Homeschooling Experience by Jen
Jen is a friend on Twitter and blogs at Home is Where You Start From. She is helping me out by writing about her experience with Homeschooling. Thank you!
Falling into homeschool
We never planned to be the weird homeschooling family. We sort of fell into it, really. The year before we began to even think it, I had-in all sincerity, asked my sister-in-law, who had announced they were going to homeschool…if, -get ready for this…-if she wasn’t afraid of making her kids weird?
Fast forward a year. My husband was deep into schooling to change professions- and I suddenly realized that if accepted to graduate school, we-as starving students would not be able to afford the private schooling we had planned for our children.
We had a need, and, as happens-suddenly we were surrounded with the answer. We kept running into homeschooling magazines at the local bookstore, heard homeschooling talks on the radio…suddenly, homeschooling seemed to be everywhere.
The first step, if considering homeschooling- is research. Homeschool magazines are a great way to see “a day in the life,” read about planning, styles, and learn the technical “speak.” Blogs, too, can give you this peek.
The next step is to find a book on learning/teaching styles and philosophies. Next, look for real homeschool families and ask questions. If you do not know any, find a yahoo or google homeschool group for your area- they can be a great resource for park-days and learning opportunities. Your local state homeschool group will also be the place to find out about the laws in your area. Go there first because, unfortunately, many school districts see homeschooling as the enemy and will give incorrect information.
Learning-style or curriculum-focused message boards are also a wealth of information. Two of my favorites are The Well-Trained Mind Boards http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/ and the Sonlight Boards. https://www.sonlight-forums.com/ Go ahead and ask questions. We love to chat.
Your final step might be a homeschool convention. A great place to see the materials you have been reading about in person. A chance to hold it in your hands and decide if it would work for you. Conventions are also great encouragement- the feeling that we are not so alone- and reassuring to see the healthy/happy/normal kids and teens running around.
This is our 11th year homeschooling. I have 5 students now, my oldest is in high school. Just as all families are different, so are we- as homeschoolers. Our learning does not fit so easily into a neat label…I call myself an ‘eclectic’ homeschooler- I use bits of different methods to reach my kids. It’s been a wild ride…I don’t worry about my kids being weird. If you ask me about socialization, I might laugh or be patient with you, depending if you catch me off-guard or not.
We have a wonderfully busy, happy home-life. I couldn’t imagine life any other way. If you are considering homeschooling, come on in…it’s a good place to be.
Jenny Rehmann homeschools 5 kids in So. California. When not homeschooling, she reads, paints, and pretends to cook.
She blogs at www.homeiswhereyoustartfrom.com
Jen lists so many fabulous resources for homeschooling to explore if you are *thinking* about homeschooling. Readers, do you have any other resources?