Sunday, December 30, 2012

Prospective Homeschool Parents, Part 1 of 5

Welcome to this first in a five part series of blogs specifically for the prospective homeschool parent.

Are you online tonight readingreadingreading information on homeschooling and fretting about it?  Is there a possibility that you are considering homeschooling your children and would love to read some advice from seasoned homeschooling parents?  

If so, STOP the presses.  Relax, grab a cuppa.  You have found what you are looking for.

Let me simplify things for you a bit.  I have a large group of friends who homeschool.  Between us we have over 100 years of experience homeschooling!  In order to gather information for you, I asked them all to fill out a survey of sorts, looking for wisdom to share with prospective homeschooling parents.  In the next few weeks I will share much of the wisdom of these the meantime, sit back and relax that brain and keyboarding wrist of yours and read here for awhile, because This blog post is for you!

In answer to the question, 
What advice would you give to someone considering homeschooling their children?
here are the many answers...all for you!

One mother, Shannon, hopes you have some time to do your research:

Do research in chunks. If you do it all at once it can be overwhelming. Legal/regional aspects, curriculum, standards, etc. Do a little bit at a time.

In other words, don't let the prospect of homeschooling overwhelm you.  There is plenty of information out there.  No sense in scaring yourself!

Cathy, an unschooling mother, gives these pearls of wisdom and thought:

I advise parents thinking about homeschooling that anyone can do it as long as they like being around their kids (or can learn to like it). Even parents with dyslexia, school phobias, etc., can homeschool their kids. I also advise being open to seeing what works and dropping anything that doesn't work out. ... don't drop a lot of money on curriculum, at least not right away. You may quickly find that you don't need it. And ...don't feel that you have to "keep up" with the planned curriculum of your local school district. Believe me, most teachers don't keep up, either. And even in the classes where they do, the kids often "forget" whatever they supposedly learn--so result is the same as those classes that don't "keep up."

In other words, You Can Do It!  Relax and take some time before spending any cash at all.  

Marie offers these bits of wisdom:

Before you do anything, learn what they know, and how they learn.  

Take the time to learn what they should know, and what your state expects them to cover in their grade.  
Allow them, and you time to shake off the idea of what school should be, and develop your own path and system, that allows you the freedom to adjust as needed,
In other words,  forget doing anything fancy.  Just hang out with your kids for awhile and see what turns them on, what interests them, and how they like to learn things.  

You don't know everything...that's ok.  Time is on your side!

Angie, with her spunky "can do" attitude offers this:

My advice for a mom considering hsing: Jump in and try it! You aren't going to damage your child by taking them out of school for a semester or a year...or longer. I think people have a fear of even attempting it before knowing what it will really be like.

In other words, trust yourself!  Trust your children!  And trust the process.

As for myself, my advice:
If you are looking for some good books, I have a few titles to recommend.  (see below for book titles and links to  But I admit I haven't been in the market for a book in a long time so there might be great titles out there that I don't know about.
If possible, relax.  Homeschooling is a journey as well as a destination.  Your definition of "wisdom", "learning", and "education" will change.  And so will your idea of what it means to be truly educated.
And, finally, if possible, find other homeschoolers, support groups, online groups, and ask every question under the sun.  Homeschooling parents are notoriously well-educated and freakishly-supportive.  They would love to share their knowledge with you.

Please feel welcome to ask any questions here that you wish.  
I am more than happy to provide support and resources!

The Essential Homeschool Bookshelf

by Grace Llewelyn

by John Taylor Gatto

by John Holt

by Linda Dobson
By Rachel Gathercole


Upcoming questions in this series:

What are the benefits of homeschooling for your family?
What are the negatives of homeschooling?
What are your fears?
What about Socialization???

If you like this post you might try this one:
Ten Facts About How We Homeschool

or this one:
Why Are Homeschooled Kids so Annoying?


  1. I just finished reading Dumbing Us Down, and it was very powerful. I liked how the author (a teacher in NYC for 26 years) put into words some of the vague problems I have with public schools. My takehome messages from the book were the teachers teach school, not any specific topic, and schools try to provide a one-size fits all approach, and we know that just doesn't work. Highly recommended that you read it if you're questioning compulsory education.

    1. I remember reading that one and "The Teenage Liberation Handbook" feeling like I'd just read the most revolutionary and wise books...
      They put into words things I have, probably, known since I was a kid in school myself. Turned me off to schools forever, including college, in some cases.

  2. Howard Gardner has some interesting things to say about learning as well. You can find his books on Amazon. I didn't come across them until my girl was in high school...wish I'd known about these ideas earlier.

    1. Thank you for the recommendation. I just downloaded "The Unschooled Mind" onto my Nook.

  3. I like your point "you don't know everything..time is on your side." It's so true! Sometimes we think we have to know it all, or act like everything is all together, but simply not a fact.
    Thanks for sharing your post on my site! Glad I could visit yours as well :) Rachael @ Diamonds in the Rough


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