Thursday, July 26, 2007

Getting Started Homeschooling

I have talked to several of you lately who are new to homeschooling, and have shared with you all some similar things. I thought it might be helpful if I put it in writing so you could remember and if I gave you some resources as well. (I do not proclaim to be and expert, I can just tell you what has worked and hasn't for us and what I have learned along the way.)
1. Do not let yourself freak out about the first few grades. It will be ok. If you can read and do elementary math and your children respect your authority, then you can teach them. I was reading this morning and came across another of my favorite verses. "for God has not given you a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7. When I read this the Lord reminded my that anxiety is fear. So, remember if you are anxious, stressed or overwhelmed, you are exactly where the enemy wants you.
2. This year do the best you can with what you have and let it be ok. Cover them in prayer and read the Word to them, read lots of good books, get a foundation in phonics and math and you are in good shape. But also spend this year asking the Lord what His vision for your home (and homeschool) is and how you can implement His vision. (This has been the single most freeing thing for me, because I realized that He does not want me to replicate school at home.)
3. Also, try to figure out what your child's/children's learning style is. I recommend doing a search for Learning Styles online. There is also a book that a lot of homeschoolers have used "The Way They Learn by Cynthia Ulrich". Knowing how they best learn will help you better choose a homeschooling method and curriculum that caters to their learning style.
4. Learn about the different homeschooling methods. Try . There are some brief descriptions on here. Read over them and see which ones peak your interest, then do an internet search for just those things. Besides using just textbooks, three really good ones are Charlotte Mason (I am using mostly this this year), Classical method (I'm doing a little of this) and the Unit Study method (We will probably do some of this, too). I think what you will find is that very few homeschoolers will use just one method. Most of us are what are called "eclectic". For instance this year I will be using a couple of workbooks, lot's of Charlotte Mason's philosophy/method and a little Classical and unit study.
5. Learn about what Curriculum is available. The first thing I recommend is visiting and ordering a catalog. Not only do they have some of the best prices, but they also have reviews written about most of what they sell. I don't think I could do without it. Whenever I get a new one I pass my old one along to someone who is new to homeschooling. Visit . She also has a really good book called "100 Top Picks For Homeschool Curriculum". Visit , this site has curriculum reviews and lot's of valuable homeschooling info. Mary Pride also has a good book called "The Big Book of Home Learning". These are all really good resources and you can probably get the books at the Library. I know my library has them.
You don't have to have all of this down right now. Be patient, spend this year in prayer and research, and be peaceful. Once you feel like you know the Lord's vision for your home, you know how they learn, have found a method that you think will go along with those things, then choosing curriculum and scheduling your days will become much easier. Remember each year is better than the last. Your confidence will improve and God will give you lot's of reminders about why he has called you to do this.
I love you all. Email me or call me if you have any more questions. Or you can leave a comment at the end of this blog.
P.S. You should be able to click on the web addresses above and go to each website. I hope this helps.

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