Thinking About Homeschooling

Thursday , 10, January 2013 9 Comments

To homeschool or not to homeschool??  That is the question that has been on my mind lately.  So, I thought I would blog about it in the hopes that some of you have experience in this area.  Thinking back I have considered homeschooling an option since my oldest was starting school, but until this point in time we have gone the “traditional” route of private and public school.

You may wonder why we are considering homeschooling since we’ve had a positive school experience so far and the short answer is that we would like more of certain things in our children’s education and less of others.  I know that is a vague answer but I’ll save the long answer for another post.  And I think the biggest reason is that the thought of homeschooling has never left my mind, so I think it’s time to start listening more closely to my motherly instincts.

I have just begun to research homeschool regulations at the Georgia Department of Education website and the Georgia General Assembly website to find out the law concerning homeschooling.  Next will be the research about curriculum and how to implement a productive homeschool in our household.

Today I would love to hear from any moms who are or have homeschooled your children.  What works or doesn’t work for your family?  Do you have a favorite website/resource that you could share?  Any words of wisdom for a parent new to homeschooling?

I look forward to hearing about your experiences and sharing ours as we decide if homeschooling is right for our family!

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  • Julie says:

    I don’t homeschool, but I’ve read a TON on the topic. Two things I’d recommend:

    1) The Well Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer. It’s pretty much a how-to guide, including recommendations for curriculum for every grade.

    2)…the author of that blog homeschools, and has written a ton on the subject.

    I’d love to do it but don’t feel like it’s right for us at the time…but we do a lot of “homeschool-y” things in addition to Big Sister’s public school kindergarten.

    Good luck in whatever you decide!!

    • Wendy says:

      Thanks for the book and blog recommendation, I will definitely check them out! That’s great that you’ve done a lot of reading on the topic, and I think you would be a natural at homeschooling if/when it works for you guys!

  • Stephanie says:

    We’ve homeschooled for the past seven years (oldest is in 6th grade — siblings are 8, 5, and 2). I never intended on doing it, but went to “Kindergarten round up” and didn’t have a peace in my heart about what we were doing with our daughter. A friend (who was homeschooling) encouraged us to think and pray about homeschooling. Since the beginning for us, it’s always been a kid by kid, year by year decision for us. So far it’s been every year and every kid. I’m not going to lie. There are hard days. There are days I want the yellow bus to pick up my children and go do something I want to do like many other moms do. BUT, the days where I see my oldest child reading and cuddling her little brother in the middle of the morning (when she’d normally be in Middle School), or my middle kids creating a world with Playmobil, Pet Shops, Geotrax, and Polly Pockets, or the days where Grandma and Grandpa come visit from out of state (when it would be a regular school day for three of them) and instead they do something fun with them . . . it makes it worth it. I’m not going to lie. I have days where I think I can’t do it. I have days where I think, “Am I teaching them enough?” But, then I get with other like minded homeschoolers, get encouragement on what they’ve done and I get past another day, another semester, another year.

    Today there are so many curriculums to chose from it will make your head spin. I would suggest getting to know some homeschooling families and see what they use (and if they like it). You’ll probably start with something and end with something else. That’s natural until you find our your child’s learning style (and what you can realistically do as a mom).

    You can do it. Alot people think and tell me, “I could never do that.” (and on my own without the Lord’s help in my life, I can’t!) It’s not easy, but for our family, it’s what’s best for us. Best wishes as you make your decision!

    • Wendy says:

      Stephanie, I think you’ve read my mind!! Lately I find myself in situations with my kids and I can’t help but think how it would be different if we were homeschooling. I know there will be difficult days where I doubt myself and probably everything else, but like you, I want to expand the time we have as a family because that time will quickly be over. Thank you!

  • Jen Ray says:

    We’ve been homeschooling for almost 5 years now. It can be tough but it is so rewarding! We’ve tried a ton of different curriculum options but we prefer to buy used public school textbooks (which I can usually get for $5 each!). My kids are learning the exact same thing they would be learning in public school except I am there to guide them through some of the tough moral issues that come up, and we always have more than enough time to hit up other things like our Bible study and real world skills. If you have any questions feel free to email me and I’ll answer any questions:)

    • Wendy says:

      Getting used text books is a great idea! And I love that you are the one taking your kids through the issues that arise. That resonates with the feeling that I’ve had lately that we are the ones responsible for raising our kids so why are we shipping them off for 6 hours a day to be taught by someone else? I would love to talk with you and will be in touch!

  • Jamie says:

    Hi Wendy, as you know I am only starting out as a Home Schooling Mom because my children are still very young. I do not know the ins and outs of any particular curriculum at this point. I currently take bits and pieces from many different resources to use in my learning plans.

    I was home schooled myself for many years. I also went to public schools, as well as a Montessori school for a while. When my mother home schooled my siblings and I, she used Bob Jones curriculum. Bob Jones is a very good curriculum, but not always the most inexpensive route to go. A good thing about home schooling is that you are not limited when it comes to tools that you can use for your children’s education, you are the teacher, you make the learning plan! Granted there are ups and downs in home schooling just like in public schooling, the good thing however, is that there are a lot more individual paths to take for each child in home schooling.

    Home Schooling, I believe, gives the child more opportunity in a lot of areas, you could say it’s a custom education. My philosophy is that every day is a learning experience, as soon as a child wakes up they are learning and learning should always be fun. I believe children need inspiration, if one of my children’s interest is spiked by something they see, hear, touch, taste or smell, we roll with that and we have fun. My daughter loves bugs, lizards, fish, etc! Whenever I see her interest spiked we learn everything about what she’s interested in. We also have our regular learning plans.The most important things are laid out first, such as reading, writing and math. As a home schooled mother I believe I am more in tune with each of my child’s learning needs and there is a lot less burn out, this I can say from experience! We are not limited, we can take field trips at any time, we are continuously doing fun experiments and we can even do math with hot-wheels cars (and we totally do).

    There are many things that public school doesn’t provide that home schooling can, just one example would be with finances and wise ways to spend money! Being money savvy alone will help a child tremendously in their adult life, this is one subject I focus quite a bit on. We count money, we go to the bank, we learn about the history of money. Keep in mind my kids are still very small, so it’s not like I’m teaching them how to invest in mutual funds, lol, yet!

    One of the common misconceptions about Home Schooling is that the children have little to no social interaction, this is just simply not the case unless you intend on them not having any social interaction! There are so many ways in which home schooled children receive social interaction, the park, play dates, field trips, sports, getting involved with the local community, and other extracurricular actives and that is just to name a few. There are even things like the Eagles Nest which is a group of home schooling families that provide one or two classes a week. Keep in mind though that the Eagles Nest requires a fee, however, they do have some neat things like a home school prom. One big difference with a home schooled child’s social interaction is that they have more opportunity to interact with children from different age ranges as well as more adults rather than mostly interacting with a group of children very close to their own age. I think this is an important aspect to recognize because in the real world, you are never only in a group of people your own age, you have to learn to communicate with all different ages and types of people. Also, the individual attention children need is always available in a very comfortable and open learning environment.

    I believe strongly that children need to play, I think playing gives them character, confidence, and a sense of self-worth. Children learn so much just from playing because the child is free to make their own decisions. When home schooled, play time is up to the teacher and you may find that some days children need more play time than others. In public school a different play time or more play time isn’t an option, the rules are set and there is little to no improvisation.

    I personally remember learning from public school that failure was bad and mistakes were bad and that they should be avoided at all costs. In home schooling I was taught the opposite, I was taught rather to embrace failure and mistakes because they were a normal part of life and thus I learned a lot more about myself as an individual and gained a lot of confidence because of it. In home schooling, if you miss something you can pick it up later, if you need to add something or cut something out, you can easily accomplish that. Just like life, you and your children learn to improvise and improvisation is acceptable. In many ways I can say that home schooling taught me a great deal of responsibility.

    Public school isn’t always a bad choice, many people benefit from it and sometimes it is the best choice for them, however, if you feel that your children would benefit more by you home schooling, at least give it a try. Once you get the hang of it, it’s pretty spectacular and you might just love it! BWT, Jen Ray is a friend of mine she knows her stuff!

    • Wendy says:

      Thanks Jamie, for your words of wisdom! I like the idea of customizing a child’s learning experience. Based on what I’ve seen with my oldest I’m concerned he will end up losing his natural curiosity and willingness to learn because you have to go with the crowd in public school. While that can be good in some aspects, it does concern me. Thanks for responding, it’s good to hear from someone who has a varied educational background! (We’ll talk more soon!)

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