About Rest for the Weary

I hope you will find this little spot a place of rest and refreshment for your soul. My intention is to build up women in the trenches of homeschooling. This includes veterans who are burned out and former homeschooling moms who have decided for one reason or another to put some or all of their children in school. Thanks for stopping by. Take a deep breath of refreshment for your weary soul.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Preparing homeschool kids for school

Many people have asked me how I helped my children transition from homeschooling to brick and mortar school.  I thought I would share those here so that if you will be sending children to school in the near future, this may help. 

As a long time homeschooling mom, I was worried about sending my children to school.  I didn't know how they would do, especially socially so I tried to prepare them ahead of time through lots of discussions and role playing.  After they went to school for the first time in 2011, I found a few things that I missed in preparing them.  This time around, I think they were much better prepared. 

1. Testing. Teach your child how to study for tests and how to take them.  To study, I helped my children read end of chapter questions first before reading the chapter, I mentioned the importance of bolded words (and we made vocabulary cards), and the looking over charts, graphs, and dates mentioned in a chapter.  Seton offers a free online study skills course.  This is geared towards middle school and high school so it may need to be modified. 
Another important thing about tests (and many worksheets) is to remember to read the directions carefully.  We found out the hard way with this one several times. 

2.  When/how to raise hand to answer or ask a question.  As homeschoolers, my children just got up and went to the bathroom when they needed.

3.  If your children or young and/or never been in any class or sports setting, they need to learn to stand in line and wait for their turn.  This is something all young children will learn in school as none of them really are good at it until they practice.  It sounds ridiculous but my scatterbrained at the time 3rd grader would just start walking to the bathroom when the teacher said it was time to go to the bathroom. 

4. Organizational skills.  Most schools now have the kids write assignments in a planner.  Since my children went in at an older age, they didn't know how to use a planner and how to organize their work well.  Teach them to write down all assignments and check the planner and pack their backpack accordingly before leaving school.  My son had to learn how to file all of his papers in his binders.  This just takes time.  He lost several papers early on, shed several tears, but he is learning. 

5. Teach your children to ask questions if they are unsure of assignments or aren't understanding a concept.  One child of mine in particular is very shy and was hesitant to ask questions when he didn't understand something which made homework frustrating at times. We did some role playing at home which we found helpful.

6.  Dealing with mean kids and how to handle it.  I came up with various situations and we role played how to best deal with these things.  I try to encourage my children to talk to me a lot about things that happen and how they or others dealt with them.

7.  Academic preparation.  I made sure to work on things my children were not strong in before they went to school.  Each person will need to determine what that is for them. Here is what we did. 
     +writing= paragraphs, expository, persuasive and descriptive essays.
     +general grammar including punctuation and capitalization.
     +basic math especially math facts
     +basic geography, dates, and familiar events in history.

What else have you done to prepare your children to enter school after homeschooling them? 

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