Thursday Thirteen #3

Last week, someone had listed previous jobs, and I thought I would give it a whirl. So here goes:

Thirteen Jobs I’ve Had:

1. My first job was at age 15; working for DK Clay. I cleaned and prepared thrown pottery for the kiln. (I think I broke more pottery than I cleaned! Oops! -D )

2. At age 16, I began working for Food Lion as a cashier. I can still remember being excited about making $3.65 an hour–(can you believe that?!) I worked there off and on for about 6 yrs. (throughout high school and part of college). (I think I still may have nightmares about “snow” and “never-ending lines at the grocery store! -D )

3. Health Plan Coordinator for Health Center at NC State (It sounds more impressive than it was, believe me.)

4. KFC–worked there for a summer during college (This was definitely not my favorite job–it was very fast-paced and messy. Also, I was a little too clumsy; a potential hazard in the kitchen! -D)

5. Subway–(I think this one only lasted a week or twoI’ll spare you the details).

6. Oriental Rug Liquidators–worked there for a summer during college.

7. Teller for First Citizens Bank–worked there for a summer before going to Graduate School. (I was excellent with balancing my drawer at the end of the day–my previous experience as a cashier came in handy! I’m still very particular about all my dollar bills facing the same way, etc.).

8. Winn Dixie photo lab–worked there for a summer.[Had a little problem with the machine one day and a few stray pictures “paid the price”-they were like disappearing socks in the dryer! (By the way, does anyone know where all the socks go-really, I want to know!) -)]

9. Year-long internship at an elementary school (training to be a Guidance Counselor, while often thinking, “What was I thinking?!”)

10. Guidance Counselor for two years at two schools (part-time at an elementary school and part-time at a middle school)

11. School Counselor for three years at a middle school (until 6 months into my first pregnancy)

12. Preschool substitute teacher for a couple of different Christian preschools

13. SAHM–almost 7 yrs now; home-school teacher for 2 yrs

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Homeschooling “Q and A”

As I stated in my last post, if you are considering homeschooling, you may be interested in the following information (and the remaining posts in this series) . (However, again, please note that individual states differ in their requirements.) In this post, I will do my best to address the following homeschooling questions:

–Are you qualified to do that? What is your (educational) background?

–What kind of standards do you go by or use? How do you fulfill the state requirements?

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The state of N.C. says that parents are allowed to home-school their child or children as long as:

–They have at least a high school diploma or equivalent.

–They submit a “Notice of Intent” form to the state once a child turns 7 years old.

–Children aged 7 and up are required to take a state-approved standardized test by the end of each school year.

–Parents are expected to keep student immunization and attendance records on file along with copies of standardized test scores.

–Parents are also requested to submit copies of attendance records and standardized test scores to the state.

–To be considered as a home-school, a school can only involve 1-2 households (no more than 2).

**Note: The above information is “off the top of my head.” For more specifics and additional information, visit the NC Division of Non-Public Education website, here.

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I have a Masters of Science degree in School Counseling and a Bachelors of Art degree in Psychology. While earning these degrees, I did two different year long internships (one in a middle school and one in an elementary school). Once I received my Masters, I worked for five years in the N.C. public school system. I worked for two years as a Guidance Counselor at both an elementary school and a middle school. Then, I went on to work for a different middle school as a School Counselor for three years.

My first year homeschooling (2006-2007), even though Sarah was only 5, I went ahead and took care of all the necessary paperwork. (The state requires that parents do so by the time the child is 7). However, I was also helping teach my 7 year old niece, so I had to submit paperwork for her. (I’m actually glad that I had to do this early, because that way, I haven’t had it “looming over my head.”)

Before starting homeschooling, my husband and I did some serious praying and “soul searching.” Once we had decided, I did some intensive research on the subject. I had already talked with numerous homeschooling mothers, and next I researched websites, blogs, books, etc. Then, I contacted a local homeschooling group; getting more help, advice, information, and support. In addition, I went to a homeschooling bookstore; looked through tons of educational materials and bought most of my first year curriculum (boughtused“–at a wonderful, discounted price!) I also reviewed and made copies of the N.C. Standard Course of Study, which I have on file. (You can view and/or download it from the above mentioned NCDNPE website, here). I now use several different Christian curricula, which meet state guidelines. Abeka is currently my core curriculum, which is used by numerous accredited Christian private schools.

I also use the CAT test to meet the state standardized test requirements. Home-schooled children aren’t actually required to be tested until age 7, and public schools don’t test until 3rd grade. However, I had to have my 7 year old niece tested last year anyway, so I also started testing Sarah (she didn’t want to be left out!) At age 5, Sarah was tested on a first grade level–“Reading.” (Only the directions were read aloud, not the test questions). She scored quite well in reading and math.

This year, at age 6, Sarah will be tested on the second grade level. She will once again be tested in April, along with our local homeschooling group. I will not be administering the test to Sarah. Instead, she will be in a separate testing room with a different teacher, along with a small group of other 2nd grade students.

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Finally, let me state that parents do not have to be college educated or hold teaching degrees in order to teach their children from home. Nor do they have to be quite as meticulous as I have been (it’s more my nature when it comes to such things). Although I do not agree with total “unschooling,” I do believe that education takes place, even without any formal instruction. I also believe that if parents pray, read God’s Word, and follow scripture, that He will equip them with the most important and necessary elements in teaching their children.

Of course, I realize that if I continue homeschooling through high school, that I will need to seek out other resources and help. Obviously, I will need to “brush up” on a few things (just as public school teachers have to do from time to time!) There is such a wonderful wealth of information and assistance out there such as:

–Teaching websites; tutorials, teaching tips, free print-ables, etc.

–Homeschooling seminars and workshops (on teaching methods, various subjects, etc.).

–On-line educational games and teaching tools for students

–Homeschooling Co-ops (where students can take specific courses in addition to their regular homeschooling)

–Accredited Christian schools and community college partnerships for homeschooling

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Well, I know that the above list and even this entire post is in no way “all-inclusive.” (However, this is becoming a little too time-consuming for the moment!) I also realize that I am not a total expert on this topic of homeschooling, any more than I am on each and every school subject (of course, it doesn’t hurt that my husband is a computer geek, “natural-born” English professor, and physics major! ;-) )

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**Note: I will continue this post series next week sometime, so “stay tuned” if interested! Also, if you have anything to add (such as your specific state requirements, your homeschooling experiences, or other homeschooling info), please do so by leaving a comment. In addition, if you have further questions about this post, please leave me a comment (a polite one, of course–I do like for people to use their manners! -) )

**P.S. For other posts in this series, you may click on one or more of the following:

Homeschooling Questions

Thursday Thirteen (13 Reasons For Homeschooling)

Why, Oh Why, Would You Do That?