Mar 8, 2018

Homeschool Q&A

I asked my facebook friends to share some questions they had about homeschooling. Here are some of those questions.

What is the process to start homeschooling your children 
This depends on the state you live in. If you are interested in homeschooling your child you should look up your state laws. HSLDA is a great resource for state laws about homeschooling.

Do you ever fear they will have social anxiety from homeschooling and not being in a school environment?
 I personally do not worry that my kids will have social anxiety because we homeschool. In fact, our kids are more socially engaged in healthy environments and with people of all ages. My 13yr old can talk to a 30yr old just as confidently as she can talk with someone her own age.
My kids are involved in activities with kids of their own ages like church clubs, co-op classes, sports, and library functions.

How long per day do you have to spend on each lesson and are they homeschooled approximately the same hours that they would be in school?

Some states require that you count hours of school instead of days. We are in a state that counts the days.
The second part of this question will be different depending on the family. For our family, no, my kids are not schooled the same hours as they would be in public school.
There are many different reasons for this. In a school setting, you usually have one teacher in a class teaching 25 or more students. I am able to give my children one on one attention during a lesson and this makes it go by faster. Once they understand a concept, we move on to the next lesson.
We start school at 9am. My 2nd grader and preschooler are done with school by 12. My 6th and 8th grader is done around 1 or 2. (This includes breaks)

How do you keep the kids socialized and are there still after school type of activities they can do? Band? Dances?
I keep my kids socialized just like any other kid. They go to birthday parties, have friends over or go to a friend's home, and make new friends at a number of different outings. My kids go to church kid group and Sunday school, dance classes, library activities, or other homeschool related outings with other families. There are so many ways to socialize a child without having them go to public school.

In my state homeschool kids can still participate in activities at their local public school. They can join sports teams, take classes, and even do band or choir. I'm not sure if this is an opportunity in all states so you will have to look up that information for your state.

How do you teach all of them at once if they're in different grades?
I spend most of my time teaching my 2nd grader and preschooler. My 8th and 6th grader are excellent readers and can do 90% of their work without me. I am available to answer questions or help them but I want them to be independent learners because I believe this will help them in the future.
I can also group them all together on different subjects. We all do Bible work together, poetry, nature study, and are currently learning about all of the US Presidents.
It's all about balance and time management. It took me some time to learn how to do this, but we made it work.

How do you go about starting homeschool? Where do you get the curriculum?
To start homeschooling you should first look into your state laws. I would also find some local homeschool moms that you can talk with. You can learn a lot from other homeschool families. I will expand more on this question in another blog.
You can get curriculum anywhere. There are many different companies to purchase from and you can also buy materials from Amazon. It all depends on what kind of curriculum you are looking for. I like to purchase from Amazon, Timberdoodle, Rainbow Resources and Christian Books websites. You can also find things on Pinterest and your local library.

What do you do when you reach a subject that you yourself are not very good at?

Thankfully there are a number of wonderful curriculum that will do all the teaching for you.
I am not the best at math so my kids use Teaching Textbooks. It's a computer-based program that teaches my kid's math and keeps track of their progress and scores. You can find similar curriculum for just about any subject.

How do you know if your child is where they should be?

Some states will require that homeschool children take tests. We are in a state that does not require this of us, but we can still have them tested. Testing can be done online or through a local school, or other private testing agencies.
Some curriculum will compare their levels to public school grade levels. I find that most homeschool materials are ahead of public school standards with their grade levels.

What does a normal day consist of?

This is a great question and I will have to write a separate blog on it, otherwise, this blog post will be too long.

Do you follow a schedule?
I like to start our homeschool days at 9. We have a little routine we follow to help us keep on track. I like to keep it simple here.

What kind of outside of home activities do you do?
Church, dance, drawing class, piano, library events, and community functions. I do my best to not over schedule our family so we can focus on our work at home during the traditional school months.

I hope you found this helpful and if you have any more questions, feel free to let me know!

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