Well, we have decided to take the plunge and start homeschooling. This isn’t something that you can just wake up one morning and say “Okay let’s home school!”
For us, it meant researching different curricula, talking to people,reading books , looking at websites from various companies, deciding what we wanted our children to learn etc.
If you are thinking about homeschooling, the first thing you’ll want do is learn what the state laws for your state are. The Home School Legal Defense Association website can help you with that, their URL is http://www.hslda.org/ , on the right side is a link that says “In Your State” click on it and find your state. There you will find the laws and other pertinent topics concerning homeschooling in your state.
Next I recommend that you read a few books on homeschooling. The first one I would recommend would be So You’re Thinking About Home Schooling by Lisa Whelchel .Yes, she is the one who played Blair on The Facts of Life. Now she is now a stay at home wife and homeschooling mom to three children. Check out her site at http://www.lisawhelchel.com/. Another great book is Schoolproof by Mary Pride.
Also before someone screams bloody murder at you about the magical “s” word aka “socialization” read The Well-Adjusted Child, The Social Benefits of Homeschooling by Rachel Gathercole. This book answers all the questions that you might have concerning socialization in a friendly and easy to understand book.
A must read is Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling was written by John Gatto, By a former New York state “Teacher of the Year,” Gatto’s book should be read by every parent in America before they blindly send their children to school. The author asserts that the true goal of childhood learning should be to discover the special gift each child has, and that passion and enthusiasm will lead to other learning pursuits. His assessment of conventional schooling and what type of citizen it produces is a wake-up call for anyone concerned about the future of this country.
Easy Homeschooling Techniques: The REAL How-To Guide by Lorraine Curry is also great. I will warn you though. She advocates praying television out of your home (I happen to like the History Channel and Antiques Roadshow. Sorry Mrs. Curry!) and using only the King James Bible.
There a number of catalogs out there concerning homeschooling. Some of the more popular ones are:
http://www.bfbooks.com/ Beautiful Feet Books. Publishers of Rea and Rebecca Berg’s History Through Literature Study Guides and Fine Children’s Literature including the work of award winning authors Ingri and Edgar Parin d’Aulaire, Genevieve Foster, Albert Marrin, James Daugherty, Marguerite Henry, and Brinton Turkle. We are honored to publish yesterday’s Newbery and Caldecott award-winners for today’s children.
http://www.visionforum.com/ . This is the website for Vision Forum. They have various books including Passionate Housewives Desperate for God, The Duggars: 20 and Counting!, Poems for Patriarchs and lots of cool gadgets. My personal fave of the gadgets is the 3 man slingshot water balloon launcher. This gizmo can launch water balloons or other like-weight objects up to 150 yards! That’s over a football field and a half!
http://www.keepersofthefaith.com/ We truly want to serve you by bringing you good things for your family. Things which will strengthen your faith, help to build strong family relationships, and develop good, godly character in your children. We don’t bring it all, only the best, and only what we could offer to the Lord, Himself. That is our promise to you.
A lot of home schooling magazines will send you a free trial issue for you to look at and try. Some are more Christian based and some are more secular. My advice is to read some of each genre. They will all have their strong points as well as their weaknesses. If a particular magazine doesn’t say they offer a free trial contact them and ask if they would do so for you. It doesn’t hurt to try, now does it?
Some of them offer their magazine as a digital edition. The ones listed below offer both a print and digital format of their publications.
I hope that this helps you in beginning your journey into homeschooling. Until next time…