Homeschooling: Where to Begin

After making the decision to begin homes chooling your children, it may be hard to determine what the next step should be. When is the best time of year to start? How do you explain your decision to your child? Should you notify the public school? How do you choose a curriculum?

These questions and more are bound to come up. The most important thing to remember is that parents everywhere are educating their children at home with outstanding results and you can too. Begin easing your uncertainty by reading anything you can find on the subject of homeschooling. Check out books, magazines, and online articles. The more you know about something, the less intimidating it will seem.

Other families that home school can also be a valuable resource. Try locating another homeschooler within your community or online. Many people will be more than happy to help out and offer advice. Ask them about their methods, successes, and failures. If you are both comfortable with the idea, ask if you can observe their homeschooling sessions for a day or two. Some of the things that you see and hear may be contradictory to what you have read. This is not unusual, as everyone has their own methods and process.

As for your teaching style, don’t feel like you have to use a traditional school format. Different families, and sometimes, different children in the same family have different ways of teaching and learning. Try varying techniques and materials. If something isn’t working, don’t be afraid to try something else.

If your children have previously attended public or private school, making the transition to homeschooling can be a bit overwhelming. Many children find change intimidating or scary. The transition will take time. Be patient and realize that in the beginning, homeschooling is a learning experience for everyone.

Finally, the best thing you can do is talk openly with your children. Explain to them what you want them to learn and then let them explain to you what they want to learn. Your curriculum and method will develop naturally from there. Be flexible and enjoy the process.

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