18 Tips for Maximizing Homeschool Conventions

Spring and summer generally offer more opportunities to go to a home educator's conference or convention. You can spend a good bit of time and money at these events. When you prepare ahead of time you can minimize wasted time and money. Here are my top 18 tips for maximizing these opportunities:

1. As early as January, research the events that are within reach - time, money and geography wise.

2. Once you have your list of possible events, determine if you want to plan on going to one or more of these events.

3. Make a list of your goals for going - Sample goals:

Homeschoolers and College: Private or Public University?

Your student may be interested in both the local public university and the expensive private one across the country -- which one is actually cheaper?! When it comes to comparing colleges, it's important to remember that the financial differences between attending a private school and a public school are negligible. Most public schools are tied to their state's money, and because of the current economic crisis, the cost of public university is going up while the number of scholarships is going down. Meanwhile, many private schools are doing fairly well and tend to have huge scholarships. Even though their sticker price may be overwhelmingly large, the amount that students actually pay to attend is significantly smaller.

When comparing colleges, use reference books like the US News and World Report College Guide to determine real costs. After you've decided which colleges you think you might want to visit, get out the college guide and look at each college. Start by looking up the average SAT score for each college.

How to Write Really Great College Application Ess`ys for Homeschool Success

One of the keys to winning big scholarships is to write really great application essays. The problem with application essays is that they have to be technically perfect, self-reflective essays. I know that can be a problem! I've had teenagers, and I know that "technically perfect" is a very difficult thing to get your children to do in an essay. I also had boys, and I know that self-reflection for boys is extremely difficult. Technically perfect, self-reflective essays are a difficult thing that can take a lot of time. Therefore, make sure that you have lots of time to get these essays done.

One way to do this is to have your child begin practicing their application essays when they are a junior, even as the basis for their junior year English program. When they apply to college, they will have a variety of essays to draw from. If you have a senior, I encourage you to hit the ground running the first day of senior year. Make sure their first writing assignment is a college application essay. Even if they haven't decided what colleges they want to apply to, grab a college essay topic and have your child write on it.

A Better Way to Homeschool: Using Notebooking To Add Creativity and Depth To Your Lessons

As a homeschooler, you have total freedom to express yourself and what you are learning in a way that suits your learning style and personality. With many, many, many curriculums to choose from, it is understandable to see why many homeschoolers are falling into the worksheet mentality.

Worksheets are easy to assign. Worksheets are either done or incomplete. Many parents enjoy the boundaries offered by a worksheet; but is that the best for your child?

Ask yourself these questions:

    Is the assignment my child is working on destined for the trash can?
    Will my child understand the topic better by completing this assignment?
    Is my child excited to finish the task at hand?
    Does my child look for ways to share this assignment with others? Are they proud of their work?

Physical Changes That Occur in the Brain Through Learning

There has been a lot of research into the brain and we home schoolers have learned many fascinating and amazing things from neuroscientists. Probably the most amazing fact about our brain is that it is constantly changing and growing. Scientists call this neuroplasticity.

Neuroplasticity - a big word but one that is important as we think about teaching kids and actively engaging their brains. According to Judy Willis, a neurologist and educator, neuroplasticity is defined as the selective organizing of connections between neurons in our brains. Basically, what scientists have discovered is that as we learn new things, our brains actually change and physically grow. Throughout our lives, our brains are growing and changing and making new connections as we learn new things and experience new situations.

Private Tuition - Pain or Gain?

In a tough economy, why does personal tuition flourish?

Typically, the natural course of reasoning is always that hiring a private English Language tutor, for a child whose mother tongue is actually English, would be surplus to demands! Incredibly, the tutors will continue to operate. This all beggars the thought,'Why?'

In times when things are difficult and people are generally being affected by pay freezes along with rises in living costs, exactly why hire a private tutor? What is it regarding one to one training which families see as a legitimate expense, when the economic climate is technically within a downturn? Exactly why do mothers and fathers lower expenses with elements such as new clothes plus postpone annual vacations but nevertheless, ensure that their children have reached the front of the actual queue pertaining to education?

Homeschool Dads - Simple Steps on Becoming a Successful Christian Parent

Homeschool Dads - Simple Steps on Becoming a Successful Christian Parent

There are millions of homeschool dads worldwide. While many of these males consider themselves to be secular as far as their religious beliefs are concerned, a large majority are Christian. While both a mother and a father are considered to be parents, it is a known fact that fathers experience a different, unique means of bonding with their children. If you are a Christian father, it is absolutely essential that you know and understand how to be a father that leads, inspires and educates your children according to God's Word. In Deuteronomy 6:5, the Bible instructs to: "And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might". In the same Book of the Bible (6:2) you are informed: "That thou mightest fear the LORD thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son's son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged". If you want to be one of the many productive homeschool dads in the world, this is the first step to your success.

Dissecting A Famous Speech Can Stimulate The Home School Student And Parent Alike

Some of the best field trips for home school students do not require leaving the home. To analyze or dissect famous speeches from our country's sublime past including those of Patrick Henry or Webster or Lincoln, or those of Churchill's "Finest Hour" Empire, or of Cicero's gasping Roman Republic, or of the pure Athenian democracy of Demosthenes and Pericles, can open up the majestic, astonishing course of history like nothing else can. Nor should one overlook the gaudy speeches of captains of industry, such as Iacocca of Chrysler, who successfully overcame very long odds. And even more than an important excursion into history, speech dissection can also stir young men or women to rise up, one day, as political or business leaders themselves!

A speech, properly examined, is like a portal on a deep sea diving vessel that can allow us to explore incredible treasures otherwise buried from view and lost forever.

A Better Way To Homeschool: Teaching With Toddlers Under Your Feet

When I began homeschooling I had a 5th grader, a kindergartener (who was scheduled for major surgery), an 18 month old, and I was expecting baby #4. I was on bed rest, I couldn't walk, and my older son needed to catch up in a few areas (math in particular).

So how did I survive?

The key to my homeschooling survival was three fold.

    I had the heart and attitude that no one was going to be more invested in my children's success than I was.
    I took the time to create a plan.
    I found successful homeschool moms and asked a lot of questions and implemented their methods that were successful.

Random Facts Versus Whole Science Approach to Homeschool Teaching

When it comes to learning science, most of us were taught in the public school system, which is a big proponent of the random fact teaching methodology. In other words, science was a single subject taught in a vacuum separate from other subjects. When it comes to teaching difficult or complex subjects such as science, it makes more sense to take a holistic approach. Here's why.

The Science Random Fact Junk Drawer

There has been much news lately about the American education crisis in regards to a lack of interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) disciplines. The United States is falling behind other developed countries when it comes to new technologies and discoveries, mainly because it is producing fewer graduates with related degrees.

Building a Career Through Online Education Courses

Education is a systematic process of acquiring knowledge and skill necessary for personal growth and development. The practical application of education in a specific field of study can jumpstart a professional career or establish a foundation for possible business ventures. Making an investment in education can be one of your most significant and wisest decisions in life because of its immediate impact to your future. Distance education plays a vital role in connecting educators and learners worldwide, breaking the barriers imposed by time constraints, distance, disabilities and socio-economic status. Distance education courses are being offered by Open Institutions to answer the call for internationally recognised quality education and training. Whether you are a student who just started on the path of learning, a professional in your field of study and want to further your education through advanced and specialized programs, or a person who is restricted by travel or health concerns, online courses definitely have the answers for you.

Homeschool Graduate: Now What?

If your homeschool student isn't the type who wants to immediately head straight to college out of high school, don't despair this does not mean you have failed in your job! As a parent, your work during high school includes planning for and providing the best possible education for your child so they can learn the life skills that they need, preparing them to be ready for a variety of different possibilities, and then encouraging them to pursue the work skills and things they'll need to know in order to function in their job, whether that includes college or not. In the midst of the variety of different options for high school graduates, distance learning and working are two great alternatives you might want to look into.

Although it seems very trendy today, many people will be surprised to learn that distance learning is not a new phenomenon; it has actually been around for decades.

Homeschoolers and the ACT College Admissions Test

When it comes to college admissions, schools all over the country seem to have their own preferences for either the SAT or the ACT. While the schools on the coasts most often prefer the SAT, those in the middle of the country seem to prefer the ACT. Interestingly, many colleges will accept both. In order to determine which test your child should take, check the colleges your child is interested in for their specific preferences. One-third of students tend to do better on the SAT, one-third do better on the ACT; and one-third show no difference in scores between tests. If you have the option of submitting either test to your college-of-choice, have your student take a sample test of each one first, and then study for and take the test that best fits your child and shows their academic skills to advantage!

The ACT is a standardized test that will meet any test assessment requirements by your state. It covers reading, writing, and math, as well as science.

Home School Teaching and Functional Organization

Home school teachers must consider not only the type of information their children take in, but how they can later retrieve that information at will and apply it to new situations. It's important that home school learning include a way to teach functional organization rather than relying on rote memory for later retrieval. Let's take a look at what functional organization is, in terms of learning, and how the home school teacher can use it to their child's advantage.

About the Role of Functional Organization In Real Learning

Functional organization refers to a framework for learning that allows the brain to take in information and then place it somewhere logical so that it can be later retrieved on demand.

College Credit for Homeschoolers With CLEP

If your homeschooled students is looking for college credit while still in high school, the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) college level test is a great resource. The CLEP is a subject test, which measures one subject at a time, and there are 33 CLEP subjects. Because it's a subject test, it will not meet your state's annual assessment requirements. Many colleges will accept these tests and give credit for them, so check with your individual colleges to see whether they do this.

CLEP test scores range from 20-80; a passing score is anything above 50 for most tests. A college itself will decide what is the acceptable score that is required for them to award college credit. Foreign languages may have a higher testing requirement, such as a 60 or 65 in order to get college credit.

One of the unusual things about the CLEP is that it is computer-based. Other subject tests are taken using paper and pencil at a local high school.