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8 Things I Wish I Had Known When Choosing My Baby’s Name

8 Things I Wish I Had Known When Choosing My Baby’s Name

Are you struggling to choose a baby name? With all of the choices out there, choosing a name for your baby can seem like a daunting and overwhelming task.

Don’t worry about it too much; check out these 8 things that will help you to relax and choose the perfect name for your baby.

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1. There is no pressure to name your baby while you’re still at the hospital

It can be practical to settle on a name for your baby while you’re still at the hospital, but if you’re not 100% certain on a name it is best to wait. Choosing the perfect baby name that you and your partner love is important, so don’t feel pressured to name your baby if you are not ready. You may need a little longer to get a full sense of your baby’s personality, so trust your instincts and wait until you are 100% happy with the name you have chosen.

2. Even if you want to keep the name a secret, you can trial it online

You may want to keep the name you have chosen secret until delivery, but it can often still be useful to see what others think online. There are lots of websites where you can anonymously post your chosen name to get some opinions on it. People will often bring up factors you haven’t even considered, such as the name being difficult to spell or pronounce. Don’t worry if people simply don’t like the name – after all, you may dislike their baby name choices. Everyone has different preferences.

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3. Your family will learn to love the baby name you choose

You may have suggested a name to your friends and family and discovered that someone dislikes the name you have chose. Don’t worry about this too much; they are simply seeing the name by itself. When your baby is born and the name is attached to a beautiful child, it is very likely that they will grow to love it.

4. Name associations rarely last

Name association is often a point of despair for soon-to-be parents. It may feel like every time you think of a name, your partner tells you they don’t like it because they dislike someone with the same name. Don’t let this be a deterrent for either of you; in a few years you will barely be able to remember the person who shared the name.

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5. Consider possible nicknames before you settle on a name

For some parents, a nickname is a sweet way to show affection and love. If you think a nickname will be important to you, test out nicknames for some of your options before you settle on a name. Some names just don’t have nicknames, or a name may have a nickname that you didn’t think of previously and you might dislike it, so choose wisely.

6. It is difficult to predict which baby names will be popular

Many parents want to give their baby a unique name, but it can be very difficult to know which names will be unique. Names that are classed as unique change regularly; if you look at the names of people in your parents’ or grandparents’ age bracket you will notice totally different trends and patterns. For instance Aiden may seem like a unique name, but it was actually the second most popular baby name for boys in 2014.

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7. Pop culture has a huge influence on popular baby names

It is likely that you already know that pop culture has a big influence on the current most popular baby names. However pop culture changes rapidly, so don’t let popularity put you off a baby name that you love. A celebrity you dislike could have a baby after you and use the same name – you can’t really help these things, so shrug it off without fretting.

8. You will love the name that you choose

Choosing a name for your baby can feel like an overwhelmingly important task, but try not to obsess over it too much. You will love whichever name you choose, and when you see your baby you won’t be able to imagine them with any other name.

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Amy Johnson

Freelance writer, editor and social media manager.

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Published on November 7, 2018

How to Homeschool in the 21st Century (For All Types of Parents & Kids)

How to Homeschool in the 21st Century (For All Types of Parents & Kids)

In 2016, it was estimated that 1.7 million children were being homeschooled in the U.S, roughly 3.3% of all school-aged children.[1] Although this may not sound like a big portion of the population, the growth rate of homeschooling has been 7 to15% per year for the last two decades.

The burgeoning numbers are not a coincidence. There are tremendous benefits to homeschooling, including one-on-one teaching, adaptability to individual needs and learning styles, a safe learning environment, encouraging learning for knowledge rather than grades, and tailoring a curriculum to the child’s interests.

Is homeschooling something that you have been considering for your family? With all of the tools and resources available for homeschoolers in the 21st century, it may be easier than you think.

How to Homeschool (Getting Started)

After thinking it through, you’ve decided that homeschooling is the right step for you and your family. Now what? Here are the first things you should do to get your homeschooling journey started on the right track.

Figure Out the Laws

Homeschooling is regulated by the state, not the federal government. The first step is to find the current and accurate legal requirements mandated by your state in order to educate your child legally.[2]

The regulations can vary widely, from strict guidelines to no guidelines at all. However, don’t be overwhelmed by the legal jargon. There are many resources and local communities for homeschooling families that can help you figure out the logistics.

Decide on an Approach

Every child’s needs are different. This is your chance to choose the homeschooling style or combination of styles that best fits your child’s learning style and interests. A brief description of seven different homeschooling methods are listed below.

Supplies/Resources

Often times, purchasing a homeschooling curriculum is done too early in the planning process, resulting in buyer’s remorse.

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A curriculum is not always needed for homeschooling, and other types of free or less structured resources are readily available.

Find a Community

Getting connected with a community of homeschoolers is one of the most important parts of building a successful and thriving homeschool environment for your kids.

Look for communities online for virtual support or a local group that you and your kids can interact with. Partnering with others fosters better socialization skills for the students and provides opportunities for field trips, classes, and outings that wouldn’t have otherwise been a part of the homeschooling experience.

7 Different Homeschooling Methods

1. School-At-Home

Also known as Traditional homeschool, School-At-Home uses essentially the same curriculum as the local private or public school but at home.

The lessons can be completed independently, but more commonly, they are administered by a parent or a teacher-facilitated online school.

  • Benefits: formal standards, wide selection of curricula, same pace as peers, short-term friendly
  • Drawbacks: expensive, inflexible, time consuming, parent can get easily burnt out
  • Resources: K12, Time4Learning, Abeka

2. Classical

One of the most popular homeschooling methods used, it borrows educational practices from Ancient Greece and Rome. Subject areas are studied chronologically so that students can understand the consequence of ideas over time.

Socratic dialogue fosters effective discussions and debate to achieve beyond mere comprehension. There is often a strong emphasis on Great Books[3] as well as Greek and Latin.

3. Unit Studies

Rather than breaking up education into subjects, unit studies approach each topic as a whole, studying it from the perspective of each subject area.

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For example, a unit study about animals could include reading books about animals, learning about the classification of animals, figuring out which animals live on which continents, etc. This method is often used as a technique in other more comprehensive educational methodologies.

  • Benefits: promotes thinking about concepts as a whole, not monotonous or redundant, student-directed, bolsters weaker subject areas, beneficial for teaching multi-age students
  • Drawbacks: incomplete, knowledge gaps, curriculum-dependent
  • Resources: Unit Study, Unit Studies, Unit Studies Made Easy, Konos

4. Charlotte Mason

This Christian homeschooling style utilizes shorts periods of study (15-20 minute max for elementary, 45 minute max for high school), along with nature walks and history portfolios.

Students are encouraged to practice observation, memorization, and narration often. With a focus on “living books” (stories with heroes, life lessons, socio-ethical implications), reading plays a big role in this student-paced teaching style.

5. Montessori

Maria Montessori developed this method through working with special needs children in the early 20th century.

With a primary focus on the student setting the pace and indirect instruction from the teacher, this approach includes free movement, large unstructured time blocks (up to 3 hours), multi-grade classes, and individualized learning plans based on interests.

6. Unschooling

Unschooling is a learning model largely based on the work of John Holt.[4] The teaching style focuses mainly on the students’ interests, putting priority on experiential, activity-based, and learn as you go approaches.

For basic skills such as reading, writing, and math, a systematic technique is employed, but testing and evaluations are typically not utilized. Teachers, in general, play more of a facilitator role.

7. Eclectic/Relaxed

As the most popular method of homeschool, eclectic homeschooling is child-directed, resourceful, and non-curriculum based.

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Parents can sample any combination of homeschooling methods and styles or resources. One growing sector of eclectic homeschooling combines part homeschooling with part traditional schooling.

How to Facilitate Homeschooling with Technology

One of the reasons homeschooling is more feasible than ever before is due to the accessibility of tools and resources to enhance the learning process.

Email

Email is a tool that has really stood the test of time. Invented in 1972, it is still used today as a primary means of communicating on the Internet.

It is a great way to share assignments, links, and videos between parent and student.

Google Drive/Calendar

Google Drive offers a multitude of essential programs that can come in handy for homeschoolers, such as Docs, Sheets, Slides, and more.

With its sharing capabilities, easy accessibility, and auto-save ability, it’s easier than ever to organize and complete assignments. It will improve students’ writing and typing skills, as well as eliminate the need for paper.

Google Calendar is an excellent tool for tracking assignment due dates, planning field trips and activities, and developing time management skills.

Ebooks

Rather than invest in physical copies of books, ebooks are a wonderful option for saving money and space. There are plenty of places that offer a free or paid subscription to a wide selection of ebooks:

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E-Courses

When a structured curriculum is necessary for teaching a certain topic, an e-course is the way to go.

From watercolors to calculus, there are e-courses available about almost everything. Including different teaching styles that vary from the parents will encourage students to learn in different ways.

The visual and auditory stimulation will also be beneficial in helping students understand and retain the concepts being taught.

Some recommendations:

Youtube

Youtube is not just a platform for music videos and cats doing funny things. There are a number of Youtube channels that produce quality educational videos, free of charge.

Creating a playlist of videos for various topics is a great way to supplement a homeschool education.

Some recommendations:

Final Thoughts

Homeschooling in the current age looks much different than it did ten years ago. There are more options and more flexibility when it comes to educating kids at home.

Don’t be overwhelmed by the idea of homeschooling your children if it could make a positive impact on your family.

Featured photo credit: Hal Gatewood via unsplash.com

Reference

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