Taking on the education of your children is a daunting task, and most of us need simple baby steps to get started. Here are a few that have worked for me and other homeschooling families.
1. Just forget trying to duplicate a classroom environment, schedule and curriculum in your home. There’s nothing sacred about sitting at desks, having set amounts of time per subject, or using only textbooks. In fact, until my daughter was 11 years old, she didn’t even know what a textbook was!
2. Ignore the strawman argument about homeschooled kids not being socialized. I challenge the assumption that putting 20-30 kids, all the same age, in a room for nine months is the best method for teaching empathy, self-control, patience, generosity, and other desirable traits. Often, it achieves just the opposite.
3. Ultimately, your role will be as a facilitator to your child’s learning. There’s no need to lecture, and very often you’ll find yourself learning something new right alongside your child.
4. Connect with other homeschooling families.
5. Once you get inside the homeschooling ‘inner circle’, you’ll be AMAZED at the resources available to you! Here in the Phoenix area we have access to special homeschooling classes at our Science Center. We get incredibly low rates to virtually every cultural event in town, including the ballet, opera, and museum tours. You’ll find local homeschooling email loops, forums, and more! Jump in and enjoy!
6. Try to attend a homeschool conference if possible. You’ll have the chance to inspect a multitude of curriculum, listen to inspiring speakers, and network with others.
7. Don’t assume that you’ll always use the same curriculum or belong to the same homeschooling group. You’ll be surprised at how your educational philosophy evolves and how one group or activity turns out to not be the best for your family after all. Just roll with it.