Sunday, August 15, 2010

Considering homeschooling?

As part of the TOS Homeschool Crew, we also have the possibility to write on homeschool subject during the year.   This is officially the first departure of The Blog Cruise.   The question is:

“What advice do you have for those considering homeschooling or just starting out?”

So you are thinking of homeschooling.   You know someone who does it or you are dissatisfied with the school your child is going.    Whatever the reason I encourage you to give it a try.

It can be scary – especially if you don’t have support or don’t know families who are doing it.   And it can take a couple of years for you and your family to be fully adjusted and find your own pace.   But the rewards are fabulous – guaranteed.

When I started I thought I would reconsider every year if we continue homeschooling or not.  However, a very wise person told me “Take one month at a time.”   She told me that because homeschooling is not for every one.   It is a lifestyle and a way of living but it is not for every families.   

My suggestion to you is to read about it to fully grasp what homeschooling is.      And if you can interview families who are doing it.   Research as much as you can.   I was bless to have about 20 families from my church and elsewhere who were homeschooled when I started considering it.   I emailed them my questions and sat down with my friend to see how she organize her days.   It was such a blessing to have their answers and this friend willing to open her home for me.   It quieted some of my fears.

Some books I recommend are:
  • So You Are Thinking of Homeschooling by Lisa Whelchel
  • Beyond Survival – A Guide to Abundant-Life Homeschooling by Diana Waring
  • Help for the Harried Homeschooler – A Practical Guide to Balancing Your Child’s Education with the Rest of Your Life by Christine M. Field
  • Homeschooling For the Rest of Us – How Your One-of-a-kind Family Can Make Homeschooling and Real Life Work by Sonya Haskin
  • Complete Guide to Getting Started in Homeschooling by Mary Pride.
Pray about it alone and with your spouse.   It is important that you seek God’s will on this adventure.   It won’t be easy all the time.  You will hit roadblocks and have difficult days.   But the important is not to be discourage and if you do to ask God to help you.

Concentrate to the basics for the first year.    Homeschooling for the first time can be stressful.   So I would suggest to concentrate to the basics for a little while before adding to your schedule.   The basics are reading, writing (in which I am including grammar as well), and math.   The extra like geography, science, history and so on can be added if you feel comfortable.   It doesn’t have to be right away but eventually you will want to include the rest in your day.

Investigate all the possibilities of curriculum and think it through before spending money.   Often, you buy something and then realized that it is not a fit for your family.   That’s what the TOS Homeschool Crew is for.   We review some homeschool products and tell you what we think about it.  So the site is a great way to look at some ideas.   Read the reviews.   Check with the vendor if they have a preview DVD you can receive to check it out.   Ask other homeschoolers.   There are a wide variety of products out there so be careful.   And don’t buy everything you see.   It can become expensive.     For us, we like reproducible products which means I can make copies of the product to use with all my kids eventually.    Check second-hand stores as well.   I’ve found wonderful things at Value Village that were not used whatsoever.  
Finally, give yourself and your kids some time to adjust.   If they are used to go to school it means they need to adjust thinking that mom (or dad) will be their teacher now.   It takes time.   Be patient with them and with yourself.  

Oh!  Before I forget.   Homeschool Legal Defense is a must.   You can find them easily over the internet but they are there to help you with any issues you might stumble on while homeschooling.   For example, last year I received a jury duty request stating that I needed to fill in the questionnaire in order to be called for jury duty.   I have nothing against jury duty and my husband even thought it was cool that I received one.   I wasn't too triller.  He wondered why.   That's when I asked him: "What would happen to our homeschool if the case last months and I can't be home?"   Now he got it...    So I called HSLDA and asked them what could be done for this.   They totally understood and had a paperwork that I could include with the questionnaire which I did.   Well I haven't heard a thing since then...   The membership is like an insurance for you and your family.    I would strongly recommend that you look into it.
Other crew mates have written on the subject as well.   Click on the blog cruise image at the beginning of this entry to be directed to The Blog Cruise page.   Have fun with your homeschool - the kids and yourself will enjoy it better.


Personal blog of a homeschool family. We love to travel with our RV when we can. Fishing, discovering new places, photography are some of our favourite activities!


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