February 09, 2012

Homeschooling Mid-Year

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine asked for people to send in answers for their monthly question in the Teacher's Lounge column. Here is my response: 

"If someone asked you what to expect when transitioning from public/private school to homeschool, what advice would you give them? "

When we made the switch from public school to homeschool 2 years ago, I had no idea how our days would go. I imagined sitting at the table with my 6th & 2nd grader while they quietly did their work & listened intently as I explained lessons. All the while, my 2 year old would be playing quietly near us. Oh, was I in for a big surprise! There was bickering between the kids, crying over math & grammar, and lots of screaming from the 2 year old! I thought, "Dear Lord, I thought this is what you wanted me to do! Why is this not working?". After about a month of these types of days I decided to back off of our schedule & really evaluate what works best for our children & for me. I threw them to quickly into school at home. I remember reading on various homeschool sites, online support groups & in other publications, that you need to let your children "de-school" for a while. To begin slowly to let the children, and yourself, get used to this new adventure. My kids also missed being around other children all day. No, they didn't have quality time at school, but they did enjoy being near so many kids. So before you break open the textbooks, unit studies or whatever you're using, find a local homeschool group/co-op that meets regularly so your children know they aren't "the only ones" and can begin to make good friends.
Most importantly, enjoy this adventure with your children! 

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