It’s that time of year. The time when all of a sudden you realize you need to make a decision on education for your child. It can be overwhelming! To help you out, we’ve put together some resources. Plus, a general resource we discovered was greatschools.org which seems to be a one-stop shop for many aspects of education.
Basic Education Definitions
There are so many options when it comes to choosing the right school. Even figuring out the difference can be challenging. Here are some basic definitions.
What is a private school?
A secondary or elementary school run and supported by private individuals or a corporation rather than by a government or public agency.
What is a charter school?
A public school operated independently of the local school board, often with a curriculum and educational philosophy different from the other schools in the system.
What is a public school?
An elementary or secondary school in the United States supported by public funds and providing free education for children of a community or district.
What does it mean to homeschool?
A school operated outside established educational institutions, especially in a home.
Understanding Public School
Being involved in your child’s education is imperative, regardless of the education choices you make. Visit the Public School Review for a very robut resource on public education.
Thinking about private school?
Private school is a big financial decision for your family. Here are some resources to help you make the best decision for your family.
We asked a few homeschoolers for their tips:
What does a “day in the life” of a homeschooler look like?
–The beauty of homeschooling is that a typical day can look different for every family. You do what works for your family and even that changes depending on what season of life you are in. Last year I tried to complete everything in one big block of time and this year we do a few subjects at a time and then take a break throughout the day. With an active two year old that is what works for us right now.
Where do you get information about homeschooling?
–Other homeschoolers and the internet are great resources
–When I started considering homeschooling, I looked EVERYWHERE for information. The Internet has tons and tons of info, from articles about the subject, to blogs by homeschooling moms, to legal info from the Washington homeschool association. I read everything I could get my hands on, and I even googled things like, ‘homeschooling was a nightmare’, and ‘I regret homeschooling’, because I wanted to read about the bad experiences people had, along with the good. I also talked to several of the homeschool moms I know from town, we met over coffee and they let me look at their lesson plans while they talked about their daily schedules, and what works/doesn’t work for them.
–As a fairly new mom to homeschooling I prefer to have a lesson plan I can follow so I know I am covering what needs to be covered. We use Heart of Dakota and love it. That being said, we are flexible with it! I use a different math program then they suggest and there are certain activities we might not do or new ones we might add depending on the day.
–Since we are independent homeschoolers (we don’t go through a district program), we have to buy our own curriculum, which I quickly learned can get super expensive. I found the majority of our books at The Schoolbox in Arlington. Sadly they are closing in March, but I have found I can buy a lot of our workbooks on Amazon as well. I am also in the Stanwood homeschool buy, sell, swap group on FB, and have gotten things on there.
How did you come to the decision to homeschool?
–I made the decision for many reasons but one was that my child had some fine motor skill issues but was completely on track in other areas. I didn’t want to hold him back and knew if he was in a public school system he wouldn’t get the one on one that I would be able to give him at home.
How do you know it is right for your family?
–For now it works for us. The flexibility and one on one time I am able to have with my children is key to me.
–I just feel a peace about it. My son is calmer, happier, and learning so much more than he did while he was in public school. And I am much happier too. Every day last year I would worry sick about him at school, because I knew he was unhappy, and my husband and I weren’t happy with his situation. Now I know what he’s learning, how much he is retaining, and we can go at his own pace. It works great for him. I really enjoy the special one on one time we get with each other, too. I haven’t questioned my decision once. I know it’s right for him. But I want to add that we don’t have any issues with the public school, and our middle son attends public school and is loving it! For us, it really comes down to how each of our children learn and what is best for him.
This online list has some great homeschool resources!
Prep For Open Houses
Getting ready to attend an open house? Feeling overwhelmed and unsure of what to look for and ask. Check out this great resource on questions to keep in mind so you can better decide what is most important for you and your family.
Prep Your Child For Transition
Have a child transitioning to a new school this year? Or, a child going into school for the first time? Transition can be very difficult. Take some steps to help things go smoothly for your family.
Incorporate Learning Into Home Life
Find ways to incorporate additional learning opportunities into your child’s daily routine. Check out some of these great educational apps. Continue the learning even at home!
Help Your Child With College Decisions
Choosing the right college can be difficult? Do you have a child heading off to college? Help them make the right choice.
Do you have any resources or ideas to add to this list?