Wednesday, April 8, 2009

What kind of tools do you need to homeschool?

What kind of tools do you need to homeschool?
by Guest Blogger Heidi Johnson, Veteran Mom and Homeschool

Just as a carpenter needs tools to do his job, a mom needs tools to be able to homeschool her children. The tools don't have to be fancy, but they do need to be functional. Not every carpenter prefers the same tools. Some couldn't live without a certain tool where another carpenter never uses that tool to get the job done.

Depending on your personality and your child's, you will choose different tools than another mom might choose. That's the beauty of homeschooling. Here are a few tools that I have used in various forms.

  1. Books - You can use historical fiction to teach history or use chapter books to encourage your child to develop their reading fluency. Another kind of book you could use would be workbooks that you might help reinforce grammar and spelling.

  2. Math books are pretty much a given in most homeschools especially for students in the fifth grade and above.

  3. Hands on tools such as manipulatives, supplies for experiments, and field trips. You can also include music CDs and computer software in this category. It's a proven fact that the more senses you use, the more you will remember what you have learned. So if a child does a workbook page and uses manipulatives like blocks to help him get the correct answer, he will be more likely to understand what he is learning.

  4. Internet - Most people wouldn't think that this would be a tool used for homeschooling but more and more people are using the internet to help them teach their children and give them the best education possible. The internet is growing and developing more and more each day. So much more is available now than even a few years ago. You can view and go so many places from the comfort of your own home. You can tour museums, view artwork, explore any aspect of science and much more. If you use the right program that has education-friendly sites already reviewed for you, you are even better off than the rest of the homeschoolers out there trying to search the internet for themselves. [See AVKO's blog post on using Social Networking sites to your advantage; see also AVKO's Freebies section]

So besides having a belief that you can homeschool your child(ren), using the above tools will help make it all possible. Then you and your child(ren) can enjoy learning and have a great year together.

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