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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Top 10 Do's and Don't for the New Homeschooler

Top 10 Do's and Don'ts for the the New Homeschooler {The Unlikely Homeschooler}

So, you've decided to homeschool. 
Much like the overwhelming amount of well-intentioned advice you received when you first announced you were preparing for your first child, when you take the big gulp and declare to your inner circles your decision to homeschool, you invariably open the floodgates to a barrage of unsolicited advice. 

But, the truth is, there are just as many RIGHT WAYS to homeschool as there are families who choose this unconventional path. 

Each year a few times a year, I'm asked to sit down with a so-I've-decided-to-homeschool momma desperately seeking some words of wisdom and a friendly hand to hold. And as we sit down with a hot cup of coffee, I smile and remind her of this>>>

And then, as I begin to see a wave of relief wash over her, I begin to unpack a few of these simple truths...


Do's

  1. Do connect with veteran homeschool moms and ask lots of questions.  But, keep in mind, God did not give us all the same materials and tools so He does not expect us to build the same thing.  
  2. Do claim a Bible verse for your homeschooling journey.  On those days when you feel tempted to pile the Littles onto the big yellow bus as it drives by your front window (And there WILL BE days like this!), a mission-style verse can be just the encouragement and accountability you need to press on.
  3. Do schedule in a few "teacher in-service" days during the school year.  Allow yourself a day to get caught up on life.
  4. Do attend a homeschool conference in your area.  It's a great place to learn some practical tips, peruse the latest curriculum options, and hear captivating and encouraging speakers.
  5. Do join a homeschool co-op in your area.  The homeschooling journey doesn't have to be a lonely one...for you OR your kids.


Don'ts


  1. Don't limit your day to just core subjects.  Art, creative writing, science projects, and field trips might not be considered ESSENTIALS, but they certainly enrich and captivate even reluctant learners.
  2. Don't feel imprisoned by a curriculum.  If it is not working for you and your family, ditch it and find something that will!
  3. Don't play the comparison game.  So what if Suzy Homeschooler's six-year-old can speak five languages, build a small motor using only a paper clip, and is currently writing a paper on quantum physics.  There will always be homeschoolers doing more than you.  But then again, there will always be homeschoolers doing less.  Keep your eyes on what God has called and equipped YOU and your children to do knowing that it was by design that He placed them with you...not her.
  4. Don't produce a carbon copy curriculum of someone else.  Your kids are unique and require a unique strategy for learning.
  5. Don't try to teach your children EVERYTHING there is to know about EVERYTHING.  That would be virtually impossible.  Instead, inspire a love of learning within them.  In doing so, you are giving them the tools they need to keep learning for a lifetime.

Many thanks to our fabulous host, Angie at Many Little Blessings for letting me share my two cents.



7 comments:

  1. I haven't done # 2. Totally important idea! Gonna do that. Thanks you. And I like how you divided your list into do's and don'ts. Great approach.

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  2. Great list Jamie. I would add to #8 that we should not compare apples to oranges. God has given us all different gifts. Some will be called to things academic, some will be artistic and others called to service. What ever you do, do for the glory of God!

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  3. Thank you for the post! I'm only doing home preschool and some days I just don't know if I can make it any farther, but this list is helpful and inspiring. Thanks!

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  4. Very insightful advice. Thanks for helping folks to keep on homeschooling!

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  5. Jamie- Thank you so much for your blog. I just found it yesterday and have spent an hour both days reading your posts and watching your videos. In early May, After a year of praying over this decision, my husband and I decided we will begin to homeschool our children this fall. But these past few weeks I started to get anxious and worried (mostly due to some negative comments from our family members) whether or not I was truly equipped to teach our children. I am not even sure how I stumbled across your blog, other than it being the hand of God. Your posts have been a blessing to me. They have given me a renewed sense of peace and excitement about the decision my husband and I have made to follow this call in our lives. Thanks again, Christen

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  6. #10 made me cry!!! I finally have a mission statement for my homeschool!!! I have been asking myself "why exactly do you want to homeschool the kids" and I kept thinking; its because the public school system is a joke, i'm a stay at home mom who better to teach my babies then ME, I don't want my kids to pick up bad habits or behavior.... but none of it really convinced ME so how was i going to convince my family members. Its been in my heart this whole time, i just didn't know how to put into words!! #10 is EXACTLY IT!!! The ability to inspire a love of learning, to my little ones, so that they may continue to learn and inspire others LONG after they have graduated college........yep this is everything! THANK YOU!!

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    Replies
    1. So glad this one was helpful to you, Yadaira. I think that inspiring a love of learning in your kids will equip them to feed themselves with knowledge long after you are gone.

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