Aug 5, 2020 The choice to homeschool is very personal, and requires a different mindset, commitment, and approach than traditional school. This blog provides a starting point for parents in their search to learn how to homeschool.
We are accidental homeschoolers. My husband was a public school teacher, so we bought our home in his district so he and our future children would be on the same schedule. He comes from a family of teachers and we both went to public school. We assumed our kids would, too.
And then, our son was born and that all changed. This blog attempts to give some basic tips for homeschooling that will get you started, and lets you know the questions to ask before homeschooling.
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How it All Began
Our son had a stroke at birth and has been followed around by all types of medical professionals ever since. From the start, we noticed that he was different than his peers at the program for kids with developmental differences. They suggested we teach him sign language. He learned 500 signs in a month and signed what seemed like paragraphs at a time.
We began to wonder if he was on the right educational track. We took him to a neuropsychologist who assessed his abilities as wildly advanced in some areas and in need of significant intervention in others. She said it was unlikely he could ever be fully accommodated in a traditional school setting and suggested we consider homeschooling, if we were able. We became a homeschool family quite suddenly.
Trial and Error
Surprised at this sudden change life change, we started to explore homeschooling. At first there was a lot of trial and error. We bought homeschooling curriculums, only to decide that just part of them would work for us. Then, we tried to have a highly structured school day, when following his interests and adapting lessons to fit worked better. And finally, we tried a break for the summer, but we soon realized that he really needed to learn year-round.
Homeschooling Today . . . 😃
Believe it or not, even the road has been long, today, we’ve all settled into a comfortable pattern. It was easier figuring things out with our daughter simply because it wasn’t all brand new. We did have to find new curriculums and materials for her education because her interests are more math and science oriented, while our son is most interested in history and humanities.
However, it’s been the right choice for all of us. We’ve been able to provide a “just right” educational fit for our twice-exceptional son. He’s taking college classes for credit which meet his intellectual needs – and wearing shoes with Velcro closures – which meet his fine motor needs. Wildly advanced and receiving significant intervention, just as predicted. Our homeschool children have adapted very well.
Tips for Homeschooling
If you’re newly considering homeschooling, here are some things to think about:
1. Know your options
Homeschool laws are different in every state. Some states don’t require notification and some states require homeschooling under an umbrella school. State and local homeschool organizations are the best places to start asking.
2. Don’t try to recreate traditional school at home
Many non-academic things fill a traditional school day, like changing classes, taking attendance, lunch, and dismissal. The homeschool day won’t take as long, and it moves faster working one-on-one. You can create the schedule that works for your family.
3. Follow your student’s interests and be creative
So, is your child deep into dinosaurs right now? Make it work for you! Practice language art and writing using topics about dinosaurs. Make math problems about the number of bones in your child’s favorite dinosaurs.
4. Give yourself grace and build a community
You will make mistakes. It’s part of parenting. And this is a long-term project and you can adjust. You can do this and it does get easier. Veteran homeschool parents are always willing to give advice. You can find them in a local co-op or in social media groups.
Please take these tips for homeschooling as only a starting point for deciding which approach works for you and your family. The journey you choose will give your child a tailored approach that should result in a happy and varied experience. You can also visit a website specializing in homeschooling that gives more resources.
Reach out when you have questions on how to use Speech Blubs to improve speech at home!