Monday, May 20, 2013

teaching nutrition to homeschoolers

The best way to teach your kids about nutrition and a healthy lifestyle is to live it, or "practice what you preach". Children automatically learn from the examples set for them by their parents, so if you're setting good examples, you're already ahead of the game. Educate yourself, and your children will benefit.

In 4th grade, kids need to learn about eating healthy foods like vegetables and lean protein, and avoiding unhealthy ones like trans-fats and processed sugars. The new Choose My Plate initiative is helpful to review with them, because it also emphasizes portion sizes and a big part of meal planning, not just eating from the right food groups.

There are lots of books at the library to use at home, or your can find something a bit more formal. Nutrition for Healthy Kids is one choice for a curriculum that teaches nutrition concepts with fun activities throughout. Google can be a great resource too, so don't be afraid to search for what you want your kids to learn about and do some investigation on your own. Remember, if you learn about it, your kids will benefit too!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Which curriculum to use? Where to start?

You're not alone! Even the veteran homeschoolers who look like they have it all together were once right where you are now....NEW. Now that you've made the decision to homeschool, you need to get started on deciding how to homeschool. Choosing a curriculum for your children is a huge decision, and a very personal one. While the available options for 4th grade may be very similar, each family approaches the decision differently.
One option that some families transitioning away from public school prefer is commonly referred to as “e-school”. This is basically a public school curriculum done from home on a computer. There are several private companies that each state contracts with to provide these services. Often, the state even pays for the child to have a computer at home for doing schoolwork.
However, most homeschoolers choose their own curriculum from the multitude available. Some choices include curriculum-in-a-box options where the texts and workbooks for an entire grade level are bundled together. There are also single subjects available separately. The great part about picking and choosing your own curriculum is that you can choose a math book from a publisher known to be strong in that subject, and a science program from a publisher respected for its science texts. You can also have a child working at grade level in one subject and either up or down a grade in another subject, so that your child’s curriculum is tailored to their needs.