About this time of year, I often get calls from parents who are brand new to home education. They need some basic information on how to get started… and how NOT to get overwhelmed!
With such a vast amount of information on the internet, it is so easy to get lost in the myriad of curriculum and resources that are available to those who choose this amazing path.
But like so many other things in life, I have found that keeping things simple typically brings the best results for our children, our family, our homes and for ourselves.
The first thing a new homeschooler will want to determine is which legal path to home education the family will choose. In California, there are several ways to home educate, but these are the most common and likely choices for the majority of families:
As an independent homeschooler. In this scenario, you are basically declaring your home as a private school. You fill out a form and file it with the state. Learn more about the process here. Plus side: total freedom. Down side: no financial support from state-sponsored schools.
As a charter school student. In California, there are a number of charter schools designed specifically to support home educators. Your student will be registered as a public school student and you will meet with your credentialed teacher about once a month. Plus side: most of these schools provide you with a funding budget that you can used for “approved vendors” for classes, supplies, curriculum, etc. (WLR is an approved vendor with a number of local charters.) Down side: your student will be required to participate in state-mandated testing and possibly other types of testing. You will likely need to provide a number of work samples to your teacher. Check with any charter you are considering and be sure to ask about the number of required work samples per semester and the amount of testing. They vary. You may want to ask other homeschoolers which schools they like and which teachers. You can usually request a preferred teacher. The teacher’s role is more as a support person to assist with getting materials, supplies and guidance – as little or as much, usually, as you prefer. After a few meetings you will know if the teacher is a good fit for your family. If not, you can request to change teachers.
Register with a PSP (Private Satellite Program). This is similar to #2, except it is a private school entity and you pay for the services. Some offer this at a low price with minimal services; others will offer much more, or several options, and the price will go up accordingly. Be sure to check around, ask for references and compare programs. A private PSP with minimal services is basically taking care of the paperwork for you that you can do yourself if you choose #1, above.
If you are withdrawing your child from a traditional public or private school midyear, you will want to take a look at this information as well.
Once you have determine your chosen route, complete the necessary paperwork. Then take a deep breath and relax! Taking care of yourself is an important step on the homeschooling journey. Don’t feel like you have to do everything at once.
At Wholistic Learning Resources, we honor the natural unfolding of the developing human being, offering supplemental classes to support all that you do at home with, and for, your children. Our Movement & Games classes are rooted in this same understanding. In modern culture, organized team sports are held in high status which can cause children to think of movement only in those terms.
Our Movement classes give students basic coordination and movement skills that will help them if and when they decide to play organized sports. Depending on the grade, children will play games, do relay races or learn dances that serve to develop skills that may also be beneficial for a conventional sport.
Not only do our movement classes provide the opportunity to play games and have fun, they also works with their social interaction: their activity teaches them to play with each other before they play against each other, to acknowledge each other, to play safely, and to gain an appreciation for all kinds of movement. Our Games classes enable students to move fully, know who they are, and enter into a more healthy relationship with the world. Various games help develop an enhanced awareness of personal space, with clearly defined boundaries. As the children develop, these skills lay the foundation for healthy participation in other activities and organized sports.
For the upcoming WLR Fall 2017 program, Games & Movement is offered on Tuesdays in Davis and on Thursdays in Sacramento. Click here to view the class schedule pages.
Combining History, Language Arts, and Science, students will travel through time to meet people who changed the world. After each historical figure (such as Leonardo Da Vinci or Marie Curie) is introduced through story, students will step into their shoes by experiencing hands-on activities that relate to their lives. By creating lesson book pages will reinforce their learning and expand their skills through summarizing, writing and drawing. Students will complete a page for each historical figure into their lesson books If desired, parent home educators can extend the lessons at home, using the completed lesson book pages as inspiration for extending their student’s learning. The 10-week course will cover approximately five historical figures; possible historical figures may include:
Leonardo Da Vinci (mirror writing, experiments with water)
Avicenna, a doctor & author born in 980 (Indian number system, Arabic writing, memorizing)
Sacajewea (invaluable to helping Lewis & Clark travel to the Pacific coast)
Marie Curie (first woman to win Nobel Prize, radium, x-ray machine with daughter)
Maria Mitchell (self educated Astronomer, first to photograph the sun, studied Jupiter & Saturn)
Eleanor Roosevelt (United Nations committee that wrote the Declaration of Human Rights)
Florence Nighingale (nursing)
Biographies is offered at the WLR Rancho Cordova site on Mondays for Grades 5-8, and is led by the enthusiastic Ms. Audra Sterrett. Ms Sterrett also teaches Heroes & Fables for Grades 1-4 on Mondays.
WLR is pleased to announce this new class just added to the Davis Schedule: Herbal Alchemy.
Instructor Jennifer Tan will engage students in this hands-on class of discovery, learning all about the natural world of herbs. Students will gather herbal seeds, plant and harvest herbs, and blend herbs for teas and scent sachets, creating a variety projects that are sure to delight the senses. With soothing lavender, invigorating rosemary and others, students will have a scent-sational time, as they deepen their understanding and appreciation for nature’s gifts.
Herbal Alchemy is offered at our Davis location on Tuesdays, beginning September 12th. Click here to register and save your child’s place in class.
From simple, two-stranded braids to complex spirals and fantastic animal forms, Celtic knots have long been admired for their intricacy and beauty. But did you know that even the most complicated of these forms are built up from simple principles?
In this class students will learn not only how to draw these forms, but also how to decorate them in a variety of ways. By working with Celtic knot and braid designs, students experience the dimensionality of form as they explore the concepts of “over” and “under.” Introduction of the “disappearing line” helps develop the ability to “follow a line of thought.” In addition, drawing these forms helps to advance focus and concentration as the drawing process itself organically brings students to an attentive, alert state.
Celtic Knot Braids & Designs for Grades 5-8 is offered on Mondays at our Rancho Cordova location and is taught by Mr. Huff. Register soon to hold your child’s place in class!
In this writers’ workshop for Grades 4-8, students will experience playing with dialogue, using descriptive language, and learning word games and activities. With their new skills, students will combine sentences to create more complex and interesting writing. Designed for both enthusiastic writers and those who would rather do anything than write, this class will deepen students’ relationship to language, showing how sensory images make writing come to life. Students will have opportunities to share their work and ask questions about each other’s writing in a supportive environment, while enhancing the process of revision. Along the way, students will learn the answers to these questions:
What is a sentence?
Where do I punctuate?
How do I write a paragraph? (topic sentence, closing sentence, starting a new paragraph)
Homework will be assigned. Supplies students will need to bring to each class meeting: binder, pens, pencils and a folder. Optional: pencil sharpener, journal/notebook.
Instructor, Ms. Audra Sterrett, holds a BA in Literature and has been credentialed to teach in California public schools. In addition, Ms. Audra has been homeschooling her own children for nine years and teaching and assisting at WLR for two years. Ms. Audra brings joy and enthusiasm to her students, with a bright, positive outlook that is inspiring to all.
View the Class Schedules and Class Descriptions pages. Not all classes are offered every session. The schedule varies from semester to semester but we leave the class descriptions online so you can see the variety of classes we offer.
After reviewing class descriptions, be sure to note any required supplies, prerequisite skills, class start & end dates and any designated holidays. If you have any concerns about your child’s ability to fully participate in class, be sure to review the Participation in WLR classes page.
Go to the Registration page to register for the upcoming WLR session. Be sure to complete all forms and e-sign as indicated (cancellation policy, waiver/liability release, medical information, etc.)
Self-paying families may make secure online payment or mail check or money order to the WLR, P.O. Box 19676, Sacramento 95819. Charter school families: forward the WLR e-mail confirmation to your teacher and request P.O./voucher/certificate for the chosen classes.
Thank you for your interest in our program. If you have any questions, call Sandi at 916-606-0799.
Students in Grades 5-8 can join Mr. Huff for a new fun, exciting class this fall: Rockets!
In this class students will work in teams to design and launch a pressurized water bottle rocket. Class will cover:
• Newton’s 1st and 3rd laws of motion
• Forming hypotheses and testing them
• Problem solving through brainstorming, evaluation, and testing of possible solutions
• Principles of propulsion and flight
Launches will take place the last two or three class sessions.
For the Fall term, Davis WLR is excited to announce Musical Theatre!
Students who enroll for this class will benefit from the combined talents of Mrs. Jennifer Tan, teaching the music and songs, and Dr. Rick Tan, directing the students in a musical production! Depending on age, experience, and desire, students will be assigned individual roles and/or choral parts. The medium of theatre, enhanced with music, is a fantastic way for children to learn dramatic and choral skills.
First day: students reviewing the script with Dr. Tan.
On the final day of the Fall term, the children will perform their musical for families and friends. Written by Dr. Tan, the story is always a creative re-telling of a historical figure and events. This Fall, the play centers around Elizabeth Jane Cochran, who pioneered investigative journalism, and went around the world in a record 72 days back in Novemeber 14, 1889. She was famously known as Nelie Bly. Songs will include pieces inspired by Stephen Foster’s ballads of traditional Americana. Parents may be recruited for assistance with their children’s costumes.
Registration for the WLR 2017 Fall term opens soon – during the first week of July! Join the mailing list to stay up to date on our latest class offerings in Davis, Sacramento, Rancho Cordova and Carmichael.