If you are new to home schooling and your child is not enrolled in the public schools, there is no need to contact the school district. Simply obtain curriculum and get started.
Thanks to an underlying notion that home schools must be perfect in all ways lest they be judged by anyone outside the home, moms force themselves to put on their “happy faces” and pretend that there are no problems.
My first year of home schooling sent me “back to school” in spite of the fact that I had a degree in education with a teaching certificate saying I was qualified to teach kindergarten through eighth grade
Remember: “All that glitters is not gold” and “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” It is so easy to get overwhelmed and caught up in the sales pitches offered by book fair salesmen whose purpose is to get you to buy a book. These people do not know your children, your home, or your needs. Advance preparation could mean the difference between making it through next year and repeating this year’s frustrations.
Do I long for the days when I was home all day with my children? I certainly do. I have actually started a home-based business for just that reason. Once my business replaces the income from my part-time job, I will once again be at home all day with my children.
“What about socialization?” “You can’t shelter them forever!” “How will they live in the ‘real’ world?”
One of the beauties of home schooling is that we can teach in ways that are not practical for tightly scheduled classes with scores of children. We can adapt our teaching methods to engage students in learning more, doing more, and thinking more so that they become participants in their own discovery of knowledge. They will remember and understand far more because they have experienced it firsthand.
Academic and moral excellence were the things I hoped to gain by home schooling. What loss did I fear? I hoped to avoid the heartbreak of watching my children succumb to the snares of this world—drugs, alcoholism, promiscuity, rebellion, and godlessness.
Many moms who are committed to doing the best with their children flounder in building a foundation. The distraction of school demands gets in the way of spiritual and life goals.
Families who have chosen home schooling have already chosen a radically different path of child rearing. However, for those who homeschool out of conviction, it is only the beginning. The same convictions that led us to look to home schooling also challenge us to look at other facets of our families and the way in which we respond to the world around us.
Many of you have chosen to educate your children at home because you are dissatisfied with what the public school system has to offer in the way of academics. But be forewarned! No matter what reason you have for teaching your children at home, you will quickly find that home schooling is more than just a way to teach your children–it is a way of life!
Standing in the open doors of the exhibit hall, I was mesmerized. Rows of exhibitor booths and tables filled with colorful materials and supplies, audio tapes, workbooks, textbooks, and—to the complete and utter delight of this book lover-turned-home school mom—books, books, and more books!
Parents who utilize these five characteristics of efficient home education – parenting, patience, preparation/planning, progress, and purpose – will be headed in the direction of a home school that provides the best education possible for each child in the family.
Try to imagine the typical safeguards a regular school might have. While home schools are drastically different from public schools, many of the necessary safeguards are the same.
Why should any home educator—beginner or veteran—attend a conference? May we chat together over a cup of tea? You may have overlooked some particular rewards of being part of your local or state event.
A biblical worldview agrees that wisdom and knowledge have no beginning point other than the fear of God; therefore, all known facts and knowledge owe their very sustenance to God, Who is the definer of everything that is known. Accordingly, the fact that two plus two equals four and that it does yesterday, today, and tomorrow cannot be known truly by our children unless they know it from the foundation of godly fear.
It is good for us to learn from our own mistakes, but it is a lot less painful to learn from the mistakes of others! The following are twelve important principles that my wife and I have gleaned from fifteen years of home schooling. I hope you find something here to challenge and encourage you.
As you begin this adventure, ask yourself, “Why am I doing this?” Keep in mind that there is no “right” answer, but when you know the answer to the why question, even if it is not a perfect answer or as complete as you want it to be, you can begin to determine how to pursue this task.
When I focus the minutes of my days on priorities, when I fill my home and family life with resources, interesting people, meaningful activities, and live my own life before them with purpose, joy, and a gusto for life; then in my home, my children will get all they need to be prepared to live the lives for which God designed them.
My two little boys have a new favorite TV show, Bob the Builder. It is a cute, little show about Bob the Builder and all of his construction machines. The trucks, tractors, and mixers are all animated, and they work together as a team.
When I am really, really organized, I even leave a spot for housework, piano lessons, baseball games and practices, family time, and whatever else we have going on in our lives at the time! One of the great things about this system is that I can use it for traditional textbooks and workbooks, for unit studies, or for a combination.
If you are just starting or even changing your approach to homeschool, seek an experienced homeschool parent—someone has been there before. Join a support group. There will be others who have paved the way for you. There are probably other homeschoolers who have dealt with the challenges you may be facing. You can remind each other of the reasons you chose to homeschool in the first place, and together you will find strength and joy to finish the course.
When children are little, they need a rather small world so that they can grow rooted in God and family. They will need the resources of a loving family and a faithful Heavenly Father when they go out into the larger world.
Because being organized allows me more freedom to teach my children in greater depth, I have found it necessary in our home school to make organizing our materials top priority.
It is really true that great oaks from little acorns grow. To make sure that we end up with children who will stand strong for God and His purposes, we must make sure that we do not despise the day of small beginnings but instead steward the most precious resources God has given us.
One of the first things a home schooling mother realizes is that she has all her previous duties to fulfill in addition to teaching her children.
Mary James will give you an amusing tour through the top ten home schooling myths, including “If you homeschool your children, they will all be geniuses.”
If we allow Christ to be our Interior Decorator, He will create the most fabulous schoolroom imaginable for our children—a room that is furnished with “precious and beautiful treasure.”
Once parents understand and respect their children’s interests, concerns, and natural talents, they can provide opportunities that allow their children to participate in activities and learning experiences about which they can get excited.
In sixth grade or thereabouts, you had to write a report. Searching for a subject that seemed moderately interesting, such as Japan or Betsy Ross, you went to the encyclopedia and began to browse.
When I first made the decision to homeschool, my oldest son was eighteen months old. As he grew toward school age, I became more convinced that I had made the right decision. When asked at the time why I was going to homeschool, my pat answer was “… because of what the public schools are teaching and because of what they are not teaching.”
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