Beverly Burgess http://www.beverlyburgess.com Homeschool Coach and Consultant Wed, 20 Jun 2018 12:01:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.6 http://www.beverlyburgess.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/cropped-icon-32x32.png Beverly Burgess http://www.beverlyburgess.com 32 32 Should I Test My Special Needs Homeschooler ? http://www.beverlyburgess.com/should-i-test-my-special-needs-homeschooler/ http://www.beverlyburgess.com/should-i-test-my-special-needs-homeschooler/#respond Wed, 30 May 2018 18:38:03 +0000 http://www.beverlyburgess.com/?p=1253 Jen in Connecticut has a question. She asks: I have a special needs teen in 9th grade. Is it necessary to give him a final if he is being homeschooled? This is to have some type of record for the transcript for college. I know that a transcript need to be provided to enter college, but […]

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Should I test my special needs homeschooler

Jen in Connecticut has a question. She asks: I have a special needs teen in 9th grade. Is it necessary to give him a final if he is being homeschooled? This is to have some type of record for the transcript for college. I know that a transcript need to be provided to enter college, but the finals are difficult for him. What advice can you share? Should I test my special needs homeschooler?

More Than One Way to Climb a Tree

Jen, there is no one right way to homeschool. Homeschooling gives us the freedom to create whatever learning experience and environment our children need. Kudos for recognizing that testing is causing distress in your child. I do have some advice that I hope will be helpful for you.

Where to Begin

First is to make sure you have checked your states homeschool laws. Every state is different and has different laws surrounding highschool and graduation requirements. Some states have a certain number of credits required and others have courses that must be taken. Be sure you have complied with the state guidelines and then work your way through highschool planning from there.

Transcripts

Some colleges don’t require transcripts. Start that exploring colleges early that your child may be interested in and see what the criteria for entry is. Some colleges may want your child to test in, which math, english or other areas to test college readiness and placement. Other colleges may want a portfolio, or work samples to gain entry. Depending on your child’s chosen major, the college may ask for a specific portfolio of work, like an art or writing portfolio. Start gathering that material during the freshman year.

You can create the transcript anyway you want. That doesn’t have to include testing, and can include an overall grade for the subject or class. You can assign weighted classes or testing, or none at all. The choice is yours. Remember that a failed test doesn’t mean your child hasn’t learned. A passed test doesn’t necessarily indicate learning either.

Don’t forget about my other blog post on homeschooling through highschool. It has all the information you need to start homeschooling highschool successfully.

Connect with Colleges Early

Connect with colleges early if you have concerns about your special needs child performing well in college. Many colleges have additional resources, counselors, tutoring, and extra help for kids with special needs and those that need more help. Colleges want your child to succeed just like you do.

Start your transcript in 8th grade! Or at least begin thinking about your 4-year plan. The earlier you prepare, the more in control you will feel and the less anxiety producing it will be for everyone.

You Know Your Child Best

When you homeschool, you are with your child all day and know when learning has happened. A test may or may not be beneficial in determining if learning occured. Testing homeschoolers with special needs must be an individualized process. Shoot for engagement, not the end result. I want my child to ask more questions to indicate learning; not just answer the questions from memory.

Is he inspired by what he learned?

Does he want to dig deeper and learn more?

Is he asking critical thinking questions that would indicate mastery of the subject?

Testing

Consider working on testing if your child is college bound. Inevitably, there will be testing, so starting the process to master testing is imperative. 

If your child is experiencing test anxiety, dig in deep to find the source of the anxiety.

  • What induces the anxiety? Is it experiences from public school, fear of failure? Is it more the type of test-multiple choice, word problems, essays, timed testing? It may be one or two aspects that are causing the resistance or poor performance and the test in its entirety. Work on the areas where your child is struggling.
  • Give opportunity to correct the test, at least at first. This builds confidence and skills without making it seem such a final outcome.
  • End of chapter tests can be used as just another assignment. If your child needs more help or work on a topic or subject, feel free to use the test for extra practice.
  • Find a tutor to help. Homeschooling is not a one teacher journey. It takes a village. Call for help when you need it.

Find Alternative Ways to Determine Learning

Think about alternative learning experiences besides tests that will help them dig deeper and help you determine if learning has occured. Learning comes in all shapes and sizes. You can try the following alternate learning methods as ways to enhance your child’s homeschool experience.

  • YouTube videos.
  • Oral reports, projects, dioramas!
  • Apprenticeships or internships.
  • Volunteerism.
  • Outside classes/other teachers.
  • Trips, family vacations.

Having a special needs child really is no different than a child who follows the traditional path of learning. What it does is help the parent to see and really learn WHAT is needed to help their child. Once you know the what, the how will make itself known. A child who doesn’t test well today, may test well tomorrow. Teens grow and change at lightening speed. Don’t get stuck in the cant’s. Focus on what your child can do and it will be amazing.

Happy Homeschooling!

Bev

 

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4 Tips to Get Rid of Clutter http://www.beverlyburgess.com/4-tips-to-get-rid-of-clutter/ http://www.beverlyburgess.com/4-tips-to-get-rid-of-clutter/#comments Wed, 16 May 2018 20:38:20 +0000 http://www.beverlyburgess.com/?p=1239 Clearing the Clutter Homeschooling, managing a home, working, and trying to control clutter can seem like a nightmare. The piles of things creep up on us and soon we are overwhelmed with stuff surrounding us. When your house is cluttered with material things, it creates for a cluttered mind too. Everything feels out of control. […]

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Clearing the Clutter

Homeschooling, managing a home, working, and trying to control clutter can seem like a nightmare. The piles of things creep up on us and soon we are overwhelmed with stuff surrounding us. When your house is cluttered with material things, it creates for a cluttered mind too. Everything feels out of control. Being overrun by the mess can make the best of us feel defeated and like we’ll never conquer the mountain of stuff accumulating around us. I have 4 Tips to Get Rid of the Clutter, that will help even the most persistant procrastinator to become organized and junk free!

Supplies to Get Started

To begin your journey to a clutter free life and homeschool, you will need;

1| A trash bag.

2| 3-medium size boxes.

Getting Set Up to Declutter

Mark each box with a sharpie pen with the following labels.

  1. Donate
  2. Put away
  3. Needs attention

Goals

Your goal in the decluttering process is three easy steps.

1| Sort for 10 minutes every day.

2| Plan to get rid of 50% of the piles, clutter or junk.

3| Sort room by room.

You may decide to sort longer than 10 minutes each day, but if you struggle with organization, 10 minutes is a good place to start. You can also sort by numbers of piles or areas to declutter. For instance, you can set a goal to sort through 6 piles of clutter in one sorting session or tackle a closet for sorting. Do what works best for you, but make it realistic. You don’t want to self-sabotage your new habit by setting yourself up for failure.

Here are my 4 tips to get rid of clutter.

1| The First Pile – Trash

Trash is really an awesome thing. Nothing feels better than purging bags of garbage and it’s the quickest way to feel accomplished and back under control. It’s shocking how often we find garbage shoved in our closets, drawers, purses, and cabinets. Look in the bottom of your purse. Moms tend to be the keepers of all things and we tend to accumulate everyone’s stuff (including garbage!) in our purses and diaper bags. Gum wrappers, clothing tags, ancient receipts, maybe even a banana peel from that lunch on the run. Clearing your purse is an easy win in a small manageable area.

Begin every decluttering process by getting rid of the garbage first. This includes expired food in refrigerators and cabinets, empty boxes, packaging, broken items, half empty cartons, torn clothes, ratty shoes, etc. Move stuff to the recycle or trash bin as needed. And when it comes to food storage containers, do you really need the 50 Chinese food containers, or hundreds of margarine tubs? Recycle them or invest in reusable storage containers. Throw out lids that have no matching bottoms.

2| The First Box – Donate

If you are like me, you avoid getting rid of items because “they may come in handy someday.” I blame my mother for that.  Stop living for that day to come for an item you will likely never use. My husband and I recently started purging things we no longer need. After almost 30 years of marriage, we accumulated hand-me-downs, duplicates of most everything, and so many dishes that we will never use. I found 3 crockpots and 6 bean pots. I don’t even eat beans!! I kept one of each and the rest went to donation.

Just because an item has no further use in your home, doesn’t mean that someone else can’t use them. But be realistic, is it just garbage or will someone get some good use out of the item? If you decide to have a yard sale, make sure you set a firm date and put all the items in one spot. It’s too easy to move the items or piles into another large pile and then never follow through with the yard sale. Start creating good habits with your new purging skills. Local charities, shelters, churches, and thrift stores are all good places to donate materials.

When deciding when to keep or give an item away, ask yourself these important questions…

  • Have you used the item in the last year? If not, you likely won’t use it during the next year.
  • Are there any plans to use it again within the next month?
  • Would you buy the item again if you threw it out?
  • Does anyone even like it? Grandma’s candlesticks may be old, but do you like them, or are you holding on to them for sentimental reasons?
  • Has this item earned space on my storage shelf?
  • Make fast decisions when sorting. The longer you contemplate where the item belongs, the longer you are likely to hold on to it.

If you have an item and you’re having a hard time deciding what to do with it – don’t spend too much time on it. Put it to the side and come back to it at the end of the decluttering session. Sometimes giving yourself some space from the item can help you see it with fresh eyes.

3| The Second Box – The Put Away Box

The items that go in the put away box are all those things that have migrated out of their assigned place in your home. Sometimes, this box will be much larger than the garbage and donate box combined – at least at first. This box is for the loose socks, shoes, schoolbooks, legos, magazines, and all those things that seem to find their way onto your kitchen counter or coffee table. Just gather them up and leave them in the box for now. We’ll address what to do with them later in the post.

 

4| The Third Box- The Needs Attention Box

This is the box for anything that needs follow-up;  bills, invitations to respond to, receipts to be filed, permission slips, and letters to be mailed. Instead of sorting through these immediately, just put them in the box. I’ll show you how to sort through them later in the post.

Evaluating Your Stuff

Trying to decide what items you need to keep isn’t easy for some people. Seasonal items are not usually part of this equation, that is unless your collection of Christmas ornaments has become larger than your wardrobe! And if Great Grandma’s crystal punch bowl makes an appearance at every family event, certainly keep your prized possessions that serve your spirit as well.

Things like knick-knacks tend to get put in storage. We may have loved them at one time, but tastes and styles change, and it’s okay to get rid of things that no longer serve you.  In evaluating whether you want to keep an item or not, use the airport method. Would you pay an extra $50 to take this item to a new location? Do you love it that much, or will you get rid of the clutter?

Let’s Get Back to the “Needs Attention Box”

Take a look inside the “needs attention box.” Begin by sorting through the bills and arrange them by due date. A three tray paper sorter works well for keeping daily mail organized. Label each tray and sort the mail as it comes in each day rather than throwing it another pile on the counter or your desk. You can label the trays with, “due now”, “follow-up”, or whatever works for you. Get rid of any advertisement immediately.

Next, file any receipts that you may need for tax purposes or major purchases.This will have cleaned up a good portion of the needs attention box. Finish going through the box and file, purge, and sort any remaining items.

What About The Put Away Box?

The put away box is the one in our house that ALWAYS is filled to the brim. I’ve had screwdrivers, measuring tapes, pens, markers, Rubik’s Cubes, and books filling out the majority of my box. Pick up the box and make a quick run through every room of your house, replacing the items in their correct spot. Kids can help with this method too. Socks, shoes, school books, toys that migrated to other rooms-put it all back where it belongs.

Baskets, decorative photo boxes, wire baskets and plastic lidded bins make great storage containers to hide personal items.

Feel Good about your accomplishments. Decluttering does take time, but soon your new habits of staying organized will seem like old school.

What has worked for you in decluttering your homeschool, home, and mind?

 

Happy Homeschooling,

Bev

 

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6 Ways a Homeschool Coach Can Help You! http://www.beverlyburgess.com/6-ways-a-homeschool-coach-can-help-you/ http://www.beverlyburgess.com/6-ways-a-homeschool-coach-can-help-you/#respond Thu, 01 Mar 2018 15:27:51 +0000 http://www.beverlyburgess.com/?p=1139 Have you ever wondered about Homeschool Coaching? Or maybe you’ve never even heard of a Homeschool Coach? Learn 6 ways a homeschool coach can help you today! I was responding to a question on a Facebook page I belong to, and someone messaged me and asked, “What can a homeschool coach do for me?” This […]

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Have you ever wondered about Homeschool Coaching?

Or maybe you’ve never even heard of a Homeschool Coach? Learn 6 ways a homeschool coach can help you today!

I was responding to a question on a Facebook page I belong to, and someone messaged me and asked, “What can a homeschool coach do for me?”

This person went on to note that the internet is full of free advice and people willing to share that advice, so why should she hire me?

It is true. There is tons of free advice out there, but working with a homeschool coach can bring a fresh perspective to your homeschool.

Here are 6 Ways a Homeschool Coach can help you bring your homeschool from overwhelm to outstanding.

1| Results vs. Random Information

Picture it. You are struggling with a particular area of homeschooling, and you post a question to social media. 197 people respond! Each with a different viewpoint, curriculum recommendations, and philosophies about home education that may, or may not agree with yours. Then you spend the next 4 days google searching all the advice, from getting a new diagnosis for your child, to switching to Math-U-See, to cutting out red food dye. 130 people more give you curriculum recommendations that neither fit your religious stance, budget, philosophy, or needs of your child. Then you post the question to five more social media groups hoping for better advice, and the same thing happens. Your head is spinning, you are right back where you started, and you are ready to throw in the towel and quit homeschooling.

Homeschool coaches do far more then give advice. In fact, that’s a very tiny piece of what we do. Homeschool coaches help bring results to your homeschool, to unlock what has been holding you back.  Instead of random information, we apply that knowledge to YOUR individual situation. We collaborate with you, to set a plan in place, not just for today, but for future years. Each coaching session helps bring clarity to your homeschool goals, and gets you out of deep frustration. Homeschool coaching leaves the parent in charge, but provides 1:1 support and results, specific to YOUR needs. Homeschool coaches have the credibility, experience, and backing for results driven coaching.

2| Convenience

You could spend hours scouring the internet for something that will help your homeschool. Do you have time for that? I’ve been down the rabbit hole MANY times before and have popped back up empty handed.

A Homeschool Coach provides the convenience of finding exactly what you need in a short amount of time. How many curriculum have you looked at or tried? If you are like most homeschoolers you’ve dropped a dime or two on a curriculum you barely used, and regretted every minute of it. I have a complete database of over 1800 curricula and custom match your child’s and families needs to the curriculum, and an extensive questionnaire that helps me narrow down choices.

Each coaching session brings us closer to results. I recently had a client that spent over $3500 on curriculum. She had tried so many and tossed them aside. At the same time she was reluctant to spend the money on a coaching session, but did so anyway. In under 2 sessions we had worked out a new plan for her child that was a combination of both text books and unschooling. It was a perfect match. Her only regret was that she didn’t try a coach sooner.

Have you ever started a new business and searched endlessly for that one tidbit of information to master the technology you are using? And then you run into a coach who in 3 seconds flat solves ALL your problems with the technology? It may be the way it was presented, or they might have resources for an app that works better, or even suggest a new technique you haven’t heard of. Then you sit back and wonder why you didn’t do this sooner? Yup! I’ve been there too. That’s exactly what Homeschool Coaching provides.

 3| The Step-By-Step Process

Homeschool coaches can’t fix all of your concerns with homeschooling, but we can help you when you are not sure where to turn. We focus on the process of reaching your goals, working through problem areas, and making changes that will provide positive impact on your homeschooling.

Raw information that is given to new homeschoolers is not enough and seasoned homeschoolers have likely tried everything, and don’t know where to turn. Raw information is like trying to put new furniture together. You need both the manual and the step-by-step directions to get it done properly in a way that works for you.

Just as you would consider a personal trainer to get in shape, a homeschool coach can do the same. If you are feeling like you are running into brick walls, a coach may be just the thing you need to get past that hurdle.

Considering homeschooling?-Yup! Look at your state laws, follow them, file paperwork, pick curriculum. That’s the usual advice given, but there is a whole bunch of information in between there. And what if you don’t want to use textbooks? What then? Homeschool coaches provide clear paths whether you are just starting your journey, or have been at it for some time. What if you are struggling with special needs, or family circumstances that are disrupting homeschooling? What if no matter what you have tried, it’s still not working?

Homeschool coaches help with the nitty-gritty details that you may be missing, as well as the broader picture of homeschooling.

4| Coaches Provide the Missing Pieces

You’ve just started your homeschool journey. You’re learning the lingo and trying to make sense of it all. But there is sooooo much to consider. When you are brand new to homeschooling, you don’t even know what you don’t know. What questions do you ask? What do you do when you follow all the advice and recommendations and it’s still not working?

Or maybe you are in a new phase of homeschooling like the highschool years, and want to provide a firm foundation for moving forward. Coaches provide the missing pieces to help round out your homeschool, and can dive deep into finding your sticking points.

5| Accountability & Motivation

Here’s the thing. Research shows that when you pay for a course or even coaching, you are more likely to use the services provided to you. How often did you use that free gym membership? I’m guessing you went more often when you had to pay for the membership, then when it was free.

Even as a homeschool coach, I have a business coach. She helps me strategize and plan for the future. Her help is invaluable when I have blinders on, or am just missing a part to the puzzle. She’s someone I can bounce ideas off of, and she challenges me with hard questions that I need to give some thought to. She finds what I’m looking for FAST. How? She has years of experience, has been where I’ve been, isn’t afraid to give me some tough love AND she celebrates my victories.

I’m also part of a business membership mastermind group. I pay a monthly fee for ongoing support and direction. In turn, the group provides monthly bundles for my professional development. I get workbooks, videos, 1:1 and group support, and access to a private facebook page. It’s been invaluable to me. Business coaching is an investment I make and commit to every single month, because I want to provide outstanding service to my clients. My business group helps get me there.

If you are interested in that as a homeschooler, check out my Homeschool for Success Membership Program.   Each month we cover a different topic via video, group coaching, workbooks, a meditation and inspirational graphic to keep you motivated. The conversation continues on a private Facebook page. It’s the perfect program for those needing more support and guidance. And, I have many extra bonuses like my transcript template, homeschool planner, and checklists for everything you can think of.

6| The Secret Sauce

expertLet’s face it. Homeschooling is hard work. There are days when it’s an absolute joy, and other days when you want to curl up in the closet because it’s all going wrong. It’s nice to know that someone is there for expert help when you need it. Working with a homeschool coach gives you their unique perspective, their heart and soul, their results driven process, and the secret sauce for getting it all done. It’s a place where 1:1 coaching can provide exactly what your homeschool needs. Group coaching can provide just as much insight, and in fact may expose you to other methods and avenues to homeschooling you might not hear about otherwise.

Homeschool coaches have years of experience. Having thirty collective years of homeschooling my own kids, I’ve seen most everything and tried most everything a homeschooler could ever think of! Many of us belong to professional organizations, freelance write for magazines, provide webinars, speak at conferences, blog, do keynote speaking, and continually work to improve our coaching skills and services.

Homeschool coaches can help bring your homeschool from overwhelm to outstanding. They are a soft place to land when you are feeling all alone on this journey.

Still not sure about working with a homeschool coach? Book your free 20 minute discovery call today, and let’s chat. Discovery call

Happy Homeschooling!

Bev

beverlyburgess  [/author]

 

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Deschooling-How To Know When You Are Done http://www.beverlyburgess.com/deschooling-how-to-know-when-you-are-done/ http://www.beverlyburgess.com/deschooling-how-to-know-when-you-are-done/#comments Wed, 07 Feb 2018 19:21:52 +0000 http://www.beverlyburgess.com/?p=1134 Many new homeschoolers ask about deschooling-how to know when you are done. If you’ve taken the time to deschool, you may be wondering when to pull the plug on this time period, or when to let it go on a little longer. First, let’s talk about deschooling is. Deschooling is the adjustment period a child and […]

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deschooling how to know when you are done

Many new homeschoolers ask about deschooling-how to know when you are done. If you’ve taken the time to deschool, you may be wondering when to pull the plug on this time period, or when to let it go on a little longer.

First, let’s talk about deschooling is.

Deschooling is the adjustment period a child and parent goes through when leaving public or private school and beginning homeschooling.

  • It’s an opportunity for the parent to develop their own philosophy on learning.
  • A chance for the child to decompress and disconnect from “school” being the only known way of learning, and public school being the standard expectation.

Deschooling is not a time of doing nothing.

It’s really about reconnecting with your child. Learning how they learn, and setting a new way of being together. You will feel the connection with your child grow deeper as you explore and learn about them. What excites them? What makes them tick? What brings them joy?

How long to deschool?

There is no hard and fast rule for how long to deschool. Generally, a good rule is to deschool 1 month for every year your child was in school. That’s really an arbitrary number, because some kids need longer and some children are ready to go as soon as you pull them from public school.

 Deschooling is for parent and child

Recognizing some signs that deschooling is done will set you up for the next steps of homeschooling. We no longer worry that our kids are falling behind, or not learning enough. Comparing them to what the kids in public school are learning, falls to the wayside. Sometimes there are a few moments of panic as we realize, that we no longer know what is being taught in public schools.

Deschooling may be done when a negative comment from a friend doesn’t send you into a tail spin or immediate defense mode. In my book, Out of the Box Learning~Empowering YOU On Your Homeschool Journey, I spend an entire chapter talking about those moments of panic when you realize that your child’s education being entirely in your hands, can seem overwhelming. We’ve had a lifetime of people choosing and deciding what our kids will learn, and now that responsibility lies squarely on your shoulders. When you can sit comfortably with being in charge of your child’s learning, you’ve likely done the work of deschooling.

You’ll feel the internal shift.

There’s not an easy way to explain that feeling. It’s a sense of peace, that you’ve made the right decision for your child. It just feels right. That doesn’t mean that you won’t have anxious moments. It just means that your gut is telling you it’s time to move on. You stop basing your decisions on what others think, or by what the public school is doing. Instead, you’ll be INTERESTED in what your kids are enjoying, more than CONCERNED about what they’re NOT learning.

Kids need time to deschool too.

Kids need time just like adults to deschool. Most kids are ready to stop deschooling, when learning becomes interesting to them again. When they know their learning isn’t outside of them, but rather an internal shift. Kids may start to explore learning on their own again, after shunning any time of formal learning. They start to rediscover interests and hobbies and may immerse themselves in the learning for long periods of time.  

But what do you do if your child is still resistant or indifferent to learning.

Pitfalls to Overcome.

Sometimes, deschooling can seem like it goes on forever. If it’s been longer than a year, or your child is still having adversity to learning- explore the reasons why. There may be something more going on. Is the child’s trauma from public school so deep that he needs more time to process the events? Were there bad learning experiences that he is projecting on to homeschooling, and thinking that it will be the same thing over again?

If your child is resistant to homeschooling, he may be overwhelmed because there are no established expectations. In public school, every decision is made for kids from what they will study to when they can pee and eat. They have been conditioned to meet the expectations and goals set by adults, on an adults time table. Some kids struggle with the overwhelm of now being in charge of their learning. If this is your child, set some simple structure around their day to help them begin to make decisions.

Deschooling Looks Different to Every Family.

Some kids need long periods of deschooling and others jump into the freedom of homeschooling with no holds barred. Once you’ve decided to stop deschooling, you can begin planning your next steps. Read my blog post, 7 Ways to Let Kids Take Charge of Their Learning, if you need inspiration.

What to do while deschooling.

As I mentioned before, deschooling is not a time to do nothing. It’s a time to explore how your child learns and all the vast opportunities around you.

You can:

  • Go to museums, workshops, and on field trips.
  • Hook up with other homeschoolers, find what activities they are interested in, or what ideas they have.
  • Explore curriculum WITH your child.
  • Talk about what learning looks like.
  • Provide opportunities to explore the world.

Knowing when to stop deschooling, is just as important as the process itself. Really spend this time getting to know your child, and creating a new paradigm in learning.

Happy Homeschooling!

Bev

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Choosing Homeschool Curriculum On A Limited Budget http://www.beverlyburgess.com/choosing-homeschool-curriculum-on-a-limited-budget/ http://www.beverlyburgess.com/choosing-homeschool-curriculum-on-a-limited-budget/#respond Fri, 02 Feb 2018 17:02:15 +0000 http://www.beverlyburgess.com/?p=1129 As a Homeschool Coach, one of the questions I get asked a lot is about whether free curriculum measures up to higher priced curriculum. The answer is yes and no. When choosing homeschool curriculum on a limited budget, there are some things you can do to find the perfect match. You can read my other […]

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Choosing Homeschool Curriculum On A Limited Budget

As a Homeschool Coach, one of the questions I get asked a lot is about whether free curriculum measures up to higher priced curriculum. The answer is yes and no. When choosing homeschool curriculum on a limited budget, there are some things you can do to find the perfect match.

You can read my other blog post here on choosing curriculum, and get well on your way.

Sometimes You Get What You Pay For

Let me first start by saying that sometimes you get what you pay for, and sometimes spending money on that bells & whistles curriculum isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.

There are several free and online homeschool curriculum that I will not recommend to my clients when coaching them.

Why? Several reasons.

1| The material provided is lacking in depth and breadth.

2| The sources used for references are not acceptable.

3| The amount of grammatical and spelling errors make me question the validity and qualifications of the author.

4| From a scientific standpoint, faith and religious belief are used as facts. In other words, can the information and data provided, be proven by generally accepted scientific means, at this very moment in time?

Weeding Through the Piles

Homeschool curriculum is not all the same, and choosing a perfect match from the pile can feel overwhelming. There are some things you can check out to see if you have a quality product when choosing homeschool curriculum.

1| Look for spelling, syntax, and grammatical errors. Many curricula that have not been edited or reviewed, have multiple issues in this area. Cheaper or free curricula may not have been edited throughly.

2| Look at the sources used to create the curriculum.

  • Do the people contributing to the text, have the credentials and background to be speaking about the subject?
  • Are there mutliple voices contributing to the text, rather than one person trying to manage every subject and topic?
  • Where did the author pull their resources for creating the curriculum?
  • Is the math confusing, or have many answers wrong, or ambiguous answers? Is the information accurate?
  • Does the literature dive deep into content, or just skim the surface? (This may or may not be an issue depending on what you are teaching.)
  • Does it fit in with your personal philosophy on education? If the district provided it free, it must be okay, right? Not necessarily.

3| Is it public school at home? That may be what you are looking for, or what your district requires, but if it’s not the reason; consider why you chose homeschooling to begin with. Was it for the joy and freedom it provides? Find a curriculum that fits in with that joy.

Double Check Resources

1| Check sources for acceptability.

  • Any site that uses Wikipedia as a reference, is eliminated from my listing of recommendations. When you are choosing homeschool curriculum, you need to verify the sources being used. Wikipedia allows anyone to contribute on any topic. Think of it this way, if it’s not an acceptable resource in college, don’t make it acceptable in your homeschool.

Is Higher Priced Curriculum Better?

Higher priced curriculum is not necessarily better. I’ve seen several that still have the above issues. But generally, larger companies tend to have editors, curriculum writers that are versed on a variety of topics, and solid resources based on scientific facts and data.

What To Do If You Are On A Limited Budget

There are ways to get exactly what you need when choosing a homeschooling curriculum on a limited budget.

1| Budget

  • Don’t settle for subpar. We spend so much money on cars, furniture, and other things we need. Our children’s education is important. Sit down at the beginning of the school year and figure out exactly how much money you will need to buy what you feel is a good match for your child.

2| Pick and choose

  • Pick and choose where you spend your money. If that math curriculum is going to help make your day easier, go ahead and spend the money. Trim the budget on other areas.
  • Are there curricula at home that will suffice just fine for this year?
  • Can you borrow your favorite curricula from another homeschooling mom?
  • Maybe you want to forgo the really expensive curriculum for an amazing hands on learning activity, or sports participation too. All of it is curriculum in my eyes.

3| Sell something

  • Have a yard sale, lemonade stand, make crafts, to offset the price of that bells and whistles curriculum you want.

Free Can Be Downright Amazing!

Free doesn’t always mean subpar. Rather, it is our job as parents to make sure our children are receiving an education that they deserve, not getting the leftovers. There are many, many websites and programs with free curricula that provide amazing learning experiences. Research them, make a spreadsheet if you have to, let your children have a voice in the choosing, and narrow down your choices.

Cheap Can Be Amazing!

What About Unschooling?

Unschoolers are amazing at knowing where all the good stuff is. Their curriculum may be community classes, music lessons, outsourcing learning, sports, hands-on science kits, or world travel. Same rules apply.

Do your research, give your kids the best you can with the budget you can afford, and know what you are getting before you purchase. Choosing homeschool curriculum on a limited budget, need not be an overwhelming process. Start slow, make your lists of the most important stuff, and have some good conversations with your kids about what they would like.

I Still Can’t Find What I Need

If you search for homeschool curriculum on Google you will get a return of 4.5 million hits! That’s where I come in. If you’ve been searching endlessly, but can’t seem to find a curriculum match for your child’s learning needs, I’ve got you covered. Or maybe, you are just tired of posting to homeschooling groups on Facebook, asking for a new recommendation because you’ve tried them all!

Did you know that I coach clients in finding a curriculum match to suit their needs? I have a database of over 1800 curricula that I use to help my clients, and I’m always adding to it. I start with an extensive questionnaire so that I can learn more about you and your child’s particular learning needs. We look at what has and hasn’t worked, and where it will lead next. Then we drill down, filter our information, try some things out and voila! Well, it’s not that easy, but it definitely is a collaborative process. If you are tired of circling the curriculum drain, check out my Gold Coaching Package-it might be just the thing you need.

And, if you feel like you need ongoing support, my Homeschool for Success Membership program might be just the thing to get you on a solid foundation with homeschooling.

There are so many ways to find the resources you need on your homeschool journey. Let me know what you need!

Happy Homeschooling

Bev

 

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The Start Homeschooling Summit http://www.beverlyburgess.com/start-homeschooling-summit/ http://www.beverlyburgess.com/start-homeschooling-summit/#respond Tue, 23 Jan 2018 20:11:38 +0000 http://www.beverlyburgess.com/?p=1111 Why Attend the Start Homeschooling Summit? Between the Holidays and the flu, I was just about knocked out for a few weeks. Thankfully, everyone is on the mend. So let me tell you about the Start Homeschooling Summit. If January has left you in a funk with homeschooling, I’ve got just the thing to pull […]

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The Start Homeschooling Summit

Why Attend the Start Homeschooling Summit?

Between the Holidays and the flu, I was just about knocked out for a few weeks. Thankfully, everyone is on the mend. So let me tell you about the Start Homeschooling Summit.

If January has left you in a funk with homeschooling, I’ve got just the thing to pull you out of that winter fog, and into clarity. If you are needing homeschooling support, or don’t know where to begin, The Start Homeschooling Summit is your ticket to freedom…AND it’s FREE to sign-up.

How? Enter your email here and join us from February 19th through the 24th.

 Here’s what you get when you sign up for the Start Homeschooling Summit.

During the Summit you will join me, and 28 other incredible Homeschool Influencers from 4 continents, for 34 Workshops, over the course of 6 six days.

The most amazing thing about this summit is that it is absolutely FREE, simply by entering your email in the link provided above.

The Start Homeschooling Summit will have both live, and prerecorded webinars & workshops like my Live Presentation of Homeschooling-Getting Past the Fear. Included in my live workshop is a workbook that will help you dive deep into your fears about homeschooling. Whether you are brand new to homeschooling, or have been in it for several years; my no-nonsense approach to Getting Past the Fear will help you not only in homeschooling, but in all aspects of life.

Want To Learn More?

Click the photo below to watch the video about the Start Homeschooling Summit.

The Start Homeschooling Summit

Something for Everyone

The Start Homeschooling Summit will also have other incredible workshops and webinars, to help you in any stage of your homeschooling journey.

Workshops like:

  • Learning styles and approaches to homeschooling,
  • Unit studies and self-directed education,
  • Figuring out the confusing highschool years.
  • Technology in your homeschool,
  • Nature Studies, choosing curriculum, and learning to balance it all.

You don’t want to miss a thing!

Give Me the Deets!

Each webinar during the Summit will be available for 48 hours only, but if you prefer to listen and work through the webinars at your own pace, there is an amazing upgrade for only $98.00. The upgrade will give you lifetime access to All 34 webinars, FOREVER.

Plus, when you purchase the upgrade, you’ll get a HUGE bundle of extra resources! Everything from e-books, to workbooks, to more workshops! The value of the bonuses alone, is worth more than the cost of the upgrade.

Of course, There Will Be a Steep Discount!

Beginning February 5th, I’ll be sending along links so that you can purchase the upgrade for 60% OFF full price. (That’s $58.80 instead of $98). That’s one serious bargain!

I hope you can join me for my LIVE webinar on February 19th at 1pm EST, and for all of the amazing resources all week!

So, What Do YOU Need To Do?

  • Sign up here for Summit. It’s FREE. Signing up will put you on the mailing list so that you get notified of all the discounts and extra bonuses. 
  • Share this post with other homeschoolers, & among your homeschooling groups, and social media, as much as you can. Pin to Pinterest. Share on Twitter and Instagram and Facebook!
  • Join me email list at beverlyburgess.com , grab the freebie at the top of the page, and you will get first notification of ALL upcoming sales.

As A Special Bonus…

As a special bonus, anyone who signs up for my email list, will receive $75 off my Gold Coaching Package.

It’s a great way to get even more 1:1 homeschooling support, and perfect for homeschooling parents who want the benefits of using a homeschool coach.

Check In Often…

Check back on my Facebook page often for updates, and watch your email for special coupons for discounted prices for the upgrade.

I hope to see you at the summit!

Happy Homeschooling everyone!

Bev

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Stop Quizzing My Homeschooler! http://www.beverlyburgess.com/stop-quizzing-my-homeschooler/ http://www.beverlyburgess.com/stop-quizzing-my-homeschooler/#respond Wed, 03 Jan 2018 18:55:36 +0000 http://www.beverlyburgess.com/?p=1081 It will eventually happen to all homeschoolers. The quizzing of your children by family and friends. If it happens at family events or outings with friends, it may make you want to scream from the rooftops, “Stop quizzing my homeschooler !” This week for Homeschool Q & A, Elizabeth writes from Fort Meyers, Florida. She […]

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Stop Quizzing My Homeschooler

It will eventually happen to all homeschoolers. The quizzing of your children by family and friends. If it happens at family events or outings with friends, it may make you want to scream from the rooftops, “Stop quizzing my homeschooler !”

This week for Homeschool Q & A, Elizabeth writes from Fort Meyers, Florida.

She says:

“I spent the holidays with both sides of the family. Dinner, watching TV, even playtime…everything turned into “it’s time to quiz the homeschooled kids.” No one quizzes the public-school kids, so why do they insist on calling out my kids and teaching skills? I’m so done. What can I do to stop people from quizzing my homeschooler?”

Stop Quizzing My Homeschooler

Relatives may mean well, but when they start quizzing your children at the Christmas Dinner table, or during family events; it can leave both parent and children feeling inadequate, and marginalized.

Anyone have that relative?

You know the the one. Sweet Uncle Joe who is kind and supportive of your decision to homeschool, but if you leave your kids alone with him for more than thirty seconds, he turns into Alex Trebek and begins drilling and killing your kids about everything from the War of 1812 to the current state of politics. You know Uncle Joe? We all have met him.

We’re Wired for Approval

In my coaching, this is one of the things that I hear most often. As homeschoolers, we become so wired for approval from the people we love, that being quizzed feels like our choices for our children are less then optimal.

But what do you do when all you want to shout is for relatives and friends to stop quizzing my homeschooler!

One of my clients said to me,

“It’s easier dealing with family when they are openly opposed or even hostile about homeschooling. Then I know what I’m dealing with. I often don’t find out until later, that my kids have been put through the educational quiz gauntlet.”

And when relatives are faced with your standing up for your children with, “Please don’t quiz my kids, ” we’re often countered with; “Well you know, kids learn that in 5th grade in public school and your Susie is in 7th.” Friends and relatives may have no idea that a child has learning difficulties and such statements can undermine the confidence and progress your child is making. No adult wants to make a child feel bad.

Tips to Get Past the Game Show Hosts

Parents need to have the conversation with the offenders, and simply say, “I’m her homeschool teacher and the only one who will quiz her.” Also remember that not every comment is an attack on your choice to homeschool, or your ability to do so. Family may be genuinely interested in knowing what your children are learning about, but perhaps they are not adept in asking in an appropriate manner. And then the flipside to that is we are proud of our children, and want to share what a miraculous journey homeschool is. Finding that balance without bragging is just not easy. And getting relatives to stop quizzing your homeschooler may be just as difficult.

In general the holidays, can be a difficult time for dealing with relatives 

My rule is, don’t talk about politics, religion, or homeschooling if you can help it. At least not during the holidays.

Empower Kids to Respond

One of the quickest ways to shut down the quizzers is by empowering your kids to stand strong. Help your child think of some catch phrases, or thoughts that will help them move past the conversation while being polite.

Some thoughts that they can respond with….

  • “It’s hard for me to answer questions when I’m put on the spot. I’m going to go outside to play.”
  • “No, thank you.”

No, is a complete sentence. Children and parents don’t owe anyone an explanation on why they don’t choose to participate or answer questions.

  • “I’d rather watch TV right now, thank you.
  • “My mom is the only one that quizzes us during homeschool. She knows what topics we’ve been covering.”

You can also help your children to take charge of the conversation by learning how politicians do it. When asked a question they don’t know how to answer, have them respond with, “That’s a great question, but did you know…”

  • “Did you know that Praying Mantises live underwater for 1 year in the nymph stage?”
  • “I’m really enjoying my art and karate classes. Here I made you this picture.”

Rehearse the Scene

Parents too can rehearse different scenarios before the family event. Think of several come-back lines to respond to prying relatives. Sometimes you may need to help your child out if the unrelenting relative just won’t give up.

Keep it general-

  • “Susie is progressing well in all subject areas. Thanks for asking.” Then change the subject.
  • “Susie is doing well in history. Why don’t you go ahead and go play outside now Susie-all the other kids are outside in the snow.”
  • “I’d love to talk to you more about homeschooling at another time. Right now, I have to speak to Aunt Marge about her fruitcake recipe.”

 

Not Everyone is Asking About Your Child’s Knowledge Base

Some relatives and friends are genuinely interested in what your children are learning about because they love your kids. If appropriate, encourage your children to keep in touch with the friend or relative throughout the year. Facetime with them and show them the latest project. Have your child write a short note about what they’ve been doing, or have them send artwork. Encourage the relative or friend to join you on a homeschool field trip to see what it’s like.

You never know, the quizzer might just become your greatest support person!

Happy Homeschooling!

Bev

 

 

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Homeschooling With No Support http://www.beverlyburgess.com/homeschooling-no-support/ http://www.beverlyburgess.com/homeschooling-no-support/#comments Wed, 20 Dec 2017 19:24:31 +0000 http://www.beverlyburgess.com/?p=1046 Homeschooling With No Support In our weekly Homeschool Q & A, Marnie from Nevada writes, “I’m ready to quit homeschooling. I have no support. My husband doesn’t disapprove of homeschooling, but does nothing to help. No one helps with housework, everything feels inconsiderate, my kids don’t listen, and I’m just done. I keep quiet about […]

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homeschooling with no support

Homeschooling With No Support

In our weekly Homeschool Q & A, Marnie from Nevada writes, “I’m ready to quit homeschooling. I have no support. My husband doesn’t disapprove of homeschooling, but does nothing to help. No one helps with housework, everything feels inconsiderate, my kids don’t listen, and I’m just done. I keep quiet about everything because it doesn’t do any good anyway. Help! Homeschooling with no support is for the birds!”

Marnie, we coudn’t agree more!

Whoo boy Marnie! It may be time to pour some wine, and lock that bedroom door. That’s a whole lot to deal with. Let me say, we’ve all had days that have looked similar to this. When life is feeling craptastic, homeschooling, and everything else feels overwhelming too.

It’s Not a Homeschooling Problem

All of my homeschool clients at some point, get a little tough love from me. Sometimes working through the hard problems, reveals insight at the heart of the matter. What’s the heart issue going on here? You are having difficulty getting your needs heard, and your family is having difficulty HEARING those needs. This isn’t really a homeschooling problem. It’s a communication problem. But, both issues still need resolution, since each affects the other.

Where to Begin

When there is so much weighing on a mom’s shoulders, where do you begin?

1| Go out. Just leave. Spouses need to recognize when their partner needs a break. You don’t need permission to clear your head, or take a break.

2| There is no guilt about practicing good self-care. Mom’s don’t need to be martyrs. We sacrifice it all, often at the expense of good self-care.

3| Kids don’t come with an instruction manual. Believe me-I asked for one and everyone just smiled at me. If you are stuck-ask for help. Hire a parenting coach if you need to. Hire a homeschool coach if you need to. Go see a marriage counselor. You can be stuck, or you can be pro-active about your needs.

Communication is Key

Your voice is important and needs to be heard like every other person in your family. From your comment, that hasn’t gone well in the past, so it’s understandable that speaking out is scary. Communication takes practice and dedication before changes are seen. Check out this post, for tips on effective family communication.

Here Are Some Things You Can do to Help the Situation.

1| Buy one of those big graph paper thingies that teacher’s use, or a dry erase board and write out your needs. Label it “Help Required,” and add a due date. Don’t call it “Help Wanted,”  that suggests it’s voluntary. Put chores here. If you need quiet time from 12-1pm, list it here. If you need time to attend your meditation group or hobby class, put it on this board. Put the extra stuff too; holiday preparations, house cleaning, meal prep. With your newly found voice, it’s time to speak up!!!

2| No school work begins until morning chores are done. I’m not talking about the deep cleaning, but a quick tidy up in the morning can save everyone’s sanity. Help them to start, show them how you want it done, then let them take over. Often times, we expect kids (and spouses) to know something before we’ve taught them how to do it.

3| Don’t expect change overnight. Significant changes in communication and effort put forth, takes days, weeks and months to see significant changes. Be patient.

4| If you are struggling with communication with your spouse, get another dry erase board. Label it “I NEED.” Tell him you’ve tried to communicate this in the past, but writing helps you keep your thoughts organized. Include datenight once a month, help with homeschool, the kids, doing housework, intimacy needs. Whatever you are not getting speak up! Have him/her help brainstorm ideas so everyone feels heard.

Hand Over Control

Yep. Just hand it over. Sometimes as moms, we take on everyone else’s problems, drama, and work to be done. In the big scheme of things, does it matter if the dishes don’t get done, or if those last ten problems in math took 2 hours? Be sure you are recognizing all the things your family is doing for you, instead of focusing on all that is going wrong.

At the end of the day, effective communication is paramount to every family member’s needs being heard. Yours included!

Happy Homeschooling,

Bev

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Deschooling-What Is It? http://www.beverlyburgess.com/deschooling-what-is-it/ http://www.beverlyburgess.com/deschooling-what-is-it/#respond Mon, 11 Dec 2017 16:40:10 +0000 http://www.beverlyburgess.com/?p=1036   Deschooling-What is it and does your homeschool need to use it? Deschooling-What is it and does your homeschool need to use it? Deschooling is a common term for those who have been homeschooling for a while. But for new homeschoolers, or those just starting out, it can be new terminology without much direction. Let’s […]

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Deschooling-What Is It?

 

Deschooling-What is it and does your homeschool need to use it?

Deschooling-What is it and does your homeschool need to use it? Deschooling is a common term for those who have been homeschooling for a while. But for new homeschoolers, or those just starting out, it can be new terminology without much direction. Let’s start at the beginning.

Deschooling is an adjustment period a child goes through when leaving public school, and beginning homeschooling. Let’s dive a little deeper into deschooling and explore both behavior you might see, and what deschooling can look like.

First, deschooling is not a time of doing nothing. Many homeschoolers will tell you that deschooling is a time to decompress from the public school mindset. While that’s true, it’s not a do-nothing time. Let me share some insight on what it COULD look like.

1| Explore Your Community.

Deschooling provides the perfect opportunity to take a few weeks to explore your community. As a public school student, kids may have no idea the opportunities available to them in the community. Businesses realize that homeschoolers are available during the daytime, when public school children are otherwise occupied. Take time and get out there. You may find a class, business, or great sports opportunity that you had no idea existed. Make a list of everything you want to check out.

2| Explore Curriculum…or Not.

Homeschooling isn’t public school at home, and we have so many opportunities to create a rich and engaging educational experience. Take your time when deschooling and really explore curriculum. Get your children involved and see what is resonating with them. The curriculum with all the bells and whistles for your, may be completely overwhelming for your child. Let them sample texts, chapter books, unit studies and topics. Explore different methods of homeschooling or, consider unschooling, or child-led learning.

3| Shed Public-School Mindset.

Gone are the days of lining up, raising your hand when you have a question, or asking to go to the bathroom. This newly found freedom gives kids a chance to find autonomy, to determine what life and learning looks like for them. Deschooling allows you to throw away the calendars, the life by subject mantras, the wasted time, and the learning inside the box. When a whole new world of opportunities present themselves, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with choices. Take your time with deschooling. Don’t worry about the kids keeping up or catching up. Once they are involved in their own educational goals, they quickly make up any time spent deschooling. Parents also need time to deschool. Read blogs, articles, ask for help from a coach, or speak to other parents. Remember, that homeschooling is new to EVERYONE. The whole house needs ample time to make sense of it all. If you still are stuck, read my book-Out of the Box Learning~Empowering YOU On Your Homeschool Journey.  It’s filled with so much helpful information for both new and seasoned homeschoolers.

Deschooling can be a confusing time too. 

Parents may find that kids rebel or have challenging attitudes and behaviors during deschooling time. Parents, realize that this is completely normal as everyone in the household adjusts to new freedoms.

Do I Even Need to Deschool?

A period of deschooling can benefit almost every family. But, not all kids respond to deschooling in the same way, or need the same length of time to deschool. Kids may be anxious to jump into their learning right away, others may need significant down time to regroup.

What changes can you expect during deschooling time?

1| Challenging Behavior from Kids

Remember that kids who are in public schoo,l are used to having their whole day managed, from early morning to late afternoon. Everything from when to eat lunch, to gym time, to free reading has been laid out by someone else. Now you are asking them to plan out their day, and take charge of their education. Suddenly, the kids have no idea what expectations are required, or what they are supposed to do. Mom (or Dad) has become not only their parent, but their teacher, mentor, curriculum provider, and lesson planner. New roles, new expectations, and new outcomes can send your household into chaos. Know that this soon passes, and settles quickly.

2| The Upheaval

When you first begin homeschooling, their is a period of adjustment for parents too. Traditional homeschoolers must figure out how to plan their day, how to develop a lesson plan, keep attendance, and manage a household at the same time. The overwhelm can feel heavy, and many want to throw in the towel in the first few months. Parents must also let go of that vision of what public school looked liked, for a more relaxed atmosphere. Many parents realize that suddenly, all the things (curriculum, teaching, field trips etc) that were some other educator’s problem, is now theres!

3| The Messy House

HA! One of the questions parents always ask, is how do you manage to homeschool and keep your house clean? Well parents, truth bomb. It won’t happen. You need to choose and here’s why. We homeschool. We’re actually living in the house 24/7. So get used to your sink being full of dishes, science experiments on the kitchen counters, dirty floors, and baskets of unfolded laundry. Give yourself a break, and get past the idea of super mom doing it all. Relish in the thought that you have provided your children with a top-notch education, and call it a good day. If the mess gets out of hand, grab an empty laundry basket (if you can find one) and make a run through the house picking up all the belongings, and putting them back where they belong. Don’t forget to involve the kids in helping to clean up.

4| Rethink What Learning Can Look Like

As you begin to deschool yourself, ask yourself some of the questions below. Create a new paradigm of learning.

  • Where should learning take place? Do you have a specific room or will you be okay with kids all over the house?
  • What will my schedule look like? Do we volunteer one day a week, or attend coop? Do we do better with a loose, or very tight schedule?
  • When will you do lesson planning? Setting aside time each week will keep you organized and on track.
  • What methods of homeschooling resonate with me? Explore unschooling too.
  • Is annual testing required? Check your local state laws.
  • Where will I get textbooks? Look online for used texts, ask in Facebook groups.
  • Do I need to assure my children are on grade level? Check your state laws for information.
  • What does my child want to learn about? What topics do they find interesting?
  • Who is my support system? A support system is critical for homeschoolers.
  • Am I required to teach certain subjects? Check with your state laws.
  • What goals do you have for your children and homeschool?

Considering the above information at the start of deschooling, will help you feel more confident once you begin homeschooling. Changes and hard days are normal in the beginning and deschooling can help set a clear path for any homeschooler.

Remember, help is just around the corner. Call a coach if you need help with these very beginning steps. You can find me here.

Happy Homeschooling!

Bev

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Helping Homeschooling Parents on Social Media http://www.beverlyburgess.com/helping-homeschooling-parents-on-social-media/ http://www.beverlyburgess.com/helping-homeschooling-parents-on-social-media/#respond Thu, 07 Dec 2017 15:25:48 +0000 http://www.beverlyburgess.com/?p=1023 Today’s post is about helping homeschooling parents on social media. Maybe it’s about etiquette. Maybe it’s about getting to the heart of the matter.   Parents post to social media, because they often feel that they have no where left to turn. Homeschooling parents want to know that someone is listening. And they may be […]

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Helping Homeschooling Parents On Social Media
Today’s post is about helping homeschooling parents on social media. Maybe it’s about etiquette. Maybe it’s about getting to the heart of the matter.
 
Parents post to social media, because they often feel that they have no where left to turn.

Homeschooling parents want to know that someone is listening.

And they may be holding on by their fingertips. They may post because they have no other support systems, or want to be assured that everything is okay. Sometimes it’s not okay, and a parent needs professional help to care for their child.

Helping homeschooling parents on social media, shouldn’t be difficult.

Here are some do’s and dont’s when posting responses to social media.

1| Just Relax!

Parents have real heart concerns about their children being developmentally behind, struggling with social issues, exhibiting behavior that worries them, or a million other questions. Telling them to RELAX, is not going to calm their fears, or concerns about their child; nor does it do anything to address the situation, or struggle at hand. It pushes their fears to the side, invalidates the fears, and in essence, says; “You shouldn’t be concerned.” Have you ever taken care of a sick child, and were worried to death? Did anyone telling you to relax, actually get you to relax, or make the situation better? The only time telling a parent to relax is appropriate, is if they are on a beach with a pina colada watching the sunset. Or having a massage. 

2| Don’t Give Medical Advice.

Posting well intentioned advice like, “It sounds like ADHD”, or “Have them checked for infection”, or “Could be food allergies”, is disingenuous to the parent and child. Telling them that YOUR child has (insert any diagnosis/struggle) and that “it sounds just like it”, puts more fear and aprehension into the parent, and can be dangerous. Social media is not the place to diagnose anyone’s child. If you feel their struggle is something medical, perhaps respond with, “Your medical professional can help you figure out next steps.” Children are individuals and should be treated as such. As adults, we consult with consult with medical professionals who can help us. Our children deserve that same opportunity.
 

3| Rarely is there an instance on social media, where enough information is provided, to be able to give anything other than emotional support to the situation.

Parents who post to social media want to know that all is well with their child. But rarely, is there enough information given so that anyone can help. Family dynamics, socio-economic status, parenting style, family support systems, health, and a ton of other information all play an important role in helping parents. Parents may not want to share such guarded information about their child on public forums either. They may just want to know that there is someone out there listening to them. Responding with, “It sounds like a difficult time,” or ” I’m sorry you are struggling,” are perfectly appropriate.

4| Unschooling May Not Be the Answer.

Unschooling is a fabulous way to learn. But. A big BUT. It is not the solution for every struggle a parent posts. When parents post that their child is struggling with (insert any issue), the automatic response seems to be, “Just Unschool.” Again, this invalidates the parent’s deep concerns about their child, and does nothing to address those concerns. Unschooling, like everything else, should be entered into only if it is the right fit for the child and family.

5| Changing the Curriculum May Not Be the Answer.

When parents are struggling or asking for help on social media, the default answer seems to be to change the curriculum. In some instances, that may absolutely work. But, sometimes it’s not the root of the problem at all. Beginning homeschoolers especially, may go through curriculum like drinking water, assuming that a change will solve homeschooling issues. And the reality is, that during the first year of homeschooling, curriculum hopping is normal until the right match is found. But too often, curriculum needs to be given ample time to settle in. The child needs to be able to settle into homeschooling.

6| Deschooling May Not Be the Answer.

Deschooling or the time period it takes for children removed from school to create a new learning paradigm, is another recommendation that is used too frequently. Deschooling doesn’t mean, not learning. In fact, it’s the opposite of not learning. It’s taking the time to really get to know your child, what interests them, and what learning looks like outside the public school education model. While absolutely worthwhile, not all kids need time to deschool. Some kids happily make the change to unschooling, or even begin homeschooling with relative little time between educational placements. There are many kids who thrive on change, and who know what satifies their own learning needs.

Helping homeschooling parents on social media should be uplifting and supportive. Putting our own experiences aside is necessary to address the parent and child concerns. Letting parents know that you hear their concerns, and are there to listen is always a welcome response.

Happy Homeschooling,

Bev

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