Since putting together a plan of action for this lovely woman, I thought, “Wouldn’t it be nice if we just had a blog post about getting started?” Then I realized we probably do… but the neat thing about blogging is that there are different approaches to every subject. Here is mine….
Getting Started Home Schooling… Ten Steps to Success
1. First, and foremost, pray about it, and be ready to listen to God’s answer (His answers always line up with His Word).
2. Is your husband on board? If not, pray about that, too. If he remains completely opposed to it, I wouldn’t do it. But with prayer and careful consideration on your part about approaching him, you may be able to gently persuade him (think Esther here).
3. Now that you have your answer and your husband is in agreement, check your local reporting laws, and write any deadlines on your calendar. HSLDA.org is a great resource for home school law. You can also become a member for a nominal fee, and they will come to your aid should you have any trouble with local school authorities regarding home schooling.
4. Join up with a local home school group that fits your families needs. Do you want mainly fellowship and field trips? Or more of a co-op for academics? Just search for “home school groups in…” on the internet. Better yet, talk to a home schooling acquaintance.
5. Choose a curriculum. There are several learning styles, many types of home schooling, and hundreds of choices for curricula. It can be overwhelming! Again, talk to a home schooling friend, and check out this website: thecurriculumchoice.com. I also love the book A Field Guide to Home Schooling by Christine Field.
6. Address any behavior problems with your children before you begin. Basically, I mean respect. If you cannot get your children to listen to you and do what you say, how are you going to teach them? It’s never too early to begin that training.
7. I strongly suggest you get your home in order before the school year begins. Best website for housekeeping? flylady.net. By following the Flylady’s “babysteps,” you will have your house organized and reasonably clean in no time! If you prefer a book to a website, I love Emilie Barnes’ More Hours in My Day.
8. Choose a place to “do school.” I’ve done it many ways. In one house, at the dining room table, with books and supplies in a nearby cupboard. At the end of the school day, we took five minutes to pick up and put away our things, turning the room back into a place to eat. In another house, I had a whole room for school, complete with a teacher’s desk and bulletin board. These days, I’m somewhere in-between. We have a combination school room / guest room. The girls have attractive, lightweight desks (hand-crafted by Dad) that can be easily moved into the dining room or living room should Grandma come and stay for a few weeks. Each girl decorates her desktop as she wishes, with pictures, flowers, stuffed animals, etc. They each have a pen/pencil cup and a little basket for supplies such as a calculator or protractor.
9. Begin each day with prayer. Maybe together, maybe just you desperately praying for grace and wisdom in your closet before you start the day! You’ll never make it successfully without putting God before your day. I know this from experience!
10. Make a plan… a flexible plan. I plan the girls’ lessons one or two weeks in advance, no more. Things always change and we get behind or ahead, and the plans need to be adjusted. Make the plans in pencil… and keep an eraser nearby.
Seasoned home schoolers, what would you add to this list?
~by Kim, The Daisy Muse