Friday, June 16, 2017

Homeschooling summit notes

Just some quick notes so I can remember what I learnt.

Recently a Homeschool summit was held over about 2 weeks, the sessions were live online and then you could watch the replay for free for each talk within 24 hours after it was given. It was such great timing for me as I had just started to seriously look into home based education, trying to work out if its something we could do.

There were only a few sessions I listened to all the way through, most of them I just had playing, or I dipped in and out just to get the general vibe. The presenters were mostly VERY enthusiastic homeschooling parents, and their particular strength or experience was the reason they were doing a particular session, and a few weren’t hs parents but  experts in a particular relevant fields.

Their enthusiasm was interesting for me as I'm mainly approaching this from a practical/convenient view, I don't think I would consider it if I lived in Aus or if there was an obvious choice of school here. Many of these mums choose to do it because it is better for their kids for various reasons, and better for their overall family life. 

There were some things which I thought would be good for all parents, not just homeschooling ones (such as reading aloud and interest based projects, building character) and other things which were really specific to home based education (the freedom , how to run a co-op, how to apply for uni).
The first session was about different approaches to homeschooling, I had just been reading about that so it was great to listen to someone talk about it more in depth and with lots of enthusiasm and personal stories. 

  Similar to this:

One thing that was mentioned in this session (can’t remember in which method) was some use other books rather than history text books to teach history, maybe they mentioned biographies or something. Anyway that reminded me that by the time I studies WW2 in year 11 or 12 I had already read heaps of fiction kids chapter books about it. I think this made it much easier and more interesting to study.

So that inspired to go to a bookshop and see what books were there. So far I have just been looking for kids Khmer books, as we have been given some English kids books suitable for our kids current ages.  But during the summit I was looking for books they can grow into and learn from such as maybe biographies of famous scientists etc.  I found one on solar cooking and retelling of the Gingerbread man story.

The preschooler LOVES the gingerbread man book, we had to read it many times the week we bought it. And then he wanted to make gingerbread men, so we looked that up on youtube, and also tried to learn about foxes from youtube. He also learnt some new words such as “gobble” and “snout”, as well as watching a few cartoon versions of the story.

 Even just reading the list of presentation topics was really useful for me to learn more about homebased education, so heres the list:

 Designing your own Personalised Homeschool (different approaches eg- school at home, Waldof, etc etc)
Raising Kids of Strong Character

Get out from under the 'Mother Load' and move from Manic to Marvellous (by a self care coach- why stress is bad for you, how it impacts your kids, how to manage it)

Unschooling : Birth to 5

But what about University? (explaining the many many different paths to uni in Aus, I didn’t pay much attention to detail here as these sort of things change but it was good to know that at the moment there seems to be lots of different ways to get into uni should your homeschool child want to do that)

Nurturing a Love of Literature (most sessions made references to reading out loud together but this one was ALL about that)

Homeschooling Multiples: Different ages, personalities, and learning styles (learning styles seems to come up a lot)

100 interviews later: 10 unforgettable lessons I've learned from homeschooling parents,

Natural Learning : Simply Living,

Respectful Parenting

Unschooling our Children, Deschooling Ourselves

 Herding Cats - How to Make Homeschool Groups Work (this was nuts and bolt info about homeschool co ops in Aus, things like if you join some homeschooling association you can hire halls and insurance is covered and you might get a schools discount)

Preparing your homeschooled or unschooled teen for university (different to the previous topic of how to get into uni without having done traditional highschool

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