I wanted to do up a post with a bunch of home schooling resources. So many people I talk to say things like:
- I could never home school
- How do you know what to teach… and if you are teaching enough
- I am not organized/disciplined/patient enough to home school
- Will my kids turn out weird?
The truth is that:
- Lots of people are doing it
- There are so many resources out there it is impossible to choose
- It really isn’t all that hard (the teaching part… dealing with your kids all day is a parenting thing)
- Your kids will probably just turn out like you… so if you are weird.. they are doomed 🙂
How Many Kids Home School?
- Last school year in the USA it was estimated that 1,376,804 kid were home schooled. Those are some big numbers. If you are in any kid of populated area there are probably lots of kids and families around that home school.
How can you find other home schoolers?
- Ask at the library, or show up at the library during the day and look for families with kids. This is a favorite hang out 🙂
- Check with the museums or other educational spots in your area and see if they have home school programs or know of any home school groups.
- Google search home school in your area
- Lots of activities (piano or other music, dance, etc) have home school classes during the day. It is a great place to get activities that don’t take up evening time as well as meet other home school families.
How Do I Figure Out What To Teach?
This can be as simple or as hands on as you want it to be. There are curriculums that teach with DVD’s and spell out what your child should do in school every day, or you can create your own curriculum, or you can take one of the steps in between. We mix and match different curriculums and textbooks. There is lots more than the traditional school idea as well.
Best Home School Curriculum has some great information on different home school options at the bottom right side of their home page. I love the classical ideas, but there is lots of great stuff in all of them. Studying the different options for home school is probably the best start to finding the right curriculum for you and your child. After that you can search based on that and find lots of options. The internet is such an amazing tool.
* Remember, there is no right or wrong way to teach and there is lots of strong opinions out there. Focus on you and your child and what you think works best for both of you, try not to get overwhelmed by all the information and all the other great things people are doing. Overwhelmed can feel like failure, but there is a big difference. You aren’t going to teach everything in the first 3 months… you have 12 years (plus or minus) for them to take it in. No stress… simple right?
Can I Teach My Kids Enough?
Many people are afraid they will get their kids behind by trying to home school because they weren’t that good at school, don’t have a teaching degree, or they are afraid they may fail in some other way.
If you are thinking or at all interested in home school. You HAVE to look at this! There are some solid numbers and facts that I was so excited to find.
Also, truthfully, young kids don’t need that much ‘hard core’ schooling. Typically (depending on how you structure your year) you have about 6 hours of school needed a day. In there you can have art, PE, mommy reading, child independent reading, rest time, cooking, independent play, as well as lots of other learning opportunities. Just taking a young kid to the store or library has huge learning possibilities. Do as much structured, ‘hard core’ schooling as your kid can handle. Keep the TV off and do stuff with your kids the rest of the time and it is amazing what they pick up. …. my kids quiz each other on spelling and math all the time over meals…
A great resource and help is HSLDA – Home School Legal Defense Association. I would say they are the best home school resource I have found.
Then there is Home School Top sites…. with many more options
Blogs I follow that are home schooling moms:
- Pioneer Woman
- Simple Mom’s – Simple Homeschooling
- Confessions of a Homeschooler
- Walk Slowly Live Wildly – She is a fan of Unschooling, not to much schooling stuff on her site, but I love her blog
Then you can also check out The 10 Best Home School Blogs…. but really the options and information are endless…
Really, the longer I have home schooled, the more comfortable I have gotten in what I am doing, and I look less at all the mountain of resources. They are an aid for when you need them…. don’t worry about keeping up with them.