Advice for Potential Homeschool Newbies

I tell people that starting to homeschool is like having a baby…there is no “right” time. You can read all the books and think you are prepared, but you just don’t know what you are in for until you take that leap and actually start.

Don’t feel that you have to have “all your ducks in a row” before you start, because you will find that things change once you start. A very good friend of mine likes to remind new homeschoolers “There are no educational emergencies”. You have time to figure things out as you go. The most important thing when you first start out is to get to know your child and how they learn. And you can’t learn that from a book.

And the neat thing is, when you do take that plunge, you will find that homeschooling is nothing like you thought and better then you ever imagined.

~Steph

P.S. One of the most common comments I hear from new homeschoolers is that they wish they had not waited so long. I have never heard anyone say that they had started too soon and wish they had put it off longer.

Also published in the 5th Homeschooling Country Fair

About throwingmarshmallows

I am a homeschooling mom to two sweet, energetic boys although I am probably not exactly what you would expect (definitely NOT your stereotypical homeschooler, if there is really such a thing). I support progressive political causes (yes, liberals can and do homeschool!) and I have found a spiritual home in the Unitarian Universalist Church. I have no real idea of how I want to use this blog, but will probably focus on homeschooling, things that I am learning from my boys, personal thoughts and opinions and maybe some liberal politics thrown in, who knows!
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6 Responses to Advice for Potential Homeschool Newbies

  1. It’s a scary thing! It has taken a lot of research and a lot of reworking of my opinions about education. If I weren’t so bogged down with all that I’ve crammed into my brain about it, I’d attempt to write a blog post about my personal transition. Perhaps soon!

    My 9 year old just finished third grade, and I’m already seeing signs of the “school mentality” in him. Hopefully it won’t take long to transition him home. He’s really excited about it.

    My 7 year old just finished first grade, and I am very clearly seeing the praise-dependent, competitive side of him coming out. “Mommy, is this good?” “Mommy, do you like this?” He keeps saying stuff like “let’s do homeschool today” and then sets up a little classroom environment at home. **sigh**

    My 5 year old has never been to public school, though he did go to a big preschool for the last (gasp!) three years. I guess you could say I was a little overwhelmed with parenting when he was 2 (and his brothers were 4 and 6). He’s off the charts smart and I’m really looking forward to homeschooling him from the start.

    I’ll never be ready for this, so I might as well just do it. :)

  2. lanitunes says:

    You are so right! I pulled my son out of public school a year-and-a-half ago and it wasn’t soon enough! (I try not to be too hard on myself about it.)

    The best advice I received when I took him out of school was to allow my son to de-school. Give him (and me) time off to figure out his likes and dislikes and realize that learning really is fun and does not consist of memorizing facts.

    My thoughts to someone who is hesitating to homeschool because “all their ducks aren’t in a row” – you will surely never get there. As parents, we know what is best for our children. Pull your kids out of the restrictive school environment and plunge into this wonderful adventure! You will be amazed and inspired by the transformation that takes place with your child when they realize that you value them enough to let them learn at their own pace… Go for it.

  3. Carolyn says:

    I wonder if people wait for the “right time” because, in truth, they are just unsure of the whole idea. You know, the gaps, the socialization, etc. Homeschooling *seems* like a good idea, but we’ve been so conditioned to buy into the conveyor belt education that it is hard to find the “right time” to let it all go.

    I don’t know, just some of my thoughts. I know that I am glad that I looked into, researched, and decided to homeschool my daughter 3 years ago when she was just 3 years old. It took me a full 2 years (until she was 5) to completely feel comfortable with the idea.

    I think your advice is sound. Most people can’t afford 2 years to “get comfortable.”

  4. Good advice. I agree with Carolyn; many of us have difficulty getting past conditioned beliefs about what schooling is “supposed” to be.

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  6. JoVE says:

    I just dove right in. Tigger wasn’t happy. I did a little bit of research and then thought — if it all goes horribly wrong I can’t do any more damage in the rest of the academic year than leaving her in school would do. (It was January). So I just took her out and we did it. I didn’t commit to doing it forever. Just to trying it out for that 6 months. If it wasn’t working, I figured that 6 months could be used to research other options.

    It worked out great. We’ve decided to keep going for a while.