How do I begin homeschooling? I would love to follow that path with my kids but don't know where to start! (Just a question I get a LOT!)
There is no shortage of advice about how to homeschool. There are tons of articles that will guide you by covering things like telling you to find out what your state laws are, to find your local homeschool networks and to read certain books. When you start talking to other homeschool parents they are very quick to offer advice as well. You will soon find out that there are many labels that people use and you are left sold on the style they described to you or you are completely confused. There is relaxed homeschooling, classical homeschooling, eclectic homeschoooling, unschooling, radical unschooling, Waldorf homeschooling, life learning, etc, etc.
Then there are the reasons for homeschooling that can include religious, academic, ethical, philosophical, special needs or others as well as combinations of a number of them. To go along with any of your reasons there are different types of curriculum: whole package, state provided, by subject, by grade, religious, secular, unit study, lapbook, co-op classes, distance learning, online courses, video courses, etc. Confused yet? If you are starting to think that you need some sort of training to understand any of this, think again!
After homeschooling for as long as I have, I have been around many different types of homeschoolers. Some have always homeschooled, some have pulled their children out of school and some have put their children back in school. The ones that put their children back in school after a very short time of homeschooling have always had one thing in common. (Not including the ones that had to go back to work full time, of course.) They ALL started off focusing on the wrong thing. They concentrated on everything I mentioned above instead of focusing on the most important thing to make homeschooling and parenting a successful and peaceful way of life.
They didn't spend enough time thinking about or working on their relationship with their child.
I know this is a very specific thing to say but it is directly relevant to the reasons each one of these parents gave as to why they were putting their child back in school. Most of the time it was because the parents believed that their own learning style was the style that their child should be following whether the child liked it or not. They forced it on them to simplify things; you know, kind of like schools do because they don't know of any other way. Then they wondered why their child was rebelling against them more than ever when it came to everything else as well.
If you are thinking about homeschooling, I would suggest you ask yourself a few questions. What is your relationship with your child like? How well do you really know your child? What is your interaction like? How does your child's personality mesh with yours? How does your child like to learn about things? Is it ok with you if that is different than your own style? Are you willing to let your child "run" with anything they are interested in? Are you willing to drive your child to different field trips and local homeschool events or classes that your child wants to attend? Every homeschooling parent I have met who was having trouble with homeschooling was having difficulty in one or more of those areas. If you go into homeschooling thinking about these things first, the rest will fall into place.
Photo credit - jimmiehomeschoolmom
As a Parent Coach and Mentor, my passion lies in empowering parents to make the best decisions they can for their children and their families as a whole. As a well-trained coach, I can be your facilitator and accountability partner for long-lasting, meaningful change that has a permanent, positive impact for your family. By focusing on the values that you hold most important in your life, I can help you create and maintain the type of parenting relationship you want to have with your children, now and into their adulthood.
I am a homeschooling mom of four children in Massachusetts. I am also the author of a book called The Herbal Beverage Book, which can be found on amazon. When not coaching, writing or spending time with the family, I enjoy Hayao Miyazaki films, new and classic Dr. Who episodes, anything related to American history and a great glass of mead.
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This blog is a collection of thoughts, articles and perspectives I have at any one time. While I am pretty consistent in my beliefs, life changes and evolves along with experiences. You may feel a connection with me through my writing yet I never want any of my readers to misunderstand that the connection you feel is with a perspective I have shared and not me as a person. I am continually humbled that I am able to connect with my readers, and I hope to continue to be able to for many years to come, but it doesn't make us connected in any way beyond this. If you connect with what I write and know me as an acquaintance, this in no way reflects that I have any knowledge of you, your situation in life or that I am writing with you in mind. It is merely that I have shared a human experience that most likely very many others have had has well. This also goes for anything I post on my Twitter account, Facebook Page and Facebook personal page. I wanted to make this disclaimer as clear as possible so you know that any misunderstanding you choose to have is not my responsibility.