How to Start Homeschooling
I have had a lot of people ask me, “Should I homeschool my kids?” That is not a question that I can answer for them. I ask them instead, “Why should you homeschool?” This gets people thinking about homeschooling in a whole new way. Homeschooling your children is the hardest but most worthwhile experience you will ever encounter. There will be days where you want to run and hide in the bathroom with a half gallon of ice cream. Other days you willl rejoice as you watch your child grasp onto a new concept. The ups and downs are part of God’s glory in making us our children(s) mother.
Contact Your Local Organization or School
Check out their want to learn more about homeschooling tab. I also found that their resource tab at the top of the page was very helpful. I clicked on getting started and it had about every question asked before about how to start homeschooling.
I highly recommend paying for HSLDA’s yearly lawyer services. As things become more turbulent within the homescooling community, you will find comfor in know that these lawyers do a great job coming to your rescue quickly. This site lists each state’s laws. You will want to familarize yourself with your state’s laws first, before you do anything else.
This site helps you to find Christian organizations within your state that will help you on your homeschooling journey.
Set a Goal
What is the goal for you wanting to homeschool your family? Why are you not sending them to a public school, private school, any institution? It is so important to keep this goal at the forefront of your homeschooling journey. Far too often, we find ourselves wanting to quit, because we have lost sight of the real reason for why we are doing what we are doing. We get bogged down in the muck of checklists for school, chores, errands, sports, music lessons, appointments and so on. We find that we are trying to fit our life into the school day, instead of rearranging our school day to fit into our life.
One of the best pieces of advice that I have heard in a long time, is that if you are new to homeschooling, take the next 6 months off. Learn to be a family that stays home together. This is so true. We need to realize that our relationships with our kids are the most important thing. Missing a few months of school will not hurt any child.
Once you start school, you will need to decided how you want to schedule your year, week and even each day. I use to think that I could bring the public school system into my home and teach my children that way. As a former public school teacher, that was the worst thing that I could do. I wanted math to start at 9:00, reading at 9:45, writing at 10:30, and everything had to be like clock work. I not only drove myself nuts, but my kids hated it.
Eventually I relaxed. Creating an atmosphere that was a lot more fun to learn in. The kids started to love homeschooling and so did I. We also found that our relationships were growing stronger, when I didn’t focus solely on making sure that our checklist was completed.
To figure out what kind of homeschooling schedule might work for you check out these posts:
This is the area that most parents go crazy about. There is a lot of curriculum out there for families. Here are a few ways to go about it:
Whole Curriculum – Choose a company and buy a whole grade unit package. When you buy from the same company, it makes it easier to understand how to use each book. It also allows you to see what works for your child and what doesn’t. You can always rework a curriculum to fit your child’s needs.
Piece Together – If you know how your child learns best, choose curriculum that meets those needs. If your child is a hands-on learner, research which curriculum materials will suite a child like that the best. Maybe they are an auditory or visual learner. Pay attention to those needs when buying your curriculum.
Style – My favorite type of educational style is Classical Education. I read the book the Well Trained Mind and fell in love with what the author, Susan Wise-Bauer was saying. Classical Education consists of the trivium of learning. These three stages, grammar, dialectic, and rhectoric are how the brain learns best. Taking your curriculum and teaching it to suite your child’s level of learning.
You might like the Charlotte-Mason style of teaching. This style believes in a literature rich education, where your child enjoys the love of learning, by stretching their options with nature, art, music and handicrafts.
There is unschooling, which centers around the child. If your child is interested in dinosaurs, you would spend as much time as they want learning about different aspects of dinosaurs.
Then there is Unit Studies. Taking a theme or topic and incorporating it in all of the subject areas.
Time to Socialize
What is socialization? The activity of mixing socially with others, and the process of learning to behave in a way that is acceptable to society. Maybe socialization isn’t what most of the world makes it out to be.
There are so many ways to have your child socialize. There are programs within church, sports, music lessons, dancing classes, art programs, camps of all kinds and so much more. Even just being at home and talking with their family appropriately is socialization.
My favorite way to socialize is in a homeschool co-op. Not all homeschool co-ops are the same. Some co-ops meet only every other week. That wasn’t enough for our family. Most co-op days felt like fluff to me. My kids would go to a class, where they couldn’t remember hardly anything they had learned, and I left feeling like we had just taken a day away from doing the basics of school. As a mom, I didn’t feel like my connections with the others manifestated themselves into lasting relationships. I still felt like I was homeschooling all alone.
The first time that I ever felt confident about a homeschool co-op was when I went to a Classical Conversations Community and just observed. I was blown away at the level of learning that the children were receiving. They seemed to have fun learning through songs, movement, experiments, projects, discussing things with their friends and so much more. Each parent in a classroom had to be trained for three days before they could be the lead tutor. After I joined a Classical Conversations Community, I finally felt like I had moms who were homeschooling with me. I no longer felt alone. I even stepped up and became a tutor myself, and have loved it ever since.
One of the biggest complaints I hear from moms is the feeling ofbeing alone in their homeschooling journey. This causes them to doubt their abilities, not enjoy each day with their kids, and eventually want to quit. So please take the time to find a homeschool co-op that meets your families needs, including your own.
You can find out about homeschool co-ops in your area by asking people at your church, friends, and especially the local librarian.
God made you the parent of your child for a reason. What you can not do, HE WILL!! When you find yourself stressed out, stop and pray. Take a break. Go for a walk. God will give you the grace and strength to continue on later that day or the next day.
When we take our eyes off of God, our goals for our children become askew. We start to want wordly wisdom at any cost. Even if it starts to ruin our relationships with our children. Knowing that God is in control, helps me to relax and be in more control too.
I pray that you find the answers that you were looking for. I pray that God shows you His vision of what your homeschooling journey should look like. I pray that you find peace in the midst of your turmoil.
May God bless you and keep you,