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Online resources for gifted kids

A homeschooling friend passed along this online list of online resources.

This blogger says her kids eat information for breakfast and it’s hard to keep up with them and give them enough information. I know what she means! It is so hard to keep up with our kids in the information age, period!

I thought I would pass this along as a help for feeding the minds of these small ones we watch over!

100 Resources for Gifted Kids (from the Arts to the Sciences and Everything in Between)

First month!

We have now completed one month of classes at NEXT Education. I couldn’t be more pleased with how it’s going.

Our students have completed many thought-provoking assignments and they have explored new ideas and new concepts.

Our tutors have begun to experience the rewards of serving students who are engaged and lively, fully energized for the exploration of life and its possibilities! NEXT Education students are joyful and alive, rested up and allowed plenty of sunshine and exercise. Our students spend time with their parents every day, both in free play and in structured learning.

In short, we are all hitting our rhythm!

You’re welcome to come and join us!

Philosophical shift

I have been thinking a lot about the philosophical shift necessary to think like a homeschooler.

As a school parent I would ask questions like…

  • What is required?
  • How can my child participate in this program?
  • Can my child meet the schedule and commitment requirements to be on this team?

The assumption as a school parent is that the school knows, and my child needs to be shown how to fit in the mold.

Nothing could be further from my assumptions as a homeschooler. My assumption is that the school doesn’t know my child, I didn’t ever really want my child to fit into a mold, and instead I need to help my child find opportunities.

As a homeschool parent I would ask questions like…

  • What skill will this develop?
  • Which people will my child get to know through doing this activity?
  • How will I develop my child’s interests and talents during this school year?
  • How will my child meet others who have similar interests or talents during this school year?

As I was thinking about all this I came across an article that was talking about “Seven Deadly Sins of Our System of Forced Education.” It’s by Peter Gray, Ph.D.

He decries the fact that our American children are forced to learn things by the adults who have power over them, saying it replaces children having a desire to learn things and doing so because of that desire.

I can’t say I agree with the philosophy of unschooling in its entirety, but I do think that Peter Gray has some things that we need to hear as a society today.

Best quote from this article:

“A theme of the entire series of essays in this blog is that children are biologically predisposed to take responsibility for their own education (for an introduction, see July 16, 2008, post). They play and explore in ways that allow them to learn about the social and physical world around them. They think about their own future and take steps to prepare themselves for it. By confining children to school and to other adult-directed settings, and by filling their time with assignments, we deprive them of the opportunities and time they need to assume such responsibility. “

Decline of Play

This excellent video should give us a better idea of what the benefits of play are.

Peter Gray, Ph.D. presents “The decline of play.”

He says that “The Schoolish View” has spread beyond the classroom when we believe that things are best learned from adults instead of through self-directed play.

During the decline of play we have seen an increase of mental disorders like suicide and depression. Kids don’t believe they have control over their own lives (external locus of control), which leads to anxiety. Kids are measuring as being less creative.

And this all happened at the same time as the decline of play.

Could it be there’s a tie here? Wow, I sure do agree there could be.

Best quote:

“We need to be brave enough to stand up against the clamor for more school.”

Here at NEXT Education we are cutting down the requirements and trying to leave time for … whatever it is that children want to do! And that thing that this child wants to do when left alone … is what we believe will prepare them best for the thing they will do when they are grown and fully matured into their life purpose.

It’s a key concept that WE (parents) don’t have to be (shouldn’t be and can’t be) the ones who figure out what that is that they will do. (Although we might have to guide them away from some things that will only waste their time so they develop the ability to play freely.)

Homeschooling outcomes

You want your kids to get a good education, right?

And you wonder whether you really can “get it right,” so that they can learn and grow?

This is a fantastic research-based article that describes the typical outcomes for home-based education in Canada, based on their sample of 37 students.

The researchers found that it is very important to use STRUCTURE in the methods and materials chosen (we strongly advocate — and use — a structured approach to homeschooling at NEXT Education!) rather than just letting kids learn in an unstructured way (sometimes called “unschooling.”)

Here is a quick quote from the article:

Canadian kids receiving structured home schooling are testing very well, and it’s not merely a reflection of their parents’ affluence or educational levels.

But the story may be very different for kids who receive unstructured homeschooling.

In every test area, unstructured homeschoolers got lower scores than the structured homeschoolers did.

In 5 of 7 areas, the differences were substantial, ranging from 1.32 grade levels for the math test to 4.2 grade levels for the word identification test.

See more at: http://www.parentingscience.com/homeschooling-outcomes.html

Limiting federal control

Whatever your feelings about President Trump, anyone who is in favor of people having choices for their children MUST be in favor of this unprecedented limitation of federal government.

Trump signs an executive order protecting education from federal interference.

The article below explains that President Trump gave the Federal government bureaus 300 days to bring their rules into line with his directive that the STATES should control education, rather than the federal government.

Read more:

https://www.hslda.org/docs/news/2017/201704270.asp

Time to exit public school?

Here at NEXT Education, it has surprised us how many parents we meet who have concerns about their children’s emotional safety in school because of bullying.

At NEXT Education we are providing a viable alternative for parents who feel that public school is not the best place for their children, right now… And yet feel the need for support rather than “going it alone.”

There are many reasons children are bullied or mistreated in school. Some of those reasons may center on the child’s faith, or the faith-based beliefs the child holds. Others may center on hair color or other personal traits.

So who is right? Those who say to send kids to school, or those who say that it’s best to homeschool?

At NEXT Education we believe in empowering parents to decide. Period.

It is a good place for your child? It is up to YOU to decide. Here are a few thoughts to bear in mind.

1.  It might not be fine!

IF your kids are telling you that they are having problems at school don’t tell them it’s fine. It might not be fine at all. Many current homeschool parents have pulled their kids out of school based on a gut instinct, and only six months later, in the peace of the home setting, found out why (with the details they would have liked to have known earlier).

2. Bullying is one form of trauma.

Bullying is a traumatic experience, and our brains lock up in  when they are traumatized. It is similar to clinical PTSD. You know how Vietnam war veterans never talk about the war? Well… if your kids are traumatized they are going to want to avoid talking about it, too. Don’t expect your kids to be able to explain why they need to be rescued. The worse it is, the less they will probably say.

3. If you look in their eyes and your heart knows, then don’t let your brain talk you out of it.

Believe your kids, because if you don’t nobody else will. Know what you know, and remember that being supportive of the school is easy: you can be supportive of the school by avoiding nasty comments. Your child, on the other hand, needs your support in a lot more ways that that. Supporting your child means… your loving arms, your listening ear, and your time and attention.

You will never regret loving your kids even when it’s hard!

Homeschool collaboration in the news

Guess what?

Forbes Magazine has just declared programs like NEXT Education will be the big winners in the national education shake-up!

At NEXT Education, we say … It’s about time that parents got the flexibility in education that they want and need to bring American education back to a quality level that is truly creating big-hearted citizens for our country!

“What all these educational disruptors have in common is that they are ready to scale. But their market is chained by its obligation to pay for public schools via property taxes. Parents have to pay twice if they want to send their children to independent schools. The scholarship money would make the investment in private school economically feasible, especially when more private options are available.”

https://www.forbes.com/sites/currentevents/2017/04/18/hail-the-ed-work-around-2/#57462aa45746

Read the full article here

Investment definition

“To invest is to allocate money (or sometimes another resource, such as time) in the expectation of some benefit in the future.”

— Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Investment)

To be honest, I don’t normally quote Wikipedia. I would have preferred to quote a reputable dictionary or other reputable source. However, this time Wikipedia got my vote because they put the key idea into a clear and concise format. They made it easy to understand what an investment really is!

Let’s see that again… To invest is to:

  • allocate money
  • or allocate time
  • in the expectation
  • of some benefit
  • in the future.

Education is probably the most significant investment you can ever make. Educating a person means releasing their God-given destiny so that they go on to have a significant impact on the world around them … in addition to living a more satisfying life on a personal basis. I cannot think of a more important benefit that I could ever expect in the future, than this!

Sometimes to get the education our children need we have to go out of our way. Perhaps it is worth asking ourselves what we will wish he had done, after all is said and done.

Let’s consider whether these items are expense or investment:

  1. Flowers. You are buying cut flowers to put on your table each week. If you stop doing that, your table will be less beautiful. However, if you keep doing that, are you going to receive a future value that is greater than the price of the cut flowers? Probably not, unless you are doing it for a person in your life who really loves cut flowers THAT much.
  2. New car. You are driving around your new wheels, but at the end of the life of your car it’s only worth the price of new parts. Investment? I don’t think so. On the other hand, for the junkyard that buys your old car for $500 and then sells parts from it for $5,000 … your old car was a very good investment.
  3. New non-fiction book. If you actually take time to read that book and use the information, it could be that this is an investment. You may very well gain a future opportunity or financial reward from knowing more information. If it sits on your shelf and collects dust, it’s just a plain old expense.

Education is probably the most reliable reward out there. Your money invested in a young mind is guaranteed to bring benefits: wiser decisions, better friends, and (likely) a higher salary.

Education opens doors!

Value of education

The value of a good education is that education:

  • Is something that you can’t lose.
  • Makes new possibilities and opportunities.
  • Benefits your children and grandchildren.

This video is from a man who grew up on the rough side of town and now does seminars about the value of an education. He has a foundation set up for the purpose of talking to kids about valuing education.

As parents, we know some things that kids don’t. But we still may forget the TRUE value of education. It is an investment!!