Tuesday, January 22, 2013

New Beginnings

I've made many new friends over the past couple of days who are all in various seasons of the homeschool life.  Since I'm no longer a novice, I can relay some knowledge to the newbies based on my experiences so far. 

Sometimes the hardest part of homeschooling is the actual decision to do so. You bombard yourself with questions, doubts, pros and cons, not to mention the feedback you receive from others about your decision. There is a reason you are considering homeschool. Identify that reason. It may be obvious, it may be parent's intuition that something needs to change. Whatever your reason(s), know that you are not alone, ever. I've compiled a list of ideas to get you started.
  • Go to hslda.org for a list of homeschool laws by state. Don't panic if your state has a lot of regulations, you have the support and experience of other homeschoolers! Start a folder, file or binder, and print the laws for future reference. Make note of any questions you have. Once you know the laws and get your questions answered, you will know how to proceed.
  • Know what to expect.  You cannot possibly anticipate everything you will run into, but some common things are:
    • A variety of opinions
    • Feeling overwhelmed or unqualified (You ARE qualified!)
    • A messy house
    • Children who are happy and cooperative
    • Children who are grumpy and uncooperative
    • Learning opportunities everywhere
    • Good days
    • Bad days
    • A wealth of information
    • Closer relationships with your children
    • To be organized
    • To be unorganized
  • Start and keep a journal. This is an invaluable tool. See my post “Dear Diary” for ideas and information on getting started in journalling.
  • Create a learning environment. Sound tough? It's not. Look around at what your children have at their disposal:
    •  Books
    • Writing/coloring/drawing materials
    • Art supplies
    • The outdoors
    • The kitchen
    • Household responsibilities
    • Pets
    • Daily life
    • YOU
    • The unexpected
    • Conversations 
    • Relatives, elders, friends
    • Library, museums, art galleries
    • Cameras, computer and other devices
Just start at the beginning and take it one step at a time.  Remember there are answers to your questions and plenty of support.  Feel free to add comments, questions, more ideas and resources!

Happy Homeschooling!
Mrs. Redd

Kindergarten, First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth, Homeschooler - TeachersPayTeachers.com

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