Tuesday June 18, 2013
It seems everyday you read another story about how much college costs, how much debt college graduates are burdened with, and how little a college degree helps when it comes to finding a job.
With one son halfway through his college years and another one coming up fast, this is a topic that fascinates me right now. My new article reviews Don't Go Back to School by Kio Stark, a book that addresses the question of whether you can learn what you need to know without college and still succeed.
Stark knows how to get things done without going through the normal channels. In 2011, Stark launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the book. It attracted 1,588 backers, who paid a total of $38,928 to help Stark get her book out to the public. That's just one of the things that makes Don't Go Back to School an interesting read for homeschoolers and non-homeschoolers alike.
Monday June 17, 2013
I went to college in Montreal, and my family goes back to visit every year. We love the Botanical Gardens, the Biosphere, the bike paths and the bagels. But we also go there to speak French.
With a major French-speaking city only a few hours' drive away from our home, it made sense to choose French as the foreign language I would homeschool with my kids. When we visit, we always stop in one of the big bookstores and replenish our supply of French books, magazines, videos, and CDs.
We try to order meals in French, and we even took a French-language biking tour of an outdoor sculpture garden. Of course, Montreal is big enough to support communities that speak many different languages, and we enjoy experiencing many of them whenever we're in town.
My new article on Homeschooling a Foreign Language includes tips, advice, and resources to help you cover the language of your choice with your kids. Visiting ethnic communities near your home or on vacation is one of my favorite suggestions. How do you homeschool a foreign language?
Image: Flickr/James Cridland
Wednesday June 12, 2013
Continuing my summer enrichment series, this week I've added a new lesson plan that shows families how to Design a Solar Cooker.
You can find many designs for solar cookers online, but building one is not hard. So instead of giving step-by-step instructions, I boiled the project down to its basic components, and made figuring out the best way to create them part of the activity. Once you've got the hang of it, you might want to try to build a model big enough to make a meal. The directions on NASA's Climate Kids website are a good place to start.
Image: Kathy Ceceri
Tuesday June 11, 2013
One of the biggest puzzles for me as a new homeschooler was how to work with my older son when my younger son was still a toddler. Luckily, I had a large community of homeschoolers nearby to consult.
One mother told me her rambunctious preschooler pretty much kept her from doing any homeschooling with the older two for an entire year. "But at the end of the year," she added, "my six-year-old was reading." The message? Even when it seems like you're getting nothing accomplished, there's still a lot of learning going on.
Since then, I've acquired a few more strategies for working with kids at different ages and stages. If this is an issue at your house, check out my new article with 5 Tips for Homeschooling Multiple Ages.
Image: Kathy Ceceri