5 Simple-ish Steps to Ask Yourself When Considering Homeschooling
You are super pumped your husband has decided to go along with your crazy idea of homeschooling your children, so now what?!? Or maybe you are a super type A and already know the ins and outs of curriculum, co-ops, legalities and now you just do not know where to start. I want to help with some simple steps to narrow down the information you NEED to make the right choice for you and your family. Then I will share why we chose to homeschool.
1. Start by asking other families you know who have chosen to homeschool. A major perk about social media, is the insane amount of ways to connect. Facebook is a great resource to find other co-ops, curriculum sale pages, and homeschool opportunities and activities!
2. Ask people you know that homeschool what curriculum they use, and if they are involved in a co-op and explore the positives or negatives of both. Ask if they have time to sit down and go over the basics with you. Getting your hands on curriculum will also help! This will give you a more narrow direction, or help you run in the opposite direction.
3. Talk with your child and study the best way your child learns (what makes he/she excited), and this will give you a good start on the type of curriculum you want to look into (Classical, Montessori, Charlotte Mason, Unit, Traditional, etc.).
4. Ask about informational meetings in town to learn more about your State Laws on homeschooling or find a convention where you can get good advice from speakers of all backgrounds. BUT, if you do choose to go to a convention, have a game plan! Do not go into it blindly or you will be overwhelmed!
If you live in Southwest Missouri, here are the best starting points!
5. Ask yourself why you want to homeschool, write it down and keep it somewhere handy. You will be pulling this out on the "off" days. Most importantly, keep it SIMPLE! Especially if they are just starting out in preschool or Kindergarten. They will learn through you, reading books together, taking walks outside..this I speak from experience. More on that experience another time. ;)
It might take a little bit of discipline, a lot of flexibility and even more prayer but know that your child WILL succeed and, know that your investment in your child is not in vain, keep on keeping on Mama (or Daddy)!
"For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." -Ephesians 2:10
God has prepared you to do this GREAT work of leading your children to be curious learners! Again, YOU have been PREPARED. (If that sounded like yelling it was only meant to be excited encouragement. ;)
Now as promised, here is how we arrived at our decision to homeschool.
When Jude turned 3 I started to think about what school would look like for him and how school would fit in with our family lifestyle. I knew that Josh was working hard on building his own business (in the background of working a full time job and several side projects) and our hope, as a family, would be to own a business where we could pick up and travel and not really have any ties. A life that we could build around our family. Sending Jude to public school just never really felt right, and when it really comes down to it, I truly felt like we were called to homeschool.
Whenever I would mention it to Josh, he never really gave it much thought because he would automatically think about the stereotypical homeschooler of 20 years ago (non-social, weird, lack of athletic opportunities just to name a few) and the conversation would end shortly after it started. After researching and trying to wrap my head around how I could even have the courage to homeschool, I had convinced Josh to go to an informational meeting with me in February 2014 and then I talked him into going to a full on convention just a couple months later (scary)! I held my breath the entire time and thought, there is no way he is really going to go along with this (who was I kidding, I was not sure if I could really follow through with it!) and then after we listened to several speakers and saw how much support and opportunity there was in our homeschooling community we had a pivitol conversation on the car ride home.
We discussed how fitting it seemed for our family, for the hopes of our future, and then he looked at me and said, "Why would we not homeschool?! This only makes sense!" And the heavens opened and the angels began to sing. Ok, not really, but it was a moment that was both exciting and terrifying at the same time. There have been a handful of times in our married lives where we have made a giant leap of faith, and I am positive that those leaps only worked out for our good because we were truly only trying to do what we knew God was calling us to do. Now it was up to me to get all my ducks in a row, so to speak, and figure out what curriculum would work best for Jude's Kenesthetic learning personality and how I would start our first year of homeschooling just a couple months before our 3rd child was due.
When I get asked why we chose to homeschool I tend to chose the most "politically correct" answer. And every time I can not help but feel a little guilty. Yes, it is true that we want a flexible family lifestyle. We want to pick up and go to the grand canyon, or go to national museums and monuments and learn in person because we do not have ties to a school or a job, but the real reason, is that this is what God has called us to do. I am assured of that over and over as He has aligned all the details that have followed.
It may not be the popular choice, or the easy choice ( I will share more of our day to day in another post), but this is where we are now. As much as I would like to say this is what God has for us for the entirety of our kids schooling, I can't. But I will continue to pray over them and their desire to learn, and cultivate the best environment possible for our kids to grown in their individual gifts and talents. I will continue to pray for discernment for my husband and myself because I have learned in the short 2 years that we have been homeschooling, I need wisdom and direction on a daily basis from the Lord.
In my heart of hearts, I feel that my kids are the biggest investment I can make here on earth and I know I will mess up a lot, but through grace, I can trust that they will get everything they need to succeed. And I am ok with continually being humbled.
There is so much information and directions to indulge when trying to figure out the world of homeschooling, so if I have missed something or you would like more information on something please comment below!