Helping Your Kids Adjust to E-Learning

Helping Your Kids Adjust to E-Learning

School is officially under way just about everywhere. With the pandemic showing no signs of letting up, most kids are beginning this new school year using online learning in some capacity. While Zoom and other online platforms have been a vital tool to help in educating our kids through lockdown and social distancing, they also pose some unique challenges to learning as well. Understanding these challenges can help parents and teachers work together to help their students learn well despite this crazy time in history.

A main issue for kids with e-learning is that most kids do not necessarily see technology as anything more than entertainment. It is important for parents to train their children in how to use Zoom as a tool that helps them interact with their teachers and classmates so that the experience is more engaging.

Electronic Devices for Education

Remember that most young children only see technology as a means to the end goal of entertainment. They may be well adept at using a tablet, cell phone, gaming system, computer, television, or Alexa, but they only use it for entertainment. They do not normally use it to look up information (apart from Alexa) or call people (even if they may sometimes talk to family and friends using some type of facetime). Generally young kids know how to play games and watch videos using the latest tech. They can be more proficient than their parents in finding and queuing up their entertainment, but they do not typically do google searches to find answers or solutions to tasks presented. Especially in a school environment. They also do not necessarily have a long attention span. They may or may not be able to watch a long TV show or movie, but again they are not required to engage with the person on the other side of the screen. If they become bored or distracted, they easily tune out whatever is going on on the screen. Unless they are solidly engaged with who or whatever is on the screen, the teacher will be hard pressed to keep their students on task for the day’s lesson. And even if the teacher can manage to keep the kids tuned in, if they do not have some adult supervision, they will probably not be able easily to maneuver the maze of logging in correctly, and downloading or uploading assignments.

Virtual Interaction

The older a child is, the more practice they will have had in a school setting. This doesn’t guarantee that they feel comfortable doing facetime with a teacher and classmates. Personal interactions via virtual meetings generally occur with family and friends, and having to interact with a teacher, who is usually a stranger at the beginning of the year, can cause the child to feel shy or uncomfortable. As we have all probably noticed by now, Zoom and other facetime meetings bring outsiders into the very personal and private spaces of our homes. A kid may do school in their bedroom, and it seems weird to them that their teacher and classmates can see into their private space. As kids get older, the regular anxieties and self-conscious feelings associated with various age groups can feel multiplied when required virtual class time forces us to allow others a prolonged view into our personal bubbles. It also doesn’t mean that they are super savvy in doing research or completing assignments completely online without assistance. Finally, don’t forget that if it is hard for adults to be self-disciplined to always stay on task and complete their work when working from home, it is equally of not more challenging for kids. One of the benefits of in-person school is that there is outside authority to lead, teach, and guide through the process of learning. With students at home but parents occupied with other requirements of living, it is easy for a kid to not log in, not complete or turn in assignments, and get behind.

Tips to Help Your Kids with E-Learning

So as not to leave everyone hanging on a sad note, there are some easy things you can do to help your kids with e-learning. This first is training your young learners to see their tech as a tool to connect and communicate instead of just as a form of entertainment. To do this, practice by doing Zoom meetings with them at home. Set up a meeting and send an invite to yourself or your child’s email. Teach your child how to log on, including typing in the password and muting/unmuting their microphones. Then you go to a separate space/room in your home away from your child. Have them log in. Then interact the way you think the teacher might. Ask them some intro questions (How is your day going? Did you have a nice morning so far? Etc.) Then ask them to repeat some phrases to you to show they are able to hear and are listening. Ask them to complete a task – answer a question, write something in their notebook, or some other simple job – and show you when they are done. Keep the “meetings” short and do a lot of them. Remember that you are training them so they are prepared to take class online. Also, make yourself available as much as possible when they are taking class for real. This will give them security and comfort.

 

Another thing you can do to help navigate this hurdle is help your child choose a space they feel comfortable sharing with the rest of their class. Wherever it is located, be sure to do a trial run or two virtually so that you and your child can see what their background looks like to others. Then you can decide how to rearrange, decorate, and tidy up to help ease anxieties and concerns.

 

Another help you can provide is for you as the parent to learn how to use the online platforms, tools, and resources the teacher/school will be using. Then you can understand how to help find assignments and download or upload finished work. You can also then know what your child is talking about when they discuss school “stuff” with you.

 

Ultimately your child will have the most success when you are involved no matter what school situation you find yourselves in. Not just because you are monitoring and helping fix problems, but because your child will feel loved and supported secure in the fact they are not in this alone.

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Why Hire an Academic Advisor in 2020?

Why Hire an Academic Advisor?

As a veteran homeschooler, I am often approached for advice and mentoring, and I love to help. But many people can get turned off when they realize that I offer educational consulting and academic advising as a business, which has a price attached to services. But I encourage you to consider the following. Just like you would pay an accountant or financial advisor for financial advice, a lawyer for legal advice, or a fitness coach for physical fitness advice, it is perfectly normal to pay an academic advisor or educational consultant for advice and guidance when it comes to education. You should seek out friend groups for support and mentoring, but an educational consultant offers more than just a word of encouragement from time to time. As an educational consultant my business goes far beyond that. I offer help in schooling choice - public vs. charter vs. private; traditional vs. homeschool. I break down the pros of cons of each, I also help you determine your own education values and goals. I help with course selection for students who are trying to decide how to structure their high school education plans so they get them to their desired goals for life after high school. I help families understand the world of homeschooling and then offer help with curriculum choices and education planning that coincides with their specific family values and goals. I help with finding and applying for scholarships and internship. I also offer tutoring services. While you may have access to different sources that offer limited, surface level encouragement through your personal connections, I give you in depth help, answering questions you didn’t even know to ask, showing you choices you didn’t know existed, and a wide range of services you often times do not know you need until it’s too late get them.

Thinking About Homeschooling?

One aspect of my consulting business is that I offer services specific to homeschooling. Many times, people interested in homeschool and families new to it seek out advice and support from veteran homeschoolers. This is great! We love to help! As an educational consultant though, I offer more in-depth help and guidance than just giving you my opinion on my favorite curriculum and the ones I absolutely despise. While it may seem unnecessary to spend money up front with an educational consultant, the overall cost is minimal in comparison to the amount you could spend in poor curriculum choice. I usually recommend 2 to 3 sessions to get you going. Besides giving you guidance and answering any immediate questions, I spend separate time researching curriculum and extra-curricular projects and activities to help you develop custom education plans for your family as a unit and each individual child in your family as separate, distinct students. I have known many families over the years who constantly overspend on curriculum and activities trying to find what works for them through trial and error. I have friends who have spent literally thousands of dollars for one year of school because they didn’t know how to choose a curriculum. They mistakenly take their friends’ and mentors’ opinions and advice as gospel truth, even if it is not presented that way, thinking they can follow a particular formula to clone someone else’s “successful” homeschool and produce child prodigies. They do not realize that they can and should create their own education plans developed out of their own education philosophy, purpose, and goals. Often families quit before they have given themselves a chance to adapt to this new way of life. My services can help avoid these harsh and needless stressors and costs. My services, which cost $50 a session, can help you determine your personal education philosophy and goals, which then give you the guidance in curriculum choice, family and individual education plans, and extra- curricular activities. With my help, you can easily spend less than $500 for your whole family for a year covering all these areas. While there is no guarantee on exact pricing for your particular needs, I can help you make wise education decisions that fit your needs and circumstances while saving you from poor and costly financial choices.
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Homeschooling in 2020

Headed back to school?

A common question/fear that I am often asked about refers to information gaps. Parents who are contemplating homeschooling ask how to determine what information gaps exist in their current education, and the also fear that they will not be able to teach their children adequately to fill any gap, and even worse, that they might create some new ones. The main counsel that I give to all about this is: Relax. Your child most certainly has gaps; you will inevitable create some, and you won’t be able to fill them all. While that may sound a bit harsh and uncaring, I want families to know the reality about gaps in education that exist for everyone.

Current education gaps

Every student, everywhere around the globe, past, present, and future has/had gaps. This is because no education system is flawless, no teacher is all-knowing in absolutely every topic under the sun, and no student is so capable as to learn all there is to know about everything. This, of course, sounds completely obvious, which it is. However, whenever I counsel parents and students about gaps, they are usually concerned that they are somehow missing some special information or training that will keep them from getting into college and pursuing the career of their dreams. They worry that they must have missed something along the way that they are unable to learn now that will be the ultimate hindrance to their future. But realistically, that is most probably untrue. While there are always going to be gaps, an average learner should be able to make up for it or at least mitigate its effect through hard work and study. It may take some time, with extra classes, extra tutoring, and longer study time. But you can certainly gain the knowledge or skill you feel is necessary but which you are lacking currently. Bottom line – don’t be surprised or overwhelmed by any gaps in learning, but rather expect them. Decide which ones are the most important to eliminate and let the others go.

Inability to adequately fill gaps

Inability to Adequately Fill Gaps – Almost every new homeschool parent has the fear that they won’t be able to help their children fill any current gaps they may have. Many actually decide to homeschool because they see their current education situation as being inadequate and because they cannot find an alternative suitable for them. But then as they delve into the homeschool world, they feel maybe they were too presumptuous about their teaching abilities and are now completely overwhelmed. They become paralyzed by the available choices and realization that they are not at all sure where to even begin. With some guidance though, it is possible to assess your child’s needs and find the right curriculum to meet them. Many curriculum developers and publishers have free assessments to determine proper placement. There are also websites that have curriculum reviews that go beyond online shopping blurbs and explain the ins and outs and pros and cons of different curricula. And of course, you can hire an education consultant like me to help you get going. Also, like I said before, you won’t be able to fill all the gaps, and you will find new ones along the way. By choosing to focus on certain topics and subjects, you will naturally not focus on other things, creating new gaps. Bottom line – don’t be overwhelmed by the gaps you find in both your child’s education and your teaching skills. With some guidance, you can determine what the gaps are, which ones are most important to deal with, and choose the best education plan to success. You can become a confident homeschooler by stepping back and taking a wide view. This perspective can help calm your fears and help you homeschool with confidence.

Fear of total failure

Most of us as parents at some point fear we are total failures and are going screw up our kids forever. An added joy of homeschooling is that this fear now extends beyond the personal areas to also their academic career. When we hit our first hurdle in trying to deal with a gap we have identified, we all feel we have crashed and burned into the Titanic after it already struck the iceberg. This happens to all of us from the newbies to the veterans. The feeling often comes back at different times until we cross the finish line of graduation. But again, this is normal and should be expected. No one of us has it all figured out no matter what it looks like from the outside. None of us is such an expert ninja teacher in all areas that we will produce a whole family of Einstein or Hawking clones. So, decide what you want to focus on and build out from there. Your children will grow up to be as generally well-adjusted as the next person. They will become functioning and contributing members of society. You will have struggles and challenges as a family and as teachers/students along the way because that is part of life. Homeschooling is a different way of life, but it is still life, full of challenges for everyone, homeschoolers and traditional schoolers the same. Bottom line – you will not fill all gaps and you will create new gaps in your child’s education if you choose to homeschool. It’s normal. You will not be funding any therapist’s future dream home on an island in the Pacific because of it. You will not total fail your children by taking the homeschool path.

If you need help, I offer a free 30-minute consultation to help point you in the right direction!

Schedule a Free 30-Minute Consultation Now!

Colleges That Accept Homeschool Transcripts (From All 50 States!)

Colleges That Accept Homeschool Transcripts in All 50 U.S. States

A common concern for parents who are considering homeschooling their children is college. What colleges accept homeschool transcripts? There are actually a lot of options to choose from, regardless of what state you live in, and you might be surprised by some of the colleges that are homeschool-accepting (think Harvard, Yale, MIT).

 

If you're completely new to homeschooling, be sure to check out our previous article here and get to know your state's requirements for homeschooling first.

Do Ivy League Colleges Accept Homeschoolers?

Yes, they do. If you read the information on most Ivy League school's website, you will find instructions for honeschool admissions. There are generally different requirements as far as what kind of documentation needs to be submitted, but the standards will be the same. One of the hard parts may be finding your necessary letters of recommendation, since the letters obviously cannot come from the student's parents. Keep that in mind as you begin your academic journey, and plan extra-curricular activities carefully!

 

Here is a brief list by state of colleges that accept homeschool transcripts. Note that this is not an exhaustive list; if you don't see your college of choice here, contact the school directly and ask them about homeschool admissions. Also note that school policies are subject to change, so it's always a good idea to follow up with the school itself.

Colleges Accepting Homeschool Students

Alabama

Auburn University
Birmingham-Southern College
Oakwood University

 

Alaska

Alaska Pacific University
University of Alaska - Anchorage

 

Arizona

The University of Arizona
Arizona State University

 

Arkansas

Harding University
John Brown College
Lyon College
North Arkansas College
University of Arkansas Community College

 

California

Academy of Art University
Biola Undergrad
California Institute of Technology
California State University
Claremont McKenna College
La Sierra University
Loma Linda University
Pacific Union College
Stanford University
University of California

 

Colorado

Colorado State University
Johnson & Wales University
Pikes Peak Community College

 

Connecticut

Southern Connecticut State University
Trinity College
University of Connecticut
Yale University

 

Delaware

Delaware Valley University
Goldey-Beacom College
University of Delaware

 

Florida

Florida College
Florida Gulf Coast University
Adventist University of Health Sciences
Florida International University
Florida State University
Palm Beach Atlantic University
Southeastern University

 

Georgia

Agnes Scott College
Augusta State University
Armstrong Atlantic State University
Berry College
Brewton-Parker College
Dalton State
Emmanuel College
University of North Georgia
Georgia College
Georgia Gwinnett College
Georgia Southwestern State University
Georgia Tech
Savannah College of Art and Design
University of West Georgia

 

Hawaii

University of Hawaii at Manoa
University of Hawaii at Hilo

 

Idaho

New Saint Andrews College
Northwest Nazarene University
University of Idaho

 

Illinois

Chicago State University
Greenville College
Judson University
Lake Forest College
University of Chicago
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

 

Indiana

Ball State University
Bethel College
Grace College
Hanover College
Indiana University Bloomington
Indiana Wesleyan University
Oakland City University
University of Notre Dame

 

Iowa

Grinnell College
University of Iowa
Grand View University

 

Kansas

Cowley College
Kansas State University
Sterling College

 

Kentucky

Asbury University
Bellarmine University
University of Louisville

 

Louisiana

Bossier Parish Community College
Centenary College of Louisiana
McNeese State University
Tulane University, New Orleans Campus

 

Maine

Bowdoin College
Gordon College

 

Maryland

Mount St. Mary’s University

 

Massachusetts

Amherst College
Gordon College
Harvard University
Northeastern University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Simmons College
Worcester Polytechnic Institute

 

Michigan

Andrews University
Calvin College
Cornerstone University
Hope College
Kalamazoo College
Kendall College
Kuyper College
Lake Superior State University
Rochester College
Spring Arbor University

 

Minnesota

Crown College
University of Minnesota

 

Mississippi

Belhaven University
Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College

 

Missouri

College of the Ozarks
Columbia College
Evangel University
State Technical College
Missouri State University
Missouri University of Science and Technology
Southeast Missouri State University
Stephens College
University of Central Missouri

 

Montana

Great Falls College
Montana Bible College

 

Nebraska

York College
Union College
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

 

Nevada

Nevada State College
University of Nevada, Las Vegas

 

New Hampshire

Dartmouth University
Northeast Catholic College
Keene State College
River University
Southern New Hampshire University
University of New Hampshire

 

New Jersey

Monmouth University
Princeton University
Rowan University

 

New Mexico

University of New Mexico

 

New York

Brooklyn College – CUNY
The College at Brockport
Columbia University
Cornell University
Davis College
Eugene Lang College
Houghton College
Jamestown Community College
The King’s College
Nyack College
Sarah Lawrence College
New York University

 

North Carolina

Belmont Abbey College
Brevard College
Duke University
High Point University
Lees Mc-Rae College
Montreat College
Warren Wilson College
University of North Carolina-Asheville

 

North Dakota

Trinity Bible College

 

Ohio

Franciscan University of Steubenville
Kettering College
Miami University
Mt. Vernon Nazarene University
Wright State University
Xavier University

 

Oklahoma

Oklahoma City University

 

Oregon

George Fox University
Lewis and Clark College
Linfield College
Southern Oregon University
University of Oregon
Western Oregon University

 

Pennsylvania

Arcadia University
Elizabethtown College
Gettysburg College
Grove City College
Hussian School of Art
Lancaster Bible College
Lebanon Valley College
Messiah College
Pittsburgh Tech
Thiel College
University of Pennsylvania

 

Rhode Island

Brown University
Rhode Island College
University of Rhode Island

 

South Carolina

The Citadel
College of Charleston

 

South Dakota

South Dakota State University

 

Tennessee

Lee University
Rhodes College
Southern Adventist University
Union University
Vanderbilt University

 

Texas

Austin College
Houston Baptist University
LeTourneau University
Northwood University
Southwestern Adventist University
Southern Methodist University
University of Dallas
University of St. Thomas
UT at San Antonio

 

Utah

Brigham Young University
Utah State University

 

Vermont

Marlboro College
Sterling College

 

Virginia

Liberty University
Bridgewater College
Regent University
Randolph College

 

Washington

Evergreen State College
Trinity Western University
University of Washington
Walla Walla University
Washington Adventist University
Whitworth University

 

West Virginia

West Virginia University

 

Wisconsin

Beloit College
Lawrence University
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Marquette University

 

Wyoming

University of Wyoming

Conclusion

If college was a main deciding factor in whether or not to pursue homeschooling, this list should provide plenty of evidence that a lot of great colleges accept homeschool transcripts. With that knowledge in mind, you can focus on your educational philosophies and curriculum. If you need help, I offer a free 30-minute consultation to help point you in the right direction!
Schedule a Free 30-Minute Consultation Now!

Homeschool mother teaches child

Best Homeschool Curriculum to Prepare for College

Using the Summer to Prepare a Homeschool Education Plan

I hope everyone is having a great summer making memories leaning into your creative side, building entrepreneurial skills, getting involved and making a difference through local service projects. For those of you considering homeschool, now is the perfect time to do your research and develop your education plan. (Check out my video Session 1 or contact me for a live consultation for help getting started.) I can help you decide the best homeschool curriculum to prepare for college.

Homeschool Research

Research state laws and requirements where you live. A quick Google search will point you in the right direction. Don’t worry.  For the most part, you don’t need to have a college degree in education.  You just need the desire to do it and an open mind.

 

Research different methods and philosophies of education. There are a lot out there, and there is no right or wrong way. Also, there are no rules that dictate how it should look for your family. You can even combine different styles together. Researching now before you get started will help you understand how to create an education plan based on your goals for your child’s education.  Also, it can help you from falling into the trap of bouncing from style to style aimlessly until you find one that fits.

 

Research different curricula. This one can be a bit overwhelming because of the wide array of curricula available. But many websites offer sample pages you can view to give you an idea of what that curriculum entails.  Don’t be afraid to reach out to their customer service with any questions you have.  If you use a company that offers a variety of curricula from different publishers, they often can give first-hand knowledge that is not generally biased for or against a particular brand.

A Way of Life

Most of all, remember homeschooling isn’t just about academics. It’s a way of life. It’s a different perspective on living and learning outside the box of traditional school. Homeschooling is very individual and personal. It looks different for everyone. It can be both challenging and exciting.   The rewards are as varied as the families who do it. Don’t let fear of the unknown or failure keep you exploring this great option for education. And always remember that homeschooling and college are not mutually exclusive ideas, but you do need to be plan ahead!

Colleges that accept homeschool transcripts

Homeschool and College: Creating an Educational Plan

Private School or Homeschool?

Fun fact about me – I am a homeschool mom. I didn’t start out wanting to homeschool. I had thought I would send them to a local private school in my town. I had high aspirations and big dreams for my precious little prodigies. They would go to the top private schools in our area. They’d be at the top of their class. They’d go to my alma mater for college. But because of some local changes happening in our area, I began to check out other school options.

 

A friend of mine was just beginning homeschool with her daughter and suggested I give it a try. So I did. I started when my oldest was in kindergarten. That was almost 20 years ago. Since beginning, I have continued homeschooling all my crew, with my two oldest having graduated a while back now. The littles, as we like to call them in our family, are currently in middle and elementary school.

Coming Up with Your Own Educational Plan

One of the benefits unknown to me when I first starting this journey was having to come up with an educational plan for each of my kids. A few years in, I realized it would be helpful if I determined a purpose for why I had set certain goals and chosen certain curricula. This led to some serious introspection to discover my values about education and ideas about success. I had always thought I had clearly defined values, but when I started to verbalize why I had set certain goals for my kids’ education I realized how vague my ideas really were. If I wanted them to reach the goals, I needed a way to give the goals more depth and substance. This would give us all things to hold on to and guide posts to light the path ahead of us.

 

When the children were young, it was easy to use just my values and goals. But as the kids got older and were finding their own voice, I learned that they needed to define these terms for themselves if they were going to be successful in reaching the goals. You know what else I learned? There ideas weren’t exactly the same as mine. After a few moments of panic, I realized that it wasn’t just going to be OK. It was GREAT! They needed to own the process for themselves to make it truly work. That meant they needed the freedom to determine their own values and end goals. We could then work together and set up an education plan tailored to them.

Taking Off the Training Wheels

In the beginning I had a lot of input, both in definition and direction. The children were still pretty young and were just beginning to figure themselves out. We were all new to the process and discovering what were the questions we needed to answer. But as they got older, they took on more responsibility with their goals and success. They had been able to work through their own ideas and come up with a real plan that made sense to them. They had their own opinions about success and where they wanted to end up in the future. It was scary at times for both sides. My husband and I would smile nervously as they shared their ideas, and pray for wisdom to how to help guide them. The kids too would get nervous when they had to actually do parts of their plan because they didn’t want to fail. All totally normal in the process of growing up.

 

And the end results for them have been awesome. Not because my original plans worked out. Far from it. One is a professional ballet dancer and the other is working in Christian ministry while he finishes up with college. Neither of these were part of my dreams way back when. But my kids followed the plans we all worked together to create and they’ve stepped into the futures they envisioned for themselves.