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Through active leadership in the trailblazing efforts of home, charter, private and international schools GSN takes students to their ultimate destination – a successful collegiate or vocational career in America. Global Student Network is the pre-eminent service provider to the […]



Global Student Network’s mission is to provide alternative educational options, designed to improve the academic preparation, achievement and general well being of non-traditionally oriented elementary, middle and high school age students and most recently offering solutions to adult learners.

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“There’s No Place Like Homeschool for the Holidays!”


Use this as a title or caption and
enter to win a $50 Visa gift card!

Want to write about why homeschooling is a wonderful gift?

Planning to use holiday baking as a lesson in fractions?

Got a picture of your kids exploring holiday traditions from around the world?

Does your homeschool co-op put on a play or pageant?

We’d love to see what the holidays mean for your homeschool experience!
Send a picture, an essay, a lesson plan, a holiday activity – whatever you’d like! –
and you will be entered to win a $50 Visa Card!

Submissions should be sent to submissions@globalstudentnetwork.com no later than December 20, 2014.

Winner will be contacted by email on December 22, 2014.

Show us how the joy of homeschool is part of your holidays!

See below for Official Rules.

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A Recipe for Disaster – Teaching Our Kids about Failure

FO0Z6IDGSUSNL5T.LARGEI saw a picture on facebook (originally from pinterest).  Jello worms.  What a great idea!  It looked simple enough, yummy, and something my kids would really get a kick out of!  All you do is pour jello into straws then take the jello out of the straws and voila! A plate full of wiggly, wormy, tasty fun!

If only.

Getting the jello into the straws was messy.  But resourcefulness led me to rubber bands and mason jars and I was undaunted.  Into the refrigerator they went and I headed off to bed with thoughts of tomorrow’s squiggly treats and no doubt grateful smiles.

Next day, things proved tricky.  Ever try squeezing jello out of a straw in one continuous string?  When I rinsed the straws with enough warm water to actually get the stuff out, it immediately lost its wormlike shape and congealed into a gelatinous mass.  When I didn’t rinse with warm water, they were near impossible to squeeze out.  When the jello did come out, it often spattered.  Results?  I literally had jello on the walls, on the kitchen window, all over the counters.  I did not have jello worms.

I think there is a social media term for this – pinterest fail!

Once I attempted “Never-Fail Fudge” and guess what?!  It failed!!  My mom told me there was an actual recipe called “Never-Fail Fudge Brownies.”  The main ingredient?  Failed never-fail fudge!

We need ways of dealing with failure because, well, failure is a part of life!  As a parent, dealing with failure is one of the most important lessons I can teach my kids.  I hope I can pass along to them the following recipe –

Dealing with Failure

  1. Separate and set aside fear.  Being afraid of failure often keeps us from trying something new.  One thing that gives me courage in trying something new is to ask myself, “What is the worst that could happen?”  I hope to teach my children to from that perspective too.
  2. Add flexibility.  When things don’t go according to plan, you learn to improvise, honing your creativity and resourcefulness.  Being able to execute something flawlessly is truly commendable, but being able to think on your feet and adapt when the less-than-perfect happens is also a valuable life skill.
  3. Just keep stirring! Failure teaches perseverance“If at first you don’t succeed . . .”  it’s cliché, but so true!  I’m quick to applaud my kids’ successes – I need to be quick to applaud their perseverance even when it doesn’t lead to obvious success.  I need to reinforce that sticking with something is the ultimate goal even if failure is part of the process.
  4. Measure perspective.  Failure is part of learning.  Few get something right the first time we try it.  Getting it wrong and making adjustments is the essence of learning.  When my kids fail at something, do I help them see it as a stepping stone to “getting it right” next time?
  5. Add humility. Failure keeps you humble.  Just when you think you’re “all that,” you drop the ball and it splatters all over your Wonder Woman suit!  Yep, failure keeps your feet planted in reality.  I want my kids to understand the value of humility.  I want them to have confidence but confidence tempered by humility.
  6. Bake until GREAT!  Failure proceeds greatness.  How many stories of greatness begin with failure?!  Abraham Lincoln lost elections, Walt Disney’s first cartoon went bankrupt, and Thomas Edison tried thousands of times before he got the light bulb right!  I want my kids to see that failure helps to build the character needed to be remarkable.

So the next time I have a terrible mess on my hands, I want to turn it into a teachable moment.  And just perhaps these terrible messes and teachable moments can help my kids have a healthy perspective on failure.

Homeschool vs. School-at-Home


Our Quiz Can Help You Choose

The Jones family decided they were ready for a change.  They filed a letter of intent and began homeschooling their 3 children.  They say it was the best thing they ever did!

The Smiths saw change coming, too.  Mrs. Smith accepted a position at work which would require a great deal of globe-trotting.  They thought the travel would be a great opportunity for their children so they decided to give school-at-home a try.  Turned out to be a perfect fit!

Homeschool and school-at-home – a matter of semantics?

Homeschool is when parents accept full responsibility for their child’s education.  From choosing and implementing the curriculum to managing proper records and requirements, it’s up to Mom and Dad.  School-at-home is when children are enrolled in an educational program that is completed from home (or anywhere!).  The school of choice is responsible for managing learning and issuing transcripts and diplomas.

How are homeschool and school at home alike?

  • Parents determine the environment
  • Parents provide enrichment activities
  • Parents direct social opportunities
  • Families set their learning schedule
  • Both produce students well equipped for higher learning or technical careers

How are they different?



• Parents implement lessons

• Parents grade work

• Parents keep records and provide documents


• Teachers or program implements lessons

• Teachers or program grade work

• School keeps records and issues documents


How do I know which is right for my family?

Take the following quiz to help determine which is best for your family –

  1. Do you feel comfortable choosing a curriculum for your student?
  2. Do you have the time to help with lessons?
  3. Are you comfortable keeping records?
  4. Do you feel confident you can keep your student learning in a structured manner?
  5. Are you comfortable with high school level courses?
  6. Can you be consistent tracking student progress?
  7. Do you have time to grade work?
  8. Do you have time to familiarize yourself with subject material to assist students as needed?

If you answered “No” more often than “Yes,” school-at-home just might be the way to go for your family.

Excellent Options for Homeschool and School-at-Home

If you choose to homeschool and would like to use online curriculum, Global Student Network is well worth looking into.  At www.globalstudentnetwork.com you can compare and view demos of 6 different learning options.  Christian, secular, honors, career/technical, high school electives – GSN has it all for grades K-12.

If school-at-home seems a better fit, International Virtual Learning Academy is an online private school with two unique features.  First, parents can choose which curriculum their student will use.  Each curriculum is supported by highly qualified teachers.  Second, each student is placed with a mentor who facilitates homeroom sessions so students have opportunities for connection and collaboration with other students.  You can learn more about IVLA by visiting www.internationalvla.com.

4 Reasons Why Online Curriculum Could Be Just What You Need


“Can I come over for coffee?” asked my next door neighbor.  I happily agreed and got the java going.  Within a few minutes she arrived.

Turns out she brought exactly what I needed for the kind of day I was having – a listening ear and dark, chocolate brownies!

Isn’t it wonderful to find exactly what you need?!  Whether it’s the card that expresses your feelings beautifully, the solution to a problem, or the right tool for the job, it’s a wonderful thing to find just what you need.

Many families are finding online curriculum to be just what they need.  Here’s why –

“My son needs something he can do at his own pace.”  Online curriculum is customized to each student.  If a student needs extra practice or instruction, it is provided.  If a student is ready to excel, then the sky’s the limit!  Online curriculum is self-paced.

“We need to be able to ‘do school’ at different times and unusual places.” Online curriculum is available whenever and wherever there is internet access.  This makes it ideal for families who travel, students who are professionals, or anyone that wants to structure their learning around their schedule. Online curriculum is flexible.

“My daughter really wants to take a course in veterinary science.”  Whether you are homeschooling or looking to supplement traditional school, you can find what you need in online curriculum.  Some families choose online curriculum during the summer to keep up skills or explore special interests. Online curriculum is versatile.

“I need to know my kids are really learning.”  Students using online curriculum find the multimedia approach engaging.  The format encourages students to take ownership of their learning.  Because the program is tailored to their needs, they learn exactly as they need and find motivation as a result.  Parents can easily track learning progress.  Online curriculum is effective.

When looking for online curriculum, I would suggest Global Student Network.  What makes GSN special is that it offers so much from one location.  At www.globalstudentnetwork.com you can compare 6 different online curriculum programs, view demos, even chat with an enrollment specialist.

GSN offers ~

Click on over to www.globalstudentnetwor.com today for the best in online curriculum! You might find just what you need!

Are These 5 Preconceived Notions about Homeschool Holding You Back?


My kids have been begging for a pet.  Taking all things into consideration, we agreed that they could get a hamster.  So on that happy day after school, we went to a nearby pet store.  The sales associate kindly answered our questions and showed us the several different types of hamsters we had researched online.  Then she said, “I have a couple of mice we are looking to adopt out.”

Mice?  Mice!!!  Up until the house we currently live in, we have diligently FOUGHT to keep mice OUT of our house.  And she thinks I’m going to willing bring them into my first-ever mouse-free house?!  NO WAY.  I smiled and politely declined.

Then I got to thinking – what is the difference between a mouse and a hamster?  Other than the length of the tail, nothing, really.  They are both rodents, they both require similar care. . . .  Yeah, you can guess where this is going.

We are now the proud adoptive family of two fancy mice.  They are sweet and tolerate lots of handling by my enthusiastic kids.  They are fun to watch.  Yes, they’ve won me over – I actually think their adorable.

So what happened to my NO WAY! reaction?  Well, I guess my preconceived ideas regarding pet mice changed after I thought it through.  Thinking has a way of doing that to preconceived notions.  Once you apply careful thought to an initial reaction, you might find yourself coming to a different conclusion.

Here are a few preconceived ideas you might come up against when considering homeschooling your children.

I can’t homeschool – I’m not a teacher.  Well, you may not hold a piece of paper proving that a particular state recognizes you as a teacher, but upon closer inspection you just might find that – Yes! You are a teacher!  Think about the characteristics that make a good teacher – ability to communicate, knowledge of the subject, and genuine care for students.  If you have those three, you will be an effective teacher for your children.  And when you come up against something that is beyond you (perhaps calculus), you bring in other resources such as a local community college or an online course.

I would have no idea where to begin.  If you had to start from scratch, this would be a daunting task to be sure!  Some homeschool parents are up for the challenge of reinventing the wheel, but if you’re not one of them, consider the following excellent resources –

  • A local homeschool co-op – Other parents who have “been there, done that” are invaluable!
  • Online curriculum – There is a wide array of resources available online for every grade, every learning style, every educational philosophy. It can be overwhelming!  Global Student Network is an excellent option because it offers 6 different programs.  You can compare, view demos, chat with specialists all from one location – www.globalstudentnetwork.com.
  • Your local school district – Yes, you read that correctly!  Your public school can give you a sense of what topics and objectives are covered in the grade you hope to homeschool.  In educational jargon, you are looking for the “scope and sequence.”   Even if you hope your child’s education will be the polar opposite of public school, the scope and sequence can be a helpful tool.  Your school district can also advise as to what is required for homeschooling in your district.

My kid won’t “fit in.”    Homeschool parents typically find plenty of social experiences for their children and studies show most homeschool kids are well-rounded and comfortable in all social settings.

But homeschoolers don’t get a real education.  You know who would disagree with that statement?  Top colleges and universities from all over the country!  Enrollment counselors often seek out homeschooled students because they tend to be strong students, independent thinkers, motivated learners, have a unique educational background, and often have “real-world” experience.

I can’t homeschool because I have to work.  True, homeschooling is a time commitment but one that does not exclude having a job.  Some homeschool parents work from home.  Others use creative scheduling to cover all the bases.  For example, one parent might cover school while the other works some days and vice versa.  It does require balance and resourcefulness, but it can be done.

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard happily homeschooling parents say, “I never dreamed we would be doing this!”  Some even grappled with the preconceived ideas listed here.  But after they thought through their options and the various benefits to their children, homeschooling was the conclusion.

How about you?