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Homeschooling? How to?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I am thinking of homeschooling our ds. Where do I find out about different programs? How do I go about it? How can I evaluate different programs? I've looked at the oakmeadow website and one or two others, but I think they kind of look the same. Maybe I'm not asking the right questions?

We will be moving around fairly regularly, so we don't foresee us living even in the same country for more than 2-3 years at a time due to dh job. (hopefully we can settle down soon--there is an end to this tunnel!!) I think I can incorporate our different locales into the homeschooling theme in terms of local history, etc....

Please tell me what you are doing, how you chose that "method" and why, and what do you see as the advantages of that "method"

SOrry, but I gotta do as much research as I can ... thanks so much
post #2 of 5
I started by reading homeschooling magazines and books by the dozens. It helped me to gain a feel for the belief systems of different approaches and curriculums. you might also check out a homeschooling conference of curriculum fair - contact a homeschool association in your state to get info on dates and locations. you often pay a registration fee, but then you can look through a lot of different curriculums (warning - you might also walk away having bought lots of stuff you later find you don't need). think about whether you want to do 'school at home', where a curriculum would be useful or whether something more like unschooling (usually with no packaged curriculum) is your speed. be prepared to change your mind a zillion times before you begin. and don't be afraid to drop your plan and do something new if the old ideas aren't working.

right now i'm using Five in a Row because 1)it is in my public library; 2)it is real children's literature-based; 3)it requires little advance planning; and 4)it incorporates discussions of values without overtly endorsing a particular religion (though Bible supplements are available for those who are interested). i am also using "Teach a child to read with children's books" and cuisinaire rod activity books. i'm an unschooler at heart, but dd demands reading and other lessons...

next year we'll do straight unschooling if dd will let me, but if she demands lessons we'll probably use oak meadow for 1st grade - or at least use it as a guide for weeks when we aren't pursuing a specific interest.

best of luck!
post #3 of 5
I bumped up a thread for you called "Educating Styles" that has a wealth of links on different styles. There is a ton of information there!

I found it helpful to hang out on message boards and listen to people talk about WHY they like what they like. It also helps to see the things you are thinking about buying before you buy them, but that isn't always possible. I think the most important thing to consider is if something is a good fit for your child.

I distrust people who think there is one right way, and that the same resources are perfect for all kids.

Depending on what sort of countries you will be living in, you may need to do far more advanced planning that some one homeschooling in a urban area in the states. It may be hard for you to find books in English, there may not be a good library, mail delivery may be quite slow (or totally unreliable, depending on where you go), there may be substantial duties for importing school materials, and you may have difficulting finding basic things for science experiments (things you could find in any WalMart!)

Sonlight was designed to be used by ex-pats, so you should take a look at it.

http://www.sonlight-curriculum.com/

It is a christian curriculum, but by making a few substitutions I think it could work no matter what one's beliefs.

We've lived all over and it is an education in itself. My kids are young and we don't do unit studies or anything like that, but they've learned a great deal from us just doing what ever there is to do wherever we are. Now that includes things like hiking in the desert and visiting old spanish missions and settlements. This time last year we were in Canada -- so our weekends were spent at winter festivals sliding down huge ice slides in rubber tubes, going to a sugaring off, and a horse drawn sleigh ride through the woods. We aren't studying different places so much as just trying to enjoy them!

We are relaxed homeschoolers and spend a little time most days on lessons, which focus on the 3 Rs and are quite short and very relaxed. We read lots of good books together, make art, play music, and spend as much time outside as possible. What we do works well for us. We've tried different things and this just feels right for now. Something different may work better for us in six months. The advantage is that we can flow one day at a time without feeling like we have to fit into someone else's idea of what we should do, or what pace the kids should learn, etc. I think you just have to try different things and see what feels right.
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for responding ladies!


I will look at all those links, thanks!!
post #5 of 5
This site has great information (not just California stuff):

http://www.californiahomeschool.net/
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