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Parents With Four Kids Would Know These 10 Things So Well

Parents With Four Kids Would Know These 10 Things So Well

All parents want their kids to have a life a little easier than they had. A long and happy marriage and a successful career is nearly always a parent’s goal. When you are raising four children, you still have these same priorities but time can start to fly by easily. You learn to prioritize, work with your partner, and help your children get out of and through tough situations. Parents of four children know these ten things all too well.

1. You Don’t Make Them Taste Their Food

When kids are small the idea of making them ‘at least’ taste every new food you put on the table is great. It does not work, but it is a fantastic idea. It actually turns mealtimes into kiddy nightmares filled with tears, anger, and confrontation. For what? That one bite of broccoli isn’t going to provide substantial nutrients or endear a new food to their preferences.

2. You Believe They Must Clean Their Plates

Most people grew up under the parental law of ‘clean your plate’, then mom would pile on the food you hated most like vegetables, or rice or that slimy okra stuff. Wow, these types of rules must have come directly out of the torture your kids book.

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That rule is not completely off the track. The error is in the application of it. If the children have to eat everything they put on their plate, they should be the ones putting it there and controlling the amounts. They will soon learn what ‘your eyes are bigger than your belly’ means.

3. You Know Healthy Eating Can be Fun

Food can be fun and if you really want to encourage them to expand their taste buds you have to try a new approach. Have them choose what veggie they want each month, a minimum of four or five, and work them into mealtime.

4. You Can Work It Out

Exercise is the best way to get rid of aggression, frustration, and anger in children. Parents of four kids create fun ways to work off that excess energy with races and rewards, or to bike together. Shooting hoops can also teach fair play while putting the vim and vigor to good use.

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5. You Get Your Hands Dirty Together

Gardening or raising your own chickens will teach children the value of life as well as instilling self-sufficiency. Gathering eggs for their breakfast will become a memory they will always appreciate. When that first seed pops its head up and you explain that’s a cucumber growing, it is like magic.

6. You Need to Set Priorities

If schoolwork is important treat it as such, make a learning environment with your kids and label homework time as their job. Schedule their work time and stick to it.

7. You Know What to do About Bullies

Teaching your children to spot a bully and how to evaluate their own bully type behavior is an invaluable life lesson. Explain how they can help stop mean behaviors simply by denouncing the actions and not joining in the laughter at someone else expense. Tell them to go get an adult immediately.

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8. You Teach Them about When to Run

Stranger danger is not a new term by any means but the expansion of who is a stranger needs to be engrained into each child’s brain. Everyone other than mom, dad or siblings is a stranger, and he or she should not go anywhere or even speak to them alone without permission each time. they should run home or to the nearest busy public building. Teach them, ‘internet friends’ are only names of people that may not even exist.

9. You Help Them Just Say No

Providing your kids with a comfortable way to say no to experimental drug or alcohol use is the key to success. Give them a phrase to respond with like “I’m good, thanks anyway.” There are ways for a teen to get out of a situation they don’t want to participate in if they do not want to.

10. You Teach About Rejection

Learning how to accept rejection without getting hurt or feeling criticized is a gift to all kids. They need to know it is more about the person that said no, not the person that opened their hearts to them. Teach them it is to be expected,everyone gets rejected a lot. Nurturing that self-esteem from the time they are small will get them through the tough times.

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Featured photo credit: http://stokpic.com via stokpic.com

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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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