Category Archives: Homeschooling

The Teaching Mom

Now that I am currently around 9 weeks pregnant, the topic of motherhood and working in the field of education has crossed my mind more than once. This manifests itself in two different ways: 1. I find myself wondering how women find the time to be teachers, mothers and wives all at the same time. 2. I find myself growing excited about the prospect of being able to be the first and (in my opinion) most important educator in my child’s life.

Firstly, my belly is growing, and the nausea is definitely up and running. Not only am I concerned about getting through my hectic full-time teaching schedule without throwing up during the day, but I worry about how much I will be able to keep up with these special projects that I have given myself to do this year. (AKA take on a new English Honors class for the first time.) But I think that the fear goes beyond that. I know that as a single woman I found it difficult to balance my time between work and my husband. Household chores piled up, paperwork piled up, and some days I was just very tired from the stress of juggling it all. Keeping up with grading and lesson planning takes work, and even after 5 years of teaching and finding different shortcuts, it is still a daunting task. Will I be able to be a full-time teacher and a mother at the same time? On this level, I admire women who not only have the choice to stay at home with their kids, but also homeschool and therefore more efficiently combine both motherhood and education into their lives. As for those of you who are full-time teachers and new moms at the same time, feel free to give me tips on how to survive this! 🙂

2. My husband laughed at me and said, “Our kid already has a library, and he/she hasn’t even been born yet!” It’s totally true. I was 2 months pregnant when we went to the bookstore and started searching for the best kid’s books of all time. I bought magnetic letters and numbers, and a friend gave me some Baby Einstein CDs… I recently read and commented on a website that discussed the necessity of preschool, and I guess it just depends on how much energy I can give to my baby to make sure that he/she reads as soon as possible. (I’m an English teacher, so the reading thing is important–can’t you tell?)  Again, readers, feel free to give me tips on the best books/tools of all time to help your baby get the best headstart possible!

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Homeschooling–A Kid’s Perspective

Dear friends at Christian Teacher Forum,

I happened to run across a blog with an apologia for her homeschooling experience. She was not necessarily homeschooled for religious reasons, but has also confronted the stereotypes concerning homeschooled kids. I wanted to post a link to her persuasive blog so that you would be able to appreciate the reasoning that she gave as to why her homeschooling education was very much appropriate for her. I hope you enjoy this first-person read!

http://nobodytoldme.wordpress.com/2008/05/21/homeschooling/

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Homeschooling in Today’s Modern World

Many Christians today still choose homeschooling as an educational option, but have no idea where to turn for resources. Although reasons for homeschooling vary, there are a number of key questions to consider:

1. Which curriculum are you going to use? Keep in mind that this question goes beyond a textbook. Parents can answer this question by looking to their state standards or even national standards of education. Some educational programs scoff at standards developed by secondary sources, but keep in mind that these standards have more to do with research and development and less to do with faith-based questions of morality. For example, a Christian school or homeschool can follow the National Council of Teachers of English standards or the AERO standards quite easily without finding something against their moral values. The Association for the Supervision of Curriculum and Development is an interesting research-based group that publishes key texts on curriculum development as it pertains to the neurological development of students. If we know how kids learn, then we can apply that knowledge to curriculum development. You may think you know best for your kid, but logically it is better to choose a guide that lessens the learning gaps rather than to try and “wing it” on your own.

2. What are your reasons for homeschooling? Do you want to provide your child with a classical education that includes literature, Latin, modern languages and rhetoric? Do you want your child to have a wide-ranging education focused on making them well-rounded individuals? Do you want your child to have the freedom to individually explore their own interests and meet their educational goals at the same time? Is your primary goal to preserve the doctrines of your faith? If so, what key points of doctrine do you see as most essential? Your choice of methodology and resources will depend on these objectives.

3. Who will be teaching your child? Will you be undertaking the responsibility of your child’s education? If so, what qualifications do you hold for the task? What types of professional development will you do to prepare yourself to be the best teacher possible for your child? If you are wanting your child to be more of an independent learner, what tools will help your child best reach that goal?

4. Where can you find additional resources and support? Perhaps you live in a small neighborhood where homeschooling is not the norm. Online forums such as Christian Teacher Forum can help you find fellowship, resources and help as you journey on this new and exciting path. The Internet has provided so many exciting homeschooling, technology-based tools! Just check out the links to “The Jubilee Academy” in the homeschooling category, for example. It is exciting what is taking place in our world today!

5. Where can you find extra-curricular activities that will provide your child with social interaction? One of the biggest complaints I heard from other students is that homeschooling children tended to be withdrawn in social situations. Teach your child how to capably interact with other children of the same age group by exploring outside lessons in art, music, martial arts, sports, and other community activities. Determine a school schedule that works for your child and allows him/her to explore outside interests. Send your child on missions trips offered through your church or participate in a foreign exchange program at a local school.

I hope that this article has given you some food for thought. Please feel free to share your lesson plan ideas, your stories and your reasons for choosing homeschooling. Help make Christian Teacher Forum an effective networking tool for homeschooling parents!

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