Homeschooling a Large Family

Homeschooling a large family certainly poses challenges but teaching a larger group also holds some inherent advantages. Parents should not be intimidated by the idea of homeschool if they have a large family, rather they should embrace the idea of utilizing their children’s strengths to enhance all of their educational experiences.

To set up a classroom that can accommodate a large number of children, parents should start by determining if each child will need desk space or if a communal work table will suffice. There are benefits to each so the decision should be based upon children’s learning style, curriculum, and space available. It is important, however, to ensure that children have a space in which they can comfortably write, draw, or test without too many distractions.

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Limiting distractions is another challenge in homeschooling large families. Some families choose to focus on teaching 1-2 children at a time while the others are engaged in play or other tasks. Other families choose to focus on classroom time with everyone at once so that play and family responsibilities can occur all together. If the age range amongst siblings is large, parents will need to ensure that the younger children are not bothering older children as they are trying to process information, think creatively, or take tests.

However, one of the benefits of homeschooling a large family is allowing older children to assist in the teaching of younger children. Not only can this practice help with organization and time management, but teaching a lesson can help cement the information into a child’s brain or even give them new insights into a concept. A child who idolizes an older sibling may be more receptive to a lesson from that sibling, especially if they have been struggling with the concept or rebelling against the parent.

Younger siblings can also take on the responsibility of helping older siblings by being research assistants, art project models, or listening to presentations or creative writing assignments. Allowing children to work collaboratively, despite age differences, can be a great tool in teaching kids about learning differences and how to operate in the workforce as adults. The age differences can make lesson planning challenging but as parents gain experience, it will become easier. Stacked learning about a single subject can assist in the planning, allowing older children to delve deeper into a topic while younger children are taught the basic concepts.

Time management is of vital importance when homeschooling a large family. Parent teachers need to make the best use of time to make sure everyone gets enough attention. Using regular household responsibilities to enhance learning is not only smart time management for school but also for housework. Alongside learning practical life skills, cooking time can teach numbers and math concept, laundry folding can be time to color sort and compare sizes, and outside playtime can teach biology, chemistry, botany, and earth science.

Time is not the only valuable resource, however. Homeschooling a large family can be expensive but a little bit of practicality and some recycling can go a long way. Paper should never be garbage but can always be used as scrap paper, painting paper, papier mache` material, or turned into origami animals. Milk cartons can be cut into pieces and used to make ornaments, wall decorations, or simply to practice cutting and tracing. Ripped or torn clothing can become puppets, monsters, or materials for mixed media artwork.

Choosing to homeschool a large family is a big commitment but one that can have a huge payoff for children and parents alike.

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For 15 years Mimi Rothschild has been privileged to help hundreds of thousands of homeschoolers educate their children at home. The MorningStar Academy is a private online Christian school offering diplomas and teachers. The Jubilee Academy is an online Christian curriculum provider offering over 150 full year online Christian courses for PreK-12.

 

 

Educational Toys

One of the most important things in life is literacy. In fact, one of the most important things your children will learn to do during their lives is learn to read. Learning to read well at an early age is truly the key for a bright future. Studies show that children who learn to read at an early age are more likely to become successful students throughout their educational careers.

How can you, as a parent, help your children learn to read at an early age? One way is to start reading to your children as early as possible. Another way is to give them learning tools that aid their development and understanding of language. One of these vital tools is educational toys. http://www.toydepotbargains.com/ carry many great educational toys.

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In example would be LeapFrog. They have really established a collection of learning toys and tools that help children at any age learn to speak, read and learn. LeapFrog engages all of the child’s senses to capture their attention and get them interested in the words. LeapFrog even has toys that is a type of pen device that children touch on the pages of a book. When this Tag reader touches the pages, it recites the words on the page, helping children learn the sound of the word while correlating that word to its written form.

This Reading System from LeapFrog works with special Tag reader-enabled book. The Tag reader has a tiny camera on the tip that looks at the images of the words and recites them back to the child. The best part? The amazing technology behind the this, the Pink Tag™ Reading System from LeapFrog allows it to adjust to a child’s level, allowing the child to easily understand what is being read back to them. You won’t have to worry about frustrating your child with Pink Tag™ Reading System from LeapFrog!

The Pink Tag™ Reading System from LeapFrog is interactive for you as a parent as well. You can connect the Pink Tag™ Reading System from LeapFrog to your computer and track your child’s progress through the books and reward their growth by developing a learning path made specifically for them!

Continue reading “Educational Toys”

How to Opt Out of Vaccinations in Your State

Parents, physicians, and lawmakers debate on the safety and effectiveness of today’s vaccines. Some vaccination guidelines vary based on the type of vaccine that is required by the state that does not reflect the recommendations of pediatricians and public health entities. Each state has their own laws regarding vaccination requirements and exemptions. Exemptions can be based on three reasons: medical, religious, and philosophical.

All states allow a child exemption from one or more vaccines if they have written medical exemption. A licensed medical or osteopathic doctor can determine if the child is at risk by taking the vaccine, but they must often follow contraindication guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control.

All states except for Mississippi and West Virginia allow a child exemption to vaccination based on sincere religious belief. This exemption is based on the constitutional right to exercise religious beliefs. The state definition of religious belief varies as some states require specific membership and written proof from bonefide religions that prohibit invasive medical procedures.

Many states allow philosophical or conscientious exemptions, however legislation continues to change for this exemption. The efforts of lobbyists for pharmaceuticals, medical trades and public health industries want to eliminate or restrict this type of exemption.

One resource that has complied the state laws and vaccine requirements is the National Vaccine Information Center (http://www.nvic.org). They also keep advocates informed of changes in vaccine policies and legislation. All information on this site is for educational purposes and is not intended to be used for medical or legal advice.

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Mimi Rothschild is a veteran homeschooling mother of 8, writer of a series of books called Cyberspace for Kids, and passionate advocate for children and education that is truly worthy of them. In 2001, Mimi and her late husband founded Learning By Grace, a leading provider of online Christian homeschooling Academies. 

How to be an Intentional Parent

The parent is a child’s first teacher. Teachers work with lesson plans to ensure that the child learns what they need to move on to the next level toward a goal, which is graduation. Parents, however, do not have lesson plans. Sure, they have health guidelines, milestones, and millions of parenting how-to books, but is there a goal in mind?

The Intentional Parent Method was developed to help parents teach and train their children with thoughtfulness. It follows the Hebrew definition of “teach” which meant that relationships are built and time is spent on the person. Through observation and interaction, parents are able to pass on “gifts” to their children with a goal in mind. That goal is to raise children with gifts that will benefit them spiritually, physically, socially, mentally, emotionally, and practically.

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Before starting a lifestyle as an intentional parent, it is important to know yourself as a parent. Is God’s purpose in your mind? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Do you have the maturity that will help you improve your relationship with your children and demonstrate the values that you teach as a role model? As a parent, you will seek patience, consistency, and balance, especially when dealing with teens or children with special needs. Asking God for guidance can help the intentional parent give the child what is best and most helpful to them.

What are those gifts?

  • The Bible

  • Enjoyable pastimes

  • Academics

  • Character

  • Home skills

These gifts, which are organized to make the word TEACH, build relationships which encourage the growth of the child as a Christian and a productive adult later in life. They will be creative, strong, and faithful based on the relationships that started with their first teacher: their parent.

Mimi Rothschild is a veteran homeschooling mother of 8, writer of a series of books called Cyberspace for Kids, and passionate advocate for children and education that is truly worthy of them. In 2001, Mimi and her late husband founded Learning By Grace, a leading provider of online Christian homeschooling Academies.