August 4, 2010

Beginning Homeschooling

With the school year upon us, I know many of us are making plans and thinking through our child's education. I dug through my archives and pulled up some relevant posts from the past. I hope they are helpful.


What Makes a Good Homeschool Parent?

Capturing Your Child's Heart


A Look at Interest-Led Learning 

Homeschool Envy

 Practical Issues

Advice for First Year Homeschoolers

How I Keep Records in Our Home School

Should I Homeschool High School?

Intentional Unschooling 

How to Prepare a High School Transcript for Home Schoolers

Homeschooling and College Scholarships

I have dozens of posts tagged "beginning homeschooling," but that can get overwhelming. I really need to get organized.

I love to take questions, so what would you like to know?


Southern Gal said...

I've added this to my Favorites so I can go back and read them when I have more time. Thanks for the links.

Erin J said...

Thanks! I plan to look through them too.

Something I'd like to know is... how do you stay the course and remain confident in your plan to use interest-led learning when those days come where you're sure you're ruining the children, where your friend tells all about her sparkling new curriculum, where your child doesn't remember 2+2 and where you are suddenly sure that shipping them off to school is really the only option?

Chelsey said...

I am just starting the homeschool route. My son is 4 and my daughter is 2. I have taught private school, and because of that I feel that I look at homeschool with WAY too much structure. I never would have thought of homeschooling much less unschooling, yet here I am. I know how much more I got out of college when I was in my major. I LOVED it. Why can that not be for K-12? So, my question is how do I start with my little ones? I want them to love learning, but how do I guide them towards academics when they are so young? What or any guidelines did you use in elementary and middle grades? Did you have a schedule? I really wish you lived closer....a good afternoon with coffe and TONS of questions would ensue. Thanks for your help.

Traci said...

We are starting our 5th year. I practically feel like an old pro this year!

Rana said...

Thanks for sharing these. I have read a couple as I was going through your older post. This will be great to send to my sister. With all my talk about interest led learning I have finally persuaded her to think more about homeschooling her son. He is only 8 months old, but you can never start learning to early.

Annie said... sister, who has a 9 month old, is already planning on homeschooling and is taking notes on what works (and doesn't work) for us and we begin our journey! too funny!

Jena, great selections...I've taken notes and hopefully we continue to have wonderful success. We're currently 3 weeks into our 1st homeschool year!

Jena said...

Hi Erin,

Great question! Those days come often, so just remind yourself that most kids can't remember what they learned in the school the day before. And kids who are forced through curriculum end up hating "school" and maybe their parents too.

You want happy, emotionally healthy kids who get excited about life and learning.

Also, there is value in just being home in a safe, emotionally healthy environment, no matter how much "school" stuff happens.

Jena said...


I love your comment about letting little ones "take classes in their major." I love that idea! Perfect!

About interest-led learning for young ones, I wrote a post that addresses this:

I look at it as a continuation of the toddler years. Keep teaching them things, taking them interesting places, just being a good mom. And beyond that, teach them to read and write their letters, and answer their million questions!

I did have a curriculum guide that I would check once in awhile to remind myself of topics to introduce. And great news! I just googled it and found you can download the guide for each grade level!! But the guide must not become your god. :) It's just a guide.

here it is:

Kerry said...

Thank so much for all this information.

I was wondering what you do when their interest far outreach their abilities? My son, who's 6, has his mind set, he is going to build a boat. I encourage his interest in boating with books and movies and talks with my dad, who once owned a sail boat, but I don't think I'm up for the task of assisting my son in building a boat big enough for him to set sail in. I don't want to discourage his dreams either.

Also, do you have any places you go to when you can't seem to find information on a certain topic? Or when it seems you've tapped into all your resources and they still want more?

Do you ever let things slip into the background for a while to see if the interest is still there 3 or 4 months from now or do you think timing is everything?

I hope that's not too many questions at once, but they seemed related. Thank you again for all these great resources.

Kerry said...

P.S. I love the family photo!

Jena said...

Hi Kerry,

What a great question. Yes, sometimes it's impossible to meet the desires/interests of your child. We had this come up with Meg when she was around 10. She wanted a horse, and we were not in the position to get into that world. There were a lot of tears and anguish, on all sides. But in the end, it's a good opportunity for your child to see that he or she is part of a family with limitations. The whole world is full of limitations, but we do the best we can with what is possible.

How about starting small with building model boats? Sounds like you are doing a great job trying to encourage his interst here.

And yes, over time, things fade. I've experienced this a lot with my kids. I usually try to wait awhile before I jump into anything expensive or time consuming, just to make sure they REALLY want to do this. It's not unreasonable to wait six months.

The key is to be your child's cheerleader, and not shut down their interests. But they live in the real world, with a certain family, and it's good for him or her to see things from mom and dad's perspective. :)

And if you can't find what you want on the internet or the phone book, what else can you do? We live in a small town, and there are a lot of things I can't find around here. :)

thanks for such great questions!

Kendra Fletcher said...

Hi Jena-

Found your blog tonight while searching for movies to accompany our history studies this year. Love what you're writing!


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