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1. Being present for teens whenever they need you is still very important to them.
Though in some ways they need you less, in many ways they need you more! The transition fromchildhood to young adulthood, and all that comes along with that, can be a little scary. Teens love to know you are always there for them as they learn to become more independent.
2. Your teen’s schedule will be more flexible!
A flexible schedule allows time for opportunities not available to those attending a traditional school. As a homeschooler, a volunteer or job opportunity might be more readily available when schedules can be adaptable. These opportunities often provide experiences for unique electives that can be applied as coursework to gain credit value. A chance to learn through travel is more possible, too!
3. Your teen will have time to develop real-life skills and interests.
For many homeschoolers, the high school years are when those budding interests really begin to bloom! Having the luxury of time to explore, learn and dig deeper into passions may just be what lights the spark for a career choice or lifelong interest. Some even pursue elite opportunities such as research grants, science fair competitions, performing arts or sports programs.
4. You get to be the guidance counselor!
Supporting and guiding your teen, as he gradually finds his independence and way in the world, is richly rewarding! Curriculum can be custom designed. Classes, volunteer work and jobs can all be tailored to interests and translated into credit value. Career options can be explored together. The college search and admissions process can be navigated with your child’s best interests at heart.
5. Precious family time can be made more plentiful and intentional.
The high school years go by in a flash. You can spend that brief time pouring into your child, bonding, and cementing your relationship before the big transition to college, vocational training or career. Siblings, too, build lasting ties when they can spend lots of time together, rather than be separated by months of long days at school.
As a newcomer to homeschooling, you may feel a little overwhelmed right now, but HOME is here to get you going in the right direction and moving forward with confidence!
You’ll want to be mindful of the compulsory school attendance law as you plan what steps to take. In Maine, compulsory school attendance begins at the 6th birthday and extends to the 17th birthday. While you may start homeschooling before your child turns 6, notification and state requirements do not take effect until your child reaches the 6th birthday. Be sure to read about that here.
Once you have determined when you will officially need to begin, take the following steps:
1. Prepare! Read through these ten points to be sure you are making all the necessary preparations to homeschool successfully.
2. Attend a workshop. You’ll notice that the first of the ten points invites you to register for a FREE “Start Homeschooling with Confidence” workshop! These are offered via a pre-recorded webinar that you can access anytime, and at some in-person locations. Sign up now!
For more in-depth preparation, sign up for “Start Strong Maine,” too.
3. Get connected and stay-tuned in. Join HOME! Follow us on Facebook and sign up for HOME email updates, too. You’ll need ongoing support to succeed. For more specific support, join one of our many Facebook groups (for special needs, beginners, early learners, working parents, etc.).
4. Order a Beginner's Bundle! Your bundle will include pre-assembled portfolio. This will take the guesswork out of legal compliance. A pre-assembled portfolio will help you plan ahead, keep records, stay organized and prepare for the required annual assessments.
5. Keep working through the rest of the ten points! Before you know it, you’ll be successfully on your way. Feel free to reach out with your specific questions and concerns at any point on your homeschool journey. HOME’s door is always open!
by Kathy Green
The legal and practical aspects of homeschooling require you, the parent, to oversee and direct the process of educating your child. You’re in charge. Many working parents believe that working and homeschooling is out of the question for them. Not true! The real story is that there are many parents, including single parents, that must work, but have found ways to make homeschooling possible for their family.
It may take a period of trial and error and a bit of creativity to find what works for your family, but the effort is worth it! The rewards of homeschooling can be happier, healthier kids who are reaching their full learning potential, a less stressful lifestyle and more harmony in your home. Since homeschooling is a way of life (YOUR way of life!) rather than a compartmentalized and timed system of learning, families can incorporate learning into any hour of any day, all year long!
Remember that there are 168 hours in a week. Even if you are working 40 hours a week, there are still many more hours for parent-directed learning to take place. Depending on the age of the child, formal education in a homeschool setting takes anywhere from 20 minutes (for early learners) to three hours a day (at the high school level), five days a week. At most, that’s 15 hours a week! Understanding this frees parents from thinking that they need to be instructing their children at home for 6 hours a day each day.
By Connie Overlock
Taking kids on outings is a great way to break up the homeschool week. Educational field trips, trips to the beach, or a trip to the HOME Convention can be fun and educational and result in much needed time together as a family. However, failure to plan ahead for those hungry, growing bodies can have less than satisfactory outcomes.
A simple bag lunch with a few extra snacks can help you make the most out of your time outside and away from the schoolbooks. Some healthy options that you can add to your lunch box include:
If attending the HOME convention, you won’t want to miss precious shopping time in the vendor hall, having to run out for food. Consider packing and bringing lunches that the whole family can enjoy and make the most of your experience while gleaning ideas, perusing new curriculum, and making connections with other homeschool families.
No Bake Energy Bites:
1/2 cup oats
1 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup honey
Mix all ingredients together. Put in fridge for 1/2 hour. Roll into 1” balls. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.
Connie Overlock is a veteran homeschool mom of five and gramma to four. She homeschooled her children from kindergarten through high school and several of them graduated from college. Connie has a passion for supporting and encouraging homeschool families in their journey and now works as the office manager for Homeschoolers of Maine.
We homeschooled our children from 1991 – 2011 – before we even owned a computer! Back in the day, I would read homeschooling magazines, read the ads, mail in my orders, and I paid by check!
I want to share my story to encourage today’s homeschooling families, not to give up under difficult circumstances. In 1995, my husband (the bread winner) sustained a serious traumatic brain injury, was in a coma for a week, in ICU, and spent a month in a rehab hospital. He returned home unable to work, then to work part time and finally after five years of ups and downs, he was able to successfully work fulltime. Though the medical bills were paid by Worker’s Comp, and we received $200 a week for a year, it was an overwhelming crisis. The Lord met all our needs; we never missed a mortgage payment, our monthly bills got paid. Looking back, I do not know how this was possible. But nothing is impossible with God.
I was tempted to put my son in public school and my daughter in daycare so I could return to work fulltime to support the family. But I felt that the children had had enough upheaval in their lives, they did not need any more.
It was my homeschooling friends who provided prayer and support, loved my children, and watched my children when we had doctor and therapy appointments. I tried to maintain a “normal” routine. After five years, Wayne was able to work fulltime in a new career (much to the amazement of doctors). Then I felt more like a “normal” homeschool family.
Looking back, I know I learned more than my children did. Now that they are adults, I have precious memories of reading to them, teaching them, working on projects for homeschool science fairs, international nights, art shows and traveling to activities and events. We called ourselves the Road Scholars.
No, we were not the “perfect” homeschooling family who made the front cover of Homeschooling Today magazine. You are probably not either. The Lord does not call us to be perfect as the world sees it; He calls us to be obedient and trust in him.
After homeschooling her two children in 2011 June began writing a series of historical fiction with a Christian message called the Fryeburg Chronicles geared for homeschoolers – discussion questions at the back of the Book. Each book examines a political or moral problem which occurred at the given time period. She presently has five books published covering the time periods from the American Revolution through the Civil War. She is currently working on Book VI which focuses on how medicine was practiced in the 1870’s, the writings of Karl Marx and Charles Darwin. If “she lives long enough” she hopes to write a ten book series ending with 9/11/01. Books are available wherever books are sold.
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