How to Start Homeschooling – Do You Really ….

Homeschool #1
Yeah for me!  I am delving into my second year as a Homeschool mom.  Year one had it all – drama, intrigue, comedy, horror …. okay, maybe not quite ALL, but it was a fun year full of adventure, growing to understand my boys, learning tons about me, and falling even more in love with them in the process.
Today, I want to just dispel a few myths about Homeschooling that made it scary for me.  See, I thought about homeschooling years before I actually tried it.  But I let other people – with no homeschool experience, may I add – persuade me, that for a variety of reasons, I couldn’t do it.  Nothing could have been further from the truth.  I think anyone who truly has the desire, is willing to put in the work, and is up to exercising true patience, can do it.  Speaking from experience, it can happen.
So here’s to killing a few sacred cows.
MYTH #1:  I can’t just “teach” all day.  I mean, what do you really do all day?
You don’t just “teach” all day, if your definition of teaching is having your child sit behind a desk while you instruct, in a typical school-type fashion.  You do teach all day, however, if you make it fun – read in the living room, play a game to review geography, let your child read on the back porch.  You have to open your mind to see school as more than just sitting behind a desk.  And as for the all day part …. the number of hours you spend learning and involved in academics depends a lot on the age of your child, as well as your child’s temperament and learning style.  I happen to have a kid that would spend all day reading and doing worksheets if I let him.  But we’ll dive more into that later.
MYTH #2:  I wasn’t very good in (whatever subject).  Can I really teach in that area?
There are scores … and scores … and scores of curriculum choices available to homeschool.  Some are very regimented and will give you lesson plans, guidance and instruction every step of the way.  If you feel really lacking in a particular area, maybe you consider that type of curriculum.  Or maybe you supplement through classes with a local co-op, or look into online/virtual programs.  Do you know another mom gifted in that area?  Maybe you share teaching skills for each other’s children.  There’s no limit to the possibilities.  Science is just not my strong point.  I felt like I could have done a better job last year for my Science-enthused son.  So this year, I’m ordering a complete experiment kit, plugging into our homeschool group, and doing a second science (yes, two).  That’s his interest, he will be self-guided in a lot of ways, and I’m letting him go for it!  And praying it turns out well in the process.
MYTH #3: My kids won’t be able to socialize with other kids.  Do they really still make friends?
Now this one is touchy for a lot of established homeschoolers.  I now understand why.  There are so many ways for your child to be involved in social activities …. from co-ops, sports, church, competitions, play dates, and the list goes on.  However, i cannot invalidate this question.  Because we did have trouble with the social part last year.  You see, my son came out of a traditional school setting.  So he was accustomed to seeing, and playing with, his friends every single day.  It took adjustment for him … and for me.  However, I became a social magnet, and put a lot of work into placing him in settings where he would interact with other kids.  I saw the most amazing thing happen.  He came out of his shell, and opened up socially.  I was proud of him.  He grew a lot as a person.  So it’s right to be concerned about social, but in the sense of knowing there is work both you and your child may need to do to assure that part of their life is properly fed.
MYTH #4:  I have to work, to make a living.  Are you really able to homeschool your child and work?
I am a freelance writer, social media evaluator, and a homeschool mom.  I have to schedule interviews, attend events, and still juggle schooling.  I’m here to tell you it can be done.  Even if you work outside of the home, it can be done.  Keep in mind your homeschool might not look like everyone else’s – and that’s okay!  The key will be to structure your lives in a way that works for you.  As mom/chief teacher, you will be required to be organized in your life so you can smoothly steer the ship.  You’ll have to plan lessons in advance, gather materials, prep supplies.  You may have to take advantage of online learning options.  I know some families who’ve had Dad do some teaching during the day, and mom come in and finish at night.  You’ll have to find what works for you.  But it can be done.
I will continue to blog about How to Start Homeschooling.  But at this point, just know that if you are considering it, if maybe God has been tugging on your heart to take on this noble calling, or school circumstances for your child dictate the need for it, then you CAN do it!  Stay tuned….

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