Saturday, October 20, 2012

Where to start?????

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Fashionista making a "stone" tablet

Where do I even start when I decide to home school?

I’m still fairly new to homeschooling. But here are some of the tips I feel will help.
1.       Talk to friends around you.
I wish I had done this first. Talk to others around you and find out the different resources they use. Find out about co-ops that they are part of. Find out what curriculum they are using.  Ask what programs they are using.  After a year of living in the state I am in, I learned that there was a program where I could get help paying for books and other programs I wanted my children to participate in.  Home schooling can be expensive. It’s nice to know about the free and inexpensive programs in your area.
2.       Research. This point probably is a no brainer. But it’s an important part. I really enjoy going into an actual store and spending and hour (or way more) looking through books and seeing what I want. I don’t have a ton of money to buy supplies and find out I hate it. I am particular about what we use. I need to get my hands on it before buying it. After I have found what I want, I research it more. Then I find the cheapest place to buy it, which usually aren’t the stores I investigate the book at.
3.       Teaching Styles. Figure out how you like to teach. And then figure out how your children like to learn.  I needed first to know what kind of teacher I was. This is also an area you need to research. There are different styles you can read books about. For me personally I just needed to know what would keep me going in home schooling.  I am a very craft oriented teacher. If I am bored, I find that I can only teach boring. I try to engage my children in things I enjoy also. I then figured out how my children like to learn. Luckily they like crafts also. But my scientist REALLY likes to read where as my fashionista hates when she has to read too much without pictures. I’ve taken the curriculum we have and adjusted it to fit both of their needs.
4.       Decide for yourself (with your spouse). There will be MANY people telling you why you shouldn’t or should home school. You know yourself. You know what you are willing and wanting to put into your children’s education. Yes, there are some weird home schooled people (have you seen America’s Next Top Model). But there have been so many times where after getting to know someone I find out she/he was home schooled. You’re not going to ruin your child. Just try to ignore comments that make you doubt your decision. Surround yourself with people who are going to support you in your decision. And don’t bring up the subject in people who are going to be negative about it.
5.        Fun. Have fun. Don’t take yourself too serious. You’re going to mess up. You’re going to get burnt out. You might even yell at your students. Take a break. Breath and then start again. Homeschooling can be so enjoyable and so fun. As long as you remember to breath.

Now that you’ve read my advice. What is your advice to the beginning homeschoolers?


  1. My advice is: if it doesn't work, change it! I love that homeschooling can be so flexible.

  2. When you are starting out and you are starting with young children you don't need to purchase a curriculum. If you start at preschool or kindergarten level you still have a couple of years before you need to consider complete curriculums-if thats the road you want to take.
    I sometimes have little freak out moments where I question if I'm doing the right thing, if I should really homeschool. But I always break out of it remembering that I will have all the control in what and how my kids learn. I'm lucky I live in a homeschool-friendly state! Don't give up if you get discouraged!


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