A Few Facts To Help You Decide If Homeschool Is For You

Let’s talk pros and cons of homeschool to help other parents out there make the best decision of whether or not homeschool is the right answer for them. For this list, I will not be writing them out in a pro/con list necessarily, but rather in just a list. Because some points may be a pro for one family, but a con for another. So here are the facts! 

  • Homeschool your kids are home and around you 24/7, whereas a school where they leave for the day, you aren’t around them as much. 
  • Traditional schools are a built-in social atmosphere where kids learn how to interact with peers. In a homeschool scene, it takes more deliberate effort to create those social interactions with your kids. 
  • True homeschool comes with more flexibility in the curriculum. Online homeschool will have their set curriculum, but if you are solely your child’s teacher, you get to teach when, how, and where you want! 
  • There is a lot of flexibility in your day and your life when you homeschool. Many families take advantage of this by traveling more often. Worldschooling is also something worth looking into. 
  • Homeschool can be 100% tailored around the student, which is nearly impossible in any school with more students than just a few. That means if they are falling behind in reading, but excelling in math, their whole day can be planned around their needs. 
  • If it’s online homeschool, it’s not necessary to do as much planning for curriculum/day-to-day learning because the program takes care of that. 
  • If you are 100% homeschooling without an online platform, you choose the curriculum, plan everything out, and execute it. 

There are a lot of pros and cons when it comes to homeschool, and some of these points can be a very big deciding factor on whether or not a family chooses to homeschool. If you homeschool, how did you decide that it was the best journey for you and your family? Share below to hopefully help someone else make this decision! 

Choosing A College: Some Tips For Seniors

Choosing a higher education school can be so daunting sometimes! First you have to decide on a trade school vs a university. And then once you’ve decided that, a whole list of options come up. It’s overwhelming. But here are some tips for you! 

  • Narrow it down to an area if you can. Decide if it’s important for you to stay close to home or choose a school far away. 
  • Look at schools based on what majors they offer/ what majors they are known for. For example- I graduated with my undergrad from Utah State University because I wanted a degree in Elementary Education. In Utah, USU is very prestigious and well-known for their education program, which was ultimately a big swaying factor in my decision. 
  • Dive into the social aspect/ campus life and decide how important it is for you to attend events, sports, etc. College is about the experience AND the education! And not all college campuses are created equal when it comes to social gatherings. 
  • Talk with current students or past grads about schools you are interested in. Hearing about their experience or opinions can help you make a final decision. 
  • Keep a list of potential options. You may find one school that is everything you want! But the reality is, you still have to apply and become accepted into the school before you can go, in most cases. If you don’t get into your dream school, keep a few others in mind for back up. 
  • Remember that you’re not making a decision based on good vs. bad. You’re deciding between good, better, and best. Whichever school you choose is a great option and can hopefully have you leaving with a great experience and a college degree. It’s hard to make a bad decision when choosing a college! 

Pros and cons lists of schools can also be helpful to make a decision. Let us know what school you are choosing to go to in the comments below! 

Cover photo from pexels.com

Is Cursive Writing Dead?

The history of cursive writing dates back to Ancient Rome. Through time it continued on, and even our founding fathers used it to write the important documents that started our country. 

Cursive writing became a big part of our school systems, with entire classes devoted to learning the art. It was such a huge part of our society for so long, but now it’s almost non-existent. Why is this? 

Because typewriting classes pushed their way into schools, taking time away from handwriting classes. Everyone could see that the future of businesses and schools was in the typing, not the writing, and they seemed to be incredibly correct! 

The handwriting classes continued, but became less and less over time. Fast forward to today- handwriting classes are the bare minimum, not even covering cursive writing in most schools, and have been completely replaced with typing and computer work. 

It’s no lie that we are in the middle of a technological revolution. The technology we had five years ago is irrelevant to the technology we have today, which will someday be irrelevant to the technology we have in five years from now. It only makes sense that the time and energy we are putting into education is based around this. 

But is cursive writing dead? Even though there is something else that has taken the front seat in learning, does that mean it should be non-existent? Maybe in a sense cursive writing has changed subjects. Instead of being taught during Language Arts, it needs to be taught during History? 

My opinion is that cursive writing defines history and our country in many ways and should still be a part of our education system. We don’t need it to be at the forefront of our children’s day in school, but we should at least add it in where we can. 

What are your thoughts and opinions on teaching cursive writing in school? 

The Pros And Cons of Public School

When sending your child to school, there are a lot of options out there, not just public schools. It can be overwhelming to make a decision with so many options, what are the differences between public schools and charter schools? What about private schools? Is homeschool an option for your family? 

Over the next few weeks I am going to break down facts about different types of schools, listing pros and cons and points that may help you better make a decision. For today- let’s talk about public schools. 

Public schools are scattered throughout the nation, typically with boundaries throughout neighborhoods saying which homes attend which schools. Because they are open to the public, they are inexpensive. Usually, only a small fee for registration, if that. 

However, with the boundaries public schools bring, oftentimes it can mean lower-income students are clumped together and higher-income students are clumped together, which can lead to lower diversity levels. This stems from redlining. 

Public schools can create a sense of community for kids because they go to school with the same kids in their neighborhood. They walk together, play together, and go to school together. Another great aspect of public schools is oftentimes they are located close enough to homes that your child can walk or bike to school. 

A downside to public school is the amount of time it takes for new innovation to be adopted into the curriculum. Typically charter or private schools are more likely to bring in these methods before public schools do. 

It can also be hard to obtain a more individualized education because of larger class sizes, many parents can find concerns in not enough time and attention on their student and the help they need. 

Public schools are government funded, therefore the government plays a big role in not only the funding, but the teaching, the policies, etc. 

Overall, public schools have multiple pros and cons. And while some of these points may be a positive aspect to one person, it could mean a negative point to another. The purpose of this article is not to sway you one way or another, but to simply inform. 

What else would you include about public schools that might help a parent make a decision about what type of school they would choose for their children? 

A Quick Guide To Financial Aid

Financial aid. Do those two words give anyone else anxiety? When I was a senior in high school, they did for me! The thought of having financial aid is great! But the idea to put the work into getting financial aid can be daunting. Let me see if I can ease some of your fears! 

Let’s start with a definition. What is financial aid? Many will think it’s just grants or loans from the government, or FAFSA. But it can be more than that! It can also be grants and loans from private entities, as well as scholarships from your school or other organizations. Any additional money you receive to help pay for school is financial aid. 

So how can YOU obtain financial aid to help pay for your schooling? 

Search for and apply for scholarships

Apply for FAFSA. If you have questions or need help filling out their application, ask a parent, guidance counselor, teacher, or other trusted adult for help. FAFSA includes grants (money you don’t have to repay) and loans (money you have to repay). Even if you don’t plan on taking out loans, you should still at least apply to see if you can qualify for grants. Applying is free. 

If you are employed, talk to your HR to see if they have any programs that help pay for school while you work. 

Search for scholarships- again! 

Apply for our Design A Better Future scholarship. 

Look into your specific university, trade school, or community college to see if they have any grants or scholarships you can apply for. 

Applying and searching for financial aid can be a lot of time, work, and effort. However, if you are willing to put that time and effort into it, you may be surprised what reward you get out of it! 

What other questions do you have about financial aid that we can answer for you? 

Late Summer Birthdays: Hold Back Or Send To Kindergarten?

Even though my daughter is only 3.5 years old, I’ve been having a debate in my mind lately about kindergarten. Her birthday is late in July, so I’ve come to the tough decision that most parents of late summer birthday kids face. Send them to school when you’re supposed to so they are younger for their grade? Or hold them back a year from school and they are the oldest for their grade? 

I’ve been wrestling with a decision for quite some time now, listing out pros and cons. Sending your kids to school earlier when they will be younger for the age means they are out of the house earlier and accustomed to school sooner. Sending them later so they are older means they have more time to be a kid and don’t have the pressures of going to school placed on them so fast. 

The pros and cons lists are endless, I’ve been making them for about a year now! And beyond that, it’s so situational depending on each child individually, and their external circumstances. It is nearly impossible to know what the best situation is without doing an entire scientific experiment and analyzing both situations. But that is impossible to do! 

Here is where I am finding comfort- Kids thrive in whatever situation they are placed in. 

Sure, each child will have their struggles in school. Some may fall behind because they are younger for their grade and cannot keep up academically. Others may stick out and get made fun of because they are taller or bigger for their grade. 

Regardless, they will have successes too. They will find happiness and thriving whether you place them in kindergarten this year, or the next. 

We have yet to choose if my daughter will be attending kindergarten in 2022 or 2023, but once we do, you bet you guys will hear about our decision and the entire thought process that will go into it! 

Is this a decision weighing on you right now too? Which way are you leaning? 

A Book For My Book Buddy

https://honorsgradu.com/10-read-alouds-for-upper-elementary-grades/

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, schools shut down and children started learning from home. Everyone was very focused on making sure kids had the proper technology for at-home learning, and rightfully so. Teachers also worked overtime to set up bags of additional resources such as pencils, notebooks, and more.

But in some homes, especially those of lower-income, there were additional missing resources. Books.

Reading, and the love of reading is so important for children! But one teacher in Nampa, Idaho was set out to change that. She teaches in a low-income school where her students don’t have as much access to literature and were learning from home. So she reached out to family and friends asking for them to become “book buddies” with the 25+ students in her class.

All she asked was for them to send one book a month to the student they were paired with. I had the wonderful opportunity to become one of the book sponsors for this program. I’ve been able to send one book a month to my little friend in second grade. He even drew me a little picture and thank you note back!

I was so impressed with Rachel because she had the books delivered to her house for these students and personally drives around town to deliver each one to their homes.

It’s incredible to see the ingenuity, sacrifice, time, and love these teachers have for their students. What other incredible things have you seen teachers do for their students during the pandemic?