Monday, June 27, 2011

Thinking about homeschooling? The Law.

I thought I would do some posts on getting started with homeschooling as I get a lot of questions involving what to do, where to look and how to structure your day.

First off, you should familiarize yourself with the laws regarding home education.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer Fun

We are getting ready to swing into our summer schedule and are excited to get Summer rollin'! We will be taking a break from anything computer related until next Fall. Wishing you all a fun and relaxing Summer.

If you are looking for some neat things to do check out these links~



Here are some Moncton area Summer Camps


Last year we had fun with Gigantic Bubbles! You can make your own SUPER WAND by checking out these links.


The second one comes with a bubble recipe that I know works well because we have tried it. The recipe we used last Summer is the following~

Best Bubble Recipe

In a clean bucket, in the following order, stir gently:

12 cups water
1 cup of dish soap
1 cup of cornstarch
2 Tbsp baking powder

As you can see, it works very, very well!



You can also finish the day off with a nice homemade icepop.

Have a great Summer and we'll see you in September!


Monday, June 20, 2011

Linky Monday~ Homeschooling Methods~ Pt. 4

This is our last look at different homeschooling styles. Today we will be looking at the worlds of Holistic/Alternative Homeschooling in the Waldorf , Enki and Reggio Emelia methods.


Waldorf

The Waldorf Method is a fast growing international movement arising from the philosophy and methods of Rudolf Steiner who founded the first Waldorf School in Stuttgart, Germany in l9l9. Steiner's insights have lead to new approaches in medicine, architecture, the fine arts, economics, and agriculture as well as education.


Waldorf education is designed to address the whole child: the head the heart and the hands. It stimulates the mind with a full spectrum of traditional academic subjects; it nurtures healthy emotional development by conveying information experientially as well as academically; and it teachers the hands to be valued members of the child’s being through a broad range of artistic and physical activities.


Waldorf education emphasizes respect, wonder for nature and reverence for human existence. Learning becomes much more than the acquisition of vast amounts of information; rather, learning becomes an engaging voyage of discovery, both of the world and of oneself. Because it touches children on a deeper level, they remember more easily what they have learned.

(source)


Waldorf Resources


Waldorf Curriculum


Waldorf Blogs


Enki

Enki homeschooling is a curriculum which aims to join vision and practicalities into an ideal education. Each activity must be worth doing and support the overall health of the family.

Features of Enki Philosophy

  • Rhythms and circle times are used to cover content areas.
  • Arts-integrated curriculum is woven into family life.
  • Focus is kept on the core issues of what the parent wants to bring to the children, i.e., health and happiness.
  • Methods are adaptable to various learning environments.
  • Sensory integration and artistic movement activities.

Other features include meeting needs for community and meeting the needs of multiple age siblings.

Content Areas

  • Humanities
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Projects and crafts
  • Foreign language
  • Visual arts
  • Movement arts
  • Music

  • (source)
Enki Links


Enki Blogs




Reggio Emelia

The Reggio Emelia Method originated in Italy and is seen as a wonderful way to see Early Childhood Education. It is an approach more than a curriculum but it has been used in planning homeschooling.


It is fairly new this side of the world so not many resources exist. I have to admit I have not heard of it before I started researching the different homeschool methods. The method and how it has been used is discussed in the following links.





After reading about all these methods for the past month and looking at all the cool blogs filled with thousands of ideas and plans for your homeschool, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. I have about 100 blog posts bookmarked with ideas I'd like to incorporate into our day. I will probably whittle them down to 20 or so actual "do-able" ideas. This is about finding inspiration and being creative. This isn't about setting unattainable standards for yourself and your kids. Find one neat thing you'd like to try and work that in gradually. If you want to add something else a few months down the road then great! This is a great blog post that sums it up quite nicely.


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Sackville Day

We had great weather for our Sackville Day which is surprising since it has been raining so much!

The group enjoyed a tour and activities at the Owens Art Gallery at Mount Allison University.






In the afternoon, the group had a very informative tour at the Waterfowl Park with a marsh dipping activity too.






Thanks to everyone who came!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Linky Monday~ Homeschooling Methods~ Pt. 3

Part three of our homeschooling methods tour involves the following methods~ Traditional, Unit Studies and Unschooling.

Traditional

This method is also known as Structured and School-at-home.

In this approach to homeschooling, the child works on each subject separately every day. All learning is planned and followed by grade level. Schooling does not get off track and everything is covered, with no worrying about learning gaps. Many homeschool programs that use the structured approach provide textbooks for each subject, along with a teacher's manual. Tests often follow each lesson, to be sure that the child is learning. Most structured homeschools have a daily schedule. Some structured homeschoolers run their programs Monday through Friday, from June through September; others run a year-round program.

Most structured homeschools enjoy the curriculum since the units and textbooks can be purchased (no need to create them). With a purchased structured curriculum the schedules, lessons, scope and sequence are planned for you. Some parents purchase a preplanned, structured curriculum so they have something to fall back on, diminishing the worries of homeschooling. Many parents that are new to home education start with this type of program.(source)


Boxed Curricula

Calvert (secular)
Core Curriculum (secular)

Traditional Homeschooling Blogs



Unit Studies

Homeschool Learning Network describes Unit Studies as follows~

The unit studies approach is designed to give both in-depth and broad understandings of subjects revolving around some entire theme that interests the child. This integrated approach includes science, math, geography, art, music, history, language, literature, drama, and creative movement. It is often referred to as a multi-disciplinary or a thematic approach. It is an experiential, hands-on approach to learning. It is believed that when children go into such depth, and spend a generous amount of time on each theme, their retention of the subject is higher than in traditional methods.

Since the central focus is on one theme, all core subjects are integrated together based on that particular theme. The primary advantage, of course, is that the subjects are blended together and not learned separately. There are many other advantages with the unit study approach:

  1. Children of all ages and different levels can learn together.
  2. Unit studies are relatively low in cost, especially if you create your own unit.
  3. Because the studies are learner-generated, the child gets an in-depth understanding of each topic, and in turn develops mastery and retention of the material.
  4. Since there are no time restraints, the child is given ample time to think, experiment and discover each topic through his own natural way of learning.
  5. Since unit studies are multi-aged, the younger child learns immeasurably from and through the older child.
  6. The creative hands-on projects and activities are great fun.
  7. Anything can spark an interest: television, radio, books, and common conversations. This makes unit planning fairly easy.


Relevant Links


Blogs



Unschooling

This is also known as interest driven, child-led, natural, organic, eclectic, or self-directed learning. Lately, the term "unschooling" has come to be associated with the type of homeschooling that doesn't use a fixed curriculum. When pressed, I define unschooling as allowing children as much freedom to learn in the world, as their parents can comfortably bear. The advantage of this method is that it doesn't require you, the parent, to become someone else, i.e. a professional teacher pouring knowledge into child-vessels on a planned basis. Instead you live and learn together, pursuing questions and interests as they arise and using conventional schooling on an "on demand" basis, if at all. This is the way we learn before going to school and the way we learn when we leave school and enter the world of work. So, for instance, a young child's interest in hot rods can lead him to a study of how the engine works (science), how and when the car was built (history and business), who built and designed the car (biography), etc. Certainly these interests can lead to reading texts, taking courses, or doing projects, but the important difference is that these activities were chosen and engaged in freely by the learner. They were not dictated to the learner through curricular mandate to be done at a specific time and place, though parents with a more hands-on approach to unschooling certainly can influence and guide their children's choices.

Unschooling, for lack of a better term (until people start to accept living as part and parcel of learning), is the natural way to learn. However, this does not mean unschoolers do not take traditional classes or use curricular materials when the student, or parents and children together, decide that this is how they want to do it. Learning to read or do quadratic equations are not "natural" processes, but unschoolers nonetheless learn them when it makes sense to them to do so, not because they have reached a certain age or are compelled to do so by arbitrary authority. Therefore it isn't unusual to find unschoolers who are barely eight-years-old studying astronomy or who are ten-years-old and just learning to read.


(via~ Pat Farenga)


Relevant Links


Unschooling

Unschooling in Canada

Radical Unschooling~ Sandra Dodd

John Holt

Delight Driven Learning

Life Learning Magazine

Enjoy Life Unschooling

Great Unschooling Blog Posts

Family Unschoolers Network

Radio Free School


Blogs


50 Best Unschooling Blogs

Rickshaw Unschooling

I'm Unschooled. Yes, I Can Write

Unschooling Lifestyle

On Bradstreet

Life Without School

An Unschooling Life



Monday, June 6, 2011

Linky Monday~ Homeschooling Methods~ Pt. 2

We are continuing our look into different homeschooling methods. Today, we will be looking at Eclectic, Faith Based and Montessori.

Eclectic

Eclectic homeschooling is pretty much as it sounds. Various methods and curricula are used to "build" the ideal homeschooling experience for your family. It can be somewhat labour intensive to create as there can be lots of planning and research but there is the bonus of the freedom to choose exactly how you want to approach your schedule.

Information


Eclectic Blogs


Faith Based

Many families believe that a spiritual foundation is key to a moral education. If this describes your family's philosophy, a multitude of curricula and materials are available for your faith-based homeschool. You may use a traditional curriculum similar to the one taught in public schools, such as the suggestions noted above, and add a study unit based on your family's religious beliefs. Or you may prefer that each subject area of the curriculum incorporates your family's spiritual beliefs.

A science curriculum, for example, may be secular and focus more on an evolutionary theory, while a faith-based science curriculum may incorporate a creationist point of view. These can be important points for families to consider when purchasing curriculum and supplemental books.

Homeschool curriculums and books are available for nearly every religious belief and culture. From Catholic to Islamic, Jewish, Latter-Day Saints, or Native American, you'll be able to find resources to suit your family's homeschool style.

Christian


Other Religions


Blogs


Montessori

The Montessori Method is used primarily in Montessori Private Schools but can be adapted to fit a homeschooling environment.

Montessori (pronounced MON-tuh-SORE-ee) is a comprehensive educational approach from birth to adulthoodbased on the observation of children's needs in a variety of cultures all around the world.

Beginning her work almost a century ago, Dr. Maria Montessori developed this educational approach based on her understanding of children's natural learning tendencies as they unfold in "prepared environments" for multi-age groups (0-3, 3-6, 6-9, 9-12, and 12-14).

The Montessori environment contains specially designed, manipulative "materials for development" that invite children to engage in learning activities of their own individual choice. Under the guidance of a trained teacher, children in a Montessori classroom learn by making discoveries with the materials, cultivating concentration, motivation, self-discipline, and a love of learning.

(via NAMTA)


Homeschooling Information and Curriculum


Montessori Blogs

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