Thursday, January 24, 2013
Midway through the school year, some families take the first steps to homeschooling their children. Other, veteran homeschool families seek new ideas to explore. Here are some helpful points to keep in mind as you proceed through the coming months.
Yes, You Can Homeschool
If you’re a new homeschool family, you’ll want to double-check your state’s homeschool requirements. The best way to do this is to contact your state homeschool association. They can explain exactly what your state might require.
Homeschooling is legal in all U.S. states, and compliance is much easier than you might imagine. If you need help in locating your state’s homeschool support group, contact me, Sherri Linsenbach, at EverythingHomeschooling.com and I’ll help you.
When you’ve determined your state’s homeschool requirements, you might begin worrying about a curriculum or doubting your abilities to “teach” your child or children. Don’t worry! If you can love and raise your child, you can also homeschool your child.
Not “School at Home”
Some people confuse “homeschooling” with “school at home.” But homeschooling is not “school at home.” The term “homeschooling” has simply become the most-used word to describe learning in a more comfortable, more logical, more interesting environment, whether it’s at home or on the road.
Please don’t make the mistake of thinking that you’ll be teaching at home as if you’re in a school classroom, or that you’ll need textbooks or need to give tests or quizzes every week or so. Trying to do these things will often lead to an unhappy or frustrating experience, resulting in reduced learning.
Before you start worrying about a curriculum or about your ability to “teach,” sit down with your family and have a discussion with your children. What would they like to learn? What new or different things would they like to try? What goals do you and your children have for learning, for new experiences, for hobbies, for careers, for a happy, interesting life?
Don’t be surprised if your children “don’t know” what they’d like to learn or try. They’ve been programmed to have few choices when it comes to education and learning.
The curriculum they’ve been following in school has been a generic, one-size-fits-all program. Therefore, you’ll want to help your children get back in touch with themselves and with their own interests, desires, and goals. As you do this, “curriculum” ideas will naturally unfold before you.
Discussions and Interaction
Daily discussions and interaction with your children are a critically important part of education. Through discussions and interaction, each person can share his or her ideas, opinions, experiences, emotions, brainstorms, creativity, inventions, experiments, projects completed, books read, movies seen, topics researched and explored. The list is endless.
As you and your children connect with each other on a daily basis, you will gain new, inspirational insight into them and into their abilities to think, reason, create, design, solve, and much more! Through daily interactions and discussions, you’ll see that testing is not required to evaluate or assess your child’s learning. Their accomplishments and successes will speak for themselves and be quite obvious to you.
Goals as Homeschoolers
Whether you are a new homeschool family or a veteran homeschool family, there are times when we need to remind ourselves that what we’re doing is for our children – and not for some other entity or someone else's standards. Our main goal as homeschoolers is to provide the best foundation possible for our children – educational, moral, social, civic – so that they can achieve their goals, dreams, and true happiness in their lives and careers.
For homeschool help, ideas, tips, or questions, contact me at EverythingHomeschooling.com. Enjoy your homeschool adventures in the coming months!