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October 2016

Everything You Wanted to Know about How HSLDA Helps You Homeschool

Vicki and Stacey, HSLDA Toddlers to Tweens Consultants

We were so amazed by the response from our Toddlers to Tweens parents to a survey we conducted a few years back, that we’ve decided to revisit the theme.

In this newsletter we’re responding to timeless questions about homeschooling, as well as queries that allow us to apprise you of HSLDA resources that may be unfamiliar to you. (Some of this content is adapted from an earlier newsletter, but we realize that many of you weren’t in this season of homeschooling then and may just now be looking for these answers.)

Maybe some of these questions have been on the tip of your tongue . . .

“I’m lost—I don’t know where to even begin as I explore my options.” 

Our Exploring Homeschooling symposium was tailor-made for you! Whether you are perusing your options for your preschooler, or pulling your middle schooler (or high school senior!) out of a conventional school, this seven-part video series answers the most commonly asked questions (and a few you might not even think to ask!). Bonus—for a limited time, you can download the symposium for free!

“I know this is what we want to do, but I’d love someone to walk me through the basics.”

Check out our Basics and Beyond symposium for teaching students in preschool through 8th grade. It has four info-packed workshops on getting started, choosing curriculum, multi-level teaching, and time management for busy homeschooling parents. This is an excellent foundation or refresher for any of our readers—and HSLDA members can follow up with a call or email to our consultants for personalized recommendations!

“Where can I find suggested resources for science (or math, language arts, social studies) for my children, especially on a tight budget?”

Aha! Our “Homeschooling on a Shoestring” series is just the ticket! There is a general article, then four subject-specific articles with money-saving curriculum tips, value-priced suggested materials, and everyday activity ideas using materials you may already have around the house. (Look for “Homeschooling on a Shoestring” in the list of articles.)

You’ll find other subject-specific newsletters, such as “Everyday Math for Young Learners” and “Science for Preschool through Middle School,” in our newsletter archives.

“How can I choose or prioritize extracurricular activities?”      

If you are in a remote area or don’t have an active homeschooling community, you may need to provide your own opportunities for your children to feel connected. But even if you have lots of options, how do you decide? Whether your child is in preschool, elementary school, or junior high, you might appreciate this article, which outlines questions to ask as you evaluate an activity. A recent struggling learners newsletter even highlighted tips on including special needs students in group activities.

“Help! Any tips for lesson planning and record keeping?”

In our “Lesson Planning” article (under the handy-dandy Organization tab), one mom walks you through her lesson-planning process for three children.

For recordkeeping tools, both paper and techie versions, check out the recordkeeping section of our Resources tab. Grading questions? Read “To Grade, or Not to Grade”—that is the question!

All these resources are conveniently located for you in the Toddlers to Tweens section of HSLDA’s website.

“What? HSLDA has a website?”

Yep! Our website not only gives you the latest info on legislative initiatives affecting home education in your state; but we also update you on issues such as Common Core, military enlistment, adoption issues, health care reforms affecting homeschooling, and much more.

Are you blog person? Our blog highlights practical and encouraging insights from our consultants and other staff bloggers.

Do you lead a homeschool group? Our Group Services section offers tips for leaders, by leaders, with financial and legal tips, insurance information, and practical leader support (including our new Meetings in Minutes archive!).

Do you like podcasts? Our Homeschool Heartbeat radio show and podcast provides encouragement, guidance, and inspiration for homeschooling parents just like you.

Like saving money? Check out our PerX program for member discounts, and visit HSLDA’s expanded online bookstore with special member pricing. You’ll find more than just great homeschooling and parenting resources, but also a variety of graduation items such as a transcript service, personalized diplomas, caps, and gowns.

The list of all our great departments is too long to include here, so browse the website for everything from A to Z (well, at least A to Y)—from our archived newsletters to our YouTube collection of homeschool videos. (Okay, there may be a Z on there somewhere to make it a true A to Z listing, but we’re short on research time! A prize goes to the first reader who sends us a Z resource on our HSLDA site!)*

Even our educational consultants have their own microsites to support and equip you, including Homeschooling thru High School, Homeschooling Your Struggling Learner, and Homeschooling Toddlers to Tweens. Scroll to the bottom of the Toddlers to Tweens page for a table of contents.

Topics include:

  • Getting Started—Questions, tips, planning, recordkeeping, and suggested resources (and if you are starting “in the middle” with a child who has already been in a conventional school, we even have an article just for you!)
  • Curriculum—Information on costs, considerations, various approaches to homeschooling, learning styles and teaching styles, homeschooling on a budget; suggested resources for everything from math and language arts to civics for preschool through middle school, to using games in your homeschool, to devotional and character training helps
  • Organization—Time management, home organization, practical tips, meal planning, lesson planning, recordkeeping, suggested resources
  • You Can Do It!—Encouragement and tips specifically for parents of preschool, elementary, and middle school/junior high students
  • Testing—Assessment options, from informal evaluations to portfolio reviews to standardized achievement tests; includes articles on test prep, placement testing, choosing the best test for your needs, and an updated test resource list
  • Resources—Additional suggested resources for all the tabs listed above, plus sections about gifted learners, recordkeeping and lesson planning, publications and webinars, “A Day in Our Homeschool” stories, state organization activities, articles specifically for dads, and much more!

We hope this gives you a glimpse into the wealth of information at your fingertips through HSLDA. We provide all this information at no charge to our readers—and members have the added benefit of talking in person to our legal or consulting staff!

So if you are a member, we look forward to serving you “in person” for questions related to preschool through 8th grade. And if you aren’t a member yet, won’t you consider joining today?

Enthusiastically yours,
Vicki Bentley and Stacey Wolking
HSLDA Toddlers to Tweens consultants

“Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.”
(Proverbs 15:22 NIV)

*Due to the expected overwhelming response to this contest, please know that if you are the winner, we will contact you. Everyone else: We will read your entries but may not be able to personally respond to each one. Regardless, you’ll have our gratitude for the confirmation that you read and researched it!

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