Homeschooling 101: A Series Review!

Homeschooling101

On occasion, I have the pleasure of advising families who are new to homeschooling. We  talk about how to begin setting up a homeschool routine and the basics of a good education. Rather than frustrate them with long notes to take, it has been suggested I write these ideas down and make them available to everyone who might be interested.

Below, you will find a list of links to a few posts which help remove the stress, confusion, and misdirection that often comes with new territory.

As you read, please be in continual prayer about where the Lord is leading your family. Our goal is not to dictate your coming school year, but merely to come alongside you on your journey. May you find this information helpful and edifying:

“In nothing be anxious; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
~Philippians 4:6

Your Turn!: Perhaps you’ve been homeschooling awhile. What is the best piece of advice that was given as you launched into your learning adventure?

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Homeschooling 101: The Letter of the Law

The very next step in organizing your family’s homeschool adventure: Knowing your state’s guidelines for home education.

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Homeschooling101While it would be great to think we can do whatever we like in our own homes, that is unfortunately not true. Each of the fifty United States and its territories have specific guidelines for homeschooling.
I would love to sit here and explain the laws of each individual state. However, that would take far too long and, frankly, I’m just not that knowledgeable. So, where do you start your research? The easiest spot possible, HSLDA.
Why do all that extensive research and spend excess amounts of time trying to gather information on your own when someone has done all the work for you? HSDLA will make the job that much easier and answer all your questions in one shot.
Knowing the laws of your state is a must. Not only will it give you peace of mind regarding legal matters, but it will help you to better organize your homeschooling routine, classes, and paperwork.
California, where we are located, is thankfully not intrusive in their requirements. We have an affidavit which needs to be completed by a certain date, classes need to be taught in English, several areas of study need to be offered, and we need to keep attendance. (It is interesting to note that we are supposed to keep attendance, but there are no required days of attendance. I used to think we had to school 180 days… nope!)
It would be nice to think that every state is equally non-intrusive, but that is not true. HSLDA Logo Before taking another step forward, you will
need to know exactly what is expected of those who homeschool so you can meet the guidelines. Paperwork, days of attendance, required courses, and more need to be established before actually putting in a routine or picking curriculum.
It should also be noted that each state has a different compulsory age of attendance. California, for example, requires education for ages 6-18 (depending on which month you were born). So, kindergarten is not a requirement! I taught my children from preschool up, but why file if I don’t have to?
Something to consider while you’re perusing HSLDA; sign up to be a member! Being a member has a multitude of benefits and handling your legal needs is only the beginning.
Knowledge is power. Know what is required of your homeschooling and be prepared for what lies ahead.
Veteran Parents: How does your state add up? Are your state laws intrusive?
“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.” – Romans 13:1

Homeschooling 101: Two Shall Be One

Step two in Homeschooling 101: Being one with your husband.

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Homeschooling101Generally speaking, most of us mommies do the teaching in our homes. We pick the curriculum, we pick the method by which we teach, we decide which activities we will be involved in, and we do all the instructing.

Do you see a problem with this scenario? Where is father in all of this? Shouldn’t he have a say in the education of his children?

The second piece of advice I try to give new homeschooling families… include pop in your homeschooling. While dad might need to work all day, not being available to do actual instructing, there are many ways in which he can still be an active part of your children’s education:

  • He can pray for his family.
  • He can offer advice on which curriculum should be chosen.
  • He can discuss what the children learned at the end of each day.
  • He can be a sounding board for ideas.
  • If available, he can teach classes.

When we first began homeschooling, my husband was a great sounding board for ideas. Everything that came to my attention we discussed together. How did he think we should homeschool; do we use a classical method, an unschooling approach, or should we be eclectic? What should be the focus of our learning? He was instrumental in helping us to narrow down the goals of our family’s learning.

At the beginning of each year, I make a point of discussing everything with my husband. We talk about any new changes, new directions, new goals, and new ideas we’d like to try out. During these discussions, he makes a point of letting me know how he’d like to be involved in our children’s learning. This year, he is participating in PE and teaching logic on weekends.

Two Shall Be OneSometimes we talk about things as they come up, others at the end of the night. The most fun way to have our conversations? A date night! Make a special coffee date and together plan out the coming year for your family.

Knowing my husband is behind what we do 100%, gives me great peace of mind. I am not in this alone, I am not doing this on my own strength. We are in this together for the long haul, raising and training our children.

If you don’t already, consider making your husband an active part of your homeschooling. No matter how “small” the contribution, it will be well worth the effort.

Veteran Mommies: How do you encourage your husband to participate in the homeschooling of your children?

“AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH; so they are no longer two, but one flesh.” – Mark 10:8

Homeschooling 101: Do All Things In Prayer

On occasion, I have the pleasure of advising families who are new to homeschooling. We talk about how to begin setting up a homeschool routine and the basics of a good education.

Rather than frustrate them with long notes to take, it has been suggested I write these ideas down and make them available at a moment’s need. 

May you find this information helpful and edifying. 

……

Homeschooling101Often in life, we skip over the simple things. We long to rush into action and attack our problems head on, never stopping to first understand from whence our problems arise and how we might best resolve the issue.

Homeschooling is no different. Our first thoughts are towards pulling our kids out of public education and then we run headlong into a series of questions on how to tackle the seemingly insurmountable job of educating our little ones. Where do I find materials? Which curriculum do I use? Will they like it? Will I go crazy? Can we afford this?

Before we lose our heads and become stressed, without even picking up a single book or teaching a single lesson, I suggest we take a step back and start at square one… What does God have to say about all of this?

As in all areas of life, we should start our homeschooling journey in prayer. There is no portion of our lives of which God does not want to be a part. He wants to be the first One we talk with and the One we come to with our concerns. There is no problem too big and no task He can’t figure out.

All Things in Prayer

When we first began, we prayed over everything. We asked the Lord to give us clarity in how our routines should be set up, which curriculum we should use, which activities we should be involved in, and all other areas of our life. We wanted to make sure this was His doing and not something we were trying to control on our own. If we attempted to do this on our own, we knew we would fail.

Beginning our adventure with prayer not only calms our nerves, but helps us gain a true perspective of what He wants of our children’s education.

So, first and foremost, before anything else is done, go to the Lord. Let the God of the universe help you to better understand the direction He has for your life and the ways in which He will direct your homeschooling endeavors.

Veteran parents: For what did you specifically pray?

“In nothing be anxious; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” Philippians 4:6