- No one family schools the same! What works best for an other family is not always going to work the same for yours.
- If your child has been in a public school system, You will need to do an evaulation (diagnostic) test to deteremine exactly where your child is at in school. This should be done soon after the school withdraw. You should not buy any curriculum until this test is done! The results of this test will help you determine the grade level your child is in, they type of curriculum that is best for your child based on where they are performance wise and what their learning style is. (You can buy these tests online, test your child online or take your child to any tutor center to be tested. In most cases their will be a fee. Some curriculum distrobutors offer testing also.)
- Test each child for their learning style. There are loads of FREE tests on line also linked to this site. (You can find these links in the side column dropboxes).
- Decide what type of Homeschooling Method you want to use. Read more about the methods at the resources noted. Also I recommend that you read my posts for new homeschoolers. (http://homeizcool101.blogspot.com/2011/04/new-to-homeschooling-part-1-of-2.html I also have other posts that may interest you in the column dropboxes under My Top Posts and Advice section).
- Research all curriculum of interest. Ask questions before purchasing. Learn all you can about the curriculum you are interested in. Understand that one type of curriculum may not be understandable to each of your children. Again you will have to find curriculum that best meets the learning style. (Read my curriculum buying posts and tips by clicking the noted links:
- (you can find these noted also in my posts dropbox at the side column. The links noted below are also posted at my wordpress blog site.)
Above all, always remember: What works for one will not always work for you or your family. Advice is great. Take as much as you can get. However, understand that it is just advice and you are going to have to find what works best for your family. This is where creativity comes in to play and tons of experimenting.
Structure is good, but make sure you are finding time to have a little fun. Try putting yourself in your childs shoes for school. Are they bored? Could you sit doing nothing but book reading, workbook pages, one after the other? I have found and will always stand by that ALL children no matter what age, learn well with some sort of hands on approach. I hear it all the time. School is not supposed to be fun! Who ever made that rule was a nut! School is not supposed to be BORING! Yes we can have some fun schooling but we do need to be serious also. If your kids are fun, you need to lose some of the strict routine and find some fun. Crafts, Hands on active lessons, experiments, exploring indoors/outdoors, field trips, etc...
Around Thanksgiving we usually do a lesson on Pioneers, Colonial living, Native Americans. We dont just do a lesson, WE LIVE the time. Make a recipe of that time. A hat, outfit, do a craft and include the lesson. Have some fun with your kids. I assure you, they will remember the fun with mom/dad during their schooling. The hardest thing about being a homeschooling parent is: Not only are you the parent you are the teacher, the principle and the parent combined. That doesn't mean you want to make your kids miserable, be demanding, bossy or make your kids hate you. You want to be stern parent/educator but also show them that learning can be fun.
So if you enjoy watching the Duggars. Hey that is great. I do to. BUT! Please evaluate your reasoning in why you are watching them. If you are watching to mimick their lifestyle you may not be aware of what struggles you are setting yourself up for later on. They have great resources to offer, tips and advice. A lot of us veterans do. However, remember we can only offer you advice and encourage you to find what will work best for your family by experimenting. Some of us like lapbooking, notebooking, some of us don't! You can find more out about these resources in the side columns.