For those who are considering home education or who will begin this year:
Without doubt, from the moment you began to think about homeschooling, you have had visions of school days dancing in your head. Were your “students” in desks for 7-8 hours each day? Were they perusing through textbook after textbook? The reality is that most of us enter the homeschooling arena from a traditional academic background, and it takes a period of readjustment for us as parents to encompass all that homeschool can be. Also factor in helping our children adjust if they have spent time in traditional academic environments as well. Even if your child has never seen the inside of a classroom, he or she may have an expectation based upon conversations with friends or relatives.
There is nothing wrong with a traditional approach to home education, if that is your preference. My purpose in writing this is to begin to expose you to other approaches that may be of interest dependent upon your children’s interests and needs. Too often, we enter into a traditional approach and then dive into major curriculum expenditures because that is all we know. The facts are that your homeschool, within state-specific boundaries, can look as much or as little like a traditional school as you and your little student(s) find effective. I will offer this bit of wisdom: before you spend money on education for your children, invest in your own education. Having a better understanding of your home education options may completely change your vision of homeschool, and may save you literally hundreds of dollars.
Your first lesson, you ask? Learn about the law. Each state has legislation regarding home education and expected documentation to support the legitimacy of your “school”. You will find that some states are more homeschool-friendly than others, but all states will have guidelines regarding expected subjects, days of school, and in some cases, reporting requirements. Visit the Home School Legal Defense Association’s website, www.hslda.org , for more valuable information on this subject.
Realize that you can identify with one approach listed below and move forward, or you can combine approaches, or there is also the possibility of creating your own curriculum. The possibilities are endless! What is most important is that you begin to shape an environment that will allow your children to flourish spiritually, academically, and physically.
See more, including a chart highlighting characteristics of several homeschooling approaches, at www.blessedheritage.com.