As schools around the country publish their plans for the upcoming academic year, homeschool advocates continue to see more families who tried homeschooling last year deciding to continue. For real, this time—not the suddenly-home-from-school situation parents faced when schools suddenly closed. Here are a few suggestions to use or pass on. Continue reading »
How to Start Homeschooling
You have pulled your child out of school (or made the decision not to sent him to school). Now what? Veteran homeschool moms share the best ways to start homeschooling in these articles.
You may have never thought you would consider homeschooling, or maybe you were thinking about starting in the fall, but circumstances are forcing you to consider bringing your child home mid-year. Perhaps it is bullying, a negative school environment, an illness, school anxiety, a stressful family situation, or some other unexpected circumstance causing you to consider pulling your child out before the end of the school year. Regardless of the motivation, your first question is likely, "Can I start homeschooling mid-year?" Continue reading »
Has your family recently made a decision to switch gears and begin homeschooling or use a new curriculum? Either way, embarking on a different educational path takes courage and faith, and it may take time to find your rhythm. Here are ten suggestions to ease the way. Continue reading »
For whatever reason, and there are many possible reasons, you are choosing the homeschooling option this mid-year. Maybe your child has a learning disability and the teachers can’t give him or her the necessary attention, or you don’t agree with the curriculum, or perhaps there are bullying issues. The list goes on for parents but whatever your reason, remember this—it’s the right reason for you. It may not be the easiest decision, especially mid-year with so much going on, but if it will help enhance your child’s educational experience then go for it! But before you get started, review these tips for making your transition a smooth and successful one. Continue reading »
Jump into homeschooling with TheHomeSchoolMom's "Quickstart Guide to Homeschooling." Whether you are brand new to homeschooling or have been homeschooling for a while, the guide's simple action steps give you a solid framework to get a quick start with homeschooling. Continue reading »
You work. Or you cannot imagine yourself as a homeschool parent. Or your kids are demanding, and you don't mesh with them well. Or you have a child who has special needs you don't feel prepared to help with. Or you have a health problem that will make homeschooling challenging to impossible. Or really, you just don't want to homeschool. But your kids need to be out of school, and they need to be homeschooled. I hear your question: "Can somebody homeschool my kids?" Continue reading »
Does your homeschool have a name? Does it need one? What makes a good name for a homeschool? Whether you name your homeschool has to do with law, custom, and personal preference. You will want to consider benefits and disadvantages to naming your homeschool, as well as naming ideas, things to avoid, and how you can use a homeschool name to your (and your children's) advantage. Continue reading »
It may be a new year, but for those of us with school-aged children, we are actually in the middle of the school year. This is usually the time of year when many frustrated parents make the transition to homeschooling. These are the families we have affectionately called "accidental homeschoolers." Why? Because they never had any intention to homeschool. But an unforeseen circumstance happened along the way -- perhaps a bullying issue, an illness, or a gifted child not being challenged enough, and the parents had to ask themselves, "What do we do now?" Continue reading »
As a homeschool evaluator in Virginia, I've worked with hundreds of kids in families who have used all kinds of weekly homeschool schedules. I'm also in my 19th year of homeschooling, and since we've moved around a lot, I've been in a ton of different homeschooling communities and groups with so many good homeschooling families. I've seen all kinds of weekly schedules work well for people, and creating a strong week of homeschooling can look different for each homeschooling family. Some families have weekly schedules that look like school schedules, but most homeschooling families use the flexibility of homeschooling to create a weekly schedule that is customized for them. Here are some of the homeschool schedules that I have seen work to create a strong homeschooling week. Continue reading »
Trying to determine the best path for educating your children can be confusing. Education is important, and we're all trying to keep from messing up our kids any more than necessary. It's not an irreversible decision (neither is any other education decision you make, such as putting them in a certain school or using a specific curriculum), but it will affect your whole family, so it's worth putting some thought into. Here are some things to consider as you make your decision. Continue reading »
When you've suddenly taken your kids out of school to homeschool, there is a long list of things to do, and it all seems like it needs to be done quickly so your kids won't be behind.
When you start homeschooling, one often overlooked aspect -- especially if you hadn't planned to homeschool -- is the need for you and your child to come to terms with the school experience and the reasons you find yourself homeschooling.
To help you process the big change that comes with suddenly starting homeschooling, I recommend this... Continue reading »
Sending your child off to school is a big transition. Making the shift to homeschooling when your child has been in school is another big transition. It may take some time to feel settled on the homeschooling path. Here are some things to anticipate as you make your way. Continue reading »
We just started homeschooling about a month ago. Our son is in first grade. We purchased the curriculum (here she named a specific well-known Christian curriculum), but it's not going as well as I had hoped. My son really doesn't like the structure of the program. He's a six-year-old boy who loves to be outside. Any encouragement, advice, resources, wisdom, or thoughts would be appreciated! Thanks so much! Continue reading »
There are many reasons that lead families to consider homeschooling. Often it comes up when a child's school is not a good match for their needs. Sometimes it's driven by a parent's desire to guide their child's learning in the context of their own values. Sometimes children need a more flexible schedule in order to pursue athletic or artistic training, and sometimes parents simply can't imagine missing out on the excitement of educational discovery.
How do you know for sure if homeschooling is the right fit for you and your child? Continue reading »
Will your child's ADD get better if you homeschool?
I'm no educational psychologist, but I've been homeschooling for sixteen years in three states. I've met hundreds of homeschooling families at conferences and workshops I've presented, I've answered hundreds of calls at a statewide homeschool phone line, and I've been a homeschool evaluator in Virginia for quite a few years now. I've heard dozens of parents praise homeschooling for their children who were labeled with ADD/ADHD in the school setting. But it's not magic. The parents who observe such a change in their children also generally report actively shaping their homeschooling to address attention problems their child had in a school setting. Here are some of the things that have made them successful... Continue reading »
Have you decided to homeschool? You probably need some parental deschooling. Most parents who are choosing to homeschool their children today attended school themselves. We have also lived for many years in a world where the public school model of education is predominant. School is the status quo. School is the default. School is the norm. As many of my school-teacher-turned-homeschooler friends have pointed out to me over the years, one of the hardest things about transitioning to homeschooling as a parent is getting out of the school mindset. Continue reading »
For children who are starting homeschooling after an experience in a traditional school setting, deschooling is an important part of the transition. Here's how to start homeschooling after a traditional school experience with tips for deschooling. Continue reading »
Deschooling is the adjustment period a child goes through when leaving school and beginning homeschooling. To really get the benefits of homeschooling, a child has to decompress and disconnect from "school" being the default and "school ways" being the standard expectation.
The longer a child has been in school, the more important it is to allow generous time to process the huge change from not being in school to learning as a homeschooler. Continue reading »
My first t-shirt as a homeschooling parent proclaimed, "Don't bother me. I'm having a parent-teacher conference."
This expressed well my initial thoughts about the roles of mother and teacher while homeschooling. I could see my "teacher self" talking to my "mother self," echoing the familiar adult roles in education that involves public school...
Past my first few months of homeschooling more than a decade and a half ago, I have not separated a "teacher self" from my "mom self." At the same time, I found it was important for me to set boundaries of time and space that made my family function well. Continue reading »
Many experienced homeschoolers have long valued the ability to delay formal academics to create a more holistic early childhood education for their young children, with the understanding that this creates a rich foundation for later academic and life success. Today, parents new to homeschooling are embarking on homeschooling at a time when public schools are emphasizing early formal academics and implementing standardized testing of very young children, despite lack of evidence that these practices enhance educational outcomes for the children.
As David Elkind (author of The Hurried Child and The Power of Play: Learning What Comes Naturally) writes in "Much Too Early" for the website EducationNext, "Why, when we know what is good for young children, do we persist in miseducating them, in putting them at risk for no purpose?" Continue reading »