Being a blogger, even if you're not homeschooling, you're on the peripheral edge of the incredible homeschooling community. You go to blogging conferences, and people just assume you're a teach your own kids at home. But you look at 15-passenger vans, which seems to be a prerequisite to homeschool, and you think, I only have one child, can I do this?
Fifteen passenger vans are to homeschool today what denim jumpers are to homeschool today: not necessary, and just a little extra. Unless you do, in fact, have thirteen children. And God bless you for it! I have four children: the first three are adults now, out of high school, so all I have left is nine-year-old Laura.
Laura is homeschooled.
There are definite advantages to homeschooling multiple kids: there's a certain degree of friendly competition that, if harnessed correctly, can be used for good. Older ones can read to the younger ones, and socialization (don't you just hate that word!) isn't a question.
In homeschooling one child, though, socialization becomes a valid concern. The remedy for that concern is to plan and involve your child in activities that will facilitate group interaction and friendships. This doesn't mean puppet-master friends or get-togethers; kids are capable, much more so than adults, of making friends easily and without politics. A simple, playground invite of "wanna play tag?" works for kids (not so much or adults, though, but wouldn't that just be a hoot?).
When I first homeschooled Laura last year in second grade, I did some online research for groups or resources for homeschooling just one child. My research turned up very little. At the time, I had been blogging at my other site for about ten years, and quite frankly, had hit a wall. I took a blogging hiatus and prayed for guidance.
Let's pause here: I am a no-apologies Christian, and because I know that Jesus is my strength and my shield, all my websites are rooted in the Christian faith. The resources and encouragement I share on this site may not be overtly Christian, but the overall sentiment of the site acknowledges Jesus and praises Him. Unpause.
After I prayed for guidance, it dawned on me that the fact that there weren't much in the way of online resources was a huge opportunity. Viola! And "Homeschooling 1 Child" was born. During this same time, a young friend of mine, who I had taught in Sunday School when she was little, was in the process of finishing her junior year at Liberty University's graphic design program. I enlisted her help for the logo, and BOOM! Morgan Poole delivered, big-time. I am so happy with her work and the process of working with her on the logo. Check out her website (and if you need a talented graphic designer, contact her!)!
Homeschooling1Child.com features a number of vehicles: this website, which has a blog plus resources; a YouTube channel, social media, and an email newsletter. Social media's algorithms are getting more difficult every day to share information, so the best way to make sure you don't miss a single drop of encouragement to help you homeschooling your child, is to receive my email newsletter. Full of resources, the latest blog post, helpful hints, sales, and encouraging tidbits, the Homeschooling1Child email newsletter exists to encourage you! Sign up here!
My husband Greg and I made the decision to homeschool Laura because we felt very strongly that the public school system was headed down a path that we did not want for our daughter. Plus, Laura has chronic migraines, and the unbelievable amount of stress that she faced as a second grader (!!!) caused her to miss 20 days of school last year due to migraines. She has dyslexia, and we were told that she was reading on a kindergarten level, and had to work really hard to get up to where her peers were (hello! she had an Individualized Education Plan!).
So, we started her homeschooling in the third grade. By Christmas, I tested her: she was reading on grade level. When she took an end-of-grade assessment test in May, she was reading on the sixth grade level. She not only caught up, she thrives in homeschool!
Let's go! Let's work on homeschooling together! Won't you join us?
(C) 2019 Terrie Bentley McKee All Rights Reserved
Beginning a homeschooling journey is an amazing experience. When you make the choice to become a homeschool mom it can be both exciting and frightening. After all, you are taking your children's education into your own hands. You'll be teaching them everything from the ABCs to Chemistry. Along the way it is important to remember this -- you are not on this journey alone. There are many places that you can find the help you need.
The hardest part of anything is the first step - the beginning. That is especially true for beginning a homeschooling journey. There are quite a few steps that you'll need to take to get started. Many of the steps you'll need to take will become part of your homeschooling journey as you'll repeat them before you begin a new homeschool year. They'll become like second nature to you before you know it!
14 Steps to Beginning a Homeschooling Journey
Have a family meeting
As you start your homeschooling journey I encourage you to set up a family discussion time with your spouse and children. Knowing what homeschooling means to each of them and what they'd like their homeschooling journey to look like will help you as you plan. This will make it easier for you as you make specific plans for your homeschool as well.
Write a homeschool mission statement
Right now the reasons you're choosing to begin a homeschooling journey seem like they will never fade. They are important. However, when you've been homeschooling for 5,6 or even 10 years and you happen upon tough days, you'll need to be reminded of your why. Take time to write a homeschool mission statement that your entire family can cling to throughout your homeschooling journey.
Pick a homeschool name
More than likely there will be a time when you need a homeschool name for paperwork. This is a fun activity that you can get your kids to participate in. The sky is the limit! Get creative! My kids enjoyed picking school colors, a mascot and a Bible verse as well.
Determine what homeschooling method you'll follow
Prior to shopping for homeschool curriculum and planning you'll need to know what homeschooling method works best for you and your children. I love child led homeschooling because it gives my children the opportunity to be part of their education. It is easier to teach them about things that interest them!
Make a homeschool budget
Homeschooling isn't free. You need to take some time to go over your finances to ensure that you know how much you can spend on homeschool curriculum and resources.
Note which subjects you need to shop for
Depending on what age/grade level your children are in will determine what subjects you'll be covering each homeschool year.
Research curriculum publishers
The choices for homeschool curriculum publishers is endless, however you'll need to have at least an idea of what homeschooling method you're going to follow before this step. Cathy Duffy's reviews are a great place to get started.
After you've completed your homeschool budget and researched your curriculum it is time to narrow down your choices and select your homeschool curriculum.
This is one of the most fun parts of beginning a homeschooling journey! You finally get to order the books! All the books!
Decide how (and when) you'll track
While you're trying to be patient waiting for your homeschool curriculum to arrive, (unless you ordered digital curriculum which you're busy organizing on your computer), you'll need to make a plan for how and when you'll track your student's progress and grades.
Determine your grading system (and when you'll grade)
You are the teacher, therefore, you get to decide whether you'll follow a grade letter or point system, a pass or fail method or some other type of grading system.
Design a homeschool schedule
Your homeschool schedule should fit your family. You do not have to follow a Monday-Friday, September-May school schedule. A year round homeschooling schedule might be perfect for you!
Pick a start date
There is no wrong time to start your homeschooling journey. If you've pulled your kids out of public school mid-year, you do not have to wait until September to get started. When you have your homeschool curriculum in hand -- that is the right time to start!
Create homeschool plans
The last step before day 1! You'll need to find the right homeschool planner for you. There are digital, online and paper options. Be sure to take your time to look into them all so that you find the right one for you because you'll be using it all year long!
Beginning the homeschooling journey -- have fun!
This is the best part of beginning a homeschooling journey. The possibilities for fun are limitless! Learning should be experienced, not just textbooks to read. Give your children the opportunity to explore and engage throughout your homeschooling journey!
Homeschooling your children will likely be one of the most memorable times of your life because you'll spend time growing and learning together. Furthermore, I've often found that I learn just as much if not more homeschooling my children each day!
How can we help you as you're beginning a homeschooling journey?
Misty is a Daughter of THE King, Texas girl, Navy brat at heart, loving Fisherman’s wife, blessed homeschooling mother of 2, founder of Year Round Homeschooling and author of Beautiful Ashes. She is passionate about being real through every stage of life and encouraging homeschool moms throughout their homeschool journey. Her heart is full of ideas and passions, but the hours in her day never multiply to get it all done. Misty enjoys reading, music and photography in her spare time. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.
(C) 2019 MIsty Leask, All Rights Reserved.
Terrie Bentley McKee is an author and speaker who homeschools her youngest daughter. Married to her husband Greg, they have four children, all of whom have special needs of varying degrees. Terrie is a follower of Jesus Christ and tries to glorify God in all she does. To read more about her testimony, click here.
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