Homeschooling For Dummies

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2020-09-01
  • Publisher: For Dummies

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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


Homeschool with confidence with help from this book 

Curious about homeschooling? Ready to jump in? Homeschooling For Dummies, 2nd Edition provides parents with a thorough overview of why and how to homeschool. One of the fastest growing trends in American education, homeschooling has risen by more than 61% over the last decade. This book is packed with practical advice and straightforward guidance for rocking the homeschooling game. From setting up an education space, selecting a curriculum, and creating a daily schedule to connecting with other homeschoolers in your community Homeschooling For Dummies has you covered. 

Homeschooling For Dummies, 2nd Edition is packed with everything you need to create the homeschool experience you want for your family, including: 

  • Deciding if homeschooling is right for you  
  • Developing curricula for different grade levels and abilities  
  • Organizing and allocating finances  
  • Creating and/or joining a homeschooling community  
  • Encouraging socialization  
  • Special concerns for children with unique needs 

Perfect for any current or aspiring homeschoolers, Homeschooling For Dummies, 2nd Edition belongs on the bookshelf of anyone with even a passing interest in homeschooling as an alternative to or supplement for traditional education.  

Author Biography

Jennifer Kaufeld has been homeschooling her three children for more than a quarter of a century. The first two graduated with four-year degrees, one with honors. She writes curriculum and speaks at national, regional, and state homeschooling and trade association conferences.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

About This Book 1

Foolish Assumptions 2

Icons Used in This Book 2

Beyond the Book 3

Where to Go from Here 4

Part 1: Heading to Homeschooling 5

Chapter 1: Answering the Big Questions 7

Getting to This Point 7

Knowing Not to Know It All 9

Affording It 9

Hanging in There 11

Signing up for the long haul 11

Staying at home forever 12

Breaking the News to Mom 13

Addressing Socialization, the Hot Homeschooling Buzzword 14

Social outlets 14

Socialization 15

Presenting the Issue of the Year 16

Chapter 2: Taking the Leap 19

Realizing That Anger is Not Enough 19

Ensuring educational excellence 20

Meeting your child’s special needs 20

Retaining religious convictions 21

Accommodating family lifestyle 22

Determining What’s Best for Your Family 22

Creating Solutions for Special Situations 23

Working around your job 23

Dealing with special learners 24

Beginning the Journey 25

Choosing the perfect time of year 25

Deciding at what age to begin 26

Assigning homework 27

Making homeschooling more than school at home 28

Using the extra time 28

Chapter 3: Complying with Uncle Sam 31

Conducting Yourself (Yes, Ma’am) in Accordance with State Law 32

Locating Your State’s Law 33

Counting Out the School Days 35

Calling a Truce: Interacting with Your Local School 37

First: Know your law 37

Second: Make sure your ducks are in a row 38

Third: Know your law 39

Chapter 4: Pulling Them Out and Starting from Scratch 41

Making Those First Days Count 41

De-stressing the children 42

Easing into coursework 43

Rebuilding Your Family Unit 44

Setting your schedule 44

Working together 45

Dad’s or Mom’s role in your homeschool 45

Starting from the Very Beginning 47

Teaching in small blocks 48

Using the objects you own 48

Drawing on Your Strengths and Filling in the Gaps 49

Speaking to your strengths 49

Teaching them what you don’t know 50

Part 2: Tackling Kids of Any Age 53

Chapter 5: Teaching Your Toddler While You Change Your Baby 55

Juggling Primers, Preschoolers, and Diapers 56

Surviving Life with a Toddler 57

Teaching with a toddler 58

Teaching your toddler 59

Covering the Preschool Basics 60

Teaching with a preschooler 61

Teaching your preschooler 61

Chapter 6: Covering the Elementary Years 65

Setting Out with Elementary Students 65

Learning through Language Arts: Reading and Grammar 66

It’s as easy as A, B, C 67

Beyond the basics 69

Going on to the heavy hitters 70

Eating Your Way through Math 70

Going beyond “Our Community Helpers” 73

Firing Up the Bunson Burner 75

Timing is Everything 78

When timing is off 78

While you wait 78

Chapter 7: Handling Junior High 81

Beginning in the Middle 81

Keeping Track of It All 83

Putting Grades to the Test 84

Chapter 8: Help! I Have a High Schooler 87

Starting at the Eleventh Hour (or Eleventh Grade) 88

Switching before the Last Bell 89

Deciding your academic approach 89

Changing courses midstream (or at winter break) 90

Dancing the High School Subject Tango 91

Language arts 93

Math 94

Science 95

History and social studies 97

Languages 98

Driver education 98

Electives 99

Planning for the Tidy Transcript 102

Check your state’s requirements 103

Start at the end and work backwards 103

Choosing courses that count 105

Prepping for College 107

ACTing on Your InSATiable Desire for Standardized Tests 109

SAT 109

ACT 109

Chapter 9: Completing Twelfth Grade Doesn’t Mean It’s Over 111

Spreading Their Wings and Earning Their Keep 112

Continuing to college 112

Marching in the military 112

Studying at a trade/vocational school 114

Entering the workforce 114

Strapping on the Tool Belt 115

Continuing Homeschool through College 117

Staying at home 117

Finding a suitable program 118

Part 3: Choosing Your Cornerstone: Basic Curriculum Options 121

Chapter 10: Orbiting as a Satellite School under the Umbrella 123

Riding the Satellite 124

Opting for a Complete Curriculum across the Distance 124

Pinpointing a Program 125

Elementary through junior high and beyond 126

High schools 127

Matching Your Needs with Their Offerings 129

Chapter 11: Does Classical Education Mean Teaching Vivaldi? 131

Classifying It Classical 132

Trying the trivium 132

Forming the foundation with literature 134

Assembling Your Classical Curriculum Components 135

Language arts 135

Math 137

Science 137

History 138

Geography 139

Art 139

Music 140

Latin 141

Foreign language 142

Gathering More Information 143

Chapter 12: Reading Real Living Books with Charlotte 145

Calling Charlotte Mason 145

Leaping through living books 146

Nuzzling up to nature studies 146

Putting Together Your Package 146

Language arts 147

Math 149

Nature science 149

History 150

Geography 150

Art 150

Music 151

Foreign language 151

Chapter 13: Mining the Montessori Method 153

Exploring at Their Own Pace 154

Guiding your children 154

Combining academics and life 155

Setting Up Your Space 155

Walking through the Day 155

Mathematics 156

Language arts 156

Practical Life 157

Sensorial 157

Culture 157

Chapter 14: Wandering through Nature with Waldorf 159

Working Together with Head, Hands, and Heart 160

Enjoying the outdoors 160

Making things by hand 161

Flowing with the day 161

Locating a Waldorf-Style Curriculum 162

Picking favorites 162

Opting for similar goals 163

Chapter 15: Teaching Them What They Want to Learn 165

Unveiling the Integrated Unit Study 166

All unit studies, all the time 166

Locating unit studies 167

Making them last 169

Changing Pace with Unit Studies 171

Focusing on Project-Based Learning 172

Short- and long-term projects 172

Designing a project to suit the learner 173

Designing Unit Studies 174

Subject-ing yourself to this? 174

Digging for topics 176

Calling all units 176

Chapter 16: Unschooling: A Walk on the Relaxed Side 181

Raising Eyebrows and Suspicions 182

Fitting the Bill 183

Learning through the Course of a Day 184

Filling Your Home with Unschooling Tools 185

Books 185

Games 186

Software 188

Technological and building toys 189

Videos 189

Recording Their Progress 190

Chapter 17: Hitting the Road with Worldschooling 193

Roadschooling versus Worldschooling 194

Engaging the environmentally curious 194

Following your dreams full or part time 194

Planning is everything 195

Choosing Your Academic Approach 197

Ditching the books or not? 197

Living on and off the ’net 198

Chapter 18: Charting Your Own Academic Course Eclectically 201

Knowing Whether Your Kid’s Kinesthetic 202

Pulling from Different Publishers 203

Starting with what you know 203

Pulling from the stacks 204

Writing a Curriculum from Scratch: The Diehard Approach 212

Chapter 19: Special Concerns for Special Students 215

Considering Yourself Capable 216

Guiding the Gifted 217

Taking different paths 218

Rounding up gifted education resources 219

Teaching the Medically Fragile 220

Getting the Goods You Need 220

Special equipment and services 221

Individualized Education Program 221

Information 222

Part 4: Nailing Down the Details 225

Chapter 20: Defining Your School Space 227

Making Room for Chalk 227

Setting aside the optimal amount of space 228

Buying too far in advance increases storage needs 229

Deciding between the Den, the Dining Room, or the Whole Darn Place 230

Gathering around the kitchen table 231

Setting aside a special room 231

LEGO bricks in the living room and homework in the hall 233

Chapter 21: Cutting the Costs and Searching for Stuff 235

Slashing Curriculum Prices 236

Choosing an inexpensive curriculum 236

Finding free, the least expensive of all 237

Locating used curriculum 238

Writing your own curriculum 239

Sourcing Your Curriculum 240

Looking at your local store 240

Avoiding the malls: Ordering via Internet or mailbox 241

Attending a Homeschool Conference 242

Hearing It from the Horse’s Mouth 243

Tapping the Fountain of Fellow Homeschoolers 243

Borrowing books long term 243

Buying as a group 244

Asking for the Discount 245

Breaking Out the Library Card 245

Understanding Copyright: What is Fair Educational Use? 247

Chapter 22: Teaching Your Traditions 251

Christian Curriculum 251

Publishing all-in-one, Protestant style 252

Science and other individual courses 253

Adding Bible to the day 255

LDS curriculum choices 255

Roman Catholic curriculum options 256

Jewish Resources 258

Islamic Resources 259

Pagan Resources 259

African American Resources 261

Native American Resources 262

Chapter 23: Turning Chaos into Organization 265

Tracking Your Week with a Planner 266

Seeking the Paperless Society 268

Thirty Days Hath September 270

Scheduling for Sanity 270

Keeping Your School Spotless 272

Feeling the Burnout 272

Chapter 24: Making the Grade 275

Deciding Whether to Keep Grades 275

Writing the tests to make the grades that you record in the house that Jack built 276

Figuring the grade 278

Tracking Those Unit Studies 279

Keeping a State-Required Portfolio 280

Testing Standardized’s Validity 282

Chapter 25: Plugging in Your Schoolroom 287

Schooling at Home But Online 288

Coursing through the Internet 289

’Net-ting Resources 291

Touring the World without Leaving Your Desk 293

Enhancing Your Subjects with Electronic Errata 294

Chapter 26: Connecting with Like-Minded Souls 299

Finding Homeschoolers Online Who Share Your Passions 300

Facebooking your way to friends 300

Finding the best blogs 302

Pointing toward podcasts 303

Networking Isn’t Just for Computer Geeks 304

Associating and Consorting 305

Praying for Guidance 306

Getting Together for Socialization 307

TEAM: Together, Everyone Achieves More 308

Gathering informally 309

Formalizing your group 310

Part 5: Making Your Year Sing with Extras 313

Chapter 27: Adding Spice with Special Classes 315

Making Time for the Extras 316

Bringing Out Their Inner Artists 317

Music 318

Art 320

Go Ahead — Be Dramatic 322

Speech and debate 323

Drama 325

Homeschool groups 327

Taking Some Laps 327

Cooking Up a Storm 329

Bantering about Birds and Bees 330

Parlez-vous Greek? 331

Cleaning the House and Calling It Schoolwork 334

Chapter 28: Making It Adventurous with Activities and Groups 337

Dirtying Your Hands with a Project 338

Dissecting an owl pellet 338

Playing amateur archaeologist 339

Creating a garden 339

Building a train layout 340

Burying yourself in papier-mâché 340

Assembling a model 341

Pretending It’s Le Louvre 341

Getting Past Bugs Bunny 342

Volunteering Builds Compassion 343

Packing Up the Minivan 345

Seeing the Sights or Staying at Home 347

Finding an Organization That Helps You Grow 348

Thinking about Playing or Playing to Think? 350

Ante Up 352

Thrilling the Engineer’s Heart 352

Part 6: The Part of Tens 355

Chapter 29: Ten Educational Games That Enhance Your School Day 357

Anti-Monopoly 358

Evolution 358

Forbidden Island/Desert 358

The Garden Game 359

How Do You See the World? 359

Into the Forest 359

Krypto 360

Periodic 360

Spell Smashers 361

Wingspan 361

Chapter 30: Ten Common Homeschool Fears 363

My child will never make friends if I homeschool. 363

I don’t know enough to teach my child. 364

My child will miss out on socialization. 365

I will buy the wrong curriculum. 365

My child will learn less at home than he does at school. 366

I’ll never have free time again. 367

My child may not be learning at the right pace. 368

I won’t be able to do it all. 368

After I start, I have to do this forever. 369

I’m not keeping the right (or enough) records on my child’s progress. 369

Part 7: Appendixes 371

Appendix A: Homeschooling Curriculum and Resources 373

Abeka 373

Artes Latinae 374

Behrman House 374

Brave Writer 374

California Homeschool Network Records and Resource Guide 374

Christian Book Distributors 375

Cricket Media Magazines 375

The Critical Thinking Co. 375

Great Books Academy 375

Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) 376

Mary Frances Books 376

MindWare 376

MisterArt 376

National Black Home Educators 377

Pandia Press 377

S&S Worldwide 377

Studies Weekly 377

Scotch Thermal Laminator 377

SEA Books and More 378

Teachers Pay Teachers 378

Appendix B: State-by-State Homeschool Associations 379

Appendix C: Speaking the Language: Educational and Homeschooling Terms 385

2E 385

accelerated learning 386

advanced placement (AP) course 386

auditory learner 386

CLEP exam 386

consumable 386

correlated to state standards 387

distance learning 387

dual credit 387

educational game 387

elective 388

fine arts 388

grade level 388

inclusive 388

intent to homeschool 389

kinesthetic learner 389

lesson plan 389

living books 390

low for grade level 390

neutral science 390

online education 390

PSP (Private School Satellite Program) 391

real books 391

reproducible black line masters 391

standardized test 391

teacher’s guide/teacher edition 392

transcript 392

visual learner 392

Index 393

Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

The Used, Rental and eBook copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

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