“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.)

A Homeschool Journey

Homeschooling is a journey.   Some do it for a short time and some, like me, are in it for the long haul.  We have felt this journey is what the Lord wants for our family, so until He tells us otherwise, we will continue to teach and train our children at home.   I treasure these days, I know they will not last forever.  Before I know it, they will be grown and have lives of their own.  Homeschooling has become my identity over the last 11 years.  It’s who I am.  I am a homeschool mum.

Now don’t get me wrong, homeschooling is not all rainbows and sprinkles.  There are hard days.  For example, have you tried teaching Algebra to a 14 year old who despises math?  It’s not an easy task.  It’s not always a peaceful ending.  But this is my task at hand, and I persevere to the end of the school day (I may then run and hide in my room for a break, but that’s okay!).   I heard a quote once and I remind myself of it often…

The days are long, but the years are short.”

 

For some of you, this is a new journey.  Congratulations!  Your kids will never look back one day and say, “My parents spent way too much time with me.”  Enjoy the days, even the long ones with algebraic expressions that go on and on.  Savour the successes like your child reading their first words or finally understanding the difference between adjectives and adverbs.  Homeschooling can be a hard road, but I’m firmly convinced it is what you make of it.  Make the days fun and exciting.  Take breaks.  Go for walks.  Stop and smell the roses.  Enjoy your children.

Enjoy your homeschool journey!