Homeschooling – My Story – Homeschooling

There are many roads to homeschooling. Mine started with a conviction that it was a good thing to do. Why had I formed this conviction? Well I had been homeschooled by my mother before she sent me away to boarding school at the grand ol’ age of seven! Yes, I hear you gasp, she had no choice we lived in “woop-woop” so this was a fact of life for me and many of my contemporaries. Actually boarding school wasn’t such a bad place – in many ways it was one of the best schooling experiences I had, and by time I left school I’d had plenty of those. Three years into my schooling career we moved and I then attended a church-based day school. It wasn’t bad either really but before I moved on to Secondary School, we moved again and I ended my primary schooling and did my Secondary schooling at government day schools. By the end I had sampled a fair range – three countries, six schools, day and boarding, private and state.When theoretical merged with practical, the choice became a little blurred. Would I be wise to homeschool my beautiful baby girl or send her to school with all her little friends? I had a few years to think about that I reasoned. When she was about 2 years old, I took her to be examined by a specialist in ADD/ADHD disorders. “Yes” he said, “I’d have no trouble diagnosing her ADD”. Now was my beautiful girl going to wear a label throughout her life – NOT if I had anything to do with it. The wavering was over – despite the legislative hurdles at the time homeschooling was in.To begin with being a law-abiding citizen I had trouble coming to terms with the common understanding in the community that homeschooling was only legal if one was a teacher. Of course this was erroneous – I had every right to educate my children as I wished providing that they were educated, that’s why I live in a democracy!I attended my first homeschooling conference and approached a man whom I knew had been homeschooling for quite a number of years, he had a large family and some were even grown up and successful. “I wish to homeschool, how do I start?” It surely must be the question everyone asks. He looked me up and down and said: “Just do it.” Disappointed at the reaction and lack of purposeful direction I wandered away. What he said makes a great deal of sense now at the end of my journey but made very little at the beginning.By the time my little darling was five, I decided to start, figuring that I had a year to try homeschooling and if I failed miserably she could always just go to school. So I started schooling at home – now forgive me if I say that there is a world of difference between school at home and homeschool, but let me explain. School is mass education, up to six hours a day, particular subjects taught in a particular way – homeschooling is tailored solution – tailored to the teacher, tailored to the students, flexible and one-on-one. It was a journey from schooling at home to homeschooling and it took me a little while to figure it out.It was a bit of a struggle finding suitable material – in fact some I just couldn’t find, especially for the early reading, writing and spelling; so I helped write it! Thus I started as a partner in a literacy business.There were days when I thought it was all too hard, that I was not doing my children justice, that they’d be better going to school, that homeschooling was cramping my style because my children were with me 24/7. As I started finding material I was comfortable with (some of which was out of print – good teaching material is always ‘in date’ even if it’s ‘out of print’), and settled into a routine, it became easier. Funny thing was that every time I doubted some little thing would happen to give me determination to continue my path. Something like seeing a contemporary’s schoolwork and realizing my children could do better, or hearing school horror stories at the various social group meetings we attended.Day followed day and year followed year. As my children became high school age, I gave them the choice to continue homeschooling or attend high school. They all chose homeschooling, doing TAFE short courses as well as their schooling. When time came to go onto tertiary education, they had no trouble doing what they wanted to do. The first chose animation, the second hairdressing. The third is looking at real estate as a career and the fourth – well she’s got a couple of years yet to think about it. Looking back over the time now – hindsight is 20/20 – homeschooling is one decision I will never regret. It was one thing I did SO right.What always bemused me was the reaction I got from people when I told them I homeschooled. The most common question was “What about their socialization?” I often wondered if people asking the question really understood the meaning of the word. I wondered whether people really thought that we lived like hermits, shut away from the world, and shunning society. The answer I heard which I liked best was that if God intended children be mass socialized they’d be born in litters – however that didn’t suit every audience! Over the twenty years I’ve been homeschooling the attitude of people has changed from being quite hostile to one of admiration. Now I think I probably am doing what others lack the courage to do.Another question I got from homeschoolers and others alike was: “What are you going to do when they get to University?” I did endless research on the subject which just confirmed the process we eventually went through when my eldest tried to get into her animation course. Having picked a course she lodged her form with the Tertiary admissions centre with this course in first place. When the offers came out she’d been given her fourth place offer. She contacted the TAFE concerned and they asked if she had a student number – she had as she’d done short courses! Good they said, you are a continuing student. She also found it bemusing that her teachers and students in her class often commented that she “did so well considering she’d been homeschooled” – quite what that meant she didn’t have a clue! If you want to do something badly enough you will find a way to do that – if getting to university is your goal, I’ve no doubt you will achieve it.At the end of the road what was the most important things? Good discipline was certainly one of those – I would never recommend homeschooling to parents who cannot keep order and authority at home – that would make for a very unpleasant journey. Communication is important – your children will go through all the teenage angst but always leave the door open, and teach them never to let the sun set on their anger. Children are masters of justice – they are happy to go along with it if it is fair.Remember that the bedrock of education is literacy. Children (and adults) can educate themselves in anything if they can read, write and spell. It makes life a lot easier if they have basic numeracy – times tables, place value and understanding of the basic arithmetic functions. Recognize learning situations – far from keeping your children insulated from society, let them embrace it as the learning environment it is, challenge them to move out of their comfort zones – their security is to have you along for the experience. Keep it simple; do it well.

Look for a Company Who Buys Homes for Quick Cash – Buying Home

If you want to sell your house fast then the foremost thing that you must do is look for a company who buys homes. These firms have cash in hand and can directly buy your house. In a couple of days your sale can be put to close and you can receive the correct amount of money for your home. Therefore, it does not matter which situation you are in because if you need to sell your property then this will be properly the ideal option for you. By getting instant cash in exchange for your house you can get your life back on track and start anew.An organization who buys homes does it without taking into consideration the situation it is in. Hence, whether you possess an ideal house or the one which requires renovation it really does not matter as you can buy it anyhow. With the correct firm you will not have to pay any commissions or go through any hassles of negotiations. These firms will solve all your issues. They generally possess the required monetary potency and flexibility which aid them in placing an offer in a short time.It will be possible for you to get a firm and fair deal that is competitive. With this kind of a firm you can be certain that your house will not stay in market for very long. The transaction can be brought to a close fast without any hassle. You should select a firm that comes with a proper track record which you can depend totally. With the exact firm you will find that it has the authority to sell your house quickly and directly.Selling a house quickly is not a very difficult affair as long as you contact the right company. You have a busy life and with the right firm you can simply remove the hassles, of paper work and negotiations. The house buying firm you opt for will manage all your dealings from beginning to the end. So, without any further hassle you should look for a company which purchases houses fast without any type of difficulty. Once, you decide to sell the home it would be ideal if you can find a cash buyer who can close the deal immediately. A cash buyer will charge the home value and make the deal by making the payment in cash.Cash property buyers can make straight deals and there is no hassle of hidden charges. This is the perfect solution for those who desire to sell house within a short time span. With a genuine company you can have sell home cash opportunity that ensures fair dealing and good price for your home. By selling your house you can be relieved and have complete peace of mind.

Avoiding Homeschooling Burnout – Homeschooling

Those of us who have been homeschooling for some time are familiar with the enthusiasm and willing commitment to a new homeschooling year in early September followed by a sense of feeling rushed and overworked somewhere around Thanksgiving. Homeschooling begins to feel emotionally like a burden instead of a worthwhile family journey and we feel fatigued and forgetful of which multitask we are performing! These are the signs of homeschooling burnout. Most homeschoolers can recognize the symptoms but some feel helpless to find a remedy that is more than short term symptom relief. Unless a real remedy is found, newer homeschoolers can even decide that it is all too much for them and the journey of homeschooling comes to a dead end that brings the child back into public school for the wrong reasons.Here are some helpful tips for finding a real remedy for homeschooling burnout:1. When you start to feel stressed out at even the thought of another homeschooling day, put the problem temporarily on hold and do something that you know will re-energize you at the start of the day such as meditation, prayer, yoga,or working up a sweat with a short exercise video. Make sure that you begin your day above the battlefield of stress, otherwise you will be carrying yesterday’s burdens into the new day.2. Once you feel refreshed, allow yourself time to look at the issues that concern you about homeschooling. That may be difficult when the baby is crying and the children are reluctant to do their chores! You will probably have to make sure that you do this process when you are able to create a quiet space for reflection perhaps on the weekend when your spouse can help with the children. Begin this reflection process by remembering why you made the decision to homeschool in the first place. Consider the goals and vision that you carry for your homeschooling family. What has happened to make you fall short of your working goals or to lose your sense of vision? Really look at this without blaming yourself, your spouse or your children for falling short of your dreams and goals. I think its a good idea to actually write this information down so that you can look at it more objectively.3. Once you have identified the problem, look for creative ways to find a real solution to these stresses, not just momentary relief. One of the common causes of stress can be things like overcommitments in your homeschooling schedule. Are you spending more time in the car going to co-ops and field trips and play dates and music/dance lessons than you are spending time together at home as a homeschooling family? Families work best with a rhythm to the day and if you feel that has been displaced by being away from home too frequently, then cut back on your outside activities. Another big stress is the feeling that you are not connecting with your child in your homeschooling.Perhaps your style of learning and your child’s are different. You will have to be flexible and adapt your expectations to what you can identify as the learning style of your child. How can you approach the material differently so that you can more effectively reach your child’s innate desire to learn and draw this forth from the child? Remember too that as a child matures, what may have worked before may not work now. You will need to look at the developmental stage of your child and see if the material is really meeting those developmental needs. Another major stress can be when you and your spouse are not sharing the same homeschooling vision for the family.Your roles may be different but a couple should share a fundamental sense of agreement on how to approach homeschooling. If that is not the case, then it becomes important to work out the difficulties with your spouse so that you have a more unified approach with the children. Sometimes relatives that do not support homeschooling can really add to that stress but if the couple is clear about their goals, then eventually other relatives will get the message!4. Once you have developed a new plan for restoring or re-envisioning your homeschooling journey, then implement that plan on a day by day basis. Listen and watch for signs that things are working better and fine tune and adjust your plan based on the feedback you get from the family. That doesn’t mean throw it all out if you meet some resistance! Simply be aware of observing how your new attitude and actions affect the family and readjust things as necessary.5. Be patient with yourself. Give yourself some time to succeed and make sure that you eat well, sleep well and go to bed at night with a sense of gratitude for the ability to change and grow as a family together. Make time to see friends and laugh together.Then, instead of feeling like a candle being burned at both ends, your healthy attitude will be a steady and encouraging light around which your family can rally.If you take the time re-envision your homeschooling goals and find creative and balanced ways to meet them, you should be able to avoid homeschooling burnout. This, along with a daily dose of relaxation, laughter and healthy living, creates a good recipe for a happier homeschooling lifestyle. Enjoy your homeschooling journey!

Buy Real Estate At Tax Deed Sales – Buying Home

With a little knowledge and some prior research it is quite possible to buy homes with tax liens for as little as 10-50 cents on the dollar.In certain states, tax lien holders can force the lien property into foreclosure. These properties are then auctioned off at tax deed sales. Typically, a canny investor can acquire property at these sales at much lower prices than traditional real estate auctions where prices will usually make over 60 cents on the dollar.These states are called Tax Deed States. In a deed state:* The investor actually acquires title to the property* No interest rate or redemption period is involved since the investor received the property itself.So what type of properties end up at these sales? Surely they must be run down places in bad neighborhoods right?Wrong. Certainly, out of the many lien-outstanding homes there will be some undesirable examples in rough parts of town but there will also be plenty of perfectly nice, habitable properties going for a song.Do not assume that it is only poor homes where people allow their property taxes to lapse and get into a foreclosure situation. You would be amazed at some of the people and places who end up losing their homes in this way and there are many extremely valuable lots selling at tax deed sales in every state.My best guess is that most of these people simply miss the payment deadline. I have known of famous and wealthy people that have been foreclosed on. Often these people have no experience in the financial world and employ a financial company to manage their affairs. Maybe the management company missed an invoice or never received it in the first place?In the case of developers and real estate companies sometimes they will intentionally hold off on paying their property taxes so that they become the buyers responsibility on closing. They see it as a kind of short-term loan. This tactic can go badly wrong if an absent minded secretary misplaces an invoice!Obviously, the nicer the property the higher the price it will make at auction, but even with a relatively small budget it is possible to buy real estate at tax deed sales.* All properties (other than Native American Reservations) incur property taxes. These pay for local and municipal services like Police, Fire Protection, Libraries and Roads.* Tax Liens can be found on a wide variety of properties. From small homes to luxury homes, condos to vacant lots. Commercial lots to warehouses and even entire shopping malls. At any given tax deed sale you will find real estate that once belonged to well known companies, celebrities and even federal organizations.* Lien amounts range from $100 to over $1 million.

Homeschooling in an NCLB Society – Homeschooling

What does NCLB (No Child Left Behind) have to do with homeschooling? After all, homeschooling is exempt from NCLB. The regulations set forth by NCLB are all directly tied to federal funding and homeschools are not federally funded, so why should you care?The pressure of the testing that is directly related to NCLB not only stresses out the kids, but it makes otherwise wonderful teachers virtually ineffective. They are pressed to “finish the book.” They don’t have time to stop at the teachable moments. And teaching to individual learning styles? Unless that learning style involves filling in a bubble with a #2 pencil, you may as well throw that out the window. It’s not necessarily what teachers choose to do, it’s just what they are left with.Is it any wonder so many families are choosing to homeschool? Homeschoolers do what NCLB was designed, in principle, to do: Not leave any children behind. Homeschoolers teach a topic or a skill and you work on it until it is mastered. In 2003, it was estimated that 1.1 million children were homeschooled. That number is undoubtedly growing.Evaluating progress is not, in itself, a bad thing. It’s the manner in which it is occurring that is disturbing to me. NCLB wants parents to “know that their children are learning.” But the testing doesn’t test what they have learned. However, some states, such as Alaska require homeschooling students to take standards-based assessment tests. If these children are taking the same test that the public school children are taking, what is the difference? The difference lies in the fact that the homeschooled children have not been “taught the test.” And parents, then, have an opportunity to see the results year to year and adjust to their individual child instead of having to make broad generalizations about children who won’t even be learning with you the next school year.Something many people are unaware of is the fact that there are not any federally recognized national standards. There are many organizations (such as the National Council of Teacher of English) who have written “voluntary” standards, but NCLB does not actually define what schools are supposed to be teaching. They just want schools to be held accountable for whatever it is that they are teaching. Nearly every state has a different assessment test. This is why: Each state lays out their own set of standards (often based on the recommended or voluntary standards of teaching organizations). And then, in many states, each district writes their own scope and sequence to meet those state standards.So, what is the correlation then, between homeschooling and NCLB? Because in most states, some type of reporting to the state is required. Home schools are already regulated under state law. While section 9506 of the NCLB Act protects the rights of homeschools, religious schools, and private schools, state officials often have to be reminded that this is the case. It is important that homeschooling parents, especially those just starting out are aware of their rights. How, then, do homeschoolers know that they are getting the “right” content to their children? Some don’t follow any of that and prefer to let their child lead their own learning. Some, however, would like a little more structure, especially in states where there is no “homeschooling law” present. The best comprehensive guide I have found that covers all age groups (preschool-grade 12) can be found at http://www.worldbook.com/wb/Students?curriculum. But my best piece of advice would be to choose a curriculum that works for you and your homeschooler.

Change Your Mindset Of Buying Homes – Buying Home

It is time to change the reasons for buying a home – you may want to evaluate other situations including ‘Are the fundamentals of this location good including schools, crime-rate, access to freeway, access to community and cultural activities and Weather’.Gone are those days where you thought – I only have 200k and I need a 4bedroom, 3 bath – for this price, this is the city I can buy and live. You now have the most opportunity window anybody could get and probably a wide and confusing set of choices in front of you. I recently spoke to a realtor company who helps their clients buy investment properties and they are seeing a rise in the ‘sellers’ and several great locations are coming on sale.Our advise to you: Hold on to your wallet and watch and wait before you jump in. Newer factors play in now and depending on your needs, ask and choose the best out there :a. Good schools in all levelsb. Good Weatherc. Nearby brand name companies and their growth trackd. Cultural activitiese. Crime ratef. Safe and open spaceg. Access to highwayh. Newer Mallsi. Health care access and proximity to brand name hospitalsj. Access to home improvement storesk. Parks and playgroundsl. County Librares and free community services.Lastly, Friendly neighbors.You can find this article and several such blogs written by home owners who show-off their home at http://www.likepoint.com. Remember, at LIkePoint, you can upload photos to create Sldeshows of your home, house parties, bathroom, kitchen, bedroom and talk just about anything.

The Homeschooling Schedule – Homeschooling

Although homeschooling families are as varied as the number of families involved in homeschooling, they all have at least one thing in common. That is a strong sense of responsibility for their child’s education. Homeschooling families are comprised of all walks of life and all geographic regions.Starting to homeschool can be nerve racking. It is for most everyone. Your brain is on overdrive with all the information you have gathered about, homeschool curriculums and all those choices. Homeschool schedules and lesson plans, what to teach, how to teach, what if I don’t know the subject, where do I find homeschool resources and which are the best for us? After a while you will feel like you need a break from it and that’s o.k. you probably should take a little downtime.Early on many new homeschoolers feel more comfortable with formal structure and scheduling for each of their days. However, most homeschool parents usually evolve into a less rigid methodology as they become more confident with their lesson plans and their teaching ability and style. As you gain confidence and become less rigid in your approach and schedule you’ll find that flexibility is a key element of your homeschool schedule. Unexpected developments will always crop up during the day so the quicker you can gain confidence and become more flexible, the less stressful you will find your day.Remember. Even with the abundance of homeschooling information that is readily available to you, the absolute best resource you have available is you and your creativity! Don’t get sideways when things don’t go according to the plan. One of the biggest advantages to homeschooling is the fact that you are in control of the scheduling and you can approve any changes to your homeschool schedule.Be yourself, encourage and love your kids, don’t worry about always doing everything ‘the right way’. Always expect to learn something new! And emphasize having fun!