So, your thinking about maybe taking the plunge into homeschooling. After my "Why?" post I was happy to hear many of you are "thinking" about it.
Any family who is willing to go against the flow of the traditional public school system is thinking outside the box. Good for you! Your probably a bit off center like me and I like that in a person:)
I was just like you when I first started "thinking" about it. It's scary but the unknown is always scary. It seems like such a big step for most of us because it is so foreign to what our own educational experience was.
I remember being exactly where you are right now. Tons of stuff swirling around in my mind. Can I really teach my children? Will I ruin them for life? What will my in-laws think? Will I go crazy in the process? How much will it cost? Where do I start?....
Think about it you already have started. Who taught your child to walk, talk eat with a spoon? Now, I think I might have to hire a professional teacher to teach my children how to clean their rooms but I don't think it would help. What makes parents think that when their children turn 5 they are no longer capable of teaching them?
Let me start out by saying many people including myself preconceived the idea of homeschooling. Homeschooling seems to have a bad wrap. You can't help but think of a dorky kid that hides behind his mommy's leg at age 12. Or you may think you have to fit that mold of wearing long prairie skirts and buns.
I am hear to tell you I may be a big nerd but I am so not what you would think a "homeschool" mom is suppose to look or act like.
I'd love to help you on your journey. I'm not a pro trust me. We are just finishing up our 2nd year and I still have a lot to learn. Having a type A personality, I must say when I get myself into something I jump in with both feet. I grabed everything and all the information I could get my hands on. I've gone to curriculum fairs and attended different conferences. I've met with many different homeschool groups and listened to many veteran homeschoolers give advice. I have done academic research into homeschooling, looked at ALL the different theories of learning etc. There are so many different ways and methods to homeschool that it makes you dizzy. I find myself to be called the "Eclectic" Homeschooler. AKA the middle of the roader, the one who mix and matches all the methods together. I'm a big fan of the Charlotte Mason Theory but also love Unit Studies etc. I use MFW as our core curriculum. This mostly covers bible,science, and history for us. I use this for both my 2nd grader and 4th grader. I assign more advanced work for my 4th grader though.
You don't think your smart enough? Um..If I can do it you can do it! I told you before I am horrible at spelling and still count on my fingers for math. I am only one day smarter than my kids. It's working and my kids are learning! I'm teaching them to love to learn and I can't stop them from wanting to learn. How's that for a beauty school drop out!
You don't need an impressive educational background or lots of money to succeed at homeschooling. Research has shown that parents with only a high school education can do about as good a job as those with advanced degrees, or education degrees. It has also shown that those who spend less than $200 per child per year on homeschool curriculum can get as good results as those who spend thousands. I fall in the middle because I have an addiction to books. I often shop on Amazon though, way cheaper. Also the library has lots and lots of books for you and your kiddos. I get most of my curriculum at used homeschool book fairs.
First thing is to get your hands on some good homeschooling books. Some of the one's I first read were:
So You're Thinking About Homeschooling by Lisa Whelchel.
The Homeschool Handbook by Mary Griffith
Also there are many websites and blogs out there about homeschooling. Visiting a curriculum fair is a good idea too (may be overwhelming) there is SO much to homeschooling you would be surprised. It's a whole new world out there that I think many don't even look into. It is such a fabulous alternative that NO ONE should reject it without first looking full into the face of it.
Let's talk about the "S" word. Oh, no not that word again! You will hear this over and over again. Socialization is really and truly a complete non-issue! People worry about it and they shouldn't. Let me just say that my kids are more social than most. The homeschool setting is ideal for socialization. Think about it, you have the normal school child who is locked away for eight hours a day with thirty or so of their peers and as a result are deprived of the chance to interact with those outside their own age group. Homeschooling on the other hand provides my children with opportunities to interact with people of all ages, occupations, and interests. Which I believe results in a well-rounded, sociable and confident individual. Unless you lock you children up in the basement, they will get "socialized."
Legal Stuff: really it's not that big of a deal. Homeschooling is legal! It's easy to figure out and if you join a group or a school they usually take care of it for you. Each state is different. I personally go through a private school.
Warning! You may suffer from what I like to call PPA: Parental Panic Attacks. I do! It's normal.I believe it's part of the homeschool life. You will question yourself often. I think most homeschool mom's tend to ask themselves over and over,"Am I doing the right thing?" Or "what did I get myself into?" Trust me I am tempted on hard days to drop my kids off at the nearest bus stop and wish them well.
I also suffer from burn out from time to time. Usually when I over commit myself. I'd have to say being too busy is our biggest challenge. I try to find a happy medium between "Over scheduled vs. Mom,I'm bored!"
Even though we call it "homeschooling" we are never really home. I recommend getting your kids out of the house and enjoy school outdoors or do school at starbucks etc. Yesterday we did school outside the airport and watched the planes fly in. I like to use the world as our classroom. Make it fun and different. Enjoy your time learning together and have fun with your children. Make memories! They grow up too fast!
Remember there is no right or wrong way to homeschool. Every family is different and the more confident you become the more comfortable you will feel about tossing things out or adding new things.
Remember to listen to your heart and don't worry about what others think. Do what you want and what you think is best for your family.
There is so so much more I could write about but I have to start my day....
If you have any questions please ask away and if you are a homeschooler that can add information to this post please comment away...
Have a good day and don't forget to send in your Red Envelopes! Today is the day!
It is also Day 35 for us at the 40 Days for Life campaign. 297 babies have been reported saved from abortion
297 -- Praise God!!