Life after sending your children off to college……now what????

All the emotions leading up to college can seem to be overwhelming. You first think yes I have made it through this stage of parenting! Yes I will finally have the house to myself! Oh my goodness my child isn’t here anymore! Will she/he be alright! I wonder what they are doing! Are they eating? Are they sleeping? Did they get to class on time? When do I call? Do I let them just grow up? All these thoughts and questions but no answers.

This is only the first week and at first it seemed odd because you are used to seeing and hearingess1439568734740 (1)

their voices but then it dawns on you they are not here. It is time for me to FIND me again. My mother was dying of cancer and asked me to take care of my youngest sister’s child who at the time was a little over a year old. I had no children and had been working in education for a while as well as helping to raise other nieces and nephews. But becoming a parent was totally different. Almost 16 years I have spent raising my niece (daughter) and then to take her off to college. It was a wonderful thing but during the course of raising her I forgot about me! I wanted to make sure I did everything I could to make her journey a prosperous one.

I did however during the course obtain a BA in Early Childhood Administration and a MA in Education as well as open a home daycare so now it’s time to find my footing again. So now what do you do after sending them off to college? You find your passion again and learn to live again. I would not change a thing I did raising my baby but now it is time to find my passion in life again and off I GO!!!! Wish me success because the first step is always the hardest!!!!!

Explore Home Schooling

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Is home schooling an appropriate choice for learning?

Your child is complaining about getting up early every  morning being at school for hours and then coming home to spend countless more hours trying to get homework done. You ask “how was your day” and “what did you learn” and your child can only mumble one word responses because they have lost interest. You notice the changes but feel like you have no other options because your child have to get an education. Where do I go from here? Have you considered other learning alternatives? The topic of this activity is to explore home schooling as an option. According to Horton (2012) “Topics accomplish individual learning objectives.” The parents will be presented with a task to see if they could consider home schooling as a learning option.

What do you know?

      Parents have seen and heard for years people who home school their children but mostly entertainers, wealthy individuals or children that are involved in intense training for sports, music or dance. The thought may have crossed their minds especially with the recent increase in the lack of safety inside the schools or the growing number of bullying incidents. “While area school districts have grown steadily in recent years, an alternative choice in education is making gains at a much faster rate.       Home schooling is increasing in popularity, overtaking private school enrollment in the state, which estimates there were 98,172 home-schoolers in 2013-14, compared with 95,768 students in private schools. Concerns about school violence, lack of a religious focus and the large size of public schools have been reported as factors fueling home-school growth” (Roberts 2014).  Even though this is not the only choice that could replace the public school setting a growing amount of parents are turning to this option as a way to help prepare their students for the future.

What do you want to know?

You have options!!!!

Would home schooling be an option for your child? Some says I can’t afford to quit my job and do this full time what are my options? I want my child to have a good education but what can home schooling offer me that the public/private school may not already be offering? How will they stay will they socialize? How will they participate in extracurricular activities? What should we expect? Will they be properly trained for school if I decide to do this short term? How will they be prepared for college?

Here are a few links to answer some of your questions:

  1. http://moneysavingmom.com/2015/03/my-top-10-favorite-free-homeschool-sites.htm
  2.  http://www.hslda.org/highschool/faq.asp
  3. http://www.homeschool.com/articles/socialization/
  4. http://www.homeschoolacademy.com/blog/homeschooling-can-expect-child-2/

What Are Your Trying To Measure, Determine, or Define?

The ultimate goal is to allow parents to see there are alternatives to public and private school learning. The parent does not have to be the one doing the home schooling because there are options of people who can help. Also want them to see the benefits of an individualized learning plan designed just for their child’s learning needs.

  • Introduce an effective alternative option for public and private education
  • Explain the pros and cons of home schooling
  • Show how home schooling can be individualized to meet the learners needs
  • Provide your child the opportunity to be a critical thinker
  • Prepare the students for the 21st century through learning through interaction not memorizing material

Activity

During the course of this activity the parents were presented with an assignment from a home school based curriculum and a public school curriculum. The purpose of the assignment was to see if they could distinguish the difference between the learning styles and to journal their results. The parents (acting as students) were given the assignment to find out as much information as they could about Madagascar in a ten minute activity. The site to be used for one group of parents that the home school students used was http://www.greatestplaces.org/book_pages/madagascar2.htm  and the site used for the public school students was http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/madagascar/explore/vrsunken.html.

They were given these two statements to get them started and to discuss when they were finished with the assignment along with a short survey:

  1. Formulate a plan of expected outcome
  2. Distinguish the difference between home schooling and public/private or charter school education

home_school_survey

https://www.surveymonkey.com/create/survey/preview?sm=wXO2ya6w561uONzs8Hkk2CPpFon_2Fe4T_2F9Wmis61QAmg_3D

After the assignment was completed and everything was discussed there were still some moments of doubt. So they were given some reasons why they should consider home schooling as an option and what would be some reason they would not consider home schooling.

Pros and cons

How would collect and record information?

. Both sets of students were tested prior to and after the project and the outcome was recorded on maps and notes were shared amongst the group.  Then the groups came together to discuss their findings and to compare what they had learned. The information collected showed that both sets of students were proficient in what they were taught. However one group was able to go more into depth about what they learned because they were given different tools to work with and was not so much worried about time. One group was able to recognize and identify things on the countries that the other group was not able to because of how the assignment was presented. Because of the time frame as well some of the information was not readily available and had to be searched out so it caused one group to miss out on information the other group had easy access to.

How Will You Report The Information You Collect?

As the result of the guidelines below this will be the determining factor for the parent to consider home schooling as an option for them or not.

  • Viable Option

Home schooling has exceeded the expectation of the parent. The parent is able to see how the child will be able to still get a quality education. The students are still able to participate in social events (proms and homecoming) as well as be around other students. The student will not miss out on any opportunity that is afforded to a public/private school learner. Progress reports and files are being kept so parents can see the progress if they decide not to home school themselves but chose someone else as the educator. They are still being prepared for college.

  • Still not convinced

Fear they are not equipped to teach their children. Not convinced their children will measure up to students that are in the public and private schools. Not sure home schooling will be the right thing for their family. Not convinced the learner will have proper social skills.

Are All Interested Groups Included in Planning and Conducting the Needs Assessment?

There were a group of parents who were looking for other options when it came to educating their children. They heard the negative and positive things that were said about home schooling however they wanted to see for themselves.  “When people talk about homeschoolers, they often have an image in mind of bizarre, silent, strange kids and families practicing peculiar religious rites in lieu of education. And while there doubtless are some pockets of aberrant behavior along these lines, overall homeschooling is THE education success story of our time” (Horwich 2014). Most of the students were in the public school setting and they were considering home schooling and possibly private school. They all came together to figure to how it would be different or stand up to the public school education.

The overall goal was to identify other groups who would or have been considering home schooling as an option. The interested person were included in the process and the information was passed on to the interested parties by the parents, educators, and home school co-ops.

References

Roberts, M. (2014, September 26). Home schooling on the rise. Star-News (Wilmington, NC).

Horwich, S., March 2009. Homeschool Under Siege. Retrieved from on July 31, 2015: http://www.homeschoolundersiege.com/advantages-homeschooling/#sthash.LuKwpUlj.dpuf

Gaither, M., Homeschooling Goes Mainstream. Winter 2009/Vol 9, No 1 retrieved July 30, 2015 from: http://educationnext.org/home-schooling-goes-mainstream/

Horton, W. (2012). E-Learning by design (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Wiley.