Homeschooling – To The Galaxy and Beyond!

So you have decided to get started with homeschooling but unsure of how to start? I remember the first time I ever heard of the concept of homeschooling. I was helping in a church nursery, during my early college years, listening to moms talk about this strange sort of education. I remember hearing them talk about teaching their children to read, playing math games, reading “real” books, and taking field trips. Knowing that I wanted a houseful of children I decided to do some research. I spent several years reading everything about homeschooling and educating children that I could get my hands on. I spent time with homeschooling families, went on field trips, and simply gleaned from their conversations. I became completely convinced that home educating my children was for me.

So how does one begin with homeschooling?

  • First, you need to do your research. Make sure you know the laws of your state. See if homeschooling is right for you. Classical Conversations has a great comparison of omeschooling vs public school.

  • Second, find a good support system. By that, I mean other seasoned homeschooling moms. This is vital for your success because you will have plenty of naysayers. Join our forum to be connected with tons of new and experienced homeschooling mothers!

  • Thirdly, you will need to have your own homeschooling philosophy. Again, this is what will keep you focused during those rough days (and yes, you will have them).

What is a homeschool philosophy?

In a nutshell, it’s your ultimate goal for education and how you will obtain that goal. And this evolves over time. When we first began our educational journey I approached homeschooling with more of a traditional view as most new homeschool moms tend to do. That means it looked a lot like a traditional school. I even had cute little desks, we said the Pledge of Allegiance, and I lived in fear that my poor children were somehow missing something. (Seriously? Kyrsten was reading fluently at the age of 5 just by listening to me work with her sister). I often laugh at my beginning years. I am now enjoying taking the road less traveled and watching my children blossom.

Field trips make history come alive!

Now that you have established your homeschool here are 10 tips to make homeschooling easier:

  1. NEVER compare yourself to other homeschooling moms. God has given you special gifts and talents and He placed those specific children in your home “for such a time as this.”

  2. Don’t assume the way you want to learn is how your child wants to learn. Study learning styles and do what works for your child…even if that means slowing down to learn a concept.

  3. Don’t try to control everything. There will be days that are picturesque while other days you envision CPS knocking on the door and hauling all the kids away and at that point you will gladly let them. (hey, I never said this was going to be easy just worth it)

  4. Be organized, yet flexible. Don’t over-schedule!

  5. Allow your children to find their own passion. I am a firm believer that we need to teach the basics (reading, math, writing) and beyond that we should explore the world around us.

  6. Read aloud daily and read REAL books. (See my list of top rated books)

  7. Go outside! Sitting around a table doing school all day will make for a crabby crew. We take many trampoline and bike breaks. It wakes up the brain and allows me to throw in a load of laundry.

  8. Mentioning laundry, chores are a must. And some of you might want to reset your cleaning expectations. My theory: We are clean enough to be healthy yet dirty enough to be happy.

  9. Go on as many field trips as you can!. Children learn by doing, seeing, smelling, and using all their senses. Click here if you are looking for field trip ideas!

  10. One of the most important tips, Limit screen time.

Encourage your kids to go outside!

Our homeschooling philosophy has changed over time and even during various seasons of our life. But the foundation is the same. We truly believe homeschooling is so much more than academics, It’s touching the hearts of our children, leading them to their destiny and purpose. We believe each of our children is a gift from the Lord. Each has gifts and talents specifically God given for their purpose. It’s up to us to make sure they are strong in the basics….math, reading, writing, and even finances. After that, we love to read about history and explore all kinds of sciences. We want to ignite a love of learning in our children that will encourage them to be self-learners. I am learning to never begin our day without prayer and to always plan ahead. And most of all to give myself grace and take a deep breath.

There’s nothing I love more than to see my children engrossed in a good book.

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