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Oct 2013

Mother completing the school projects

How do you feel about parents completing school projects that their kids are supposed to do?

Hi, its Ray again. I seem to be wallowing in nostalgia this week and after the last post where I brought up the subject of sharing the Zane videos with your children, I thought some more and remembered when I was living in the Philippines. They had so many projects to carry out at the school the child of the house attended. Every couple of weeks he would bring home a printed sheet explaining what he had to do. (more…)

Oct 2013

Do YOU remember your favorite teachers?

New Blogger Ray Brocklesby thinks back about his own school days and his favourite teachers

Hi, there has been a slight gap since the last post on this blog but I have just joined the company and hope to bring you some more thought provoking subjects to discuss. To start off I am going to talk about my favorite teachers. I am not so young now and it is many years since I went to school in the UK, but I can still remember certain teachers that influenced me. I can still remember their names yet the names of some of my close friends of the same period have receded into the deepest corners of my memory. Why is it that these people had such an influence on me that I remember them clearly after all these years? (more…)

Jul 2011

Curriculum for Homeschool

Homeschool Curriculum – Why Spend Money Unnecessarily?

For many homeschoolers this article will hopefully clarify a number of myths about what Curriculum is, and at the same time will hopefully save many more of you a lot of money in the future!

The word ‘Curriculum’ is one of the most misunderstood and misused words in the world of homeschooling – and for a large number of homeschoolers it takes on an almost mythical status. And so often when I hear people discussing Homeschool Curriculum or Curriculum for Homeschooling, I find that I often have to restrain myself from saying anything. Why? Well let’s look first at what it actually means, and then secondly, the reasons why you are homeschooling.

Search online and you will quickly find that the definition of the word Curriculum when used in reference to education is ‘The subjects comprising a course of study in a school or college.’ Two further definitions indicate that it means ‘All the courses of study offered by an educational institution’ or ‘A group of related courses, often in a special field of study’. So what many homeschool suppliers are selling labeled as being Curriculum, really isn’t Curriculum at all.

But let’s put that aside for a minute so we can ask this question. Isn’t one of the reasons why many of us are homeschooling because we have lost faith in what our schools and the education system has to offer, believing we can do better ourselves? So why spend money buying a list of subjects that the same education system in which we have lost faith, thinks we ought to be teaching our children? (more…)

Oct 2010

The Role of Educational Video in Homeschooling

A Thorn in the Side…or a Jewel in the Crown

I received an email a couple of days ago from a friend. She asked me to comment on the following statement “…..you know, in the US, there is quite a bit of controversy over K-12 among homeschoolers …..many see it as taking away the parents teaching of the children and relegating it to videos”.

In this article I want to address the issue and role of using online educational video in homeschooling.

I find it a little hard to believe that if we sit down and think about it for a moment that anyone could reasonably suggest that “using video is taking away the parents teaching of their children” any more using a textbook might.

Using video to teach your child as a homeschooler is certainly no different to using a textbook in that it is simply a format in which to deliver the core information, or the facts!

However video is a format that has distinctive silver lining.

Firstly the textbook only offers the child one solitary option. It must be read. And if you then have a child that does not like reading, and on top of that they do not find the topic particularly interesting, then it can be a recipe for disaster.

Video however provides the child with 2 choices. And if you use subtitled video, as we do, then it provides the child with 3 choices. They can watch, listen or read. Every child absorbs and processes information in the manner that best suits them, and their abilities. So it is important to provide the child with the choices so that when we hope or expect them to absorb and process certain information, we give them the benefit of a flying start.

At the same time though video offers a much more dynamic means to deliver information, and as a result it rapidly captures the child’s attention and maintains their interest for a longer period of time. And guess what? It also introduces an element of fun at the same time. You make learning fun and watch the child’s motivation increase. That’s precisely why the most effective form of learning comes about when the child enjoys and is interested in the topic. I suspect this is exactly why few of us adults retire to bed early in the evening with a dictionary to relax! Hard work or what? (more…)

Sep 2010

Learning Using Online Video …or A Spoonful of Sugar..

A spoonful or sugar helps the medicine go down, the medicine go down…and so on. Who remembers that song?

If you do, you don’t need to own up to it …….. because of course it comes from the very popular Mary Poppins movie from years ago, and if you do remember, the chances are that you are nearly as much an antique as me.

Anyway the reason I’m asking is because I meet so many people that have not even considered for one minute using online educational video to help teach their children, and they virtually all have similar questions like “so what’s it like?” or “How effective is it?”.

And I generally start my reply by using that line “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down” …… and here’s why! (more…)

Aug 2010

Homeschool Lesson Plans

It was an interesting weekend here at Zane Education. I got involved in an online conversation with one of our Twitter followers that has led to an idea that we might be able to develop to improve the service we provide the Homeschool community that is so close to our hearts.

It had never really occurred to me before just how many homeschooling mums and dads out there might be preparing their own lesson plans out there. And if that is the case, I have to ask, “How many times would that lesson plan be used by that one family and then seldom used again?”

While many of those “lesson plans” might only consist of a few lines scribbled out on a piece of paper, I have to wonder if there might be others that are preparing a lesson plan that could be used by other homeschooling families. (more…)

May 2009

Our Videos & Homeschooling

homelaptopIrrespective of the method of homeschooling you feel best meets your needs, and regardless of your motivations for homeschooling, one of the most important considerations must surely be the format that is used to provide the relevant material to the student.

While books and written material surely have their place and their benefits, it is important to provide that material in a format that is firstly going to capture and maintain their attention – and hopefully make the learning process fun, and secondly providing that material in a manner that enables the individual student to learn and absorb the information at their own pace, thereby enabling that student to reach their greatest potential.