Welcome to

Welcome to

All rights reserved by Everest Academy
Everest Academy is a ministry of Everest Family Church in Hayden. We offer freedom along with quality resources, information, activities and support to those homeschooling in Alabama. We believe that the parent has the best interests of their children at heart. We believe that the parent is the first and only teacher that a child needs. In keeping with this philosophy, we wish to be a very hands-off cover school and allow the parent to lead and guide their children in the direction and at the pace they feel is best suited to their children. We ask only for what the law requires while offering support along with quality resources to aid families in their efforts.

Bham: Tutoring Service for Math, Language & Writing


For more information, please contact Angela Cellitti at (205) 567-3010.

A’s with Angela

Alabama certified teacher, Master’s Degree
15 years experience, all subjects
Hands-on strategies and Multi-sensory methods
Rates vary per session depending on grade-level
Specialties:
Math disciplines: Elementary Math through Pre-Calculus
Language and Writing, All grade levels (including college)
Pre-pay 7 sessions, get one session FREE

I will be happy to meet at a location convenient for your family, including your home.
Grade levels
Rate
Sessions
Kindergarten & 1st, any subject
$35 per 1/2 hour session
limit 3 sessions per week
2nd - 4th grade, any subject
$50 per one hour session
minimum 1 session per week
5th - 8th grade, any subject
$60 per one hour session
minimum 1 session per week
9th - 12th grade, any subject(limit through Precalculus for math)
$65 per one hour session
minimum 2 sessions per week
STUDY SESSIONS (i.e. ACT, SAT, Grad Exam, etc)
$75 per week
3 total sessions up to 1 1/2 hrs each
STUDY SESSIONS (i.e. ACT, SAT, Grad Exam, etc)
$115 per week
5 total sessions up to 1 hr each
Adult Education (including GED, remediation, etc.)
$75 per week
3 total sessions up to 1 1/2 hrs each
Adult Education (including GED, remediation, etc.)
$115 per week
5 total sessions up to 1 1/2 hrs each
English Language Learning
$65 per week
3 total sessions up to 1 hrs each
English Language Learning
$100 per week
5 total sessions up to 1 hr each

A’s with Angela Math Workshops for Kids
Each session should have between 10 and 16 registrants/ students; however, I will hold sessions for fewer students at a slightly higher rate per student. If more than one session is schedule for that day, your families will receive a discounted rate as noted on the chart below. 

The Math Patterns workshop is a scientifically research-based program that requires students to develop strengths and build on them at any academic level. They will be required to work collaboratively within the group to problem-solve and use mathematic reasoning to prove their answers. Children and adults alike have a lot of fun during the workshop because they are permitted to discuss their thinking with one another, use math manipulatives to prove their reasoning, and develop a portfolio to document their growth in math.

Number of students per session
Number of sessions
Cost
Less than 10
1
$60/ student
Less than 10
2 or more
$55/ student
10 to 16
1
$45/ student
10 to 16
2
$40/ student
10 to 16
3
$30/ student

Bham: Arts and Crafts for Home School Students

Group Leaders:  For every 8 children who sign up, 1 child can take classes for free.  That would be an incentive for a group leader to put together a group. I will travel to Homewood, Vestavia, Hoover, Pelham, out 280, Leeds, etc....  These classes are for groups of 8 students or more.  

Visual Art: We will have fun experimenting with a wide variety of art mediums.
Grades 1 – 3
Grades 4 – 8
Cost: $72 per student for a six-week session, all supplies included

Drawing: Learn to use perceptual skills to become a better draftsman. We will use professional grade drawing supplies and draw primarily from still lifes.
Grades 7 – 12
Cost: $72.00 per student for a six-week session, all supplies included

Crafts: Provide a fun and creative activity for your students by allowing me to lead themin making beautiful crafts. Some of the projects they will create are:
- Handmade paper, marbled paper, stationery, and journals
- Scarves and other fabric items dyed with plant materials
- Using image transfers to create French grain sack towels and other textiles
Grades 7 – 12
Cost: $84.00 per student for a six-week session, all supplies included!

Facility requirements: A non-carpeted work area with access to water and a power supply. 

For information please contact Cheryl Lewis at (205) 516-6905, or at cherylllewis@bellsouth.net.

About me: I am a wife and mother who has lived in Birmingham for 17 years. I have 2 boys, ages 18 and 14. I am a certified art teacher and have experience teaching grades K through 12, as well as college level students.

~Note from Deb~  This info is FYI only and not an endorsement by Everest Academy.  This is all of the info I have.  Please contact Cheryl for more info.

Pelham: Homeschool Dance Classes

We just wanted to let you know that our dance studio offers classes for Home Schoolers in the Birmingham, Metro-South area. We have served students for 40 years from all over the state. Please see our web site for classes and schedules at www.grebeldance.com.

You may download a brochure online. We are flexible in developing classes and times. Our instruction begins by age, and later by ability. We would like to have at least 4 people in a class for the classes to meet.

We also are home to the Alabama Youth Ballet Company, a non-profit educational dance program for children ages 9-19, offering pre-professional instruction, training and performances. www.alabamayouthballet.info

Please call, or reply, if you are interested and would like more information.

Kindest regards,
Stevan and Deborah Grebel
Directors
The Stevan Grebel Center for Dance
102 Commerce Parkway
Pelham, AL 35124

Gardendale: Homeschool Tennis Lessons


Homeschool Tennis Lessons 

Location:  Gardendale Park & Recreation, 2109 Moncrief Road, Gardendale, AL 35071 
*There is a nearby Kiddie Park, where  younger children can play.              

If interested, please contact Marie Zassoda   mariezassoda@yahoo.com  

Baldwin Co/Mobile: Jennifer Rogers


Jennifer Rogers 
Baldwin Co/Mobile 

Hello Everyone! I'm so excited to be a part of Everest and Activity Coordinator to the Baldwin/Mobile area. I have been married to my soul-mate and love of my life, Shane, for almost 12 years. I'm a full time wife and mom and also work as a RN from home for Children's of Alabama in Birmingham part time. We relocated to the Elberta (Perdido Beach) area of Baldwin county May 2011 after the April 2011 tornado outbreak that took our home. The move was supposed to be temporary but...we fell in love with the area and locals, so now we are here to stay. We have a small farm and raise free range chickens (all of which are named). We are self sustainable, organic growing, non-GMO, heirloom year round farmers. We absolutely love to harvest our fresh fruits and vegetables especially knowing from seed to table where it's been. 

On to homeschooling: I'm relatively new to it and this will be our second official year with a cover school. It's amazing how much I've learned in a year! We mostly unschooled last year but this year I'm going to see how scheduling some subjects regularly goes. My little ones were so hungry for knowledge last year we ended up devouring the curriculum we had on hand. I will still have a child led approach as we learn through living life everyday. I want to nurture their interests. In September of this year my son will be 7 and my daughter will be 4. We love the great outdoors, nature hikes, camping, four wheeler riding, raising livestock, swimming, boating, and farming. We also love trying new things, meeting new people, fun playdates, and field trips. I schedule activities on both sides of the bay so that Baldwin and Mobile families have an opportunity to participate while still being close to home. I look forward to meeting local families as well as those who travel through the area.

Thanks,
Jennifer Rogers

Jen's Contact Information:
Cell: 205-983-4028 (call or text) 
(please put Everest in your friend request) 
South Alabama Homeschooling support group on Facebook

Ongoing, Warrior: Homeschool Dance Class

A Time To Dance, a Christian dance studio in Warrior, AL, is offering homeschool dance classes for younger students and for teens.  Monthly tuition for either class will be $30 a month. August tuition will be due at the first day of class. We offer sibling discounts of $10.   Facebook Page

  • Teen Hip Hop Class - Friday mornings at 10:45 A.M. Music will be Christian, such as Toby Mac, etc.
  • Younger Kids - Friday mornings from 9:30-10:15 A.M These classes will be combo classes(tap/ballet).  Dancers will have the opportunity to perform on stage at our mini Christmas Show and at the end of the year recital in May. Each dancer will need to purchase a costume for the May recital. The deadline for recital costume money will be mid November. Costumes for this class are $100 and that will include 2 skirts, one leotard, head piece, and tights.

In the spring, the younger class will be selling ads for our recital programs. We will have a picture day at our studio to take pictures for these programs. We ask that each dancer sell/buy at least one ad. Siblings will be able to have their pictures made together. There is a recital fee for the May recital which will be due at the 1st of May. It is $90 and that includes May tuition, recital t-shirt, and armband for mom to get in the recital.

For more information, please call 205-266-3523

Thanks, Kassidy Wingo and Kourtny Teer

Bham: Homeschool Music Classes


LifeChurch Birmingham
5567 Chalkville Mnt Road
Bham, AL

Wanted to provide some into that I thought you might share with your group. Here is the link: http://understandingworship.com/2012/08/18/worship-school-coming-soon/ (We will have a different site open soon) But following is the info to share! Thanks so much.

OUR GOAL IS SIMPLE:  to help your child discover the creative ability that God has put into ALL of us…and to direct that ability to the local worship stage.  We offer more than a music, dance or art class; instead, we work on stage development, worship arts and instruction, dramatic and arts creativity, and more.
For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us @ 205.213.1205

Record Keeping

Hey Veteran Homeschoolers! I am working on making a resource for new homeschoolers where they ask the questions and you give the answers. My goal is to provide advice, resources, and most of all to show that there is more than one way of doing things. 

Please contact me with your answer to the following question. I have already included answers that folks sent me on Facebook. I will not add your name, so feel comfortable in speaking freely. Please give as much info as possible including links, details, explanations, etc... I will add your answers to this page so that new homeschoolers will have a resource to refer back to again and again.

You can contact me at everestacademy1@gmail.com with your answer.

Thanks!
Deb Spradlin
Everest Academy Administrator

Question:
What is your method of record keeping? Do you keep records? How do you keep up with attendance and grades? 

Answers:
There are lots of free resources for this. One that I love is Homeschool Skedtrack. Its a great planning resource with options for grading and report card printing. There are also excel templates for attendance and grades. http://www.homeschoolskedtrack.com/


I use Google Docs. Free, easy and always there. If anyone wants to take a look, I'll be glad to show them.


Homeschool Tracker Plus keeps our attendance and assignment records/grades.


I print off a free daily attendance sheet from Donna Young to keep our required daily record. We don't do grades. I also buy the teacher book at Target in the dollar bin (they have put out the same one for several years now) that has each week divided into six subjects. Instead of subjects I use the three spaces per page for each of my three kids. Then I have nice big squares to fill in what they do each day. I find that is a great way to keep a relaxed/unschooling record of what each child is doing and reading every day.


I bought a $5 teacher's assignment planning book at the local teaching supply store, and it's working wonderfully to keep dates/subjects/material covered straight for progress-report time.


This year it's all on the online website. It keeps track of the grades, the attendance etc. The last two years it was a combination of online and offline curriculum. For the offline curriculum, I kept a daily/weekly log and added the number of days up at the end of the year to be sure I had the mandatory days in for our state.   I keep the grades quarterly log. We turn the courses and grades, attendance and extracurricular activities on the computer and we print them out quarterly for the cover school. File keeping is important. We also make sure we write down everything we do, even if we think it's not important because everything we do can be counted toward something for hours. Suppose you decide to take your kids bowling... that can be counted as PE. The zoo can be science. The museum, the library, even keep track of church activities including Bible study. Also volunteering should be recorded. The day, the thing they did, the hours, etc. You never know where that can fit into something later. Take your kids grocery shopping and teach them about home economics. Make it a math lesson or even a social studies lesson if you go to the produce section and tell them to find 10 or 20 produce items that have come from different states or even another country. Grocery shopping can be a health lesson if you are trying to teach them health courses. Writing everything down is important. Dates and that in a separate log for attendance. And I back everything up onto an external hard drive just in case my laptop crashes. You could even print everything out weekly or monthly and file it if you don't have an external hard drive. You can buy the journals, log books and date books from office supply stores, if you don't want to keep your records on the computer..



http://www.homeschoolreporting.com/ It is $20 for a whole year for an entire family.


Haven't had to worry about it too much yet, but when it comes to it, I'll put it all in a teachers binder, with tabs for each week and subject.


Attendance: I log everything we do on a calendar--typically including approx. time spent. We consider our school year as 24/7, 365 days a year, so I don't keep a log of actual days or hours "in school" or "absent". We may even watch a documentary on a "sick" or "off" day, so we really don't have those days, making it difficult to count them. If you average 640 hours (4 hours of school time for 160 days) over a whole year--365 days--that would only be 1hr 45min per day. I figure some days we spend 2-3 hours, others only 1 hour, but it all averages out to more than enough to cover 640 hours worth of learning in a year. It's hard to go a whole day without learning ANYTHING. So, even on a day with no "official" learning, at the very least, we will spend at least 1/2 hour discussing something. Grading: See above answer.


I think attendance is ridiculous- we learn every day unless someone is hospitalized and grades have been kept in a log, but I think I will now start doing them on my computer.


I am a member of HomeschoolPlanner online. You just punch in the days you are doing school and you can give your kids the grades in a report card like form (but it is more like a transcript style than report card). It is nice and gives you some accountability if you ever needed it.


I don't grade yet so there is nothing to track but I use a planner to record the days we homeschool and what we covered that day. I have done this since Kindergarten.


I mark the date of attendance with a running total on the top of my Sonlight Instructor's Guide. Grades are kept in a notebook for each subject. I then do a monthly summary sheet with a summary of what we did that much total days of attendance and grades.


I am not an attendance tracker . I just note when we don't hold class or if someone is sick. if we make our day great, if we don't I really have not worried about it as long as the kids finish there units for the year.


Every day is a day of learning at our house, so attendance is pretty easy to keep up with. We do not keep track of grades.


At this point, we are not doing grades. I know we will have to when our oldest gets into high school, but for now I'm not doing grades. As for attendance, I keep a calendar on the wall and for full days of school I put a FD, for half days HD and if we take a trip we put that on our calendar as well. At the end of each month I tally up the number of days (FD) and put that at the corner of the next month and keep a running total that way. It has worked for us :)


Each year I purchase the Class Lesson Planner from Christian Liberty Press. I order one per child. That's where I keep up with grades, attendance and weekly lesson plans. At the end of the year I file them with all previous years lesson planners. I am on my 4th year doing it this way and love it.


As a former public school teacher, I am pretty methodical as to how I keep up with records. I have a yearly chart for attendance which I mark every day we have classes or a field trip. That way, I can easily count the number of school days we have accumulated. As for grades, Abeka provides forms for keeping up with them, plus I have a grade/plan book that I record them all in.



I have always kept up with grades and attendance. When we started homeschooling, we lived in a state requiring attendance reporting, so I had to track at least that but decided to track grades as well. Then, moving here, the first cover school we joined required attendance and grade reporting. That was easy since I was already in the habit and had tools in place to do so.  From the beginning, I've used free resources downloaded from www.donnayoung.org to keep track of everything! She has spreadsheets for grades, attendance, etc. that will even print reports for you. The spreadsheets are very user-friendly, already coded to calculate grades based on a grading scale that you enter, and will even calculate using weighted grading percentages should you desire. Thinking ahead to protect those who are less spreadsheet-savvy, she locked all the formats and formulas so you cannot accidentally change or delete the codes that make the spreadsheets work. She also has high school planning and record keeping tools that I am just getting into but look like they'll be very helpful as we move into that part of the journey.


We have used The Well Planned Day for a number of years. This year, they have introduced and online version. It's not in the beta phase with the first version to be released by the end of this month. It has many excellent features including attendance, grading, curriculum, assignments, and extra curricular space. In addition, it has home budgeting, shopping lists, to do lists, etc. I absolutely love it! The only drawback is that it is a little pricey. I'm fairly frugal, so the only way I justified the $40 a year is the fact that when I am away for a week and my mother-in-law assumes the teaching, she'll be able to pull up the information online and see what we have done, and see the assignments. When the first version is released, it can also be accessed via iPhone and iPads. With all that said, it is a personal preference! It is so simple to just add your "start school" day to a calendar and mark each day of attendance, or "x off" any days a child does not have school. Just remember, that even when sick, a child almost always learns something, unless it is a severe illness. There are many learning videos and tv shows which would count as learning and thus, a school day! Grading is a matter of preference also. I choose performance grading, since my children are older. In younger years, it's not that important. As a parent, you know if your child is learning or not. In the middle and high school years, it is my opinion that it becomes more important, as records will need to be produced for college.


We unschool. Really no need for attendance or grades. My kids learn each day from simply living and they come up with the most brilliant stuff. They never cease to amaze me! My oldest 14 started recording what he does each day in a notebook. We will translate it into subject categories later for high school credit purposes so he will have no problem entering college should he choose to.

Shelby County: Oak Mountain School of Fine Arts





We also have a Facebook page:

And a website:

Please let me know if you have any other questions or there is anything I can help you with.

Thank you so much,
Rachel 

Life After Homeschooling

Hey Veteran Homeschoolers!  I am working on making a resource for new homeschoolers where they ask the questions and you give the answers.  My goal is to provide advice, resources, and most of all to show that there is more than one way of doing things.  

Please contact me with your answer to the following question.  I have already included answers that folks sent me on Facebook.  I will not add your name, so feel comfortable in speaking freely.  Please give as much info as possible including links, details, explanations, etc...  I will add your answers to this page so that new homeschoolers will have a resource to refer back to again and again.

You can contact me at everestacademy1@gmail.com with your answer.

Thanks!
Deb Spradlin
Everest Academy Administrator

Question:
Today has been bittersweet. My oldest moved into his college dorm today. He is only 20 minutes from home at UAB, but was required to live in a dorm for his first year because he was awarded a scholarship. He is also in the Honors Program at UAB. We had no issues with entering UAB, receiving the scholarship, or the Honors Program. I would love to hear from other homeschoolers who have graduated one of their children. What was life like after graduation for your child? College? Scholarships? Job? Military? Please tell us about your experience as a homeschooler entering into one of these arenas, the application process, etc. Any issues? 

Answers:

It is bitter sweet. I am happy to see her flying on her own, but still a shift in family life. We have not had problems with the application process and since she dual enrolled last year at the local Community College its not all that big of a change for her. She is attending Madison School of Massage. She was also accepted at Calhoun Community College. We had all along decided to go the Community College route first, but they did not have a Massage curriculum, so we took another avenue.

I know Sonya's two oldest daughters graduated through Everest in the past couple of years and went on to make the Dean's List at college.

I have 3 who have graduated from homeschool. One went to Jeff State with a full scholarship, my son went into the Army, and killed his ASFAB, the other just graduated this year... It is great to see them move onto the things in life they feel called to do, and mature into such amazing adults, but, with each graduate, my home is a little more quiet, and a little more empty... which is as you said.. bittersweet.

I was homeschooled, went to college, joined the Army, and am now out and homeschooling my two kids. I never had any issues with applications - in fact, the university I ended up attending looked very favorably upon my "life experience" when I applied (granted, this was 12 years ago, but I'm hoping it still holds true.) I got the impression that, had I not attended college first, the Army might have had an issue with the homeschooling, but my college transcripts covered that. And, if I remember correctly, the DoD recently moved homeschoolers from one tier to another in terms of recruiting preference (traditionally schooled recruits used to be favored over homeschoolers, but *believe* they've changed that.) 
~Deb's response to this: Thanks for your response. You are correct. Homeschoolers are now viewed as a Tier 1 when entering the military. We have had several Everest students enter the military; HOWEVER, I have found the ease of the acceptance depends on the recruiter. I would suggest if you have issues with one recruiter, find another one.

UNA in Florence was very happy to accept Evan, as was NWSCC when he decided that a community college closer to home (literally just a few blocks) worked better for a couple of semesters. He took the ACT and blew it out of the water. I made a very honest transcript (our covering did not offer one, but I had no questions about the one I used.) They were very impressed when talking with him and commented several times on his maturity and good manners. Absolutely no problems whatsoever at admission, and the admissions officers at both institutions commented very favorably on homeschoolers in general.

Having been a homeschooled teenager, I *highly* recommend the community college route. I graduated high school at 16 and I knew I wasn't (socially) ready to go off to a 4-year school, so I did two years at our local community college before I transferred to a university and am *so* glad I did. I never took the ACT/SAT, since I could take a placement test to get into the CC and my 4-year school didn't require it since I graduated with my AA.

My daughter graduated last year and is about to move back to school next weekend for her sophomore year. She had applied to 3 colleges and was accepted with no problem to all three and offered scholarships at all 3. I homeschooled her since she entered 2nd grade all through high school. She did very well her first year.She goes to Stetson University, which is in FL. She also was on the Dean's list both semesters.She has also decided to double major. This is my last year to homeschool, my son is a senior this year, and then I will retire ;-)


Selective Services System


Excerpt from website:  If you are a man ages 18 through 25 and living in the U.S., then you must register with Selective Service. It’s the law. According to law, a man must register with Selective Service within 30 days of his 18th birthday. Selective Service will accept late registrations but not after a man has reached age 26. You may be denied benefits or a job if you have not registered. You can register at any U.S. Post Office and do not need a social security number. When you do obtain a social security number, let Selective Service know. Provide a copy of your new social security number card; being sure to include your complete name, date of birth, Selective Service registration number, and current mailing address; and mail to the Selective Service System, P.O. Box 94636, Palatine, IL 60094-4636.

If you have a social security number, you can register online (click here). It's quick and easy.

The Socialization Factor

Have you ever been out with your kids doing something really cool like doing volunteer work or with a group of friends at the movies, and someone starts asking you questions about homeschooling?  You know they are just curious, so you are chatting right along looking over every once in awhile and noting that your awesome son just opened the door for a little old lady and your daughter is helping a young mother with her toddler when you get "the question".  You know the one...."but what about socialization?"  Oh my gosh!!!!  Will it EVER end!????  Do these people even know what they are saying?  
so⋅cial⋅i⋅za⋅tion
[soh-shuh-luh-zey-shuhn]  - The process whereby a child learns to get along with and to behave similarly to other people in the group, largely through imitation as well as group pressure

Hmmmm....There are lots of directions I could go with this.  I could talk about the teen pregnancy rate, high school illiteracy rate, drug use, school violence, suicide, high school dropout rate, rude manners, alcohol abuse, and lots of other factors that I don't particularly want my children to "learn to get along with and to behave similarly to other people in the group, largely through imitation as well as group pressure".  No thank you!

I don't REALLY think this is what people are referring to.  I think most of them are generally concerned about the children's "social life".  They have this concept, or rather misconception, that homeschoolers are hermits who never see the light of day.  They have the "school mind set" and think that school is the only place that children could possibly make friends.  Children are "supposed" to go to school! 

You may be one of those people who is concerned about the socialization issue!  Most everyone knows or has met someone who homeschools.  You may know several homeschoolers, but there is that one family that just sticks out in your mind that is just totally against the "norm" in your mind.  Okay, okay...one time a long time ago you met some really weird homeschoolers.  Perhaps you met some homeschoolers that all dressed alike in matching jumper outfits and all had the same haircuts.  Maybe you met some homeschoolers that had 15 kids.  You were in town and saw some homeschoolers who were talking about home birth and breast feeding, and you just don't believe in doing that in public (even though it is the healthiest thing you could possibly do for your child).  Your next-door neighbor homeschools, and they have chickens, bake bread, have a garden, and go around bare footed all the time (which pretty much describes my family, except the chicken part, which I am working on).  Homeschoolers are just....  Well, yes they are!  Yep, you got it...  That's exactly what homeschoolers are like and much more.  Can you pick a homeschooler out of a crowd?  Probably not (unless you were noticing their nice manners and behavior which is commented on quite often).  Homeschoolers by nature are really smart, really dumb, fat, skinny, black, white, rich, poor, Christian, Jewish, tall, short, healthy, sick, urban, suburban, drive mini vans, drive Hummers, very strict, not strict at all, blonde, brunette, and everything in between.  Homeschoolers are just people.  People with one thing in common.  They have chosen to take on the responsibility and joy of home educating their children.  They have decided to live life spending their time with their children.  They are a very diverse and interesting crowd. 

One thing to stop and consider is the "socialization" that children are getting in the public school setting.  Most children in the public school setting get straight out of bed, get ready for school and arrive at school between 7:00 - 7:45 a.m., still groggy and grouchy, and get home sometime between 3:30 p.m. (for the lucky ones) and 6:00 p.m.  They spend all day long with other children who are basically the same age, same socioeconomic status, and sometimes even divided into the same gender.  They have to spend their whole day around people they may or may not like and may or may not have any common interests with, all without any consideration for their personal choice.  Their day is full of "hurry up" and "wait", having to sit in assigned seats, and being quiet even when they have something to say.  They have to learn what (even if it is something your family does not agree with), when (even if they are not ready), and how they are told (even if it is not the optimal learning style for the individual).  They can't even go to the bathroom at their own leisure.  They are in a volatile atmosphere where it is either be part of the crowd, be left out, or even worse - get singled out of the crowd.  When the children finally get home from school, half of them have an after-school activity such as soccer and are completely worn out, do their homework, shower, eat, and go to bed.  They are running so fast and furious that they don't have time to relax. Where is their social time?  Let alone time to spend with their family!  

On the social level, homeschoolers can choose to be or not to be around who they choose.  Homeschoolers are able to have a real-world experience by being around a diverse group of people of all ages, socioeconomic levels, education levels, etc. throughout their day by choice.  Do homeschoolers hide in the house all the time and never see other people?  Puhlease!  Homeschoolers have so many social outlets at their  fingertips that sometimes it is hard to decide what activity to participate in.  There are tons of field trips, groups activities, park days, support groups, classes, etc. that are available to homeschoolers.  Are all homeschoolers very social?  Why no!  Are some homeschoolers anti social?  Of course!  There are very social and anti-social homeschoolers just like there are very social and anti-social public schoolers.  

On the academic playing field, homeschoolers are able to learn at their own pace in their own way having the freedom to choose resources that are suited to their way of learning.  For instance, if a curriculum is not working for a homeschooler, they are free to find something that appeals and works for them.  If a homeschooler is working at a fast pace, they can move on to the next subject when they are ready or conversely repeat a subject if they did not "get it".  Homeschoolers are free to school year round or follow a more traditional schedule which opens up all sorts of possibilities.  Homeschooling is a completely different way of life where you are able to LIVE your life.  You can structure your life and schedule around your family instead of the other way around. 

Socialization?  Am I worried about socialization?  Why, yes I am...  That's why we homeschool!




written by Deb Spradlin

What method of homeschooling do you practice?

Hey Veteran Homeschoolers!  I am working on making a resource for new homeschoolers where they ask the questions and you give the answers.  My goal is to provide advice, resources, and most of all to show that there is more than one way of doing things.  

Please contact me with your answer to the following question.  I have already included answers that folks sent me on Facebook.  I will not add your name, so feel comfortable in speaking freely.  Please give as much info as possible including links, details, explanations, etc...  I will add your answers to this page so that new homeschoolers will have a resource to refer back to again and again.

You can contact me at everestacademy1@gmail.com 
with your answer.

Thanks!
Deb Spradlin
Everest Academy Administrator

Question:
What method of homeschooling do you practice, how and why? The goal is to show new (and veteran) homeschoolers that there is no one way of doing things. Would love to hear specifics. Feel free to be long winded.

My Answer:  
Some of you may at this point be thinking, "Methods?  I didn't know there were different methods!"  You can find a listing and explanation of some of the the different homeschooling methods here.  My family practices unschooling with a spattering of Charlotte Mason and a structured math using Teaching Textbooks.  Both of my children are avid readers (new development for my youngest - yippee...happy dance!).  We do lots of hands on things such as gardening, canning, composting, nature studies, art, and physical activity such as yoga, martial arts, ballroom dancing, jogging, weight training, etc.  We also attend lots of field trips and local classes such as the Bham Zoo Science Classes, McWane Science Classes, Scrollworks, etc.  We always try to do plenty of volunteering as well.  


I think I am leaning toward eclectic 


I have a 6th grader and a 2nd grader they both use computer based programs that we love! I have found it is easier to teach them individually then together. It makes for a longer day for me but it seems to work better then doing both at the same time. I try to have a few minutes set aside 3 days a week where we come together and have some kind of lesson whether it is reading, art or Bible as a family. I just feel like it makes us closer to have that time to interact as a 'class'. 


We use Switched on Schoolhouse which is computer based. Right up my sons alley. Last year we were very structured and he had to work until he completed assignments for the day but this year we will have a schedule. Work steady from 8-12 and then done for the day. If we have somewhere to go then either the computer goes with us or that work will wait until another day. Also planning more field trips. Last year we were so concerned with him learning what he needed for that "school year" and have come to realize after SAT's that we are so far ahead of the curve that now learning is going to be fun. Letting go of my "brick and mortar" public school mentality. :) 


I call my method Individualization. One child takes half his highschool classes online and uses textbooks and a strict structure for the rest of his classes. Another child is also in highschool but works with unit studies and lapbooks in her classes. Still another child gets most of his middle school education through documentaries and books on tape. The youngest uses a mix of texts and workbooks, documentaries and computer based classes for his elementary school needs. Each child is different, therefore each education is different. 


Unschooling perhaps you could call it.... you name it we use a little of everything. Some days are kind of rigid and others are at the creek doing science. We do not use many texts ... A lot of reading . 


We homeschool M-Th utilizing F for weekly exams play dates and field trips. We homeschool from 9-3 with a 45 minute lunch break and a few 10 minute breaks. We are eclectic. We utilize "A Well Trained Mind" as a foundation, but add and take away to meet our needs. We complete 7 subjects a year utilizing various curriculums, the library, and computer programs. We incorporate creativity and her personal interests. 


This will be our 3rd year. The first year was a combination online curriculum and 2 classes were not. We used the library, books and videos and some TV documentaries for lessons. The second year all classes were online except 1 which was for her foreign language. This year all classes are online. But we still use workbooks the library, videos, etc for fun and also for extra information that may not be in the online curriculum to give more background to subjects, or for practice. We also are involved with 2 support groups. One is a home school group through our church and the other is through our cover school. So the kids can get together to do things like field trips and parties. My daughter is a Senior this year and didn't want to go to public school for high school.   PS I am a blind, home school mom. If I can do it, anyone can! 


We are eclectic Charlotte Masoners! We go to a co-op T & Th. We school at home M 9-1:30, T 9-12, W 9-1:30. We leave Friday for fun or if they don't finish their work. We use the bible & misc books for history, Apologia for science, Mastering Essential Math Skills, WriteShop, Apologia for bible study, footwork for handwriting, and a few other things. You can check out my blog for our complete list. www.sincerelyhome.blogspot.com


Hodgepodge the first few years ;o) Now, Classical Conversations Inc


We use different methods for 2 kids. My 7th grader uses switched on schoolhouse which is computer based. My 4th grader uses abeka curriculum. Doesn't like computer based learning. We school m-w with Thursday as coop day. We also do school on Fri. We school 3 wks on and 1 week off. So far it is working out. 


I had 2 kids who loved to read but 1 son who did not, so to get him interested in history I had him do 2 reports a week on a musician from recent history and long ago history because his passion is music. He needed to tell about what the world was like during that persons life, what was going on as far as wars, government, and events. He still remembers a lot of the details.


Our method is a bit eclectic but we use the Thomas Jefferson Education as our education philosophy. We don't stick to any one method because our children have different needs, sometimes they need more structure sometimes they need more freedom. It changes from child to child, year to year and even within the same day for the same child depending on subject. So we're flexible when it comes to what method we use. When we first started homeschooling we used basically a homeschool in a box method with a set curriculum. The girls hated it. So we found an online curriculum which they loved.. for about 6 months. We finished out the year with that and decided not to renew our subscription. Now we lean more towards literature based education where the children read classics (and yes even for math, The Number Devil is my all time favorite to read with the children).


I have been homeschooling for 5 yeas now. I have two boys, a 7th grader and a 4th grader. My boys do not like to read and they hate formal writing. They are super smart with hands-on activities, games and anything that is made into fun.  We use such a variety of curriculum. I have many, many bookshelves of resources as well as many computer sites that I utilize. My advice is that if it is not fun and interesting for the children, then don't be afraid to change mid-stream. Learning should be a GOOD experience, not a drudgery. I love field trips!  Surf the internet and write down sites that you love so that you can go back to it. Don't spend a ton of money on curriculum that you may or may not enjoy. If you spend a lot then you feel that you HAVE to use it no matter what. Go to thrift stores and yard sales to buy. Also I get a lot of my curriculum off of ebay. You can get slightly used materials that are just as good as the expensive new stuff. It does not take long to get too much curriculum.  I have tried strict schedules, and I have tried being less restrictive. We do well with a middle of the road approach on this. I have torn up my schedules though and just have learned to go with the flow more. Some days we spend hours on one subject and some days we sail through them all. I do school in every room of my house, at the park, outside under the shade tree, whatever it takes! Don't worry about what other people think, and do not compare your self or your kids with others. God made us all individual for a reason.  Also, I use different curriculum for different subjects. For example, I really love Bob Jones Grammar and Writing. I love A Beka curriculum for Health and P. E. I like IXL math on line. I LOVE workbooks! Some of the best Science workbooks that I have used have been from Teacher Created Resources. (I buy these at the Parent Teacher Store in Northport.) Some of my favorite internet sites are : www.spellingcity.com/ , www.IXL.com/,www.gmajormusictheory.org ,apples4theteacher.com, and I love You Tube for videos about Science and History.  We also watch the History Channel and Discovery Channel a lot.   You will have good days and bad days. Don't beat yourself up if it is not going well for a day. Feel free to take a break for a while and come back to it if you are beating your head against the wall. It is better for me to work with my children individually on some things and together on others. I like to do the subjects that are harder for them in the morning when they are fresh. I find that doing heavy work in the evenings is a no no at my house.