And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. Isaiah 54:13 KJV

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Homeschooling- What You Need to Know

There are so many things that don't make it into typical homeschool conversations. When you are first looking into the homeschool world you get overwhelmed by umbrella schools and curriculum choices and scheduling. There is often no time to talk about these little gems......

            *Homeschool can be expensive. It can also be very cheap but you have to work a little harder. While the costs can add up so can the cost of public school with fundraisers, projects, lunches, special programs, field trips, etc. When prepping for homeschool you need to count costs for your umbrella school (if you use one), co-op fees (again if you use one), supplies, lunches and snacks (this won't be a change if you've been staying at home with your child all along), curriculum, etc. The best resources include the library, any free community field trips, and finding used curriculum (my favorite place is

             *Folks are going to give you lip. You will be amazed at the insensitive, judgemental, crazy things people say when they learn you homeschool. Everyone is going to have an opinion. Most of those negative opinions are going to include something about "socialization." Feel free to roll your eyes and walk away.

             *Your housework, cooking, and personal hobbies (whether it's watching tv, quilting, or doing crossword puzzles) are going to take a hit. There isn't going to be a lot of time to accomplish those things. Your best bet is a well planned schedule but be aware that there are days when Suzy and Johnny take ALLLLLL DAYYYYYY to do their assignments. It happens to all of us. On those days the house will be a mess and your husband will need to hit the drive thru on the way home from work. You're gonna want to go ahead and put some drive thru trips in that budget.

             *What works so well for one child will most certainly not work for your other child/ children. I was so excited when I found curriculum that worked for Apple and I tucked it all away neatly and nicely for Speedy. Ahem. While several things (Hooked on Phonics, Math U See) have worked for both just as many have not. They are different. They learn in unique ways. Just sell what doesn't work and try something new.

              *You're going to be learning alongside your child. Never worry that you don't know enough about a subject. You can learn or re-learn with them. Truly.

              *It really isn't about all the memorization and timelines and facts. It is all about the character that you are building into your child. You need to teach them responsibility, respect for others, and morals. That's your job homeschool Mom! Teach it well. The multiplication facts and history and science will all come over time but focus on that character first.

             *And what I'm realizing more this year is that with the character we are really, really teaching our kids HOW TO LEARN. I know that's epic. It's a big homeschool secret. Shhhh! A good man (whom we miss so much) pointedly told me a story when Apple was a baby. The point of his story was that you teach your kids their morals and characters before they are 5. After that it's tougher to teach them a whole new behavioral concept. Boy do I see how right he was! So now that both of mine are over 5 my job is to help refine their character (because the foundation is already set) and teach them how to learn. They need to know how to go to the library to find books for research, how to find a how-to video (made so much easier by YouTube with my supervision, how to find a real, live person to teach them a skill (Mawmaw recently taught Apple to crochet), and how to go on-line or look at a dictionary or encyclopedia for more information. We need to teach them how to memorize Bible verses and addition facts. We teach them how to form opinions on debates. This is the other big part of our jobs homeschool moms! Don't worry about teaching them every single fact in every single subject before they turn 18. Just make sure you teach them how to find out those facts if they need them.

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