The purpose of this blog is to provide an archived resource of Personal thoughts, learning resources, and parent information.

Regular postings will be added on Mondays.

Monday, 30 May 2011

Home schooling is HOME SCHOOLING

This thought is meant to re-affrirm the values of homeschooling that I know that you and HCOS are based on.

There has been a bit of discussion lately regarding home schooling as self-teaching at home. Here is a summary of a couple of themes. 

"Homeschooling is a way for families to nurture and work with their children before God, not to withdraw from traditional education and leave an instructional vacuum in its place. For any student to be on their own and basically “self-teaching” is outside the bounds of what we stand for as homeschoolers." 

With our online courses "we often find a 13 or 14 year old left on their own with just a computer in front of them and the expectation that the student will be conscientious, hard working and honest about their work. At HCOS, we strongly believe the parents have the onus to oversee their own children."

At HCOS, our goal as supporters and enablers of Home Education, is that we do just that support and enable you to educate your children We are happy to find curriculum and provide suggestions but home schooling is not intended to be self-education at home. We understand that there are times when things can seem challenging and even overwhelming. We want to stand beside you in those times.

I love working with parents who are passionate about the education of their children and who use the opportunities afforded in home schooling to daily closely guide the learning of their children. Some of the things that are sent to me are so wonderful and exciting that they inspire my own teaching. I hope that you too will encourage other home educators as they work to train their children.


Monday, 23 May 2011

Challenging the Way We Teach

When I was in University studying to be a teacher, it was always interesting to me how many Professors preached, “Learning must be collaborative and interactive.” “Don’t be the lecturer at the front of the class.” “Help your students to discover answers for themselves.” “Don’t line up your students in rows.” Then they would line us up in rows, and lecture to us from the front of the classroom.

We all have a tendency to teach the same way that we’ve been taught. If we were lectured to, we tend to lecture. If we had a lot of interaction, we interact. I know that that applies to classroom teachers and I think that it would be safe to say that the same would be true with home educators.

It can be challenging to break out of a pattern of doing things a certain way. We all like routine and the usual.

Sometimes we need to challenge ourselves to break out of the old ways that we’ve been doing things and try something new. It doesn’t have to be a complete overhaul, we can start by adding/changing little things, add enough of those together and…

Here are a few ideas: After a lesson in Science from the text/workbook, how about going online to search for videos that reteach the same concept in another way?  How about helping your child to start a blog to share their creative writing assignments and compositions?  In Social Studies, tell your child that s/he will be teaching a lesson on …….. then help him/her to find the information and let her/him prepare a lesson to teach to your family.

Breaking our of the “same old” and trying new and different ideas can make teaching more fun for you and learning more fun for your children.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Teaching With Love

Mrs. Marcia Somerville's paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 13 (The Love Chapter.)

“If I tell my children all day long to love God and each other (in even the most eloquent terms); to study hard, to be diligent, and to love learning, but do not show them a living, breathing example of love as I walk through the process of homeschooling them; then my words are so much noise in their ears, and can never bring about the results that I desire. 

If I am the wisest of parents, having insight into my children’s hearts at all times, and flawlessly delivering to them all instruction, faithfully, day after day, but do so without love, I am nothing. 

If, by dint of great effort and sacrifice, I find and manage to purchase an amazing curriculum that is the most expensive and lavish one available, and I work diligently to deliver all the lessons from it as directed, but do not do so in a loving way, I gain nothing.”

Whether in the classroom or in the dining room, love is the greatest gift and the best lesson that we can ever teach our children. It’s taught best by our own example.