I have made a lot of mistakes as a homeschool mom. A lot. And while I now neither claim to be perfect at this job or have everything figured out, there is one thing I can assure you I am 100% confident of:
Out of all the traps you can fall into as a new homeschooler, there is one that stands out above all the rest as potentially the most destructive and the most joy-draining mistake you can make.
Before I get into what that is, don’t lose heart if you discover you’ve been doing this all along. I think most of us are guilty of having done this to some extent in our homeschools- I know I have.
As difficult as it may be to make the decision to homeschool, knowing how to get started can seem even more impossible. Although homeschooling is more mainstream now than it’s ever been, with approximately 2.5 million homeschooled children in the U.S. alone, finding information about it that is accurate isn’t always a simple thing.
Since I’ve recently had so many people comment that they’re interested in homeschooling but don’t know where to start, I’ve decided to write a basic plan for how to do just that. Right now I have a book in the works that is a more comprehensive guide to this subject (still in the early stages of planning), but since I don’t have all night to write, and you probably don’t have all day to read, I’m going to keep this as bare-bones as possible, giving you only the essentials to at least help you get your homeschool happening. 🙂 Continue reading “How to Get Started Homeschooling TODAY!”
I can’t believe it’s July 4th weekend already. It seems like only yesterday I was thanking my lucky stars that winter was over!
I’m so excited right now because I just came back from shopping for our school supplies. 🙂 The only thing we need are the copy paper and ink we ordered off of eBay. Once those come in, we’re ready to go!
Whether you have decided to homeschool from the get-go or are removing your children from school, this decision is one of the biggest, most important resolutions you will ever make. The notion of being responsible for your child’s education can seem daunting and stressful, but so exciting.
It’s not even officially summer yet, and I’m already dying to start our homeschooling term back up again. I miss it so much, and I’m so excited to begin our new year! My children, however, are enjoying their time off, so I’ll have to press on until we do start up again next month. Now on to this week’s links!
Deciding to homeschool for the first time can be a scary thing. Whether you’ve decided before your children have ever set foot in a school or have resolved to pull your children from their current schools, the world of home education can seem like an intimidating and confusing situation to find yourself in. In the past year, I’ve had quite a few frazzled mothers ask me the question, “How do I homeschool?”
That question in itself can be answered in so many different ways because there are so many different ways to homeschool, so I’ve narrowed it down to, “What should I do as a new homeschooler?”
That question is a bit simpler and a bit more relevant for those new to the journey. Let me start to answer this query by telling you what not to do.
If I was only given the opportunity to tell you one thing about homeschooling, it would be this: Do not plunge head-first into a school-at-home routine from the very beginning. Just don’t do it. Seriously. I promise you, it will bring you more heartache than joy.
Let me emphasize that I said, “…from the very beginning.” After finding out more about how your children like to learn, you may well decide that this is the best method for you. But I implore you, please do not do it by default using the reasoning that “this is how it’s done in government schools.” Think about it. Why would you try to reproduce something that isn’t working?
The second thing I would tell you not to do is to run out and spend a ton of money on curriculum. If you are new to this, you probably aren’t familiar with how your children prefer to approach things. Watch them. Observe them. Interact with them. Once you’ve spent some time intentionally paying attention to the way in which your kids do things, you will have a much better idea of what will benefit them the most.
So what should you do? Live a full life with them. Go to the library often. Enjoy the park, the bike trail, and the creek down the street. Read to them. Take them with you on your errands and explain to them what you’re doing and why. Bake cookies for the elderly neighbor or the librarians who, more than likely, will soon become indispensible to you.
Keep your eyes open for resources that sometimes seemingly fall into your lap. When we first began homeschooling, I used everything from pamphlets from the electric company (science and safety) to newspapers (current events) to keep my children engaged until we had a more concrete plan in place.
Find out what they’re interested in and provide opportunities for your children to pursue them. If they like to cook, cook with them. If they’re natural artists, buy some good quality art supplies and/or look into a local art class. (The art school that my children attended actually have a class specifically for homeschoolers.) If reptiles are their thing, visit a reptile house or check out one of many awesome documentaries on Netflix or YouTube. Use your imagination to come up with ways to support your children’s hobbies. With the internet and the library as resources, you can literally find information on anything.
And while you’re accomplishing all of this for your kids, spend some time reading about and researching learning styles, and homeschool approaches and philosophies. Check the end of this post for a list of great resources I’ve used.
-a library card (this is free, but it’s a must-have)
-and, if it really bothers you that your kids aren’t doing “schoolwork,” some spelling/phonics and math workbooks at Barnes and Noble (make sure you apply for the educator’s discount!), Five Below, or, depending on the ages of your kids, Dollar Tree.
Some people begin their homeschool journey doing activities like these and find that it is enough for them and continue to do so. Others, over time, may transition towards other types of learning methods that appeal to them and are very successful with them.
What’s most important is to ease into this lifestyle. Homeschooling can be a rewarding and exhilarating way of life, so remember to sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.