August 17, 2017

resources for those curious about homeschooling...

resources for those curious about homeschooling | yourwishcake.com
I thought I'd dust the cobwebs off the ol' blog this week and begin sharing some thoughts on homeschooling. I'm knee-deep in preparations for my older daughter's first grade year (she is now the age a child needs to be enrolled in school in the state of California, so it's getting official here, folks). Because I'm living and breathing homeschool prep, it crossed my mind that perhaps now would be a good time to begin sharing things I've been learning along the way.

Clearly, I'm no expert (although, I'm not sure I've ever met a homeschooler who claims to be an expert—the very nature of homeschooling is grounded in creating an education that fits the needs of each family and each child). However, I do feel I have a somewhat unique perspective, being a second-generation homeschooler. As I've mentioned in the past, I was homeschooled from 6th grade through high school and absolutely loved the experience. This is the main reason I've always felt the desire to homeschool my own children. At some point in the near future, I'd love to share in more detail the reasons we choose to homeschool, but for now, I've gathered a few good resources I hope will encourage some of you!

In my own experience, I've noticed there is a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding about what homeschooling is actually like, and what homeschool families actually do—as well as the motivation behind what is often seen as a counter-cultural choice. I feel like getting the word out about the reality of homeschooling (at least within the walls of my own home) can possibly make more people consider it—especially those who never even thought about it before. It's a beautiful thing if you feel called to do it, and these days I feel so passionate about encouraging anyone who is curious or just starting out.

Sometime soon, I'd love to share in more detail my choice of teaching methods (mostly Charlotte Mason), curriculum we are enjoying (it's not as expensive or intensive as you may think), routines we are implementing this year (Morning Time is something I'm eager to try out), and how I'm organizing my day-to-day with two children, homeschooling, and making sure our house doesn't completely fall to pieces. (And have I mentioned here that we are expecting our third child early next year? It's pretty much the best.) I'm always fascinated by how other mamas "make it work" and thought it may help others to share how life looks for us during this busy season!

Here are a few of my favorite podcasts, books, and a handful of articles to get you started. It's a small list, but full of gems (if I do say so myself).

Podcasts
Homeschool Sisters Podcast
This is a podcast that makes me feel like I'm getting advice from friends who are a few steps ahead of me in the adventure of homeschooling, but are still figuring it all out along the way. Their stories are so relatable, and both of the hosts are so encouraging. There are so many fantastic episodes, and it was hard to only pick three to recommend as favorites! Here are a few to get started with if you're new to homeschooling:
You Don't Have to Do it All: Getting Started with Homeschooling
Start Small: Rhythms and Routines
Keep it Classy: The Sisters' Guide to Dealing with Homeschool Doubters

Wild + Free
The entire Wild + Free movement is something that absolutely speaks to my soul. Their philosophy is centered around giving a child a well-rounded, home-based education while also creating an environment that prolongs childhood, encouraging creativity and the exploration of the world around them. I'm not able to link to each episode, but you can click each one to bring you to where you should be able to listen. Be sure to also visit their website, which has a wealth of information, including a way to find a local Wild + Free group to join. (If we didn't already have other commitments, I'd totally be joining one!)
Episode 17: Getting Started in Homeschool
Episode 12: Finding Kindred Spirits
Episode 13: Laying the Feast

At Home
Last (but certainly not least) would have to be my absolute favorite homeschooling podcast. There are four regular hosts for every episode, each offering advice, encouragement and knowledge from their own journey. (I have a secret hope of meeting them someday, since they're local to where we live, but I have a feeling I'd be a bit of a fangirl and things may get awkward.) I especially love listening to these gals because they are all Christian homeschoolers who mostly follow the same teaching method (Charlotte Mason) that we are diving into this year. Here some episodes I especially enjoyed, with a bonus non-homeschooling one that I found particularly thought-provoking:
— Why We Homeschool: Part 1 and Part 2
Homeschooling Q&A
The Early Years
Also worth a listen: Feminism

Books
Homeschooling: The Early Years — This is a fantastic introduction to homeschooling younger children. I'd say it's a must-read for anyone who feels they need to work up the courage to actually take the plunge!
The Homeschooling Book of Answers — I was given an older version of this book, but it's amazing how there are so many topics within its pages that are still perfectly relevant today. From tackling the socialization issue to reassurance that a teaching degree is in no way necessary to teach your own children, this book provides answers to most, if not all, the questions you may have.
Teaching from Rest — Although this book is aimed toward those who are already homeschooling, it's a quick, delightful read that is worth a mention! I plan to read this every summer before beginning a new school year. It's that good.

Blogs + Articles
I'm Not Homeschooling AT YOU — The Homeschool Sisters Podcast
Should I Homeschool? — Wild + Free
Homeschooling 101: The Early Years — Ma and Pa Modern
My Biggest Homeschooling Mistake — Read-Aloud Revival
Why Homeschooling is Growing — The Federalist

This list of resources can in no way give you you all the information you need as a new (or a maybe, possibly, sometime-in-the-future) homeschooler, but hopefully it provides you with a little encouragement and can perhaps be a jumping off point! I'd be more than happy to answer any questions you may have for me in an upcoming Q&A post, so be sure to share anything within the comments that you may be wondering about. Although my experience is limited, I'm more than happy to share about what I've learned during the last couple years and from my own research and time spent teaching my daughter.

— Further reading: maybe I've always been a homeschool mom

Affiliate links included in this post; view my disclosure policy here. As always, I appreciate your support!

2 comments :

  1. "I'm not homeschooling AT you." - ha! I love that you are doing this! If I didn't have to work, it would be tempting for me. Maybe in the future you can discuss how you manage to homeschool a spirited child. ;)

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    Replies
    1. I feel like everything on the internet these days needs to be prefaced with: I'm not [insert life choice] AT YOU! There is so much assumed when people do something specific in their life or parenting, like if you feel passionately about something (say, breastfeeding), then "clearly" you are saying anyone who doesn't make this choice is wrong (and I think that this is rarely the case—so many people are just so ready to argue and be defensive!). That's one reason I like to remind people that this is something I feel called to do. If a woman doesn't feel the desire to truly dive into homeschooling, I would never turn up my nose at them and judge their choice! There is very (very) little kid-free time as a mom when you also choose to homeschool, so I know that would be a big deal breaker for many women.

      If you ever end up wanting more information from me on any of this, please don't hesitate to ask! Even as a former homeschooling kid, when I started out my research as a parent it was like a bottomless pit of choices and was super overwhelming even to me. It's hard to know just where to start, honestly!

      And I think I lucked out with Eisley getting over much of her spiritedness by the time she turned five. (Age 3.5-4.5 was rrrrrough.) She is still a child that is very emotional about things, and feels things deeply, but the meltdowns and her inability to handle herself has pretty much disappeared. (Hallelujah and amen!) I do think that in a way, homeschooling can be a huge benefit to children that are more spirited, because you can easily work in many different breaks and rhythms within your day in order to work with their personality and needs. During these younger years, the let's-sit-down-and-do-bookwork part of education (when homeschooling) is very short. Depending on the curriculum you choose, you can keep things very simple and can fit most of the bookwork you need to accomplish into an hour a day in the morning (that is our goal, since most of our learning is done through literature/read-alouds) and the rest of the day is free for adventuring, being out in nature, free play, and other creative things that are just as important as book learning. If you're worried about butting heads with your child, just know that you won't be sitting at the table with them for hours every day just trying to get them to finish their dang workbook. ;)

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