#4 I have heard homeschooling parents say certain things "count" for learning. How do you know what counts? Is there a state list you have to follow?
This is slightly related to the previous question on my last post. Basically my feeling is if they learned something, it counts. I'll give you an example. We went into the bank right after we started homeschooling to get something out of my safety deposit box. The teller asked me if we homeschooled, since it was a school morning. I told her yes and so she (without my prompting) gave my kids a tour of the bank, showed them how the drive thru worked, the vault and explained how money is transferred from one bank to another, gave them information about loans, interest rates, cd's and some comic books about the American trade system and how it has evolved. She spent a good 45 minutes with them. When we got home, I put that down as 30 minutes of social studies and 15 minutes of math. They learned from it, so it "counted". When we visited the St Louis Arch, we gave credit for history and social studies.
When we read, I may opt to count it towards reading time, or depending on the subject of the book I may count it for history. The girls recently read some books about the underground railroad. I counted part of it for history and part of it towards reading.
When they cook, I count it as home-ec usually. But, if they are halving, doubling or tripling a recipe, I may give them some time for math. (By the way, making pizza's or pies and cutting them is a great way to learn fractions, and you get to eat it!!)
Several TV programs we count--such as things on the history channel, science channel or the program "how its made". A few times I have counted things from a cooking show if the girls copy the recipe and than later make it.
In MO, there is no "state list", other than the 1000 hours per school year, with 600 being in the 5 core subjects as mentioned in the last entry.
By the way, each family can define their own school year. Our school year is July 1 through June 30. We school 365 days a year. Some days, we may only do our reading and Bible. By schooling 365 it comes out to schooling 3 hours a day, which works for our farming lifestyle. However, we generally spend closer to 3.5 or 4 hours a day. On a cold or rainy day we may do an all day project.
I also "count" activities that they do for Girl Scouts, 4H, Bible Bowl and youth group. Some examples here would be bowling, skating, swimming (count as PE), sewing projects for 4H and Girl Scout badges (home ec). Emily is a fire cadet and much of what she has learned we count in science.
#5. I often see homeschoolers, mostly girls, dress differently, such as more dresses, one piece swimwear, shorts to the knees. Are most of you from a certain religion or something?
Well, its called modesty. Which is something you don't see a lot of anymore. I'll climb on my soap box for this one.....(old saying if your young and confused here). I find it disgusting and actually in some cases rather immoral to see a young girl running around in shorts so short her bottom is not even completely covered, low cut shirts and swim suits that show more than what they cover. Our appearance is an advertisement of our self. Our outer appearance is reflective of what is in the inside. Girls, women barely dressed and in heavy make up--what do you think they are advertising?? What do you think others are thinking of them when they see that?? I know, "everyone" is dressing like that....we aren't "everyone". "Everyone" may live next door or in town, but she doesn't live in this house, and neither does "everyone's mother". "Everyone" isn't our leader.
The standard in our home is stomachs covered, (which is a battle when you have girls with long torsos, and clothing makers don't sew well for those..), no low cut necklines, no makeup till 14 and then it is light only, shorts, dresses and shirts must meet the finger tip rule. We don't wear tight clothing or clothing that advertises tobacco or alcohol.
Years ago I worked in and for a time directed a pregnancy crisis center. I saw it over and over and over. Females who did not keep themselves covered in a modest manner made up the majority of our clients. I am not saying that it always comes to that, I am saying it is a HUGE factor. Males are stimulated by sight. Men are always attracted to a lady, physically, before they are connected to her emotionally. In fact, they don't even want to pursue the possibility of an emotional relationship, if the physical attraction isn't there. Females on the other hand are stimulated by touch. Now, if there is a lack of clothing, well, you are setting the scene for something that should not be happening. If a girl (or boy) is still young enough they are being schooled, then she/he should not be in this situation. Don't be advertising something that isn't or should be for sale. That belongs to your future mate, why rob them of it? See http://www.surfinthespirit.com/teens/modest.html for a good article.
Sometimes I do have to laugh at some of the outfits I see. When it was 20 below zero with snow on the ground, I saw a gal with a 6 inch gap between her tank top and her jeans, with no socks and spiked heels on in the grocery store. She was in the checkout line in front of me. You guessed it, she was whining it was cold. She was after attention, and yes she was getting it, however most likely not they type she wanted, as most people were laughing behind her back. She said something to a girl she was with who promptly told her to put on more clothes!
This also goes for guys. I still haven't figured out the thing about wearing your pants 8 inches below your underwear. Why would you want anyone to look at your underwear. Hello, its called UNDERwear because it is to be worn UNDER your clothes...
Would you wear that outfit to go have dinner with Jesus?? If not, then you better not wear it. First Timothy 2:9, states, "In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel." First Corinthians 7:31, "And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away."
As for the religion part of the question, many of us, but not all, do homeschool for religious reasons. So, that may be why you are associating the modest dress with homeschooling. In some areas church's sponsor homeschool groups and the church also has a dress code for when their facility is being used.
6 Are homeschoolers allowed to watch TV?
Yes, at least in our house, but with limits. First, we limit the amount of time Some days it is never even turned on, such as days when my husband is at work, or sleeping if he is working nights. Other days, it is on probably more than it should be. Second, we also limit WHAT we watch. We don't watch just anything. The girls for the most part are limited to G movies, although there are some they have watched, such as "The Diary of Anne Frank" that are not G.
Some families don't have TV, and others only have TV just for videos--just as any other family. TV is not governed anywhere by a "homeschool rule".
7 What materials are required to have on hand to homeschool
Well, "required" would probably be patience, a place to learn undisturbed by TV, books, library card, dictionary, paper and pencils. It's more like what do you need for what you are teaching and what aged child. I can give you a list of what we have in our classroom for 2 in the 6th grade and one in the 8th grade.
First, understand I did not run out and buy it all at once. I sort of started "collecting" items when we decided to homeschool, which was a year before we actually started. Also, many things I already had or obtained from garage sales, ebay, free cycle, craigslist, friends and family. In fact, I paid for very very little of it.
We have over 1500 books on various subjects from preschool through college level, including text books, fiction, non fiction, and over all sorts of subjects. Many came from library sales at a nickle each. We have 3 double library style bookcases full, in additio to one more in the classroom, plus bookcases in each girls bedroom.
We have microscopes for each child, a globe, maps, posters galore--many obtained free for the asking off of various websites, computer, printer & scanner, pens, pencils, art supplies including paints, beads, jewerly making items, glues, construction paper, clay, paper, crayons, colored pencils and markers.
We have clocks, CD player, TV & dvd, vhs player, rulers, calculators, notecards, dissecting kits, beakers, bunson burner, test tubes, prepared slides (which I got dirt cheap off of ebay--like $5 for 100 slides), videos (again many free found online), flags, play money and real money from other countries, compass, tape--for some reason we use lots and lots of tape.
We have tons of posters I obtained free. Some are medical posters obtained just by asking a drug rep I ran into in a doctors office parking lot. Some came from the extension office (they show the various types of meats and the cuts and horse and cow breeds, and one on genes), free posters on trees and such from the conservation office.
Many of our 3 ring notebooks we got free from (drum roll please....) dumpster diving. Many businesses through them out--ask around and you can probably obtain a source. We also have many file folders that came for free from an insurance company that went "paperless"
Copy paper I buy by the case from office depot when they are on sale and have the rebate--about once every 2 months they run this special. Since I sub teach I also have a star teacher card and get a % back as well.
Ink cartridges I refill at Walgreen when they have their $5 refill specials, and when they are old and tired I take them to Office Depot for a $3 credit.
We have various flip charts, and 5 large file cabinets full of lesson plans I have collected. I confess, when I sub, if I see something good as far as a worksheet or plan, I do copy it.
We have info on all 50 states, which I got for free by signing up for the travel package for that state. Usually a map is included, with information as to the industry, land, ag, recreation and more. Enough to do a unit study for the state.
We have a collection of old phone books--they are great to teach alphabetizing and also to use when painting to protect the table.
We have a weather station outside. We are weather spotters, so for reporting rainfalls on line, we were given free a rain gauge and thermometer as well as weather posters and books. I spent $19 on ebay buying a windsock for it. Off of freecycle we received a free weather station for indoors--it contains a weather radio and electronic barometer.
We also keep our sewing machines in our classroom, as we sew and the classroom table is a great sewing surface.
Once I announced we were going to homeschool, I had people give me and offer me all sorts of stuff. Most we were able to use, what we couldn't we passed on to others. This is how we got our globe and one set of encyclopedias.
Some items were given as gifts--such as Emily's sewing machine--that was her birthday present one year. (She was tired of sharing mine).
Also, if you go to trade shows, and don't mind advertising, you can stock up on items such as pens, pencils, rulers, notepads, calenders and more.
#8 What do I need to do to start homeschooling? I have been watching blogs, websites and such and am leaning that direction.
Then you are already off to a good start for getting ideas.
First, check your state laws.
Then, what aged child are you teaching? You can get your books or you can go bookless and use the library for your resources. Determine what you are teaching then what you need.
For example, if you are teaching telling time, you need a clock. If you are teaching counting, you probably have a younger child and need items to count that they won't choke on. If you are teaching counting money, then either use real money or get pretend at the $1 store.
If you are teaching colors, gather items of various colors, the ABC's--make some flash cards and cut out pictures of items starting with that letter.
Go to a teacher supply store (without money!!!) and just wander and get ideas and make a list. Then, after you think it over and check out ebay, purchase what you think you will actually use. Check for used first. Call libraries and schools to see when they offer their used book or surplus sales. Also check your state (including state colleges) surplus sales for items such as microscopes or computers.
9 Is homeschooling more expensive than public schooling? What are your costs??
No, at least not for us--it is much, much cheaper.
I would probably spend $1000 per year on school supplies, tennis shoes, school clothes or school uniforms, books, backpacks and such for 3 girls to attend public school. Even more in the private setting (which is what we came out)
This year, since I bought Emilys alpha omega lifepacs, I spent around $250. That is $250 total for all 3 girls. Part of what I bought came new from ebay, and the rest I bought new at the Christian bookstore. This is the most I have spent since we began homeschooling. I will probably spend more before the school year is out, but not a whole lot.
Some families pay for online learning and others buy computer programs. Those routes are more expensive.
Basically you can homeschool and spend whatever your budget is--there is no set amount.
To track their grades, I use the free version of homeschool tracker, found online. I downloaded it and was done with it.
This answers the first 9 quetions. The next time I blog I will answer the ones that were added on during comments.