I am no expert for sure…and have my own share of struggles. I have learned a few things on my homeschool journey though, and I’d love to share them with you. I’m hoping and praying that more folks will decide to homeschool their children…to train and disciple them in the ways of the Lord. Homeschooling is hard on some days, but for me it has been a wonderful fulfilling journey, with one reward being a close happy family life. Please consider this option for your family. You will never regret making sweet memories together. As you know, our children grow up very quickly…too fast for me. Homeschooling allows me to enjoy them a bit longer and gives them an opportunity to have the joys of childhood a bit longer as well! Many Blessings, Anne
1. Read as much as you can about homeschooling before you begin. Subscribe to a few good magazines like Homeschool Enrichment & The Old Schoolhouse Magazine.
2. As you read keep a notebook of the ideas you like. Try to form your own homeschool philosophy. Don’t worry about it too much though because it will likely change as the years go on.
3. Remember you are homeschooling not copying the public school system. You don’t need to sit at a desk all day, work until 3 o’clock or complete a bunch of workbooks.
4.Try to Relax, be flexible and enjoy your children. Work on building relationship with your children and making happy memories together. Enjoy family life.
5.Keep it simple at first…you can always add more subjects as as the year progresses.
6.Talk to a few “seasoned” homeschool mom’s about what curriculum they use or have used before ordering. Resist the urge to buy everything. It’s amazing how much learning takes place just through talking, reading good books and spending quality time together. You don’t need all of the extras that companies insist you need in order to do a good job.
7.When your children are little simply focus on reading & writing. Add some Bible. The “4 R’s” Reading, writing, a(rithmetic), and religion. Your little one’s can learn science and history through read-alouds.
8.When teaching reading don’t be afraid to combine curriculum ideas. We used part Alphabet Island, Ruth Beechick, used magnet boards with letters, used music, video’s, Leap frog, and some Abeka. We made up signs, flashcards and tried to read on the road, in grocery stores etc. Read several good picture books together every day.
9.Find out when you legally have to begin formal schooling according to your state. I’d encourage you to resist the urge to begin formal schooling too early. Your child will be stressed and so will you if you begin too early. Strive for many happy days of learning together through normal family activities. Learning takes place without the formal lessons.
10.Don’t compare your program with the public school.
11.Instead of using a typical lesson plan book try journaling what you have already completed. You do not have to fill in all those squares in order to be a good teacher! If you really want to fill them in though……do it after the fact. You will set yourself up for failure or you will drive your children crazy trying to keep up with your lofty goals and high ideals for them. 😉
12.Most important of all remember that on some days learning will be all about character development. Your children must learn that God has given you the job to lead your family. You are the boss. Love them with all your heart by making them obey first. It is very difficult to homeschool a child who will not obey or listen. I believe that the #1 reason folks send their children back to school is that they can’t deal with them anymore. Their children are so difficult that they would rather give someone else the responsibility. When you do this you’ve lost their heart, the family closeness, and the JOY of learning together as a family. Read some good parenting books. I highly recommend Family Driven Faith by Voddie Baucham.
13. Find a homeschool mentor who you can talk to on a regular basis. My dear friend and homeschool mentor has been such a blessing and her wisdom has been like gold to me. We do not live in the same state but she has helped me in countless ways over the years.
14.Find one or two like-minded families to meet with on a regular basis. Your children will look forward to this time of fellowship and learning.
15.Pray and read the Scriptures. Look up all the Bible verses regarding teaching and training your children. You will be surprised at all the verses on teaching and training. You will also learn that God has given the parents this responsibility.
16.Don’t forget to join HSLDA. For a fee ($100) per year, you will have peace of mind knowing that you have access to legal advice and even lawyer representation if necessary. They also are a wealth of homeschool information on homeschooling within your state or country.
17. Have Fun……….everyday if you can! 🙂