If you’re a homeschooler and you have an elementary or middle schooler, you’re in luck as far as homeschool resources go. Unfortunately, while there are some, the amount of resources available for homeschooling high school is much less. This reality became much more real to me when my own kids reached high school.
They had finally reached the stage where their were taking more ownership and accepting more responsibility for guiding their own learning. One of the biggest challenges for them was how to learn so they could teach themselves anything. The reality is, as awesome as homeschooling is, as much control as we have over what our children learn, and no matter how much freedom we have to tailor school to our kids’ needs, they will come out with learning gaps. This is unavoidable, but not necessarily a bad thing. Kids from all methods of education come out with learning gaps. It’s the kids who learned how to learn and how to teach themselves that will be the ones with a huge advantage over their peers.
It was with all this in mind that I designed Study Starters. These are cards that set up the topic and pose a variety of questions or prompts to guide the student in their own research. Once they’ve completed their research, they can summarize, in writing, what they learned. These cards are small enough to give your student a springboard to learning, but small enough to be kept with their research notes and written summaries.
So, now that you know what they are, let’s take a look at how to use them. (Seriously, it could not be simpler!)
First, print out all the Study Starter cards and the instruction page. While you can read the instructions on your computer, the instruction page contains a checklist your student can use to track their progress through the Study Starters or note the ones they’ve decided not to complete.
They can cut the checklist out and glue it into their notebooks. This would mark the start of this section of Study Starters.
Next, the student reads their Study Starter for the day and the questions and/or prompts for that topic.
Your student conducts their research in order to answer the questions or write about the prompt taking notes about what they learn. Then, they organize their notes and write their summary in their notebooks. The picture below shows the day’s research on Rosa Parks, the Civil Rights Movement, and The Montgomery Bus Boycott.
Once your student is finished with their writing, they can fold the Study Starter card on the line between the top shaded area and the rest of the card. They, they can add glue or tape to the back of the shaded area and stick it to their page. The Study Starter will then flip up so anyone can read the full page of the student’s writing, but the Study Starter is always kept with the student’s notes and writing for that day.
This Study Starter pack is for the month of February 2019. This gives students a chance to look at the month of February and learn about all of the events through history that happened in this month. Look for other themed Study Starter packs coming soon, but in the meantime, click here to get your copy.
Roni Bergerson is a veteran homeschooler who has spent the last 15 years educating her two sons, one gifted and one special needs. Together with her husband, they started their homeschool journey in 2002 when their oldest son was just two years of age. Although he was enrolled in the early childhood for his special needs, they remained unsatisfied with the quality of care he was receiving. The end of his enrollment in the program signaled the start of another journey. Their second son was also born with special needs in 2003 and has been homeschooled his entire life. Her oldest child has now moved on to college while her younger son is flourishing in his studies and making great progress. Her experiences led her to create fun, engaging, yet high-quality and rigorous online classes that she wishes would have been available to her sons earlier in their homeschool journey. You can find her offering great online classes and educational materials under the publisher name Eastern Wind Academy.