You Probably Won’t Stick to “The Plan”
We homeschoolers have so many inspired ideas when we first begin! Who doesn’t love a new adventure, with a shiny new schedule to go along with it?I promise you, you will go “off course”. You will “follow a different path”. You will get “redirected”. It’s all okay. It’s necessary, and it leads to new adventures and new opportunities.
Consider This Fictitious Day
* 8:30 You and your children begin the day with stretching, exercise and/or prayer time. Everyone is smiling and well-rested. The bigger kids help make smoothie bowls for breakfast at 8:30 am while their younger siblings clean up their toys. Breakfast is followed by journal writing and free reading. Your group history lesson begins at 10:00 followed by a snack (which the kids prepare themselves) and a short free-play or free-time session for everyone until exactly 10:45, which leaves just enough time to fit in some handwriting practice before it’s time to involve the kids in preparing a healthy lunch. (more…)
When I was in graduate school I learned all the reasons why reading aloud to students is so important. Aside from the obvious, the benefits of reading aloud extends to students beyond the pre-reading stage, and even all the way up through high school.
When I did start teaching I took an inservice based upon the teaching of Jim Trelease and his book The Read Aloud Handbook. I knew intuitively that what he said about literacy was correct and I implemented many of his strategies with great success for my students. I highly recommend his book. It is one that you will never give away or sell because you will refer to it throughout your homeschooling years.
We love reading aloud so much that we do it as often as we can. It is important also to read silently to a sibling, a parent or a buddy, but some of our most treasured moments in our homeschool are when I am reading aloud to my kids.
Students whose parents and/or teachers read aloud to them on a consistent basis become better readers. Kids who are read-aloud to develop many skills important to literacy and these are only a few:
and much, much more
2020 is the year of uncertainty, isn’t it? I think there is more uncertainty among parents of children who are in traditional public schools, private schools, and homeschools. I’ve seen a lot of misinformation going around on social media, it’s no wonder you’re confused!
This comprehensive guide to how to homeschool will apply to Florida, however, many states follow similar guidelines. Check your individual state requirements before you make your decision.
Schooling at Home, But Not Homeschooling
The following three options allow your child to learn at home, and be public school students at the same time.
County School District Virtual School
Before the Year 2020 threw a monkey wrench into all of our plans, students still had the option to study their school’s curriculum, but to do so from home and online. This option requires your student to follow all the rules and regulations that they would normally follow if going to the brick and mortar classroom such as schedules, testing, etc. Obviously, more students (and teachers) are being forced into this option because of limited space in the classrooms right now.
Hospital Homebound Study
Many counties have a hospital homebound program within their public school system. This can be used if your child has a medical diagnosis which prohibits him/her to go to the brick and mortar school. This can also be a good option temporarily if your child is undergoing a surgery which will require a long recovery, or if your child has had an unexpected medical event. Contact your local school board office to learn more.
Florida Virtual School
Florida Virtual School (FLVS) is considered its own school district. FLVS follows the typical calendar and testing requirements that other public school districts do. Your student will receive a diploma from FLVS. You can apply to be a FLVS full-time student if you are a resident of Florida. The deadline for the 2020-2021 year is July 31.
Homeschooling Options – Umbrella Schools and Home-Educated Students
The following options are those that typical homeschoolers sign up for. They each have their pros and their cons.
Register With an Umbrella School
When you register your child with an umbrella school in Florida, your child is counted in the private school numbers because umbrella schools are considered private schools, even though many of these are just a “cover” and do not even have a brick and mortar building. Some of these umbrellas do offer in-person classes, however, so check your options carefully. Our umbrella Life Learning Academy, allows you to homeschool on your own schedule and choose your own curriculum. We also offer report cards and help creating high school transcripts.
Register With Your County School Board
When you register your child with your county school board office, your child will be considered a home-educated student. You can begin your homeschool any time within 30 days of registering and you are free to use whatever curriculum you choose. At the end of the year (on the anniversary of when you established your homeschool by sending in your Intent to Homeschool Letter), you will provide proof of progress to your school board office. You have several options for this.including standardized testing, portfolio reviews and more. You can read more about portfolio reviews here.
Get Straight Answers Here
Our options in Florida can be confusing, especially now that more and more people are choosing to have their children study at home. Finding answers on social media can be like herding chickens, and many people (including those that work in public schools) think they know the laws, when in fact, they don’t.
There are several pros and cons to each homeschooling option above. For example, which option allows you to get college classes for free? One does! Which option allows your kids to participate easily in public school sports? Find out more about all of this and more when you go through our Beginner’s Guide How to Homeschool in Florida: Making Sense of Our Laws and Options course. It’s only $17 and we add and update it all the time as the laws change. We also provide you with all the necessary forms and paperwork you need, depending on the option you choose.
The question of how to homeschool multiple children is one of the top questions I get when I work with homeschooling families. In fact, it’s one of the main reasons why homeschooling moms book consulting appointments with me.
When I was an educator working in the elementary brick and mortar classrooms, I taught in what we called then multi-age classrooms. I had kindergarten, first and second graders together for several years and then third, fourth and fifth graders after that. As a passionate educator who had a wonderful and diverse education in the art and science of educating, teaching in multi-age classrooms was a dream.
When I decided to homeschool my own children, I followed what I knew worked in my classrooms, and I even ran a small cottage school out of my home for a while consisting of students of multiple ages. These days were some of my girls’ fondest homeschool memories.
Here are some things that I learned along the way that can help you homeschool multiple children in your own homeschool. We’ll start with the very important and less “academic” things. (more…)
Who doesn’t love ocean adventures during the summer?
Maybe you school through the summer and need some tips for tacking those tricky home ed days. If you can get away, a beach trip can be refreshing to your soul and can rejuvenate your homeschool like nothing else!
Before you hit the road, be sure to look at the atlas and decide what types of sea creatures you want to find when you get there! Also, be sure to check out these10 hacks for family fun at the beach..
With all of the restrictions this year, maybe you won’t be getting to the beach this year. No worries! Your kids can still meet some of nature’s most fantastic ocean creatures in this beautifully illustrated exploration of the sea! This book is appropriate for all age levels.
There are over 30 scenes to explore and your kids will enjoy learning about the sea creatures through detailed illustrations in this beautiful Atlas. Maybe you can incorporate this into your Ocean Life unit study?
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Here are some FREE ocean-themed printables to go along with your unit study!
Sharks Notebooking Pages
Ocean Zones Worksheets
Ocean Animals Mini Puzzle Unit
All About Oceans Unit Study
Book Review and Craft: Little Narwhal’s Day
Ocean Fill-In Puzzle