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My Introduction to Homeschooling
Introduction to Homeschooling
When I first heard about homeschooling I was a little skeptical. It didn't help that the person I heard about homeschooling from was fairly uneducated and so were her kids. So my introduction to homeschooling was not really the greatest. But it did trigger something inside me. I realized I wanted to teach my daughter. I didn't want to pawn her off on some stranger everyday. I didn't want someone else to get the best hours of the day and the best years of her life. I didn't want her learning in an environment where the lowest common denomenator is king. I know her best. I know her quirks. I know how she learns. What I didn't know was where to start. And what do I do if I don't know the answer. I'm not the smartest person out there. I'm not a certified teacher. I'm only a preschool teacher with an A.A. How can I teach my kid and make sure she's learning everything she needs to know? I also didn't know how to answer everyone when they asked about socialization, extra curricular activities, homework, the prom, and countless other ritual brick and mortar school type things. I was scared. And if you're thinking about homeschooling you may be too.
Don't freak. It's really easier than you might think. You've been teaching your kid from day one. Who taught your child to walk, talk, what color the sky is, and what sound a dog makes? You did. And guess what? You'd be the one helping Jr. out with his math homework anyway so why not teach it to him so he knows what it's all about to start with. The biggest factor in your child learning at home is your confidence in yourself as a teacher and your child as a learner.
The second biggest thing is organization. If you're not organized, materials, time, etc., you're not going to get very far. In some states you need to keep records and produce evidence actual learning is taking place. From what I hear you don't want to be caught off guard when the feds come to investigate. So, get organized. Set up a space just for learning, organize your time table to allow for quality learning time. Honestly, you'd be surprised how little time it takes to learn at home what it takes 8 hours to learn in a school. Mainly because you don't have 30 other kids clambering for attention. Your kid gets to learn at her own pace.
Hey, did you hear about his great thing called the internet? Yeah, it's cool. You Tube is wonderful. But guess what else you can do other than look up videos of dogs riding skateboards? You can research how to homeschool your kid. Oh yeah, it's wonderful. And yeah, you'll have to sort out and search and look and read. But, it's worth it. There are so many options out there so you'll have to sort through some crap to get to the good stuff.
There are alot of options. Do I teach like in school? Do I let my kid pick what they want to learn? Thing like subject learning (math, english) versus unit studies (oceans, Native Americans, 4th of July) is entirely up to you. And guess what? You can change it if it doesn't work for you. If it's broke you can fix it. Just keep in mind it may take some time to find what works for you and your kids so be patient. Especially if your kids were in the public school system prior to homeschooling. They may need some time to adjust to the school at home life.
And that's a whole different set of issues you may have. If your child was in the system before you may be faced with a little oppostition. They may be upset at not seeing their friends or being normal. Talk to them. This isn't just for homeschooling by the way. Communication is key in knowing what's going on and how to fix it. And if you can't fix it at least know you know and you understand. And that's honestly sometimes enough.
Another big thing, you're not always going to have all the answers. Guess what? Neither do the teachers that's why they have answer guides. You've got something better. You have homeschool support groups. Ask your local library where their homeschooling section is. You'll be amazed to find out about groups, magazines and such. And all you have to do is ask. Online you'll find groups in your areas. All you have to do is ask. You don't have to do this on your own. You may be great at English, music, and art. Someone else may be great at math, and geography. You can ask for help. It doesn't cost anything and it won't kill you.
So, to wrap up the information I hope you take away from this little ramble. Have confidence in yourself and your child. Get organized. Know the laws of homeschooling for your state. Research with the internet and the library. If it's broke you can change it. Have patience with yourself and your child. Communication makes everything better. And if you don't know, ask.
I hope this helps you out.