Provides learning activities geared toward preschoolers. Includes teaching tips, story stretchers, and a guide to getting started.
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Advice for new homeschoolers, columns from the Miserly Mom, Catholic resources, preschool through high school activities, and information on individual states.
Montessori-based math kits include visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and tactile activities for children grades K-6.
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[Editor: Considering Homeschooling is proud to present this special guest column by Michedolene Hogan of Unique Parenting.] By: Michedolene Hogan When parents send their children to school, they expect for their children to be taught the necessary academic skills appropriate for their age. Yet, there scope of education is growing at an alarming rate. Schools have begun to overstep their boundaries and assume the role of the home in many aspects such as the socialization of our children. According to the 2003 Webster's New World dictionary, to socialize means to make fit for living in a group. This definition is similar to that found in the 1810 Merriam-Webster which states: To make social: especially to fit or train for a social environment. In order to be properly socialized, children must be able to be sociable, having a disposition to associate and converse with others. Children must have the ability to join in company or society and to unite in a general interest. Children must also have the ability to work in conjunction with others in the community and conform to laws. Children must exhibit respect for authority and an understanding of how the world works. Observation and practice are the main tools that children employ in order to learn these social skills. Based on the aforementioned necessary skills one would assume that the best place to learn such skills is in a classroom surrounded with peers and authority figures, right? Wrong. What kids really learn in traditional public education settings Traditional public schools settings are not as idealistic. Children may be surrounded by their peers but, these are not the best role models for social behavior. In schools, children often meet peers who are involved in delinquency, low academic achievement and exhibiting behavior problems. These are the children who get the most attention from their teachers and as a result, stand out to their peers. In the end, our children learn an unacceptable concept of social behavior by practicing what they observe. Despite this reality, the school continues to take the lead in training children for social situations. Raymond and Dorothy Moore, in their research on the validity of Early Childhood Education, determined that enrollment in formal schooling before ages 8-12 was not as effective as projected, but put children’s development at risk. They presented evidence of a correlation between the following childhood problems and the increasingly earlier enrollment of students: Juvenile delinquency Nearsightedness Increased enrollment of students in special education classes Behavioral problems Early enrollment in schools interrupts bonds and emotional development that children form in the home with parents. This damage, as found by the Raymond and Dorothy Moore, is not repaired in an institutional setting. Over 8,000 studies were conducted in the 1970’s by the Moores. In the end, they concluded that, “Where possible, children should be withheld from formal schooling until at least ages 8-10” because, “children are not mature enough for formal school programs until their senses, coordination, neurological development and cognition are ready.” Another theory, developed by teacher John Caldwell Holt, stated that “academic failure of school children was caused by pressure placed on children in schools.” He declared in 1980, “I want to make it clear that I don't see home schooling as some kind of answer to badness of schools. I think that the home is the proper base for the exploration of the world which we call learning or education. Home would be the best base no matter how good the schools were.” The school setting expects children to handle a whole new set of emotions as early as 3 years of age. At this tender age, children do not even understand their emotions, much less know how to appropriately deal with them. Children end up imitating their peers, whom as stated earlier may be involved in a number of behavior issues. The impact of a child’s sociability is an absolutely harmful progression away from positive sociability and self-concept. This progression is best explained in When Education Becomes Abuse: A Different Look at the Mental Health of Children. Here is their explanation of the sequence of emotions experienced by young children in early childhood settings: Uncertainty as the child leaves the family for a less secure environment Puzzlement at the new pressures and restrictions of the classroom Frustration because they are not ready to handle the regimentation of formal lessons (unready learning tools – senses, cognition, brain hemispheres, coordination) Hyperactivity growing out of nerves and jitters from frustration Failure which quite naturally flows from the four experiences above Delinquency which is failure's twin Benefits of Home Schooling Learning in the home is the best option. Home is the where true learning, exploring the world, takes place. ‘Learning’ in this case includes not only academic education but also an understanding of the social environment of the world. Teaching children in the home has countless benefits including: Home provides the proper atmosphere and value system to build upon. Home sets the example of honoring and respecting authority. Home teaches children how to be part of their community both physically and spiritually. Children with home as their base of exploration benefit from more time spent with warm, responsive parents, limited time with peers and free exploration under parental guidance. The parents are in control of the social influences and the child isn't exposed to the whirlwind of emotions that come with early childhood education. Children build a strong bond with the parents as the center example for proper social behavior and are given more opportunities to be among their community in a guided manner. The National Home Education Research Institute conducted a survey in 2003 of 7,300 adults who had been home schooled. Their astounding results once again make a case for the home; 71% home schooled adults are active and involved in their community compared to 37% of U.S. Adults from a traditional education background. 76% of home schooled adults between 18-24 voted within the last five years compared to 29%. The numbers are even greater in larger groups at 95% compared with 53% of traditional schooled adults. The survey also reported that 58.9% of home schooled adults reported that they are “very happy” with life compared with 27.6% for the general U.S. Population. 73.2% find life “exciting,” compared with 47.3%. Socialization is to make social: especially to fit or train for a social environment. Children best acquire this skill through the practice and observation in the home, not in the schools. Raymond and Dorothy Moore recognized this need in their first publication in 1975. That was just the tip of the iceberg in the research of socialization and teaching children. Evidence abounds and grows continually to support the home as the best place to socialize our children. Most recently, the NHERI statistics drive home the essential call to all parents to model their successful and productive adult lives with their children as the best social example to follow. About the Author: Michedolene Hogan lives in a quiet neighborhood of Yucaipa CA with her husband of 15yrs. Her favorite activities include spending time with her family and crafting fun family activities. She finds her greatest satisfaction in being a stay at home mom raising healthy children and publishes a bi-weekly newsletter offering advice for building strong families.
Well, you thought that cell phone would keep your kid safe if there was another school shooting. Who knew the shots would actually be homemade porn made with that very same cell phone?!? File this under the complete pornification of our society. What's an awkward teen boy do to get a date now? He sends a girl a picture of his junk. Parents, can I speak frankly here? If you are not considering homeschooling, you are completely nuts. From the Cincinnati Enquirer: Teens here are taking nude photos of themselves or others, sending them on their cell phones or posting them online. Some teens do it as a joke. For others, it's the new bold pickup line to get a date. A year ago, a 19-year-old Goshen cheerleading coach was charged and prosecuted for a misdemeanor, contributing to the unruliness of a child, for taking a topless photo of herself and a 15-year-old girl. A Glen Este Middle School boy was taken to juvenile court during the last school year for taking explicit photos of his girlfriend. The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy and CosmoGirl.com last month revealed results of a study that showed 20 percent of teens say they have sent or posted nude or semi-nude pictures or video of themselves. The results don't surprise local teens, school officials, police officers and others. "If I were to go through the cell phones in this building right now of 1,500 students, I would venture to say that half to two-thirds have indecent photos, either of themselves or somebody else in school," said Jim Brown, school resource officer at Glen Este High School. Turpin High School Principal Peggy Johnson thinks that the results would be similar - about 50-50 - in her building. According to the national study, most teens who send sexually suggestive content send to boyfriends or girlfriends, while others say they send such material to those they want to date or hook up with or to someone they only know online. Brown, who also is Glen Este Middle School's resource officer, said of the 14-year-old boy's cell phone photos last year: "They were as graphic as you would see in any Penthouse magazine, I've been told." The study also showed that 44 percent of teens say it's common for sexually explicit images and text messages - sexting - to be shared with people other than the intended recipient. "Guys who get pictures like this from girls, I don't think girls understand that guys gossip way more than girls," said Taylor McCleod, 17, a Withrow University High School senior who is a teen leader for the Postponing Sexual Involvement program. "And when a guy gets a picture like that, he's not just going to keep it between him and the girl. He's going to take that and show every guy that he knows that knows that girl. And every time somebody looks at her, it's going to be a loss of respect for her." The stakes of taking and sending sexually explicit photos can be high, compared to the thrill at the time. The consequences can range from humiliation to losing out on jobs to going to court. When kids are 14 or 15, Brown said, they don't often make the right decisions. "They think, 'I have the right to decide what's best for me.' The next thing you know, it's on YouTube, and you become an international star because you're exposing part of your body. ... Then, they want to retrieve their good reputation, and they can't." Kids have lost scholarships and jobs because of what's posted on Web sites, Brown said. Many kids have "wised up," taking photos of body parts, but not faces, to avoid detection. And while some teens intend for the suggestive photos to be seen by only one person, they might not think those photos will be forwarded or that something posted on the Internet lives on. "I don't think it even crosses their mind," Daniel "Woody" Breyer, chief deputy prosecutor in Clermont County, said. "I think that kids are in the moment. What's going to happen today? What are we doing tonight? What are we doing this weekend?" Going to court might not cross their minds, either. Prosecutors evaluate the intent of the photo when deciding if charges are warranted. "If this is clearly just a joke and everyone involved thinks it's funny, now somebody's mom sees it and gets mad. Technically, a charge could be filed," said Julie Wilson, chief assistant prosecutor and public information officer for the Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office. "We're asking police to evaluate if it's a criminal charge or a matter that could be handled by the school or parents. For whatever reason, we have not seen a lot of these cases." With so many implications, why do kids do it? Besides peer pressure, the practice is provoked by what's considered acceptable in this culture, Breyer said, citing videos, such as "Girls Gone Wild." "What is acceptable behavior in our country has just gone through the floor," Breyer said. Christopher Kraus, director of the Postponing Sexual Involvement program at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, said that in his 20 years of working in adolescent medicine at the hospital, he's yet to see a teenage trend that does not mirror a larger adult trend. "Adolescent sexuality is part of normal human development," Kraus said. "Teens are trying to figure out how to express their sexuality appropriately. They are learning, and they are learning from adults." Kraus, who also is project manager for the Ohio Department of Health's new Guidelines for Sexual Health and Adoption Education, Grades 7-12, said teens are learning how to sort out many sexual messages in the media, including text messages. "Some messages are complimentary. Some are offensive. Some are confusing. Each message is different." 'Kids Gone Wild' Another teen Postponing Sexual Involvement leader, Mariah McCollum, who has received unwanted and unsolicited photos from an acquaintance, talked about the trend. "Every day or every other day, I hear about a new video of one of my peers. There's a new video going around involving sexual activities," said Mariah, a 17-year-old senior at Withrow University High School. "I think it's pretty lame for a male to send you pictures without consent. ... Who says I want to see your private areas?" Mariah said, adding that she lost a lot of respect for the boy who sent it. Meanwhile, Brown said parents need to pay attention to their kids' use of technology. Part of the problem is that kids' inhibitions are knocked away by alcohol-fueled parties, where many sexually explicit photo opportunities occur, he said. "It's 'Kids Gone Wild,' with technology being provided by the parents," he said.
Classic considering homeschooling...Â from Considering Homeschooling: Will your children believe in Jesus when they graduate from high school? Homeschooled: 94% Public Schooled: 15% 94% of homeschoolers keep the faith and 93% continue to attend church after the high school years. But a shocking 75% to 85% of Christian children sent to public school drop out of church, and do not hold a Christian worldview after high school graduation. There has never been a better time to homeschool... Never before have parents had access to such a wealth of educational resources and technology for home education. And, Christian homeschool support groups abound, offering parents a helping hand in homeschooling. There is an abundance of extra-curricula activities for homeschoolers to participate in, with opportunities for wholesome friendships and real-life learning experiences. Homeschoolers avoid harmful school environments where God is mocked, where destructive peer influence is the norm, where drugs, alcohol, promiscuity and homosexuality are promoted, and where school violence is on the rise. By grade eight, the average homeschooled student performs four grade levels above their public and private school counterparts. A background in teaching is not necessary; in fact, "home educated students' test scores remained between the 80th and 90th percentiles, whether their mothers had a college degree or did not complete high school." How to get started homeschooling... It is natural to feel uncertain when you begin. Pray and trust God for the confidence you need. Get the support of other believers by contacting the homeschool organization listed on the back of this brochure. Research homeschooling by attending Christian homeschool conventions and reading books like Home Schooling: The Right Choice by Christopher Klicka. Keep your young ones home and out of preschool which disrupts family bonding, teaches inconsistent discipline, and exposes children to harmful peer behavior. Avoid government homeschooling programs such as "charter schools" and public school independent study programs. These government programs usurp the fatherâ€™s God-given headship over the family and focus the homeschool on humanist goals and curriculum. Discover the blessings of private Christian homeschooling â€“ your children will appreciate your caring efforts. In fact, a recent study found that 95% of the homeschool graduates surveyed were glad that they were homeschooled. What does God say about education? Homeschooling is the most Biblical form of education. God addresses parents, not government employees, as the educators of their own children: "And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up." - Deuteronomy 6:6-7 "All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children." - Isaiah 54:13 "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." - Proverbs 22:6 Jesus said: "Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher." - Luke 6:39, 40 "Learn not the way of the heathen." - Jeremiah 10:2 "He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm." - Proverbs 13:20