Category: Getting Started

Understanding Educational Jargon

  Yesterday I read part of the Level 1 Victorian Essential Learning Standards, a .pdf document that I had downloaded a couple of years ago. I’ve always made a point of reading school curricula – it helps to know what schools are thinking about how learning happens. I’m not overly impressed by this document, but I was heartened to see the glossary – always a good idea in any document of this nature. As a fun exercise I went through the glossary and translated the jargon.   Yesterday I read part of the Level 1 Victorian Essential Learning Standards, a .pdf document that I had downloaded a couple of years ago. I’ve always made a point of reading school curricula – it helps to know what schools are thinking about how learning happens. I’m not overly impressed by this document, but I was heartened to see the glossary – always a good idea in any document of this nature. As a fun exercise I went through the glossary and translated the jargon. Jargon is all around us. The jargon we are most exposed to and probably notice the least is the jargon of advertising. It is always a interesting and awareness-raising exercise to identify and translate advertising jargon with children, especially during the ad breaks while watching television. Analysing the words used in magazine or newspaper advertising, and then...

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Setting Up A Learning Environment

After several weeks of talking about issues concerning teens, it’s time to look at home schooling our littlest ones. Just what are the foundational principles for getting our children ready to learn? Here are a few strategies. Note how inexpensive these are to pull off: Language-rich environment The most important thing you can do with your young children is to talk with them. Engage your preschoolers in conversation throughout your daily routine. As you are running errands, point out activities going on about the town, help them to recognize and discuss important community centers such as the post office, library, churches, or recreational park. And don’t use a dumb-downed vocabulary; rather, help them expand their own vocabulary by using precise word choices. If you don’t know the specific word for, say, a piece of road equipment yourself, then ask someone who does. It is equally important for our young ones to see that we are lifelong learners, intensely inquisitive about the world around us and equipped with a skill set that helps us get the information we need, i.e. we ask questions, we read books, we use the Internet, or we find an expert. It is important to note that researchers have found the amount of “live” conversation going on in a child’s environment is the key to language-development. However, “passive” language, i.e. the television, video or radio, doesn’t...

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Getting Started Homeschooling

By Debra Bell  So you’re ready to take your first plunge into homeschooling.  I remember the butterflies that generated in me twelve years ago.  My good friend, Marie, an experienced homeschooler, said, “The first year’s the hardest.  It gets easier after that.”  I didn’t really believe her.  I mean I was only tackling kindergarten back then. I couldn’t imagine that being harder than, say, high school physics.  Now speaking from the other side of high school physics, Marie was right.  Figuring out how to homeschool is really the toughest task of all.  Once you find your groove, and that usually takes a year or two, it becomes a comfortable fit for most families. Here are a few tips I think will help you get in the zone quickly: 1. Recognize there is a learning curve. And you’re just at the beginning. Tell your kids to expect the unexpected. In fact, the first year of homeschooling is really about finding out what doesn’t work. Ask any veteran, they’ll tell you, “Nobody does what they did the first year again!” So relax. Enjoy the process. That’s part of the fun. There isn’t just one way to homeschool your kids. You have a lot of options. It’s okay to try out a few different resources, schedules, philosophies, curricula, etc. until you finally settle into a groove. And just when you think you’ve...

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Various FAQ to do with homeschooling

The Home Education Association (HEA) has a good list of responses to the following:   What is home education? Is home education legal? Do I need to register with the Government authorities? Do I need a curriculum? Can the HEA help me with curriculum? Is this the same as correspondence schooling? What about socialisation? Will home educated children be able to matriculate and gain entrance to university? How do I make contact with home educators in my area? How many home educators are there in Australia? We are moving to Australia next year. We want to homeschool our children in Australia. Do we need to do the paperwork before we enter Australia or can we wait until our arrival? We are thinking about travelling around Australia. Do we have to register for homeschooling in each...

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What Resources Can I Use?

Trying to find a starting point when choosing curriculum can seem like a huge task and this page is a starting point. The first thing is to consider if you want to use a pre packaged curriculum or a unit study approach, a workbook approach or a rigorous classical approach. The great thing is that you aren’t limited to choosing one approach and you are always free to adapt your approach or change it if it isn’t working for your family. However, these experiments can be expensive so it’s wise to consider as carefully as possible when starting out. Continue reading

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A Few Tips for Getting Started

Most new homeschooling parents are very keen to ‘do school’ whereas others are happy to deschool and have more relaxed start to their homeschooling adventure. Either way, it’s helpful to remember that homeschooling is a journey…a process and both parents and children have plenty of time in which to learn, grow and develop. Continue reading

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Homeschool Dictionary

Here are a few of the most commonly used acronyms and terms. This list is by no means exhaustive. Please leave a comment below if you have something to add to this list. Acronyms ACG is A Child’s Geography by Ann Voskamp ACHOW is A Child’s History of the World (Hillyer)AO is Ambleside Online, a free online CM based curriculumATW180Days is Around the Word in 180 DaysCE is Classical Education, usually using a Classical CurriculumCM is Charlotte Mason.ETC – Explode the CodeETWHC is Educating the Wholehearted Child by the Clarkson’sFAR is Far Above RubiesFIAR is Five In A Row and BFIAR is Before FIARHEA – Home Education Association of AustraliaHOW is Heart of Wisdom by Robin Sampson, also included is the HOWTA which is the HOW Teaching ApproachHWT – Handwriting Without Tears LA is sometimes the unit study program called Learning Adventures or LA is also Language Arts (the subject of studying English)LLATL is Learning Language Arts Through LiteratureMMM us Making Math MeaningfulMOH is Mystery of History by Linda HobarMUS is Math-U-SeeRB is usually Ruth BeechickSL is SonlightSM can be Singapore mathsSOTW is Story of the World (Bauer)The 3 R’s and YCTYCS is for You Can Teach Your Child Successfully Grade 4-8 by Ruth BeechickTT can be teaching textbooksTTT or the Bluedorn’s is Teaching the Trivium by the Bluedorn’s.TWTM is The Well Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer General...

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