Home School Fun!


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Sunday, December 19, 2010


Home School is turning 1 and I'm so excited!

A few stats:

  • The first post in our facebook group was made Dec. 31, 2009 at exactly 3:41pm (EST). 
  • Hales Homeschool was the first to "like" a link on Jan. 4, 2010
  • Susan Fay Markos Helper was the first to "comment" on Jan. 22, 2010
  • Jordan Taylor was the first to post an outside link on June 11, 2010
  • Home School "The Blog" was born on Oct. 12, 2010
  • Randall Mullins won our 1st home school quote contest on Oct. 30, 2010
In one year we have grown from a group of just myself to a group of over 400! I can only hope our group continues to grow as more parents opt out of public education and seek alternatives. 

A heartfelt thanks goes out to everyone who visits, participates, reads, shares, understands, gets frustrated, and walks along with me in this home school journey! 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Supporting Preschool Personality Development with Literature

Children’s personalities are multifaceted. Emotions, values, feelings about self, and ways of viewing their place in the world are all parts of what makes each child unique. 

Between the ages of two and three, children discover their independence and want to explore, to do things for themselves, and to be in control of their environment. The use of literature during this time is a fantastic way to help your children develop positive and realistic self-concepts, understand their emotions and how to express them in socially acceptable ways, and develop positive views of character and self-esteem.

Books that encourage children to see themselves realistically will emphasize capabilities that children already have. The books you want to choose, show characters that see themselves positively and realistically. Tidy Titch written by Pat Hutchins is a great choice to share with your preschooler. In this book, the neat Titch inspires his older brother and sister to clean their own rooms but when they start throwing away books and toys, Titch collects the unwanted items and soon his own room is a mess!

An earlier book about Titch, titled Titch by Pat Hutchins, focuses on the relationship between young Titch and his older siblings. It is a wonderful book to use when opening a conversation with your children about the acceptance of physical differences. 

Books that reaffirm self worth are wonderful to share with young children. They can help young kids develop strong self-concepts, support individuality, and offer a feeling of security. Some great books to explore include The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown, When Mama Comes Home Tonight by Eileen Spinelli, Grandfather’s Lovesong by Reeve Lindbergh, and Sloppy Kisses by Elizabeth Winthrop.

Fears can play a big role in the imaginations of preschoolers and parents can use books to help children understand these emotions. Many books focus on a single character that explores a particular type of fear.  Jim Meets the Thing and Will I Have a Friend? by Miriam Cohen, A Birthday for Frances by Russell Hoban, Holes and Peeks by Ann Jonas, and  A Father Like That by Charlotte Zolotow are all great books to engage children with. 

Books offer opportunities for helping children identify with themselves and the changing world around them. Avoid stories that present stereotyped characters when choosing titles for your own children.  Instead, seek out those books that present well-developed characters in a variety of roles and settings. 

Use books to help support your child’s development and most importantly, enjoy everything you read with your child!

A great giveaway!

Secular Homeschoolers is giving away the gift of BLOG! Visit their site and you could win a complete online 8 week blogging 101 course from BlogWritingCourse.com! The course covers everything you need to know to plan, start, write, and build an audience for a brand new blog of your very own.

If you want to be included in the drawing you need to be quick because two winners will be selected December 20th, 2010! Best of luck to all who enter!!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Home School Without a Support Group

I have known many homeschoolers over the years that swear by their support group and claim that without it, they would be lost. For those not in the loop, a home school support group is designed to get homeschoolers together to socialize, to help and support new homeschoolers, to organize and plan field trips together (with the added benefit of being able to get a group discount), and to have an outlet that can help out when things get stressful. 

People always ask me if I run or belong to one. The simple answer is that I do not because it is not a great fit for my family. Running and organizing a group takes an enormous amount of organization and time that I just do not have and being a productive member demands a fair amount of time in order to benefit from membership.

Even though we opt out of joining (or running) a group, most home school groups are wonderful outlets for new parents to the home school lifestyle. They can help ease the transition from the role of parent to teacher and from the role of child to student. Believe it or not, children and parents DO get confused when their roles are changed within a family setting. 

Whether you belong to a group or not, you will need a support system to help cheer you on when you doubt yourself and encourage you when you get overwhelmed. It is very hard to home school without someone else to bounce ideas around with or to just call and vent. Therefore, if you choose to skip the group then make sure you have a solid back up plan that includes plenty of encouraging friends or family members.