Maintaining order in your homeschool during the day
Monday, 20 October 2008 16:00
-by Mimi Rothschild
For most families, their home is their haven; a place to play, to rest, to relax. The dynamic of a homeschool home has to be quite different, as it is transformed daily from a regular house to a place of learning. In order to be a successful teacher, it is critical to maintain proper order in your home during the day, when your children are working on their lessons. This can be challenging for most families. Distractions such as games, toys and even television abound in the home, threatening to rob your student’s attention from the matter at hand. And disorganization can be the downfall of even the most gifted educator. But don’t despair. There are some simple tips that you can employ to help you stay on track, so your children can as well.
• Make a list. Every morning. And stick to it. It seems simple and maybe a bit rudimentary, but having all of your activities written out, in order of importance can help you stay focused and make the most of your time during the day. Don’t forget to include your other daily activities, such as housework and any other tasks you want to accomplish that day. This way you won’t be left feeling that you’ve forgotten something at the end of the day.
• Before your day begins, make sure each child’s work station is prepared. Be sure that all required materials are readily at hand. It can be extremely distracting, both for you and for your student, to have to stop and search for a pencil or more paper. Being prepared before the day begins will ensure a smooth flowing day.
• Have a set schedule of daily work, including the order in which it is to be completed and how much time will be devoted to each subject or lesson. Post the schedule in a prominent place where everyone can view it at all times. And do your best to stick to your set times. Otherwise, it’s very easy to let time get away from you, leaving you scrambling to finish your tasks and possibly forgetting to complete some by the end of the school day.
• Go over your daily schedule with your child each morning, so they know what the day will entail and what is expected of them.
• Incorporate order and rules into your lessons. After all, life is all about order and discipline. Use real-life examples such as the Ten Commandments and U.S. laws to drive home the importance of ordinance in our daily lives.
• Discipline is critical to maintaining order in your home and classroom. And, discipline and education go hand in hand. Proverbs 12:1 tells us: “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid”. Children simply cannot learn if they aren’t listening and paying attention. Deal with disobedience and negative behavior swiftly. Make it clear what is expected of your child, and what behavior is unacceptable. But don’t forget, children respond wonderfully to positive reinforcement, so be sure to also reward and encourage obedience and good behavior.
• Establish a set of rules that must be adhered to during the school day. These rules should include things such as “Do not speak out during class” and “Ask permission to be excused”. Encourage your children to participate in making the list of rules, so that they feel they are a part of it. Post the list of regulations prominently and refer to it often.
• Set clear and concise boundaries between you as a parent and you as a teacher. It’s all too easy for a child to fall into the more relaxed parent/child relationship and forget that they should be showing you respect as their educator during the school day. When they view you clearly as their teacher, they are more likely to follow instruction and maintain order, and less likely to fool around and get off track.
It can be very difficult to get both your home and your homeschool running smoothly. Conducting structured lessons in the same environment that you also have play and down-time can be challenging to say the least. But by following the suggestions above, you should be able to get your classroom and your home running like a well oiled machine in no time.
Mimi Rothschild is the Founder of Learning By Grace, Inc. the nation’s leading provider of online PreK-12 online Christian educational programs for homeschoolers.
The Writing is on the Wall
Friday, 14 March 2008 14:58
By: Mimi Rothschild
Recently, the California judicial system has directed a two-part assault on Southern Baptist homeschoolers throughout their state. First, they have banned the words “mom and dad” and “husband and wife” from their schools – please read www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=58130 – and are forcing teachers to promote a more alternative sexual lifestyle.
The second part of the assault came last week when three judges essentially banned homeschooling, deeming 166,000 children truants – www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=25469 – and their parents as criminals.
This absurd ruling needs to be reversed. Please visit: www.ReverseTheRuling.com, and learn more information about this alarming issue, and have your voice heard by signing the petition. Our goal is to gain enough signatures to present this petition to the courts and let them know that America is watching. And we know what happens in California can happen anywhere in the United States!
More so, we know that this ruling has long-term ramifications of indoctrination on our children, diminishing the Christian Values that we’ve worked so diligently to instill in them. This is not a one-off case that only pertains to an isolated incident! No, it is a Ruling that eliminates a freedom that dates back to our forefathers.
Stay informed. Spread the word. Sign the petition.
Texas Charter Schools, Part One: Failing and Cheating
Tuesday, 3 July 2007 13:43
By Mimi Rothschild
According to The Dallas Morning News, some charter schools in Texas are nothing short of fraudulent and Texans are now paying dearly for a decision they made in 1998. On September 10th, 1998, the State Board of Education in Texas came under fire from the audience and decided to reject recommendations made by the Texas Education Agency for deciding which charter applicants would be receive charters; in turn, they decided to give every charter school applicant a charter. Since then, chaos has ensued.
A study done by The Dallas Morning News analyzed data from the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills. The data was taken from 2005 and 2006. The Dallas News analysts discovered “that by far the most extreme cases of cheating were in the state’s lightly regulated and privately run charter schools.” Two cases of cheating come from a married couple who each run their own charter school, Jesse Jackson Academy and Theresa B. Lee.
Here’s a brief profile of Jesse Jackson Academy:
• Received charter in 1998 despite being ranked 67th out 84 applications by the Texas Education Agency.
• Started By Jesse Jackson (not the famous Jesse Jackson).
• State officials have reprimanded the school for reporting false dropout data, ignoring accounting requirements, and keeping poor records.
• In 1999, none of the five teachers were certified by Texas. Two teachers had no college degrees at all.
• Jesse Jackson Academy has received the lowest rating from Texas five times.
• No student passed the math, science or English language arts sections of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills in 2003.
• Multiple experts say that four of the blatant and severe cases of cheating all came from Jesse Jackson Academy.
Jesse Jackson Academy is not the only charter school to run amuck in Texas. There are scores of other failing charter schools in the Lone Star State, as you’ll read in part two. It is astonishing that the State Board of Education could lack so much common sense and hand out 84 charters to 84 applicants, some of whom have no business running schools at all. With Texas public schools failing and Texas charters schools cheating in addition to failing, Christian Texas parents should seriously consider homeschooling their children.
Public Schools Go On the Offensive for Old Problems
Tuesday, 26 June 2007 09:55
By Mimi Rothschild
Imagine a place with lock-downs, metal detectors, inspections, undercover officers and routine drug testing. What do you see in your mind? Sounds like a description of a prison to me. Actually, this is what many public schools in America have implemented to address the violence and drug problems. In addition to hundreds of other problems, public schools now look and feel like jail!
It may not surprise many home schooling parents that drastic measures are being taken, given the fact that drugs and violence are two major problems which have systematically plagued public schools for decades.
The Hawaii Board of Education is considering passing a law that would allow public school administrators to search student’s lockers. Florida’s Governor Charlie Crist recently signed a bill that allows high school football players, baseball players and weightlifters to be subjected to random testing for steroids. Earlier this month 12 high school students at Washington’s Federal Way high schools were arrested by undercover detectives for selling drugs, rifles and semi-automatic handguns. Some of the drugs sold were cocaine, ecstasy and oxycodone.
Given these frightening conditions, it is understandable why home schooling is on the rise in America. Parents want their children to receive a quality education in a safe environment. Home schooling is increasing in popularity because Southern Baptists have answered the call of Pastor Wiley Drake and Bruce Shortt.
Bruce Shortt writes “The experiment with government schooling has failed. What Baptists need to do now is create a new public education system, a system that is public in the sense that it is open to everyone and that takes into account the needs of orphans, single parents, and the disadvantaged. With our existing buildings, our talented people, and the educational technology available today, it is now possible to create rapidly an affordable, effective Christian education alternative to the government schools.” Shortt is a co-sponsor of the “Exit Strategy” resolution
The Southern Baptist Academy has answered that call too and is providing Southern Baptists parents with affordable resources so they can successfully home school their children.
The Southern Baptist Academy Summer Reading List and Summer Programs
Wednesday, 6 June 2007 13:20
By Mimi Rothschild
What are your homeschoolers doing this summer? Going back in time? Sailing on the high seas? Hanging out with the three little pigs? Summer is the perfect time for homeschoolers to improve their readings skills and have a blast while doing it. We’ve compiled a comprehensive summer reading list for each Grace Academy grade so that your homeschoolers can improve their reading skills over the summer and have fun reading a variety of amazing stories. Encourage your homeschooler to read everyday and see their reading skills improve dramatically over the summer!
Homeschool parents should also check out our homeschool summer school program. Our summer school program helps homeschoolers grow their minds, gain credit toward a high school diploma, and surge ahead academically instead of developing lazy habits. Have a great summer!!!
Homeschoolers are Scaring the Establishment Pt. 4
Wednesday, 15 November 2006 19:24
By Mimi Rothschild
Ok, this is the last post on the New Scientist article. I promise!
The article goes on to cite E. Ray Moore of the Exodus Mandate, one of this generation’s greatest proponents of homeschooling as a tool for evangelism.
“If we could get up to 30 percent of public-school students into home-schooling and private schools, the system would start to unravel and at some point implode and collapse,” he says. “The government would be forced to get the states out of the education business altogether. It would go back to the churches and the families. It’s a strategy for the renewal of society.”
Amen to that! What an inspirational strategy. Imagine how this shift would strengthen the moral fabric of our nation. Moore relates his strategy in which each homeschool family persuades one other family to embrace homeschooling. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that this would double the homeschool community with each passing generation.
I pray every day for such a societal shift. In all honesty, I would love to see the public school collapse. The church would be able to educate the poor and disadvantaged charitably, as is its call. It doesn’t stop there. A mass movement of this magnitude would also overturn many policy decisions that are supposedly set in stone. Who knows, with thousands of PHC graduates filtering throughout the country, we might see some serious political and judicial change take place in the near future.
World Net Daily reports Exit Strategy Resolution
Friday, 3 November 2006 17:53
by Mimi Rothschild
I’ll start with the most recent news story I could find. Popular conservative news website World Net Daily has once again given the nod to homeschoolers, this time through a report on the recent “exit strategy movement.” Californian pastor Wiley Drake voices his support:
“Basically, (the education system) has been saying, ‘You have to let us teach your kids anything we want,’” said Wiley, citing some of the pro-homosexual material being required in public education. Well, we don’t like it and we’re not going to put up with it.”
I like that attitude! It’s about time church leaders started speaking out against the public schools. So often we decry the state of our nation but we ignore the very breeding ground for which so many of this country’s ills spawn and thrive!
Citing the need to focus on creating an actionable plan using the existing Southern Baptist church network structure. Southern Baptist radio host Albert Mohler continues,
“Anyone who thinks that a few hours of youth group and church will have more influence on a child’s faith and worldview than 40 to 50 hours a week of public school classes, activities, and homework is simply not being honest with himself.”
It sounds harsh, but it’s so true. We need to start taking responsibility for our children. If we plan on separating ourselves as a higher moral culture, we’re going to have to start enriching our kids with higher standards from a younger age. Youth group just isn’t going to cut it.