There are as many ways to home school as there are people out there that home school. Basically most people will range somewhere in the broad spectrum between “school-at-home” and “let the kids play all they want and they’ll learn what they need to know”. You need to know your style and the temperaments and learning styles of your children to be able to come up with an educational philosophy that you can both live with.
Children can learn with workbooks and they can learn with games. Some children love to work through a textbook and don’t want to be bothered with games while other children may complete a workbook but not remember anything they did.
There are all kinds of terms that are used to describe the styles of home schooling such as Eclectic, Classical, Unschooling, Traditional, Montessori, Charlotte Mason, and Unit Studies.
Homeschooling does stretch a parent but it doesn’t have to bend them out of shape. Each parent needs to evaluate what type of learning methods they feel comfortable with in teaching their children. Some people wouldn’t feel comfortable using anything but a structured curriculum that tells them exactly what to say. While others would feel very stifled to have to be tied to a curriculum that told them exactly what they had to do.
Homeschooling is mostly about relationships. If you have a great relationship with your child or work on relating with your child, you will be able to work through any curriculum struggle by communicating.
Children need some boundaries in their day. They may not learn anything by playing around all day, but then they may not learn anything by completing a workbook page either. They need some structure that they are required to follow and be held accountable if they step outside those boundaries. When you have some “have tos” in your life it builds character and makes the unstructured times more fun.
One very common question among homeschoolers is “where do I find the best curriculum?”
There is not one curriculum that’s the best. There is only the curriculum that’s the best fit for your child. This is why I don’t think anybody can tell you what the best curriculum is, because it may not fit your child at all. So, one of the things you want to be thinking about is what has worked for your in the past because that’s the kind of thing that’s likely to be a successful curriculum in the future.
The other thing you want to be thinking about, especially during the high school years, is whether the curriculum was made for homeschoolers. The reason this is important is because there’s a lot of curriculum out there, even sold at homeschool conventions, that was originally developed for public and private high school teachers. These books assume that you are in a classroom setting and includes lots of repetition. It also assumes that the teacher knows the subject. This means if you were to buy a French book that was intended for a public school French teacher, it would assume you know French.
In contrast, if you buy curriculum that is intended and written for homeschoolers, it’s going to assume that you know nothing. It will assume that you don’t know the subject and that your child doesn’t know the subject. This is how you get through, especially those difficult subjects like chemistry, physics or algebra. You will want to choose a curriculum that is made for homeschoolers and this will help you be much more successful.
I have a suggestion for you if are looking for curriculum for the very first time and you have no idea where you are going to start or what you are going to do. Usually, I point people to Sonlight curriculum because I find that it has the best hand-holding and can help you kind of ease in to a homeschool curriculum a little bit. So, if you are completely flummoxed and you don’t have a clue where to start, look at Sonlight curriculum. Other than that just make sure that your curriculum choices are made for homeschoolers.
If you’re a homeschooled teen, or a parent of a home schooled teen, then this book may be of interest to you. Or maybe… you’re a teen who has been in a public or private school, and now your parent is considering homeschooling you? And just think, what if it was your junior year of high school no less?? And what if it meant leaving your longtime school friends?? In this book, Lisa Dunlop writes a story about a girl, named Elizabeth, in just this situation. Lisa herself was homeschooled for 9 years, and is currently taking college correspondence courses. She lives with her mother, father, brother and two cats in Tampa, FL.
As explained in the book, “Throughout Lisa’s years of homeschooling she has watched the many changes which new homeschooled teens go through, often from surly, mistrustful teens to happy, talkative young adults. Her desire to help homeschoolers led her to writing this book in the hope it will encourage both parents and teens.”
This is an easy book to read of only 107 pages, which is interesting, and truly does encourage any teen that may be looking at possibly homeschooling in their future. In her book, Lisa also has given her address for anyone who would like to contact her to ask her questions, or to have her speak at their curriculum fair, seminars, or homeschool meetings.
Homeschooling your teens can be one of the best things you can ever do for them!!!! One day they’ll thank you!