Friday, March 25, 2011

Educational Resources - End of March 2011

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Question and Answer: What and How My Homeschooling Works

  • Question: Would you like to share how you work with the scope and sequence (and textbook) to make your home-school more efficient?
  • Answer: To make your home-school more efficient, it means that you need to know:
    - what is your plan that you want to teach?
    - what do your kids want to be in the future?
    - what do your kids love to learn the most?
    - and what is the best method of teaching for your kids?
    We should also remember that we do not want our kids to be fed up with a lot of learning materials that our kids does not need. The most important is that our kids love toward learning in their daily life everyday.

  • Question: I know you accelerate, so I assume you don't do *ALL*, right?
  • Answer: We do focus on what the kids need to learn and like the most everyday. They also need to learn other subjects once or twice a week not everyday. This is a way to make them easy and love to learn everyday not getting bored. We also have a break in between school year, having field trips, having a class outside, etc.

  • Question: You pick and choose, and then move on if your child is understanding, right?
  • Answer: We let the kids decide which textbook that the kids think easy and understand to learn for them. Sometime, they learn without we are asking them to learn it. The most important is to keep communicating with them what they like to learn and we give support with all the learning materials and the activities they need.
    Yes of course, if they understand then they will continue to the next level.

  • Question: Which subject do you use as an anchor as to what level your children is? Is it math and language?
  • Answer: We need to teach all the subjects (Math, Language Arts, Science, Social Study, and Electives). The children need to learn all that subjects which will be presented to Board of Education in the portfolio meeting.

  • Question: How do you know your children have reached a level where they'll be okay to attend a CC? I assume at a level equivalent to 9th-10th grade?
  • Answer: To know the kids are ready for college, you should see their academic skill and their maturity.
    We do not want to see our kids immature in the class to handle their own problem in the class, with the home-works load, the classmate with different ages, the materials that being taught for adult, etc.
    For academic skill, I always wait until when they are in the same level of 11 or 12 grade.

  • Question: And does it guarantee a transfer to a 4 year univ?
  • Answer: If your kids are taking classes in Community College, then your kids and you should have to plan a head before applying the community college and which 4-years university that your kids will transfer to. The best way is always asking to the admission office to know what the requirements are. By doing so, It will help you and your kids to choose and decide which all the courses are transferable to that university where your kids will attend.

I hope my answers will help you.

You also have to remember that each family has different way of homeschooling their children. My home-school may not working for your family and others.
Your home-school may not working for me and others, too.
Because every family is unique.

Have a Happy Homeschooling....

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Question and Answer : Starting Homeschool

As you know that making decision to do homeschooling for your children, it is not easy.

This is what I did the first time I started homeschooling for my kids.

  • First: saying Bismillah.
  • Second: knowing the homeschooling law in your state.
  • Third: going to your local school district if you needed,
  • Fourth: finding the material for teaching our kids at home (online, library, or used text books)
  • Fifth: Making plan and schedule.
  • Sixth: patience and doa every day and night.

Insha Allah, it will help you to make decision.

Here are some questions and answers:

Q: I have a few questions regarding the homeschooling process. Do I have to tell the school authorities that my children will not be attending school, or submit some kind of form for the same?

A: If your children are already in public school, I suggest you to write letter to Board of Education (BOE) that saying you are withdrawing your children from the school or you can call the BOE and tell them that you are going to home-school your children.

It's good if you are doing this when it starts the new semester of school year.

The BOE will ask you to fill the form of Notice of Intent (NOI) to do home-school for your children. In that form you will have to write:

- What subjects are you going to teach? It must be including these 5 subjects: Math, Language Arts, Social Study, Science, and Electives (Islamic Study, Citizenship, Arts, etc)

- How many days of school year for you children? at least 180 days in a year.

- Who is the teacher? of course parent ( if you will be the teacher for your children)

- signature

After you submit this NOI, they will send you an approval letter that you can start home-school your kids.

At the end of school year (around June-August), they will send you a letter about when you are going to have the portfolio meeting with BOE.

Q: Do homeschooling groups meet for some kind of group activities?

A: We used to have groups meet for science activities in Elly Whitney Museum, but now our children are grown up. They are busy with other things.

You can start making a new group to do activities together with other home-school family, if you want to. The Muslim family who are doing home-school and live in Connecticut area are: Waterbury(1 family) , Bridgeport (1 family) , Stamford (1 family) , West Haven (1 family), Windsor (1 family), New London(1 family), and Hamden (2 families). I hope i don't miss anyone.
Because of the situation that we live far away from each other, it's not easy to do activities together.
Insha Allah, there will be family event for homeschooling day in the future.

Q: My children have been in the public school system, and enjoy working with other children. I was hoping you could suggest some ways I could provide this interaction for them?

A: My children were the same thing. They went to public school, too.
Some of activities that I did to have socialize with other children: such as

  • bring them to masjid for Sunday school
  • teach other kids about Islam and the same time you teach your own kids while they are having friends.
  • go to field trip
  • join classes for homeschooling kids such as: science class, Physical Education, etc.
  • join the contests such as, Geo Bee, American Math Contest, Islamic Study contest, science activities, etc.

If you want to know more, you can join other homeschooling group that close to your area to know more activities for homeschooling family.
Here the link: Local Homeschool Support Groups Map

Q: And finally, how do I assemble a year end portfolio? What are the components?

A: The portfolio, you can find more information about it in my blog: Home school portfolio

Have a Happy Homeschooling....

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

"Where Is My Cookie?"

One day, one of Idris's classmates was wondering about why Idris had to go out from the class everytime at 6 o'clock.

"Idris, why did you always go out at 6 o'clock?" asked his friend.
"I went out to get my cookies," Idris answered with smile.

The next day, at six o'clock, Idris came out from his class.
When Idris was back in the class, some of his friends were begging him for cookies.

"Idris, where are the cookies?," asked one of his friends.
"Oh, I ate all the cookies," said Idris raising his both hand up.
His friends were sad because no more cookies for them.

When the class was over, one of his friend said something to all his friends.

"I knew why Idris had to go out at 6 o'clock. He had to pray," his friends explained to other friends.
"Yeah, you're right, I ate my cookies and did my pray, too" said Idris happily.

This is just one simple story in my children daily life that means a lot for me, as a parent. Alhamdulillah, He always remember his obligatory to Allah.

May Allah always bless him and all our children. Ameen.