Read these 14 Christian Homeschooling Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Home School tips and hundreds of other topics.
One way to help your extended family and friends accept your Christian homeschool choices try to involve them in your school. Here are some ways they can get involved:
You can easily locate other Christian homeschool families through forums at top Christian curriculum websites. You should stop by and visit these forums. You can talk with other parents about the latest developments in Christian homeschooling curriculum or simply hang out to chat and relax.
You should not blindly purchase a Christian homeschool curriculum based on the advice of another Christian homeschooling family. What works for one family may not work for your family. There are hundreds of conventions held each year to help you find the best Christian homeschool curriculum that works for you and your family.
Christian homeschool curriculum alone will not teach your children everything there is to know about being a Christian. One way to encourage your children to model Christ-like behavior is to emulate it yourself. As a Christian homeschooling parent you have the greatest impact on how your children will view Christianity.
It is easy to become frustrated and overwhelmed when you are homeschooling children. After a frazzling day it is easy for homeschooling parents to beat up on themselves. One way you can keep yourself in check is to always keep your purpose for Christian homeschooling in mind. Many parents choose to Christian homeschool because they want their children in a “grace filled” environment. Do not forget to extend that grace to yourself. Forgiving yourself and starting fresh with a clean slate can go far in teaching your children what it means to be a Christian.
If you are a Christian homeschooling, your older children do not have to feel out of the “cyber-loop.” There are many viable groups on the Internet just for older homeschooling children and teens. These groups enable your children to connect with age appropriate peers who are also Christian homeschoolers. Christian homeschoolers have their own pen pal organizations, blogs and forums. Allowing your homeschooling children to participate in these groups is a good way to help them feel part of the 21st century. You should locate these groups for your older children and teens and approve them prior to letting your children join. This will help you filter out groups which you do not deem appropriate for your older children and teens.
If you are concerned about spending your money on Christian homeschool curriculum sight unseen, be on the lookout for used books sales by Christian homeschool groups. These sales are usually held in the early summer. This is when Christian parents are trying to get rid of last year's curriculum so they can purchase next year's books.
You can also check out Christian homeschooling conventions. You will have no problem locating one in your area. Just go to a
Christian curriculum website and they will list the dates and locations of the fairs. These curriculum conventions will give you the opportunity to look through many homeschooling programs in detail. You will also have access to sponsors who can answer any specific questions you may have about a curriculum. These curriculum conventions enable homeschooling families to make informed decisions on their purchases.
If you are a Christian homeschool parent, you will probably find that your decision to homeschool will be questioned by those closest to you. Well meaning family and friends may feel that your children will not receive the education they will need to succeed in life. They may also feel that your children will not have many friends or be as active as public school children.
One way to lessen these well meaning worries is to put out a monthly newsletter or a weekly blog. This newsletter or blog should be about your homeschooling family and what you have been doing. Include things of interest such as recaps of what your children have been doing with their time and be sure to publish pictures of your children. These could be pictures of crafts your children have made or field trips your children have been on. Other pictures could be of your children playing with their friends or doing interactive things such as cooking, reading to a sibling or playing on a sports team. Give regular updates about your children's schoolwork in your newsletter or blog. Provide a list of each child's reading list, spelling words, etc. Comment on their tests and the progress they are making. By getting on the offense you will probably find that your friends and family start looking forward to your updates. More times than not they will also warm to the concept of homeschooling.
If you have decided to be a Christian homeschooling you are entering into a very warm and friendly community. Christian homeschooling families are a tight group who readily make themselves available for support and advice, especially to new homeschoolers. If you are a new Christian homeschooling family, don't feel isolated or alone. You should know that there are many families who homeschool for religious reasons. To locate families in your area contact your local public library or large church in your area.
If you are new to Christian homeschooling and are unsure which level of curriculum to purchase for your children have them take these handy placement tests. Placement tests can gauge your children's strengths and weaknesses in a wide range of subjects from comprehension and reading to spelling and mathematics. While no test will ever be 100% accurate, placement tests go far in matching your child up with an appropriate grade level curriculum.
If you are uncomfortable with what your child is being taught in public school and you are a Christian, you should strongly consider homeschooling. The great thing about Christian homeschooling curriculum providers is many of them offer placement testing on their websites. There is Christian Homeschooling Curriculum produced by Christians for Christians.
Are you nervous about sending your child to a public school? Many parents are unwilling to subject their children to such learning environments, which are often rife with such vices drinking, drugs, sex, violence, and sexual abuse.
Although, traditionally, homeschooling has been practiced more in Christian communities than communities at large, there has been an increasing trend towards home schooling in general, as that parents wish to protect their children from the aforementioned ills of public schools, and to instill in their children their own set of beliefs, whether they be Christian, secular, or otherwise.
If you're nervous about sending your student to a dangerous public school, home schooling is a very real alternative that you should consider.
One of the best ways you can document home schooling is through the creation of a home school portfolio. A home school portfolio is representative of the education your home schooled students receive every year. Your portfolio can include samples of completed school work, copies of exams, photographs of educational excursions or activities, essays and reports students have written, school records, etc. Anyone interested in the educational background and achievements of a home schooled student can find the information they need by perusing a student's portfolio.
Setting Up a Home School Portfolio
The initial setup of a home school portfolio requires some work, but once established, it can be easily updated to keep up with your child's school progress. Older primary and high school students can easily update their portfolios on a regular basis by adding the best samples of their school work to represent what they are learning. They can also use their artistic and creative skills to customize their portfolio to give it a unique, personal touch.
The creation of a Home School Portfolio begins with selecting a sturdy binder that can hold a substantial amount of transparent plastic sheets. Decorative binders work very well for younger children as they add life and color to the portfolio. Older children may want to create their own portfolio cover and personalize divider pages to reflect their taste and preference. High school students will need a more professional looking binder as their portfolio will eventually be the "official" representation of their high school education.
The inside of your portfolio should be well organized for easy reference and display. Your portfolio can be divided into three parts:
• Academic Achievements
• Extracurricular Activities
• School Records
Under the academic achievements section, students can put samples of their best school work for the year. This would include sample reports, essays, projects, quizzes, etc. from each of the four core subjects (Language Arts, Math, Social Studies and Science). You should also include unit tests, semester exams and year end exams from each of these subjects.
Under the extracurricular activities section, students can document excursions, outside classes, vacation holidays or community service through photographs of the same. School excursions could include trips to museums, national parks, science fairs, art fairs, musical attractions, etc. Outside classes may include taking art, music or dance lessons, karate classes, arts and crafts, participating on a sports team and more. All of these activities are learning experiences and as such can be documented as part of your portfolio.
Because of the flexibility of home schooling, students are able to participate in a number of extracurricular activities to round off their education. In addition to academics, many home schoolers incorporate such skills as culinary arts, carpentry, electrical repair, sewing, keyboarding, computer literacy, etc. into their curricula to enhance their learning experience. Such skills can be documented within your school records as representative of your overall education.
School records will include class attendance, monthly progress reports, quarterly or semester progress reports and year end reports. High school students, in particular, will need to ensure their progress reports are accurate and up to date. By perusing the Internet, you can find various samples of progress report forms that you can use to document the progress of your home school students. School records along with the rest of your home school portfolio will reflect the quality of your children's education each year. As such, your records should be kept on a professional level so anyone can clearly see the progress that is made.
Home school portfolios will provide you with excellent documentation of your children's home schooling. It will serve as a constant reminder of the quality of your children's education. By looking through their portfolios at the end of each year, your children will be encouraged and inspired by the progress they have made which will challenge them to greater works in the future.
In the homeschool environment, parents and children must successfully function as teacher and student. For many families the two roles are so intertwined that there is a very fine line divides family time and classroom time.
When structured learning is creatively disguised as family communication, children learn that their parents love them, care about them, respect their opinions and take pride in discussing the day-to-day operations of academics, family life and other topics. In fact, many homeschool families have very little that they will not discuss openly with one another (considering their age, of course).
As your child prepares for the high school homeschool curriculum, it is important that he or she also learn to think more independently and responsibly for his or her own education. This is an important and valuable skill for the transition into adult life and becoming an independent thinker in the adult world.
As concern for safety within public schools rise, parents are becoming more inclined to homeschool their children and avoid the possibility of their child being injured or killed due to violence in the classroom.
But how does the average parent teach high school subjects that he or she hasn't visit since high school decades ago? Do not fear. There are Christian homeschool programs available that provide quality homeschool program curriculum delivered in a manner that any parent can understand.
The thought-provoking curriculum may be accessible for the parent/teacher, but it challenges the high school student to think deeply on important issues and analyze and evaluate their own academic growth.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|