Maybe you are thinking about homeschooling. Maybe you are thinking about homeschooling- but not willing to admit it out-loud. Or, maybe you are just considering all of your options for schooling your child, even the ones you doubt you are willing to entertain for long.
8 years ago or so, I was the mom thinking alot about homeschooling but not willing to say it out-loud. It began with the realization that we might not be able to afford private christian school. *This is a common reason many parents begin to homeschool. My first forays into the world of homeschooling involved peeks through homeschool magazines at the big bookstore. I was soon reading them cover to cover, attempting first to categorize this thing called homeschool, then to see how it played out in real life with real families. These explorations were actually a good tutor for me into the realities and possiblilities of teaching my children at home.
Your next must have is The Elijah company catalog-or resource guide. They have closed their bookstore, but still maintain a website- and best of all their resource guide is still available. My first Elijah catalog was an unexpected treasure, its pages full of explanations of different styles of homeschooling and the products that mesh best with these different philosophies. My catalog was dog-eared. I cannot recommend this resource enough! Go on over and request a copy.
Next, I would recommend reading a few books such as Homeschooling: A patchwork of days by
Nancy Lande (very eye opening to very different approaches to homeschooling-by that I mean styles, how it is lived at home, not philosophies)
The Homeschool Journey by Michael Card, and Educating the whole-hearted child by Sally Clarkson. *this book is one of my favorites, with lots of scripture in the margins. I used this book as a devotional for a few months. It is very thought-provoking, yet full of practical help too.
A good next step would be to search for forum discussions. I enjoy a local yahoo group for my state, searching yahoo groups for homeschooling groups in your state should yield several groups that would benefit you with information and resources. A forum for your state would also be able to help you with your state's homeschool regulations and point you to your state's local homeschool associations as well as connect you to local homeschoolers, park days and groups. I also enjoy several curriculum centered forums such as ones for Ambleside online (Charlotte Mason approach), Sonlight (good books approach) and The well-trained mind (classical approach).
*I would not suggest you call your local school district for information, sometimes districts will have good relationships with the homeschoolers in their area, but unfortunately many districts cannot get past their conflict of interest- the loss of money, and competition that homeschoolers represent. You could very well be told that it is against the law, except through the district's own home study plan or charter.
This post would be way too long if I attempted to get into why homeschool, or the different philosophies of. I will attempt to touch on those in a later post.
Homeschooling is becoming much more mainstream, 8 years into our journey I rarely get surprised or negative reactions. The people I meet now are more apt to reply that they know someone who homeschools. I am happy that we homeschool, and I have to say that if I were offered scholarships for all my kids at a christian private school- I would still choose to homeschool.
coming up; why we homeschool, and meet some homeschoolers who blog