My Excitement About Homeschooling

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Homeschool Blogging Carnival hosted by Lisa at The Squishable Baby and Keisha at Unschooling Momma. This month our participants are talking about what they wish someone told them when they started homeschooling.

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My kids

When my first was born, I never considered homeschooling.  You know, some people know that they are going to homeschool – it’s just want they will do.  Me?  I thought my kids would go to public school as both my husband and I went to public school, and that’s what everybody around me does.

The kids turn five – they go to public school.  No thinking about it – it is what happens.  It’s the progression of life.

When my son was about 4, it became obvious that public school wasn’t going to work.  It was a feeling.  I knew it wasn’t the right place to foster the learning and growing that I wanted for my kids.  At that time, I didn’t know any homeschoolers.  In fact, I didn’t know anyone who was homeschooled – ever.  We looked into private schools – and at $20,000+ per year – not an option.

We started kindergarten in a local Sudbury school.  By mid-year, it was completely obvious that this method wasn’t going to work for us.  I live with an Analytical Chemist for peets sakes.  He was bothered by the fact that he wasn’t learning the “traditional” subjects (reading, writing and arithmetic).  I, of course was all about it – initially.  I loved the philosophy that children will learn in their own time, and life lessons are more important than traditional schooling – as they would learn what they needed to know along the way.  My husband was skeptical and worried that he would never learn how to read – he wouldn’t be able to get into a great college – he wouldn’t ever be able to hold down a job – and would be doomed to a life with mediocre opportunities.

Melodramatic, isn’t he?

In the end, I had to agree with my husband on one point – the school or method wasn’t for us.  We are more traditional schoolers.  We need structure.

We need a workbook – for goodness sakes.

Haha!

It just wasn’t the right choice for our family.

So, there began our adventure.  Boy do I wish I knew someone who would have told me about the muti-faceted world that “is” homeschooling.  It’s everything you could ever imagine – and I think that’s what makes it so special.  This is what makes the children so unique.  The possibilities are limitless.   You can literally go in any possible direction imaginable to the human brain.

WOW!  even after 3 years of homeschooling, it boggles my mind.

I could see the pluses and minuses of many methods.  I took – what I thought were the good parts of many different methods, and created the Lisa Nelson method of schooling.

Haha!

The first year was tough.  Not only do you have to get into a rhythm, but it’s hard to wade through the possibilities – that I really didn’t know existed.  Since we had just stopped the school – and I jumped in with both feet- we were not joined up with a co-op – so had to wade the waters completely alone.

I didn’t do too badly though.  In 4 months, my son was reading and writing.

When I joined the co-op, things became more fluid, and I got into the homeschooling grove.

And it’s amazing!

 

If I were talking to someone who is thinking about homeschooling I would advise them to do the following…

1.  Figure out what you would like to accomplish.  What’s the end goal for your child?  Is it Williams?  Is it community College?  Do you care if your son/daughter goes to college at all?  Do you care what kind of job he/she holds.  Do you care about accomplishments, titles, etc?  Do you care about structure?  Do you care about workbooks?

These are important questions in order to determine how you will school or unschool your child.  There is not one way to effectively teach a child.  But, you must be comfortable and confident with your choices.

 

2.  What are your personal beliefs and what beliefs or non-beliefs do you want to instill into your children?

This is important if you want a religious or non-religious program

 

3.  Read…read…read…I would advise them to read more than about the traditional homeschooling methods (Waldorf, Montessori, etc).  I would invite them to read about how to effectively and gently get the best out of your children.

This is what it’s all about.    It’s important to know how to foster interests, nurture their talents, and help them to grow in amazing ways!  This piece right here – is what makes schooling your children so amazing.  What the bureaucrats don’t get, is that there is more than one way to teach a child.  There is every way.  To fully reach a child, you must know him/her, know how they learn best and put all of your energies into teaching them in that way.

Sitting at a desk for hours, reading the same stuff, doing the same work – doesn’t work for everybody – or anybody.

This is why kids are so restless at school.  It’s not ADD, or whatever other acronyms people throw out on a daily basis – it’s that they are not reaching the kids.  They are not teaching them the way they need to be taught.

HRUMPF.

Anyway…

 

4.  Join a co-op so that they have other parents around them – doing the same thing they hope to accomplish.  So they have someone to bounce ideas around.  It’s important to have someone who travels the same roads as you.  While there will be twists and turns, they will not be so difficult to transverse.

 

5.  Be flexible.  Year to year, your homeschool will change and evolve.  Your reasons for homeschooling will change and evolve.  But, it’s a wonderful, dynamic, rewarding, loving, spiritual, and amazing road – that you and your children will travel together!
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Visit The Squishable Baby to see how you can participate in the next Homeschool Blogging Carnival.

 

Please take the time to read the submissions by other Carnival participants:

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Lisa
<muscle-up-meals
About Lisa

Hey! Thank you so much for stopping by. I'm Lisa - a homeschool mom of 3 (2 boys and 1 girl). I care about the strength of the family in America, and often blog about babies/kids, natural parenting, homeschool, and marriage. Before you leave, please sign up for my monthly newsletter (on the top right). If you do, you will be well rewarded with notification of all giveaways and sales - which will not be announced on the blog. Google+ Profile

Comments

  1. Lisa this is some great advice! Especially the part about how your homeschool will change through the years, sometimes we fight that change but we need to remember that where our family is this year is a different season than when where we are this year! Thanks for putting together this carnival. I love seeing pics of all your kids, can’t get enough of the little princess! Oh, and my son decided to stay homeschooled this year! Great news for me while I was accepting the fact I may have to let him move on he totally 360ed on me! He was studying to make sure he felt like he could pass the test to get in the local public high school and then decided that the real reason he wanted to go was because he didn’t feel motivated. ( I am not pushy, gets done or not, he knows his education is his) Anyway, he found the motivation inside himself and decided he could set his own agenda, goals, etc. which is what he needed!
    Keisha recently posted…10 Things I wish Someone Would Have Told Me When I Started HomeschoolingMy Profile

    • Hey Keisha,

      Good to see you here!

      It’s funny how your homeschool will change and develop, isn’t it? You learn more, your children grow, you grow.

      Your comment made me do a double take! I am thrilled! Your comment made me think of a boy we met while in our Sudbury stage. After school one day, he was in a mood. You know, “the mood”? Anyway his mother kept asking him what’s wrong…what’s wrong. Finally, he said “MOm, I need for you to just stop. I need to work through this on my own. If I need your help, i will ask you.”

      Sounds a bit like your boy. I am so glad that he worked through it and came up with a solution – and told you. That’s what it’s all about Keisha. This is why you have worked so hard. Not every boy or girl can identify these types of things for themselves.

      You are an amazing Mom and you have done an amazing thing for your son – and all of your kids!

      Good for him and good for you!
      Lisa recently posted…My Excitement About HomeschoolingMy Profile

  2. First let me say that you have a beautiful family! (:)

    What a great post! I wish you were around when I first thought of homeschooling. You touched upon so many wonderful topics that should be considered. I too was all alone for about the first year and a half before I met someone with insight into educating children at home, and what a blessing that was. You say, “it’s hard to wade through the possibilities”. This is “the now factor” for me. However, when I started homeschooling I only knew of two curriculum; Abeka and Alpha Omega. Those were the days.
    Tati recently posted…Why I Started Homeschooling Our ChildrenMy Profile

    • Haha! Tati, you knew more about it then I did. I didn’t even know Abeka and Alpha Omega.

      You know, I was wowed when I first walked into the curriculum fair. I was like – WOW. Look at all this. How does one choose? (sounds like a good carnival topic).

      Thanks for the compliment. Yes, i wish others were around as well. It’s so much easier to not invent the wheel, you know?

      Thanks so much for stopping by! I am so glad to have met you!
      Lisa recently posted…My Excitement About HomeschoolingMy Profile

  3. Great collage!
    What do you think about the Charlotte Mason method? I like that sound of “living books”.
    Ann recently posted…DappleMy Profile

    • Hey Ann,

      Thank you!

      In my opinion, the Charlotte Mason Method is a bout the best method. For me, the Trivium was difficult to understand initially. I didn’t get it. I also didn’t get the benefit of kids memorizing facts that they didn’t understand. It was random and weird.

      However, now I see it. It’s a really great method. I had two schools that went by this method. One, I was very interested in, but it was more like a regular school. They wore uniforms (I’m very pro uniform) and went to school everyday. While the academics were appealing, I was a bit iffy about the “rigid” environnment. The other school – I didn’t like the peeps.

      I’m going to talk about a few of the more popular homeschooling methods next week, as someone asked me about them. I will be talking a lot about this one – as this is the one I believe most in.

      Thanks so much for your comment and your question.
      Lisa recently posted…My Excitement About HomeschoolingMy Profile

  4. Woe, there are some brave people speaking here! Fancy going out on your own as you have done… I think you deserve a medal! Maybe someone should be issuing them…

  5. This was the perfect post for me to read! I’m actually going to be homeschooling my three oldest children starting next month! It’s been a decision that was not easy to come to… but now I’m feeling such peace and excitement about it! Thanks for the great tips!! Just found you through the Blog Hop today!!
    Sara recently posted…Butter Cream Frosting RecipeMy Profile

    • AWESOME SARA!!!!!!!! It’s going to be such a wonderful adventure! Really! Yeah, the decision is not always easy – but the results – just wait!

      Thanks so much for stopping by. I will make sure to stop by your blog and connect!

      Have a great week!
      Lisa recently posted…Homeschool – What is Montessori?My Profile

  6. Hi followed you here from the Hump Day Blog Hop. I\’ve been homeschooling since 1997, and now my boys are in the high school years. This was another scary step like the first ones I took in 1997, but we are doing it.. Many homeschool through 8th grade and then send them to school, but when that time comes come back to this post and remember why you started

    .Join us for Tuesdays With a Twist Link Up runs through Saturday, and happy blogging.

    • WOW Joyce!

      Thanks so much for stopping in. It’s always nice to meet new homeschoolers – and indeed, I have a lot to learn from you. You are making it all the way through.

      I hope you would consider participating in my homeschool blog carnival sometime. I think the Moms/Dads would benefit from your experience and knowledge.

      Do you have an email list for your link up? I would love to join you, but i have link ups coming out of my ears. Not sure I can keep them all straight without an email reminder.

      Maybe I will sign up for your email list.

      Thanks so much for stopping in, and I look forward to staying connected!
      Lisa recently posted…Classical Homeschool – Dorothy SayersMy Profile

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