Saturday, February 11, 2012

Homeschooling: Where do I start?

 DISCUSS WITH YOUR SPOUSE:  Educating your child at home is a huge decision and should be one that is made with your spouse. Do not begin unless you are in agreement about this decision. You will need the support of your spouse not only at the beginning, but also throughout the year. Encourage a reluctant spouse to educate himself(or herself) about home schooling. Some great books to start with are: 
Homeschooling: The Right Choice  and The Heart of Homeschooling both by Christopher Klicka
So You’re Thinking About Homeschooling by Lisa Whelchel;   
The Homeschooling Book of Answers by Linda Dobson;
The Well-Adjusted Child: The Social Benefits of Homeschooling by Rachel Gathercole
Family Matters: Why Homeschooling Makes Sense by David Guterson
I can recommend even more titles if you are interested.
MAGAZINES: Practical Homeschooling                        
                        Homeschooling Today                         
                       The Old Schoolhouse

RESEARCH YOUR STATE’S HOMESCHOOL LAWS:  If you have any questions about the requirements for home schooling in your state, check out the Homeschool Legal Defense Association(HSLDA) website:

RESEARCH STYLES OF HOME EDUCATION: There is no one right way to educate your child at home; however, there are many differing philosophies you may want to consider. Here are a few of the most common styles and their very simplified definitions:
Charlotte Mason:  Based on a method introduced by 19th century educator Charlotte Mason, this approach includes nature studies/journaling, narration, and living books.  You can read more about this method in For the Children’s Sake

Classical:  Based on Dorothy Sayers’ The Lost Tools of Learning, in which child development is broken up into three “stages” of learning commonly called “The Trivium”.  You can read more about the Classical approach in The Well-Trained Mind.

Delight Directed:  This puts learning in the hands of the child based on his or her interests. Parents help facilitate this type of learning with appropriate instructional materials.

Eclectic:  A mix of philosophies and curricula to accommodate each child’s ability and interests. Many homeschoolers fall into this category. Parents choose from any method or style only those components that fit their specific needs.

The Principle Approach:  An approach based on the principle’s of our Founding Fathers and the emphasis on God’s Word as the basis for every subject.

Traditional Textbook:  Normally uses a full-range, packages, textbook type curriculum that also may include a scope and sequence, testing, and recordkeeping.

Unit Studies:  All or most core subjects are covered while studying any one topic or unit of study,  using a variety of resources and supplemental activities.

Unschooling:  A relaxed setting where learning is directed by the child. Parts of this philosophy are based on research by John Taylor Gatto and John Holt.

FIND SUPPORT:  After finding your style of choice, you may want to find a homeschool school support group in your area. Meeting with other home educators offers encouragement as well as knowledge and assistance with homeschooling questions. Most groups offer classes or activities for your children as well. To find a support group in your area check these listings:

GATHER RESOURCES:  Some families start with a complete curriculum package, while others start with a notebook and a library card. You can check out curricula in person at a local homeschool convention( or read reviews on various websites:;

YOU CAN DO THIS!!  Parents around the world are taking back their God-given responsibility to educate their children, and you can too:-)

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