Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A "Soft Start" to the Homeschool Year

Came across this article this morning, calling for a "soft start" to the homeschool year. I have done this for years, as have a number of other homeschool families I know. We call it "easing in".  The idea is that instead of having a "first day of school" where you jump into all your subjects, we start slowly, with just one or two subjects a week, until we are at full schedule.   It helps both student and teacher to get adjusted to new subjects, new schedules, new routines, without feeling overwhelmed.

I only have one high schooler left at home, so for my 10th/11th grader (5 year plan), it looks like this.  Two weeks ago he started Algebra 2, which involves meeting 2 mornings a week with a teacher for a small group tutorial, and also his weekly basketball training session.  That's all the "school" he did for 2 weeks. This week we add Chemistry and Spanish, for which he attends class one morning a week and works independently the rest of the week.  We also started watching some history videos. Two weeks from now,  we will add English (literature/writing/vocab), which I will be teaching 2 days a week here at our house, with 6 other students. We'll also start back with guitar that week.  We'll be working on a nutrition elective a little at a time as well, and I have a list of books for us to work through -  biographies, Christian worldview, character, etc - so I'll probably start that next week, with  me having one read-aloud going ( yes, for a 16-year-old!!) and him having another that he is working on.  I'm also determined to get him in the kitchen and teach that boy to cook this year.  Being the baby, he is much too accustomed to Mom taking care of him, and seems to know to how to get me to do it without me even realizing.... voodoo, I tell you.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Homeschool Growth is HUGE in NC

The following article was posted in The Locker Room, the John Locke Foundation's statewide issues blog.  The statistics are even more amazing when you take into account that the numbers are an estimate based on 1.5 children per family ( not true of the majority of homeschoolers I know) and also does not include children under age 7, since that is the age of compulsory education in NC.

The jaw-dropping growth of homeschooling in N.C. 
Posted on July 29, 2014 at 12:29 pm, by Terry Stoops 

Earlier this month, I reported that the estimated number of homeschoolers hit an all-time high of 98,172 students during the 2013-14 school year. The N.C. Division of Non-Public Education published the disaggregated data this week, so I examined estimated homeschool enrollment, by county, over the last five years. We know that the total number of homeschool students more than doubled between the 2008-09 and 2013-14 school years. But consider the following: 1. Overall, 92 of North Carolina’s 100 counties had triple digit percentage growth in enrollment over the last five years. Wowza! 2. Last year, 28 of the state’s 100 counties had over 1,000 homeschool students. Five years ago, only seven counties reached that enrollment level. 3. The median number of homeschool students per county was 570 last year. Five years ago, it was 249. 4. Homeschool enrollment in two counties – Harnett and Onslow – grew by over 200 percent. Moore County’s 193 percent growth rate fell a little short. Better luck next time. 5. Last year, there were an estimated 9,559 homeschool students in Wake County. Wake had the largest five-year enrollment increase in North Carolina, adding 5,788 students, and is poised to become the first county in the state to enroll over 10,000 homeschoolers. Interestingly, Wake’s homeschool enrollment beat Mecklenburg County by well over 2,000 students.