Sunday, August 15, 2010

Blog Cruise - Advice

The Homeschool Crew Blog Cruise is back! 
What is the Blog Cruise?  It’s a weekly meme for members of the Homeschool Crew.  Each week, we’ll answer a question that relates to homeschooling.  You will be able to see all the answers (links to them) together in one place – the Crew Blog

BlogCruiseButton We’re kicking this year off with a great question - - -
What advice do you have for those considering homeschooling or just starting out? 

My advice would be rather simple - - -
If you’re thinking about homeschooling, then it’s most likely that it’s on your heart for a reason.  In other words, GO FOR IT! 

People choose to homeschool for various reasons – religious reasons, bad school district, children have special needs, the list could go on and on and on.  One of my arguments in favor of homeschooling is this - - - who knows your child(ren) better than you do?  Nobody.  So who is best qualified to teach your child(ren)?  YOU! 

Homeschooling isn’t always easy, but it is always worth it.  The rewards will far outweigh the tough times.  It’s a commitment, sure; but it’s one you’ll be glad you chose to make. 

Just a few things to keep in mind when starting out - - -
*Make sure your spouse is on board (you’ll need his/her support)

*Find someone else, like-minded, who homeschools and can serve as a mentor to you.  Some people choose to join a homeschool group and/or co-op.  This isn’t necessary and can actually be overwhelming at the beginning of your homeschool journey.  If you have a friend or relative who homeschools, this is a good option.  If not, find an online homeschooling group that you can join in to ask questions and share experiences. 

*Read books and magazines about homeschooling.  My first choice would be The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine (and I’m not just saying that because I work for TOS – I was a subscriber long before I worked for them, and I continue to read the magazine faithfully). 

*Go to your local homeschool convention.  It may seem large and overwhelming, but it’s good to be aware of all that’s out there for homeschoolers, and it’s great to see all the people around you who are homeschooling – you are not alone!

*It’s ok to buy a boxed curriculum.  These are often an easy way to get started with your homeschooling journey.  Don’t feel confined to it, though.  It’s ok to take off on rabbit trails and do your own thing.

*And a big mistake many new homeschoolers make – homeschooling does not have to look like “school at home”.  You don’t need desks, a chalkboard, and #2 pencils.  Your kids will get just as much, if not more, out of your homeschooling if you sit around the dining room table (like we do), or if you homeschool from your bed.  School also doesn’t have to take 8 hours a day;  don’t be surprised if, in the early years, you’re finished up after only an hour or so (and that’s ok).

*Check your state’s laws regarding homeschooling to make sure you’re following them.  A good place to start is HSLDA.  Some states have absolutely no rules;  others (like PA) have lots of rules and regulations.  Don’t let them scare you though. I live in PA, and have had no problems with the rules; and I am actually thankful for them as they require me to keep good records which end up serving as a tangible reminder of our school years. 

*Most of all, relax and have fun.  Homeschooling your kids will definitely be some of the best years of your life!


Our Village is a Little Different said...

This is all wonderful advice.

Vickie said...

Awesome advice! We are in our 9th year homeschooling and I still don't belong to a co-op or group....but my online buddies (TOS Crew for the most part) have been wonderful!

Jodi said...

Great advice Heidi! I still love reading books about homeschooling. :) And, I really enjoyed my first convention this year. Thanks for participating in the Blog Cruise this week!

Learning Aids said...

Great Information!

Thanks for sharing story on the family friend with us.

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