First, I would like to congratulate you on your homeschooling endeavors. Whether you are exploring the possibility, searching for some much needed support, or researching the concept because your daughter-in-law has decided to homeschool your grandchildren, I admire your thirst for information.
You see, homeschooling is all about that thirst. There are perceptions of homeschoolers that ignorant people will always conjure when thinking of them. Really, that is what they are: ignorant perceptions. Those of us who homeschool do it for a wide variety of reasons. Some do it for continuity of education. Some do it for the religious aspect (or lack thereof if that is their cup of tea). Perhaps the child has a dis fluency that needs to be addressed. The opportunity for travel and mobility is another valid reason. The important thing to remember is that homeschooling is not a cookie cutter method of educating children. Everyone does it differently and everyone is right.
You see, that is the beauty of this nurturing way of raising children. As the parent, you choose what is best for your family. Allow God's graces to flow upon you and fill you with the tools you need to parent and educate your child. Research can and should be done. Exploration of various curricula should be investigated. Diplomatic explanations to people who know nothing about it must be made, but ultimately, your homeschool is as unique as your child. No two are the same, nor should they be. So take a deep breath, relax and carry on.
As for introductions, we'll keep it short. Having had a BS in Elementary Education and having held a teaching certificate in the state of OK, I had a little more suspicion about homeschoolers than that of a noneducator. After all we were always taught that those who homeschooled had something to hide. I had no idea how erroneous those myths were! So, when my sweet baby four year old was to climb on a bus for forty minutes to attend the public school in Mississippi, I began to have my doubts. The school was at the time very run down. For me to have taught there, I would have brought home a whopping $150 a month after taxes and childcare for my two year old. We looked into private schools but they were no fit for us either. Very carefully I began to look at what the other people were doing on the Air Force Base. Being Army, we didn't know everyone very well, but I began to see the very multicultural group that assembled for field trips and co-op teaching. I was very quickly impressed and decided after much debate with my husband that this is what we needed to do..for now at least. I mean, really, he's only four. How badly can I screw him up at this age? Before I knew it, it was second grade, then seventh! It just flowed.
Now it has not been easy every step of the way. No...it most certainly has not been easy! That is why I am writing this blog...when I sought assistance, guidance, or practical advice I didn't always find what I was looking for. Some were too religious, some were too secular, some were severe in answering discipline questions while some were downright hippies! My apologies to my hippy brethren. So, being a moderate in many areas, I decided to see if I could help other homeschoolers and work out some of my own issues as well.
I have a tenth grader who will be attending school for the first time (well, we tried kindergarten for about three weeks and it didn't work out but that is another whole story) this year and I'll continue to homeschool my 8th grader.
In this blog I hope to address some of the following issues: schedule, curricula, discipline, answering nosey neighbor inquiries, balancing your sanity with their educational needs, separating mom from teacher, and using the world as your classroom.
I hope you will join me on our adventure..but hold on..it is a bumpy ride!