Start a Fun-Schooling Co-Op!

Step one in beginning a Fun-Schooling Co-Op is to Flip to Fun-Schooling yourself! Then you are prepared to encourage other moms to join you on your journey! Here are some photos from our Co-Op at Olive Branch Farm.

How Do I Start a Fun-Schooling Co-Op?

1. Create a Facebook Group: “Fun-Schooling in My Region, My State” (If there are no other homeschooling families in your city interested in FUN expand you reach to the county or region, like Central Florida, as soon as you decide on a region, post it in our Fun-Schooling Moms Homeschool Support Group so others in the same area can join you and not duplicate. Check comments for duplicates before you create a new group.)

2. Share some posts from our main page and FunSchooling.com in your group.

3. Invite me to your group.

4. Everyone who starts a Fun-Schooling Facebook Community group should join our Leaders Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/637742757064906/

What Do Fun-Schooling Co-ops Do?

Co-ops are private gatherings, like birthday parties- so don’t worry about legalities as long as everyone who comes is invited. Some people worry about creating a formal organization but that’s not needed when you are getting started. Everyone can pitch in and contribute like family.

They schedule FUN social activities for local homeschooling families and support each other while using Fun-Schooling Journals. They may plan activities based on a common Fun-Schooling Journal or Theme. For example if your group is using the Nature study PDF you might do nature crafts, weather experiments or go to a nature preserve together.

What are some activities we offer at Olive Branch Farm? Our always-evolving list includes: Pottery Painting, Watercolors, Gardening, Swimming, A Disk Golf Course, Soccer Field, Scooter ramps, Bikes, Scooters, Skateboards, Horses, Music Room, Lego Zone, Jewelry making station, Library, Fidget Room, Zip Line, Farm Animals, Nature Park, Cafe, Pool Table, Volley Ball, Preschool Zone, Snack Bar, Board Games, and our Herb Garden and Orchard.

Need inspiration? Here is a great resource:

Fun-Schooling “Show & Tell”

Fun-Schooling is a very joyful way to homeschool. We engage in fun research and logic based learning quests that focuses on the individual child’s strengths, talents, career dreams, faith, family values and nature exploration. Kids learn through projects and journaling, with library books and educational videos! Much of the learning is focused on doing unit studies revolving around the child’s passion. There are Fun-Schooling Journals that focus of lots of different topics and subjects that kids love, like horses, travel, baking, gardening, survival, nature, art, writing and so much more.

Maybe I should show you instead of just telling. Some of us are more visual in our learning style. Want to see what Fun-Schooling looks like in our house? Here are some videos that can do just that!

We have over 50 videos on our YouTube channel, on all kinds of topics! Click here to go and browse them all! Here are some screen shots just to give you an idea of the information available:

All of this, and so much more! Come join us!

Fun-Schooling 101: Counting the Cost

If we look strictly at the “ledger”, comparing the costs of pubic education to a Fun-Schooling education, there are lots of things to consider.

First, it is of interest to note this statement:

…per pupil spending for elementary and secondary public education (pre-K through 12th grade) for all 50 states and the District of Columbia increased by 5.0% to $13,187 per pupil during the 2019 fiscal year…public elementary and secondary schools received $751.7 billion from all revenue sources, up 4.5% from $719.0 billion in 2018.

https://www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2021/public-school-spending-per-pupil.html

Public schooling is big business, and each time a parent decides to homeschool their child, part of their revenue is lost.

Practically speaking, the costs for sending your child to receive a “free public education” are considerable. Lists of required school supplies are now provided to each parent. There are expenditures for lunches, activity fees, extracurricular supplies, uniforms and athletics fees, field trips, technology and textbook fees, and more.

Families will pay an average of $577 on supplies for elementary students this year, which marks a 5.3% increase over last year. Those with middle school students can plan on paying an average of $763 and high school students can expect to spend around $1,223 on supplies. Those figures mark 5.3% and 9.5% increases, respectively.

https://www.publicschoolreview.com/blog/the-hidden-costs-of-public-education

And most importantly, there is the “cost” of your child’s innocence while being exposed to many social and political agendas. There is the “cost” of their having an understanding of their true worth and establishing their identity in light of things that are lasting and eternal instead of in standardized test scores and the attainment of artificial “bench marks”. There is also the “cost” of being taught a humanistic philosophy, a skewed account of history, and science which eliminates the role of the Creator of all things and Master of all laws of nature. Indeed, God is subtracted from all aspects of their “education” for about seven hours each week day. Seven. Hours. (continued on Page 2)

Fun-Schooling 101: Transitioning from Public School

I started out in the public school system. I failed third grade because I couldn’t really read, and couldn’t memorize math facts. I guess I turned out okay. I was always failing when I was in public school. When I was nine, I understood one thing–I was not as smart as all the other kids my age. I was being measured by a standard that totally ignored my strengths, and revolved around my immaturity and learning delays.

I’m the girl who could not handle structured schooling. It’s because I’m too much of a leader. In the 1980s, when I was in school, it was common for girls to be more easily manipulated by an authoritative system. It was expected of girls to give in, and learn in silence.

Traditional school works so hard to create submissive students. It crushes leaders.

Many boys are also natural leaders and don’t submit quickly to a authoritative system. It’s actually a good quality! Many kids, like me, resist submission, more and more these days. But schools tend to squelch individuality.

Schools don’t raise up leaders. We often are trying to push our kids into submissive learning, and that’s the main idea of socialized public schools. Get all kids to conform, make them good employees and obedient citizens. What are they trying to REALLY do? Create a population that doesn’t ask hard questions.

Fun-Schooling is a very joyful way to homeschool. We engage in fun research and logic based learning quests that focus on the individual child’s strengths, talents, career dreams, faith, family values and nature exploration. Kids learn through projects and journaling, with library books and educational videos! Much of the learning is focused on doing unit studies revolving around the child’s passion. There are Fun-Schooling Journals that focus on lots of different topics and subjects that kids love, like horses, travel, baking, gardening, survival, nature, art, writing and so much more. You don’t need “more curriculum” just any stack of books that you and the kids enjoy today along with the journals. Or just get Fun-Schooling Math, Fun-Schooling Spelling, and Fun-Schooling Nature Study and Geography. You will not need to use other materials to make this way of doing it complete. Look at our bundles here.

Click here to learn about how to Flip to Fun-Schooling!

THINKING moms want to nurture THINKERS and LEADERS. May your homeschooling style reflect the truest of your values and the most precious of your goals.

Is Fun-Schooling for You?

Fun-Schooling wasn’t designed to work for every family.

So, who does it work for?

Who does it NOT work well for?

Instead of having to give it a try and discover it was a waste of time and money, let’s first get a few things out of the way.

1. Fun-Schooling is not for parents who love testing, grading and correcting their child’s schoolwork in order to make sure their child is standardized.

2. Fun-Schooling is not for parents who believe that education is all about discipline and perfection, all work and no play.

3. Fun-Schooling is not for parents who feel that children should not be allowed to follow their own interests but must study a formal curriculum designed by professionals. If you believe that your child will never be able to teach himself and needs to be taught through rigorous memorization of facts, maybe Fun-Schooling will be a disappointment to you.

4. Fun-Schooling is not for parents who want to play the roles of “teacher and student” rather than “parent and child”. If you want to teach your child every lesson and recreate school at home, maybe Fun-Schooling will not be a good match unless you and your child are both “friend learners or followers”.

5. Fun-Schooling is not usually a good match for parents who plan out every minute of every day to make sure the child stays on task. If giving your child freedom (balanced with responsibility) scares you, don’t Fun-School. You won’t be comfortable.

6. Fun-Schooling doesn’t work well for parents who love teacher’s keys and multiple choice workbooks with answers in the back. Our journals are very open ended and there are no answers keys or teacher’s guides. Why? Because the books are based on research and curiosity so one page in a Fun-Schooling Journal will be one-of-a-kind when a child completes the activities. For example the Journal may prompt them to choose their favorite extinct animal and write down four interesting things about it. Trust me. An answer key would not be helpful because your child’s answer is completely unpredictable.

7. Fun-Schooling is not for parents who do not appreciate creativity, imagination and fun. Seriously there are zillions of parents and teachers who work hard to keep schooling serious. If you are this kind of parent/teacher don’t waste your hard earned money and precious time on Thinking Tree books.

Was this helpful? Is Fun-Schooling for you? Click here to learn more about How to Flip to Fun-Schooling!

Everything You Always Wanted to Ask About Fun-Schooling!

 

What do I need to Fun-School besides journals?
Some- especially math and spelling- are open and go with nothing other than writing and coloring utensils needed. Others need library books, podcasts/documentaries, music, and other research materials. You can include games, craft projects, and other activities on the subject(s) your child is studying if you’d like but they’re not required to Fun-School.

 How many pages per day should students complete?
We suggest the same number of pages per day as your child’s age. For example, a 10-year-old would complete 10 pages per day in a core journal. Or they might complete 2 pages in a math journal, 2 pages of spelling, 2 pages of nature study, 2 pages history, and 2 pages Bible. A page is one single side of paper, not both sides. 


What should I do if there isn’t a journal for what my student wants to study?
While many of our journals are themed, we have dozens of journals that can be used to study anything. The seasonal core journals are especially popular, any core journal can be used along with books and documentaries/podcasts on the subject your child wants to study. Master Class- 30 Day Portfolio is another option to study anything your child wants. 

What are Learning Languages?

Learning Languages are five unique learning styles.  Think of these as like The Five Love Languages. The Languages are Creator, Detective, Explorer, Friend, and Follower. You’ll find more info here.  These can be helpful in selecting journals and troubleshooting issues in your homeschool. 

 What are Dyslexia Games?

Dyslexia Games is our one-of-a-kind Language Arts curriculum.  It’s excellent for all students as it helps build problem-solving, creative thinking, right/left brain integration and more.  Children with Dyslexia, Aspergers, ADHD/ADD and Autism especially benefit.  

You can find more information in this document. 

 Can you help me with record keeping and compliance?

Laws vary by state/country as to what records and subjects are required.  We are happy to offer suggestions, you need to verify they are compliant with your local laws. Many families choose to use the 10 Subject Portfolio or the 12 Subject Portfolio for record-keeping.  The HSLDA is a great source for homeschool compliance information by state.

What about High School Credits?
We have a comprehensive guide to Fun-Schooling High School here

 Can I purchase materials with charter funds? 

Yes! Most charter schools allow you to use your charter school funds for Fun-Schooling materials.  Find more information here. We also put together the bundles with Charter Schools in mind. 

 How do I schedule a school day with these materials?
We are happy to help you with a plan and offer suggestions.  Our bundles come with a suggested lesson plan for your schedule.  PM us here or email us here for help.  You’ll find lots of sample schedules by searching for “schedule” or “scheduling” here in the group.  

Some families use only a core journal while others use multiple journals per day. The beauty of Fun-Schooling is you can adapt to what works best for your family! There are thousands of Fun-Schoolers and no two families have the same schedule.

Here are a few popular options for scheduling but you can truly do whatever works best for your family-

(This mentions loop scheduling. In case you’re not familiar with a loop schedule- stack up all your “loop” journals up. Whatever is on the top is what you start with. No need to assign certain journals to certain days or worry about a specific schedule. When you’re done w/ the journal for the day, it goes on the bottom of the pile.)

Option 1-Pure loop- Stick everything in a pile- including the core journal. Let your child decide how many pages to complete in each journal as they work their way through the loop. Some days they may decide to do all pages in one journal. On other days they may decide to do a few pages from each journal. This is the most child-led and relaxed method.

Option 2-  Half pages per day from a core journal. Half pages per day from 2-4 loop journals. 

Option 3- Rotate core day/ single subject journals day. For example, Monday they would do all pages/day in her core. Tuesday would be 2+ single subject journals. Wednesday would be all pages in the core again. Etc.

Option 4- Half pages from a core journal, and the rest of the pages from only one single subject journal. Stick with this single subject journal until it is done and move on to a new one once it’s done. 

You can also look at our bundles – they all have suggested lesson plans in the bundle description. Look at the bundle that’s closest to your child’s grade level and you can plan in the same way as our lesson plan with the journals that you already have. https://www.funschooling.com/all-curriculum-bundles

Fun-Schooling FAQ: Proceeding, Picking, Programs & Peeking!

Fun-Schooling Journals

First of all, remember, there is no wrong way to Fun-School. We have thousands of Fun-Schooling families and every home is different. Your homeschool schedule, materials, and plans are uniquely yours. These are general suggestions but tinker to make it your own!

Proceed! 

How do I get started Fun-Schooling?
Check out this post first and/or watch this video. This post on the Facebook group will also help.

Next, read through this blog post, and the upcoming Part 2!  

Last, PM us here or email us here if you need more help selecting journals or have other questions.

Our bundles are the easiest way to get started. Bundles come with a suggested lesson plan in the bundle description and are the most “open and go” method. https://www.funschooling.com/all-curriculum-bundles

Picking 

How do I select journals?

There are several ways to choose journals:

  • Look on our website
    • You can view journals based on grade level, academic subject, and theme/interest.  
    • Choose a bundle to cover all the basic subjects for an entire school year, complete with lesson plans! 

Programs

What programs are available?
We have four programs:

Fun-schooling Books https://www.funschooling.com/  

Dyslexia Games http://www.dyslexiagames.com/

Teach Yourself to Draw http://www.teachyourselftodraw.com/

Math Craft (Dyscalculia Therapy) https://www.funschooling.com/dyscalculia-games-math-craft

Fun-Schooling core journals cover eight to 20+ subjects in one. Subjects include the standard school subjects as well as unique subjects like nature study, classical literature, music, and more. Single-subject journals give students a chance to go more in-depth into a subject of their interest.

Peeking!

How do I see inside Journals?
Almost all our journals have flip-through videos on Amazon. They also are on YouTube, search the title of the journal + The Thinking Tree. We also have flip through videos on our Facebook group- you can find them here

The easiest way to browse our materials is through our website- https://www.funschooling.com/  

Click a journal to go to the Amazon listing. The videos are about halfway down, people often overlook them because they look like ads.

This should get you off to a good start! Click here for Part 2!

How to Flip to Fun-Schooling!

 1. Choose a Main Curriculum Journal – For Library Based Homeschooling
These are the most important Thinking Tree books and usually have over 300 pages, you will use them with library books, documentaries, audio books, tutorials and any books you have on hand that your child can use for research. This will be the CORE of the child’s learning experience. They should use this book at least 3 days a week, along with a collection of books and videos. 
How to Pick a Journal: Let your child choose the one with the cover that inspires them the most. Just make sure the age level is correct. If the child chooses they will feel ownership of the learning experience. 

2. Choose a Spelling Activity Book, or Vocabulary Book  
The spelling books have poems, activities, and specific words that the children practice. The spelling books introduce each word in about seven different ways. The student will master these words without memorizing. We make sure we cover sight words and commonly misspelled words in our spelling books. 

The Main Curriculum Journals have spelling games and copywork also- Students will learn to spell many random words this way. They will learn many words from their library books, this way they will be able to spell words associated with their “Major” and special interests. 

3. Choose a Theme, Special Interest, or “Major” and Make a Fun-Schooling Basket.
They should study the “Major” for at least ONE full day per week. Let them study and explore their passion without distraction from other subjects. They need to dig deep. 

You can find lots of themed learning books at your library or choose to use Usborne Books.

Thinking Tree does cover many popular themes. Here is just a sampling: 
Fashion Theme
Animal Theme
Horse Theme
Bible Theme
Cooking Theme
Nature & Wildlife Theme
Minecraft Theme
Travel Theme
Drawing & Doodling Theme 
Musical Instruments Theme
Cat Theme 

4. Choose a Fun-Schooling Math Book on Your Child’s Level
This will help your child to get over the fear of math, and maybe choose a math curriculum after they overcome the fear. Include math 2 or 3 days a week, math can really mess with the mind and cause children to have learning issues in other areas, so don’t push it every day if your child is struggling:

5. Choose a Creative Writing Journal for Kids 10 and up and Choose a Copywork Journal for Kids Under 10 

There may be enough creative writing and copywork in the Curriculum Journal, but for some kids these books are fun and inspiring! 
MOM TIP: Do not correct your child’s grammar or spelling when they do creative writing, BUT do correct the copywork.   

6. Start Your Mom-School
Be an Example to Your Children! Choose a Mom Schooling Journal and make a Mom-Time Basket.
You may need a Mom-Schooling Journal &  Fun-Schooling Planner.

7. Choose a Few Subjects to Study as a Team
Add Important and Required Subjects and Choose Books to Use with the Family as a Team – If you want to add in “required” subjects the fun-school way, add some of these awesome books, maybe one day per week, they are very deep and intensive, yet fun. We use one book for multiple kids, and work as a team with these. Don’t use these on the same day that your child uses the homeschool curriculum journal, unless they want to:

Science – Nature Study
Science – Experiments & Research
United States – Geography & History
World History – Make Your Own Timeline
World Geography & Social Studies – Travel Dreams
Money, Business & Economics for Teens
Occupations for Kids

8. Document Your Child’s Work if Needed
This happens automatically if you use a Curriculum Journal. If you live in a state with strong requirements, or if your child is collecting high-school credits, you can use our 10 or 12 Subject Portfolio for your child’s best work in every required subject:

9. Relax and Enjoy Homeschooling
 If you are stressed out or confused, read my book “How to Homeschool” 

10. Get Help and Learn from Other Fun-Schooling Moms
Join over 26,000 Fun-Schooling Moms in our Private Facebook Group. We love to encourage each other.  If you have a questions ASK them. Moms who are experienced with fun-schooling will answer.  
Visit Linda’s website to learn more about each Thinking Tree Book, and watch videos about each book: https://training6hearts4him.blogspot.com/

11. Help Your Child Overcome Serious Reading and Writing Problems
If you have a child with symptoms of ADHD, Dyslexia, or has reading delays, memory issues, attention problems, and writing problems, reading confusion, letter reversals, or a fear of reading aloud –  use www.DyslexiaGames.com

12. Let It Go! Let It Go! Here are some Ted Talks on Education that will Help! 
If you are doing something that doesn’t work, brings stress, is confusing, makes your child cry, or is boring… DUMP IT.