I was recently attempting to give a friend some advice on how to begin her home education journey. Â A yahoo group I am on posed the same question “how do you begin homeschooling?” Â
I think it’s a very hard question to answer. Â There just is no set formula for everyone to follow. Â Each family and each set of circumstances is different.
However, here are few things that were helpful to me in getting started:
Just the Facts Ma’am ~ It was helpful for me to take a trip to the library and peruse everything related to home education. Â It’s also helpful to check out the Home School Legal Defense Fund to see what requirements there are in your state. Â There are currently no reporting requirements for Michigan.
I also asked lots of questions to those in the trenches, I still do!
A couple of books that were helpful to me in the beginning were The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling, The Well Trained Mind, and Catholic Education: Homeward Bound. Â Another suggestion is to google the scope and sequence for the school district in which you reside, to get an idea of what is taught at each grade level.
Expect the Unexpected ~ Ideas and philosophies change and evolve over time. Â Your expectations for your home and how you envision “school” will most likely change as the children in your home change and grow. Â I started out with a boxed curriculum for Jacob in Kindergarten and 1st Grade. Â It was an excellent way for me to begin our homeschool journey.
As we grew more comfortable in our role as a homeschooling family, we have expanded to embrace some Charlotte Mason methods as well as a newer endeavor toward more self-directed learning. Â I have concluded that I don’t think we will hold hard and fast to one particular methodology. Â I like to pick and choose what works, and leave the rest behind. Â However, you may find your niche right from the get go and never waver!
They Way You Are ~ Because Bob and I both grew up going to a traditional school, I had a difficult time envisioning what a homeschool day would look like. Â Just as every family is different, so will your homeschool day be different. Â You don’t clean or decorate your home as your friend, nor do you serve the same meals as your neighbor, so goes the same for lessons. Â Do what works for your family and your particular season of life. Â If you need desks in a separate room and to begin each day with the Pledge of Allegiance, by all means do so. Â If you prefer books spread out on the couch in the family room, go for it!
Just Do It ~ Eventually you just need to jump in with both feet. Â You can read about and plan for all Â different types of curriculum and methods, but there comes a point when you need to stop reading and take action. Â Nothing is irreversible, if you try something and it doesn’t work as you hoped, give yourself the freedom to make a change.
Pray ~ Most importantly pray for God’s Grace to taking the correct course of action with your children. Â For some families that path is home education, but it certainly is not for everyone. Â God has given you and your husband the sacramental grace, through marriage, to make these decisions for each and every child that God has placed in your care.
I am linking up today with Helpful Homeschool HintsÂ and No Ordinary Blog Hop (see button on left)