How to Homeschool After Public School and The Free {ish} Programs I have used!

Have you ever wondered how people homeschool their children? Especially when you think these are people that have super busy careers and a demanding lifestyle? People actually ask me questions all the time about homeschool and resources for educational experiences. Keep reading I'm about to let you in on a few tips.


Knowledge Is Power

THE REASON:


My desire to homeschool my children stemmed from my experience with public schools. My oldest son had gone through a very traumatic lost when my husband passed away in 2009, and he began to have a hard time in school. He went from being a child in the talented and gifted program to being labeled as a special needs student. The school began to attempt to railroad him, so I removed him from that elementary and placed him in another school. This school was 10X better for him but he was already in the fifth grade by this time. Fast forward to his sixth grade year in middle school and it was another terrible experience. This time the teachers were the issue. Overwhelmed with over crowded classrooms, full of students who only wanted to socialize, and unauthentic learning experiences created an irate staff. One teacher physically harmed a student, the coach referred to students not by name but as stupid, and a male teacher was caught in the girls bathroom. If you think that was insanity, the kicker for me was that UT Southwestern's Center For Brain Health was doing a study within the school and had not gotten the parents signed permission to do this study, there for it was completely illegal. For me that was the final straw, I had to do something about this system that was unorganized and seamed to be set up for my children to fail. Homeschool seamed to be a way that I could highlight their interest and natural abilities, while trying to introduce a love for learning.

"Overwhelmed with over crowded classrooms, full of students who only wanted to socialize, and unauthentic learning experiences created an irate staff. One teacher physically harmed a student, the coach referred to students not by name but as stupid, and a male teacher was caught in the girls bathroom."

HOW I BUILT MY CONFIDENCE:


I guess you can say that God lead me on the path long before the major incidents happened. For two years prior to this situation I wanted to homeschool my children, I just couldn't. Financially it was hard and I was busy trying to build my career. I began to save money anyway in hopes that I could one day be able to do so. I also looked up our local laws on homeschooling in Texas, and luckily Texas is a homeschool friendly state {better than most}. Yet knowing the laws was only the first step. My expectation before I started was that if I couldn't get them at genius level then I would be harming them more than helping them , because I didn't have a back ground in teaching. I needed to talk to people that had successfully homeschooled their children. So I reached out to my cousin for advice, she was able to give me tips, some ins and outs, and some of her own personal theory's on the affects of learn and play strategies. I still was unsure, until I sat down with Dr. Samori Camara the owner of KamaliAcademy.com. I met him at Pan African Connection on a candid visit, as he was there discussing the benefits of homeschool. {so see how it all aligned for me} After talking with him and other parents I was convinced. The only thing left for me to figure out was my schedule. In 2015 maybe a few months after building my confidence to homeschool, my mom became ill. Her battle with cancer and issues with the salon I was working at pulled me away from that atmosphere, and into being her care taker. By November 2015 my mom was gone and I felt like I this was a great time to keep the boys close to me and start the education process. I allowed them to finish up there current school year and we embarked on our homeschool journey. {*click the links for sites I used to reference information}


Travel Has Been A Big Part Of Our Lessons

"Our second year was much better just because I found programs that we truly liked, and I wasn't boring them with a curriculum that they were not interested in."

MAKING THE GRADE:


Once my mind was made up we went full speed ahead. I made the career switch from being full time in a salon to becoming a freelance artist.... {which is still hard AF} however, not working a traditional schedule and paying salon fees allowed me to save money and schedule business Thursday-Sunday and homeschool...Monday- Wednesday. { In actuality the lessons are continuous because all of life is a learning experience, but structured instruction is M-W}


I used two free curriculum examples, from Kamali Academy to help me outline what I wanted to focus on the first year, I also talked to my cousin who owned and operated her own academy. She assisted me in finding books that reflected my boys self image in the subjects that I wanted to teach. The first year was all about adjustments and observation of their learning styles, once I was able to determined how they learned best I was able to help them focus more on retaining information based on their style of learning.


Our second year was much better just because I found programs that we truly liked, and I wasn't boring them with a curriculum that they were not interested in. My sons love science so our second year we talked about them, their self awareness and how the human body functions. We were able to do everything from reading, vocabulary, and writing exercises to science experiments all based on the YOU-niverse. I also made sure they stayed on track with what was grade appropriate content by using different computer programs.


RESOURCES:


The Public Library- A lot of the books we needed to study our of were at our local library, we were able to check out books for long periods of time and its free!


Facebook Homeschool Groups- Being in this group turned me on to free programs and group rate programs that my children loved.


Microsoft Classes - This summer The Microsoft Store held free camps on coding a game, coding a robot, make your own movie, organize a non-profit fund raiser, and 3D painting. These classes were a God send this summer.


Free Museums- The Dallas Museum of Art, The African American Museum, and The Kimble Art Museum are all free except for special exhibits. { The African American Museum also has a free summer camp for parents that qualify)


Dollar Days- Some outdoor venues like the Dallas Arboretum and Zoo will have dollar days to encourage more people to come out during the week. Take advantage, go early, and pack clothes they can get wet in....these are also places that allow you to bring a sack lunch so pack a picnic basket with goodies and ice packs and you'll be good to go!


Khan Academy- Its a free learning program that allow's children to practice different subjects on their grade level. It was a good resource.


Bonton Farms- Bonton is a great place to go and learn about urban farming. {they also have the best honey butter} Patrick is the manager and he is very knowledgable. The farm is open to the community so the boys were able to learn the process hands-on by planting, milking goats, and tending to the chickens.


HAK Electronics- I love HAK because they have free and paid programs. The paid programs are usually under 10.00 and the children really have a great time. They have been able to learn about engineering, coding, 3D printing capabilities, and building their own toys/devices.


IXL - Although this program is not free it's the one my children loved the best. It's computer based so everything is online. I love it because it keeps great track of their productivity, what they are having trouble with, and even makes suggestions as to what they should work on next. We have used this program for two years.


I truly hope that this post was informational for you. I have included many of my tips and tricks that make homeschooling your children a lot easier. If you have any questions comment below or message me directly using the contact form. Don't forget to subscribe!




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