Some Practical Advice for New Homeschoolers
of homeschooling your children may seem quite overwhelming at first.
There are so many questions going through your head. Where do I get
curriculum, what curriculum should I use, can I really do this, and
of course what about socialization? Let me put your mind at ease.
It's not as difficult as it looks.
have fun. The reason you are homeschooling is to enjoy the time spent
with your children and to learn together. Here is something you might
want to think about. In the typical school, one teacher spends 6-7
hours teaching 20 children. This is equivalent to one on one tutoring
for 1-2 hours a day. Learning is a lot easier in a relaxed atmosphere
with this type of one on one attention.
to people you know who already homeschool their children. They will
have plenty of good advice to get you started. If you don't know any
homeschoolers then try to find a homeschool support group in your
area. You will find listings of state homeschool web sites on our
State Homeschool Support Information
page. Many churches also have organized homeschool support groups.
Check around and see what you can find.
Next you should
find out about the homeschooling laws in your state. Different states
have different requirements. Some states have testing requirements.
Some have specific curriculum requirements. State support groups generally
have a summary of their state laws. Check the listings on our State
Homeschool Support Information page or ask a local support group.
choose which curriculum to use may seem like a monumental task, but
it doesn't have to be. This is a great time to get input from other
a few things to consider when choosing curriculum. You might choose
to use one of the major home school curriculum suppliers such as
those listed in our curriculum area
at our Resource Center.
With these all-in-one providers you can buy complete curriculum for
all of your subjects at once. You might choose the unit study approach
which teaches all subjects from one central theme. An example of
this approach is learning about the solar system and teaching math,
English, history, etc. while exploring that theme. You can choose
a company such as Alpha-Omega that uses a work-book approach. Or
you may even choose one of the computer based curriculums. Lastly,
there is the mix and match approach. Choose whatever works best
for you and your children. And don't worry. You can always modify
it for your family or change it completely if the approach you have
chosen isn't working.
When you choose
a type of curriculum, try to find one that fits your child's learning
style. At the bottom of this page are a list
of links to help you discover your child's learning style and
the different teaching methods you may choose for your homeschooling
Basic curriculum types:
- CD-ROM - computer based
- Unit Studies - learning all disciplines while studying one
- Literature Based learning
- Eclectic - mix & match
- Unschooling - unstructured learning through living
What About Socialization?
it! The whole point is to carefully choose your child's social interaction.
Socialization does indeed affect your children. Choose wisely those
influences you want in their lives. The truth is, your children will
get plenty of socialization from the neighborhood kids, church
groups, and other outside activities. Beware! Don't
spread yourself too thin. Try to keep outside activities to a minimum,
they can really add stress to your life. Concentrate on your family
learning together and having fun! Here are a few interesting links
concerning socialization. Read our article Homeschoolers
I Have Small Children!
If you are
homeschooling one or more older children while you have toddlers or
babies, there are a variety of things you can do. If you have a toddler
and a baby, maybe they can play together while you teach. A baby needs
to learn to play by themselves for short periods. You can also use
the time while they are napping to teach your other children. Toddlers
like to participate. Let them color in the same room while you teach
the older ones. You will be surprised at the things they will pick
up just being in the room. Then let them go play when their attention
span is gone. You may want to check out our preschoolers
page for more ideas.
Areas of Learning
Here is a
general list of areas of learning that you want to incorporate into
your homeschool. Many of these things can be taught not only through
materials but just as a part of daily life. Homeschooling is a learning
lifestyle not just an activity. Learn to incorporate learning into
your daily life while you're walking, driving in the car, making dinner.
Use reports, letters, and games to enhance their learning experience.
- Math - (adding in the grocery store, measuring making meals,
- Science - (learning about plants, animals, how things work
- History - (where did I come from, countries, cities, creation,
- English - (writing, grammar, spelling, speaking, penmanship,
- Physical Education - (play, sports, games)
- Social Studies - (our government, map skills, geography [vacations],
where do I live, other cultures)
- Bible - (character studies, bible reading, devotions)
- Arts - (drawing, painting, music, dance, drama)
- Social Skills - (interacting with adults, manners, unselfishness
a learning experience! And don't forget that cleaning is a part of
their learning experience. Make it part of your school day. It teaches
your children discipline, organization, home economics, and character.
We use a chart with a list of chores that rotates every day.
Would you like
to know what your child needs to learn in each grade? World Book
Encyclopedia has a great online listing for each grade level.
Visit their Typical
Course of Study page and choose your grade level.
Learning is a lot easier in a relaxed atmosphere with this type of one on one attention. In fact, learning from home works so well for people, there are many universities and colleges that now offers online degrees so people can have that individualized education.
Find And Use Resources
- Use online resources such as ours. You can research any topic
and find great information online.
- Involve your spouse. Let them add their knowledge on evenings
- Use your local library. Become a regular.
- Special classes are available at recreation centers, YMCA's, local
colleges, and homeschool groups.
- Used curriculum sales are a great way to find excellent materials
as well as find out what people think of them. You can usually find
out about sales in your area from local homeschool groups. We also
have some used curriculum sites listed in the Homeschool
you've got to have fun. There will be times when you will feel frustrated
and under stress, but don't worry. Be adaptable. Remember, homeschooling
should be learning at home, not taking school into your home. Relax
and enjoy your children.