Saturday, July 14, 2012

In Praise of Home Educators

It's the middle of summer, and for many parents right about now, the summer vacation days may be getting a “little long in the tooth.” The children have already spent many hours in the pool. Picnics in the park and play dates at friends’ homes have become the order of most days when parents can manage them. By mid-July, well, the kids often begin to take the lazy, hazy days of summer for granted.

If you are a homeschooling parent, however, your children may still be learning and doing their lessons even though it’s quite a few days after the 4th of July. That is because as a home educator, you can choose to homeschool or “unschool” your children the year round. As a result, your children are with you throughout the regular school year as well as over the summer.

There are many reasons why you may have chosen to homeschool. You may see it as a unique opportunity to address the special needs of a struggling learner or to provide a gifted child with “worthy” and challenging lessons and activities that will “stretch” him or her. You know (and love) your children best, and so you can be particularly suited---and motivated---to provide exactly what your child needs for learning to be most successful.

Patience is the virtue that you as a homeschooling parent have in abundance, and it is a good thing when you are BOTH parent AND teacher to your children---year round! It is almost a certainty that fortitude and determination play major parts in some of your days, especially when learning is not easily achieved with difficult math or science content. Creativity and resourcefulness cannot be far behind as you daily design lessons and create materials to reach and teach your child within the limits of a reasonable or low-cost budget. These are just a few of the many virtues and attributes you have to do what you do for your family.

So this article is written for the purpose of recognizing the special gifts and unique sacrifices you make daily as moms, dads, and even grandparents in the U.S. who have chosen to educate your children or grandchildren in your own homes. I tip my hat to each of you and in praise of your stamina, persistence, and enthusiasm given to homeschool your children---each day. Keep up the great work, homeschoolers!

To show our sincere appreciation of you, we have included the following educational resources that we hope will help make your good work just a little bit easier in the days ahead:

Special Needs Resources

An opportunity to level the playing field for diverse learners has arrived. With the use of mobile devices and a set of apps, barriers to learning can be removed and we can now set the stage for access to learning by all students. (by K. McClaskey)

A collection of resources for sensory learners

An exceptional library of resources for parents and caregivers of children on the autism spectrum (from

A variety of special needs resources all in one place (ideas, tools, publications, and more!)

Gifted Resources

This all-things-gifted site is full of resources, articles, books and links to help and support parents, teachers, and gifted children alike. Explore them all!

Literature and other resources for parents and teachers of twice-exceptional children (gifted with special needs)

Math Resources

Marvelous Math Morsels for Young Mathematicians---math resources for all age and grade levels

Math Is Fun---Math resources for K-8 (includes Geometry, Algebra, worksheets, etc.) fun yet challenging lessons & activities in secondary (& college level) mathematics & computer programming for students & teachers (Created by 2 math teachers)

Science Resources offers a variety of lesson plans that align with education standards to allow students to apply the principles engineering, math, computer science, and physics through hands-on activities.

Links to almost 200 sites about general science, science education, and science topics for students of all ages

Reading Resources

Customizable tools and strategies to help readers challenged with ADHD, dyslexia, autism, low vision, stroke recovery or TBI issues and other conditions that affect reading ability.

From Includes a reading checklist, typical language accomplishments for different age groups, book suggestions, and resources for children with reading problems

Reading resources, tools and related articles, etc. from Scholastic

Information about dyslexia

Teacher’s Blog: Help for Struggling Readers--60 articles with hundreds of reading resources ALL in 1 place! (includes info & resources for readers with ADHD, dyslexia, autism, low vision, and other issues that can affect reading ability)

Other Resources for Home Educators

The Home School Legal Defense Association is a nonprofit advocacy organization established to defend and advance the constitutional right of parents to direct the education of their children and to protect family freedoms. & resources for home, homeschool, and classrooms

FREE information and access to many homeschooling resources

This site offers articles on a variety of curriculum, homeschool ideas, statistics, and more. These include how-to articles, informative articles, and other homeschool issues. (Created by homeschooling parents to help fellow homeschoolers)

Current statistics on the number of homeschoolers in the U.S.---provided by Ann Zeise (2011 data--includes number of U.S. children who are homeschooled and individual state totals)

For more information: Tools for struggling readers of all ages! Info & support for struggling readers

Clip art courtesy of:

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