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My Frugal Life: This Is The Life of a Home Schooler

This has been an interesting end to summer. It is not winding down in a quiet way, as it normally does, we are getting a new roof, and I will be happy to see it. This house is soooo old. We just put in a new water heater last year. We are ready for a new season!

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Fall will be here on September 23, and I couldn't be happier. For one thing, I am homeschooling now. In the span of two days I had to learn all there was to know. Fun.

I spent a lot of my time deciding what to teach and how to break down all of the four subjects I am teaching.

In our state, you have to register for home school within a certain amount of time, fill out a form, get the child's shot records or exemption form from the health department, keep attendance, and tell them what you are going to teach them. If you are late, you have to pay a fee. I don't get the attendance part, but they must get four hours a day of learning. That can include field trips, etc. The Local Education Agency sends mail out two weeks before a test is going to be given at the school.

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We are having a great time right now, but it is a lot of work for me. I enjoy it, since I love to teach things in a way that gets kids passionate about what they are learning. Of course, I am not a degreed teacher. I can only home school until the ninth grade here in Tennessee. I will figure out a way to home school after that grade, later on.

History never really came alive to me before I had to break it down and teach it myself. We went to visit the Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area, which is right down the street. They had a lovely time there, and that park is number four in a contest to win a lot of money. I hope it wins! There are so many historical treasures there, and it is so amazing to think of them, long ago!

I found that when an educational field trip is taken at home, when pizza is combined with it, the kids remember better. I made sure and did not tell them we were getting pizza ahead of time, or that is all they would have paid attention to.

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We have been being frugal and we have not spent one cent on curriculum as of yet. I have a list of what the standards are for each subject I am teaching, that the State requires an assessment test in March. That was found on-line. I have been going to http://www.ixl.com/ and http://www.ehow.com/ and of course, youtube at http://www.youtube.com/ as well.

Here is a sample math video I am using to teach math, that I found very easy to understand:

It is about changing a fraction into a mixed number. There are so many homeschooling resources on the internet. You have to just go to a few that are trusted like the ones mentioned above.

The video sample I put above is from YourTeacher.com. They are all over youtube. I am going to look into that site and find out what all they offer for a fee. They have a huge amount of services they offer.

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This is a sample video for teaching about the early colonists and the Revolutionary War that we just thought was hilarious. We watch it at least once a day, it is so enjoyable.

It is an animated, cartoon story named "NO MORE KINGS!"

We also use a sample test and we are looking at what we need to know and working on those skills.

We like to mix crafts and art with all lessons. We are presently doing the subjects that will be tested on the assessment tests - science, history, math, and language arts. The more senses that are involved in learning, the better, in my opinion.

My daughter had just seen a video on the early pilgrims, of the 1600 area, the dress and their normal daily life. She found some extra fabric that I had pulled down and washed, which was decorating a doorway. She put it around her waist and brought it to show me. It was amazingly like the video we had watched. It was so pretty! She had it right on the nose!

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We also use puffy paints on objects other than paper, such as fabric, shells, rocks, etc. We just love the puffy paint you get at Walmart. Paper is great, but it is not the main learning medium at our home. We are going to construct a model of the guns that were used in the revolutionary war just for fun, out of toilet paper rolls. We have already seen what they looked like on the field trip we took to Sycamore Shoals.

Interestingly, my darling daughter is tutoring a child down the street, who is in fourth grade with math. She is all into the lesson plans, I am so proud of her for helping the child. She spent her own money on a math workbook, to start him off at two grades before so he could catch up. She is so sweet, and I am so proud of her.

By Robyn Fed from Tri-Cities, TN

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October 10, 20110 found this helpful

Robin:

Congratulations for taking the step to homeschooling your daughter. I had not realized that Tennessee had changed the rules for homeschooling since I started to homeschool in the 80's. We moved to New Mexico in the 90's and I had not kept up with the laws there.
You have a wonderful daughter. She will be a teacher herself one day.

Sincerely
Jackie Schlageter

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October 11, 20110 found this helpful

Just out of curiosity, can I ask why you chose to home school? Where I live, it is done mainly for religous reasons. But I know in other parts of the country, it is done because of the improbability of getting the children to school during the winter or because of extreme health issues.

In my state, often once the children are in high school, parents take their children to school for part of the day and home school the rest. The students take classes their parents aren't comfortable teaching, like calculus or physics--or electives like band, art, or even phys ed (for track or another sport), and to sign up for clubs.

This allows the child to socialize outside the home and church, gives the parent time off, and allows activities to later be listed on college applications. High school also allows students to take AP classes, go to trade schools, or even in some towns, take classes at local colleges for far cheaper tuition than if the child wasn't in a local high school.

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