This collaboration is being hosted by Kelsey at Teaching Tiny Disciples
Check out the whole playlist
This collaboration is being hosted by Kelsey at Teaching Tiny Disciples
Check out the whole playlist
I am so excited to talk about growing this community and making it more of a community! I have been making videos and homeschooling for a long time. But as my children are getting older I can change my focus to being here consistently! Part of my vision is build out more of a community and I am going to be using Patreon to do it.
There are a variety of benefits and incentives to join in! Depending on the level, you will get quarterly webinars, online hangouts, a moderated Discord server for you and your families, and even private coaching! If you don’t need a community but want to support us, there is even a $2 level!
Please pop over to Patreon to get details and to join our community!
Are you concerned about your homeschool high school graduate will be missing out on the experience of a high school graduation? Have no fear your homeschool high school graduation can have all the trimmings of a “normal” graduation! When children graduate from a public school it seems they always have a ton of things they need to order from a specialty store like Jostens to have a graduation ceremony so where is a homeschooler to start to just buy enough for 1 or 2 students? Have no fear, it is easy to get all the things you need for your homeschooled graduating high school students to have a pretty traditional graduation and they are all available on Amazon Prime.
A graduation gown with a hat and a tassel are a non-negotiable for homeschool high school graduation to feel like a traditional graduation ceremony😉. I know that I still have my tassel from my high school graduation back when the dinosaurs roamed the earth. Our homeschool group gets gowns from a traditional graduation event company but that isn’t the only way. You can pick up the entire gown, hat, and tassel set from Amazon for only like $25! And you can choose from all the sizes and quite a few colors. I found one specific one but there are a variety to choose from.
When I was graduating from high school (and when I got my Associates) there were a variety of sashes and cords for different achievements. I personally had a sash in college for Cum Laude (grades) and for actually graduating during Covid😉. But in high school there were different things for honors societies and accomplishments. You can choose a variety of colors and styles on Amazon. Sashes https://amzn.to/3KUgXcM Cords https://amzn.to/43uJjBA
Having a degree is kind of the whole point of doing a graduation ceremony. But that can look like a couple things. Remember, you typically never show the actual certificate😉. One option is a tube. Yes, a tube. When I graduated recently from the Junior College they handed out a tube. But it wasn’t empty, it had instructions on how to get our actual diploma😉. They do have an elegant look and are easy to set on a shelf and can store any cords you use.
We do a diploma cover, and we get it in a boring black. We just got one from Amazon for $10 right and they do have it in other colors. Then if you can to be able to display it, you will need a frame too!
There is a ton of clothing out there for the graduating class. Do you want a sweatshirt (https://amzn.to/3GJAZEl ) or a t-shirt ( https://amzn.to/3L1jwdm )? How about themed shirts ( https://amzn.to/3L0ODpi ). You can choose a ton of different colors and styles.
I don’t know when yard signs became a thing, but they are. There are companies around in my area that create custom hard board graduation signs that are about 2 feet by 1 foot starting at $75. If they make it through living in the front yard, then you have to figure out how to store it as a keepsake. And I don’t want my kid’s full name and school in the front yard. Ok, mini rant over.
But I am not a total joy kill. There are a lot of yard sign and display options. You can get a 9 foot sign with a bunch of balloons for only $16! And have 3 different color choices. If you do want a spot to write a message or even put your student’s name, then there is a great set for only $20 that is actually 4 different signs.
Amazon has a ton of senior jewelry options! You don’t have to be part of a school to get something. They have pretty rings for women, necklaces, and guys rings. Frankly they are so much cheaper than any class ring that was sold in my high school. At our school it was hundreds of dollars but you can pick up a necklace for like $16 and rings for $50. The rings are totally customizable too. You can pick stones, put your school on it, and even your name.
Women’s ring https://amzn.to/3MNtZu2
Men’s ring https://amzn.to/43xnjpM
As you see, it isn’t hard to have a great homeschool high school graduation! Everything can be picked up easily on Amazon with speedy Amazon Prime shipping. Frankly, I think it is much more affordable then sending your children to a public school graduation! And everything is bespoke and personal to your student (or students if you are in a group). Don’t worry that your high school homeschooled student will be missing out at all.
These are some of the most common questions we receive! But have no fear, homeschool transcripts don’t need to be hard in order to be accepted by colleges, scholarships, and even the military. On Monday, April 24, 2023, at 6pm Homeschool Hangout is hosting a Livestream on making quick and effective transcripts.
We are going to gather online for one hour. I will lay out how I make my transcripts in a super homeschool friendly manner. It accounts for the fluidity of time and semesters that we as homeschoolers like to have. I will talk about key information that needs to be included. I will also address how we handle honors and college classes in the GPA.
There will also be plenty of time to ask any questions you may have. How do you write up that odd life experience type class? What about volunteer work? Jobs? All that will be addressed.
You will also receive a simple template that you will just need to customize to your students to create awesome homeschool transcripts! All that is included in this $15 session! Please register as soon as possible to secure your spot! (Registration is completed when payment is received)
Everything in this world has pros and cons, homeschooling in California is no different. Today we are talking about 10 pros and cons of homeschooling. First, the 5 cons and then the related 5 pros!
Now, before we get into all these cons, I must remind you to hang in until the second half of this article. Don’t become overwhelmed or downtrodden. There is a light in the grey (I can’t even call it darkness).
Yup, you are in charge of pretty much every area of your student’s education. One of the wonderful things about homeschooling in California is that you just have to cover a few specific subjects but to what depth and how is totally up to you. That means you are in charge of the researching, the evaluating, and the paying for anything you might want to use. That can seem like a huge weight on the shoulders of homeschooling parents. It is even on you to figure out how much time is spent on what subject. What time should you start in the morning? When do you play? Do you do a set start time in the morning? How much playing should happen before everything is done for the day? How much needs to be done every day? Do you take holiday breaks? Summer breaks? Federal Holidays? Homeschool all year?
Yup, you don’t just get to drop them off for hours and do your own thing. They can have classes outside the home, but it just isn’t the same. You have to figure out where they are going to be when you have doctor’s appointments and when you want to shampoo the carpets. If you want to work, you must figure out how to handle your children. Do you work in home? Do you get a sitter? It can be a challenge. Did you want to do a women’s Bible study at church? Many of them have childcare up to school age but after that, it is hit an miss.
Not to mention you may just want to go on a walk or read a book in peace, imagine that😉.
The reality is that most of those kids go to public school and know each other from that. I remember my next-door neighbor went to a private school and struggled to get to know the kids in our neighborhood. That was even though she and I decided to be best friends and I would introduce her to them all (yes, I went to public school). You may find that all your children’s friends may live quite a bit away so you can’t just send your kids over to play catch or take a swim. In our situation, most of my children’s friends are about 25 minutes away. Which may mean they just don’t hang out with friends quite as frequently as if they all went to school together.
It is true, they may not win Reader of the Year or Principal’s Honor Roll. They won’t necessarily get on the varsity team or be the best in the district for anything. I know people who got scholarships for winning the school’s science fair. Saying you have the best anything in a home school just doesn’t have the same gravitas.
This isn’t a quantifiable thing, but every homeschooled kid has moments of feeling they are missing out. My own kids would say when they were little that they wanted a school bus when they outgrew the minivan. Sounds crazy right, but it was something they had seen in the neighborhood and were sure they needed to experience it. They loved the idea of going to the cafeteria for lunch every day, even when they understood that they would still have to bring their own lunch… There are things like recess, yearbooks, and Valentine’s Day parties that they may get in homeschooling, but it isn’t the same. How? If they haven’t been to public school, they will never know but they might wonder.
Many of these are basically the cons but with some slightly different framing. As parents have told generations, your views may change based on how you look at things.
Since you make all the educational choices you make the ones that work for your children. Is that math book not teaching your kid in a manner they understand? Then change it. Is that English book boring as dirt? Don’t finish it. Are they (or you) just not morning people? Then why start school at 8am? Yes, it is your job to figure out options, but you don’t have to research everything up front. Find the first thing that might work and try it. It will work or not work but you won’t know if you don’t try, you would just be guessing. Try schedules and find their most productive times. Warning, sometimes you may not all be the same and so some compromise may need to happen😉.
I know, it sounds daunting but it is really an opportunity. An opportunity to help create well-rounded children that work in your life😉. I am an introvert, no really. Which means I hit a wall and I need a break. So starting really young (well, birth) nap time then reading time then play time happened in the afternoons in order to give me a break. I think it helped them in a variety of ways but it started so I didn’t lose my bloody mind.
Then there are the chores! I know of many families that say with school, sports, and homework there just isn’t time to teach chore skills much less chores getting done. Since they are home, you have time for training and chores! We had family chore times. So, I would dump the laundry on the couch. The 3-year-old would get washcloths to fold, the 5-year-old would practice matching with socks, the 7-year-old would fold pj’s, and the 9-year-old would fold towels while I hung shirts and folded sheets. Then they would put their own clothes away while I hung up things and put linens away. They would each bring their dirty clothes to sort and I would walk them through it until they were usually right. Then came how to put stuff from the washer to the dryer. Then starting loads. With my teenagers now I almost never do laundry. This model can be taken into every area of chores! (If you want me to walk through teaching children chores please just comment and let me know)
Yes, it can be a challenge to make friends with the school kids in your neighborhoods but… One of the big benefits of homeschooling in California is there are no time curfews or mandatory “school” days. You can meet up with your homeschool friends at the park in the afternoon. You can also do zoo trips and other local fun while everyone else is in school! You can even vacation while everyone else is in school. We used to go to Legoland every late September/early October and we would meet up with other homeschooling friends. So, you may not be growing neighborhood relationships, but family and homeschooling friends are growing! At the same time, you are getting better hotel rates, fewer crowds, and sometimes better weather😉.
Do you know what looks better than an honor roll certificate? A volunteer appreciation certificate! I am serious. As a homeschooler, your students have the time availability to volunteer in organizations that mean something to them or your family. Do they love animals? Then they could volunteer in an animal shelter. Is it an election year and you want a real lesson in civics? Volunteer for a campaign. Some of our local libraries have teen councils where your kids can come plan activities for themselves and other kids in the community. That shows leadership in a way a class couldn’t. It doesn’t have to be onerous or hard. My kids and I volunteer putting the mailings together for a non-profit group once a month. These are all great skills to also go on a resume. Trust me a recommendation that comes from one of these organizations can hold a lot of weight in scholarships, college applications, and jobs. Who knows, maybe it will directly lead to a job?
Yes, all students should have some basic survey knowledge of most subjects. But one of the great things about homeschooling in California is that you can tailor their school journey to follow their passions. These can be the passions of the moment or the passions of a lifetime. So, when they were little my kids all loved the cartoon called Liberty’s Kids so we stopped the history we were doing (Ancient history at the time) and totally changed directions to study the US Revolution. Do your kids love chow mein? Well, let’s learn the history of it which leads us to learn about the Chinese immigrants to San Francisco. Why did they leave China? Let’s find out.
As your children get older you can help them to find out if today’s passion might be a lifelong passion. Do they think they might want to be a CPA? Well, time to look into economics and do statistics for a math class. Do they think they want to be a mechanic? Let’s learn about cars. Let’s also learn about the cost of parts and what they would need to charge to make a living. Oh wait, did they account for their insurance? What kind of liability insurance does a mechanic need? Where do they get automotive certifications? What if they spend a year learning about being a mechanic and they find they hate it? Well, better to waste a year when you don’t have to pay rent😉. But seriously, they have learned systems and plenty of science in the logistics of fixing a car. They also have learned a lot about business that they can take into any field. They also have learned the most important thing, how to learn about something they are interested in. That is a freedom they don’t always get in public school.
So, what do you think of my pros and cons of homeschooling? This is just a few and by no means exhaustive. There are differences in everything, and challenges are always unique but I think that homeschooling does, on the whole, win. What pros and cons do you see in homeschooling and how can I help you?
Ok, this has possibly been the most-asked question about homeschooling in California and the California PSA so far this school year! It is some variation of “my child is only 5 and I am going to start educating them. But they aren’t 6 yet. Should I submit a California PSA or add them to my California PSA?” or “Is it a problem to just skip to first grade next year?”
First off, you can totally skip to first grade next year. Kindergarten is not mandatory in the state of California. If you have a student who goes from first grade and skips to third grade, but you want to put them into a public school, you will have to justify why you skipped a grade. Now that justification can simply be, “based on their academic progress we moved them ahead a year” or something more official with testing or sample work. That is not the case when it comes to skipping kindergarten.
You do not need to file a PSA if your child is under 6 years old as of September 1st of the school year. You also do not need to include them on any PSA’s that you are already filing. (Education Code Section 48200, that talks about ages) That said, if your student is over 4 years and 9 months, you can include them in a PSA you are already filing. But if I didn’t have to file one already, I wouldn’t file for just a 5-year-old.
There is a lot of rumor and legend associated with children between the ages of 4 years and 9 months old and 6 years old. Most of it says that you will flag yourself for scrutiny if you file for such a young child. I don’t know if I would go that far. But I want to mention it.
So, all said, you can totally include your kindergartener on your existing PSA that you file for your other children. But it is just not worth the effort to file just for a 5-year-old kindergarten student. You can skip kindergarten, teach them kindergarten, teach them first grade, teach kindergarten at 4 years old, what ever you want.
Remember, you have already been educating them up to this point! This is just the paperwork. You can teach them whatever level you want and call it whatever grade you want.
Just relax, don’t start out this homeschooling journey freaking out. It will be ok. Just breathe!
Is this your first time filling out the California PSA for independent homeschoolers? Have you filed before but have wished you could have someone to ask the random questions you think of? Would you like to have me right beside you as you fill out your PSA for this year? For $10 you can! I have 2 different live streams scheduled. But don’t delay, I am limiting sign-ups to 75 for each one!
$10 must be paid before your registration is complete. Payment can be made by PayPal or Venmo.
I will be publishing a video to talk through the PSA on YouTube and it will be available for free as usual. The perk of the Livestream is live access for any questions that come up. Monday,
October 3, 2022, 7pm https://forms.gle/DtCBueYhQoGSFBQV7
Wednesday, October 12, 2022, 2pm https://forms.gle/pdFeTpvemPQszAGT7
Now, all my caveats. Is is needed to have anyone walk you through filing your California PSA? No, but people have expressed a desire to have me available! It also provides a little accountability to set aside a time to actually do it;).
What if you are reading this later in the year? I will still have a talk through of the 2022-2023 PSA available all year over on my YouTube channel, Homeschool Hangout!
Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.
Hi guys, it is Jacqueline, and today we are doing a homeschool review and looking at Wordbuild Online by Dynamic Literacy, LLC.
Wordbuild Online is a completely online hands-off morphology (the study of the forms of words) curriculum/unit for students who are already reading but need to learn words or prefixes and suffixes and how to build words. I started with Foundations Level 2 for my elementary school kid and I went ahead and did Elements Level 1 for my high schoolers to help make sure they have a firm grasp.
You purchase the units individually (at about $30) and then assign them to the students using the free parent and student accounts you create. You get to keep each unit for as long as it takes for your student to finish it. Each unit ranges from 25-34 lessons.
From the parent dashboard, you basically put your student into a class and you will receive emails every time they complete an activity. There aren’t any real details in the email but from the parent dashboard, you can see a lot more.
I was looking at my 15-year-old’s progress report (in the video) and she was doing Elements Level 1. The guidelines say when you start, regardless of how old you are, if your student is past the Foundations, possibly like sixth grade and up, then start at the first class of Elements regardless of how advanced your student is.
Basically, the reporting tells me how long it took them to do each thing, what their score was, and their rating (it looks like four is their highest). If they complete a lesson and you think they didn’t do well enough or don’t have a firm grasp on the material, you can reset it.
Other than that, I don’t really have to do anything. Looking at the high school class and it says they were learning the affix “ment”. So compla-ment and how it modifies words. For the younger ones, they’re kind of learning some of the other modifiers. Like the first unit in Foundations Level 2, it starts off with how to use “ly”.
It’s good. It’s fun. There’s a gamification element that kids love. You can allow them to work as fast as they want or tie them down to like one lesson a day. If you’re wanting them to take time and you think they’re just gonna rush and not soak it in. So depending on your student, you can make that decision and you can modify it as you.
So it’s something fun, but there’s a little “but” here. They ask you to define words as the student, and there isn’t necessarily a super right answer. And when I say that, I mean, I did a test one because my daughter had told me this who’s in high school and I kind of shorted some words and left words out of a definition that would really, you know, affect it. And it didn’t really seem to catch it. It’s more of a rudimentary practice using the definition the kids already know and adding a modifier to the definition. Kind of more of a drill.
But not to say it’s not good. You just need to be very clear on what it does. If you’re looking for a definition of the word quickly to build the vocab associated with the word quick, this doesn’t do that. But it does really help them to learn how to modify and build words. If you want to check their choices and definitions, you can do that part by part. But if you are looking at hands-off, it is great too for the morphology.
So final thoughts. This is great. Especially if you have a student you just wanna make sure has a firm foundation and prefixes suffixes, what words mean and how they build together. I think that’s an important concept that not everyone gets. I really like the fact that it is a completely parent-independent online learning situation. If you’re looking for independent activity, it’s fun. They get to take a break from the pencil and paper. Get on the computer. That’s a great aspect of it. So on the whole, I really like it!
Check out some other parents’ thoughts and find their reviews over on the Homeschool Review Crew site!
I am so happy to launch HomeschoolHangout.xyz and to kick it off with a great homeschool giveaway! It is going to be super easy to enter and win!
(This post includes affiliate links and I received a complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.)
We are here as a support for homeschoolers everywhere but we specialize in California homeschooling. We talk about everything from what you can do with preschoolers to high schoolers, including how to get them free tuition at California community colleges. Much of this material has been exclusively housed on the Homeschool Hangout Youtube channel and the NerdFamily Blog but I decided it needed a home of its own (and here it is!). Freebies, information, links, and more will be posted here frequently.
To celebrate this launch we are giving away 1 free annual membership to the SchoolhouseTeachers.com! This is a fabulous resource that has just about anything you might need. I will be doing a full review of SchoolhouseTeachers.com soon in the future so this isn’t a complete list of all its awesomeness! There are units and courses of different subjects that go from preschool all the way to high school. There are even family courses you can do together. There are boxed sets that can help with complete curriculums and planning materials. And not all of it is even online, there are some things that you can download and fill out by hand and some audio content. This is a faith-based resource but not all components have faith included.
If you don’t want to wait and see if you win, there is a sale going on right now. SchoolhouseTeachers.com is running a Buy 1 Get 1 One sale right now. For $199 you can get complete access for 2 years! You can use the one membership to access materials for all of your students and for as many subjects as you might want!
It is super easy to win. First, subscribe to my newsletter! You can either do it through this link or in the sidebar. Secondly, pop over to SchoolhouseTeachers.com and then come back here and comment on this post with what course you are excited about.
That is it! Make sure to enter between now and September 2, 2022, at midnight!
Thanks to the Homeschool Review Crew and SchoolhouseTeachers.com for sponsoring this giveaway!