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Other titles in the Absolute Beginner's Guides series:
Absolute Beginner's Guide to Home Schooling (Absolute Beginner's Guides)by Brad Miser
Synopses & Reviews
Who knew how simple Homeschooling could be?
Tens of millions of parents like you have decided that the best way to prepare their children for life is by educating them at home instead of at a traditional private or public school. No matter the reason you are considering homeschooling for your children's education, Absolute Beginner's Guide to Homeschooling outlines all of the legal, social, educational and logistical considerations that are part of the decision. With helpful and easy-to-read advice about everything from building curricula and setting up a home school classroom, to incorporating extracurricular activities like sports and field trips, this book will provide valuable help and ways to expand your children's homeschooling experience.
Absolute Beginner's Guide to Homeschooling will help you decide if homeschooling is the best choice for your children's education and then guide you to the curriculum tools and community resources you need to make the most of at-home classes and activities. Here's a small sample of what you'll find inside:
Absolute Beginner' s Guide to HomeschoolingAbsolute Beginner' s Guide to Homeschooling
Who knew how simple Homeschooling could be?
Tens of millions of parents have decided that the best way to prepare their children for life is by educating them at home instead of at a traditional private or public school. No matter the reason you are considering homeschooling for your children' s education, "Absolute Beginner' s Guide to Homeschooling outlines all of the legal, social, educational, and logistical considerations that are part of the decision. With helpful and easy-to-read advice about everything from building curricula and setting up a home school classroom, to incorporating extracurricular activities like sports and field trips, this book will provide valuable help and ways to expand your children' s homeschooling experience.
"Absolute Beginner' s Guide to Homeschooling will help you decide if homeschooling is the best choice for your children' s education and then guide you to the curriculum tools and community resources you need to make the most of at-home classes and activities. Here' s a small sample of what you' ll find inside:
Learn the benefits and drawbacks of homeschooling and all of the factors you need to take into account when deciding between home school and traditional public or private schools
Determine the legal and educational requirements for the state you live in and how they affect your day-to-day homeschooling regimen
Find valuable lists of resources like homeschooling organizations, curriculum providers, and networking groups that will enhance your homeschooling experience
Discover the different ways youcan test your child' s true educational level, personality type, and learning style and then create personalized lesson plans for each subject
Set up your homeschooling classroom including workstations, a library, audio-visual equipment, computer access, and progress testing
Add unique learning experiences to your homeschooling curriculum, including field trips, sports, music, work or volunteer activities, online courses, and tutor or mentor programs
Brad Miser has been involved in the homeschooling movement for more than ten years and, with his wife, has educated his three children at home. He has been active in teaching his children as well as working on curriculum decisions, testing and evaluating progress, and finding ways to create a fun and valuable learning experience for them. Brad is currently the senior technical communicator with a software development company where he is responsible for all product documentation and online help systems. He is also a well-known computer book author writing on topics such as Macintosh operating systems, digital video, and digital audio.
About the Author
Brad Miser has written many books, most of which teach people how to use computers and other technology. The books Brad has written include: Absolute Beginner's Guide to the iPod and iTunes; Special Edition Using Mac OS X, v10.3 Panther; Mac OS X and iLife: Using iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie, and iDVD; iDVD 3 Fast & Easy; Special Edition Using Mac OS X v10.2, Mac OS X and the Digital Lifestyle; Special Edition Using Mac OS X; The iMac Way; The Complete Idiot's Guide to iMovie 2; The Complete Idiot's Guide to the iMac; and Using Mac OS 8.5. He has also been an author, development editor, or technical editor on more than 50 other titles. He has been a featured speaker on various topics at Macworld Expo, at user group meetings, and in other venues.
Brad has been involved in homeschooling for more than 10 years. He and his wife homeschool their three children, whose ages range from 9 to 15. Brad has been active in helping with curriculum decisions, testing and evaluating progress, teaching, and other activities. He has also attended homeschool conventions and regularly interacts with many other homeschool families.
Brad is the senior technical communicator for an Indianapolis-based software development company. Brad is responsible for all product documentation, training materials, online help, and other communication materials. He also manages the customer support operations for the company and provides training and account management services to its customers. Previously, he was the lead engineering proposal specialist for an aircraft engine manufacturer, a development editor for a computer book publisher, and a civilian aviation test officer/engineer for the U.S. Army. Brad holds a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo (1986) and has received advanced education in maintainability engineering, business, and other topics.
Once a native of California, Brad now lives in Brownsburg, Indiana, with his wife Amy; their three daughters, Jill, Emily, and Grace; and their guinea pig, Buddy.
Brad would love to hear about your experiences with this book (the good, the bad, and the ugly). You can write to him at email@example.com.
Table of Contents
About the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Homeschooling.
I. MAKING THE DECISION TO HOMESCHOOL.
1. What Is Homeschooling All About?
What Is Homeschool?
Why Do People Homeschool?
Great Things About Homeschooling.
Not So Great Things About Public (or Private) School.
Homeschooling Isn’t New: A Brief History of Education.
How Many Homeschoolers Are There?
2. Deciding to Homeschool—or Not.
Making the Choice: Is Homeschool Right for Your Family?
What Is Needed from You to Homeschool Successfully?
What Is Needed from Your Spouse to Homeschool Successfully?
What Is Needed from Your Kids to Homeschool Successfully?
What Is Needed from Your Family to Homeschool Successfully?
Making a Decision to Homeschool.
You’ve Decided to Homeschool, Now What?
3. Determining the Legal Requirements for Homeschool in Your Area.
What Has Your State Government or Local School System Got to Do with Homeschool?
Determining the Legal Requirements in Your State.
Types of State Regulations Related to Homeschool.
How to Determine Your State’s Regulations.
Indiana: An Example of a State with Least Regulation.
California: An Example of a State with Minimal Regulation.
Iowa: An Example of a State with Moderate Regulation.
New York: An Example of a State with Significant Regulation.
Determining the Legal Requirements for Your School System or Local Government.
Determining the Legal Requirements for Your
School System or Local Government.
Managing Your Relationship with Local School Officials (if Necessary).
Notifying the State About Your Homeschool.
Documenting Legal Requirements for Your Homeschool.
Monitoring Legal Activity Regarding Homeschooling.
4. Defending Your Decision to Homeschool.
Responding to Other People’s Concerns About Your Decision to Homeschool.
Effectiveness of Education/Qualifications to Teach.
Sports and Activities.
Defending Against Formal Attacks to Your Homeschool.
II. PREPARING TO HOMESCHOOL.
5. Locating and Networking with Other Homeschoolers.
Understanding Why a Homeschool Network Is So Important.
Connecting with Other Homeschoolers (You Probably Know Some
Finding Homeschooling Mentors.
Understanding and Finding Local Homeschool Groups.
What Are Homeschool Groups?
What Kind of Homeschool Groups Do I Want to Participate In?
Finding a Homeschool Group.
Getting Involved with Homeschool Associations.
Finding a Homeschool Association.
Participating in a Homeschool Association.
Participating in Homeschool Conventions, Conferences, and Seminars.
6. Preparing to Teach Your Children.
Preparing for School.
Assessing Your Students.
Determining Each Child’s Current Education Level.
Determining Each Child’s Learning Style.
Understanding the Basic Types of Personality That Impact Learning Styles.
Putting the Preferences Together.
Assessing a Child’s Personality Preferences.
Teaching Based on Personality Preferences.
7. Planning Subjects and Obtaining Teaching Materials for a School Year.
Choosing the Subjects You Will Teach in a School Year.
Building the Curricula You Will Use.
What Is a Curriculum and Why Is It Important?
Identifying Academic Elements of a Curriculum.
Identifying Experiential Elements of a Curriculum.
Identifying Needs for a Tutor or Outside Classes for a Curriculum.
Understanding the Relationship Between Learning Styles and Curricula Choices.
Using Unit Studies.
Developing a Curriculum.
Understanding and Obtaining the Teaching Materials Available to Your Homeschool.
Determining the Teaching Materials You Need.
Researching Available Materials.
Choosing and Obtaining Teaching Materials.
Learning About Your Teaching Materials.
Organizing and Preparing Teaching Materials for Your Homeschool.
8. Preparing a Classroom in Your Home.
Developing a Home Classroom.
Choosing a Location.
Creating a Layout.
Creating Learning Stations.
Creating a Teaching Station.
Building a Homeschool Library.
Adding a Computer and the Internet to Your Classroom.
Choosing a Computer.
Connecting Your Classroom to the Internet.
Stocking Your Computer with Software.
Adding Audio-Visual Equipment to Your Classroom.
Creating Storage and Archive Areas.
Creating and Maintaining “Active Storage”.
Creating and Maintaining “Archival” Storage.
9. Creating Lesson Plans and Schedules.
What Are Lesson Plans and Why Are They Important?
Defining Your School Year.
Planning Your School Year.
Creating and Maintaining a Homeschool Calendar and Schedule.
Creating Lesson Plans.
Creating a Lesson Plan: A Simple Example.
Creating a Lesson Plan: A More Complex Example.
Putting Together All the Lesson Plans for a Student.
Updating Lesson Plans.
10. Transitioning a Child from Public or Private School to Homeschool.
Understanding the Reasons for Transitioning from “Regular” School to Homeschool.
Withdrawing a Child from Public School.
Withdrawing a Child from Private School.
Helping a Student Make the Change from Public or Private School to Homeschool.
Dealing with Social Anxiety.
Dealing with Increased Flexibility or Lack of Structure (Depending on One’s Point of View).
Dealing with the Need for Separation from You.
Dealing with the Need for Separation from Siblings.
Helping a Child Keep in Touch with School Friends.
III. MANAGING A HOMESCHOOL155
11. Conducting Homeschool Classes Effectively.
Running a Homeschool.
Developing Weekly and Daily Schedules.
Teaching Your Students.
Understanding the Basic Teaching Options.
Adjusting Your Teaching Style to a Child’s Age and Learning Style.
Teaching Multiple Students at the Same Time.
Having Students Teach Other Students.
Updating Future Schedules Based on Current Results.
12. Documenting Your Homeschool.
Understanding Why Documenting Your Homeschool Activities Is So Important.
Keeping Homeschool Records.
Keeping Daily Records.
Keeping Weekly Records.
Keeping Test Documentation.
Keeping Other Documentation.
Organizing and Archiving Your Homeschool Documentation.
Keeping Your Active Documentation Current and Organized.
Archiving Your Homeschool Documentation.
Documenting Homeschool Accomplishments with Portfolios.
13. Planning and Taking Field Trips.
Adding Field Trips to Your Homeschool.
Identifying Potential Field Trips.
Participating in Field Trips Other People Plan.
Planning for a Field Trip 194
Identifying a Field Trip.
Planning a Field Trip.
Coordinating a Field Trip with Other Homeschoolers.
Conducting a Field Trip.
Documenting a Field Trip.
Including Vacations in Your Homeschool.
14. Incorporating Music Lessons, Sports, Service Work, and Other Experiences into Your Homeschool.
Music and Your Homeschool.
Attending Concerts and Other
Learning to Read Music and Play a Musical Instrument.
Exercise, Sports, and Your Homeschool.
Making Exercise Part of Your School Days.
Finding Sports Activities for Your Students.
Incorporating Sports into Your Homeschool.
Service/Volunteer Work and Your Homeschool.
Finding Service/Volunteer Opportunities.
Incorporating Service/Volunteer Work into Your Homeschool.
Other Activities to Include in Your Homeschool.
Using Jobs or Home Businesses in Your Homeschool.
Adding Hobbies and Other Interests to Your Homeschool.
15. Incorporating Home Projects into Your Homeschool.
Identifying a Home Project.
Integrating a Home Project into Lesson Plans (or Lesson Plans into a Home Project).
Working on a Home Project During School (or Doing School While Working on a Home Project).
Documenting a Home Project for Homeschool Purposes.
16. Homeschooling with Tutors, Outside Classes, and Online Courses.
Understanding Why Tutors, Outside Classes, and Online Classes Are Beneficial.
Using Tutors in Your Homeschool.
Working with Tutors.
Adding Outside Classes to Your Homeschool.
Finding Outside Classes.
Working with Outside Classes.
Adding Online Classes to Your Homeschool.
Finding Online Courses.
Working with Online Courses.
Integrating Tutors, Outside, and Online Classes into Your Homeschool.
Documenting the Results of Tutoring and Outside Classes.
17. Evaluating the Progress of Your Students.
Understanding the Evaluation Methods You Can Use.
Testing Your Students Using Curriculum-Based Tests.
Testing Your Students Using Reports and Other Projects.
Testing Your Students Using Standardized Tests.
Choosing and Obtaining Standardized Tests.
Administering Standardized Tests.
Obtaining and Using the Results of Standardized Tests.
Giving Your Students Grades.
Promoting Your Students to the Next Grade Level.
Making Changes Based on Your Evaluations.
18. Deciding If and When to Transition Students to Public or Private School.
Knowing If and When to Move a Student Back to “Regular” School.
Preparing a Homeschooled Student to Move to Public or Private School.
Managing the Education of a Child Who Has Been Homeschooled in Public or Private School.
Preparing a Homeschooled Student for College.
IV. HOMESCHOOL RESOURCES.
A: Homeschool Associations and Conventions by State.
B: Homeschool Curriculum and Teaching Material Publishers and Retailers.
Sources of Materials for Your Homeschool.
The Elijah Company.
Apologia Educational Ministries.
Christian Book Distributors.
Alpha Omega Publications.
God’s World Book Club.
Barnes & Noble.com.
Heart of Wisdom Publishing.
What Our Readers Are Saying