Why homeschool? The principal, teacher, and students love your children!

From Our House to Yours

Why homeschool? Your children will always be loved by the principal, the teacher, and the other students!

In this Heart of Dakota From Our House to Yours series, we are exploring reasons why you should homeschool. When you think back to your own elementary, middle school, and high school education, do you remember a principal or a teacher who just didn’t like you? Maybe you dreaded being called upon in their class or being summoned to their office. Or, maybe a fellow student or two just seemed to have it in for you? No matter how you tried, they just didn’t like you. Maybe you dreaded being partnered with them, sitting by them, walking past them, sharing a locker with them, standing in line by them, or going to recess or gym class with them. Negative experiences such as this impact children’s learning and hamper their potential to do their best.

In contrast, what if your principal loved your children?

The ‘principal’ of many homeschool families is also known as ‘Dad.’ He is often the support system, and the behind-the-scenes driving force that makes homeschooling possible.  The ‘teacher’ of many homeschool families is also known as “Mom.’ She is often the manager of the home, making homeschooling happen in the day-to-day.  Sometimes these roles are reversed, shared, or done solo, but no matter which scenario fits your homeschooling, one thing remains the same: both principal and teacher love the children. The bond between parent and child is strong. In homeschooling, having the support of both the principal’s governing force and the teacher’s educating capabilities just helps children have a better opportunity to do their best and meet their highest potential.

What if every single one of the ‘other students’ in the class loved your children?

The ‘other students’ of many homeschool famlies are often known as ‘siblings.’ They are the other members of the ‘class,’ and they make up the team that year-after-year attends ‘school’ together. They are there to encourage one another, to support each other, and to cheer one another on as they celebrate milestones and victories. They take an interest in one another because they are truly invested in each other’s lives, not only for the present, but also for the future.  Why? Because they love each other. Forever. That is how God designed families; blood truly is thicker than water.

What if every school year, you knew your child was absolutely, completely 100% loved by the teacher?

Do you long for your child’s teacher to love your child and give him a bright future? What if you started every school year knowing your child would 100% absolutely, completely be loved by the teacher? And what if the teacher woke up every day dreaming of how she could make just your child’s future better? What if, year after year, she moved up with your child grade by grade? And she really got to know your child’s strengths and weaknesses, honing in on just what your child needed the most?  What if she hugged your child every morning? Personally read to him every day? Asked only him discussion questions to make sure all was well-understood? Well, look in the mirror… that teacher is YOU!

No one will love your children like you will.

I had 7 years of public school teaching before I homeschooled my own children. Admittedly, I cared for each of the children in my 7 classes.  I tried my best to teach them all that I could and to give them a happy, safe environment in which to learn. However, I didn’t LOVE them like I love my own children. I wake up each day thankful I can homeschool my own children. I know the ‘principal,’ and he loves them with all of his heart too. Furthermore, I know all the other ‘students,’ and they think the whole ‘class’ is great – every one, best friend material. Finally, I know the ‘teacher,’ and she loves my children to the moon and back. I know because I am her.

One of the best reasons to homeschool is your children will always be loved by the ‘principal,’ the ‘teacher,’ and the ‘other students.’ No one will love your children like you will, and that makes for a pretty amazing learning environment. So, why not start homeschooling today?

In Christ,

Julie

Why homeschool? Enjoy Self-Paced Instruction and Learning

From Our House to Yours

Why homeschool? You can enjoy self-paced instruction and self-paced learning!

In this From Our House to Yours series, we are exploring reasons why you should homeschool. One of the many reasons we enjoy homeschooling is we can take advantage of self-paced instruction, while our children can take advantage of self-paced learning.  Self-paced instruction is any kind of instruction that proceeds based on learner response. There are many different settings where self-paced instruction is employed. It may take place in curriculum, in corporate level training, in technical tutorials, and in a variety of other settings. With self-paced learning, your student can make his own decisions and instead of working within a certain amount of time, he can work with the time that is needed for him to complete his best work.

How I would have loved self-paced instruction and self-paced learning, especially in high school!

I would have loved self-paced instruction and self-paced learning in high school! Let me explain. I used to love high school math class. It was just something I enjoyed and understood well. However, when I finished early, I felt like I was just killing time until the bell rang. It would have been so nice if I could have just moved on to the next math concept! Or, maybe better still, just moved onto my next subject – a natural reward for finishing early.

I also used to love creative writing class. In contrast though, I never felt I had enough time. I would just be on to a new and exciting idea, in my own happy world of choosing just the right words, and then the dreaded bell would ring.

Chemistry posed yet another pacing problem. I needed more time – period. With more time, I could have possibly understood the concepts better, or at least not been in such a rush to finish by the bell that I lit the wooden table on fire with my bunsen burner! How about you? When you think back to your own education, how could have self-paced instruction or self-paced learning positively impacted you and your education?

Ways Heart of Dakota Encourages Self-Paced Instruction

With Heart of Dakota, each guide is complete and has an easy boxed format of plans. This empowers me to spread out the different boxes as time allows throughout my day. Furthermore, I can do the boxes in any order. For example, I never want to rush through Bible Study or devotionals when homeschooling. So, I have always chosen to do Bible first thing in the morning, at a leisurely pace, so I can allow ample time for reading and discussion. Additionally, beginning with Creation to Christ and continuing through U.S. History II high school, plans are just 4 days a week. They are not connected to any seasons, holidays, months, or days of the week. So, I have always chosen to homeschool 5 days a week in the winter and take 2 weeks off at Christmas. These are efficient practical ways I take advantage of pacing my instruction with Heart of Dakota.

Ways Heart of Dakota Encourages Self-Paced Learning

With Heart of Dakota, each guide has a range of ages with multiple levels of language arts and math.  This allows me to place my children in the guide that fits them best, so not all my children at age 10, for example, were doing the same guide. For one of my sons who was a more advanced reader and writer, I placed him in Resurrection to Reformation at 10 years old. I placed another son in Creation to Christ at 10 years old because that fit him best. Likewise, subjects like reading, spelling/dictation, math, and grammar have plans for multiple levels in each guide.  Two of my sons did Drawn into the Heart of Reading Student Book Level 4/5 their 6th grade year with 5/6 Boy Interest Books. One of my sons did Drawn into the Heart of Reading Student Book Level 6/7/8 his sixth grade year with 6/7 Level books. Similarly, they were all in different places in their dictation passages, math levels, and grammar levels.

It is a blessing to enjoy self-paced instruction and self-paced learning now by homeschooling my own children!

Each one of our children has natural God-given abilities and interests. In homeschooling, we can recognize and celebrate that! It is such a blessing to enjoy self-paced instruction and self-paced learning.  With self-paced instruction and self-paced learning, each individual can make the best use of his or her time in order to meet his or her learning objectives.  Teachers of large groups in typical schools must aim the pacing of instruction at the middle third of the students, which means it is not uncommon for a large portion of the group to be either under challenged or over challenged. Likewise, there are just too many students and too few teachers to offer self-paced learning.  Homeschooling with Heart of Dakota gives you the opportunity to embrace both of these efficient and inspiring ways of teaching and learning!  This is just one more reason why you should homeschool!

In Christ,

Julie

 

Give your children a Christian education for a fraction of the cost of private school!

From Our House to Yours

Why should you homeschool?… A Series on Reasons to Homeschool

We often get asked why we homeschool, and if you homeschool, I am sure you do too!  This series is something you can share with friends or families who are considering homeschooling. There are many valid reasons to homeschool. We have been sharing some of them in this Heart of Dakota From Our House to Yours series First, we talked about how you get to spend more time with your children. Second, we talked about how you know what your children did for the day. Third, we talked about how you get to run your own schedule. Fourth, we talked about how you can give your children immediate feedback. Fifth, we talked about how homeschooling is naturally the ideal education model of multi-age, multilevel, and looping. Today, we will talk about how you can give your children a Christian education for a fraction of the cost of private school.

Do you long for your children to have a Christian education?

Today more than ever, we as Christian parents long for our children to have a Christian education. We can see the changes in our public schools, and we know they are not good.  Private schools offer a Christian option for schooling, but we often find them to be too expensive, too far away, or too understaffed.  As Christian parents, we long to share our faith in Jesus with our children. Well, the good news is, with homeschooling, you can!

Does Jesus have a seat in your children’s school?

There’s an extra seat in our house where we homeschool. It is for Jesus, and He is invited every day. His wisdom governs our learning, and His light shines, so filling our house with love that it is transformed! It is now a ‘home’school because He has made His home there. Conversation flows freely, and we can talk with Him all day long.  Lord, what do you think about how the world began? Let’s read about that today in science. Lord, how would you like us to live? Let’s open our Bible for Bible study and see!  Lord, what can we learn from the past? What should we do in the present? And what can we expect in the future?  Let’s look at your Living Word and see how your plans show past history, history unfolding, and history to come!

It is difficult to have a Christian education where Jesus is not welcome.

We will find it difficult to give our children a Christian education where Jesus is not welcome. If our children cannot pray, read their Bible, or use educational materials that are Christian, how will they be able to receive a Christian education?  If Jesus is not welcome, our children will have a very difficult time becoming like Him. We wonder why children are so difficult to discipline, why they have behavior problems, and why they can’t get along. When we remove Jesus from their education, we will be hard pressed to find Him in their behavior.

A Word of Caution

One word of caution – just because you homeschool, it is not a guarantee your children will receive a Christian education. There is pressure today to leave Jesus out of homeschooling too. Government funded programs offer to pay a portion or all of your homeschooling costs – as long as the materials you use aren’t Christian. Various co-ops, programs, groups, etc. outside of the home offer to teach your children for you, but they leave Christ out of their teaching. Even homeschool curriculum programs that used to be solely Christian are publishing a second secular version of homeschooling materials. We too have been advised to do this, but we refuse.  Leaving Jesus out of our curricula would take the ‘heart’ right out of Heart of Dakota.  We have not given into that pressure, so please, don’t you either!

In Closing

In closing, one of the most important reasons why you should homeschool is you can give your children a Christian education. Open the door to Jesus by opening your mind to homeschooling.  Invite Him into your home and into your children’s education, and you will see more and more of Jesus in your children’s thoughts, words, and actions. Moreover, you will see Him in their hearts, souls, and minds – and THAT is an education that lives on forever.

In Christ,

Julie

Why homeschool? You can give your children immediate feedback!

From Our House to Yours

Why should you homeschool?… A Series on Reasons to Homeschool

With so many schooling options, you might wonder why you should homeschool. Or, maybe you are already homeschooling, and you need fresh reasons why you should continue to do so. Well, I’m happy to say, there are many valid reasons to homeschool, and this  Heart of Dakota From Our House to Yours series is focused on sharing them First, we talked about how you get to spend more time with your children. Second, we talked about how you know what your children did for the day. Third, we talked about how you get to run your own schedule. Today, we’ll talk about the fourth reason, which is you can give your children immediate feedback!

I have found it so helpful to give immediate feedback on schoolwork being done incorrectly!

Why is immediate feedback on schoolwork an important reason to homeschool?  Well, students have a much better opportunity to form good work habits with immediate feedback.  The reverse is also true; students all too easily form bad work habits with delayed feedback – especially if it is delayed by days, weeks, or even months.  A child with 20 math problems that is incorrectly working the steps of long division will have a much better habit in place for this skill if the error is corrected with immediate feedback. Likewise, a child that is incorrectly spelling ‘friend’ as ‘frend’ in written work will have a much better chance of spelling it properly if the spelling error is corrected right away rather than weeks later.

I have found it equally helpful to give immediate feedback on schoolwork being done correctly!

Students not only benefit from immediate feedback on schoolwork being done incorrectly, they also benefit from immediate feedback on schoolwork being done correctly! A child who knows they correctly answered the first 5 problems in math will be more likely to confidently work through the remaining problems. Likewise, a child who knows from immediate feedback that he chose a good essay topic, chose good resources, and chose good prewriting ideas will be more likely to successfully and happily write their essay. Children left for days, weeks, or months with no feedback begin to wonder what the purpose of their work is at all.  If no one cares to look at their work, why does their work matter? This is a valid question.

I love Charlotte Mason’s thoughts on the formation of habits! 

Charlotte Mason had much to say about the formation of habits, and habits are greatly impacted by immediate feedback. I will share a few of my favorites below:

Each of us has in his possession an exceedingly good servant or a very bad master, known as Habit.  (Vol. 4, p. 208)

Every day, every hour, the parents are either passively or actively forming those habits in their children upon which, more than upon anything else, future character and conduct depend. (Vol. 1, p. 118)

Every habit has its beginning. The beginning is the idea which comes with a stir and takes possession of us.  (Vol. 2, p. 230)

In closing

In closing, it is such a blessing that you can give your children immediate feedback in homeschooling. Whether your feedback is to correct a poor habit or to encourage a good habit, it always has the power to help your children.  Providing immediate feedback is one of the powerful tools to positively impact students’ learning and achievement. In homeschooling, you can more effectively provide immediate feedback. Even the best of public school teachers with the best intentions of giving immediate feedback simply can’t match you. Twenty-some students just makes it near to impossible!  But, in homeschooling, smaller ‘class sizes’ make immediate feedback easy. So, now you know one more reason why you should homeschool!

In Christ,

Julie

Why homeschool? You run your own schedule!

From Our House to Yours

Why should you homeschool?… A Series on Reasons to Homeschool

There are many reasons to homeschool, and at Heart of Dakota, we are focused on sharing them in this From Our House to Yours series!  First, we talked about how you get to spend more time with your children. Second, we talked about how you know what your children did for the day. Today, we’ll talk about the third reason, which is one of the biggest reasons I love to homeschool!  Simply put, you get to run your own schedule.

#3 – You run your own schedule.

Are you tired of someone else telling you what you have to do, where you have to be, when you have to be there, and how long you have to stay? If you homeschool in your own home and you are the teacher, no one else gets to tell you these things. Why? Because you run your own schedule! This reason to homeschool is so big, I really could divide it into multiple posts. I’ll just touch on some of the big ideas here!

Whether you homeschool or not can depend on the weather!

We have blizzards in South Dakota, and what do public schools do? They call off school. Where are our South Dakota children during some of our nicest months temperature-wise, like spring and fall, when they could actually enjoy playing outside? Indoors, at school. In Arizona, one of the hottest, most unbearable months temperature-wise is July. Where are the children? Stuck indoors, at home, not doing school.  Where are they when Arizona has some of the nicest temperatures, and they could actually enjoy playing outside? Still indoors, but now at school. However, if you choose to homeschool, you run the schedule. If it’s nice outside, your children can be outside. If it’s either a freezing cold blizzard or a stifling hot summer day outside, you can be indoors homeschooling.

Vacation when no one else can!

Do you know how much money you can save when you can vacation when no one else can? A lot! We love to vacation in September. Why? No one else with children in school can. Hotels can be half the cost. Lines to rides or shows or entertainment of any kind can be half as long. Airline tickets can be half the price. VRBO’s can be a fraction of the cost. Restaurants can have half the wait time. National Parks can have half as long of lines of cars. Parking lots actually have places open to park. Hiking trails can have half as many people. Pools can have room to actually swim. Nothing beats vacationing when no one else can!

Pick the best time to homeschool for your family and your children!

Are you an early riser or a night owl? How about your children? When you homeschool, you can pick the best time to homeschool for you and for and your children.  Best of all, not everyone must have the exact same schedule.  If you are an early riser, you can partner with one of your children who is also an early riser and start school earlier with that child. Meanwhile, your child who is not an early riser but is more of a night owl can do some homeschool work at night and sleep in the next morning. Each person can have a say in the homeschool day, and that makes everyone happier!

Sick days, field trip days, special days – you can take them off whenever you want!

It is hard to take days off from public school. You can’t really take them off because the teacher is still assigning work to the rest of the class. That work must be made up, and it piles up, making it almost impossible to catch up or maintain good grades.  This is why sick children are attending school. In homeschooling, if your children are sick, you simply do school a different day. They rest. Recuperate. And no work piles up. They return to homeschool healthy and ready to learn. Likewise, if you want to take a field trip, you can. Or, if there is a special day you want to take off, you do!  We always take our birthdays off.  The birthday person chooses what to have for breakfast, lunch, and supper. He picks a board game to play, a movie to watch, and an activity to play. With homeschooling, you run the schedule, and fun is allowed.

Mealtimes, movement, and moments with Dad are at your discretion!

When does your family like to have mealtimes? Early morning? Late morning? Noon? 1 PM? It’s totally up to you in homeschooling. In public school, your child may need to eat breakfast at 6:30 AM to be able to catch the bus. But, school lunch might not be until 1 PM. That’s a loooooooong time to go without eating and not be allowed to snack!

Do you have an active child? In school, movement is limited. Your child may be sitting at a desk doing seatwork in a crowded room with 20-some other students for long periods of time. Just getting permission to go to the bathroom can be tough!  However, you run the schedule in homeschooling. If your child needs a break, he can get up and move, and return to homeschooling with a fresh mind ready to learn.

Does your husband like to fish? Or to hunt? To toss around a baseball? Or to bike ride?  In homeschooling, your children can join him at any time. He can round up the children impromptu when the weather is just right, and enjoy the day with them anytime his schedule allows it. Moments with Dad can happen any time it works with his schedule, and if your husband is anything like mine, he will love that! These are just a few reasons I think you will love to homeschool!  Fellow homeschool moms and homeschool moms soon to be – never underestimate the blessing of being able to run your own schedule!  It is one of the very best reasons why you should homeschool!

In Christ,

Julie