homeschooling styles – Time4Learning https://www.time4learning.com Homeschool, Afterschool, Skill Building Mon, 15 Jan 2018 16:31:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.1 Need Activities for Toddlers While Homeschooling Older Siblings? https://www.time4learning.com/blog/experienced-homeschooler/need-activities-for-toddlers-while-homeschooling-older-siblings/ https://www.time4learning.com/blog/experienced-homeschooler/need-activities-for-toddlers-while-homeschooling-older-siblings/#respond Thu, 05 Oct 2017 15:02:07 +0000 https://www.time4learning.com/?p=11099 You’ve taken full advantage of naptime to get some homeschooling work complete, but now your toddler is awake and going wide open. You may be tempted to just turn on the television and sit your toddler in front of it while you’re working one-to-one with an older sibling, and there’s nothing wrong with including some […]]]>

You’ve taken full advantage of naptime to get some homeschooling work complete, but now your toddler is awake and going wide open. You may be tempted to just turn on the television and sit your toddler in front of it while you’re working one-to-one with an older sibling, and there’s nothing wrong with including some educational programming in your toddler’s day. But, there are also plenty of learning activities for toddlers that will keep them occupied and engaged when you can’t give them your full attention. Below are several toddler activity ideas to consider when homeschooling.

Busy Baskets

As you’re planning out your homeschool days, why not include your toddler in the mix? Create a basket just for your toddler that he or she can only access during homeschool time. Include hand-eye activities such as puzzles, shoelaces and lacing cards, building blocks, contact paper and stickable items, felt playsets, etc. If possible, change out the items every school day so that each day your toddler looks forward to discovering what is in their basket. The more variety in the basket, the longer they will remain occupied.

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Dedicated Reading Nook

One of the best things to do with toddlers during homeschool time is to occupy them with books. Create a special area such as a sheet-tent, pillow fort, or any cozy spot near where you’re homeschooling and fill it with picture books, sticker books and coloring books that your toddler will enjoy. As with the busy baskets, this will work best if you rotate the available books as often as possible. Exploring books independently is one of the first steps toward learning to read, too!

Recreating the Lesson

If you plan ahead, you can actually include your toddler in any unit study or subject-specific homeschooling you are doing with older siblings. Depending on what you are studying, have some “props” or visual aids that are toddler-safe at the ready. When you are discussing the life cycle of a plant, for example, you might want to have some felt pieces representing the seed, the pollen, and the flower that your toddler could play with. This is a great way to get siblings in “teaching” mode, too. They can pass on what they’ve been studying by using the props as learning games to play with toddler siblings.

Apps and Games for Toddlers

Especially if older brother or sister uses the computer for their schooling, it’s common for toddlers to want in on the action. Homeschool time is a great opportunity for toddlers to get to play with educational apps designed just for their learning needs. In fact, toddlers will be especially eager to play if you normally limit those types of educational technology opportunities. Older toddlers and preschoolers who can handle a computer mouse might even be able to do their own “homeschool time” using Time4Learning’s online preschool curriculum. All the learning activities are interactive and engaging and are designed for pre-readers.

Toddlers are learning at an incredibly fast rate and whether or not you include them in your official homeschool activities, they will be gleaning knowledge just by being nearby as you and your other children study together. Homeschooling really is a terrific choice for every member of the family!

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Independent Learning is Good for You & Your Homeschooler https://www.time4learning.com/blog/new-homeschooler/independent-learning-is-good-for-you-your-homeschooler/ https://www.time4learning.com/blog/new-homeschooler/independent-learning-is-good-for-you-your-homeschooler/#respond Mon, 24 Apr 2017 19:00:08 +0000 https://www.time4learning.com/?p=10063 Why you need to balance parent/student interaction in your homeschool My children have a pet peeve. I guess you could say I am their pet peeve, but to put a finer point on it, it’s really my hovering over them while they do their homeschool work that causes issues. I have this sort of “guilt […]]]>

Why you need to balance parent/student interaction in your homeschool

My children have a pet peeve. I guess you could say I am their pet peeve, but to put a finer point on it, it’s really my hovering over them while they do their homeschool work that causes issues. I have this sort of “guilt complex” if I’m not actively involved, and yet, it can make them feel claustrophobic. Finding the right balance between being involved in their learning and giving them enough space to breathe is a constant challenge.

After speaking with some homeschooling friends, though, I learned about online homeschooling methods. Because some online providers design their curriculum to actually interact with my children, it can actually be the best of both worlds.

The lessons break down the concepts for them by applying real life examples to math, language arts, science, social studies, and more. But, when lesson time is over, we can go over anything they didn’t understand, discuss some of the finer points, and even add in some hands-on reinforcement activities.

Independent Learning Benefits Us All

When I first started out homeschooling, I felt compelled to do all of the instruction, lesson planning, and grading. After all, isn’t that what I’m “supposed” to do? If I’m not actively involved in everything they are doing, then how will I know what they are learning. In spite of my enthusiasm and best laid plans, I struggled to give all of my children the proper “face time” they required. My youngest needed me more, but my oldest would also struggle with math. It was like a tug of war where I was the rope being tugged in all directions!

It took some time, but I eventually realized that there is a balance between independent learning and interacting with my students. And my student’s independent learning is just as important as their knowledge in geometry and physical science. Now, my oldest, who suddenly likes math, busies himself with his online studies as I help my youngest children with the more hands-on part of their homeschool.

Doing part of their homeschooling online provides my children with the opportunity to learn independently, gain problem solving skills, and get a true sense of accountability. I don’t have to stand over their shoulders or constantly provide assistance, something they truly appreciate.

Flexibility and Freedom

One of the other benefits of finding balance between me and my homeschoolers and using an online curriculum to help us in that effort is that I have the flexibility to let my children study at any time during the day or night because we can access our curriculum from anywhere with an internet connection. They work and advance independently, and at their own pace; and it’s not always dictated by my availability.

If you are looking to find more balance in your homeschool, take advantage of the Time4Learning 14-day money-back guarantee today to see how online curricula works.

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When Your Children Don’t Learn the Same Way https://www.time4learning.com/blog/experienced-homeschooler/when-your-children-dont-learn-the-same-way/ https://www.time4learning.com/blog/experienced-homeschooler/when-your-children-dont-learn-the-same-way/#respond Fri, 31 Mar 2017 17:49:16 +0000 https://www.time4learning.com/?p=9663 How one parent solved the dilemma with her two children who learn differently My two children don’t do anything alike. One enjoys playing football and watching scary movies, the other prefers building model cars and reading a biography. When I decided that homeschooling would best fit their educational needs a few years back, I didn’t […]]]>

How one parent solved the dilemma with her two children who learn differently

My two children don’t do anything alike. One enjoys playing football and watching scary movies, the other prefers building model cars and reading a biography. When I decided that homeschooling would best fit their educational needs a few years back, I didn’t foresee how their differences would impact my teaching — and their learning! I figured I could make whatever curriculum I chose work for both of my children.

With that mindset, I spent a hefty amount of money on a traditional curriculum. It consisted of workbooks, textbooks, guides and materials that fit the mold of my oldest boy’s learning style. He sat and quietly studied as if he was building his model cars. Then it was time for my youngest to use it, and he did not like it at all.

I spent so much time getting my youngest to do his assignments that my oldest eventually stopped doing his schoolwork. I was upset and, honestly, ready to give up. However, after doing some research and trial and error, I found ways to overcome the learning-style dilemma.

Homeschool Curriculum is not One-Size-Fits-All

When I made the initial investment in our homeschool curriculum I assumed it would work for all of my children. It didn’t, and I was experienced enough at homeschooling to know that it wouldn’t. I had already put in the time and made the investment. It’s important to exhaust every possible way to make your curriculum work for you and child, but if it doesn’t, it’s better to cut your losses sooner and find one or many curricula solutions that fit with your child’s learning style.

Split Your School Day or School Week

It’s easy to get into a routine. My eldest was easy. He followed my lessons, we did assignments together and we both fell into step with the way our days and weeks ran. When my youngest son struggled with our homeschool routine, I had to think of a new way to accommodate their needs. Even we experienced homeschoolers can forget that we have the choice about what, when, where, and how we learn. My youngest son was up early, while my older boy enjoyed sleeping in. I took advantage of their split schedule and tackled lessons with my youngest son in the morning. When my older boy got up, it was his turn. The school day itself got a little longer for me, but it was so much more productive.

Consider Online Homeschooling

I knew children loved using computers, but I didn’t think they could actually receive a quality education using an online homeschool curriculum. Some experienced homeschoolers who are used to traditional curriculum may wonder if it holds up, but we have found that online learning is a great solution to the “many children, many different learning styles” dilemma.

  • Because the lessons and activities are automated, my children have become more independent in their studies. This leaves me more time to give each boy the attention he needs. Plus, they become more self sufficient.
  • The online curriculum addresses all the different ways my children learn best, which can vary by subject — visual, auditory, physical, and more.
  • My children can learn at their own pace — faster or slower depending on their comfort level and grasp of the subject.

I knew right away that my youngest son would love it, and my oldest could use traditional methods at times and switch over to an online approach when he needed a change.

Explore Free Homeschool Resources

A homeschool family’s budget is no joke. When you finally get over the sting that the money you spent on traditional curriculum is only going to go so far, it’s important to find affordable and free homeschool resources. There is the obvious – the library and the internet. But, if you haven’t had a need to explore them before, check out YouTube, iTunes, podcasts and more. If you already have a Netflix of Amazon Prime subscription, you may find documentaries and other videos to support your learning plan. Lastly, there is an exhaustive list of homeschool blogs that feature free resources and giveaways. Some of my favorites are HomeschoolGiveaways.com, A2ZHomeschooling, Homeschool.com, and TheMultitaskinMom.com.

Keep Learning Simple

So often we forget that learning doesn’t have to be complicated. I would love to spend hours preparing the perfect lesson plans, and pulling together cute and fun materials to do during said lessons, but it’s not necessary. Sometimes I find that if I can get my head out of the curriculum books or turn away from the computer, I can find simple ways to teach my boys their lessons. And it can be fun! There is always going to be a time and a place where formal curriculum can and should be used, but it’s not every lesson or activity that requires its own project plan.

Put in the Time

While it’s important to remember you can keep learning simple, do realize that homeschooling requires you to put in the time. That was probably the hardest part of accommodating my youngest child. I had to get over the fact that the time and effort I had put into finding the curriculum for my eldest child would need to be repeated to find what would work best. Once I got past that bitter pill, it became enjoyable. Suddenly I was exposed to other ways of teaching and learning even more myself.

Listen, it doesn’t matter if you’re an experienced homeschooler or not — all homeschoolers face challenges. I still face them, but I can honestly tell you that online learning makes our homeschooling routine so much more exciting and engaging.

My issues with juggling different learning styles have disappeared. I have accepted that what works for one child won’t always work for the other, and that’s a good thing.

If you’re an experienced homeschooler interested in learning more about online homeschooling, check out Time4Learning’s experienced homeschooler video library that will answer many of your questions.

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4 Ways to Manage a Midyear Homeschool Transition https://www.time4learning.com/blog/new-homeschooler/4-ways-accidental-homeschoolers-successfully-manage-a-midyear-homeschool-transition/ https://www.time4learning.com/blog/new-homeschooler/4-ways-accidental-homeschoolers-successfully-manage-a-midyear-homeschool-transition/#respond Mon, 19 Dec 2016 21:00:49 +0000 https://www.time4learning.com/?p=9071 While every homeschooling story is unique, in time, you come to see the patterns. For example, there are the families who know from before their children are school-aged that they want to homeschool them. Then there are families that seem to fall into homeschooling, what we affectionately call “accidental homeschoolers.” In fact, December and January […]]]>

While every homeschooling story is unique, in time, you come to see the patterns. For example, there are the families who know from before their children are school-aged that they want to homeschool them. Then there are families that seem to fall into homeschooling, what we affectionately call “accidental homeschoolers.” In fact, December and January seem to give rise to this group of homeschoolers who decide to kick off the new year with this alternative educational choice after trying to make it work in public or private school. Making the decision to homeschool is tough enough, but doing so mid-school year seems to tack on an additional set of challenges. Whether you have made the leap or you’re still on the fence here are four ways to to make a midyear homeschool transition a success.

1. Check your State Homeschooling Laws

Homeschooling is legal in all 50 states, but the laws are different from state to state, not to mention that they can and do change. Therefore, we always recommend checking your homeschool laws and to start by reaching out to your Department of Education. “We made the decision to pull our child out of private school after a bullying incident left my daughter afraid and not learning anything. We contacted our local Department of Ed to find out how to make the switch. I always tell new homeschool families to start here, but not to stop here. Not everyone in the school system is up to speed on the homeschool laws and requirements,” said Jamie, a homeschool mother of six. As such, Jamie recommends homeschool parents to reach out to local homeschool groups for additional information and insights from experienced homeschoolers in your area. The “been there, done that” families are eager to help new homeschooling families start their journey and often have plenty of lessons learned to share. This state homeschool info page provides additional links to resources and parent forum discussions by state.

2. Have a Plan, But be Flexible — Because You Can

When making the transition, don’t feel pressured to prepare a year’s worth of lesson plans on what you are going to teach for the rest of the year, because who actually knows that? Start with a basic plan and take the time to recognize your child’s learning habits. Then, jot down some goals that you and your student would like to achieve within a certain period of time. Homeschooling is very flexible, your plans can be made-up or changed along the way, nothing has to be set in stone. For example, begin with a couple of lessons a day for math and reading. Or, start out with going back and reviewing concepts that your student didn’t fully grasp while in school. You also have the ability to integrate physical activity, creative lessons, and real-life experiences into their education whenever YOU want.

3. Choose a Homeschool Curriculum That Fits Your Student’s Needs

Taking the time to understand your student’s learning styles will help you in understanding what materials to buy. The biggest mistake accidental homeschoolers make is to spend a lot of money on a curriculum before they even get to know their child from an academics perspective.

There are many curricula options. So how do you know which one to choose, or which one will work best? Trial and error. There are many different curricula options available to homeschoolers, including online, textbook and workbook based, or even hybrid curricula which is a mix of both textbooks and online materials. Time4Learning, for example, is an award-winning, online curriculum for PreK-12th students. One of the many benefits for accidental homeschoolers is that it covers the core subjects – math, language arts, science, and social studies – and extra educational options such as electives like economics and health, foreign languages, writing, and vocabulary and spelling for a monthly fee. So while parents and children get to know each other in a new light, and parents get to understand their role as teacher/principal, education can continue. If you decide that Time4Learning is not a good fit, and we don’t think you will, the membership can be canceled at any time. Be sure to check out Time4Learning’s homeschool parent forum for insights and advice from parents all around the country on choosing a homeschool curriculum and everything in between on your homeschool journey.

4. Be Patient, Homeschooling Takes Time

Transitioning to homeschool midyear isn’t all rainbows and unicorns. You are going to hit bumps along the way, but so does everyone else. While you are starting to recognize your students’ interests, strengths, and weaknesses, your student is also starting to observe your teaching styles. As homeschooling gets moving along, you will be able to find a rhythm that works for your family.

While things are coming along, focus on the positives of homeschooling, besides the obvious ones, like school in your PJs or the beauty of not setting an alarm (a common homeschool favorite). Take advantage of getting out of the house, taking field trips, or teaming up with other homeschooling families through a co-op to outsource teaching time for your student. Your student will now have individualized attention when it comes to their education with the ability to learn at their own pace. Work with your child to find their love of learning again, but this time, at home!

As you are making the midyear transition just remember you are not alone. Let us help guide you through your new and exciting journey by providing supportive insights straight to your mailbox. Sign up for our emails to receive more great advice. Good luck!

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By Listening We Help Children Learn https://www.time4learning.com/blog/new-homeschooler/by-listening-we-help-children-learn/ https://www.time4learning.com/blog/new-homeschooler/by-listening-we-help-children-learn/#respond Fri, 22 Apr 2016 15:19:26 +0000 https://www.time4learning.com/blog/?p=111 By simply listening, a mother helps her child learn. As parents, we’re eager to contribute to our children’s education. But at one time or another, we all feel frustrated by our inability to teach or explain something. I’ve often felt these frustrations were misguided. According to research with 4- and 5-year-olds conducted by Bethany Rittle-Johnson, […]]]>

By simply listening, a mother helps her child learn. As parents, we’re eager to contribute to our children’s education. But at one time or another, we all feel frustrated by our inability to teach or explain something. I’ve often felt these frustrations were misguided. According to research with 4- and 5-year-olds conducted by Bethany Rittle-Johnson, the good news is that we don’t have to have all the answers. Sometimes just listening is the most helpful course of action.

In the research, children were asked to explain the solution to a problem to their moms, to themselves or to simply repeat the answer out loud. The results demonstrated that explaining the answer to their moms improved the children’s ability to solve both similar and more difficult problems over time.

By simply listening, mothers significantly affected their children’s understanding and retention of the problem and solution.

Of course, parents know that asking children about their lessons or school can result in the somewhat useless exchange: “How was school today?” “Fine.” “How were your lessons?” “OK.” The art of getting a child to engage in a topic has to do with timing, a probing question, and keen listening skills.

Asking your children to share the most interesting thing they learned that day is a better question that requires more than a one-word answer. As a parent, the take-away lesson from this study is that I should stop feeling like I have to know and provide all the answers and instead create situations that require my children to explain their knowledge or reasoning to me and then be a good listener.

So the next time your children ask you a question, consider using it as an opportunity to start a discussion rather than just an obligation to serve up an answer. Sometimes the most educational approach is to answer a question with a question. As a parent eager to help your children, putting this into practice can sometimes be difficult. But having them think through the problem and explain their reasoning will provide more benefit in the long run than simply telling them the answer.

This approach enables you to assist your children with their schoolwork even when you do not know the answer yourself. “Your kids ask questions all the time that you don’t know the answers to, and this suggests that it’s OK if you don’t.” Rittle-Johnson said. “If you just say, ‘What do you think the answer is?’ you can help kids learn.”

Time4Learning offers a great way for preschool to 12th grade kids to learn online using an interactive program for language arts, math, science and social studies. It is a learning program that enables children to digest and understand information at their own pace. As a parent you can participate and encourage your children to explain the new concepts that are introduced progressively and mastered through practice using the Time4Learning curriculum. Want to know more? See our screenshots to get a better idea of what some of the lessons cover or better yet, visit the scope and sequence to see all of the lesson plans by grade and subject.

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