Saturday, January 5, 2013

Diving into Homeschooling

   I have been scouring all over for as many tips, blogs, and books as I can find on homeschooling since we decided to homeschool Cooper. It is hard to know where to begin. The first few days after deciding to homeschool, I was pumped and excited about our decision. I walked around blissfully ignorant. I didn't realize how many state laws I needed to be aware of, if and where I needed to fill out any forms. What I needed to keep track of throughout the year. The lists of questions went on and on.

   I found a book on Amazon that has been amazing! From page one it calmed my nerves and made the whole process easy to wrap my mind around. The book is titled "Homeschooling Essentials - A Practical Guide to Getting Started". It was written by Dianna Broughton. She is a homeschooling mom and director of Carolina Homeschooler (a homeschooling support group.) I knew that this was a book that was meant for our family in the current place in time that we are. We have a lot of "what ifs..." and "what abouts..." that we are throwing around concerning homeschooling. Our biggest question was discussed within the first few pages! The first heading on page 7 is "What about socialization?" Dianna even states that this is the question that she is asked most often. I love her response:

"If you're concerned your children will have problems because they're not out in the "real world," ask yourself if being in a room with 25 same-aged peers for 180 days a year is truly a real-world situation. As homeschoolers, your children will interact with people of all ages and backgrounds, in a variety of settings, throughout the year. Which is more "real"? Which group is really more "socialized"? "

   I was immediately re-energized with the original excitement that I had for homeschooling and wanted to tell every mom that I knew how excited I was for our family and how much this book meant to me. I was reminded that every playdate, trip to the zoo, and museum outing was "real world" socialization and a great learning situation for him.  I loved the fact that she encourages and reminds the reader to make their own decision. She constantly says that ''you know what is best for your child and family.'' She says to stand by those decisions! I have had to back up our decision to homeschool our son a few times and there is even a section in the book on how to have that discussion with family and friends. This book really is an incredible guide for people beginning to homeschool! It covers everything from daily schedules, curriculum, homeschooling methods, dealing with problems, and some of the authors' favorite resources. All throughout each chapter there are personal stories from homeschooling parents. I love this part because I feel like as parents we need as much encouragement as possible and it's always nice to read and get advice from someone who has 'been there, done that.'

   I whole-heartedly encourage any parent who is considering homeschooling and doesn't know where to begin to order this book! You can get it here from in paperback or a kindle edition. I look forward to learning more and deciding how we are going to go about things in our home. This is an exciting time in our lives and I can't wait to share some of it with you!

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