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10 Prom Tips from One Mom to Another

10 Prom Tips from One Mom to Another

Prom night can be one of the most memorable nights of a high school career. Whether your prom experience was a dream come true or a complete disaster, the night still plays an important role in your adolescent years.

For moms, sending your kid to prom can be somewhat nostalgic, but it can also produce a bundle of nerves and anxiety. Reflecting on the events of your own prom night might send you into a frenzy of planning and preparation. You want your kiddos to remain safe while also having a great time.

Here is a tested checklist that will help you ace the prom night planning adventure:

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1. Define Expectations

As a mom, your primary concern is the health and safety of your child. Before diving into the planning part, you’ll want to be very up-front with your child about the evening’s expectations. Outline the curfew and other rules before committing to the planning process.

2. Establish a Budget

Kids can sometimes get caught up in the excitement of the event, and they may also feel pressured to keep up with their friends and peers when it comes to spending money on their prom night. After you’ve outlined the rules, it’s important that you also discuss a budget with your child and look for ways to cut costs. Being clear with the expectations up front will help avoid disasters down the road.

3. Start Planning Early

It takes time to coordinate all the details of a night out. Make sure you’re communicating with your child and consistently marking things off the list so you aren’t rushed.

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4. Exchange Contact Info

You may or may not know the other families in your child’s prom group. Once you’ve established the group, it’s always a good idea to exchange contact information so you can reach someone in the case of an emergency. You’ll also have a blast developing new relationships.

5. Color Coordination

You’ll want to make sure your child and his or her date are coordinated in color and theme. Work with the family of your child’s date and get a good feel for the evening’s attire and expectations. You’ll want them to look like a pair, so initial communication is key. With the perfect color combo, your child will look the part and be ready to roll for the evening!

6. Transportation

Securing safe and reliable transportation for the evening is another important step in the process. Consider renting a party bus or a limo for your child’s prom group. You’ll rest at ease knowing your child has a sober driver with accountability for getting everyone to and from the dance in a safe and timely manner.

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7. Food

Whether your child plans to go out to eat, or you’re planning to serve from home, you’ll want to make sure the kids are fed before heading out the door. Make sure the place and location is somewhere that suits the tastes of the entire group. You don’t want anyone to head out hungry.

8. Pictures

Your child’s prom pictures are a way for them to remember this moment forever. In addition to the formal photography that will occur at the dance hall, consider hosting a photo session at your home to capture some more candid shots. Your child might roll their eyes in the moment, but the photos are something they’ll cherish forever.

9. After Party

The after party can be one of the most anxiety-inducing parts of the night for a mom. Make sure your child has a plan for post-prom, and ensure you have all the details so you can know their whereabouts at all times. If possible, try to plan an actual activity rather than allowing them to simply “hang” somewhere.

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10. Communication Device

If your child doesn’t already have one, consider equipping them with a cell phone or other device for communicating throughout the night. The ability to contact your child will put your nerves at rest and allow you to enjoy your evening at home.

These are just a few of the many checklist items you’ll encounter as you plan your child’s perfect night out. Exercise patience and don’t dominate the planning process. Include your child in the conversation and seek their input. You’ll have fun working as a team, and you might just turn out to be the coolest mom on the block!

Featured photo credit: La Vie en May via 2.bp.blogspot.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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