There are some things you need to know. Maybe you have a faint idea that homeschooling isn’t going to look exactly like teaching in a classroom. Well, here is some advice from two friends of mine who have taught in both places. If you take these words to heart, you will save yourself a lot of trouble as you maneuver your way through your first homeschooling year!
I think the biggest shift is just realizing that homeschool isn’t school at home. Your child doesn’t have to perform on some predetermined timetable or meet standards by a specific time. There is no time wasted on test prep. You are free to use literature based curricula or classical methods or whatever works best. I think there is an assumption that homeschooling will be easier for former teachers and it just isn’t! I think so much of homeschooling is learned in the trenches because you have to learn the best style for your children and for you. The first year was hardest and some of what I thought would work well had to be adjusted. So be willing to shift course if needed. And find a good support network of other homeschool moms, and be willing to learn from them. I also found listening to homeschool podcasts to be helpful.
– Rachel Smith
Now, read that advice again….
Next, research the various homeschool methods and see what you think. What inspires you as you think about the possibilities of a whole new way of teaching and learning? What makes you excited? I loved the thought of reading lots of books with my kids instead of doing loads of worksheets, and our literature-based way of learning has turned out to be such a blessing in our lives! It doesn’t look much like school, and I’m okay with that – in fact, I like it that way!
Here are some resources you may find helpful:
Ambleside Schools International – These are videos put out by a school that doesn’t follow the progressive education model but instead follows the Charlotte Mason method.
Classical U – If you are interested in the classical method, these are excellent teacher training videos!
For the Children’s Sake – An inspirational book that will give you a glimpse of a more organic way of doing school.
A Philosophy of Education – Charlotte Mason lays out her entire philosophy of education here in the last book she wrote. This contains both philosophy and practical ideas!
Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling – Written by “Teacher of the Year” John Taylor Gatto, this is a treatise about the state of public education. A classic. You might also try The Underground History of American Education.
Consider This: Charlotte Mason and the Classical Tradition – This book is an utterly fascinating look at the history of education and something called synthetic learning. This one will not disappoint!
Norms and Nobility – If you really want to dive in the deep end of the pool, this is your book! Best to read slowly and with another person to bounce ideas off of.
For more book ideas, click HERE.
For podcast suggestions, click HERE.