HS 239 How To Get Started In Homeschooling Brandy Gleason
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HS EP Getting Started
Well hey there, welcome to the Homeschool Solutions podcast. I'm your host, Wendy Speake. Here on the podcast, we start each week with a longer, more traditional podcast, most often with guests, but sometimes we simply open the Word together and apply it directly to our homeschooling days.
On Thursdays however, we share shorter episodes that I like to call blogcasts, where one of our favorite homeschool bloggers, simply encourages us with the content of one of their recent blog posts. I hope this message serves you and your family today.
As always, I'd like to thank our sponsor, Sonlight Curriculum. The wonderful people at Sonlight Curriculum offer complete homeschool curriculum that you are guaranteed to love. And now, let me introduce you to one of my friends.
How to Get Started in Homeschooling
Written by Stacey Wells, Read by Brandy Gleason
Making a choice to homeschool your child or children is always the best choice. Not only does it give you the freedom to tailor their specific academic program to their strength and style of learning, but it gives you so much freedom as well. There are many advantages to this endeavor, and you'll find them all, as well as some of your own, as you move along this path with your child.
Just consider for a moment, the opportunity to create your own schedule, to include religious study in your child's academic structure, and to be able to change things if you find that something simply isn't working.
So, what does it take to get started in homeschooling? I'm glad you asked! It's not so daunting a task as it seems, especially if you're a first-time homeschooler, You'll have to consider a great deal of information to be ready and willing to bend and grow as your child does too. What works in the first grade will certainly need to be changed only a few short years later, no matter what style, method, or curriculum you start with. Not everything will change, but there will be much that does. And you just want to be prepared for that along the way.
Step number one. Find your state's homeschool laws. This is a very crucial step, and without it, you won't be able to move forward. Each state has its own set of homeschool laws and you'll have to adhere to those of your own home state. While most parents go an entire twelve years of homeschool without ever having to produce proof that they are adhering to these laws, it still happens. And if you're ever asked to provide that proof, you need to know exactly what is expected. With respect to homeschooling laws, it's not a bad idea at all to stay up to date with the latest homeschooling news.
Federal and state homeschooling legislation and specific homeschool cases most often involves the HSLDA, which stands for Homeschool Legal Defense Association, and other prominent firms that are being heard in the courts. The reason you want to stay abreast of this news is that today's news in court cases could give way to tomorrow's laws, many of which threaten to infringe on your God-given right to homeschool in some of the most preposterous ways. As homeschoolers, we need to make sure we make our voices heard loud and clear in support of those rights. If we find out our rights are threatened, we can take action by calling or writing our representatives and sharing the news with other homeschoolers and homeschooling groups in which we might be involved.
There are some special considerations for these homeschool laws that you should be aware of as well. For example, laws regarding homeschooling in the military can be very confusing. If you are in the military and homeschool or are thinking about starting to homeschool, please familiarize yourself with some of the very important information that can be found.
Step number two. Determine your child's learning style. Every child learns differently. Understanding how your child learns can make the difference between a great homeschooling experience or a really bad one. More importantly, teaching according to your child's specific learning style means that your child is more likely to retain the information taught. They might even learn more quickly, giving them great opportunities for academic achievement.
Learning styles vary greatly from child to child, but can include the following:
Visual learners. They prefer charts, diagrams, patterns, shapes, and artistic activities. Auditory learners prefer talking, singing, rhymes, and music. Reading and writing learners prefer reading and writing, keeping lists, categorizing information, and taking notes. Kinesthetic learners prefer to utilize all senses by hands-on learning, videos, field trips, demonstrations, and trial and error. Logical, mathematical learners, they prefer order, logic, number, organization, computer, and projects that have a clear, concise goal. Social learners can exist in tandem with other learning styles, and these learners prefer role-playing, group work, discussion, interaction, and leadership. Solitary learners prefer to work on their own, making use of reading, writing, workbooks, and setting their own personal goals.
Step number three. Determine which teaching style you will use. After determining what learning style best suits y our child, you can then move on to a teaching style that will best match that. Your teaching style should go hand in hand with their learning style to create an excellent and beneficial homeschool setting in which it's not only easy to learn, but also easy to teach. It won't take long to find out if you're teaching in a style that is completely unrelated to your child's learning style, because things will feel forced and progress is slow-going if it's even made at all.
There are many different homeschool teaching styles. Some are very strict and rigid while others are lenient and laid back. But if paired correctly with the learning styles, you'll see excellent results. Here are some of the most common homeschooling styles.
Eclectic homeschooling. Eclectic homeschoolers tend to pick and choose from a variety of different curriculum to find out what best works for their child. This can include borrowing from other homeschooling styles as well, such as mingling the Charlotte Mason method with unschooling.
Traditional homeschooling. This style is modeled very closely after the way a public school day is lined up. Although there is usually a great difference in subject matter taught. For instance, a specific box curriculum is utilized, a schedule is put in place, usually to include lunch and recess, and very little adaptation is allowed.
Unit Studies. Unit Studies allow the use of single theme across every subject matter covered. Lapbooks are often included, and many various resources can be used, including television programs and video clips, field trips, fiction books, and hands-on learning.
Montessori Homeschooling. The Montessori Method is often thought to be too complex for parents to utilize with their children in a homeschool setting. Some parents still choose this homeschooling style for its dedication to learning specific stages, focusing on the arts and using Living Books as curriculum.
Classical Homeschooling. Often referred as "ancient technique," this style includes the Latin language for solidifying the concept of logic. It also utilizes a more rigid curriculum base for mastery across subjects.
Unschooling. This very loose, child-led homeschooling style allows for the most personalization, borrowing from different styles, especially Unit Studies, as well as allowing for a great deal of learning based on the interests and hobbies of the child. Though this teaching style is probably the hardest to keep records for, there are lots of resources on how to do so.
Charlotte Mason Method. There is no strict curriculum available for the Charlotte Mason homeschooling style, as it focuses on a wide variety of life lessons, Living Books, and personal experience to create a well-rounded person. Children are expected to know certain things at certain age levels, with oral narration playing a key part in the early learning experience.
Step four. Choose a winning curriculum. Although not all homeschool teaching styles necessitate a full curriculum, even those using the methods such as Unschooling or Eclectic homeschooling utilize some type of resource. Even if you don't purchase the full curriculum, you might choose a specific subject by a specific homeschool provider. For instance, you could pick a math resource from Abeka, while using Sonlight for other subjects. There are certainly no rules for curriculum choices and you are free to combine as you see fit. The most important thing is that whatever you choose works for both you and your child.
There are many different places online where you can browse homeschool literature titles, textbook details, and more. But nothing takes the place of actually getting your hands on the materials you think will be most useful. Attending a Great Homeschool Convention is an excellent way to do this. They have extensive homeschool curriculum providers set up with products that you can touch, flip through, and examine at your discretion until you find the perfect fit. What's more, you can purchase many of these items on the spot, as well as other resources you might find and fall in love with.
This year, Great Homeschool Conventions has an online convention, running through December 31, due to COVID-19.
Step number five. Do not expect perfection. As you embark on your homeschooling journey with your new homeschooling curriculum, and your newfound confidence, don't be surprised if some things simply don't work. If you're a first-time homeschooler, it's important that you do not expect a perfect experience. Chances are, you'll find out what works and what doesn't only as you move through your program of choice. This is perfectly acceptable and is actually very beneficial to your homeschooling.
If y our child starts public school for instance, and simply isn't doing well with the material being taught, or method used to teach the material, there's absolutely nothing you can do. However, in homeschool, the same situation allows you to switch curriculum options, implement a different schedule, or take a different approach to new and more difficult information. It might seem like "time wasted" to those who don't understand. The good news is, in homeschooling, once you find out what works well, it's much easier to catch up on any work you might have missed.
For those who experience problems that don't seem to go away, no matter what you change, a co-op or support group might be a good resource to take advantage of. I promise you are not the only parent who has ever considered throwing in the towel on homeschooling. I think we all have at one time or another, especially in the beginning. It's important to remember that it's new territory, and along with that comes a certain amount of learning. Give your child, and yourself, some room for growth.
In closing, getting started in homeschooling really isn't that hard. As you can see, there are certain factors that come into play at specific times, and the better prepared you are for that, the more successful you will be in planning your homeschooling year. Even if you're a seasoned homeschooler, new curriculum options, or other resources, could change your whole game plan, making it easier for everyone.
I hope that today's blogcast equipped and encouraged you. Remember that next week, I'll be back with another great conversation, right here on the Homeschool Solutions podcast. My name is Wendy Speake, I'm your host, and I am so glad that you've tuned in today.
But before we sign off, I'd like to invite you to subscribe right now to the Homeschool Solutions podcast through Apple or Google Play. And speaking of invitations, won't you join me at one of the Great Homeschool Conventions this year? These conventions are my favorite, offering dozens of wonderful speakers, and hundreds of inspiring exhibitors. Go to GreatHomeschoolConventions.com and find one near you in 2020. This year, I will be at the Ohio, Texas, South Carolina, and California conventions. Make sure to stop by and say hey if you'll be at one of those events.
But in the meantime, we've got this podcast and homeschooling.mom as other great resources to support you as you educate your kids in math and science and literature, yes, but also as you train them in Godliness and love. Until next time, this is Wendy Speake. I hope that you and your family have a wonderful day.
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