Tag Archives: homeschool

Benefits of Online Education

There are many benefits of online education for students of any age. While many may think that the benefits of online education are just for college students, that is no longer with the case with increases in educational technology. Now, students just entering kindergarten to high school students can also take advantage of the benefits of online education. Keep reading to find out more about how to find online education programs that are perfect for you or your child to be able to enroll in the benefits of online education.

Many can get an education online now with various courses that are available via the Internet. Homeschool students especially can take advantage of the benefits of online education with many of their classes. These online educational opportunities can be used as the entire homeschooling curriculum or can be used to supplement courses taught by parents or tutors. To further look into these options, it is important to check out options that are offered by an accredited institution in order to make sure the online school and course list are legitimate. It is important to check with your state department of education to make sure the online courses match whatever state requirements there are in order to receive credit for the course.

When it comes to online education for high school students, there are many benefits of online education. High school students are required to have so many credits in order to graduate. There are times when a student might fail the class the first time, or a required class might be difficult to work with the student’s schedule. This is the perfect opportunity for students to take the class online in order to make up the credit or take the course on their own time so that it works with their class schedules. Students might also want to take an online course that is not offered at their high school like a foreign language or skills course. Getting to take these added courses are just part of the benefits of online education. Through online courses, high school students also have the option to take more advanced preparatory classes or college courses during high school to earn college credit early. Just be sure to check out the credentials of the online school to ensure the courses are legitimate and will qualify for college credits upon transfer to a community college or university.

For online education and college students, most colleges or universities offer a plethora of courses that can be taken at any time by the student. This is great for distance learning when the college student cannot afford to live on campus or to drive to school every day. Many college students also have to work full-time in order to afford their college education. Courses can be difficult to schedule around a work schedule, which is why the benefits of online education greatly extend to college students in this type of a situation. Online education during the summer semester to make up missing credits is also one of the great benefits of online education.

In addition to college students, high school and home school students, those who are wishing to simply learn new information or expand their knowledge base can greatly benefit from an online education. There are many reasons why a person should take advantage of the benefits of online education including:

  • Convenience and flexibility. Students with jobs or families find school difficult because it is hard to work around preexisting schedules. With the benefits of online education, this is no longer an issue.
  • Pacing. Online education allows a student to work more at their own pace compared to that of traditional classes.
  • Lack of commute. This is great for students who don’t live close to a college or university, or for those home-schooled students.
  • More choices. There are more choices when it comes to variety of courses and subjects than traditional schooling.

Overall, there are many benefits of online education that anyone can take advantage of while pursuing their education. It is important to remember to check out each online school to ensure they are legitimate and that the courses offered will count toward the high school curriculum or college credits.

Education Bug Site Upgrade

If you have been on the site recently, you may have noticed that educationbug.org has undergone a major upgrade. We took a look at all the categories and organization that had slowly evolved from the site’s early days in the first half of 2006, and rethought everything. When we were done, we had created a new hierarchy and organization that we hope will make our education articles easier to locate.
There are two main parts to the hierarchy. In the first section, all articles of every type are sorted by topic. This section is called “Article Topics,” and it has 11 top-level categories.

In the second section, articles related to specific types of schools and written for specific audiences are categorized by the schools and the audiences. This section is called “Finding Articles for Special Interests, and it has two top-level categories.

Each top-level category has two or more subcategories. Each article is placed in every sub-category in which it fits. For example, the article “Public School Uniform Debate” is filed under Other Education Issues and also in Public Schools, while the article “What Is Peer Pressure?” is filed under Safety and Parents.

The new hierarchy is shown below, to help you get the gist of the site’s new organization.

ARTICLE TOPICS

Career Education
Career Training
Education Careers
Education Choices
Adult Education Choices
Post-Secondary Choices
PreK–12 Choices
Education Costs
Financial Aid
Other Financial Topics
Education History & General Information
General Information
History
Education Issues
Safety
Other Education Issues
Education Resources
Community Resources
In-School Resources
Online Resources
Family Involvement in Education
Applying to a School
College-Age Children
Preparing Your Child for School
School Involvement/PTA
Students w Special Needs
Gifted and Talented
Learning Disabilities
Special Education
Subject Information & Homework Help
Language Arts
Easily Confused Words
Grammar and Mechanics
Other Language Arts
Math
Other Learning Areas
Science
Social Studies/History
Teaching and Learning
Classroom Approaches & Issues
Homeschool Setup
Homeschool Curriculum
Testing
Admissions Tests
Testing in the Schools

FINDING ARTICLES FOR SPECIAL INTERESTS

Articles About Specific Types of Schools

Homeschools
Public Schools
Private Schools
Preschools
Kindergartens
Elementary Schools
Secondary Schools
Colleges and Universities
Vocational/Technical Schools
Charter Schools
Christian Schools
Online Schools/Distance Education

Articles For Specific Audiences

Elementary Students
Secondary Students
College Students
Parents
Homeschoolers
Adult Learners

Comments on our new system are welcome!

Homeschoolers Meet and Learn

Today in the South, in the East, and in the Midwest—in Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, Tennessee, and Texas—homeschoolers are gathering at conferences that enable them to learn together, share ideas, see new products, socialize, and support each other. After the nine conferences ending today, there will be 10 more homeschool conferences in May in the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Wisconsin, and West Virginia.

The conferences in session today are focused by being geared towards exploring resources or curriculum, being regional meetings, or being Christian or specifically Catholic. At the Middle Tennessee Home Education Association Curriculum Fair—where they anticipated that three exhibitors would have to cancel due to flooding—they are offering:

• speakers

• the ASVAB Career Exploration Program for students in grades 10–12 and recent graduates

• workshops in music, science, history, kindergarten instruction, pedagogy, the future of homeschooling, language arts, games, spelling, geography, career planning, earning style differences, combining marriage with homeschooling, brain development, literature for teaching, writing, character building, SAT test preparation, college admissions, Christian curriculum, misconceptions about homeschooling, and homeschooling in relation to the constitution

• 102 exhibitors from Christian and secular publishers of homeschool materials, specialists in learning disabilities, Drivers’ Ed instructors, regional educational groups, homeschool magazines, institutions of higher education, and the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA)

To learn more about home school conventions and conferences, read “Homeschool Conferences” at our sister website Let’s Homeschool.

Sources

www.hslda.org/about/calendar/default.asp?Past=Yes

Teacher Appreciation

You might be surprised to see an article on teacher appreciation now, when last week was Teacher Appreciation Week. Teachers were celebrated in all kinds of ways, and if you didn’t see U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s YouTube® video acknowledging his favorite teacher Mrs. Darlene McCampbell, you might want to have a look.

But just as appreciation of mothers and fathers doesn’t begin and end with Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, appreciation of teachers needn’t stop as the specified dates pass by.

If you’d like to know more about the history of Teacher Day and how it is celebrated around the world, you can check out our article “Teacher Day.” But I’m going to use this post as Secretary Duncan and Mrs. McCampbell used their video to talk with you a little bit about a different way of coming to an appreciation of teachers, and that is by considering the training they go through to become teachers and considering whether you might wish to become a teacher.

There are many different types of teachers, many of whom teach in schools, but some of whom teach in community centers, art galleries, museums, theaters, aquariums, libraries, and other locations. Even “school teachers” may teach in a public school, a charter school, a magnet school, a private school, an independent school, or a homeschool. This doesn’t even begin to acknowledge the wide array of private instructors who teach children how to play instruments, ice skate, ride horses, garden, cook, and other topics that are often learned outside of a regular “school” building.

If you’re considering become a classroom teacher, then a degree from an accredited institution is likely to serve you well, and you may want to have a look at our article “Teaching Degree.”

More and more people are considering teaching as a second career, bringing the experience, training, and expertise from their first career into the classroom. In this case, your state department of education may have a special training and licenser program that bypasses the usual path taken by an aspiring undergraduate. Such programs are a way to change the old saying and make sure that “those who can, teach.”

Home Education Programs

Home education (also called homeschool) is a widely growing form of education. There are currently well over one million students homeschooled in the United States. The reason that families choose this option vary but they include issues such as: school safety, negative socialization, concern about academics, and largely the ability to add morals and values into the educational foundation of the student. These are just to name a few of the reasons.

There are many thoughts or “programs” where homeschooling is concerned. Here we will talk about each one briefly.
  1. Unschooling – This is where a student does not receive information or education in general in the format presented in most schools. Text books or workbooks are rarely used and the thought that children are naturally inquisitive and love to explore and be creative. These ideas are fostered in unschooling and the child never has to be held back by the structure of typical schooling.
  2. Box Curriculum – Many homeschool families choose to purchase a full set of curriculum from a publisher or school. Some schools offer record keeping and teacher assistance. These programs can be very pricey but there are a few that are now publicly funded. It must be mentioned here that those that take part in the publicly funded box curriculum methods are usually enrolled in the school district that they live in and most often they are required to do state standardized testing. There is much debate among homeschoolers about whether this is truly homeschooling or not because it is basically public education done at home but within the framework of the state or district. Regardless of how one puts it, the child is educated at home and the parent is responsible for seeing that the student accomplishes what is needed.
  3. Build your own – Many parents like to build their own curriculum. They truly like the involvement of making thematic units and other learning tools that are tailor made for their children. While this may seem like the ideal thing for children it is very time consuming and requires a lot of organization.
  4. Homeschool for free – Homeschool can get expensive. It isn’t just the box curriculum that add up, you still have to buy every school supply including the ones that typical public schools and private schools just keep on hand. Every paper is your responsibility so it is important to know that you can find ways to get information and curriculum for free when possible or do science projects with normal household items.
There are many homeschool philosophies but that will be another post at another time. For now we just wanted to touch on the different reason families homeschool and the different options there are to homeschooling programs.

Homeschool

Homeschool is defined as an alternative form of education that takes place in the student’s home and not in a traditional school setting. In some states homeschool is actually considered to be a private school. The reasons why parents choose to homeschool their students range from opposition to school curriculum, the ability to add religious teachings into a students education, concerns about school violence, a desire to give the student more one on one instructional time, and at times to avoid some negative social aspects that come with a traditional school setting.

Homeschooling is quickly on the rise but getting firm numbers in regards to this is a challenge. There are some homeschool families that willingly give information about their families and other that think that the government should stay out of their right to educate their children as they see fit. Regardless, we do know that the numbers are quickly rising and the most recent statistics show that parents were worried about school safety. There are homeschool statistics that state that in 2007 there were reportedly 1,500,000 homeschooled students. In 1999 there were 850,000 students that were reported. This is an amazing amount of growth.
Every state has different requirements for homeschoolers. To find the homeschool laws for your state you should contact your Department of Education.
The main arguments involved in homeschool vs. public school are that of socialization and of state standardized testing. There are no studies to show that either of these really makes a difference in how well a homeschooled students does.

Free Homeschooling Curriculum

Which type of homeschool curriculum is right for your student and your family? This is a question that homeschooling families ask themselves every year. And depending on the year, the student and the needs of your family you may need a different type of curriculum each year. The great thing about homeschool is that you can tailor things to meet the needs that you have.

While some people are converted to a “boxed” homeschool curriculum (where a company sends you everything you need for the year in boxes) it is not always possible to afford this for each student. If you have four children and you need curriculum for each you can get charged around $1200 per student/per year for boxed curriculum. This can really add up considering that you will still have to buy some of your own supplies and science project materials.

Free homeschooling curriculum is a viable option for many people. Not only is it extremely flexible but the price is always right. No matter where you live or what your economic needs are this is a solutions for you and your family. It is also nice to know you can supplement any other curriculum for little or no money.

There are so many resources for free homeschool curriculum. Just look around your community, the library, your local schools (public schools and private schools) and if you are just a little creative you can make learning opportunities at every turn.

Shopping for School Clothes and Uniforms

This time of year is when parents do the bulk of clothes shopping for the children to get them ready for school. Whether you have a child in public school, private school, or homeschool them you have choices to make. Your child’s school may require uniforms and they may lesson the arguments about what your child is allowed to where but then you also have to buy uniforms on top of everyday clothing. This can ease some stress and then add some stress and cost to the equation. Either way most parents, teachers and students would agree that clothing is a subject where a lot of peer pressure comes into play.

School uniform requirements are a hot topic that is much debated. We will just provide a brief section for the pros of uniforms and one for the cons of uniforms.

Pros of School Uniforms:

  • Uniforms take the guess work out of setting guidelines of appropriate school attire.
  • The students clearly know what is expected of them, there is no room for interpretation.
  • Students and parents are less worried about fashion trends and can more readily focus on why they are at school.
  • Students appear as equals in every way. This eliminates social classes and cliques. It also keeps any gang related clothing articles out of the school. These things all create a feeling of unity in the school.
  • Students are easily identifiable on field trips.

Cons of School Uniforms:

  • Students lose their freedom of expression in regards to dress and outward appearance on some level due to uniform requirements.
  • Students do not see the real world at school, identifying that we are not all alike or have the same taste but that we can all get along.
  • It may not be right to teach conformity in school as a way to avoid problems with each other.
  • Students are not able to dress for their body type and so may not look their best in school uniforms that may be unflattering. Especially for teens and tweens, this can be hard on their self esteem.
  • Cost – parents may not have the money for new uniforms every time they are needed or when the school changes a uniform requirement. This excludes children which should never happen at school if possible.
  • Not allowing children to wear their own clothing will not prevent gangs, clicks or how students choose to express themselves in other ways. With the expression in how they dress taken away, they may find an alternative way that is not much better.

The debate can go on and on about school uniforms or what is appropriate for school dress codes.

Math, Math, and More Math

I have been on a math kick lately so our most recent educationbug.org articles are centered around mathematics. There is an article in the Math Lesson section which is centered on Addition. Addition is one of the very first math lessons we learn. We start out as toddlers figuring out if there is more than just one of us then we are going to need enough to share with everyone, therefore quickly learning how to add the objects and the people we will need to share with (usually just to make sure we are assured we will get our share). This article is a greater reminder of all the different ways you can use to solve a problem with addition.

The other math article we posted is in the Science Projects area, called Math Science Projects. Most people think of “science” when considering what to do for a science project, especially one’s they intend to use for a “science fair”. But you would be surprised at how many different things you can do with math science projects. If you will read the article, I think you will find some fun and exciting ideas you can use for your next project.

Next, let me start by saying I do not homeschool my children, but, I came across an article about “Homeschool Math” and considering my interest in math lately I decided to read it. Something in the article really struck me, it suggests that just because you did well in math when you were in K-12 does not mean you are ready to teach math to your children. I had to take a step back and ask myself if I thought I would be qualified. At first, I thought, Yes! Then, remembering I took an algebra course at the local college last year and was thinking to myself, “I don’t remember learning this in high school.” Then I went home to do my homework and found out that my daughter (who was a sophomore in high school) was studying the exact same thing, and she started helping ME with MY homework. I suddenly realized I would not be well enough equipped to homeschool my children, at least not into their latter years of school. And once again I had a sense of relief to know my children are being educated by people who know this stuff and love it. I feel so fortunate that my children are have the opportunity to learn and grow from these wonderful teachers. I am so thankful there are people in this world who want to become teachers, who love education, who have patience and understanding, and who are willing to teach our children. THANK YOU TEACHERS!!!!

Advantages of Public Schools

People who live in the United States have one of the greatest opportunities there are in life, this opportunity is education. Not only do Americans have the opportunity to obtain an education but they are also given a number of choices in the way they wish to receive this education. People in America have the choice whether they want to go to Public School, Private School, Charter School, Christian School, Magnet School, or even be homeschooled. We have had many blog posts offering comparisons of these different options. Today, I would like to take just a moment to compare the advantages of Public Schools versus private schools and homeschools.

A few advantages of Public School vs. Private School:

  • Transportation is often included for no additional cost.
  • No tuition costs.
  • Choice of Public, Magnet, or Charter School.
  • Strict teacher certification rules.
  • Special programs and funding for disabilities and more.

A few advantages of Public School vs. Homeschool:

  • Have a large range of socioeconomic and different backgrounds.
  • Have students with a range of abilities and talents.
  • Number of children in classroom.
  • Funding for equipment and activities.
  • Funding at high school levels allows for sports, arts, and technical programs.
  • Offer a wide variety of social clubs, activities, and sports.

Every person, every family, and every situation is different. What works for one person may not work for another. These articles are provided so you can make an informed decision on what may work best for your family and your situation. The important thing is that we continue to educate our children and ourselves.