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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 […]

Recent Executive Order Could Provide Government Money for Homeschooling

On Monday, December 28, 2020, President Trump signed an Executive Order responding to school shutdowns in the wake of COVID. Experts show that the lack of quality education has long-term effects on students’ success. In response, Trump allocated monies for scholarships to target disadvantaged and low-income families in order to provide learning scholarships that allow families more educational options. This includes government money for homeschooling, private school, special education, private tutoring, and other life-changing options for underserved Americans. How Does This Affect The Homeschool World? In addition to providing resources towards private school, tutoring, and special education and therapy, Section 2.ii of this order specifies that the scholarships will include government money for homeschooling. The order does not explain how parents can take advantage of these funds, nor details of when or how much funding will be available. However, we in the homeschool community count this as a definite step forward. The past months have seen marked growth not only in the number of homeschoolers in the United States, but also in the general acceptance of homeschooling as a legitimate schooling option, and of the number and quality of resources available to homeschooling families.  The truth is, current homeschool families […]

School Pods and Micro-Schools: A New Take on Homeschooling

They say that necessity is the mother of invention. Well, few would argue that over the past months of 2020, our needs have changed. This is particularly the case when it comes to parents and the question of educating their kids in micro-schools and school pods. Prior to 2020, the concept of homeschooling was a fringe idea and one that was misunderstood and often ridiculed. Suddenly, with the “new normal” of this novel year, homeschooling families don’t seem so ridiculous afterall. In fact, perhaps they are really onto something. And so it goes that homeschooling has become mainstream, seemingly overnight. Yet the American family structure has largely remained the same. Over 64% of U.S. families have two working parents. The extended family and close-knit neighborhoods of the past are a rarity more often than not. Formal schooling has become a necessity not only for educational needs but also fills an important role in many cases as a form of childcare and activity for kids. The majority of Western families now have no stay-at-home parent. So the question is not just about education, but also about keeping kids safe when parents are working. And this is where pods and micro-schools come […]

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