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Posts Tagged With: how to begin homeschool

How We Begin Our Homeschool Year

If you’re thinking it’s a little early to be back in the classroom you might be right, but I wouldn’t change the way we start off our homeschooling year!

As a public school teacher there is something of a shock when you go from working in your classroom whenever you want to the day the students arrive and suddenly you’re on a SCHEDULE.  That shock times ten best describes my transition as a homeschool mom.

How we begin our homeschooling year.

Getting my kindergarten classroom ready for the year was one of my favorite things about teaching public school. I still love preparing a bright, clean room for learning at home!

I think the adjustment is harder for me and my kids because we’re at home.  (Hence homeschooling…)  Our environment hasn’t changed, our behavior has to.  And there is no one to oversee that but me.

How we begin our homeschool year.

Like most homeschool families we make do with what we have. My craft desk doubles as a teacher’s desk. Not every teacher has a sewing machine! 🙂

I also hear this as a common fear from parents who want to try teaching their kids at home.  “I’m just not sure I could make us get the work done.”

So here’s what I do.  We start the first full week in August, but we don’t jump in with both feet.  Today we’ll be doing calendar, our first phonics lesson in two months, attempting a short handwriting session, reading together as a family, and playing with some of the “toys” that come in our curriculum for critical and hands-on thinking.

How we begin our homeschooling year.

This is today’s workload. A light schedule helps all of us transition to a full day of school!

Next week we add history, since we had the most trouble finishing this subject by the end of the school year in first grade.  I’ll also throw in two of our “daily” workbooks, geography and word problems, which are 5 minute daily practice lessons.  The third week we’ll begin math, add the daily writing lessons, and begin our religion read-aloud.  By the last week of August we’ll add science (it has the fewest overall chapters) and specials like art, music, and PE.

It means we’re doing a full workload about a week after most of Missouri’s public school are back in session, but we’ll have more total hours since we’ve been at it for three weeks already.

This is how we begin our homeschool year at my house.  What works for you?

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Categories: Homeschool | Tags: , , , , | 10 Comments

6 Steps to Consider If You’ve Ever Wondered How to Begin Homeschooling

It can be totally overwhelming.  Public school is mostly straight forward.  You sign the kid up, they assign you a bus number, your gargantuan task is getting them out the door on time.  But if you’ve ever wondered how to begin homeschooling your child you may be at a complete loss.

Well, there is good news and bad news.  The bad news is that you will need to make seemingly thousands of major decisions about your child’s life-long education by yourself.  The good news is you can watch the bus pick up the neighborhood kids while yours are still in their pajamas.

So, if you’ve wondered, here are a 6 steps to begin your homeschool journey.

6 Steps to consider if you've ever wondered about homeschooling  {DaddysTractor.com}

1.) Google your state’s laws regarding homeschooling.  I can easily find mine by typing “Missouri Homeschool laws.”  Look for a resource provided by your state– with a (dot)gov address probably.  At some point I highly recommend paying for a membership to HSLDA, (Home School Legal Defense Association).  They have a page for each state and all the laws and lots of other resources available to members.

2.) Find a friend.  Seek out homeschoolers either in real life or here in the virtual world.  I belong to a few Facebook groups and we love nothing more than to help with questions from those who are thinking about teaching at home.  The local cooperative we attend on Fridays is my most valuable resource.

3.) Decide on a budget.  Almost any homeschool materials are a fraction of the price of private school, but you can spend as little as the cost of a library card on up.

4.) Choose your curriculum.

I think your best bet is to purchase a curriculum set– meaning a box comes with pretty much everything you need to teach a certain grade level.  EVERY homeschool mom will have her own opinion on what to use, but since this is my blog, I’m telling you Timberdoodle.com is the best.  Its reasonably priced and gives you FANTASTIC resources; more than just a math workbook or a science text.

For the first-time homeschooler I’d unequivocally recommend just buying their “complete curriculum package”.  As a former teacher I drove myself batty (no comments please) trying to choose from more than 50 math companies.  Which one was perfect for my son?  In the end everything I bought is offered by Timeberdoodle.  Someone there must already be batty…

Also, if you need to bounce around a little (my son does 2nd grade science, 1st grade math, and K phonics) you can buy the pieces you want.  Tailoring the learning to your child’s specific needs is the best part of homeschooling.  I’d already started teaching Brett D’Nealian handwriting (pre-cursive), so we chose another book for that study.

5.) Organize. Create a binder.  Figure out your weekly schedule.  (Some core curriculum packages come with one.) Choose a space in your house and design a storage solution.  Most importantly here, decide how you will be complying with your state laws regarding record keeping.

6.) Make it your own!  Homeschooling doesn’t need to look like a classroom to be productive.  Work outside.  Read aloud after dinner.  Arrange lessons so you can be gone all day on Thursdays.  Make karate your PE class.  Do what’s best for You.  Your kids.  Your family.

Veteran moms– any other advise?

Categories: Family, Homeschool | Tags: , , | 5 Comments

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