homeschooling

Educational Links

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Here are some of my favorite educational links with descriptions from their “about” page:

http://www.brainpop.com – Educational Videos

Founded in 1999, BrainPOP creates animated, curricular content that engages students, supports educators, and bolsters achievement. Our award-winning online educational resources include BrainPOP Jr. (K-3), BrainPOP, BrainPOP Español, and, for English language learners, BrainPOP ESL. BrainPOP is also home to GameUp, an educational games portal for the classroom.

In traditional, blended, and “flipped” learning settings, BrainPOP supports individual, team, and whole-class learning. At school and in informal learning environments, our characters help introduce new topics and illustrate complex concepts. Through “My BrainPOP,” teachers and students can keep a record of learning accomplishments through quizzes, game play, and activities. The My BrainPOP suite of features includes access to the Mixer, which lets users tailor assessments to meet all students’ needs, and Make-a-Map, our concept mapping tool. BrainPOP is also a great fit for mobile learning and BYOD classrooms: our educational apps – available on all major platforms – have been downloaded millions of times,and lauded in countless reviews. BrainPOP content is carefully mapped to the Common Core, aligned to academic standards, and searchable with our online Standards Tool. We are easy to use, with no downloading, installation, or special hardware required.

All of our resources are supported by BrainPOP Educators, our hub for free professional development and teacher resources like lesson plans, webinars, video tutorials, graphic organizers, and best practices.

BrainPOP was conceived by Avraham Kadar, M.D., an immunologist and pediatrician, as a creative way to explain difficult concepts to his young patients. Today, we’re used in more than 20 percent of U.S. schools, and are growing internationally. We take pride in our in-house team of educators, animators, and writers, who produce and continually improve BrainPOP, incorporating valuable teacher and parent input. Aiding us is a talented group of educators who serve as our Academic Advisors. We also partner with an array of educational game creators and other education technology companies and organizations.

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com – Teaching resources for purchase and for free

We believe that real teachers create the most relevant and engaging educational resources. Our open marketplace model supercharges resource quality, quantity, and availability.

Bringing educators together forms a powerful community that shares best practices, raises the bar for all, and compensates our best curriculum developers (sometimes spectacularly).

In the end, everyone wins, especially students. And that’s what it’s all about.

http://www.scholastic.com – Free teaching resources and books for sale

Scholastic (NASDAQ: SCHL) was founded in 1920 as a single classroom magazine. Today, Scholastic books and educational materials are in tens of thousands of schools and tens of millions of homes worldwide, helping to Open a World of Possible for children across the globe.

OUR MISSION
To encourage the intellectual and personal growth of all children, beginning with literacy.

Our Homeschooling Journey

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Homeschooling today has become a choice amongst many families. Some families have never sent their kids to a formal school setting, while others decided to take their children out of school and provide education at home. Reasons for homeschooling vary from religion to special needs children to being unhappy with the education public schools are providing. Regardless of the reasoning, when making the decision to homeschool, a family needs to consider many factors, including the most important, how will the children obtain their education? This can encompass many questions such as: will one parent stay home to teach, will both parents take turns teaching, will you use a tutor, will you join a homeschool co-op teaching community, will you create your own curriculum or purchase one and what are your state requirements for homeschooling?

The decision to homeschool requires a family to reexamine their lives in every aspect from budget to patience in order to prepare for the homeschooling journey. If one parent stays home, are they giving up their job, therefore lowering the family income? If so, will that affect the family lifestyle in any way? If planning to join a homeschool co-op teaching community, is the teaching parent equipped with a skill or expertise in a subject that can be taught, and if so, can that parent teach well to a group? Does your state require you to register with them and show your lessons and portfolios to the local school board for approval? Does your state offer a tax rebate because you are a homeschooler and pay for expenses or even better, does your state refund some taxes because you don’t attend public school? Homeschool families also have to prepare themselves for the scrutiny they may be put through. Friends, family members and aquaitances will want to know everything from why you chose to homeschool to what content you teach and who you have to answer to in order to prove you are doing a good job. And, be prepared for the big whopper of a question that everyone will ask you: what about socialization? Even though there are infinite articles published on why it is a stereotype that homeschoolers are unsocialized, people are convinced your kids sit home alone and are never exposed to the outside world.

Luckily, we live in the age of technology and there are infinite resources at our fingertips. Families are able to connect with other homeschoolers around the country, use the internet and apps as teaching tools, find teaching resources and find out information such as state laws and homeschooling rights. The more knowledge you have before taking the homeschool journey, the easier your path will be to follow.