Homeschooling: Break? Year Round? First Day of Homeschool? Q & A

I did not want you to be left confused. I feel like explaining things that are difficult for some people to understand. I decided to do this in the form of a Q &A, but ask and answer the question myself. The questions people have asked of me.

Q: Do you take a summer break, or do you homeschool year-round?

A: Niether and Both. We do relaxed homeschooling and tidal wave homeschooling, a form of education which means that we are like the tide coming in and going out.

We try to do as best we can to get to where I consider to be “at grade level” in each subject for each child. We do not ever stop working on this, but we are also not always concernd about this.

We have ebbs and flows. Sometimes, with much effort, we learn a whole bunch and progress a lot in a period of time (this sometimes looks like an accelerated school for the gifted or early college, and sometimes looks like a 1900 one-room schoolhouse). At other times, we are more like unschoolers. Sometimes, we have a day that looks like montessori school. Sometimes, we have a field trip day. When people visit or we visit others, we have a day completely dedicated to only socializing. When we visited Grandma Preece or when Uncle Steven came over, we dropped all of our concerns and cares, and just visited. The kids learn plenty by visiting and socializing with others.

Q: Homeschoolers do not have to start school when the public schools begin. Isn’t that right?

A: This has a long answer, too. We do not have to, but because of classes we signed up for, we do.

We enroll in some classes not led by me but by teachers my husband and I chose or hired. One of these is free and it is The Church Seminary Program. (Oh, did you catch that? I almost used the acronym). Early Morning Seminary this year begins the same day public school begins in my area. This means that although we do not really care when homeschool begins or ends, I can choose a day when I can say something officially begins. It is the day Seminary begins.

The hired teachers and has also chosen certain dates to begin their classes, vacation days and end dates. Likewise, many homeschool parents join “co-ops,” which are groups of homeschoolers who get together and do learning together. These co-ops have a set schedule. A co-op has a start date, vacation dates and end dates, too.

I would not want to have the first day of homeschool for the kids which have teachers who’ve given them start-dates, and not have this for the younger 4. After all, the younger 4 are so looking forward to “doing homeschool” officially again. Their siblings are officially starting and so are their neighborhood friends and cousins.

This would be when I to the part called “get the kids ready for the first day of school (by clothes shopping at the back to school clothing sales) as a mom” and the part where I do “put in full-time hours of preparation of the homeschool room, planning and getting ready for homeschool to officially begin on August 27, like a paid public school teacher,” at the same time. (The second part includes getting in on back to school curriculum and supplies sales).

Speed Tour of my Recently Cleaned and Re-Organized Homeschool Room

Of course, many teacher moms do this. They get their own gets ready and sent off, and they also go to the school all day for a couple weeks to get their public school classroom ready.

This “Photographer Mom” is prepared to do “First Day of Homeschool 2018” photos next week!

It’s just a little different. I do not get paid and I do not have to get someone to tend the kids while I go off to work. They are here and I am here, which means I do the prep work and they wish I wouldn’t because it means I am not giving them the attention they would like. It is hard on the kids here, as they are eager to “officially start school” again, and frustrated that their mom is working on prepping and pretty much just letting them “fend for themselves” (except the littlest, who at least gets fed by mom and gets a lot of attention because he demands it).

I hope this helps everyone to understand my world so that they are not confused. There are so many different ways to homeschool. Sometimes, there are jokes or memes on the internet that give one impression, and the people who do not know that all homeschools are different get so upset when things are not the way a youtube video says they are.

This one is a funny one by “It’s a Southern Thing.”

Tell me, are the others exaggerated? Yeah. So do you think the homeschool mom one is? Think about it. I am a homeschool mom and I still laughed at it. I was not upset by the inaccuracy. I know it’s all exaggerated and it is a joke. It’s very funny. If you like it, subscribe, because all of their videos are just as humorous!

For the record, homeschool moms and kids do get dressed in day clothing because they are very busy. We get dressed for the same reasons that you get dressed during the summer. Also, homeschool moms usually put together or join in on a “Not Back to School” park day or party on the first day of local public school. We all know when school starts, including those who do unschooling! We all look forward to getting the museums and parks back to uncrowded. We love it when school starts and are very aware!

I am most like the photographer mom, by the way. I am very sentimental, an artist and a graphic designer, after all! So, yeah, homeschool moms are all different, too, and we have personalities that are all different from the personalities of other homeschool moms. We love our variety and differences!

I Am Determined to Help Moms At the Beginning of Their Homeschool Journeys

I am going to help other women who are beginning to homeschool their children and need a guiding hand and a loving, listening ear. This is what I must do. I am moving on to a new step in my homeschooling journey.

What if I were the last woman on this planet left homeschooling?

I had to give something up in order to gain something in my homeschool this past year. Well, truth be told, I had to give a lot of things up to make homeschooling this many kids something that can function. I gave up facebook and all of the homeschooling facebook groups that went along with it. That gave me ever so much more time to actually teach my kids things and be a way better mom. I also had to give up much of the communication I had with my very local, very close homeschool friends. I did not give up all of it, mind you. I did not enjoy it, either. Because I gave up facebook, I also gave up facebook messenger, where much of that chatting went on. Even the giving up of the much chatting with my really close friends about homeschooing gave me much more time to lesson plan, to shop for homeschooling resources, to read books which improved my knowledge and helped me homeschool better and to spenc more one on one time with each child, enjoying life and one another and learning together.

To the other homeschool moms out there, it is not beyond the realm of possibilities for any number of you to decide to send your kids to a private school, a charter school, an online school or a public school in any given year. If it were to happen, you would defend your decision, perhaps on a blog post like this one. You would have many reasons. I do not know what your reasons would be. They are your own. I am telling you this, though. It would upset me to read about your decision. I am candid here. Even if you are a stranger and were never my support network, I would be upset because I get so psyched about the growing of the homeschool movement. If you are a personal friend, it would hurt on a more personal level, but would be guilt. “Why was I not there for her? Why did I not support her enough? Did she need me? What did she need from me?” This is because when we are in this, we know that it is tough. It is EXTREMELY tough. Support is so important.

I reflect. Am I homeschooling today only because of the support network I had when I started? Why, yes. Yes, indeed. I would not be in my 5th full year of homeschooling this year were it not for the support of people who, at the start, were complete strangers. I would not have even started had it not been for the support of a good and kind friend who supported me starting and helped me to start doing it.

Today, though, after 5.5 years of homeschooling, I am on a different level. I no longer feel a vital dependency on other homeschool moms around me for my continuation in homeschooling. I feel that I could be the last homeschooling mom on the planet. I know it would be exceedingly more difficult than it is for me now, but I feel so much more strongly about it. I am so much more experienced in it. I am not homeschooling because of the support network I have in homeschooling my kids at this time. I would keep doing it without any of the support. 

I am a different woman than the one who started to do this in January of 2012. I am not too different, though. Then, I had to meet people who were strangers and start from scratch. This year, I have a huge library of resources and curriculum. I have a lot more experience and knowledge, too.

This having taken place in my life was a miracle. It was calming and peaceful. It has made the inner turmoil go away. It has made guilt and worry go away. This past Sunday as I listened to a talk in church and learned wisdom from it, my stress also went away, as the speaker advised me to “Enjoy the Journey.”

I am committed to enjoy the journey, but in order to enjoy the journey I must serve others by helping those who WANT TO ENJOY THE HOMESCHOOLING JOURNEY but are too overwhelmed, too worried, too concerned, too unsupported and too frazzled with stress to do so. My new NEED is to help others who are at the beginning of their journey, who are not yet to the point where they could and would homeschool even if nobody in the world did it but them.

Joyce Kinmont is a wonderful example to all of us who feel the call to help other homeschool moms to get to the point where they feel they could do this on their own. Joyce sends me E-mails now because I joined her E-mail list. Her E-mails are simple but peaceful and supportive. Her website blog, Every Home A School, is the same. Joyce is the first Homeschool Mom in the state of Utah (as far as I know) since it became legal again. She is the founder of the LDS Home Educators Association. She started this when nobody in the whole state was there to walk her through it. That is amazing and very courageous. If it hadn’t been for her, perhaps I would not have heard of homeschooling and would not be homeschooling my kids today.

She is one of my heroes. She does not support me and you in homeschooling because she needs the support. She is a grandmother now and has been finished homeschooling her own children fo a while now. She did not decide that she needed time to herself more than time to help us. That is crazy. Who does that? A hero does that. A Great Woman of God does that.

I am not going to tell you “I want to be just like her when I grow up” because I do not. I want to be me, but heroic in helping other homeschool moms, just like her. I will figure out a way to be a hero with my own gifts, talents, determination, goals and guidance from our loving Heavenly Father.

A Great Woman of God I will become. It will take time. It may take the rest of my life. I am determined, though, and I will become the Woman of God that Heavenly Father sees I can become!

{“There is no chance, no destiny, no fate, that can circumvent or hinder or control the firm resolve of a determined soul.” -Ella Wheeler Wilcox quotes (American poet and writer 1850-1919)} (Source: Thinkexist.com)

Free Ebook “The Underground History of American Education,” by John Taylor Gatto

Great chance!

This is an awesome book. I just finished it. In print, I bought mine for $30 on Amazon.com It is very much about politics and very much about the history of education in America.
It is also about the evil elite and social engineering with eugenics.
Please take advantage of this chance to get it in ebook form free only until Aug. 31st! It is John Taylor Gatto’s “The Underground History of American Education.”free ebook:

https://hsconv.com/29ZZHyy

P.S. Having the print version is better as this is a classic must own!

Weber State University General Associates Degree Using Many CLEP & DSST Exams

Weber WSU General Associates with CLEP and DSST Exams (Download entire document for free here)

Weber WSU General Associates with CLEP and DSST Exams_Page_1

Page 1 of the Document: Weber State University Associates Degree Guide for Homeschoolers 9th-12th Grades (Early College for Homeschoolers in Northern Utah)

Utah Homeschool Affidavit SB39 with School Notifications Requests

Below is a Utah Legal Homeschooling Affidavit for you to fill out. You will need to look up secretary and school names, and school addresses, for the school district and for the school(s) your child or children currently attend or would attend next (if moving up from elementary to junior high or from junior high to high school). You will need to put down all of the names of your kids whom you will be educating yourself.

This is a legal notification to let your child’s school, the school district and state of Utah know that you will be educating your own children. Should you choose to enroll in a school district program of any kind, such as free speech therapy or Head Start, your child will need to be enrolled in the district for you to do that. When they ask you to fill out all the forms and give them immunization records, you are officially registering your child in a school district program. I believe this may nullify the whole official homeschool thing, but I am not sure of that at all (you go ahead and ask if you need to). Should you choose to enroll your child in an online or charter school after sending an affidavit in, that will nullify the affidavit for that child, so you would need to fill this out again to legally homeschool after enrolling in one of those (which, officially, is a Utah school). If you move to a new county/ school district (not a new home), you need to fill it out again for the new county/ school district.

You do not need to tell the district your child’s age, birthdate or grade level. The new SB 39 (signed into law by Governor Gary Herbert on April 1, 2014) says should you enroll your child in a Utah school again, you get to decide whether to have your child assessed by the school. You also get to decide which grade level your child will be placed into. (The schools used to have the power to just assess and decide for you. They no longer have that power.)

When you are finished filling the form out without signing it, get your legal photo identification (such as a drivers’  license) and take the form to a notary public. Some libraries, banks, postal services and the like, will have them available to the public. One time, we used the library (which only has a notary public when that employee is working there). Another time, we went to Wells Fargo Bank, which seems to always have one whenever the bank is open. You will explain to the notary that you need a notary. They will invite you to sit down and sign it in front of them. They will ask to see your identification. They will have a ledger to fill out. (I signed the ledger because I had not signed the document in front of the notary and she needed to see me sign it.) The notary will sign and will stamp your affidavit with a notary public seal. The purpose of this is so that someone else cannot take your child out of public school on your behalf, pretending they are you.

After this, you can either take in or mail in your affidavit to your school district office. I think taking it in is better because then you can ask and make sure to get your certificate of exemption before leaving the district offices. (You may never get one if you mail it in.)

SB39 does not require that you teach certain prescribed subjects or a certain number of days in a year. You, the parents or guardians, and your child get to decide how your child is educated and in what. (Before SB 39 became the law, homeschool affidavits said that you had to teach math, language arts, social studies, science, health, and so forth. It also said you had to teach 180 full school days in a year.)

You may be wondering why Utah allows this. Before this law was passed, many of us called in or wrote in to our school board. Some homeschool moms even showed up at school board meetings and spoke up about homeschooling, how great it is, how well-educated our kids are, with valid statistics. I wrote them and the governor E-mails. In my E-mails, I had video footage of my five-year-old doing Montessori pink reading with 3-D objects, in front of our Christmas tree. I hope that helped!

Many school teachers spoke up against the law, saying this would give the homeschooling parents or guardians zero responsibilities and give the state of Utah many uneducated kids. They testified that they had students coming into the classrooms after having homeschooled, and said that they were behind. I do not believe they presented numbers or statistics.

I believe that because so many homeschool moms stood up and defended homeschooling and convinced the school board members and governor that what we do is statistically better than what the public schools do; That our kids attend college in just as great (or greater) numbers; That there are an overwhelming number of parents who educate their children very well in homeschooling; That this pushed them to vote for the Senate Bill by Aaron Osmond in 2014. It was a big success!

News stories on television started popping up soon after that. For a short time, some public school teachers and community members were angry that the homeschoolers could legally do this. Most of the citizens had never known that homeschooling was legal, so even knowing that was new to them. I am sure many who homeschool now are doing so even though in 2014 when the news stories showed up on their televisions and on Facebook, they were very upset that homeschooling people had received more liberties.

affidavit utah

Utah Legal Homeschool Affidavit SB 39 2014


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Related Blog Posts and Links:

Utah SB 39 Full Text

Utah Home Educators Association

Home School Legal Defense Association: Homeschooling in Utah

Considering Homeschool?

Homeschool Early College / Concurrent Enrollment at Weber State University

Teaching my Adorable Child to Read

Utah Relaxed Homeschool High School 9th Grade Battle Plan

“Homeschooling Middle School: Academics & Socialization”

LDS Home Educators Association (Joyce Kinmont)

 

 

 

LDS Women Can Make Academic Curriculum!

One really great quote by President Brigham Young on LDS Homeschool Curriculum Writing and Publishing is here below.

“We want to make our own school books. We are paying now from thirty thousand to sixty thousand dollars a year for school books that can be made here just as well as to send and buy them abroad. This is carrying out the plan and principles of building up Zion, whether you know it or not. We may preach until Doomsday, and tell how Zion will look, how wide her streets will be, what kind of dwellings her people will have, what kind of carriages and what fine horses they will have, and what a beautiful looking set of people they will be, but it is all nonsense to talk about what we will never reach if we do not stop our folly and wickedness. We have the privilege of building up and enjoying Zion, and I am telling you how to do it. We want the women, from this time forth, to go to work and save the paper rags, and we will make the paper for them. And they can learn to make type. I can pick hundreds and hundreds of women out of this congregation that could go into a shop and make type just as will as men, it is a trifling thing. And they can learn to set type, and they can learn how to write for our school books. We have plenty of men and women that know how to write books, and how to teach too. We have just as good school teachers here as any in the world.”

President Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 16:17)

He made a great point here, or a few great points. We cannot just talk about Zion. We have to have actions that show sincerity. We have to show faith by our actions. What, in 2015, are people waiting for? Zion is not something that President Monson is going to create for us, then invite us to join in on. Zion is something that united LDS people will create by coming together, having faith and being determined.

Brigham Young is also telling us here, that we LDS members must educate our own kids, that we have those among us talented and able, to write curriculum, design it, get it printed and publish it. We already have much selection in LDS Homeschool Curricula. We have the talent among us to make even more!

I am working on math standards created by piecing togehter the following:

Pre Common Core Utah Math Standards
Constance Kamii math principles, as covered in her Piaget-based research
My own math education (what was taught each year when I was in school)
What I know of my childrens’ abilities at each age
What I know about teaching math at home
What kids need the most in real life, put first
What I want my kids to know at each age
Math divided by topic, then by subtopic, first, and, last, by grade level within the topic and subtopic; Also, math divided by grade level, then by topic and subtopic (so that a parent can teach using one or the other)

If I can do this, why can others who are LDS not also do this? Ehy must we depend on members of other churches making “Christian” curricula? Why should we depend on non-LDS teachers? We can teach our own children. We can! I know, because I can. I know you can, too!

I know many of you who di homeschool ar thinking that the academic strength of LDS Homeschool Curricula is likely not good. I challenge those who think this to go onto the LDS Homeschool Curricula page, click on the links which I have labeled for having academics taught from an LDS Perspective, get samplea of these and try them out with your kids.

For those of you who are not yet homeschooling, I challenge you to contact someone you know personally who home educates and ask them for a tour of their homeschool set-up in their house, with some information on how they do it. I also suggest you join a facebook grouo for local homeschoolers and local LDS homeschoolers, so that you can go to group events and meet these people while you are making this decision about whether to do this yourself.

Please also go with your spouse to the temple, praying before and after about whether it be right to LDS homeschool your kids. I know that Heavenly Father knows what is best for you and yours.

Heavenly Father was involved in our decision to LDS Homeschool. I also recently received personal revelation that I need to unite the local LDS Homeschooling Community, so that we may be one in God’s hands (for if we are not one, we are not his). This blog post is part of that effort. I hope it helps many people!

I share this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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LDS Homeschooling Northern Utah fb page

What is LDS Homeschooling?

LDS Stands for Latter-Day Saints. LDS people are Mormons. They are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. You can learn more about this church and its beliefs at About the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

LDS Homeschooling is teaching our children the Gospel of Jesus Christ, from doctrines of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, in our homeschools, which is legal. Just like people of other faiths have the freedom right now, to teach their beliefs in their homeschool, so also do members of this church.

In the public schools, teaching religion is not allowed. Secularism is taught in schools. This is a freedom from religion in schools. It is not a respect for all religions, but a lack of respect for any religion in particular, keeping everyone from the teaching of any religious beliefs in the government-funded and government-run schools.

Secularism requires that the most recent theories developed by scientists who do not add religion to their theories, are taught to the students. Currently in the world, there are a great many political beliefs and philosophies of humankind taught in the public schools. In the U.S.A., I include the charter schools, since they are also controlled by the Common Core or an exact likeness of the same in most non common core states.

If you, your childrens’ other parent and your children are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, then there is no reason to feel guilty about the legality of or the time in your day, taken up in teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ in your homeschool. You can start small and with something very simple, and add or change things with time.

Here is an idea for how to begin to teach the gospel during the daytime, family-home-evening style in a way that is cost-free, using free resources peprovided by the church.

I recommend that together, you sing primary song or hymn, followed by a family prayer (for all present). I call this the devotional, and do not do it every day. I just do it as much as possible. I would like it if I were more consistent, but I am o.k. with doing my best. You should be, too.

When you feel ready to move beyond having this simple devotional, you may wish to add some small additional item. It does not have to be formal. You can teach the gospel while working and talking together, or while walking and talking together!

Here are some free church resources to use as references and helps in the Gospel education of your kids:

The Childrens Illustrated Scripture Stories
The Scriptures
the primary manuals (organized by age)
the current or past year primary theme and lessons
The Childrens Songbook
The Hymn Book
“The Friend” Magazine
“The New Era” Magazine
The youth curriculum
“For the Strength of Youth”
“Gospel Essentials”
“Gospel Doctrine”
“The Truth Restored”
“Jesus the Christ”
“The Articles of Faith”
“Teachings of the Presidents of the Church”
Seminary Manuals
Sunday School Manuals
“Teaching, No Greater Call”

All of these and more, are found here on the church’s official web site for members: The Church or Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Facebook group for Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints who Homeschool

LDS Homeschooling Northern Utah fb page