Monday, October 15, 2012

Homeschool conferences

Even if it's your first year homeschooling, if you've made friends and done some networking, you’ve probably heard about at least one homeschool conference. They’re fairly popular events, and for good reason. Usually a registration fee is involved, but once you gain admittance to the event, you’ll be able to hear guest speakers on a variety of homeschooling topics, and participate in workshops to help you become a better teacher.

The speakers at many conventions include authors of popular books on homeschooling, professionals in the field of education, and homeschooling parents who’ve enjoyed a great measure of success and are willing to share their secrets. Just listening to some of these speakers can be a very uplifting and motivational experience, and just what a struggling homeschool family needs to jumpstart their learning again.

In addition, many conferences include vendors who set up booths to sell their wares. It’s a wonderful way to spend an afternoon, walking among the vendors and being able to see their curricula and other products in person before buying. So often, we shop online or base our buying decisions on the recommendations of others, and it’s great to test-drive some of the products in person at a homeschool conference before buying.

Monday, October 1, 2012

staying organized

If there’s one thing you need when you’re homeschooling, trying to maintain the household, get everyone to their activities on time, cook dinner, and still take care of yourself, it’s organization! For so many homeschool families, it’s all about the organization.

For many, this means using a schedule to keep track of family events, the kids’ extracurricular activities, and dentist appointments. Schoolwork can also be kept track of this way, and it often works well to give kids a list of tasks to be completed each day, both schoolwork and chores. Let them cross each item off as it is completed, and make sure you check behind them, especially at first while they’re getting used to the system. Positive reinforcement will make your family more likely to stick to the schedule.

You’ll need to sit down and think about what kinds of things you need to include on your family’s schedule, and how detailed you want it to be. Generally, you should include anything with a deadline, and anything that needs to be accomplished in incremental steps, to ensure progress is made. It'll take some effort to devise a system that works for you, but it'll be worth it in the end.