Ok Friends. Grab a coffee and let's have a chat....
It seems like everywhere you go, people are talking about homeschooling. You see activities around your community geared toward homeschoolers. You have friends who have made the decision to homeschool. You have become curious.... but have NO idea where to start. Here is some advice from a 14 year old homeschool veteran mom. .
1. FIRST- Go to the HSLDA (Homeschool Legal Defense Association) and become a member. They offer legal advice, legal counsel for situations, form letters, transcript help, laws, verbiage, encouragement, access to diplomas, resources, and so much more.
2. Don't freak out! Homeschooling is a marathon, not a sprint. So many people make the mistake of trying to push everything on their child at once. Take a deep breathe and take cues from your child. Every child learns at a different pace. Don't let an "expert" who has never met your child tell you what they need.
3. If you are pulling your child out of school, you will need to take some time to DESCHOOL. Let them play Read. Take field trips. Let them really discover who they are and just observe.
4. Watch and talk to your child. Figure out their learning style. Do they learn by reading? Listening? Hand on activities? This will determine how you move forward.
5. Start looking at curriculum. Pick up a few pieces and try it. Don't make the mistake that many parents make and spend thousands of dollars, only to find out they don't like a certain curriculum. Remember you can get a lot from your local library and online.
6. Make some homeschool friends in your community. With over 3 million homeschoolers in the United States, they are everywhere! Experienced homeschool moms will be your most valuable source of information.
7. Find out the opportunities for homeschoolers in your community. PE classes, co ops. classical conversations groups, art classes, clubs, volunteer opportunities and so much more.
8. DO NOT WORRY ABOUT SOCIALIZATION. The true definition is being able to function, and get along with people of all ages. Homechooling provides that better than anything! You are out in the community daily, talking and getting to know many different kinds of people. It's the BEST!
9. Don't try to make homeschool look like school. Remember, children learn and thrive by doing real life things with an adult who cares. Think of cooking, shopping, banking, errands, volunteering, and more as daily learning experiences.
10. This one is SO IMPORTANT. DO NOT LET other people's opinions sway or bother you, These are YOUR CHILDREN. No one loves them, or knows them better. There is NOTHING like a homeschool mom fighting to educate her child in a way best for them. Stand strong.
You CAN do this. You are their mother. The person who knows them best. The person who cares most. The person who has natural instincts toward these particular children. The person who will fight hardest for them. YOU are SPECIAL!
Check out my other blog posts that talk about homeschooling and teaching your kids life skills.