Keep California on the Cutting Edge of Education by Withdrawing AB2926

Keep California on the Cutting Edge of Education by Withdrawing AB2926

Dear Assemblywoman Eggman and Assemblyman Medina,

Bill AB2926 was brought to my attention. If it were to pass, it would be a step backward for education because California homeschoolers are on the cutting edge of educational innovation and customized learning. The ecosystem of classes, programs and enrichment opportunities is enormous for California homeschoolers. With such a tremendous infrastructure in place, California homeschoolers have created a thriving and dynamic place to receive a 21st- century education and explore one’s passions.

Personalized learning, also referred to as individualized learning, is all the rage in education circles these days. Unfortunately, when we hear about this in a conventional school setting, this usually just refers to adaptive computer programs. On top of that, many of those adaptive computer programs are not very effective. Homeschoolers have truly been personalizing their children’s learning for years because we are free from bureaucracy and a one-size-fits-all curriculum. Parents know their children better and love them more than any other person who wants to get involved in their education. Homeschool parents spend tremendous time and energy in researching and finding the optimal education for our kids. We can be most successful with a hands-off approach, so we can effectively tailor our children’s education to best meet their needs. Homeschoolers shine because we aren’t required to follow a government standard that doesn’t meet the needs of most children on an individual level. 

In my opinion, homeschoolers are the most progressive in terms of reimagining what educating the whole child can be. Sir Ken Robinson so passionately makes the case for this in the #1 Ted Talk of all times called “How Schools Kill Creativity.”  

Please join me in supporting the California homeschool community and all we have accomplished. We respectfully ask you to withdraw AB2926 which would stifle homeschool families who are true educational entrepreneurs. We are nimble and adaptive to our children’s needs and learning opportunities because of our freedom to be educational entrepreneurs.

California prides itself on being progressive. Let us continue to be progressive with cutting edge, personalized education and a role model for other educators around the nation and world. Please withdraw AB2926 and let homeschoolers continue to innovate.

Sincerely,

The Contemporary Homeschooler

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How Much Does it Cost to Homeschool?

How Much Does it Cost to Homeschool?

Did you know you can give your kids an exceptional and customized education for less than $400/year?

Homeschooling is the epitome of personalized education tailored to your individual child. You don’t have to be wealthy to provide a cutting-edge education for your kids. Many families of modest means around the country and even the world are part of this exciting movement!

As parents, we know our kids better than anyone and also have the greatest vested interest in seeking out the best curriculum and programs for them. In addition to individualized one-on-one teaching, we are fortunate to live in a time when some of the best teachers in the world are offering content online for free.

Homeschool families also recognize the value of libraries. The famous line from Good Will Hunting is not lost on homeschool families:

“You blew $150k on an education you could have gotten in $1.50 in late fees from the library.” — Good Will Hunting

Here is a typical homeschool curriculum for a 4th/5th grader. The cost is around $250/year and would be about the same for most elementary-aged children. Furthermore, many of the purchases can be used again for siblings. Even if you hire a private tutor or outsource a subject to a group instructor, the cost is still significantly less than paying for private school.

I try to buy used curriculum on Amazon when possible. Additionally, Rainbow Resource usually has the cheapest prices for new items.

Experiential learning is one of the most meaningful and memorable ways to learn. We go on a field trip just about every week as well as engage in extremely hands-on learning activities with our weekly co-op. Homeschoolers should make the most of their homeschooling freedom and deliberately seek out experiential learning opportunities. Spending $250 for the year, you could engage in so many wonderful types of experiential learning and could even do it for a lot less. Nature is free. Many organizations and companies offer free field trips, tours and programs.

A big component of homeschooling is customizing to your child’s passions and interests. Sports, music, technology, and music are a few examples of a program each family can uniquely design for their own children.  You will want to factor those costs into your child’s educational plan.

With some research and effort, you can provide your child a cutting-edge, customized education! The homeschool community is extremely generous in sharing information and support. Join our movement. We want you to succeed and are here to help you!

Would you like to share some tips about homeschooling on a budget? How much do you spend homeschooling your kids?

You may also like:

If You are New to Homeschooling or Thinking About It….

Give Your Kids a World-Class Math Education for Free

Ten Ways to Teach Your Child to Read and Love Books

Need Some K-6 Math Inspiration?

Top Read-Aloud Picks for Your Family

Open Letter to U.S. Education Secretary King Who Says Homeschoolers Would Be Better Off in Public Schools

Free and Fun Spelling Website

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Note: If you decide to make a purchase through my blog link, Amazon will pay me a commission for it.  This doesn’t cost you anything additional. These commissions help to keep the rest of my content free. So, thank you!

Homeschooling is the Smartest Way to Teach Kids in the 21st Century According to Business Insider

Great article published yesterday in the tech section of Business Insider about homeschooling offering our kids a tremendous opportunity for gaining a 21st-Century education:

http://www.businessinsider.com/why-kids-should-get-homeschooled-2016-8

Many homeschoolers provide their kids with customized academics and are able to do it so efficiently leaving plenty of time for experiential learning, sports, free play and passions. Now you can find some of the best teachers in the world offering their courses and lessons online. Additionally, you can select curriculum and learning opportunities tailored to your child’s learning style. Furthermore, there is a massive infrastructure in place for homeschool families to participate in both enrichment and core classes as well as many other educational opportunities that are fun for the whole family.

alan surfer teaching
Learning about tides, waves and surfing at one of the most impressive surf spots in Southern Califonia. We love learning outdoors!

While traditional schools try their best to tailor lesson plans to individual students, teachers often still end up teaching to the middle. There are simply too many kids learning at different speeds for teachers to give each of them exactly what they need. Homeschooling, meanwhile, is personal by design.”

“The long-term effects of personalization are equally massive. According to a 2009 study of standardized testing, homeschoolers scored in the 86th percentile. The results held true even when controlling for parents’ income level, amount of education, teaching credentials, and level of state regulation. Research also suggests that homeschooled kids get into college more often and do better once they’re enrolled.”
Check out this series about using Legos to develop 21st-century skills:

 

For ideas on adding more structure to your schedule to allow more time for experiential learning, you may be interested in:

Academic Scheduling for More Experiential Learning Part One

Academic Scheduling for More Experiential Learning Part Two

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Homeschooling: The Road Less Traveled

While reading a book today about life’s critical choices, I was reminded of Robert Frost’s words and immediately thought of our family’s decision to homeschool. It is the road less traveled and that has made all the difference for our family.

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.”

–Robert Frost

Here is a picture of our first day homeschooling several years ago. I pulled my son out of public school March of his kindergarten year. I remember the feeling of freedom and joy to be out in the world learning together as part of their education.

First day of our homeschool journey several years ago.

Some ways it has made all the difference for our family includes:

  • Family Bonds–My kids are best friends. We experience so much life together.  While they do have a tiff every now and then, they generally really enjoy one beach playanother. I observe this same pattern with our homeschool family friends. You just don’t see a lot of bickering amongst siblings in our community. 
  • Love Affair with Books–One of my favorite things about homeschooling is having plenty of time for reading aloud.  We travel on many book journeys together and engage in lots of conversation about what I read aloud. Additionally, we frequent a wide variety of libraries.  The kids are dying to get to one to find more books to bring home for their reading pleasure. Each library has its own personality and unique book selection.
  • Friendships–Our homeschool family friends are incredible people with shared values and vision for how we want to raise our kids. We have a blast doing life with them! I did not experience this same connection when we were in public school.
  • Love of Learning–We are able to learn in a wide variety of environments and from many different people. Yes, I am their teacher for many subjects. However, we are also out learning from park rangers, museum docents, business owners, scientists and more! We learn from passionate parents in our co-op.  We are not confined to one classroom and the same teacher daily. Additionally, I do not teach to a standardized test which can crush a love of learning.
  • Customized Education–I am an entrepreneur for my children’s education. Nimbly, we tailor the curriculum and learning opportunities to their learning styles, passions and our family’s priorities.

How has homeschooling made all the difference for your family?  Please click onto our Facebook page below and let us know. Your words may be encouragement for a family who is considering homeschooling or one wondering if they should stay the course.

Here are a few other links you may enjoy:

Benefits of Experiential Learning

I Like Being with My Kids

Academic Scheduling for More Experiential Learning

 

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What Will You Change in Your Homeschool This Year?

Winston Churchill said, “To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.”

You greatly seize upon your homeschool freedoms when you adapt and change. You are not locked into a schedule, curriculum or rules like those in conventional schools.  You don’t have to go through a teacher, principal or bureaucracy to change what is best for your children. You have complete FREEDOM to customize your children’s education as needs and opportunities change. Additionally, change keeps learning and life fresh and exciting. 

You have complete FREEDOM to customize your children’s education as needs and opportunities change.

ferris wheel best day cheer
We took part in a weekly class at Disneyland this year that brought much joy to our family dynamic while also simultaneously being immersed in the creative and innovative genius of The Walt Disney Company.

Here are a few questions to consider:

Do you want to spend more time enjoying your kids?

Are you feeling burnt out?

Did  part of your curriculum often result in tears or frustration?

Do you feel you are are spending a lot of time nagging or being negative?

Would you like more homeschool family friends?

Are you looking to offer a greater variety of learning opportunities outside the home to your kiddos?

Would you like to improve your family dynamic?

Change keeps learning and life fresh and exciting. 

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then I urge you to evaluate what you should change this year. Now is the time for a fresh start! Talk to your spouse and kids. Ask them what they loved about last year and want to continue and what they did not like. Be in community with other homeschool families and learn from them. Seek out opportunities you never considered before. Pick the brains of parents who have great kids.

Seek out opportunities you never considered before. Pick the brains of parents who have great kids.

Take it from someone who was feeling burnt out about this time last year. I’m glad I made some pretty radical changes. They were a gamble for us but paid off big time on so many levels.   We had our most joyful, inspiring and memorable year yet, and I am now more passionate about homeschooling than ever. A big reason I created The Contemporary Homeschooler is for YOU. I want to share my experiences and insights with you as well as learn from all of you and be in community together learning from one another.

While homeschooling is not always easy, when we learn to adapt we can enjoy much success and happiness.

So I ask you, what will you change this year?

If you would like to learn how we changed our schedule this past year, then check out these posts:

Academic Scheduling for More Experiential Learning Part One

Academic Scheduling for More Experiential Learning Part Two

 

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Welcome to The Contemporary Homeschooler

FeaturedWelcome to The Contemporary Homeschooler

Welcome to The Contemporary Homeschooler! Academic excellence, lots of experiential learning and high-quality books are hallmarks of our household. With a good structure in place, homeschoolers are able to complete their academic work in around half the time of a typical conventional school day. We like to use that extra time to engage with the world and follow our passions.  I don’t box our family into following a particular homeschool philosophy. Rather, I  see myself as an entrepreneur for my family: nimble and adaptive to our needs and learning opportunities.

I  see myself as an entrepreneur for my family: nimble and adaptive to our needs and learning opportunities.

As a homeschool family, you have the freedom to put your children on the cutting edge of education. You can customize and personalize their academics. There is a huge selection of curriculum, both web-based and paper-based, available to homeschool families. You can incorporate abundant experiential learning opportunities into your schedule. I will not squander my time away with my kids as a slave to excessive busy work or  dawdle around the house all day. We finish our work and get out into the world. Now, more than ever, there are wonderful opportunities for homeschoolers! Carpe diem!!!!

You can sign up to follow The Contemporary Homeschooler via email by clicking on the Follow button. Also, join our community on Facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/TheContemporaryHomeschooler/