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Team Learning, Single Parents Homeschooling

By Lynn Hogan

Added Friday, July 15, 2005

The Homeschooler's Notebook
Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
Vol. 6 No 28    July 15, 2005
ISSN: 1536-2035
Copyright (c) 2000-2005 Lynn Hogan. All Rights Reserved.

Welcome to the Homeschooler's Notebook!

If you like this newsletter, recommend it to a friend. We all
need to be helping each other with our schools!



Notes from Lynn:
-- Team Learning
Helpful Hints
-- On-Line Teacher Resources
Question of the Week:
-- Send yours next week!
Reader's Response
-- Single Parents that Homeschool?
Lynn's Picks
-- Eclectic Homeschool On-Line


It's been a busy week with a number of issues coming up. One of
which came from a close friend who was asking me how I chose
how to structure my homeschool. She was torn with wanting to
use a number of different curriculums and styles. Like many of
us, she is in information overload. She is homeschooling 3
children and at least 2 of them are opposites in virtually
everything. How about you, have you been there, done that?

Life in the workplace has changed quite a bit in the last 20
years. Have you ever heard of employees doing teamwork to make
a project happen? Lately there have been traditional jobs that
involve two part time people filling what would have been one
individual's full time job. This arrangement can often get the
best work out of each employee because they are not stressed
out trying to work a full time job when that would not be best
for their family.

So what does this have to do with YOUR homeschool? It can be a
struggle to find that perfect curriculum for each child.
Sometimes you just need to make yourself choose one and then
start tweaking it to work for your school. If you have a
student that LOVES to read, he or she can read to a younger or
older student that prefers not to read. That other student
might enjoy drawing pictures about what he is listening to, or
building a lego model of what he is learning about. It is
absolutely amazing how, when we allow our children to team up
(with some strong parental involvement and support), they can
accomplish so very much!

There are some things that can be learned in less than
traditional ways. This we have discussed many times before.
Sometimes the non-traditional way is to be listening instead of
actually reading. a book to gather the same information.
Sometimes taking notes during the science experiment instead of
actually being the one mixing the chemicals can help a student
recognize what the experiment demonstrates. This does not mean
that a student that doesn't like to read should NEVER have to
read and the student that likes to draw should ONLY draw during
school, but it is helpful when you CAN teach to the child's
strengths, that you get more cooperation and your student
learns more!

Homeschooling can be a challenge. Although every day may not be
perfect, it can be do-able. It's a matter of looking for
practical things that you can facilitate to make your home an
enjoyable experience at the same time you are reaching for
academic excellence. You CAN do this!




Federal Resources for Educational Excellence The most dynamic
Web site for teaching and learning resources from more than 35
federal organizations is just one click away. The Federal
Resources for Educational Excellence (FREE) site recently added
to its "New Resources" collection 30 online resources ranging
from arts to science education.
http://free.ed.gov/ - Heather


My daughter is in fourth grade. She had her first California
state narrative writing test and I feel I need to work with her
more. I am an engineer myself. I was never very good at
creative writing. Please let me know how can I help her out
from now on so that she does better in her creative writing.
- Chandana


NOTE: my publication of these responses does not necessarily
mean that I endorse a product or an activity. You make your own
decisions about how these responses might work in YOUR school!

I am just curious if you have ever run into any single parents
who home school. Can it be done? What would be the easiest way
to proceed?

I homeschooled preschoolers and a high schooler. You need to
proceed as any homeschooling family does.

Research the different styles of homeschooling and find a match
with your learning style philosophy. Some call for a lot of
parental effort, while others are very low key. If one
philosophy doesn't work out, be willing to try another.

Set up a schedule that will work for your family. Since you
probably have to work outside of the home, arrange for day care
(hopefully with a family member or another homeschool family).
Remember that homeschool often takes only 2 hours per day. Take
advantage of weekends to do field trips. Have your kids help
you with the work of running a home -- cooking, cleaning, yard
work. They learn from such activities, in addition to book
learning. You will need to be organized about daily life, with
an emphasis on routines.

The most important aspect of homeschooling is your own attitude.
Keep it loving but firm, and you should do well.

Yes, single parents do home school! I once was one of them. I
worked a second shift job that allowed me to educate my 2 girls
at home. When I started working 8-4:30 I switched to doing
several of their subjects to the afternoon and evening. It's
not any different than helping your child with their homework.

Now I am working with a woman who is going to start
homeschooling this fall with her 2 little girls. Yes, you can
do this - it just takes a little more planning than if you are
home all the time. - Karen

I am a never married mom. My 14 year old son has never been
anything but homeschooled. It can be done. It's hard to say
where to begin. I guess the best place is to figure out if
your custody agreement would allow it. If you have an involved
non-custodial parent, you must have their support unless you
have a provision in your custody agreement which gives you
control over education. The next place is to figure out when
you will be able to teach (i.e time of day, days of week,
months..basically a rough schedule) , child care (if necessary),
working options, applicable laws. After all that is figured
out, I would recommend looking at various methods and
curriculum options. Decide if traditional methods
(text/workbook) is the best or if you would prefer Charlotte
Mason, Delight Directed Studies, Unit Studies, Eclectic or
Unschooling. Knowing some sort of schedule will help with this
area. Remember school doesn't have to take place Mon-Fri and
between 8am-3pm, Sept-May. You can do school at 8pm and on Sat.
and during July or holiday. You don't have to be tied down to
the public school schedule and for many singles it's downright

I run a list for single parents at yahoogroups called 1Parent_hs
and have a very new one for those with high schoolers
(1Parent_hs_high-schoolers). Single parents will find lots of
support there...but not tons of email so as to overload them.
We are busy enough. There are a few other lists there that
are helpful. Some are specific to single parents (HS1Mom) and
some aren't. The group WORKandHOMESCHOOL has many single
parents on it as well. I think there are a couple others out
there. - Melissa

I am a single married homeschool mom (separated and standing for
the restoration of my marriage). How do I do it? By God's
grace and loving kindness. I do receive some financial support
from my husband, but finances are tight. I have learned in
this last year to ALWAYS bring EVERYTHING to the Lord first.
When I do that, He provides for our needs well above and
beyond what family or friends could do. Sometimes He uses
family or friends, but when it comes from God without them
knowing about my specific need, it is a neat confirmation of my
Heavenly Father's care for me. - Becky

I was a single parent homeschooling my oldest son until I
remarried when he was in the fifth grade. I worked days and
homeschooled him in the evenings and on weekends. I knew non-
homeschooling parents who were putting in more hours a day
helping their child with homework then I was homeschooling. At
first we just concentrated on the basics of reading then after
He learned to read I would leave reading assignments for him to
do during the day with my mom (babysitter). His reading
assignments were on history, science, geography, people, health
etc.... Then I would help him with math, spelling and English
/ writing skills when I came home. As he got older I was able
to leave him an assignment sheet every morning then we would go
over his work that evening. (If he didn't understand something
he would just wait till I got home - he was to never try it on
his own - It's much easier to teach new then to un-teach a
wrong skill). My advice stick with the basics and give them a
solid foundation. Apparently, it worked for us, my son is now a
sophomore in college and doing well. Good Luck!!! It can be
done!!!!! - Debbie

I personally know four single-parent homeschool families. One
of them is single because of divorce, the other three are
widows. One family has eight children, one has seven, one has
four, and the other has one child. Yes, it can be done! The
children in these families are tremendous blessings to their
mothers and provide so much help and encouragement for them --
in ways they never could do if they were gone from home all day.
The relationships in the families are very close. One of the
mothers has a full-time job, and she takes her children with
her. They use video courses for their lessons, and they are
able to do most of the videos while their mom is working.
Another mother has her own part-time business which she
operates from her home and seems to manage her time very well.
I also know of a single homeschool father, but am not
personally acquainted with that family. I do know that he uses
a lot of computer resources to teach his children, and that his
children also go to work with him and study while he's working.
He has six children.

I did a search on the internet and typed in "single parent
homeschoolers", and there were a large number of results. That
might be a good place for you to start. - Mary Beth


This website used to be subscription only and has now gone to
putting their great information back on the website available
to all. The Eclectic Homeschool Online's resources are now all
totally free and available to all visitors. There's 2500+ pages
of resources, downloads, resource reviews, articles...so much
stuff that we've compiled for the last decade.I wanted to let
you know that the Eclectic Homeschool Online's resources are
now all totally free and available to all visitors. There's
2500+ pages of resources, downloads, resource reviews, articles.
..so much stuff that we've compiled for the last decade.

Next - Putting Your House in Order and De-Stressing
Previous - FUN? Can Homeschooling be FUN?

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