Much like most subjects, skills, or crafts that I am not familiar with or have zero knowledge about, I like to spend at least 20 hours at minimum researching a subject, and teaching myself based on the information I found, and then, of course my favorite part…applying everything I learned to work . For example, sewing a baby blanket, all the way to video editing with KDen Live. It is very exciting, as well as rewarding to acquire a better understanding of how and why things work and learn a new skill or craft, as well as to share my journey’s highs and lows and everything I learned with you. It is always my belief that someone else will pose the same or similar questions or curiosities on the same type topics. The current topic of curiosity to learn about is homeschooling! Specifically “How to homeschool?”
Setting aside all crafting projects for now.
For the next 20+ hours or so, I am on a considerable quest of navigating uncharted territory to answer the BIGGEST and MOST OBVIOUS anxiety filled question to date: How in the world do I go about homeschooling our children?
When our daughter Lala arrived to planet earth in 2018, there was no thought or consideration into homeschooling. LIKE AT ALL!!!! NONE!
Honestly, we envisioned to enroll her at a nearby preschool when she became of age. How exciting it would have been for everyone? Next August 2022, would be her first big girl milestone where she finally attends big kid school to learn and socialize with other kids! However, big kid school is being put off tentatively. The catalyst behind homeschooling our children is COVID-19! Without beating around the bush, or talking in code…that is the honest truth. Currently, with the way things are going, poor mask mandates, undoing school masks requirements, inadequate social distancing in schools, politics vs. science, and no vaccinations for preschool kids as of yet… we are keeping Lala home! Homeschooling is the best logical, most SAFE alternative to attending big kid school, for now! How to homeschool? I REALLY DON’T KNOW! My brain is dishing out BIG FAT BLANKS?????
In keeping myself honest about having not a clue where to start with homeschooling, here are anxiety induced questions that my crazy brain formulated. I was compelled to jot questions on paper throughout my day as they clogged my brain. Here are some example questions that I have come up with:
- Who to contact about homeschooling?
- What about curriculum? How to pick one?
- What are the Texas laws (we reside in Texas) on home schooling?
- Are there any core subjects that must be part of homeschool learning curriculum?
- What age can I start home schooling?
- Who can teach our little student at home? Myself? A family member? Can I hire a tutor to homeschool my child?
- Do I need college credit? A degree? to homeschool my child?
- Do I have to get certified to homeschool my child?
- Is there a specific time of the year to start homeschooling at home?
- Is home school a private school? Or is it part of the public school district I reside in?
- Do I need to report completed lesson plans, and grades to a specific state office or local school?
- How many hours a week do I home school?
- Is there a specific Texas state agency or organization that governs home school?
Prior to making the executive decision to homeschool was following evidence-based science and statical data as a way to follow the COVID pandemic. I followed various creditable online sources such as the:
In addition to this, since academic school year 2021-2022 has started, I have kept a close following on local and national COVID news. COVID has negatively affected various school districts all over the United States, as many schools were calling back teachers and students to return to in-school instruction, with no option of distant learning at home. Many school employees, and students became infected or passed due to COVID in the beginning of the first school semester.
I pray for the families who have lost their loved ones, my heart cries especially for the children, as they had so much to live for…so much to experience, so much to see and so much to gain. I think about the broken children who have lost their mommas and daddies, and how much their lives have been turned upside down. My heart cries for all of them.
Where to Begin?
To begin my personal quest of homeschooling know-how, I reached out to family and friends if they had any contacts to homeschooling guru experts but to no avail, I could not find anyone to speak with…which is okay, (although it would have been so much more awesome, if there was someone to reach out to!). Still in hot pursuit despite hitting my very first dead-end, I pressed on! Unwilling to wait for homeschooling wisdom to bestow itself from out of nowhere, I decided to gather the best available, realistic and creditable homeschooling resources through the means of subject related books, Google searches, and YouTube.
Since I was not able to reach homeschooling parents to speak with, I found these books on Amazon:
- The Homeschooling Starter Guide, Dr. Gina Riley
- Homeschool your child for free, LauraMaery Gold and Joan Zielinski
- 102 Top Picks for Home School Curriculum, Cathy Duffy
Homeschooling Starter Guide
The first book that I gravitated to first was Homeschooling Starter Guide by Dr. Gina M. Riley. I read this book with ease, because it was written in easy-to-understand everyday language. And let me just say, I very much appreciate the straight-to-the-point, non-fluff reading content! As a very tired expectant momma of two toddlers (ages 1 and 3), this book was an easy read. Without giving too much away. I gained a sense of much needed direction that I did not have prior to reading this book:
- How to create the best classroom environment for a homeschool learner
- Teaching philosophies – Perennialism, Essentialism, Romanticism and Progressivism
- Homeschool models – Classical method, Charlotte Mason Method, Montessori method, Unschooling, School-at-Home Method, Unit Studies Method, Eclectic Education Method
- Homeschool goal settings
- How to create a lesson plan
- How to create an action plan
This book is geared for parents who have the intent to homeschool their children from primary years all the way to high school. I only extracted information on how to create a positive homeschooling setting for my new preschooler at this time.
The best takeaway from The Homeschooling Starter Guide is not having to conform to one teaching philosophy and one home school model. We can try any combination of philosophies and models until we figure out what works the best that yields a positive, successful, most beneficial teaching / learning environment for both parent and child.
Homeschool your child for free
Homeschool your child for free, Updated and Revised Edition, by LauraMaery Gold and Joan Zielinski is a great book for homeschool parents searching for free online resources, information and educational material for preschool all the way to college. The book offers website addresses to find information on topics such as curriculum, language, math, art appreciation, history, music, social studies, science, health, and graduation. It’s a very helpful book as I may homeschool the kids until 2nd grade!
102 Top Picks for Home School Curriculum
102 Top Picks for Home School Curriculum, by Cathy Duffy is a great resource for parents researching for a home schooling curriculum. This book has really been heaven sent because as a first time homeschooling parent…I needed this book in my life like, RIGHT ABOUT NOW! Prior to getting this book, I googled homeschool curriculum for preschoolers…and my search yielded: About 1,160,000 results. Between 2 kids under the age of 4, expecting our new baby due in +-15 weeks, housework, cooking, doctor appointments and crafting work…there is not enough time in the day to go through all those results! Thankfully, I found 102 top picks. This book offers curriculum information for phonics, reading and literature, language arts, math, history, geography, social studies, and science. Since Lala will be 4 next August, I am only focusing on creating a preschool curriculum in the present time.
The Search Continues…
After reading the above books, I have gained some knowledge, but not quite enough. The search continues for me via google and youtube videos to get more information. And if fate will have it, maybe getting the opportunity to chat with a “real live” homeschool parent to pick their brain! Promise to keep you posted, if that happens!
Of course, there is always the expectation to hit many hang ups, snags, and hiccups along the way. If I am lucky I will slide into a few positive “ah-ha” light bulb moments. I promise to share the good and bad as I figure this “how to homeschool” journey. It is always my belief that someone else as clueless as I am is asking the same question: How in the world do I go about homeschooling?
Lastly, upward and onward, the quest for more knowledge on the subject of homeschooling continues…