There is a plethora of wonderful blogs and sites on homeschooling. I tip my hat to those hard-working homeschoolers who put in the time and effort to create many pieces of adaptable curriculum and then turn around and generously share (either for free or for a well-earned fee) their materials to other homeschoolers. Having designed and created specific portions of curricula for previous students and for my own children, I know how much blood, sweat, and tears go into it. The late nights planning, cutting, and laminating will never be forgotten. Snaps to all who do this!
What is different about Dear Homeschooler?
What is my passion? I am a teacher. I love big-picture curricula development (scope and sequence kind of stuff), problem-solving specific learning challenges, designing individualized learning plans, time-management strategies and effectiveness, and, yes, progress monitoring and assessment. I endeavor to provide a place where resources, consultation, and community can be found. I offer my experience and knowledge to help home educators tailor their student’s schooling experience and increase their teaching effectiveness so they can help their students surpass all expectations.
This blog is dedicated to sharing teaching strategies and methodologies that will hopefully grow your arsenal of instructional tools and increase your student’s engagement, skill and knowledge acquisition, and hopefully just add a little fun to your day. For example, this may include the following: ways to incorporate kinetic learning (movement) into your lessons for those hands-on learners, what to do on field trips, incorporating a sensory element (or whole sensory schedule) into your day; ways to help students learn how to monitor their own workflow, setting up schedules, and much more!
This blog covers all things concerning the various studies that make up the educational plan for the year. As homeschoolers, we have the freedom to be able pick and choose which curriculum to follow, which subjects include or exclude, and which levels to teach at. Here, I write my thoughts on interest-driven curricula, lesson plans and objectives, and looking at scope and sequence. I may touch on topics such as the controversial ‘Common Core’. You will also find suggestions on how to design an educational plan that will both reinforce your student’s skills and aptitude but will also strengthen areas of weakness.
This blog attempts to quell any fears you may have concerning progress monitoring and assessment. Many parents and homeschoolers associate this with public school debates of state assessments and ‘teaching to the test’, but I assure you with proper facilitation, data collection is a useful tool and should shed some light on your teaching effectiveness, skill/knowledge acquisition, strengths to be reinforced, and weaknesses to focus on. The good news is, as homeschoolers, we can choose how we evaluate our students (excluding, of course, your state requirements). Here I will endeavor to help you gather the information you need to help guide your instructional decisions.
This blog may help guide your decisions on curricula selection as I provide my opinion on the various educational products and materials available, supplying the needed information such as quality, price, pros/cons, alternative solutions, features, ratings, etc. to help you make the right choice for your student.
This blog may help you organize and plan your year. It may have tips on how to organize your schoolroom, materials, and supplies; how to prepare for the upcoming academic year; or how to schedule your day. I love to create checklists, planners, worksheets, etc. to help optimize my time (and sanity!). I will be sharing those documents and ideas here.
This blog is everything else. Topics may include general information on homeschooling or child development, my opinions, my family, links and thoughts on articles I’ve read or sites I’ve stumbled across, etc. You may find ideas on how to engage your kids during the summer or what do on vacation. Basically, anything that doesn’t fall into the more formal and focused categories above will fall here. Stay tuned because this is going to be fun!!!