Involving Family and Friends when Homeschooling

Homeschooling photo

A homeschooling parent should take inventory of the talents in other family members around him or her. For example, I have a friend whose Grandfather was a journalist. This Grandfather drove thirty miles each way once per week to give his homeschooled grandchildren a lesson in writing. This gave the mother a break for two hours each week.

The children also benefit from shared family talent. If mom is not a good writer, but Granddad is, then the kids benefit by learning from someone who can give them real writing expertise. Chances are, their writing ability will be higher than it would have been before Granddad started helping out.

How to take a family inventory:

Write a list of all of your family and friends. Next to each name, write their strengths. To list their strengths think about what degree(s) they hold, or what they studied in college. List their natural talents as well, such as art or music.

Contact each family member and ask them if they would like to participate in your homeschooling endeavor. They don’t have to commit to giving lessons every day or even once per week. They could simply come the first Monday of every month or the last Tuesday of the month, whatever works with their schedules. Once per week may be ideal for the main subjects, but it is not necessary if you want them to come to do a craft with your child.

My father has published numerous science fair project books so whenever my daughter has a science fair project to do, I take her to his house. The difficulties I would have had in teaching that particular project, he made easy. My daughter was able to understand the concepts and she had a lot of fun working with her Grandfather. This may only happen once or twice per month, but it is still a big help.

Include anyone in the family, if they are willing to help. You can always put them in charge of taking the kids on a nature walk or practicing soccer moves in the back yard.…

How to Make a Life Size Word Family Tree for Your Homeschool

Helping your homeschooler learn about word families can actually be a lot of fun. The key is to find what technique will work best for your child. One way that to do this is to make a life size word family tree. If you don’t have room in your school area you can always put it on the wall in your child’s bedroom. Just find an extra wall space where you can hang up the tree.

To get started with making your word family tree you will want to purchase several large pieces of construction paper, as well as a large piece of cardboard. Additional supplies you will need are a hand size basket that you can use to hold your apples. The cardboard can be whatever size you want your tree to be. You can first sketch a picture of the tree on the cardboard. You don’t have to be a professional artist, but just draw your basic tree. Then hang up the cardboard sketch on the wall. You can then have your kids help with cutting the construction paper to fit the tree. Obviously you will need plenty of brown and green construction paper. You will also need a lot of red construction paper in order to make the apples. This is a good opportunity to help your children use their imagination in creating the tree.

At the top of the board you can write down a name for your word family tree. Then figure out a place where you want to hang your basket, or place it so that the kids can have easy access to the apples. For example for the “-ar”, family you will need to cut out at least 12 apples. On the apples you will want to put a blank line and at the end of the line the letter’s “ar”. On the trunk of the tree you will want to put a few letters along with a few blends. For example you can put the letter’s “bl, Ch, and other letters that the kids can pick and match with the blends. The letters on the bottom of the tree can be made out of construction paper, and laminate it. Then you can put a Velcro backing on it. Add a little bit of felt to the bottom of the tree. Make sure that the felt is b brown you that you can add a small matching square to the bottom of the tree.…