4 Must Have Books For Homeschooling Parents

Every homeschooling parent knows that a well stocked library is one of their greatest assets. In addition to great pieces of literature and reference books, however, there are also wonderful books on the topic of homeschooling itself that are must have additions to the family library.

100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum by Cathy Duffy

One of the most important decisions you’ll make as a homeschooling parent is finding the right curriculum. You want one that matches your educational philosophy and that also works with your child’s learning style. This book makes this process of picking one among the many available choices so much easier. It’s a must read for parents at the start of theirhomeschool journey or for any homeschooling parent who wants to make a change in their home education.

Susan Wise Bauer’s Story of The World

Susan Wise Bauer is the author of several books on classical homeschooling. Her Story of the World series are well loved by home educators. They help parents create a living history experience for children and I enjoy them too, which is no small thing considering history was my least favorite subject in school!. The Story of the World books also have companion workbooks for those who wish to employ them alongside the volumes.

John Holt’s Teach Your Own

John Holt has been called the “father of unschooling”. His name is frequently mentioned among homeschooling advocates and pops up on message forums and websites for home educators with frequency. As a former public school teacher turnedunschooling advocate, Holt has penned several wonderful books on the topic of how children learn, why the public school system is failing, and encourages parents to trust their child’s learning process. Reading Holt gives you confidence that as a homeschooling parent you’re capable of educating your child and preparing them for adult life better than anyone else can.

The Ultimate Book of Homeschooling Ideas by Linda Dobson

This one is another favorite among homeschooling parents. One of the ongoing challenges homeschoolers face is how we can teach our kids the most important subjects: reading, writing and math every day without boring ourselves and our children. This book offers hundreds of ideas that will keep things fresh and interesting for you as you teach your kids at home. It will also assist you in meeting your individual children’s needs since they differ in ability and learning style.

There are many other awesome books for homeschooling parents, but these are four of my personal favorites.

Getting a Proper Driver Education

Nowadays it is not sufficient to just pass a test and obtain a driver’s license; as it is becoming more and more important that a driver gets proper education in driving too. A driver’s education will equip the students with the prerequisite skills and knowledge to enable them to be drivers who are safe and responsible. This is because the drivers’ education offers the students the right tools to minimize the risk of accidents to themselves and to other road users.

It is also a good way for parents to ascertain that their children are getting the proper development and a right attitude for them to become safe drivers in the future. These days children as young as those in their teens can get their drivers license and this is talking about teens as young as 14 years old. They are not even mature enough to understand the dangers associated with bad driving habits.

This makes them more vulnerable and at the risk of getting involved in nasty accidents and fatal crashes. Young drivers can benefit profusely from the wisdom and instruction that they get through this program that teaches them how to adopt driving responsibilities and begin to practice them.

Learning early will definitely help the students to develop the best driving habits for life. It is also the best chance for those who want to do refresher course on driving to go ahead and the most beneficial chance to brush up their driving skills every so often. It is a good chance for updating their understanding of road rules.

What can one learn from a good driver education program? First of all, you should expect to learn some latest traffic rules for road users. Also you will learn how to take care of your vehicle properly and operate it safely.

You will get to learn the best and safest driving methods like how to keep a safe distance between vehicles all the time. It helps to understand the dangers of drink-driving and the reasons why one should not use a cell phone while driving, and basically it prepares a driver for any tough situations on the road.

There are many different ways by which a student can get a genuine driver’s education. One is by joining one of the classes that are available in your locality.

It is also possible to get some programs that are offered online via the Internet. Home study is also possible through the correspondence course is another option and this is great as the learner can do it at his own pace and whenever they have free time.

Maintaining Chinese As The Heritage Language

No matter how hard they have had to struggle to survive in the United States to learn English, Chinese immigrants traditionally never stop urging their children to maintain their heritage language.

In addition to immersing children in Chinese at home, many parents urge their children to attend Chinese language schools after regular school hours. Although Chinese immigrants come from different dialect backgrounds, when referring to Chinese heritage language in the United States, they normally mean Mandarin. Most Chinese language schools are nonprofit schools, which are operated by parents and open on weekends or after regular school hours.

The funding generally comes from tuition and fund-raising. Parents and communities provide great human resources to Chinese language schools, including instructors and staff. With more than 100 years of history, Chinese language schools have evolved into an organized and influential educational force that plays a significant role in Chinese language and culture preservation.

At the present time, Chinese programs target both non heritage language learners and heritage learners. In many places, heritage learners are fewer than those who wish to learn Chinese as a foreign language. The growing interest in learning Chinese as a foreign language is not directly related to maintaining Chinese as a heritage language or as a language used in bilingual education, as that concept is defined in the United States.

Overall, the Chinese language appears to enjoy an increased popularity that is likely to continue in the future. An important historical shift is that Chinese is now associated with higher-economic and social value than was the case in previous decades. This is motivating more heritage learners to maintain the language via public and private programs in which Chinese is taught and, collaterally, attracting nonheritage learners to learn Chinese.

Creating International Education Partners for Global Transformation of Our Educational Systems

With the constantly changing environment of our communities that impact and make up our world, transformation is inevitable. The question is, are we leading this change consciously and doing what we can to ensure that our youth will be able to function as successful citizens and professionals in the future? In reality, this responsibility is shared among our school systems, parents and students to create a global platform of international education partners. Our educators and parents lead this transformational movement, which is required to connect our educational systems on a global level, as they themselves move with the winds of change to keep up with new processes and technologies to function in the changing conditions of our communities that link us to the greater world.

How can we ensure that we are the leaders required to facilitate the global transformation needed for our educational systems?

We first need to step back and ask, “What kind of life are we preparing our students for?” To take our students into the constantly changing future, we need to focus on the big picture while looking at the day to day, moment to moment here and now without losing sight of the fact that it is surely the here and now that impacts the bigger picture of the future. Our actions and efforts as leaders today will dictate the outcome of the transformation we seek. Utilizing clear personal values and beliefs to provide the purpose for setting this new direction, leaders help educators grow together to co-create the pathway to the new future.

To encourage the success of any individual or enterprise in the future, we need courageous leaders willing to push boundaries and barriers to stimulate the change needed in our global educational system and who are willing to link the local and global business communities around the world when doing so. Endurance to keep up with the required change is also a necessity for the most optimal and powerful result for our students.

The core success of this transformation that’s needed hinges on a leader’s ability to live strategically, which is different from strategic planning. Strategic living is an orientation of daily work that is driven by core values, a vision and mission, and a few big ideas. By living strategically, educators can respond to rapidly changing conditions, and become more nimble and flexible as they take advantage of emerging dynamics and their opportunities.

To develop schools as the necessary global learning centers discussed here, there are seven organic competencies that facilitate the development of leaders. The “Seven C’s” are Confidence, Commitment, Co-creation, Connection, Communication, Celebration and Course Correction, and Caring, which together represent the characteristics of mature organizations.

Leaders of this global movement towards developing our students for success requires the development of agile and responsive organisms that can only occur by discarding the elitist hierarchy, undoing the myth that it is natural for all organizations to have superiors and inferiors. This elimination of the elitist hierarchy begins with educators and parents who lead by example to emphasize this truth for our students.

By stepping out, pushing boundaries and connecting our communities on a global level, we as leaders will be able to lead the movement reviewed here to transform our students into the individuals required to positively impact and succeed in organizations of our future for our world.

Drivers Education For Teens

Most teenagers have a craze for driving that tempts them to get behind the wheel of a car even before they’ve had the proper training. Parents of young teenagers are wary of this temptation and enroll their teen in driving programs that highlight ways to drive efficiently and safely. Teenagers typically have short attention spans in a classroom environment. They seek out visual stimulation and learn better by practice. There are driver?s education programs that tap into these teen traits and teach them to drive responsibly. Automobile safety research organizations demonstrate the importance of driver’s education programs designed for teenagers.

Driver’s education programs for teenagers generally include a quick-paced video laced with clues, revealing common teenage behaviors that put new drivers at risk. It also offers problem-solving exercises in a variety of hazardous driving situations, from road rage to bad weather. Students will study these problems and try to solve them. One of the biggest hurdles that teenage drivers must overcome is developing an appropriate attitude to reflect their driving skills.

Every year, teens across the US pass driver’s education courses at school and earn a license. However, that does not necessarily mean that they are ready to get behind the wheel. The driving exam is only a screening exam. The actual responsibility is in the hands of the teenagers, as cars are far more deadly than firearms. Motor vehicle accidents are the primary cause of death and injury among teenagers, claiming thousands of young lives every year.

Teenagers think they are invincible, and this attitude often follows them behind the wheel of an automobile. Driver’s education programs for teenagers help students discover the value of safe driving habits. They also show different attitudes teens choose that affect their decision-making on the road.

There are centers that provide driver’s education for mature teens. They include information about road safety, drinking and driving, licensing information, driving laws, DMZ links and the requirements for new drivers. There are many online study guides for student drivers with practice test questions and safety tips. Teens are provided the required information before applying for a learning permit or driving license.

Run Your Small Business From Your iPhone – Essential Apps

Being self-employed, I HATE to feel that I have to be at my desk for a prescribed number of hours, or to perform certain tasks. So, when I recently went travelling around Europe in my campervan, I had to find solutions to give me the freedom I wanted to enjoy my trip, but also to remain in control of my businesses, and not take my eye off the ball. I still use ALL of these in the everyday running of my business when I’m not in the office…which seems to be getting quite frequent!

1) Firstly, I had to find a way to be able to access my pc for the sole purpose of running the payroll on a Friday…any business is only as good as it’s staff. so there was no way this could go wrong!

I discovered LogMeIn – free remote access to my computer, just as if I was sitting right in front of it. I just needed internet connection, which isn’t difficult to find around Europe. There is a desktop version as well as an iPhone app, but the app isn’t free…definitely worth the £17 though.

2) Being a bit of a control freak, I check my Google Analytics account a few times every day, as I like to know exactly how the site visitors found us.

I discovered Analytics Lite – another free app that I still use all the time as it’s quicker than checking on my desktop!

3) Both of my business websites are created using WordPress, and I needed to make sure that if there was a problem with either site while I was away, I could access it and fix it as soon as possible.

WordPress has a free app. As it happens, I didn’t need it, but it gave me fantastic peace of mind.

4) I was discussing mobile websites with a SEO guy and he laughed when I said that yes I have a mobile website, and it seems to run just fine on my iPhone. I was referring to my original website, which is obviously not what he meant!

I discovered DudaMobile – another free app that will convert your existing website into a mobile website which even gives you an app type favicon on your iPhone or Android home screen

5) I like to cast my beady eye over any legal docs before they leave our office, and I also love to analyse statistics to the nth degree, but I didn’t want to have to use LogMeIn for everything,.

I discovered Google Docs – free ‘MS Office’ type programs that can be accessed as long as you have internet connection, and shared with different users at the same time. This meant my manager could ‘show’ me stats by looking at the same spreadsheet, at the same time, while talking me through it over he phone. We’ve moved our entire document and spreadsheet library over to this!

6) As I wouldn’t be able to take out of hours calls on the hop, I needed to find a way for my prospective clients to communicate with me and get answers to their queries. Email would be too slow. I needed a system that would allow me flexibility, while still offering excellent customer service.

I discovered Comm100 – a FREE ‘Chat Now’ button that I embedded into the header banner of my website. I downloaded the free app to my iPhone, and every time someone wanted to connect out of hours, I had a loud notification from my iPhone. I knew I had a few minutes to react so I’d find a hotel and away to go!

7) There were times when I wanted to check up on the office and make sure it hadn’t burnt down or been burgled…or even the staff doing acrobatics over the desks!

I installed Skype on my iPhone and randomly called my manager for quick chats a few times….I was quite disappointed everyone was so well behaved in the background!

So, I had a great stress-free trip, and I never work Fridays…well not in the office anyway!

Types of Homeschooling Families

In my seven years of homeschooling I’ve found that there are usually three types of homeschooling families, each with different goals and desires for their children. Many homeschooling families will find themselves in one of these niches. These niches are not a bad thing, necessarily, but some of them, in my opinion, can be taken to an extreme.

When researching homeschooling I found there are a lot of different names for different styles of homeschooling. You have “school at home”, a strict type of schooling with a full curriculum, laid out lesson plans, desks and maybe even a chalk board or white board. School starts at 8:30 a.m. on the dot with scheduled breaks, lunch and even a recess. I’ve even heard of some moms who have their children call them “Mrs. Jones” or whatever when they are homeschooling in this method.

You also have a relaxed homeschooler. This homeschooler follows a curriculum but it’s usually loosely structured. Lessons take place on the couch, at the kitchen table, in the family car or wherever else may be convenient. Sometimes the lesson is tossed for the day and they end up watching movies as a family or going on a spur of the moment field trip. Lessons start whenever the family feels like starting and may end well into the night.

Then there are unschoolers. These are families who use no curriculum and at times seem to have no rules at all for their children. If they live in a state that requires a portfolio or testing, they may break down every now and again and produce some work, but they primarily just go with the flow. Parents have material readily available for the kids to play with or read and believe that they are there to be a resource for the child. Some unschoolers are more strict than others, sometimes even more so than the “school at home” parents. These types of unschoolers are called “radical unschoolers”.

I consider myself a relaxed homeschooler. I love the idea of unschooling, but I fear it as well. I fear that if we unschool that our son would spend all day playing games and watching TV. I fear that he won’t learn to spell or read well or write anything, much less learn enough math to get into college. I fear that he will be selfish and rude and care only about himself. I have reasons to feel this way and any newbie homeschooler should be prepared if she dips her toe into the unschooling waters.

When my husband and I first started discussing homeschooling I researched and tried to learn everything I could. That was how I heard about unschooling. I thought it sounded great and I wanted to know more. I found a very well known site on unschooling and joined their email list. This site and list featured a predominant unschooling figure that is well-known as a speaker at various homeschooling events.

I found the people on this site – including this well-known speaker – and the email list mostly rude and arrogant. They apparently allowed their kids to stay up at all hours, play games all day, and, in my opinion,
pretty much allowed their children to do whatever they wanted. Any mention of any types of rules handed down by the parent – bedtimes, mealtimes, etc. – seemed to be out the window. At the time I was on this list I was still working outside the home, so we all had bedtimes. Anytime I mentioned bedtime I was told I “wasn’t an unschooler” and pretty much that any type of rules from me or his father was hurting him. Even though the parents didn’t seem to advocate any “rules”, it seemed these radical unschoolers had a lot of them. One particular discussion was about swimming lessons. Were they too restrictive? Did they count as “curriculum”? Should children not participate?

I was only on that list 2 weeks. I knew I still wanted to homeschool, but I swore I would never unschool because I didn’t want my child to be selfish and mean like the parents on that list. I also chose to stay off lists that proclaimed “Do it MY way or it isn’t right.”

It’s been over 7 years now since I was a part of that email list and since then I’ve met more unschoolers.
I know now that not all unschoolers are so “radical” and that unschooled children can be sweet and kind and unselfish. I also discovered it doesn’t matter what curriculum you use or don’t use. Everyone needs to do what is right for their family.

However much I’ve learned about unschooling, though, I still have a fear of actually going through with it.
Maybe if I’d been able to homeschool my son from the beginning instead of starting in third grade then maybe my feelings would be different.

Unschooling can be a positive thing, especially starting with a young child. I still believe that a home should have basic rules, however, just because everyone has to live there together. Those rules may be simple, such as bedtimes and mealtimes and chores and maybe there is an agreement that during certain times of the day the TV, computer and video games are turned off unless you are doing something educational. Within that framework I believe a child could find something to occupy their time – reading a book, creating a project or even playing with a sibling. All of those things can be a positive unschooling experience.

Even though homeschoolers do try to put themselves in a “category”, homeschooling is actually so varied and different for everyone that there can be no set of rules that pertains to us all. As homeschooling parents, we need to look at how our children learn best. There is no one curriculum for all. No one can teach their child everything and everything will not be learned during the typical schooling years. Learning should be for a lifetime and education means that you are able to find out what you need to know when you need to know it. A quote from Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill states:

An educated man is one who has so developed the faculties of his mind that he may acquire anything he wants, or its equivalent, without violating the rights of others.

I think this should be the goal of all education, not just homeschooling.

Have Your Diploma Through Online High School

There are a growing number of people who have now received their diplomas through online high schools. This kind of learning, distance learning, is chosen because it is their best option based on their lifestyle or learning style. Students who have a serious medical condition but still want to graduate from high school can attend an online high school while receiving medical treatment. Teenage mothers who cannot attend a traditional school because there is not one to care for their child while they are at school can attend an online school and care for their child at the same time. Students who struggle to work at the pace of those in the traditional classroom can attend online school so they can work at their own pace. Students who have an unusual career, such as acting, can attend high school and maintain his or her career. Finding an online high school may be risky since many schools claim they are best, but just a few keep their promise.

Parents may choose from public or private online schools. Private online classes may just function as the conventional private schools do, but the public online schools have to follow the state regulations. Private schools typically act independently from government regulation. Like the traditional private schools, private online high schools make their own directives and own philosophy of learning which is dictated by the school. The tuition in online programs is usually high since there is no public subsidizing by taxpayers.

Private online schools may or may not be recognized by appropriate regional organizations as academic institutions. Ahead of time, you may verify with the educational advisers of the colleges and universities to which your child is going to apply, to determine if your child will be accepted with a diploma from this school. Some colleges and universities are establishing connections with online high schools which makes this process easier. These options may be considered the best if your child is looking to continue his or her education because they are tied with established learning institutions that have been around for numerous years.

If the country in which you live is allowing charter schools, then your child may enroll and study in an online school for free. These schools are funded publicly but they act separately from government control, unlike the ordinary public programs. This could be a great option because public schools are not permitted to get tuition and generally recognized by the universities and colleges.

It is essential that you take time to examine the school, whether private or public, before you enroll your child. You may interview your preferred school so that you can be sure that you will get the information that you need to know. In addition to this, verifying with the proper accreditation board, they will assure you that the school where you are about to enroll your child is well accredited. Lastly, be sure to have your child prepared academically and emotionally in learning online. There are some cases where a number of students are struggling because they are missing the social interaction that occurs in a traditional high school. Also, they can get more distracted at home than they can in a classroom where there is a teacher to redirect their attention. However, if your child is ready and you select the right online program for him or her, online learning could be great advantage for your teenager’s future.

Careers in Speech Therapy

Speech-language pathology – also called speech therapy – is a healthcare career in which trained professionals diagnose and treat speech and physical communication problems in patients of all ages.

It is also one of a number of health professions that has had increased demand over the past few years, and is expected to continue increasing through the year 2020.

There are many speech therapy programs available where students can gain the necessary education and training to earn a speech therapy degree, qualifying them for a job as a speech pathologist.

Speech therapy also offers a very desirable salary, and is a promising career choice for anyone desiring a healthcare job where they can interact closely with their patients in a therapeutic and educational manner.

What Do Speech Therapists Do?

Verbal communication is one of the most important means of communication between people so that they understand each other.

When an individual has difficulty with their speech and/or swallowing, or in understanding others because of a developmental delay, an injury to the brain, a stroke, a hearing disorder, having a cleft palate or other reasons, they can frequently be helped by speech-language pathologists. Speech therapists also help people who stutter, have problems vocalizing, and who fail to speak due to emotional issues.

The typical job description includes assessment and diagnosis of speech and swallowing problems in patients, coming up with appropriate treatment methods, and then using those methods to teach patients how to speak easier despite their current limitations or conditions.

It is a detail-oriented job requiring high levels of patience, willingness to work at a patient’s individual speed and the ability to work as both a teacher and a therapist for individuals and their families.

They work in a variety of settings, and with many different medical professionals including physicians, psychologists, social workers, school teachers, special education personnel, parents and others to provide necessary treatment to those affected by some kind of speech impediment, and increase ability to communicate.

How to Become A Speech Therapist

Those interested in a career in speech-language pathology will need to make a significant academic commitment, since degrees are awarded at the Master’s level of education.

Planning should start before that however, and students who plan on entering a program are recommended to take a broad selection of undergraduate courses so they are well-rounded.

These should include courses in math, English and language arts, science, social science, health, humanities and others. Students should maintain at least a B average throughout their undergraduate academic career in order to have the best chance at acceptance into the most desirable speech therapy schools.

Also, though it is not possible to earn a degree online, there are some online options in fulfilling all necessary course requirements.

Specialized And Technical Courses

Acceptance into one of the almost 300 programs can be competitive, and will require students to have maintained their B average, as well as having earned their Bachelor’s degree with a wide array of courses that will be helpful to them in gaining their education in speech-language pathology.

Graduate schooling will focus on the more specialized and technical courses necessary to have a successful career. Students are usually also required to complete clinical experience segments where they will learn hands-on, from other professionals working in the field.

Once students have successfully completed their education and earned their Master’s degree in speech-language pathology, they are able to apply for licensure in their state or region.

Certification is voluntary, and offered by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), but is highly recommended so that individuals have the most opportunity for career advancement. Additionally, most employers today look for certification, making certified graduates more preferable over those who are not.

Besides the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP), the ASHA also offers a Clinical Specialty Recognition program for professionals who continue their educational and career advancement and wish to specialize in one area of speech therapy, such as fluency disorders, swallowing disorders and child language.

Speech Therapy Salary

Currently, the median salary is quite favorable at approximately $70,000 annually according to 2011 salary survey data provided by the ASHA, within a range of $58,000 up to $90,000 annually depending on type of facility.

Clinical service providers and those working for outpatient practices had a median salary of about $65,000 annually. Specialists and practice administrators earned at the higher end of the range.

A career in speech-language therapy can be a challenging one, requiring great listening and communication skills, as well as great patience.

The rewards are many, however, with a very competitive salary and much personal satisfaction in helping people with one of the most important skills that we have as people, that being the ability to communicate and understand each other.

Choosing Great High Schools

If you have lived in the same place for a very long time, you already know where your child is going to go to school until graduation. Unless you are willing to move, you don’t have much choice in the way of what high schools you want them to attend. Your choices are usually the public and private options in your community. However, if you are planning to move, but you are not sure where you are going to end up yet, you can look into all of the schools in the general area to decide which you think is the best. There are many things to look for in a school and many questions to ask.

High schools are not all the same. Some are large, some are small, and some are going to disappear. If you had a bad experience in school, you may be looking for a high school that is the opposite of what you experienced, but you can never judge any school by the size. Smaller schools have more close knit classes, but that can be a problem. However, some children get lost in larger high schools and their educations suffers because of it. A middle sized school may be the best all around bet.

High schools can only work with what they have. There are many districts that have had to cut back on many programs that were standard when you went to school. Big changes have happened in some high schools in the last five years. If you have been out of high school for quite a while, the changes are even bigger. When you are choosing among various communities, request information about the the school budget and changes that have been made. This information alone can help you cross some bad high schools off the list right off the bat.

Take a good look at the sports programs at each of the schools you are considering. A good program has plenty of options, but you also want a school that is not all about the sports. It is great for kids to play end enjoy sports for many reasons, but some focus on sports too much, leaving education in second place. Even worse, those students that are not into sports may suffer in such a school. Look for an active and funded sports program that is a part of education, not the entire story.

Lastly, the most important thing in any schools is the track record of graduates and what classes they offer their students. Go into the school and talk with the principal and anyone else that can help you. Walk through the school to look for cleanliness and see how the school feels. Some schools just have a better feel than other high schools. You can tell a lot about a school just by walking through with someone from the school during school hours. No one is perfect, but make sure the one you choose has what you want and where you feel your child will be safe and valued.