Author Archives: Luma Learn

Book Hooks: Writing for Life

Young student at a computer taking an online English course.

Writing complete and clear sentences often seems to be a lost art.  In the world of text messages and social media tweets, we often see fragments and phrases, instead of gracious, deliberate communication. However, a writer, who communicates clearly and thoughtfully, attracts readers who gain insight and perspective. My ultimate goal of teaching writing is for students to grow in their ability to become adults who ponder their words, instead of casually tossing half-truths and unsupported opinions across the airwaves.  Therefore, I encourage even my young students to thoughtfully plan and carefully select the words the words they will use. The Book Hooks writing curriculum, which I have developed for elementary and middle school students, is based on four personal beliefs: writing is a skill which can be taught; great writers provide ideal role models; students enjoy writing about interesting topics; and tools for writing make the process easier. I believe that great books open the door to a child’s imagination and open a treasure trove of knowledge.  In my Book Hooks writing classes, I use books as hooks to introduce a topic, skill, and/or purpose of writing.  The books used in class model for the student great writing examples, […]

The Homeschooler’s Secret Weapon: Online Homeschool Music Classes

In this new era of nearly normalized homeschooling, even more people are looking at the benefits and challenges of homeschooling. And while for so many of us, the benefits far outweigh any potential negative, there are undeniably challenges to this life choice to homeschool your children. But I have a homeschooling secret weapon for you that will help you to address many of the particular challenges we homeschooling families face. Music is a component of education that, while important in all educational environments, I believe is particularly essential to the homeschooling family. Motivation Round about this stage of the homeschooling year, the posts in the online homeschool groups center around, “My 5th grader is completely uncooperative and unmotivated! Please help me find a secret weapon to get him to finish his work!” I am seeing these digital cries for help flood my notifications almost on the daily. And I can relate. But music is one of the best motivators I know of. And this is coming from a once highly unmotivated homeschool kid, a teacher/university professor, and a professional musician. I have used music in my classes, whether teaching songs to teach concepts or language, asking students to compose a […]

Online Classes During the Holidays

When the winter season starts to roll around, our thoughts are diverted to holiday celebrations, snow, decorating the house, and most importantly, the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. It can be so hard to encourage your unmotivated student due to all the distractions around them. Online classes can help! But, how? Although your “normal schooling” might come to a temporary halt during the holiday season, your child(ren)’s education doesn’t have to. Short one week or even one day holiday classes can boost your student’s excitement for learning again. For example, on Luma Learn Renai Ruiz offers inexpensive, short, Spanish classes for grades K-5. In these classes, students are able to learn Spanish vocabulary words relating to the winter season or various Christmas songs like White Christmas or Jingle Bells. These no-pressure classes constitute a fun yet educational holiday activity that your students, whether younger or older, will love. Maybe your student wants to learn how to bake/decorate perfect cookies (especially for people with special dietary needs — me included!). Or your student might be one who enjoys history. If so, you could find a class on the Pilgrims and their adventurous, audacious quest across the ocean on the Mayflower […]

Back to Homeschool: Make the First Day Fun

Let's confront our homeschooling fears. These moms are a support system for one another.

Back to homeschool time for kids can either be a bad experience or a great one. As the parent, you can set the tone for how your students will view the rest of the homeschool year. Kids look forward to starting back to homeschool — if there is something that might pique their attention. Make the first day of homeschool fun with these ideas that will get your kids encouraged and motivated to start their next academic year. Do you remember some of the best first-day-of-school experiences you have had as a child? The very reasons your first day was awesome, could be what helps your kids have an excellent first day as well. New books, new supplies, new clothes; they all added to the excitement of starting school. Even if school wasn’t your favorite place to be, at least one of these things could put a smile on your face. Now that you and your children are in a homeschool environment, the possibilities are endless for you to make their first day back to homeschool fun and enjoyable.  Making the first day back to homeschool fun starts with a little bit of planning. Preparation and planning for first-day fun […]

Back to School Hacks for Homeschoolers

Children on Nature Field Trip who take an online course with luma learn

The start of the school year brings a renewing atmosphere. The struggles of the past years are long gone, and the idea of a fresh start to your homeschool seems quite appealing. The time has arrived to organize, plan, and get our students geared up for learning! Get ready for your school year with these back to school hacks for homeschoolers you absolutely won’t want to miss. Back to school is just as exciting for homeschoolers as it is for traditional school students. It is just as thrilling to get new school supplies and clothes for homeschool kids as it is for others. However, just like traditional school families, homeschooling families are on a tight budget. Sometimes they experience even tighter budgets due to the many homeschooling families that are in single-income homes. Starting a normal school routine again can be one of the toughest things about the homeschool year. This transition back to the full swing of the school year can use some back to school hacks to help homeschoolers make the most out of what they have and to pinch pennies wherever possible. Use these simple and thrifty back to school hacks to get everyone back into learning […]

How to Start Homeschooling: Confronting our Biggest Fears

Let's confront our homeschooling fears. These moms are a support system for one another.

Confronting fears is one of the biggest struggles to face when first deciding to home educate. A caveat to that is that the fear looks different to each family. Each family has to overcome the fear or are still overcoming the fear in their respective journeys. If you have concerns about homeschooling, you are not alone. Confronting our biggest fears on how to start homeschooling isn’t easy, but the fears can be conquered. We face fear on both ends of the spectrum. Sometimes fear is the driving force for us to start homeschooling. For instance, we are fearful of our children getting bullied, we are afraid of our kids joining the wrong crowd, we are afraid of the negative influences, and we fear our kids will fall behind. These fears drive parents to homeschool, and then once they decide on homeschooling those fears turn into insecurities of not teaching well enough, of not managing their education, or of not having the financial budget to homeschool. Know that your fears may not completely go away, but they can be faced head-on by the defining reasons that made you want to homeschool initially. Homeschooling is merely a precious opportunity to join your […]

Sleeping in and Other Unbelievable Homeschool Benefits

Happy_online_student_luma_learn homeschool electives

Making the decision to homeschool can be life-changing. Homeschooling is no easy feat, to say the least. Amidst the challenges that come along with homeschooling, like the adjustment, the financial cutbacks, or the struggles of teaching with no experience, we also can rest assured that the end justifies the means. If you are contemplating homeschool for your family, explore the idea of sleeping in and other unbelievable homeschool benefits that may help you decide to take the plunge. When a family decides to homeschool, there is a simultaneous understanding of the sacrifice and commitment it will take to follow through with it. This is why the decision to homeschool is so crucial. It takes some families many years before resolving to commit to home education. There are over 2 million families who are homeschooled at this time. However, homeschooling remains banned in almost 40 countries. Just the mere thought that we have a right to educate our children depicts freedom that not many others are privy to. There are lingering questions on any parent’s mind when considering homeschool. Is homeschooling better than public/private school? Do homeschool students perform better or worse? Regardless of the pros and cons of homeschooling, some […]

How to Make Homeschool and Public School at the Same Time Successful

homeschool and public school at the same time

Consider for a moment the possibility of not having to choose between public school and homeschool. What if there were an alternative that allows a different type of opportunity — one not completely offered by the public school system and not offered by solely homeschooling? Many families have already learned how to make homeschool and public school at the same time successful. Having a choice in this matter can make a world of difference to some families. According to the EdChoice’s 2017 Schooling in America survey, the average is 3 percent of students that are homeschooled. It was interesting to discover from that survey that although only 3% of students were actually homeschooled, approximately 7 percent of the surveyed families would homeschool if they had the opportunity. Although many public school families strongly believe that homeschooling is not for them and many homeschooling families wouldn’t want their child to attend public school, there is a middle ground that some families have deemed beneficial. When a child can split a schedule to attend homeschool and public school at the same time (often called hybrid homeschooling) they can take away a unique educational experience. Splitting time and courses between homeschool and public school can […]

Benefits of Live Online Homeschool Courses with Luma Learn

Student taking a live online homeschool course

Many educational supervisors outside the mainstream of American schooling value the enormous benefits of self-paced educational opportunities. This is particularly true with homeschooling parents. That the ability to set the schedule for your child’s classes offers advantages is undeniable. However, many educators and students from all forms of schooling also insist that there is something valuable about live online homeschool courses. Benefits of Live Online Homeschool Courses 1. Don’t Be Late for Live Online Courses     The first benefit of live online homeschool courses is one with which homeschool families tend to struggle: timeliness. It is equal parts frustrating and funny, but so many homeschoolers simply aren’t used to living life to someone else’s schedule. Live online homeschool courses, however, do have a schedule that your student must adhere to, and can thereby give them practice at living in a world that is obsessively dedicated to an external schedule – and an often hectic one at that.  When the parents are leading a class, it is not a problem if something comes up and work gets delayed until tomorrow. When you are paying someone else to teach your child, however, and you will lose teaching time per dollar if […]

Benefits of Self-Paced Online Homeschool Courses

Benefits of self-paced online homeschool courses. This student is learning from the car.

One of the major advantages of homeschooling is the flexibility it allows a family to choose how, when, where, and what to educate their children. With the many benefits of self-paced online homeschool courses, it is no wonder that more and more families are choosing this option. The definition of self-paced, in the context of homeschooling, means that a student starts a course of study that allows them to navigate the learning process to complete objectives at their own pace and time. Flexibility in homeschooling is something that is second nature to the process. Self-paced courses develop the next level of flexibility to your homeschool. In self-paced online homeschool courses, students journey through course curriculum based on their needs. Your students can progress as slow or as fast as they want while being mindful of the busy family life, scheduled (or unscheduled) vacations, sports practice, doctor appointments, and all other events which take up time in our day.  The self-placed online homeschool course material is pre-recorded through tutorials and videos, presenting information sessions and instructions. Having control of how, when, where, and what your students learn has made self-paced online learning a preferred option for students in home education, college, […]