Red Apple Reading Wins Homeschool.com Summer Resource Award

We at Red Apple Reading are ecstatic to be one of the handpicked summer learning resources on Homeschool.com’s list this year! Homeschool parents agree, Red Apple Reading is a great way to keep young kiddos in the reading loop over summer break or any time of the year.

Visit Red Apple Reading today and take advantage of our special summer promo code: RARSUMMER17 for 20% off online pricing on any plan. Existing customers can also use this code on their special renewal pricing. Code expires on 9/4/17.

View the article and list from Homeschool.com here.

Red Apple Reading wins Homeschool.com Summer Resources Award 2017

15 Best Pinterest Boards for Homeschooling

15 Best Pinterest Boards for Homeschooling Resources

Halfway through summer many homeschool families are enjoying a much needed break. Summer has a way of slipping away though, and before you realize it, school is back in session! While you may not be ready to break out the curriculum just yet, it’s never too early to get some ideas for the upcoming year. Red Apple Reading would like to help you get started with these 15 fantastic Pinterest boards for homeschooling resources.

 

  1. Organized Homeschool (Dr. Melanie Wilson) – If you’re looking to get your homeschool organized, you’ll want to check out this board.
  2.  Choosing Curriculum (Curriculum Choice/Tricia Hodges) – This board will help you with the overwhelming task of choosing curriculum.
  3.  Home Education Ideas (Jen Dunlap) – Peruse this board for a plethora of practical homeschooling ideas!
  4.  The Ultimate Homeschool Board (Creator – The Encouraging Homeschool Mom. Various Contributors) – This is truly the ultimate homeschool board! With over 57,000 pins and 191 contributors, you could spend the entire day looking through this board!
  5.  Must-Follow Homeschool Bloggers (Creator – Sarah Avila. Various Contributors) – Great posts from top homeschooling bloggers.
  6.  STEM Education (K12 & Learning Liftoff) – If you’re looking for science, engineering, math, and technology resources, this is the Pinterest board for you.
  7.  Enchanted Homeschooling Mom Blog (Enchanted Homeschooling Mom) – This board is filled with all sorts of goodies – lesson plans, crafts, recipes and more! Best of all – tons of great printables!
  8.  Montessori Homeschool (The Natural Homeschool) – If you are homeschooling according to the Montessori method, you’ll want to check out this one. It’s chock full of wonderful Montessori educational ideas!
  9.  Elementary Lessons, Tips, and Classroom Ideas (No Time for Flashcards) – This board contains a variety of helpful ideas for schooling your little one.
  10.  Homeschooling (Creator – This Reading Mama. Various contributors.) – Over 3,000 pins designed to help homeschoolers on this board. A great variety of contributors with great ideas.
  11.  Charlotte Mason Homeschool (Joy in the Home) – Homeschoolers who teach using the Charlotte Mason method (or who want to) should check out this gem!
  12.  Teachers Pay Teachers (Various Contributors) – It was impossible to pick a single board to focus on from Teachers Pay Teachers, because of the massive variety of contributors! However, as I was researching homeschooling pin boards, it seemed like almost all of them had pins from Teachers Pay Teachers. Don’t be put off by the name – there are many freebies!
  13.  Not Consumed Homeschool (Kim Sorgius. Various Contributors) – This is a good, all-around helpful board for those seeking homeschool encouragement and ideas. With  78 contributors and 18,000 pins, this board provides plenty of ideas!
  14.  Year Round Homeschooling (Misty Leask) – If you prefer a year round homeschool option, you need to follow this board. Contains great year round homeschool products, ideas, and encouragement!
  15.  Nothing But Books for Kids (Red Apple Reading) – Last (but not least) come check out our Pinterest board containing book lists and recommendations for educators and parents. If you are searching for a specific type of book for your kiddo, there’s a good chance you’ll find it here!

Red Apple Reading loves homeschool families! We hope you’ll find these Pinterest boards helpful as you prepare for the school year ahead. We invite you to take a look at all of our Pinterest boards too. You’re sure to come away with several great ideas for your homeschool.

Conquering Four Homeschool Fears

Conquering 4 Homeschool Fears - Red Apple ReadingAll parents eventually have to make the decision about how they will educate their children. Whether you choose public, private, or homeschool, each option comes with its own set of fears. I recently talked with a few of my homeschool friends about their experiences with educating their kids at home – particularly what they found intimidating. If you are considering homeschooling your children, you might find their advice about how they dealt with and overcame those fears enlightening as you prepare for the great homeschool adventure!

  1. Curriculum Choice – One mom I spoke with said she was overwhelmed by the sheer amount of curriculum available for homeschoolers. With such a wide variety and vast amount of material, how is a parent supposed to pick the right curriculum for their child? Fortunately, there are “home school fairs” held regularly in cities within driving distance of most people. At these fairs parents can look at the curriculum in person and speak with experts that can help them sift through it all. Another helpful resource she took advantage of was other moms who had already used the curriculum and gave it a good recommendation. With these useful resources, homeschool families can choose a curriculum that is a good fit for their kiddos.
  2. Academic Responsibility – The responsibility of being in charge of every subject your child studies can be daunting. After all, it is the rare individual who is naturally good at everything. However, just because you lack knowledge in a certain subject area doesn’t mean you cannot learn how to teach that subject. Study and give yourself the opportunity to learn something new – learning isn’t just your kiddo’s job! Additionally, many of my friends who homeschool choose to hire tutors or join a co-op where each parent teaches their area of expertise. Belief in your ability, hard work, and a bit of creative thinking, helps to ensure that your child receives the proper education in all of her studies.
  3. College Prep Work – Another friend of mine is homeschooling children from ages 6 to 16. Since she has high-school-aged students, it’s time to think about college prep and transcripts (without the help of a school counselor!).  Unfortunately, she faces the added pressure of knowing that some colleges are skeptical of homeschool families. One way she ensures her daughters will be prepared for college is by being a part of an outstanding school covering.  A good homeschool covering is up on all of the latest requirements for graduation and college entrance and holds regular meetings with parents.  A parent with a carefully thought out education plan, along with the help of a good cover school, will be able to help her student tackle college prep work!
  4. Fear of Failure – Another common theme amongst my friends was a fear of failure. One mother confessed that she felt totally responsible for her kids’ success in life (academically and morally) since she was their educator. This perception is unfortunate since most people don’t hold teachers in the school systems to such an impossible standard. It’s important for parents (whether homeschoolers or not) to give their kids their best effort; however, they should always keep in mind that multiple factors influence a child’s future.  So, the best advice for conquering the fear of failure is to take a deep breath and relax. Enjoy this time you have with your child!

Red Apple Reading is committed to helping all children learn to be successful readers. So, whether your kiddos attend private, public or home school, we would like to support them on their reading journey. Visit our website to learn more about our exciting reading program and how it can help your child!

 

 

Online Resources for Homeschoolers

Online Resources for HomeschoolingIf you’ve been following the blog, then you know that I’ve been seriously considering homeschooling my 10-year old son. Although there are many, many concerns that need to be addressed before I make such an important decision, chief among them are the issues of time and resources. Although I work from home, I actually do put in a lot of hours, so much of Billy’s learning would need to be self-guided. And, like everyone else these days, we are clamping down on our household budget, so we don’t want to hand over large sums of money for a homeschooling curriculum. Thus, to address these issues, I set out to discover what information and resources are available online for homeschoolers. As promised, I’m passing on my findings so that anyone else who might be contemplating home-based education can benefit as well.

Legal Requirements
The legal requirements for homeschooling vary from state to state, so the first thing you need to do if you’re considering teaching your child at home is to find out what the guidelines are for your state. Thanks to the Internet, you can locate this information with just the click of a mouse. For starters, you can look for your state on this handy map from the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA). This will let you know whether or not homeschooling will be a legal headache for you. Lucky for me, I’m in a state with low regulation, which means I simply have to notify the school of my intent to homeschool.

Information and Support
There is a ton, and I do mean a ton, of information about homeschooling online. I found this to be both a good and bad thing. While it’s nice to have so much knowledge at my fingertips, I have to admit that it was a little overwhelming as well, especially since there are many different methods of homeschooling, mountains of research, and thousands of websites featuring curriculum resources and support for homeschooling families. Of the many different portals for information out there, I was most impressed by Homechool.com. The site is chock full of helpful information, but it’s organized in such a way that it’s very easy to navigate, making it easy to find exactly what you’re looking for fairly quickly.

Takeaway
After conducting a little research, I’m convinced that there will be plenty of online resources to choose from if and when we decide to embark on our homeschooling journey. I am still concerned about the time factor, however. I’m not naïve enough to think that I can simply plop Billy down in front of the computer with instructions to “learn something” (though he would probably love that!), so I know that I’ll need to invest a lot of time in planning the overall curriculum, not to mention the day-to-day management and instruction. But, since I’m a teacher by trade, I definitely have a head start. Deciding whether or not to run the race? Well, that may just be the toughest part.

 

Is Homeschooling Right for My Child?

Is Homeschooling Right for my Child?This is the question I have been asking myself for the last few months. Before this school year started, I wrote this post about the growing number of families who are opting for educating their children at home rather than sending them off to public school. Ironically, I may soon be joining their ranks. Since I believe that homeschooling is good for some, but not all children, I’m not considering homeschooling all of my school-aged kids, just one.

So what sparked this mid-year urge to bring my child home? Good question. Really, it has been a compilation of things, but the most disturbing has been my son’s complete disdain for school. This is his first year in middle school, and it has not gone well. We have had many unhappy mornings and even some tears at night at the mere thought of going to school the next day. As many of you who have been there know, it can be heart-wrenching to see your child suffering and genuinely not know what to do. That’s the situation I’m in; I truly don’t know what to do.

If I could pinpoint the exact problem, then perhaps I would be in a better position to find the solution, but even that has proven difficult. Billy is an extremely bright, gifted student and up until this year, he hasn’t complained much about school. He is one of the smallest kids in his class, but he has friends and is not being teased or bullied. When I ask him why he doesn’t want to go to school, he says, rather matter-of-factly, that he’d simply rather be home with his family than spend the majority of the day away. Talk about pulling on heart strings!

My gut feeling is that Billy is bored. I’ve written before about how he’s complained that the teachers spend a lot of time remediating students on subjects they’ve already learned. Ironically though, he’s made some less than desirable grades this year, so I don’t know what to make of it really. It’s all so confusing!

This year has been a transition in more ways than one. Last year, Billy was in a pilot program for the 21st century classroom and had his very own laptop for the entire year, so I think he’s been mourning the loss of this technology as well.

We are nowhere near making a decision, and I plan to do some in-depth research on the topic including technological resources for homeschooling so that I can make as educated a choice as possible. I’ll be sure to share the results of my research just in case any of you are facing the same issue. My main concern is ensuring that I have the time and resources to provide him with a quality, comprehensive education at home.

If you’ve been through something similar and have any advice, I’m certainly open to it. This has really disrupted our family life, and I just want to see my little boy smiling again. Thanks in advance!