Homeschool Testing Deadline March 19, 2018

standardized-testing-2According to the GDOE : “Students in home study programs shall be subject to an appropriate nationally standardized testing program administered in consultation with a person trained in the administration and interpretation of norm referenced tests. The student must be evaluated at least every three years beginning at the end of the third grade. Records of such tests shall be retained.”

To aid home school parents in the administration of this test EPIC Homeschool Network, Inc. in conjunction with The Study Hall Education Consulting Company will be administering the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) during the week of  April 16, 2018.  Please see the specific time and dates below for your child’s age group and register today!

  • April 18-20, 2018 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. 3rd Grade – 8th Grade
  • April 16-17, 2018 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. – 9th – 12th Grade

The cost for materials, results AND administration of the test is listed below for Group Testing. EPIC HSN members receive a 10% discount on all testing.

  • K5–3rd grade students- $100 for the first child, $80 for each subsequent child.
  • Grades 4–12 students- $80 for the first child, $60 for each subsequent child.
  • Special Needs students must be administered separately – $150 each child.

If you would like to purchase a practice test with answer key you may purchase one for $25 for each child. Please note that the highest practice test is for grade 5.

To register please complete this form 2018 ITBS Testing Application Form and email it to Andrea Hall at ahall@thestudyhalledu.com or fax it to 470-308-0861. You many also call four zero four-644-eight391 for additional information. Once form is received you will be sent an invoice.  Registration must be received by March 19, 2018.

Scholarship Alert: EPIC Scholarship Applications are Now OPEN!

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The goal of EPIC Homeschool Network, Inc. is to provide resources and encourage students to achieve academically.  By providing an academic scholarship, students are extrinsically motivated to do well in school.  By providing a materials scholarship, we help to provide resources to families in need.  By providing an entrepreneurial scholarship, we provide resources to encourage students to pursue their dreams beyond the traditional classroom.

To apply for any EPIC Scholarship, the applicant must:

  • be a current and active member of EPIC Homeschool Network, Inc. (Current and Active members are considered first. Please still complete if you are not a member.)
  • be a resident of the state of Georgia (we will look to expand to other states in the future).
  • complete the application specific to the award.
  • provide a professional (digital preferred) photograph for use in EPIC HOMESCHOOL INC. press releases.
  • submit additional documents as required by the specific scholarships:
    • Academic Scholarship –be between the ages of 16 and 21 and submit a home school portfolio or transcript and a 100-word essay describing your future college and career goals.
    • Materials Scholarship – provide a copy of the materials he/she needs for the family, proof of homeschooling (Declaration of Intent to Homeschool, etc.), demonstrate financial need and a 100-word essay describing how the materials scholarship will benefit your family
    • Entrepreneurial Scholarship – be between the ages of 16 and 21 and submit a business plan along with milestones.

This year (2018) we will offer one academic scholarship, one materials scholarship and one entrepreneurial scholarship awarded in the amounts of $100 each.   Please complete the application by clicking here to be considered for the 2018 EPIC Scholarship.  The deadline is May 31, 2018.

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Scholarship Opportunity for High School Seniors

The 2018 Asa Tuten Memorial – GFSA Essay Contest Is On! 1,000 words may be all that stand between a student and up to $1500 in scholarship funds!

For thirty years, the Georgia Fire Sprinkler Association essay contest has exposed thousands of high school seniors and their families to the life safety and property protection attributes of fire sprinklers.

The Georgia Fire Sprinkler Association awards scholarships annually in the amount of $1500$1000, and $750 to high school seniors through an essay writing contest.

The link for complete information and details is:    http://www.georgiafiresprinkler.org/events/essay-contest/

The deadline for entries is March 12, 2018.

EPIC Homeschool Hangout

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Do you have a homeschool student?  Join us at Homeschool Hangout where you can socialize and have fun while learning.

We will meet every Thursday (except the 1st which is our field trip day) from 12 noon – 2 pm at the South Cobb Regional Library located at 805 Clay Road, Mableton, GA 30126.

Homeschool Hangout is a place for stories, crafts, learning games and  STEM programming.  We will touch on everything from History to Art, English, Science, Geography and even entrepreneurship.    You will also learn about a myriad of valuable library databases and resources. The format/curriculum will vary each session and will include but not be limited to  videos and/or short formal lessons.

This program is co sponsored with the South Cobb Regional Library.  All homeschooling families are welcome to attend.

2018 EPIC Homeschool Resource Fair

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Are you in the metro-Atlanta Area? EPIC Homeschool Network, Inc. and the South Cobb Regional Library have joined forces again to host the 3rd Annual EPIC Homeschool Resource Fair featuring local resources for the homeschooling community as well as parents of ANY school aged child.

This event is FREE and will feature door prizes, local exhibitors as well as FREE workshops.

To learn more and to register go to https://epichsn.com/2018-homeschool-resource-fair/

 

Top 5 Things to Do for Your Homeschool in the New Year

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The new year is upon us and now is time for everyone to start evaluating how the school year is going so far.  This can be a tricky time of year because you might feel you have not done what you wanted to and either be motivated to do better or discouraged and give up.  Don’t give up!

Here are the top 5 thing that you can do for your homeschool in the New Year.

1.Throw Out New Year Resolutions

I know, I know, this is crazy talk.  I would’ve been the first to admit it until I read The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks than others do in 12 Months by Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington.  This book talks about how New Year Resolutions enable procrastination.  It makes us believe we have an entire year to get it done but then we fail to execute and find ourselves scrambling at the end of the year to be productive or not being productive at all.  This can even be paralleled to your homeschool.  You start of the homeschool year thinking you have all the time in the world, only to find that the year is slipping by and you are homeschooling during the summer (because you didn’t finish- not because you want or chose to).

So do you make no plans at all? Of course not, you just make plans for a shorter time period… a 12 Week Year time period to be exact.  There is so much good stuff in shifting your thinking to the 12 Week Year that I just can’t put it all in here. Go to www.12weekyear.com/gettingstarted to start your 12 Week Year plan for free. And if you are looking for a community to support you, join EPIC at www.epichsn.org .

2. Keep It Simple Silly – K.I.S.S.

As you make your 12 Week Year goals, don’t try to do too much.  Try to keep it simple.  Rome was not built in a day and neither is your kids education.  However, every day counts so make sure you have your basics covered: Math, English, Reading, Science and Social Studies.  All the other extra curricular activities are nice but if it is getting in the way and stressing you out, cut back.  It’s okay! Keep it Simple!  Stick to 2 or 3 goals to execute and focus on that.

3. People Forget, Paper Remembers – Write it Down

This was something my college professor “Shand the Man” use to say.  “People Forget, Paper Remembers.  Write it down!”  Write down your plan for the week or write down what you did that day.  Either way, write it down.  You will be amazed at how much you actually did with your kids  when you write it down.  This is also helpful for reporting or homeschool portfolios.

When you plan, you are more likely to execute. According to Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington from The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks than others do in 12 Months “Working from a plan has three distinct benefits: it reduces mistakes, it saves times, and it provides focus” (p. 25).  Write it down, read it and review it daily.

4. Get Plugged In

Don’t be on an island homeschooling by yourself.  Get plugged in!  EPIC Homeschool Network and the South Cobb Regional Library is hosting it’s annual EPIC Homeschool Resource Fair on Wednesday, January 24, 2018 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the South Cobb Regional Library located at 805 Clay Road, Mableton, GA 30122.  This is a great way to get plugged into other homeschoolers and see what local resources are available.  Check out more at https://epichsn.com/2018-homeschool-resource-fair/.  We also offer a variety of online resources like our Online Resource Library and our Podcast Channel.

5. Get an Accountability Buddy

This piggy backs off the last tip but this is more personal.  Get connected with one like minded person (preferably a homeschool parent)  and let them know your goals and plans.  Ask them help you be accountable and schedule weekly check in calls.

Don’t let 2018 come, pass you by and leave you wondering, “What happened!”  Get started today and follow these top 5 Things to Do for Your Homeschool in the New Year.

The Emotional Cycle of Homeschooling

 

If you are a homeschooling parent, you know that homeschooling can be… well, emotional.  I recently read about “The Emotional Cycle of Change” by psychologists Don Kelly and Daryl Connor and the parallels to the emotional cycle of homeschooling was so amazing I had to share.  So if you are a parent considering homeschooling or a parent already homeschooling, this is for you.

Kelley and Connor’s emotional cycle of change has 5 phases that I will parallel with the emotional cycle of homeschooling.

Emotional Cycle of Change

Phase 1: Uniformed Optimism – “Homeschooling is Going to Be Great”

This is the stage when you decide to homeschool.  You don’t know what homeschooling is all about but you can imagine all of the benefits you’re going to experience.  More freedom, more learning, more field trips, more time with the family…. You can fill in the dots with what you imagined homeschooling to be.  You haven’t done it yet, but you are optimistic!

Phase 2: Informed Pessimism – “So THIS is Homeschooling”

So you started homeschooling… or maybe you started researching about homeschooling and then the reality of it all is finally hitting you.  You start thinking “So THIS is homeschooling!”  Your amazing lesson plan is not going so amazing.  The house is a mess.  It appears the kids are not learning and you start to question if homeschooling is really worth all the effort!  Maybe it would be better to just put them on the next school bus that rolls by, but it’s not so bad… yet.

Phase 3: Valley of Despair – “I Think I Can, I Think I Can’t”

As you continue to experience the throws of homeschooling, your pessimism starts to sink in deeper.  You and your family are experiencing the emotions of change.  It is unfamiliar. It is hard.  Do you give up and send your kids back to school or do you push through?  This is when having a strong vision is crucial.  You might have heard other homeschoolers ask, “What is your vision for your homeschool?”  You might have glossed over that step in the myriad of research that you did on homeschooling  but now, this is when the vision is important.   Having a strong vision keeps you moving through the valley, knowing that there is a mountain on the other side.  

My vision is to “Create 21st century Christian leaders who will stand for right though the heavens fall”.  I want to create children with an “Excellent spirit”. This vision helps me to evaluate the curriculum I choose and on days that I don’t feel like pushing, I think of WHY I need to push.  I push for my kids, I push for their future.  This is also when I reach out for help and encouragement from fellow homeschoolers.  We have all been in the valley of despair.  The key is to not stay there or quit.

Phase 4: Informed Optimism – “I Can Do This”

Refuled with encouragement and the knowledge that it does get better, you press through.  You start seeing your kids learning and all your hard work is finally bearing fruit. You CAN do this!

Phase 5: Success and Fulfillment – “Yes”

Then finally, you feel success and fulfillment.  You’ve got your homeschool routine together and things that were once difficult and uncomfortable are now routine.  Everyday is not perfect, but you learn to celebrate the victories in your homeschool and you stop comparing it to others.

So there you have it!

Now that you know about the emotional cycle of homeschooling, I hope that you feel more prepared to continue and not let your emotions take you off track.  The emotions you feel right now in your homeschool is normal.  Homeschooling is hard, but so rewarding.  So now you know and as GI Joe says “Knowing is half the battle!”  Go forth and Homeschool to Success!

 

Outside the Box with Outschool

If you are looking for schooling outside of the box, you might want to check out a new platform (at least to us) called Outschool.  According to them Outschool offers “unique online classes from hundreds of independent teachers. Their classes meet via group video chat.”  According to me, Outschool is a refreshing addition to my homeschool day and my children absolutely love it.

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I first heard about Outschool from Latonya Moore who blogs at Joy in the Ordinary.  She teaches a Homeschool Art Class with them and since my kids have been BEGGING me to do art, I decided to give it a try and they loved it.

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Then I decided to give it a try as an educator and found that you could teach all kinds of classes with them from Vision Boards to Upper Elementary Math , Upper Elementary English to Pre-Algebra!

Whether you are a homeschool mom looking for a break from teaching a subject or a homeschool mom looking for some extra income, Outschool might just be the place for you.