Domestic Bliss Report

Motherhood is hard work. If we don't stick together, we'll all fall apart.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Tips for starting homeschooling

This is both a compilation and a solicitation. Since I'm putting us on a "summer schedule" (three subjects, one page each per day) to allow more time for enjoying the weather, I have a touch more time to... do the same myself.

Here are my Beginner's Tips. Remember, I've only been at this for a year or so. Add more in the comments boxes!
1. If you're just starting, buy a boxed curriculum.
That doesn't mean you have to stay with it the entirety of your homeschooling career, or that you can't tinker with it, or that you have to register with the school you're buying it from. Buying the whole set from someone keeps you from having to reinvent the wheel yourself, you'll have enough to work with, and you'll be able to decide from experience what to supplement or leave out.

2. Get involved in a support group.
They don't have to share your faith (but that's really good too). It doesn't have to be really formal with a president and bylaws and all that, either. Online is okay for you as an adult to get help and support, answer questions, get ideas. Your kids, though, need other kids. Getting involved in a live support group helps to normalize homeschooling for them. Kids don't mind being unusual or unique; isolated and weird is another story.

3. Attend a conference or two.
Again, you don't have to do the same thing every year. A conference when you're starting out, though, helps you to really see you're not alone. You'll be able to network with lots of others, see and touch lots of curriculum materials, glean ideas for free, get a pep-talk or two, and be around others with a similar mind-set. All around a good thing.

Those are my beginner's tips. Others?

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4 Comments:

At 8:31 AM, Anonymous Summer said...

I think those who are starting homeschooling should also take some time to map out why they want to homeschool, what their goals are, and what they expect to get out of it. That can really help to decide what you want to do and where you want to go with homeschooling.

 
At 2:28 PM, Blogger Peanut Butter Kisses said...

I guess the only thing I would add is to have reasonable expectations. I remember my first year....

I expected that my five year old would want to do a couple hours of school work each day (without crying).

I expected my five year old would be able to keep up the two hour schedule without giving me a hard time every day. (Don't public schools pull it off???)

...And I expected that we would do this five days a week without interruption.

Now that I think about it, that lasted for about a month until someone mentioned to me two things. First, he was only five with an attention span of about 15 minutes and secondly, life doesn't stop happening just because we homeschool...things still happen and other family members still require my attention (like a varnish covered three year old).

I quickly changed my expectations for the year...he and I were much less stressed and got light years ahead of where we would have been if we were stuck in my copy-cat mindset of trying to create what I knew of school to be instead of allowing school be what it should be.....a great learning environment with room to explore, imagine and create.

 
At 12:25 PM, Anonymous Joanne said...

GOD BLESS YOU FOR POSTING THIS!!!

I've been searching and praying about whether to home school my 11 y.o. son. There are many unresolved longstanding issues with our middle school to which I am not willing to subjugate my son. He's a bright young boy w/mild ADD and our school system claims they are not equipped or staffed to handle his special needs. He barely made it through elementary school only because I work at the school and was available whenever problems arose.

Thanks, also, to PB kisses for your own personal insight about expectations. Please pray for me as I continue in this endeavor.

 
At 8:31 PM, Blogger Heather said...

Joanne--You're welcome. Remember, we're all in this together. :)

Another one I thought of is to know your state's laws regarding homeschooling. www.hslda.org can help you there; you don't have to be a member, either.

 

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