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Alberta Home Education Association

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If you had to do it all over again, would you Home School?

This was a discussion recently on the AHEA Facebook Page which was inspired by a blog Home Schooling - the Hardest Thing I've Ever Done... Below are the answers that were shared!
*Depends on the day. In seriousness, though I may question myself daily, I know it was the best decision I made for my kids.
*Unequivocally YES!! But, I would start at Kindergarten rather than gr 4!!
*Yes!!! Though I would have started much much earlier!!
*Yes - would have started sooner!
*Yes!!!!. Would have done it with my older grown children if I had known about it. Homeschooling was not a word you heard when they were young.
*Yes! Yes! And Yes!
*Absolutely!!
*Oh, for sure - but would have done a few things different if I could.... lol
*In a heartbeat.
*I love the *in a heartbeat* above. I only wish we had started sooner. We waited until grade 1 with our oldest daughter - it just didn't make sense until then - BUT it is the only thing that has made sense ever since!
*Without a moments hesitation, ... best decision I ever made in spite of the opposition from family and trials along the way.
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How Many Bookshelves Do You Have in Your Home?

This was just a fun little survey on the AHEA Facebook Page. It was inspired by this article - Owning Two of What Indicates Your Children Will Do Well in School.

Question: How many bookshelves do you have in your home?

Answers:

*Oh dear. I never actually counted my bookshelves before. I think I might have a problem. :0) In my house, there are 18 bookshelves!

*7 that I would count plus baskets strewn around with books!

*6 that are 6 feet tall and 3 feet wide!

*Wow, I actually have 14!!

*We have 12. Not including cupboards and other little nooks that also hold books :)

*11, plus a small sling back book shelf, plus built in shelves in the bedrooms, plus cupboards...

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Smile - I gave 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes to the winners, BUT I noted we all win with homes full of bookcases! Smile

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What Do You Wish Someone Would Have Told You When You First Started Home Schooling?

Well, the AHEA Facebook Page continues on strong. I'm going to share questions asked and the best responses on the blog.

Question: What do you wish someone had told you before you first started home schooling?

Answers:

*Relax! And don't buy anything right away but maybe a membership to museums or swimming etc :)

*Find and commit to a homeschool support group! :) You will need a group of like-minded Mom's for support and to bounce ideas off of. Plus, as an added bonus of your new found friendships formed there, your homeschooled children will get to meet other homeschooled kids. :)

*Oh,and take a couple months or more to de-school and get used to being all together again (especially if your pulling from the school environment). And know there is no need to hurry to meet this/that goal or expectation. Savour the slow times :)

*If you start with a heavy "schooly" type schedule, more than likely your kids and you will not like it, and even more likely your kids will end up in school. Help them to read, focus on spiritual matters, keep them balanced on video games and enjoy the time.

*You have 12 yrs for them to learn, pace it out, don't snuffle out that love of learning because that's the pace of a certain curric.

*I wish I had been told that there is no such thing as a perfect homeschool. I was caught in the trap of comparing someone else's highlight reel with my reality when I compared to blogs etc homeschoolers posted. My kids were never going to be the image I had in my mind of of cheerful children at my feet eager to be drinking in the knowledge I was going to bestow upon them that day. And that is OKAY.
Also that is okay to be schooly, or waldorf, or playbased, or project based, or unschooling or whatever. In the beginning it felt like everyone felt their own method was best and if you didn't do it their way you were doing it wrong. It wasn't until I had my homeschool feet solidly under me, about 1/2 way through my 2nd year that I had the faith in myself that my method did not have to be their method and vice versa.

*I wish that someone had told me that homeschooling is NOT school at home. It took us 5 years to figure out that homeschooling is so much more and that the "school" part is not the most important aspect of our homeschooling.

*I wish I could have foreseen just how much stuff we would have, and create systems to keep on top of it all. Sometimes I drown in paper, Lego and markers...Lol. (Although I just go w it...all too soon they will be grown)

*I wish someone had told me that figuring out how my child learns and instilling a love of learning to is much more important than focusing on content. Took me a couple of years to figure out that content can be taught is so many interesting ways if I just figure out how to present the material to my child in a way that works for her and makes it interesting and fun to learn.

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What would you have said to this question?

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Back to Real Life and Home Schooling Extras!

Well, I hope you had a great time at the Convention! I know AHEA's Facebook Page (look for Alberta Home Education Association and join!) has had a lot of positive comments... Richard and I kinda came home and collapsed. smile It is a very busy week preparing and a busy time at the Convention. BUT we love it and love meeting all of you!

I have been planning *extra* home school extras in our area since February. A new home school friend, Liz (the support group leader from St. Paul) inspired me earlier this year with the Facebook Page for their Support Group. I started one for our area and home schoolers ARE connecting more than they ever have.

We have always had home school support group meetings and the odd field trip now and then, as moms got inspired, but not much more than that.

WELL, since I started the Facebook Page, I got inspired and started thinking of home schooling extras that the children and teens in our area would enjoy. We now have a monthly Homeschool Bowling time (which surprisingly to me, is VERY popular!), and quite a few other things are happening, too.

One is a Lego Afternoon. This has been amazing and will turn into an article soon. (smile) I went through our Lego and washed it in preparation. I then picked an afternoon and had 9 families for the first Lego Afternoon. It was a bit crazy with 30+ kids in attendence, but went well. I also had Duplo out for the younger kids, and Bionicles were a hit with the boys. (I had K'NEX downstairs for the big kids, but that needs to be an afternoon on its own - harder and longer to build.)

The moms visited for an hour while the kids built their creations. We then had a Show and Tell with some amazing creations. One was a pretty expensive kit that was motorized and could do a lot. After that, we had a potluck snack while the kids roared around some more. There was some serious *socialization* going on. (smile)

(We just had our second Lego Afternoon with 4 families and around 12 kids in attendence. More Lego for everyone and there was a *famous monument* theme which some of the kids enjoyed. We had Big Ben from London, a scene from Les Mes where everyone died, an amazing Twin Ranch by two girls, and an Art Deco cityscape. I encouraged the families who couldn't make it this month - due to sickness - to have some home schoolers over for some Lego fun OR have a Lego Family Night.)

We have also had Seasonal Craft Afternoons that have been a hit. More prep for me, but a lot of fun. $ per child, and potluck snacks.

Some Field Trips are planned, and it is so easy to see who is coming on Facebook. (I am trying to send out reminder emails to those not on Facebook, too. Try to keep everyone in the loop.)

One mom is putting together a First Aid Course for our big kids. Lots of response for that.

Other things we are doing: Home School Social times - families and youth. Home School Mtgs for the moms. We have a Quilling Class planned for next week. (One of the home school girls in our area is an amazing Quiller and will be teaching us how to Quill.)Home School Discussion Afternoon (we are working through the seasons of Numbers and discussing them as we go. That has been very good over the past 3 or 4 years.) Movie Afternoon - we will be watching The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler and discussing it this week, plus I am posting GREAT Home School links as I find them, too. Oh, and we are also trying to have a Home School Youth afternoon every couple of months, too.

It sounds like quite a lot and it is IF we do everything, but everyone is picking and choosing what works best for them. I find I cannot do more than one extra a week AND I cannot do extras that require a lot of planning or prep more than once or twice a month (AND they have to be on a quieter week. smile) BUT the families and children / youth in our area are connecting more and that is a lovely sight to see. Totally worth all the time and work.

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Encouraging Links!

Smile - Life continues on at a great pace. So much to do and enjoy. One of the newest extras for AHEA is the Alberta Home Education Association Facebook Page. If you are on Facebook, check us out and join the group. Political updates will be posted when needed AND encouraging links will be posted often.

Some of the links posted recently were:

How to Start Home Schooling, How to Home School Preschool, Do You Need a Home School Support Group,18 Reasons Why Doctors and Lawyers Home School Their Children, Five Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Started Home Schooling, Home Schooling Extra*ordinary* Kids, AND Five Simple Steps to a Better Home School Day!

Poetry Teatimes, a reminder about the NEW and improved Support Group Listings on our website, 5 Educational Board Games You Probably Already Own, Quiet Book Time for Toddlers and Preschoolers, Line Design Fun (One of our FAVORITE Art Activities!), Move, Eat and Learn (amazing videos on each where 3 young men travel around the world and present what they did or learned - great idea for home school grads!), KHAN Academy, Marriage Priorities for the Home School Mom, and Home School Benefits.

Home School Convention Guide, 7 Ways to Stick to Your Budget at a Home School Convention, Responding to Home School Critics, and a Home School Convention Survival Guide.

Page Position Opportunity for the Alberta Legislature, Patty Marler shared that she was thankful to have a Member of Parliament stand up for Free Speech, and Manitoba's Anti Bullying Bill.

An AHEA Member even shared a link to Why Are Home School Kids So Annoying? One of her favorite articles!

Need a smile today? Check out Tim Hawkins and his Youtube on the Home School Mom and Yoga Pants!

So much encouragement and tips posted. Check them out and watch for more soon!

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