Homeschooling Away from Family: Preschool Addition

homeschooling away from family: preschool editionWelcome Guest Blogger Alyssa Leanne Riggan from teachingwithfaith.com!

I am new to homeschooling (compared to others) and have been homeschooling a preschooler for the last two years. I started homeschooling my daughter when she was almost 2 years old and have enjoyed every minute of it!

To better understand how we homeschool away from family, I first need to provide some background of our family as well as why we homeschool.

When You’re Far From Family Support

When I was in high school, I wanted to go to school away from my home state of Texas because well I kinda wanted an adventure and it was hot in Texas! So I moved to North Caroline for college. This is where I met my husband. My husband and I met back in college, but did not start dating until after college. While we were dating, he talked me into going back to school to get my Masters in Education with a focus in Early Childhood Education. He was on track to get his PhD and wanted to become a professor. This path though can be very tough so he took a Post Doc position where he could and we moved to Maryland where we had our two children. Even though we found a great community there, we moved again when my husband got a great position as a tenure track Assistant Professor at University of Nebraska. We moved to our current house when our second child was only 2 months old! I have not lived near my family for about 14 years. I have learned how to make my home wherever I ended up!

We Discovered That Homeschoolers Were “Normal” 

Now a small backstory into why we homeschool in general. Our first reason we homeschool is politics. When we lived in Maryland we were not too far from DC and I found that the school systems in the area were very political. (more…)

Why Play Should be an Integral Part of Your Homeschool

homeschool in florida

Let Your Children Play

Lately everywhere I turn, homeschooling parents are asking the question, “is my child doing enough to get ahead?” We are forgetting that play should be an important part of your homeschool curriculum.

The pressure on young children today is incredible. Even the developers of PBS believe that the biggest obstacle American children face in terms of education is being unprepared for kindergarten. 

No wonder parents are worried! Not only are parents over-teaching, but they are also over-scheduling, I believe it’s being done out of fear, and it’s not necessary. 

Over-scheduling

Consider this schedule: phonics lessons and grammar lessons in the morning, music and Mandarin lessons in the afternoon, and in between all of that, Moms are forcing their young children to work in newly- purchased math workbooks and insisting that they complete multiplication and division problems. The words “algebra” and “geometry” are being tossed around at play dates.

These parents really think that they are doing the right thing. They’re giving their children a “leg up” right?

They are not. Here’s why.

Developmental Milestones

First, young children are not developmentally ready to pursue such academic activities. Are some seemingly “able” to do this type of academic work? Perhaps. But a completed worksheet does not equal a deep learning for a subject matter and even if you believe that your child is ready, there is evidence that doing so is more harmful than helpful.

Take a look at this article written by a mathematician </a>for reasons why worksheets should not be used with young children.

Just because they can, doesn’t mean they should.

Secondly, the importance of play has been so overlooked in the last decade or two that it is shameful.  Here’s what Edward Miller and Joan Almon say in their book Crisis In The Kindergarten: Why Children Need to Play in School.

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When You Feel Like a Homeschool Failure

This guest post is part of our 30 Days of Homeschool: The Good, The Bad & The In-Between Blog Series

feeling like a homeschool failure

Feeling Like a Homeschool Failure

When you begin homeschooling, it can be a scary and daunting place to be and you wonder if you’ll feel like a homeschool failure. You see all these Pinterest-worthy, perfect homeschooling families, and you can’t even manage to pick a curriculum. You immediately go to the negative place in your mind when you think you are a homeschool failure. You begin spouting off things like: I‘m going to ruin my kids, they’ll never amount to anything, I’m so stupid for thinking I could do this, people are going to judge me. That last one is the number one reason I see people question their ability to educate their children at home.


Homeschooling is “Different”

“But it’s different” seems to be the go-to reason behind their fear. Why is being different such a bad thing? It’s better to be different. Who wants to be the same as everyone else? If you’re even thinking about homeschooling, one of those reasons is because something isn’t right with the public school system, and you feel that it would benefit your family to homeschool. You already thinking differently. If you’ve ever read my blog (The Balanced Living Mama) you know that I strongly disagree with public school, and all it stands for. I think that we homeschoolers should strive to be as different from the public schools as possible.

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How to Earn Money While Homeschooling




earn money while homeschooling

Have you ever wanted to start a blog about your homeschool?

It’s easy and fun! And you can earn money while homeschooling while blogging about your homeschool journey. I’ve been blogging about homeschooling for over a decade, and you can do it, too.

In addition to sharing important information about how to homeschool in Florida, I also like to tell stories about the many other facets of our life as a homeschooling family in Florida, and I love to read stories of how other homeschooling families do things. I’m sure you do, too.

One of my most popular posts is about our journey toward a gluten-free lifestyle. Now’s the time for you to start sharing your own stories in order to inspire others!

How Blogging Has Changed For Us

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Homeschooling in All 50 States

homeschooling in all 50 states

Homeschooling in All 50 States

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to homeschool in another state? Maybe you’ve moved from one state to another and have had to figure out the differences. If so, we’d love to hear from you! My friend Laurie from livingtheunexpectedlife.com has a wonderful resource which covers (almost) every state in the US. If you see an opening, and have knowledge about homeschooling in that particular state, let her know!

Homeschooling in the Sunshine State

Of course, I covered our Sunshine State. If you’re just learning how to homeschool in Florida, you’ll want to start here and then check out my post is here. I have many friends all over the country, and the differences in homeschooling laws is incredible! Would you rather live in a state that literally requires nothing, or a state that holds you accountable to the point of reviewing lesson plans?

What About Travel?

When I ran my umbrella school, I had a few families that traveled internationally. They made their home-base here in Florida, and continued to teach their kids abroad. I know a few families who travel within the US, some of them learning as the RV across the country. My friend Lisa is gearing up to do just that! You can follow her family here. 

Freedom

One thing is true: we are very fortunate to have options available to us as homeschoolers. I wouldn’t want it any other way!

Let us know your experience in the comments! Would you like to school in an RV? Have you moved from one US state to another? Where would you love to homeschool if you could?

How to Choose the Perfect Math Curriculum


homeschoolinflorida.comThat title got you, didn’t it?

Math. We’ve used so many different programs for math for my youngest. It wasn’t my favorite subject in school, and it wasn’t my favorite subject to teach in elementary school, either. I’ve been searching for the perfect math curriculum for as long as I’ve been homeschooling and both of my girls are in high school now.

Here’s What I Do Know

Every kid is different. Yes, you know that, too. But truly, one math curriculum does not work for another. Take my own children for example. I tried almost everything to get my eldest daughter to NOT love Saxon. She did. And still does. And she’s thriving with it. She gets that from her dad, certainly.

My youngest is just like me. She doesn’t care about formulas, and the answer, “because that’s how you’re supposed to do it” just doesn’t fly with her. Me either. We want to know why. If we could study and analyze an algebraic formula as if it were a character in a great fiction novel, we’d do well and even love algebra. But we don’t.

Math Non-Math Lovers Like

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