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 »
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.
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. 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 »
New homeschoolers are bombarded with information from which curriculum to use (see #11) to how to train their children (see #3). Homeschoolers are a wonderful group for crowd-sourcing information, but not all of the information available online or from other homeschoolers is helpful, useful, or productive. New homeschoolers are wise to beware the following… 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 »
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. In an earlier post, we defined deschooling and how it might manifest in children who are transitioning from school to homeschooling. Knowing about deschooling helps parents to have realistic expectations about their children’s adjustment to homeschooling after they have attended school.
Today, we’ll take a look at 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 »
Families new to homeschooling often wonder if it is possible to successfully homeschool more than one child at a time. It can seem very daunting! There are always challenges to homeschooling, whether you have one child or several. The trick to homeschooling multiple children, ages or grades with some measure of success and grace can be summed up in one word: organization. Continue reading »
Sure, there are basic necessities for getting the job done. But many of the perceived “needs” for an effective homeschool really aren’t. That’s right. You can educate your children at home with much less than most people think. So in this two-part series, let’s look at a new back-to-school list: the list of what homeschoolers don’t need! Continue reading »
I’ve had more friends this year decide to homeschool than any other year since we began homeschooling. The reasons have varied — concern over values taught in the public school system, distress about peer relationships, a desire to inculcate principles of faith, worries about increased “teaching to the test” procedures in government schools, an interest in providing more individualized instruction… but whatever the reason, each parent has had a significant “deer in the headlights” look as they have shared their newly chosen educational path. They have one question in common, whether spoken or unspoken: “How do I homeschool my child?” Continue reading »
Homeschooling parents are sometimes asked about how often they test their children. Some do give tests that are associated with specific text books or curricula. However, many never give tests, and others only assist their children with learning test-taking skills when there is a practical reason, such as preparing for a state-required standardized test, a college readiness test such as the SAT or ACT, or helping a child prepare to enter a more formal learning situation. Continue reading »
Secrets of a Successful Homeschool Mom: I think every successful homeschool mom has a secret…her secret to managing it all.
Because the truth is that homeschooling itself is overwhelming; it’s just difficult to get it all done. When you add in the responsibilities of keeping the household going along with it, sometimes we feel like we’re on some roller-coaster that we can’t ever get off. Academics to teach, social skills to impart, character to instill, cleaning to complete, food to make, activities to attend, transportation to provide, jobs to fulfill…it’s just so much. Too much, sometimes. Enough that it usually takes some sort of plan, some sort of secret — to actually get it all managed well. Continue reading »