It’s Okay to Ask for Help

There is no doubt about it, homeschooling is rewarding, but it can also be challenging. You might find yourself in a place where you and your student are stuck. You are not alone! E-v-e-r-y homeschool family faces this. Yes, even the all-put-together homeschool mom has days (or weeks) like this. So, what can you do about moving on where you are right now?

  1. Identify the problem. Is your child overwhelmed or frustrated? Evaluate whether the material is too difficult or could there be a learning difficulty? Tired? Sleep is highly underrated and your son/daughter really does need to get a good night’s rest. If you find that sleep routines have gone by the wayside, establish bedtime and when they are expected to be up in the morning. Bored? is the curriculum too easy or just not keeping the attention of your pupil? Consider putting aside what you are currently doing and look at alternatives. You can go to the library and get books on the subject; watch a video and do a quiz or have a discussion afterwards; look for an online class; find a community class or a person who would enjoy teaching the subject
  2. Ask for help. Call, email, or text someone who can listen and give some good counsel. There are Facebook groups, support groups, blogs, podcasts, and Instagrammers who can give you ideas. Have you considered there may be a physical issue occurring such as needing glasses; ADD; dyslexia; dyscalculia, or a food allergy?
  3. Step away. Close the books, take a break, play a game. Sometimes everyone just needs to be done. If your child just sits at the table and plays the waiting game, have a talk with them and let them know that you are finished for the day, but the work will still need to be finished. You decide when that will be; is it before bedtime, tomorrow, by Friday or does the unfinished work go into the weekend? Consider having an effect for not doing the work. For instance, since they chose to waste time sitting and not completing work, their favorite activity is shortened too.
  4. Praise when hard things have been attempted. It goes a looong way for your child to feel that you have seen the effort they have put forth. You can also have a small reward to be given as an incentive. I am not talking about a bribe, there is a difference. They can see that when facing a challenge, it is rewarding to overcome that task. If you have followed me for any amount of time, you know I struggle to keep my office desk clear. I put it off until I just can’t take it another minute. I have to reward myself or make the time more enjoyable by listening to an audiobook. So, if I have to do this, chances are your student does too.:) I am a big kid, after all. lol

Have a great week and remember, it’s okay to ask for help to get you and your student over the rough patches. ~Lisa~

I am not sure if you are aware of this, but I offer consulting for homeschool families and would be glad to help. I can offer ideas, discuss various curricula, look at your schedule, etc. My fee is $25.00 for a 30 minute Zoom conference. You can email me if you are interested, this does not include any legal or medical advice since that is not my area of expertise. I am neither a lawyer or a medical professional nor did I ever play the part of one. You can email me at: schoolmarmohio@me.com. In the subject line write Educational Consultation.

Legislative News for Homeschooling

I was looking at Christian Home Educators of Ohio’s website today and wanted to pass this information along. I am not giving any legal advice, but wanted to make you aware of the financial support that you can avail yourself of should you wish. Source: https://www.cheohome.org/legislative-hb110/

Legislative – HB110

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: July 5, 2021
From CHEO Legislative Liaison, Melanie Else

HB110 – STATE BIENNIUM BUDGET

The State of Ohio has enacted its biennium (2-year) budget (HB 110) effective 6/30/21. This is always a comprehensive piece of legislation that includes changes in permanent law as well as financial support for all aspects of state policy. The enrolled version is 2438 pages in length.

There are several changes in law in HB 110 that affect home educating families, effective immediately. This update will provide details on two of these changes. The remaining policies will be described in a separate update because they affect families who are leaving the home education experience to enroll their children in public or nonpublic schools.

Note: This update is for informational purposes only. CHEO’S position on both policy issues is a neutral one. As standalone policies, there are no ties to the parameters of our state regulations. Both policies are voluntary in nature on the part of the home educating parent.

Revised Code: Section 5747.72(A) on pp. 1919-1920

Tax credit for education expenses used directly for education expenses for students who have been excused from compulsory attendance for the purpose of home education. The amount allowed as a tax credit is $250 per taxpayer for whom the student is a dependent (per taxable year).

Allowable expenses:
• Books
• Supplementary materials
• Supplies
• Computer software, applications, or subscriptions.

Expenses not allowed to be used as a tax credit are computers or similar electronic devices or accessories thereto.

Note: This is a credit, not a tax deduction. The Ohio Tax Commissioner is permitted (not required) to request that a qualifying taxpayer furnish supporting information (i.e. receipts for purchase) when claiming a tax credit.

Revised Code: Section 3310.70 paragraphs (A) through (H) on pp. 747-749

Afterschool Child Enrichment (ACE) Program: This new savings account program is established for “eligible” students. This is a temporary funding source Ohio has received from the federal government for “Coronavirus School Relief”. HB110 disperses the funds directly to families on a first come first serve basis…when the funds run out, this program is terminated. Amount per student = $500 per year for the next 2 years

An “eligible student” must meet all following conditions:
• Age 6-18
• Have a family income that is below 300% of federal poverty guidelines (see info below)
• Be enrolled in a public or nonpublic school or home educated (excused from the compulsory attendance law for
the purpose of home instruction)

Money can be used for (secular or non-secular):
• Before or after school educational programs
• Day camps, including camps for academics, music, and arts
• Tuition at learning extension centers or learning pods
• Purchase of curriculum and materials (home educated students only)
• Educational, learning, or study skills services
• Field trips to historical landmarks, museums, science centers, and theaters (includes admission, exhibit, and
program fees)
• Language classes
• Instrument lessons
• Tutoring

Funds may not be used for the purchase of electronic devices.

How this program will be set up and function:

1. Before the first week of August, the ODE must adopt emergency rules that prescribe the procedures for setting up the ACE account at the request of the parent or guardian of the student.
2. ACE accounts shall be set up on a first come first serve basis according to availability of funds.
3. Before the last week of October, the ODE must contract with a vendor to administer the accounts giving preference to vendors who use a smart phone application that is capable of scanning receipts and provides a customer service number for parents who have technical issues.
4. The vendor will monitor how the money is spent and recoup money used for purposes not authorized. They will also provide a list to the ODE of purchases made with the accounts.
5. If a parent requests an account and the funds are available, the account shall be front loaded with $500 within 14 days of the request and that money shall be used no later than the following June 30.
6. The funds must be deposited into ACE accounts no later than Dec. 31, 2021, for FY2022.

Source of funds: Appropriation #200-640 Federal Coronavirus School Relief

FY2022 (July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022): $50 million (At $500 per student, this means a max of 100,000 students.)
FY2023 (July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023): $75 million (At $500 per student, this means a max of 150,000 students.)

If the first $50 million is not completely spent, it will be re-appropriated for FY2023 (added to the $75 million the
following year).

Family income is 300% of the federal poverty guidelines. https://aspe.hhs.gov/2021-poverty-guidelines

Family of 4 – $79,500                                 Family of 7 – $120,360
Family of 5 – $93,120                                 Family of 8 – $133,980
Family of 6 – $106,740

Have a great week! ~Lisa~

Finding Joy in Homeschooling

It’s sooo easy to lose your joy when your school day is not going well and your student is not cooperating. Let me reassure you that alllll of us have days and sometimes weeks of feeling stuck and not much learning is taking place. But, the truth of the matter is, progress is happening, learning is taking place. Here are four things that help me when I need to bring back joy in my life.

What brings a smile to your face? Take time to do that! Is it reading a book, reading your Bible? Snuggling with your child? Cooking? Drinking a cup of coffee? Playing your favorite song? It doesn’t require a lot of time, but it is worth it to get recharged and “find your happy spot”.

Look back since the beginning of the year. Where do you see progress? Is your child reading better? Getting faster with their math facts? Writing more? Paying attention more? You may not be seeing huge leaps, but small steps bring progress too! This aways helped me to see that we really were further along than I thought. Think on the good things that are happening.

Take a Break- Everyone gets burned out and that includes you! If the math lesson is going badly, stop before you reach the point of no return and everyone is upset. Can you quit teaching math for the year, no. But, you can put it aside and come back to it tomorrow. If you have a younger student then you could work on another concept such as measurement and incorporate baking. If you have an older student you will need to continue on, but can you find a teaching video that could help explain the concept.

Reach out to someone who supports you. Truth: homeschooling is hard and there are days you need a pep talk. I hope you have someone and if you don’t, let me encourage you. You can do this, you know your child better than anyone else. You can challenge them to excel in ways a classroom teacher can’t since you know their strengths, areas they need to work on, and what motivates them. I believe in you and have great respect for you homeschooling.

Have a great week! ~Lisa~

November Check-up

How are you doing? How are things with school? Do you still have all of your hair? (just kidding!) Here are some things to consider this month for your school:

  • Progress- Is progress being made? If so, write down the area you see this occurring in your child with regard to school. Math, penmanship, independence, etc. Share with your child where you see them making progress. Praise adn recognition go a long way!

  • Reading– Reading is essential to all learners, all ages. Reading aloud for 10 minutes each day is extremely beneficial. Even high school students should read aloud, especially when reading difficult subject content. Be an example and read aloud to your children. We would read either after lunch or before bedtime, sometimes Dad even read to the kids.

  • Work Samples– Choose a paper from each subject to place in your portfolio review. If you haven’t done so yet, create a folder (either physical or electronic) and put it there. Label the date too so you can easily reference when this was done.

Calendars can help you
stay organized.
  • Master Schedule-Write a schedule of what needs to be done for the day (Example: School 8:00-12:00, Lunch 12:00-12:30, etc., 2:00- Appointments, Visits with Others, Chores, Errands, Sports, etc., 5:00- 6:30 Dinner Prep, Meal. Clean-up; 6:30- Family Time, Free Time, 9:00 Good Night!) The above picture is the calendar I got for $1.00 at the Dollar Tree. 🙂

I hope you have found this to be helpful. Have a great week!

~Lisa~

Literature + Math = Fun

I admit it, math is not my favorite subject. But, I do love literature and combining the two makes math fun for me. If I am having a good time then I feel like I pass that good attitude on to my kids (now grandkids 🙂 ). Oh, throw in some cookies, and now everyone is a bit more inclined to be a part of the math lesson. lol Here are two books that I have found to be not only educational, but also colorful and relatable.

The Crayola Book by Jodie Shepherd obviously has crayons that are the focus, but also fun real life pictures to accompany the colors that have been selected. This has great details about sorting and gives examples for children to see. I like that is gives the definition on the first page. “Sorting is grouping similar objects together. There are lots of ways to sort! You can sort by color, shape, size, and more!”

Sorting by Henry Pluckrose is a series called Math Counts. This book is for young students who are just beginning to learn about sorting. There are two more books in this particular series called Counting and Numbers. They also have books that are suggested to use before books in this series called: Pattern, Shape, and Size. Is your child beyond all of these concepts? That’s awesome! You can read these instead: Time, Length, Weight, and Capacity.

So, why not read the books and then gather some of your own things from around the house to do a sorting activity? You can also graph items to extend the activity. For example: You sorted types of fruit: apples, pears, strawberries, and oranges. Graph how many of each you have. Take a poll and see what is each family member’s favorite fruit. Graph the result. You can extend this again by having your student write a paragraph about the findings.

Have a great week! ~Lisa~