I’m looking for information on homeschooling. My daughter will be starting Kindergarten this Fall and I’d really like to homeschool. I don’t know where to start. Are there homeschool groups out there? What curriculums are available and how can I get them? Please help!
We are homeschooling as well and formally started my oldest in first grade last fall. I have to tell you that, since my husband and I were homeschooled ourselves, homeschooling seemed to be a very natural thing for us to do, but I never thought that I would love it as much as I do! I’m not really a teacher, but I’ve found that I really enjoy helping my kids learn and see them get excited about learning. That is really cool, and I’m grateful to have that privilege.
I’m not really an expert on homeschooling yet (other than having been a homeschooled student for twelve years!) but here’s what I’ve learned so far from teaching my own kids and being homeschooled myself:
- There is a lot of curriculum out there. Don’t get overwhelmed, and don’t buy something just because everyone else loves it. Spend some time teaching your children even without curriculum to discover your teaching style and your child’s learning style. (I’m starting to be of the opinion that your teaching style may be just as important as your child’s learning style!)
- Take advantage of the fact that your homeschool does not have to look anything like a traditional school. If you like teaching and learning out of textbooks, great. But if that’s boring to you, there are lots of other resources.
- Remember that school doesn’t have to take place from 8 to 3. Homeschooling is a much more efficient use of time so you don’t feel like you aren’t teaching enough when it takes you two or three hours instead of seven or eight. As I homeschooled student, my actual schoolwork rarely took me more than a few hours but then I spent the rest of the day reading, designing items to sell at my parents’ craft business, teaching piano, designing websites, etc. The freedom I had to follow my own interests, coupled with being taught to self-teach, was one of the biggest advantages my parents gave me!
- Get out of the house. You don’t have to sit in a classroom all day, every day. There are lots of museums to explore in Colorado Springs (history), lots of trails to hike (science and physical education), and yep, there’s even co-ops and homeschool groups that have activities galore!
Here’s some of the curriculum I’ve found that I like (there’s a lot I don’t like :) – but I would definitely recommend evaluating lots of programs to see what works best for you.
- All About Spelling – we are using this for reading/spelling and I love it. It’s very teacher-intensive, but very flexible and requires little to no preparation on my part. I also love that it’s not done by grade level, so you can progress as slowly or as quickly as needed without being pressured to finish a certain number of lessons per year.
- Teaching Textbooks – another curriculum I love. Its critics says its too easy, and I would agree – my first grader started their Math 3 in December after we spent the first part of the year doing basic addition and subtraction, and while I’m willing to admit that my kid could be a math genius, I also don’t think it’s quite at the level of traditional third grade. However, he loves it and I love that the computer-based teacher explains everything clearly and consistently – I could totally jumble the explanation of a simple addition problem! I also love that it’s completely hands off for me (though we do a lot of word problems and math facts on the fly all the time).
- Drive-Thru History – definitely not a curriculum, but my only goal for history and geography this year was to get my son excited about it, and this video series from Focus on the Family has done it. My son’s favorite person is now George Washington and he has a hard time understanding how we’re actually allies with Great Britain now. :)
Well, I’d have no problem talking for paragraph upon paragraph about homeschooling, but I’d love to hear your suggestions, too! What types of curriculum do you love and what just didn’t work for you? What homeschool groups are you a part of in Colorado Springs? (Please include contact info if you can!
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Welcome to Springs Bargains, a service of our real estate business, Circa Real Estate Group! I’m Carrie, and since 2008 I’ve been sharing free and discounted ways to eat, play, and enjoy life in Colorado Springs.