Again, I am getting this information from a small pamphlet that came with one of my issues of The Old Schoolhouse magazine.
No two homeschools are exactly alike, because each family is different and each circumstance surrounding the question is unique. Homeschooling means different things to different people. For some, homeschooling is duplicating public school at home with textbooks and report cards. for others, homeschooling is just the way they live--children and adults living and learning together so that an outsider looking in wouldn't be able to see what was "home" and what was "school". Still others can be somewhere in the middle of these two.
Before you set out to provide your children's intellectual diet--their education--you will want to consider why you are doing it and what you are seeking to provide for your family.
For many homeschoolers, the most valuable benefit of homeschooling is that it strengthens their family. Homeschooling families spend a lot of time working, learning, and playing together, and strong relationships are built.
Many families like the flexibility homeschooling allows. Children can learn about things they are naturally interested in when they want to. A strict schedule does not have to be followed. Children can get an education tailored to their learning styles at a fraction of the cost of private or public school.
You might want a more "healthy" lifestyle for your children, whether you want to live closer to nature or are concerned mostly about spiritual reasons. The reasons you are going to homeschool are unique to you. The important thing is that you identify them before you prepare to homeschool.
Not only do you need to have your reasons established, but you should also decide what your commitment to homeschooling is before you start. Some people start strong but fall fast when they encounter their first difficulty. Be aware that just as a new recipe will need occasional adjustments to suit your own personal tastes, your homeschooling will encounter rocky times and require some fine-tuning.
Decide on a minumum length of time you are going to homeschool. Make a commitment to give it a go for a certain time period and then re-evaluate! Don't throw out the whole lump of dough--just change the recipe! There are so many different ways to go about teaching at home, so try something new. Different methods and ideas are worth trying so you won't burn out. Give it some time and then make some adjustments, but don't give up!
There is one more thing that comes before you begin planning lessons or purchasing schoolbooks. You need to know what the law requires. For information about legal requirements for homeschooling, you can visit Homeschool Legal Defense Association's website (there is a link on my sidebar to their website).
I will continue to answer some of the most asked questions to provide Simple Recipes for Successful Homeschooling in tomorrow's post.