Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A Letter to You if You're Thinking of Homeschooling

 I just wanted to share a few things that I've learned as I've been starting the homeschool journey. First I'm not a perfect parent, or the most patient, but as I started on this journey I have learned that I am living more intentionally as a mother. I've realized that I need to work on my relationship with my demanding and wiggly 3 year old if I am going to have him in my home instead of sending him off to school - and that has truly made all of the difference.

I've also found that I am having to be guided by faith. I am also laughing that I'm even writing this email because truthfully I haven't officially started a homeschool curriculum or joined a co-op, but just doing things on my own that I feel strongly about with my son, and then going to as many homeschool conventions, support groups, and pretty much anything that is going to help me along this journey....and so that eventually I can find a co-op and a curriculum. :) 

I've learned as I've been studying and attending classes that YOU cannot do it all, and that this okay.  You are simply a facilitator of their learning. (I said simply a facilitator - but we know that it isn't all that simple or easy....just that it is worth it!)

I have a few recommendations of articles and books that might be helpful to you.  The following is the article that, with the help of the spirit, sealed the deal for me.  

The next three links are links about the different homeschooling approaches...they all say essentially the same thing - but it's good info as you begin to learn about the different approaches.

This blog is just a great blog from a mom who homeschools.  What I like about her blog is that she covers laundry plan(how to run a household and a homeschool), gospel learning, and pretty much everything a homeschooling parent might need.

I have not yet purchased the book below, but I have been told over and over that this is the most helpful books for picking curriculum for your children.

Below is a GREAT forum to join.  What's great is that they have activities and other ways of meeting homeschooling families and there are just a bunch of different topics and things you can join that might be helpful.  You'll have to join and then go to the forums and sign up for the ones that interest you.

This website is awesome!  Probably one of the first websites I came across while trying to figure all of the homeschooling stuff out.  This helps you understand what is required in Utah to pull your kids out of school and other important information.

I'm sorry if this is just way too much information, but I am excited to start homeschooling!  The reasons I love homeschooling so far is that it's flexible and it's shorter than public school and allows your children more time to be creative.  I also love it because Heavenly Father planted a seed in my heart and I have been doing all I can to nurture it.  

I know my son is only 3, but I have always worked with him on learning.  He is a bright kid - but he's very much a 3 year old boy.  Because of his age and craziness, this is what our days look like:  I read to him from the illustrated Book of Mormon  and the Friend magazine in the morning while he and his sister are eating breakfast.  If he still hasn't finished eating, I read more in those or other books.  Right now he is excited about dinosaurs so we might read about dinosaurs from the 10 dinosaur books we get from the library...or bugs.  He loves bugs!  Then if he is playing in the sandbox or in the bathtub (and if his little sister allows) I read to him from books like Charlotte's Web, Peter Pan, Pinocchio, Jungle Book, etc.  I LOVE reading to him.  I love that we learn new words and discuss fun things - and important things like honesty and kindness!  Even though he isn't sitting there and intensely listening, I know he is learning.  Before naps and bedtime we read more.  We go to museums and I'm hoping to start teaching him to read a little as long as he is okay with it.  We also count all of our grapes we eat at lunch or other things like that to help him start with number recognition and such.  We always look for ways to count and point out letters or their sounds.  It's pretty much a learning lifestyle!

Congrats if you made it this far!  That was a LONG post and I hope I didn't overwhelm you too much.  If this is the right thing for you and your family, Heavenly Father will help you.  That I am sure of.  I hope I helped in some way.  I'm excited for you and your family and best of luck!

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