Sunday, June 06, 2010

If you homeschool, please share how you do it.

I really wanted to homeschool my three kids, but their father had a bunch of reasons for why I shouldn't (including how my profession was very lucrative at the time). No. 1 is considering homeschooling Astrid and I asked her if I could help if she did. I'm retired now, so there's no excuse for me NOT doing it, even if No. 1 took a part-time job and I did it while she worked and she did it when she didn't work. So, I ordered a book by Linda Dobson entitled "The First Year of Homeschooling Your Child (Your complete Guide to Getting Off to the Right Start)". I've been reading it this morning and probably can't even put into words all the questions I already have, but thought if I asked some of you how YOU do it I might be able to form some intelligent questions.

Seems like it's just a normal progression from providing an infant the opportunity to explore the wonders of life while making a conscious effort to expand on the opportunities as the child grows older, but some families follow a pre-set curriculum, as well.

How do YOU do it, and why do you think the way you do it is preferable to other ways? Do you get together with other homeschoolers and share routinely? Does your state have reporting requirements that you must follow?

3 comments:

Diane said...

"Seems like it's just a normal progression from providing an infant the opportunity to explore the wonders of life while making a conscious effort to expand on the opportunities as the child grows older"

Bingo. That's what's happened with us. We've tried boxed curricula and didn't like it. We like to do our own thing, subject to change on a daily basis on our whims.

Still, it's good to have a basic "blueprint" to follow, just an outline of which major things you want to cover when. The "What Your xxx Grader Needs to Know" series by Hirsch, I think, is GREAT for that and you can buy them super cheap used. Or various state DoE's have core knowledge outlines online.

Have you read over the Texas homeschooling laws? www.hslda.org has all of the state laws and summaries available for free. You likely don't agree with HSLDA's views but their legal analysis is all you need to worry about -- very credible.

What else? We keep tons and tons and tons of books around, of course. Each kid learns differently and each "teacher" teaches differently. Cody needs lots and lots of structure and drills. Isaac needs to just have internet and books available, with an occasional push to not forget writing skills, and just stay out of his way -- he'll be starting some college courses in the fall.

We do sometimes get together with other homeschooling families. I even started a local group here but getting people to actually get together and do anything is like pulling teeth. Bigger cities have a lot more options available, of course.

More later if I think of anything, or feel free to pick my brain. No matter what you decide to do, you're not going to do worse than what public schools are turning out these days, at least around here. It's scary.

Casey said...

Everything Diane said, although here in Austin we have thousands of hs families to get together with for field trips and such. I would add that if you do have groups in your area, try them out but don't feel that you have to stay with a particular group just because they're there. Make sure that whatever you do is a good fit for you and the kids, because after all that's the beauty of a DIY education and that good fit is what will keep the kids excited about learning.

Good luck!

Oldnovice said...

Thanks, girls.