Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Getting started in Home Schooling Part 1

So, your thinking about home schooling, or you've pulled the kids out of school suddenly, or perhaps you have been home schooling for a while now but just havn't quite got it all figured it out just yet; if this is you and you are stressed or worried about just how to do this thing called home schooling, this series will be very beneficial for you.
I have been home schooling for 8 years now if you go by grade level; 12 years if you go by the age of your child. (I believe you are teaching them from the time they are born).
I have been through probably hundreds of different curriculum's, struggled with the thoughts of "I am doing enough, will they learn all they need to know, will I leave any gaps, etc...", and I have been through criticism, ridicule, fear, doubt, pressure, and many other feelings that I am sure you are feeling right now.
This is all very normal and know that you are not alone. Know also that it takes years to gain the confidence that you may see in more experienced home schoolers. I honestly feel that this last couple of years was when I finally started feeling more confident and less stressed.
It does take trial and error, and a lot of it, to find what works for you and your children. Take this as a learning experience and try not to get too stressed when you find that something is not working.
There are many different ways to home school, many different curriculums, many different methods, some that use curriculum, some that don't.
If you can, take some time to just get to know what home schooling is all about.
Buy, or rent from the library, books on homeschooling, talk to other home schooling moms, join home schooling support groups and ask lot's of questions, learn about all of the different methods out there and see what you think might fit your style.
Remember though, that if you try something one way and it is not working, you are not failing at this, you just need to keep on keeping on, and you will find your way.
I recommend Cathy Duffey's book, top 100 Home School Curriculum book. It has reviews of many different things out there and it can give you an idea of the different types of curriculum out there.
You do not even have to use formal curriculum, if you choose not to. You can give your children a great education though living books.
Whatever you choose, just remember to take it slow and ease into it so that you do not get too stressed out and experience burnout.

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