Just because you are a homeschooler doesn’t mean you have to DIY everything

Just because you are a homeschooler doesn’t mean you have to DIY everything

I’m a Homeschooler. I DIY Everything. 

Just because you are a homeschooler doesn’t mean you have to DIY everything. In fact, I would propose that outsourcing some things is going to keep your homeschool life running more smoothly, keep your housework more manageable and keep your sanity in the sane zone! I’ve outsourced for years and it’s been such a stress relief to know that I don’t have to do or know everything!

Opportunities to Outsource

Classes through clubs, co-ops, areas academic class days, on-line classes, private tutoring.

Which Classes? Those that you don’t have the time or inclination to learn or teach, those with expert teachers available, those that are specialized or unique.

Testing. While we can get and use testing through our local public school, it comes with it’s own set of challenges, plus I never get the test results back. I found a great solution to that- a test that counts for standardized testing AND gives me access to the results immediately and keeps track of how my student tests from year to year! Check it out !

Academic Advising. What? You might be thinking right now that you didn’t even know your guidance counselor in High School. I saw mine twice throughout my entire high school career and that was for the brief moments it took to get her signature. So, Why, Oh Why, would you want to outsource something like Academic Advising?

As an experienced Academic Adviser who has worked with homeschoolers from around the world, some that were profoundly gifted and some that were profoundly challenged, and many in the middle, I can tell you that most parents who DIY this portion of their homeschool are missing things. Furthermore, it’s been hypothesized that those who struggle with creating Transcripts, often struggle with things like College Scholarship applications. What will a skilled Academic Adviser help you do and look for?

  • How to create personalized long-term SMART goals for each student that are do-able and bring peace to your planning
  • How to create a personalized learning plan that covers the bases AND takes into account my kids bents, challenges and passions, potential job opportunities
  • The difference between Vocational, College prep, and Honors Transcript
  • What types of things to put as addendums on your Transcript.
  • The Arts as well as Service and Work hours
  • How to Create a Transcript that credits your students life experiences and skills
  • How to prepare for vocational training or college
  • How to incorporate Dual Enrollment and CLEP classes
  • How to develop your student’s “otherliness” as they prepare for college admissions and scholarships
  • How to incorporate Fun and Free time into your life and the life of your students!
  • Utilizing conepts such as Morning Baskets to get serious academic work done while enjoying the closeness and togetherness of a homeschooling family.
  • Understanding what colleges really want to see on a High School Transcript
  • How to balance the Transcript and test scores.
  • Soft Skills

Whether you’ve have chosen this educational path with intention or are a reluctant homeschooler, linking arms with others to attain your vision, just makes sense! It’s a complicated world and expensive and giving your kids a jump-start into adulthood well prepared with little debt is one of the greatest gifts we can give them.

Whatever your situation, you don’t have to go it alone! True North Homeschool Academy has a fantastic Academic Advising program that is going to knock your socks off, and give you the time and space to relax, make the valuable impact on your kids lives you were looking for and give you peace of mind about your plan. And if you don’t yet have a plan, we can help with that, too!

Just because you are a Homeschooler, doesn’t mean you have to DIY everything! And don’t forget, our Academic Advising program includes a Scantron Performance Series test!

Who’se Ever Heard of the 5 Common Topics?

Who’se Ever Heard of the 5 Common Topics?

Who’s ever heard of the 5 Common Topics and who cares? 
They started way back in Aristotle’s time and are a great way to organize, plan, implement, overcome, understand and approach the world. In other words, the 5 CT’s are tools for the person who is interested in learning, thinking well and gaining a deep understanding of the world.

What are the 5 Common Topics? 
Definition– How do I define X? Naming was one of the first tasks of man and brings clarity and vision.
Compare & Contrast– What is it I defined and how does it compare to something else. What are the similarities and differences between X and other things.
Circumstance- What is going on in the world during the time of X?
Relationship– What causes X? What precedes or follows X? What are the effects of X?
Authority -What have others said about X?

Why Care? 
From a classical pov, the 5 CT’s allow us to think widely and deeply about any subject area.
From a in real life pov, the 5 CT’s allow us a starting point of understanding.

This past year I made a poster for my class and referred to the 5 Common Topics in almost every seminar throughout the year. For instance, I had a Math Discussion sheet, based on the 5 Common topics- that allowed us to talk about Math problems, across 4 math curriculum and with kids in math programs varying from Saxon7/6 through Algebra. They might not have known how to do the Math itself, but they all knew how to dissect the math problem, understand what they did know and deduce solutions from there. They were often surprised at how much information they knew, even while being unfamiliar with the actual problem itself. We coupled this with really memorizing for understanding (long term vs short term) the definitions for Math Laws and Formulas and all became math stronger as a result.

How to Implement?
If you are not familiar with the 5 CT’s, write them out and put them where you’ll see them every day. I wrote them on the large chalkboard in my kitchen. I also made laminated bookmarks for my students to use. I asked them to bring them to class and we referred to them often. We also, as I’ve mentioned before, wrote 5 & 5 on the whiteboard at the beginning of our Community Day every week.
Use them in your discussions with your students. I make a point of talking about historical anachronism with my students every year especially in light of Circumstance, Comparing & Contrasting and Authority. One of my pet peeves as a writer, reader and intelligent person is when the past is presented or vilified based on our current pc times (case in point- the smear campaigns against Columbus, the Founding Fathers along with how women or marriage in past times are often portrayed to reflect the current climate). The important lessons are trivialized and we are left with a weak, watered down scorn for those who went before us.
Apply them yourself as you write, teach, read, discuss, think.I often stop those who I discuss things with- especially when it’s say, politics, or religion or education, and ask for definitions.

What’s the Benefit? 
The ability to think logically; to present an argument with fluidity and with nuance of meaning. It brings width and depth to what you do, what you are creating, what you are engaged in.

You might also be interested in Algebra I, Geometry and Algebra II

For even more info, check this out: Aristotle’s Common Topics in detail.

Lisa Nehring believes that “Education is the transmission of culture” and takes great delight in teaching, speaking and writing in order to encourage others to transmit a culture of Truth, beauty and goodness.
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