Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Tips from the Trenches: 7 Simple Steps to Getting Started in Homeschooling, Part 3

This is the final post in our series on Getting Started in Homeschooling.  So far, I've shared what I know about seeking God's will in your homeschooling decision and educating yourself on the laws of your state.  I have also talked about creating your support system.  Today, I will close out with thoughts on arming yourself with knowledge and choosing curriculum. 

Arm yourself with knowledge!
Taking your child’s education into your own hands is an amazing adventure, but you need to educate yourself in order to educate your child.  Spend time researching, both online and at your local bookstore or library, about homeschooling philosophies, learning styles, organization, and techniques.  Once you’ve completed this important step, you will be better equipped to develop your own philosophy on home educating your uniquely gifted children.

Choose a curriculum
So far, you have learned about state requirements, found some mentors through online and local support groups, and you’ve read everything you can about homeschooling.  Now, it’s time to take that knowledge and apply it to choosing curriculum.  Whether homemade, online, or published, the most important thing is to make sure that it fits the needs of your child.  If, as you get into the school year, you realize that your curriculum choice is not a good fit, it is perfectly acceptable to tweak it or even toss it out and start over.  I know we've done this!  Just remember, education is about teaching a child, not a curriculum.

Ease into it
The best thing a parent can do when homeschooling is to ease into the curriculum.  Choose one or two subjects to start and work on those, adding new subjects each week until all subjects have been added.  What can you do in the meantime?  Introduce and practice new routines.  Read, play, and laugh together.  Explore nature.   Get to know your child as a student and make the necessary adjustments.  The tendency is to want to jump right in, but please trust the process.  Taking this time will make all the difference in the world in setting your family’s homeschool up for success. 

This is just a beginning.  There is so much more to learn and discover on this homeschooling journey.  May the Lord go before you and prepare the way as you seek to home educate your children.  

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