“I would kill my kid!” is usually the first thing that comes to mind when someone thinks about homeschooling. “But I’m not a teacher– I don’t have a degree!” is another. It is easy for a parent to feel instantly overwhelmed when contemplating the idea of becoming wholly responsible for their child’s education. So what does this proactive parent do to relieve the anxiety of such a massive undertaking? We search the internet…and instead of feeling relieved by the plethora of information meant to aid us, we’re even more overwhelmed. We’re flooded with more information than we know what to do with. We inhale deeply and…well, now what?
The first step is determine what your goals are. Do you want to improve the quality of your child’s education? Do you want more bonding time as a family? Is it important that your child learns your family’s morals and values instead of those that are prevalent in the public school system? Answering ‘yes’ to any of these questions makes you a homeschooling candidate.
The next step is to find support. Homeschooling is much more parent-friendly now than it has ever been, but there are still rules to follow and they vary from state to state. Any legal concerns you may have will be answered by The Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA). Your local homeschool group will become an invaluable resource for everything else. It is not uncommon for homeschooling families to be involved with a few different groups, some with religious affiliations and some without. Homeschool groups are essential in rounding out a positive educational experience for your child because the groups are usually full of seasoned homeschool veterans as well as newcomers. Chances are, there will be several families in the group within the age range of your child–families you can glean advice from and set up social playdates with. Facebook is home to many active groups in your area, and most groups welcome even those families who are not yet homeschooling.
The final piece of the homeschool puzzle is what curriculum to use. A quick search on the internet will threaten to flood you with a tsunami of products. There’s no reason to panic any more– you’re part of the homeschooling community now through your homeschool group connection, remember? Tapping into the wisdom and experience of the many who have gone before you will help to calm your fears about choosing the perfect curriculum. You’ll get an idea of what curriculum and supplies you’ll need to make your homeschooling venture a success.
So now that you have identified your homeschooling goals, connected with the homeschool community and received your new schoolbooks, relax into your role as teacher and enjoy the wonders of homeschooling.
CJ is a dedicated homeschooler, Mama of four. She loves crafting, learning, playing Rock Band with the kids, and snuggling with her two adorable, yet naughty, dogs. Oh, yeah–she loves homeschooling, too.