By Judith Jolma
So you want to homeschool next year? Join the party! Parents everywhere are taking control of their kids’ education, and are finding that getting started is the most difficult part. With thousands of social media groups, curriculum options, and even more opinions on the topic, you probably feel overwhelmed. Wouldn’t it be nice to find a simple, step-by-step guide to blow away the fog and just tell you what to do? I’ve got you covered.
As a lifelong homeschooler (home-educated K-12 and now homeschooling my own four children), I am comfortable managing this lifestyle. I know what works and what methods are non-starters. But few parents have this experience and many feel lost. So I created a simple Masterclass to guide parents through the volatile first stage and set them up for a lifetime of success.
So if you are even thinking about homeschooling next year, don’t waste the summer. Getting set up
is simple but it does take time. The Foundations of Homeschooling Masterclass guides you through a comprehensive workbook that you will want to fill in as you watch through the videos. Each page is designed so that as you answer the questions you are creating your plan for the school year. By the end, you will understand your learning style, teaching style, and purpose. You will also have chosen your curriculum, worked out a budget, and daily schedule, and plugged into a support network. I’ll even cover the complicated questions about learning disabilities, and homeschooling multiple ages -- from toddlers to high school -- all at once! What about moms who work? What about single parents? I don’t leave anything to chance.
This kind of preparation is crucial to a successful homeschool lifestyle. I hate seeing parents’ best efforts end in smoke. Those who just dive in usually end up discouraged and traumatized after only one year. They re-enrolled their children into a poorly performing school system. Or they white-knuckle it year after year and only to have their children resent them and mom feels like she lost her own life in the process. What went wrong for these families and how can you avoid the same fate?
After years of mentoring homeschool families, one trend stands out. The parents who fail always start by asking the same question: “What curriculum should I buy?”
May I suggest a better question, to begin with: “What do I want?”
Once you break free from a school bureaucracy that tells you and your children what time to learn, how to learn, and where to learn, the possibilities can easily overwhelm you. Many parents face the temptation to retreat to the safety of the bureaucracy by recreating the classroom at home. Don’t do it!
Let’s start training today. The Masterclass officers' real training helps you feel confident and empowered. Take control of your child’s education because after all, you are their hero!
Here is a short list of starting questions that will set you up for success:
What do I want?
Discover your mission statement. WHY you homeschool should determine HOW you homeschool. This is where the Foundations of Homeschooling Masterclass begins. I will gently help you match your homeschool tools to your homeschool mission as we design your homeschool dream board.
What do I need?
Don’t try to teach like someone else. Discover your unique teaching style. This is your home and you are the teacher, so choose a method and materials that inspire you to stay engaged. Your children will love learning if you love teaching. Learn to fill your own cup first.
What does my child need?
Learn how to observe your child to determine his developmental, academic, emotional, and spiritual needs. End homework battles by meeting your child's needs and create a custom education designed just for him. (Relax, this does NOT mean you have to create your own curriculum!)
What resources are available that support my purpose?
Your home, your personal skills and talents, your budget, your support network, and your educational approach are just a few resources that I’ll walk you through. I have two full segments dedicated to identifying and learning to use the resources available to homeschool families.
We will walk you through the most popular educational methods so you can know the difference between classical, Charlotte Mason, unschooling, and more. We will also help you determine which method is right for you.
“Great!” You say, “But with all this new information, I’m still overwhelmed. What do I do with it all.” Like I would just abandon you at this point. Don’t be silly. I will stay by your side because Now it's time to do some serious thinking about how you're going to pull it all together. It's a little scary at first, but we think you'll quickly find it becomes fun, too! All the work, observation, reflection, and synthesizing led to this. And don't worry, you are not alone. We will be by your side the whole way.
More common questions:
Do I need a teacher’s degree or special certifications? No. If you are helping your child with homework after school, you are already homeschooling. If you have the patients and humility to learn how to learn alongside your children and to teach them how to both love learning and learn HOW to learn -- you will be successful in giving them everything they need to be successful adults. I promise! But just because you do not need credentials, does not mean that you don’t need training. Homeschooling is a lifestyle, unlike anything most families have ever imagined. Training is a necessary part of any new task in life. Take advantage of the Foundations of Homeschooling Masterclass and learn how to create the homeschool of your dreams.
What are the laws concerning homeschooling? Every state is different and I am not in the business of giving legal advice. For that, I want you to look up HSLDA. Right now! Even if you don’t choose to homeschool. They made all that information very accessible and simple. And complying with the laws is not difficult. I find it to be the easiest part of the whole business.
The beauty of homeschooling now (unlike in 1983 when my mother started) is that there is a tool or resource for everything you could ever want. There are lesson plans, tutors, social clubs, special needs programs, and parent support networks. You are not alone. And there is so much affirmation out there, you will not feel like a freak and your children will have a healthy network of peers just like them. The negative thing about homeschooling now (unlike in 1983) is that there are so many resources available. It can be very overwhelming. But don’t get too worked up about that either. Once you identify what you are trying to accomplish and figure out your family dynamic the path will open up ahead of you.
Sophia Homeschool teaches parents how to homeschool. Learn more about our training at Sophiahomeschool.com
Learn how to create a homeschool method and environment based on your family's needs so you can thrive. My Foundations of Homeschooling Masterclass teaches parents to work with their budget, schedule, learning style, teaching style, and resources so each member of the family has his or her needs met— including yours! Learn to create a peaceful and joyful learning environment that lasts a lifetime. Identify learning differences and adapt your educational plan accordingly. Unlock the mysteries of teaching multiple grades at once. By knowing what your needs are, you will save thousands of dollars, time, and energy on methods that do not work. We will end homework battles and restore your relationship with your child.