Tuesday, September 22, 2015

What Your Homeschool Should Look Like

Five years ago, when I was just starting out on our homeschool journey, I was searching, longing, begging for knowledge of what homeschooling should look like.

How should I plan our day?
What curriculum should I use?
What age should I start my child learning to read?
What age should I start my child learning handwriting?
What time should I start our day?
How many hours should I teach?
Should I make them all sit in desks?

All these questions just to find out what my homeschool should look like.

So. Many. Questions!

Five years later and I finally have the answer.

Your homeschool should reflect your family. 

It should look like you.
It should look like your children.
It should be an environment that you are comfortable teaching.
It should be an environment where your children desire learning.

There is no cookie-cutter style of homeschooling.

What it shouldn't look like.....

It should not look like other homeschool homes in your neighborhood.
It should not look like other homeschool homes in your co-op.
It should not look like your best friend's homeschool.
It should not look like other homeschool homes in your state.
It should not look like other homeschool homes you find on Pinterest or on blogs.

In order for your homeschool to be successful, it has to be specific to your family.

Now, don't get me wrong, I love me some Pinterest!  I get several ideas from Pinterest and I am so grateful for all the homeschool moms who offer free printables that I can use to help my children learn.

I am not saying you should not talk with other homeschool mom's to see what works for them. I am not saying that you should avoid blogs and Pinterest. I am saying that you should not compare your homeschool to another.

When overwhelmed moms ask me how to start homeschooling, I simply tell them to spend some time getting to know their children. Learn their children's interests. Learn how your children learn best.

READ BOOKS. Lots and lots of books!

Once you create an environment that encourages and inspires them to learn, they will. This does not mean they will all learn the same thing at the same time.

Every child is different and learns differently. This is key! What works for one may not work for another.

Before buying curriculum, go to a homeschool conference or a curriculum fair. Get your hands on the books, look through them before purchasing them. Find other homeschooling moms (in your area, or on blogs/Pinterest) who have reviewed curriculum and read about it before buying.

A good site for reviews is http://cathyduffyreviews.com/. Cathy gives through reviews. I have used her site several times. She will tell you if curriculum is Common Core aligned, if it is Biblically based, etc.

Once you begin your homeschool journey, if you find something is not working, STOP. This was a struggle I had. I thought that I was doing something wrong and that is why my children were not enjoying learning. I was wrong. They just weren't enjoying the curriculum I chose.

I want to encourage you. You can do this! You know your children better than anyone. You may even find that by homeschooling, you also start to love learning again. I know I have. 

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