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Sunday, February 15, 2009

The ABCs of Homeschooling

Thinking about taking a leap into teaching your children and not sure how to begin? Or maybe you know a family just starting out who could use a little more support and reassurance? Consider looking into Homeschooling ABCs, a weekly class designed to help guide you through the maze of curriculum, schedules and challenges one step at a time. If you sign up for the ABCs, each week you'll receive a friendly email from Terri Johnson of Knowledge Quest with instructions on how to download that week's lesson. The beginning lessons start with the basics and are designed to help you get started right away:

Lesson A- 10 Steps to a Great Start in Homeschooling
Lesson B- Let's Begin with the Basics
Lesson C- Copy the Classroom-Not!
Lesson D- Dare to Differentiate
Lesson E- Establish YOUR Philosophy of Education
Lesson F- Finding the Best Curriculum for Your Family

As you move through the lessons and gain more confidence, the topics become more focused on various specific aspects of homeschooling, including particular subjects and challenges that we face day-to-day:

Lesson J- Just Say "No"-Staying Focused and On-Track
Lesson O- Out the Door-Time for a Field Trip!
Lesson Q- The Quintessential Expression of Art & Music

Each lesson starts with a reminder of what was covered the previous week and a glance at some of the coming topics so you know where you're at. At the end of each lesson you'll find links to previous lessons in case you missed any or somehow misplaced them on your hard-drive. The lessons are short and can either be read on your computer or printed out and tucked into a binder. Many of the lessons have embedded links to resources on the internet or curriculum add-ons that have been provided free-of-charge to you the subscriber. For example, Lesson H (for Hands-on) comes with 2 free downloads of project packs from Hands of a Child. So, not only do you get a wealth of information and encouragement on how to begin homeschooling, you also get some goodies to add to your resource stash!

Homeschooling ABCs is a little like getting a 26-chapter beginning homeschool resource book in little, non-overwhelming bites. You can read a few pages a week and do your "homework" assignment (each lesson has an assignment to help you incorporate that week's reading into your overall homeschool plan), and before you know it, you'll be in the groove.

As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I've had the opportunity to follow the class for the past few months. Overall, I've enjoyed Terri's light, yet informative, writing style and the logical progression of topics. Yes, you could purchase a book that covers the same material, read it in a weekend and then...let's face it, be totally overwhelmed! There are so many aspects to consider when educating your children at home, so many things that seem equally important and urgent, that it's very easy to lose your way in the maze that first year. This is a gentle, gradual way of starting out with plenty of encouragement along the way.

I do have one caveat: The early lessons seem to assume that you are starting with very young children. Here's an example from Lesson A: ...types of flowers can become the spelling words (ie: rose, tulip, chrysanthemum – just kidding on the last one!) The joke is misplaced here, obviously there are plenty of children just beginning to homeschool for whom chrysanthemum would be a perfectly appropriate spelling word. I know parents who have started homeschooling pre-teens and teenagers due to problems at school. I myself started homeschooling my son for 2nd grade. If I had given my son rose as a spelling word in 2nd grade, he would have rolled his eyes at me. But, don't let this dissuade you from considering this class if your children are older and you are just starting out. The suggestions themselves are perfectly sound and the tendency to aim them at parents of very young children is not present throughout. This is simply a case of knowing your child's abilities and working with them, something that we all do every day. If you understand the premise behind the suggestions, you can certainly modify them for any age group.

Homeschooling ABCs is a 6 month long class. Cost is $10 per month. Once you sign up and pay your initial $10, you will receive your first lesson---no waiting for class to start! Thereafter, your credit card will automatically be billed $10/month for 5 months. Not quite sure if it's for you? Try out the 5-day "mini-class:" 5 Ways to Know That You Are on the Right Track!
And, if you try it and don't like it, there's a 60-day money-back guarantee.

To read reviews of this product by other homeschoolers, click the banner below:

1 comment:

  1. I've given you an AWARD...come see
    www.homeschoolblogger.com/SisterTipster/
    Congrats!
    hugs
    cheryl

    ReplyDelete

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