Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I want to homeschool

I love it when I hear friends, total strangers etc say that;0) Many follow that statement with I don't think I have the patience or the qualifications! My answer to the first is neither do I and the 2nd is who taught them until they entered Kindergarten? I am betting it was you the parent so why did you have to stop being their teacher just because they entered a school setting.

I personally believe there is nothing better. That being said and knowing what I know of the benefits this 2nd round I actually paused pulling them because I was starting business all over again in MT. Funny thing is they have helped and not been a burden or hindrance:0) In fact Kelda has asked to start training to take photos at weddings with me. It is a possibility as she will be 15 this year. The kids had an awesome experience in Colorado schools. I can't say the same in Wyoming and Montana. To no fault of Inger's 3rd grade teacher in WY whom she did love she decided she didn't want to be the only of the 3 kids in public shool.

Anyhow I thought I would put together information to help those that are just starting to get going.

Seriously it isn't that hard!! Maybe it is because I was homeschooled, homeschooled my kids in the beginning before public school and now that my husband is more relaxed in how and what they learn it makes my job 10 times easier in teaching....er rather the kids teach me. Its fun playing dumb sometimes and them ask "did you know"...lol. Not another feeling like it in the world.

1.Once you have a bit of experience, it is very possible to put together your own curriculum cheaply from the library and the Internet. It doesn't have to be expensive. I have picked up many old used books from the thrift store check around you will be amazed. Honestly I found old school books very informative...those from the 80's seem to have more valuable informational content than the newer ones.

2. Check your state laws and don't let the school district bully you. It is LEGAL in all 50 states to homeschool, but the laws differ from state to state....so KNOW your rights before going in. for MT: http://www.hslda.org/laws/analysis/Montana.pdf outside of MT just go to www.hslda.org and look for your state.

Personally my kids learn year round we really don't have set time of year just because of the season. Sometimes for us those times aren't good times, or life happens and you have to drop everything. So we go with the flow and we must be doing something right as Kelda is 8th grade testing at a 9th grade level in most things. We make hikes a learning adventure.

You can schedule your day if that is the type of person you are, but over time I have learned to let that go and find my kids are learning more by not pushing or forcing things. Kelda shocked me yesterday I woke to a 2.5 page book report, neatly written on the book Hamlet. I told her when she got it I wanted book report written and she did so w/in the week so she could read another book of interest.

Children LOVE to learn...It is as natural to them as breathing. They have an inborn hunger to explore the world and examine what is interesting. The phrase they are sponges is true!! They learn by following their interests, with one interest leading to another.

4. It doesn't take 6-8hours to do school. Make a schedule and plan to scratch thru it many many MANY times!! lol. I am not joking. Think about those hours they spend at a public school...they spend how much time in line, recess, changing classes, waiting for the class chatter to calm and well you know the list....they aren't learning that whole time so why waste an entire day in school??

5. Just because you homeschool it doesn't mean your child will be a misfit. I remember learning just how many friends I truly had after my parents decided to homeschool...I suddenly had some kind of plague or something. Homeschooling seems to be more acceptable today then back then. BESIDES who would you rather your child learn social skills from....peers that are seriously lacking OR the majority of adults with common sense and that can send a good example.

You will question yourself a lot. Maybe several times a day in the beginning. NORMAL don't worry. Find a fellow homeschooling friend, search online for homeschool support groups etc. Support each other. Tell each other that it's okay to sometimes feel that your children didn't seem to learn anything on a given day. They did, and so did you!

7. I can't stress enough...
Trust in your child. They learned how to love, smile, crawl, walk, talk, run, dress themselves, and understand their world before starting school, and they will continue to grow and learn without school.

8. MY FAVORITE site http://homeschooling.gomilpitas.com/ Ann is a wealth of information and a great lady. There are even weekly chats that are set up via her yahoo group. I suggest you sign up for her yahoo email group for support, ask your questions ect. Very helpful group.

Questions and statements that I have heard over the years and you most likely will too:

What about socialization? Inger said it best to a girl she met in the park when asked how do you socialize...Inger looked at her quiet questioningly and said what do you mean what exactly are we doing right now?? WTG that's my girl!!

How do they graduate? You sign that Diploma when you think they have completed necessary studies to succeed in college. If a college is picked out make sure you have met their guidelines to get accepted.

I Just really don't get the whole lesson planning thing. How long do you teach a lesson for? Is it day to day, week to week, month to month. I am nervous about messing them up academically speaking! (LOL the government ruled schools are already doing this sorry to break the news to ya) RELAX don't make it harder than it has to be...was it hard teaching them to talk, say their abcs, their colors and shapes....not really so relax. Like I said before let them go, find what interests them and that will lead to something more exciting for further education.

Ok so are we clear....
Learning is a lot easier in a relaxed atmosphere with this type of one on one attention....so RELAX and most importantly...have fun:0)

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