

 

 

Please note: This post was originally published in April 2009 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Your teenager has a lot to learn in order to be successful in homeschool high school.  As the parent, there is a lot for us to learn, too!  In your role as teacher, coach and guidance counselor, there is a lot of information that you need to internalize in order to successfully navigate the high school waters.  Help is available with the Gold Care Club!

 

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In the News

In the News

What is YOUR Homeschool like?  What time did you have lunch today?!  Check out this interesting article, “Overcrowding At Queens School To Force 8th Graders Into 9:45 A.M. Lunch” at the CBS Local News website.




Where did your children "do school" today? East-central Illinois homeschool families have formed a community. “Some children will sit around the dining room table for daily lessons, while others will read on the backyard trampoline. A typical day may start with breakfast and Bible study as a family or be a mixture of schoolwork and a part-time job spread throughout the day.”  Read the whole Republic article here.

Do your children read challenging books?   According to an article in the Huffington Post, American high school students are reading books at 5th-grade-appropriate levels! "Teachers, parents, and students need to work together to ensure that students are reading far more challenging books and practicing every year reading more demanding text. Students will not likely choose sufficiently challenging text on their own; they need to be challenged and supported to build their strength as readers by stretching to the next level."

Why is homeschooling a good choice for you? The New Jersey Times says that “Homeschooling has become a viable option for parents; here’s why that’s not a bad thing.”

Feel free to share your opinions or feelings on my blog!



 

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Consulting with Computer Geeks

Consulting with Computer Geeks


Do you love a teenage computer geek?  Don't you wish someone had a user's manual for them?  They can be as difficult to decipher as a JavaScript manual written in Chinese!  Let me throw a few ideas into the mix!  When I'm consulting with parents of computer geeks, I always try to touch on a few key topics:

Grab credits where you can

Your child may be learning computer languages or other highly technical skills that are often learned in community college or in a university.  If your child demonstrates mastery in a technical subject, give them credit on the high school transcript.  For example, if they are fluent in C++, you might give 1 credit and use the class title Computer Programming: C++.  If they are doing robotics competitions, you migth give 1 credit and call the class Robotics.  That class may even repeat every year!  If your child is an intern, then you can use that as their Occupational Education credit.  Again, that class might repeat every year.

Demonstrate success when you can
Lots of techie teens can find great competitions to interact with others.  There are some fabulous activities that look great on a transcript and can get kids around others with similar interests.  Check out First Lego League, and their Robotics League. Look into  USA Computing Olympiad , Science Olympiad , and other science fairs and competitions.  If your child earns a certificate in anything, from Ham Radio to Java, put that on the transcript.

Take tests to demonstrate knowledge
Techie interests don't often fit into CLEP tests, but you can sometimes find them in DANTES tests, so make sure you look there.  Those tests would make wonderful outside documentation for highly technical skills. There is also an AP and CLEP in a technical category, but not such a wide variety.  You can learn more about extra tests in this article: Two for the Price of One.

Cover what geeks need to know to succeed
Computer-loving geeks are going to need to know biology, chemistry, and physics.  They'll need to get them into Calculus as well.  Because they'll need these in an engineering or computer science degree, the more science and math they get in high school, the better.

Cover the core to get into college

To get into a college engineering/computer program,  you can't be JUST good at computers.  You also have to cover the core classes.  Make sure you get the other classes out of the way too, using their geeky pursuits for electives. In other words, they'll still need English, some sort of fine art, foreign language, and PE.  Computer geeks sometimes understand Latin and prefer it over other foreign languages, so check to see if that is acceptable to colleges you like.

Teach in a way that makes sense 
Techie teens can often be convinced to take Digital Photography as their fine art.  Sometimes they'll read classic literature that includes wild and crazy geeks or sci-fi genre.  Consider these books, for example: Alas BabylonWar of the Worlds, Brave New World , Metamorphosis ,and  A Wrinkle in Time.

Beware of Technology Pitfalls 
Because of excessive computer use, make sure you and your child are both familiar with Internet Addiction, so you aren't caught by surprise.  You can find many articles about it here: Pinterest Internet Addiction Resources. Discuss the appropriate use of technology, and how to determine if it is becoming a problem.

Don't teach what they already know

If your child is naturally learning math (don't laugh - it can happen!) you don't need to teach it again.  You can give a placement test in math using the Saxon website to determine what they have learned naturally.  Fill in any gaps with SAT Prep Books like  “11 Practice Tests for the SAT”.  Use prep books as short math worksheets to cover in any gaps they skipped over, as they hurried into calculus so they could start programming.  That way they will be filling in missing math and geometry concepts while studying for the SAT.  If they are learning technology naturally and for fun, you don't need to teach them "computer skills" because you think they might be missing something.

Go beyond the basics.
If your child is ready to go beyond high school basics in technical areas, there are plenty of resources out there.  In the beginning, you might find classes through Khan Academy online.  Later, when they are ready for college level classes in this area, you can look into Coursera.org or MIT OpenCourseWare.   Remember, you as the parent don't need to know the material, and you don't need to teach it.  Your job is just to find opportunities for your child to learn.I hope that helps!  I love a geek too, and I know it's a challenge.

This information was actually what I shared with my Gold Care Club member Kim, pictured here with the Robotics Team Mascot. She was so relieved to talk to someone who understands!  She wrote me the sweetest note after I sent her these resources.


 
It was so great talking with you today!  Thank you so much for all of your advice, your time, and your encouragement.  I am so excited to know I have someone so knowledgeable that I can go to for help with everything regarding homeschooling high school!  The email you just sent my way today is a treasure trove.  You really know how to listen and know what to recommend!  I have already sent my son to look at the Computing Olympiad site.  Thank you for all of the personalized links and advice...you are the best resource I've ever had!  Wow! I will definitely "do my homework" this week, and I look very forward to talking with you again next Wednesday.

Thanks again for everything ~ Kim

If you would like encouragement, consider joining the Gold Care Club. Members get 20 minutes of consulting each week, either by phone or by email, and can learn from 7 online classes each month that change regularly.  I'll be happy to help you too!



 

Do you enjoy our monthly newsletter, “The HomeScholar Record?”  If so, would you write a brief review here, so others can benefit from it too?  Thanks!!

 

 
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Homeschool Peer Pressure

Homeschool Peer Pressure

I worry about peer pressure – not with the children, but with the parents.


 


 

As homeschooling becomes more common, and there are more and more parents homeschooling, there seems to be an increase in peer pressure.  Parents feel they should join a homeschool coop, or participate in dual enrollment, or use a specific curriculum or join a particular accreditation group.  I encourage parents to look at their children, not other parents, as they make decisions about school.  Instead of searching for the latest and greatest new ideas or curriculum, focus on tried and true methods.

 

There are many homeschool fads that come and go.  Homeschool cooperatives, dual enrollment in community college, parent partnership programs, online classes, and classical education are current fads.  Although fads, they may fit your child.  But even though they are popular, they may not work for your family.

 

Don’t join groups or try something new just because someone else is doing it.  First, determine if you need to make a change.  If things are working, don’t change it!  Then decide if the curriculum or experience is a good fit for your family.  Avoid peer pressure - even pressure from other well-meaning homeschool parents.







Learn how to homeschool with confidence with my Preparing to  Homeschool High School DVD.  It will help take the fear away.

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Success in Homeschooling High School

Success in Homeschooling High School
I'll let you in on a secret.  Success in homeschooling is not dependent on how your children turn out.  That's because you can't measure your own success or failure based on the behavior of others.

 


It may sound shocking, but it is true.  Parents can’t control their adult children.  They can only control their own choices and behaviors.  Therefore, our success in homeschooling must be based on what we do, as parents, and not on the results we see in our children. We are like a contractor who builds the foundation of a house.  Our concrete must be strong, but our work cannot ensure the house will be built properly.

Success is when you “leave it all on the field” as they say in sports.  True success means you did your best, tried your hardest, and worked to prepare your children for the future.  Parents cannot be perfect, but they can give their best effort. Success means giving your children the best possible education and character you can provide.  After their education is complete, their choices are up to them.

Your measurement of success cannot depend on your children’s behavior, because you can’t control their behavior.  It can only depend on you.



 

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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Schedule Free Time

Schedule Free Time


I always encourage parents to schedule free time.

We worked our heavy academic subjects 4 days a week.  The 5th day was when we focused more on delight directed learning.  In elementary school, the 5th day was when we went to the park, or roller skating, or met with friends.  In high school, that was the day for my children to do special projects, or work on their electives. They had to get their math and foreign language done in the morning, to make sure they didn’t fall behind.  After that, the day was free to work on their electives – which meant that each week we had a really exciting and successful day, encouraging our children to do what they loved.

My oldest son loves chess.  He spent time studying chess, becoming nationally ranked.  He also taught chess classes to homeschool groups, private schools, and at inner city after school programs.  My younger son loves politics and economics.  He spent time studying subjects independently.  Eventually he was offered a job as a research assistant at a public policy think tank, and was active in politics and economics there.

Remember Mr. Roger's Neighborhood?  Fred Rogers said, "Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serous learning.  But for children play is serious learning.  Play is really the work of Childhood." At the high school level, play is delight directed learning, and a source of high school electives.



 

Learn how to homeschool with confidence with my Preparing to  Homeschool High School DVD.  It will help take the fear away.
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Homeschool Yearbook Solution

Homeschool Yearbook Solution
My writer and editor Jill Bell just graduated her high school senior (congratulations, Jill!)  I asked her to write a review of Total Yearbooks so I could see how it would work for a real homeschooler.  Guess what?  She LOVED it!  Read her review and see for yourself - this could be the solution for your homeschool yearbook too!

Total Yearbooks Review


 



If you’re like many homeschool moms, the photos you’ve taken of your family over the years are languishing somewhere in a box, or nowadays are more likely to be sitting in a folder on your desktop, not even printed out yet!  You envy your friends who display fabulous, colorful scrapbooks or baby books, complete with journaling and beautiful color photos embellished with the latest doohickeys.  Where do they find the time (not to mention the money) to do those things?!  Surely you must be a terrible mother, because you won’t have a beautiful baby book to hand over to your future daughter-in-law, or a great high school yearbook to share at your son’s upcoming graduation party.  What to do?

 

Although I have managed to produce a few scrapbooks of my children, and I even print out a few photos every so often at the local drug store, I am not the queen of memory-making, and I really wish I had some other ways to capture and record these fleeting memories of our family time together before my kids fly off to new nests.

 

When the opportunity to try out a new online resource for creating photo books came along, I decided to give it a try!  Total Yearbooks (www.TotalYearbooks.com) is an online program that allows you to upload your photos and create a variety of picture books, with over 100 page templates and multiple text options to choose from.  I decided to create that high school graduation yearbook (mentioned above), and chose a large (12 x 12) 20-page book option.  It was easy to upload my photos from my desktop, drop them into the templates I chose, and then add the text I wanted (the ‘Help’ button at the top of the page answered most of the questions I had as well).  The process didn’t require me to have sophisticated computer skills (good), or tons of time (really good), and the results—well let me just say WOW!  After placing my order (and the prices are quite reasonable), my yearbook arrived a few days later in the mail.  The quality of photo paper, the hard cover durability, and the clarity of the photos was pretty impressive!

 

Although I didn’t choose this option, you can even make your creations available for purchase online, and make a little profit!  I could see a homeschool club or class creating a yearbook here, and making it available for others to purchase as a fundraiser!  You can also share your photos from this website with family and friends, in a password-protected environment.  All in all, this is a great website, and I encourage everyone to try it out!

 

Jill Bell, Editor at The HomeScholar



 

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HELP! They Don’t Love Learning!

HELP! They Don’t Love Learning!


 

There may come a time when your child says they aren’t interested in learning anything. If they seem disinterested in their studies for a while, try to incorporate more delight-directed learning into your homeschooling.  Delight-directed learning is all about fostering the love of learning in our children, creating lifelong learners who can adapt to any situation. It helps children find areas they are passionate about pursuing, and incorporates this learning into their education.

If your child is in this stage, and doesn’t seem interested in exploring much, it might help to expose them to a variety of classes. Perhaps they will discover other interests and passions they didn’t know they had.  Remember to keep margin time available, too, so that they have enough free time in the day to explore their interests. Sometimes allowing for that time might mean limiting TV and computer games. Of course, if computer programming is an area of their passion and delight, you could consider limiting computer and online gaming, while still giving them room to develop their passion. If you’d like more help in discovering and directing your child’s interests, try my online resource, Delight Directed Learning.

As you use delight-directed learning in your homeschool, be careful not to teach your student what they already know, or subjects they are learning naturally as they enjoy their passion. For example, if your child loves writing novels all the time and that’s all they want to do, don’t purchase a curriculum for novel writing and make them study for an hour or two everyday.  If they love a subject, don’t feel you have to create worksheets, tests, or grading rubrics to add it to your transcript. If you turn delight-directed learning into a subject or make it into something that your child doesn’t like, sometimes they will backpedal and lose their love for that subject.

When all is Said and Done


To homeschool more effectively, include as much delight-directed learning as possible.  A fun learning environment does not make school easy, it makes it interesting and applicable.  When school is interesting, children will learn more and they will love learning more. Enjoy the benefits of delight-directed learning with your children, as they discover the passions and interests that ignite their hearts!

 



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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March is College Visit Time

March is College Visit Time


 

College Visit Time

If you’re a parent of a homeschooled teenager, you’ve probably been thinking about college for a while now! As you and your student prepare for that not-so-far-away event, now is the time to start visiting colleges that interest you.  Deciding which colleges to consider is a big job—and you should take your time doing it, since your student will be spending four years of their life in this place.  For help in the process of selecting and visiting colleges, my online training course, Finding a College is a perfect place to start.  I recommend you visit colleges in the spring of junior year or earlier. Colleges can look very similar on paper, with brochures full of sunny days and beautiful fall leaves.  Even when pictures and statistics look the same, you really don’t know what a college is like until you visit.

Let them know you’re coming
Whether you visit a campus on a special preview day, a regular school day or for an overnight visit, you should sign up with the Admissions department and let them know you are coming.  It’s very easy.  Most college websites will have a place to register for a visit.  Don’t miss this opportunity to let colleges know you’re interested in them!  Some colleges keep records of how often prospective students come to visit.  If you decide a particular college may be “the one” and you’ve visited them four times, they will look at this very favorably and value you more because of it.

Meet the admission representative
When visiting a prospective college, your student should dress neatly and be clean, pleasant and charming.  The school will likely be watching you just as closely as you are watching them.  Students should make a point to talk to the college admission staff.  It’s easy for parents to take control here and run the show, but this is actually a mistake.  This time your student should do most of the interaction.  It is, of course, important for parents to find out the college’s policy for homeschooled applicants, and determine what sort of records they need from your homeschool.  Many colleges treat homeschoolers the same as all other applicants, while others will have certain hoops that homeschoolers have to jump through, such as testing or something unique to that college.  It’s important to know this information up front, so make sure to ask during your visit.



When you are applying for colleges, you will need a great homeschool transcript.  The good news is you can “do-it-yourself” and save thousands. Discover the Total Transcript Solution.
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Homeschooling High School - How to Get it All Done

Homeschooling High School - How to Get it All Done
How do I get it ALL done? That is a big question. It all depends on what your "ALL" means to you? Is your "All" too big? What are your priorities?





I am now a featured expert on Bizymoms.com! You can read my articles here.
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Comparing Online Products and DVDs

Comparing Online Products and DVDs


 

Kids have a learning style, right? Parents do too! I try to have a variety of ways to get information, so you can learn what you need to know. I have freebies for parents just starting to think about things. I have digital products for parents that are pretty good on the computer. And I have products like books, DVDs and CDs that are mailed to your home, because I know that some parents just need to hold something!

Here you can compare my online products with my DVDs. Ordering a DVD means a DVD mailed to you. The cost is $20 plus shipping. The A la Carte online products are completely online and nothing is shipped to you. The cost is $15, no shipping, and it comes with additional resources like an ebook, handout for the presentation, online articles to read, and often additional bonus things that are free. Using the online video is like watching a YouTube, and not more difficult than that. You get lifetime access to the video and material when you order online.

Comparing Finding a College

Finding a College Online 

Finding a College DVD 

Compare Getting the BIG Scholarships

Getting the BIG Scholarships Online

Getting the BIG Scholarships DVD

I know some people want to hold something in their hands, and the DVDs are great for those people. Others do well on the computer and appreciate the value of online products, and the A la Carte classes are great for those people.


My A la Carte courses can provide you with the tools you need to homeschool high school successfully.
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Your Child's Method of Learning

Your Child's Method of Learning



Books rule! We really like books. We soak up books. Everything that we want to find out can be discovered from a book. Many times people ask me why our reading lists were so incredibly long. It wasn’t due to the fact I assigned all of those books, I can tell you that much! For both of my boys, reading is their “love language. ”  Let them have a book, and they will adore you forever. Every single Christmas, their wish list consists of certain books. Our reading list is so extensive as that’s the way my children learn best.




Attempt to detect the ideal method of learning for your child. Perhaps they learn best by doing. It's possible that they learn best when they listen to something. Maybe they can replicate anything after they see it done first. It doesn’t need to be about books – simply uncover the way they learn best.




In some cases they’ll learn a subject regardless of how your offer it. However when you experience challenges, and they appear to just detest something, get back to their ideal way of learning. Try those approaches once again, to learn the subjects they dislike.


My kids were great at math and science, therefore you might assume that every subject came easy for them. It didn’t! My children really hated art! In particular Kevin! In order to teach them art, after failing and failing at several hands-on projects, I eventually got smart. I found BOOKS on the subject of art. I selected biographies of artists, and books with just the artwork of MC Escher (a big success with my engineer) as well as art books with just impressionists (a big success with my history buff. ) We ended up doing rather nicely with art, when I concentrated on teaching them HISTORY of art, and art through books.



My A la Carte courses can provide you with the tools you need to homeschool high school successfully.


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Fun and Games for Christmas Day!

Fun and Games for Christmas Day!

Our family LOVES board games!  Every year we would get one big game for our family.  We played them on Christmas morning - and then the boys would play them again while I did some after-Christmas shopping at the sales with my mom!


It seems like our MOST favorite games come with variations that are just awesome!  Here are some game suggestions!


"Ticket to Ride" games -  great for geography, by the way.  It comes in a variety of versions that are ALL fun!



"Carcassone" game has lots of variations.








"Settlers of Catan" was a game very popular among their college buddies, so it was a great investment.






The Play's the Thing Board Game teaches Shakespeare plays.  I loved it, but the kids couldn't rule the world with this game, so it wasn't their favorite.


Take Off! geography game



I am now a featured expert on Bizymoms.com!  You can read my articles here.

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How Do You Do It All?

How Do You Do It All?


Are you suddenly single?  Death, divorce, and even deployment can happen. Even to homeschool parents.  It may happen suddenly, and unexpectedly.  Even a long-anticipated deployment can seem sudden when they day actually arrives, and while temporary it can still be difficult.  When you are faced with single parenting, know that you are NOT alone!




Mary Jo Tate of SingleParentsAtHome.com explained what happened to her.  “I never expected to be a single mother. When my husband left me for another woman, I was shocked, angry, and scared. I was embarrassed to be divorced; for a while I felt as though I wore a scarlet D emblazoned on my dress. Our four sons were bewildered, and their world was turned upside down. I was deeply committed to remaining at home with my children and continuing to homeschool them, yet I wondered how I could support us all financially.”




When a parent becomes suddenly single, homeschooling may seem an even more daunting task.  Now what? How can you continue in this challenging lifestyle you love?  The trick is to adapt, and find a new “normal” for your family.  Find resources and achieve a balance that works for you.


You can read my article about "Suddenly Single" for more encouragement.  And for the next few days, Mary Jo Tate is having a HUGE sale on her product called "How do you do it all?" that includes tons of free bonuses - including some from me!  Balance homeschool & home business in the real world. Check it out here: http://www.howdoyoudoitall.com/sale.html.


Curious about The HomeScholar? Read more on our About Us page.

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How Do you FEEL about Homeschooling High School?

How Do you FEEL about Homeschooling High School?


Let's talk about real feelings.  How do you feel when you think about homeschooling high school?  Do any of these words sound familiar?

  • freaked out

  • terrified

  • hyperventilating

  • procrastinating

  • confused

  • stressed

  • overwhelmed

  • immobilized with fear

  • panicky

  • ready to run

  • obsessed

  • worried


Do any of these words describe what you are feeling?  Thinking about homeschooling high school can make you feel uncomfortable.  But what you really need is some down-to-earth advice.  High school is not really terrifying.  It's just a new beginning.

My goal is to convince you that you will WIN this battle over fear and become a confident parent of your homeschooled teen!  Learn how to begin high school, so you won't panic and throw in the towel.



Learn how to homeschool with confidence with my Preparing to  Homeschool High School DVD.  It will help take the fear away.
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