[Article]on 12/24/2011 - 2:14pm
Homeschooling is not without challenges--especially when it comes to teaching struggling learners and children with special needs. This newsletter will introduce you to some resources which may help you with the challenge of developing a Student Education Plan (SEP).
"Mom A," a very conscientious mom who was in her first year of homeschooling, told me she and her son were schooling from early morning until 10 p.m. "Mom A" explained why they were adhering to that schedule. They had to meet the deadline requirements established by the curriculum provider who would be awarding the grades for each class in which her son was enrolled.
That mom's voice conveyed her exhaustion and also her fear that her son, a slower processor, was equating learning with misery, and that he would ultimately "just plain give up." Clearly, both mom and son were candidates for burnout.
I commended "Mom A" for her obvious diligence in homeschooling...
[Article]on 12/24/2011 - 1:36pm
HSLDA recommends that parents who are homeschooling struggling learners and/or children with special needs arrange for regular evaluations and document their child’s progress. It is important to keep accurate records demonstrating how you are meeting your child’s special needs and how your child is progressing. As a general guide, the more severe the special learning need, the more frequent and thorough the evaluations should be.
What types of tests/assessments are used to measure and document progress?
- Curriculum-based assessments, such as end-of-unit tests, parent-teacher made tests, quizzes, or evaluations.
- Informal and ongoing assessments, such as checklists, rubrics, oral reading records, anecdotal notes, work samples, portfolios, student learning logs, journals, etc.
- Standardized, achievement tests (nationally normed).
- Informal reading inventories and other diagnostic reading tests (such as the GORT-4 and the QRI) which must be...
[Article]on 12/21/2011 - 2:00pm
Participation in debate is a huge commitment, but benefits abound! Christy Shipe writes, “…Whatever the resolution, a student will almost certainly cover government, economics, political science, composition, research, public speaking, logic, rhetoric, current events, typing/word processing, computer skills, editing, and argumentation and debate theory…”
WHO MAY PARTICIPATE?
Check individual class and club listings at www.mache.org/mnhs&d for age/grade recommendations. For debate competition, home educated students age 12-18 by January 1st of the current school year may participate.
HOW DOES A STUDENT BECOME INVOLVED? (7th- 9th)
Younger students (7th - 9th) who are not yet ready for debate can improve their speaking and reasoning skills in the following speech events:
In a class, club, or competition students pick a topic and are given two minutes to...
[Article]on 12/21/2011 - 10:53am
“I’m wondering at what age I should begin teaching speech skills to my children. I have an 10-year old who loves to give presentations to anyone who will listen. Please let me know what you think I should do to help her grow in this area.”
“…I’m a homeschool mom not quite ready to teach speech to my nine-year old. When should I begin?“
The two comments above raise a frequently asked question in regard to teaching speech skills to children. These parents have different ideas of when that should take place…and that’s okay, but…
My reply to those posing this query typically is, “You already are teaching your child speech skills whether you realize it or not.” Let me explain.
The moment your child is born, they begin learning by watching your eyes and expression, and hearing the sounds and inflections made with your voice. You are doing them a favor by speaking clearly and slowly so that they mimic you correctly.
As the cooing and babbling change to real words, you can continue to help your child become a better speaker (formally or informally) in...
[Article]on 12/21/2011 - 10:04am
Most parents would love for their children to become effective speakers! This would be an important goal when we consider how Scripture calls us to speak out for the cause of Christ. Minnesota Homeschool Speech and Debate (MNHS&D) believes in that goal and desires to be supportive to parents and students alike. Because of the times in which we live, we particularly need to raise up the next generation of young people to stand firmly for the freedoms and issues that we face now and in the years to come! One area of opportunity to hone those skills is in the competitive realm. A specific question we hear frequently is, “How do I prepare my children for competitive speech and debate?” Good question! I’d like to address this issue based on my experience and study.
Who may participate in Competitive Speech?
Home educated students age 12 and up by January 1 of the current school year may participate in qualifying speech competitions.
Where does a family begin?
One of the first areas to consider is the type of speech a child is interested in presenting...
[Article]on 12/21/2011 - 8:35am
In Minnesota, competitive speech and debate at the local and state levels is made possible by parents from all over the state who volunteer their time during the season serving as teachers, coaches, judges, and tournament coordinators. These individuals are motivated by the desire to see students grow to be effective communicators in all areas of life, but the ultimate desire is that students grow to be effective communicators for Christ.
“Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought answer every man.” Colossians 4:6
What do parents, coaches, and speakers say about competitive speech and debate?
“My friends and I laughed when I began competitive speech; I was the one who mumbled, panicked, and lost track during oral reports. God (in His) sovereignty led my mom to sign me up for a Speech Interpretation class. I would never have believed that I would love it so much! Speech has been invaluable to me, I see how God has used it in my life. I have...
[Article]on 12/18/2011 - 6:40pm
What is a Charter School?
A charter school is “a publicly funded school that is typically governed by a group or organization under a contract or charter with the state.”1 Each school forms a charter, which is essentially a performance contract detailing the school’s goals, programs, and methods of assessment. In exchange for meeting the set goals, the school is granted an exemption from many traditional public school regulations. Charters typically last for 3–5 years, and at the end of the contract period, the overseeing authority (usually a state or local school board) reviews the school’s performance and determines whether to renew the charter.2 Although in some ways, charter schools operate similarly to private schools, they are still public schools because they are funded by taxpayer dollars (including both state and federal funds).
There are two types of charter schools:
1) Brick and Mortar (“Traditional”): These charter schools are built and maintained like traditional public...
[Article]on 12/18/2011 - 6:27pm
(NOTE from MÂCHÉ: This article was written for HSLDA and includes prices for their annual Virginia state convention. MÂCHÉ's annual conference fees will be slightly different and will be listed on the conference page of this website, when ready to be posted. The information contained in this article is still very valuable as it gives you a good idea of what to expect as you plan expenses for your homeschool year.)
If you are considering home education, you are very likely a single-income family, and if you’re like most of us, your budget is pretty tight. Although I have read that the average homeschool family spends about $500 per student per year, I have never personally spent nearly that much. My most expensive year was my first year, when I used a pre-packaged curriculum and spent over $600 for three children (okay, with inflation, maybe it would be $800 now!). As we have accumulated non-consumable materials (“living books” or textbooks vs. workbooks...
[Article]on 12/18/2011 - 5:29pm
In homeschooling vernacular, expensive is a relative term. While the average cost is about $500 a year per child, this goes down a bit in families with more children, since resources can be shared, membership costs are not multiplied, etc. If your children have been in private school for $4,000–10,000 a year per child, you’re probably planning a vacation with your homeschooling savings and are only reading this article to kill some time! But if they’ve been in a conventional school setting or are just beginning school, it’s prudent of you to count the cost, to be prepared. You’ll want to invest in your core curriculum materials first, then add other items as your budget allows
It is possible to homeschool with just a Bible and a library card, but most of us will add a bit. I was able to homeschool seven children at a time for less than $100 in a year, once I had accumulated a few non-consumable resources. Here are a few ideas to homeschool on a shoestring budget:
Filter by Tags
- HSLDA (99)
- high school (82)
- beginning (24)
- teaching (20)
- curriculum (18)
- special needs (18)
- elementary (17)
- encouragment (13)
- legal (12)
- parenting (10)
- encouragement (9)
- Minnesota (8)
- homeschooling (8)
- struggling learner (8)
- teens (8)
- preschool (7)
- transcripts (7)
- vision (7)
- post high school (6)
- preparation (6)