Dogs Have Been a Big Part of My Life by Kayla Savory
My name is Kayla Savory. I am seventeen years old and have been home schooled for part of my education. I have lived with Belgian Sheepdogs since age three when I went to live with my grandparents, Don and Carol Morris, in Washington. The dogs pictured here are the variety of Belgian Sheepdog known as Groenendael. They are one of four Belgian varieties: Groenendael, Tervuren, Malinois and Laekenois. They are often referred to in “Belgian Circles” as simply “the black dogs”.
The Family Pet(s) - a Mother’s View by Michelle Baiocchi
In our family, we have two homeschooled kids, two kid-trained Belgians, two working parents. When homeschooling, you often see things like kids reading to their dogs, kids doing schoolwork in the dog's kennel or crate, kids doing science projects that involve their dogs, kids' physical education including dog exercising duties, etc. My teen is even responsible for weighing and measuring the dogs' raw food.
Family Life with a Tervuren by Maureen LeBlanc
The LeBlanc Family of eight, all share the affection and in some ways the training of Aspen, a two year old Belgian Shepherd (Tervuren). For a Belgian, a breed of dog which needs to be with its family and almost demands constant love, it is heaven for him to be in a household of this size where the six kids and mom are home during the day. From the moment our family begins the day Aspen is waiting with kisses and tail wagging while he receives hugs from everyone.
Does Your Pet Help You Homeschool? Please Tell Us How!
Beginning with this issue, we will have a section devoted to homeschool families and their pets. (Note: I chose Belgian Sheepdogs only for this first issue as they are the breed our family has owned for nearly 2 decades.) You might be the proud owner of a dog, cat, ferret, mouse, bird, fish, turtle, snake... well, you get the point.
However, this page, called Homeschooling with Pets needs your cooperation. We need you to submit your pet’s photo and a short informational story about how your family interacts with your pet (about 500 - 600 words). Click on the title for more information, please.
Don Your Life Vest Now by Shirley M.R. Minster MS. Ed.
“The party of the first part must come to a contractual agreement with the party of the second part in order to arrive at a solution that both parties find amenable. This contract becomes null and void if one or both parties agree together to renegotiate or one party fails to keep his end of the agreement.”
Now that’s what all homeschooling parents should read and sign with their children every year!
How To Create an Intellectual Feast by Renée Fuller, Ph.D.
Ralph Olsen was a very angry parent. The school system had “diagnosed” his adored seven-year old Edna with attention deficit disorder as well as verbal processing disorder. He was red in his face as he sputtered. “Small wonder she hates school. You should see what that place is like. They treat the kids like prisoners. Make them sit still for hours in these horrid straight-back chairs. And the stuff they teach! They have the kids repeat this stupid stuff that has no meaning. Then they tell us that they’re the experts, and that they know how to teach kids how to read! Except they don’t. That is, a lot of the kids don’t learn. And when they don’t, these ‘experts’ label them with this alphabet soup of disorders. They’ve got a third of Edna’s class labeled as ‘dysfunctional’. Unbelievable!”
Essays from a Family of Four (Homeschoolers)
by Jon Remmerde
I dig traps for myself. When I forget where I dug them and fall into them, I have the opportunity to remember the process of digging, to decide if the reason for digging was valid, and to examine the quality of my own workmanship as I attempt to find a way out of the trap or decide to accept that particular trap as part of my existence.
Simon Sez by David H. Albert
“The mere habit of obedience is not preparation for life in a democracy.”
— Maria Montessori (1915)
I don’t think I’ve played Simon Sez in more than 35 years. I can’t honestly say that I’ve missed it. I don’t have any especial expectation that I’ll walk into work on a particular Monday morning, and there will be my boss waiting to have a go at us. Or at least I hope not, and I’d have even less desire for it to happen on a daily basis.
Does it Count as School? by Barbara Frank
My son’s morning routine is slowly (very slowly) getting faster. It once took him an hour to go to the bathroom, wash his hands and face, brush his teeth and get dressed. Now, several years later, his current “best time” is 15 minutes. That’s how it is when you have a child with disabilities. Progress can be very slow in some areas, but you have to keep at it because the child needs to become as independent as he is capable of becoming.
Beyond the ABCs: Nurturing the Love of Reading by Kris Meyers
In recent years, parents have heard a lot in the media about what is lacking in our school system, and how so many of today’s kids can’t read. When I worked with 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students as an elementary Reading Specialist, the truth was almost all of my students could technically read. They had learned phonics and appeared to be readers. But what many of them didn’t have was an understanding of what they were reading. Instead of more phonics instruction, these students primarily needed help with reading comprehension. They needed to learn how to think.
Back to the Basics by Donna Fawcett
As you pass the mid-point of your school year and approach that final leg, it’s time to step back and re-evaluate. This is a season where the home teacher is exhausted, the children have lost the zest for the year’s curriculum and the spouse who pays the bills is beginning to feel neglected. How can we combat this time of year and all the negative feelings it brings?
Care-Full Choices by Michele Howe
"Some persons do first, think afterward, and then repent forever." Thomas Secker
How would you describe yourself? Are you a careful person, one given to thoughtfully weighing decisions and their repercussions before acting? Or would you consider yourself the free-flying live-by-the-moment carefree (careless) type? There is no right or wrong answer here. It's simply a matter of degree. Certainly, the individual who notices things...you know, is in tune to the feelings, bents, and likes/dislikes of those around him will act in accordance with what he observes. If he's careful, that is. There's nothing more boorish than a person who purposefully decides to offend, right?
Homeschoolers Marching to a Different Drum by Kerry Jones
You will be extremely happy to know that you have nothing in common with me. You glide along through life like a leaf down a crystal stream. You tend to steer in the direction everyone else is steering, and the road ahead of you is well lit and mapped out. Your children have been welcomed with open arms by everyone they’ve met, and your home is a bastion of peace, harmony, and good will. Best of all, your homeschooling experience has been the most rewarding and inspiring era of your life, and you’ve never doubted your calling for even a moment. See? I told you that you have nothing in common with me.
Real Parents Parent by Linda Schrock-Taylor
Fridays have been finding me emotionally and physically worn to a frazzle, and these feelings are not a result of me teaching reading. Teaching is invigorating and nothing stimulates my mind, and my enthusiasm for life, better than leading a great vocabulary or language lesson. What wears me out is having to parent students whose own parents opted out of their parental responsibilities.
Studying the Masters - Winslow Homer by Sharon Jeffus
Studying the master artist Winslow Homer is a perfect compliment to a study of the Civil War, or ocean weather and habitat. Winslow Homer was one of the greatest of the American genre artists. He captured nearly every aspect of Amercian life in the late 19th century, in particular the life by the sea. He documented the Civil War for Harper’s Weekly. Winslow Homer had a great love for ordinary people and ordinary things and had a bold and simple way of painting them. In his early life, Homer’s father was a merchant and his mother painted flowers.
Creating Characters by Dave Marks - Writing Strands
It is quite common for young writers when they first begin to create characters not to include what the characters are thinking. They like to have the characters talk together, and some children who like to read have the characters move as they speak. But almost all children have to be taught how to have their characters think as they interact.
Science Talk by Elva O'Sullivan
Early exposure to science is critical because science knowledge is cumulative. Learning science requires a solid foundation of knowledge that can be built upon through further study and exploration. Children should be introduced to science at home as early as possible.