“I want to start homeschooling, but where do I start?”

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I have heard this question several times recently. I started compiling a list of curriculum websites and blogs that would be helpful to those I’ve talked to and so I decided to share it here so I can refer others to it. I will continue updating this post as I come across new information.

The first thing I like to recommend to those interested in homeschooling is to sit down and write out the reasons that you want to homeschool. Be as specific as possible. Then write out reasons that you do not want to homeschool. And for Pete’s sake, do not write socialisation! Seriously, we’ve beat this topic to death. You can homeschool and your kids will be just fine socially. I promise. The reason I tell you to do this bit is because it’s important and you will want to come back to it later.

The second thing you need to do is find our your state/territory’s home education laws. I live in the Northern Territory of Australia, so here is mine. This is really as easy as googling “{insert you state here} home education laws”. Here in the NT we fill out an application each year and have a home visit during the third term. It’s not required here, but I keep a portfolio for each of my children so that I have evidence of their school work throughout the year.

Thirdly, begin looking at curriculum. This can be a very overwhelming process. When I started homeschooling over 11 years ago I didn’t have much access to the internet. So, if there was hundreds of different curriculum companies, I had no idea. If you have a friend who homeschools, go visit her and have a look through what she uses. Keep in mind though that every child is different and what they use may not work for you. This is just to get a feel for what is out there.

I would like to tell you that you will find one curriculum and stick with it all 12 years, but I have found that my kids like change and every few years so we often change what we’re doing.  I plan to share in future posts our current curriculum choices and also curriculum we’ve used in the past.  But always remember, you have to do what works best for you.

And lastly, pray.  This shouldn’t be the last thing you do, but it is the most important.  Praying for wisdom is so important as a homeschool parent.  We all have the fear of messing up our kids and not teaching them everything they’re supposed to need.  Our goal here is to teach our children to love God and to love learning then the rest falls into place.

 

(Sorry for the long lapse between posts, I had a computer crash and was only able to get a new one in January.  We are finally back into the grove of school and life in general.  I hope to be able to write regularly now.)

What Am I Leaving Behind?

stones_FotorMy husband is a pastor.  We have a small church in an indigenous community about 80 kilometres south of where we live.  This past Sunday he preached a message he called, “What am I leaving behind?”   He read from Joshua 4.  The children of Israel had just crossed the Jordan River on dry ground after the Lord parted the waters for them (once again).  Once on the other side, the Lord told Joshua to collect 12 stone from the Jordan River to make a memorial.  Why?  “That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones?  Then ye shall answer them, That the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord; when it passed over Jordan,  the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever.”  Joshua 4:6-7

My husband went on to talk about how the church was their memorial for the community to share with their children what the Lord has done for them and the community.  He asked them where they saw the church in 5, 10, 20 years.  Will it still be here as a church?  Will they share the Gospel with their children and grandchildren, so the church will continue to be a memorial to their children?

All this got me thinking personally.  What am I leaving behind for my children?

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I came up with a list of a few things I want to work on to leave behind for my children…

  • My faith and trust in God.  I want to pursue Christ so passionately that my children will see that in my life, and desire it for their own.
  • Compassion for others.  I want my children to have a servant’s heart, and have a desire to help others and bring them to Christ.
  • Love of learning.  I want my children to love to learn, to explore, to not settle with mediocre, to always want to be better.
  • And lastly, but very important, to love the Lord with all their heart and soul and mind.  Because I believe that if they do this, everything else will fall into place.

 

I pray that as I work on mastering these areas in my life that I can pass them onto my children, my children’s children, and so on.

 

How about you?  What do you want to leave behind?  What do you want to be your memorial?