Dear New Homeschool Mom,

Dear New Homeschool Mom

Dear New Homeschool Mom,

It’s your first year homeschooling! Congratulations! You made a great decision, and one that I am sure did not come lightly.

How are things going so far? Chances are you are feeling one of two ways, either overwhelmed or ecstatic!

Feeling Overwhelmed?

Can I just tell you that you are in for the ride of your life! The first few days and weeks will be hard. You will need to get on a routine, find a groove that works for you, and work out any kinks that may arise.

It WILL get easier! I promise! The first year of homeschooling is one of the hardest. Someone once told me that it takes three years to really “get” homeschooling. THREE YEARS! I have found this to be true in my family and in many of the families I have mentored through the years.

So, don’t give up! Keep on going, find a support group, plan ahead, even when things don’t go your way. You will find a rhythm that works for you and your family.

Feeling Ecstatic?

You have started homeschooling and things are going great! You are succeeding and things are working out just as you thought they would. Congratulations!

Now, here are some words of warning. Things won’t always go this way. Hard days WILL come. Believe me. So, when they do hang on to these moments. These good moments are the ones that make it worth it. They get you through from one day to the next. They will remind you of how far you have come.

Share your good days with other new homeschoolers. Encourage them that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Let them know what works for you. Maybe your advice is just what another new homeschooler needs?

New homeschool moms, some day YOU will be the seasoned mom. You will be the one mentoring a new homeschooler, and you will be the one with a knowing smile. Remember these feelings. They won’t last forever.

The best advice I have for new homeschoolers is to remember WHY you are homeschooling. Own your reason, and any time you have doubts, bad days, or feel like giving up remember your why. That will carry you through on your homeschool journey.

Have a great year new homeschool moms!

Misty Bailey is a Christian wife and work at home homeschool mom. She resides with her family in Southern Ohio. She loves helping new homeschoolers and has a FREE Homeschool 101 eBook for those getting started. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey.

Why Homeschool Moms Don’t Need to Know Everything

Homeschool Moms Don't Need to Know Everything

There’s a common misconception in the parenting community that homeschool moms need to know everything before they can homeschool their children. Questions we are asked include how we teach geometry or what do you know about anatomy? The truth of the matter is homeschool moms don’t need to know everything. There are many such successful homeschool families out there that contain parents that have no more than a high school diploma.

How? We’re going to look at four reasons why homeschool moms don’t need to know everything.

Teacher’s Manuals

One huge benefit of a homeschool curriculum is the teacher’s manual. Manuals contain step by step instructions on how to teach the subject, answers to the problems, and tips to help homeschool moms get the lesson across to their students.

Tutors

Don’t know how to teach a certain subject? No worries! Tutors are available for homeschool students just like they are for public school students. Homeschool moms can find tutors through their local school district, through other homeschool moms and even online through companies like tutor.com and instaedu.com.

Co-Op Classes

One thing that my children and I have enjoyed is co-op classes. When Art got the best of me (I am NOT a fun, messy mom) I was relieved to find that it would be covered in co-op classes. Cooking, chemistry, business and other classes are all examples of what a homeschool family can gain from co-op classes. This eliminates homeschool moms from needing to teach these subjects.

The Internet

The internet is full of resources for homeschool moms to utilize with their children. You tube contains documentaries, science experiments, explanatory videos and much more. Online sites like Khan Academy can help homeschool moms get math points across that a child may be struggling with and offers extra math practice as well.

Homeschool moms don’t need to know everything, subjects we aren’t sure how to teach can be taught with tutors or co-op classes. The internet offers resources out there that can help us and our children, and teacher’s manuals are a homeschool mom’s best friend.

If you are considering homeschooling, but not sure if you can because you don’t “know” everything, I encourage you that you CAN do it!

Misty Bailey is a Christian wife and work at home homeschool mom. She resides with her family in Southern Ohio. She loves helping new homeschoolers and has a Homeschool 101 eBook for those getting started. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey.

The Pro’s and Con’s of Homeschool Co-ops

Pros and Cons of Homeschool Co-ops

Now is the time of year when you begin seeing signs and hearing all about Homeschool Co-ops. Homeschool Co-ops can be a great thing! But, for some they are overwhelming, and another thing to “mark off” the schedule.

Before committing to a homeschool co-op it is important to weigh the pros and cons.

Pro’s of Homeschool co-ops

  • Socialization-This is a given and the reason many families choose to participate in co-ops. Homeschool co-ops allow your children to meet with the same kids week after week which encourage friendships to be built.
  • School like experience- One thing I hear often is “how will the kids operate in the real world”, while I don’t believe school is “real life” I know many parents want their children to experience a school like environment. Homeschool co-ops can offer this.
  • Takes care of the extras- Homeschool co-ops allow you to “mark off” the extras like music, art, and PE.
  • Allow children to learn new things-Homeschool co-ops allow children to learn from other parents, subjects that maybe you aren’t the most experienced at. Messy science experiments, calculus, finance and many other subjects can be taught at homeschool co-ops.

Con’s of Homeschool co-ops

  • Time- Time running to class, time coming home, time at class, time to prepare lessons (if you teach), are all things to consider. Especially if you are short on time BEFORE signing up for a homeschool co-op.
  • School like experience- Yes, this is a pro and a con. Many parents homeschool because they do not want their children to learn from others, or have the public school experience. If this is why you homeschool, then a homeschool co-op may not be the best choice.
  • Commitment- Homeschool co-ops require a commitment, this can be financial (co-ops often cost), a time commitment (you will often need to commit to the length of the co-op ranging from weeks to months), or a teaching commitment (many co-ops require parents to teach, help or work in another capacity during co-op).

In addition to evaluating the pros and cons, I also suggest you talk to the homeschool group leader, ask what will be required of you. Go over the classes with your children; make sure they WANT to make the commitment that a homeschool co-op requires. You do NOT want to be dragging them a few weeks in when they don’t even want to be there.

Before agreeing to a homeschool co-op it is important to know all the pros and cons. Hopefully this list will help you decide if a homeschool co-op is a good fit for your family.

Author Bio: Misty Bailey and her husband have been married for over a decade and have three beautiful children. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued, homeschooling and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey.

How Far has Homeschooling Come?

How far has homeschooling come?

 

I have been homeschooling for 6 years, and honestly I have never really thought about how far homeschooling has come. But, it has!

Freedom

Homeschooling has grown leaps and bounds, and many of us enjoy the freedom of homeschooling without really thinking about those who fought for our right to enjoy it.

Homeschooling began in the late 1960’s and 1970’s as a radical alternative to the public education system. It continued to grow in the 1980’s thanks to a movement by educational professionals Raymond and Dorothy Moore, as well as John Holt, both viewed home education as a natural aspect of life. NOT a reproduction of public education.  By the early 1990’s homeschooling was legal in every state.

Laws vary from state to state, and you can see your states laws regarding homeschooling here.

Popularity

Today there are as many as two million American children who are homeschooled. This number continues to grow as much as 15-20% each year (U.S. Census Bureau). Due to the growth of homeschooling, it is safe to say that it is no longer reserved to Christian families. Homeschooling has become more diversified, and the reasons families’ homeschool vary widely.

Curriculum Options

Early homeschoolers had few options when it came to educating their children. The library, and a few publishing companies was really the only help that they had.

Now days we have a plethora of options. The internet opened up a world of learning at our fingertips. That combined with a vast amount of curriculum options ranging from Christian, to secular, digital to literature based, and much more means that families can teach their children how they see fit, and find a curriculum that can help them do it!

Groups, Field Trips and More!

Many years ago there was not the number of homeschoolers that we have today. What did moms do for socialization? They had the park. Church activities, and community events, nothing like the socialization opportunities our kids have today. Now we have homeschool groups, co-ops, field days, public school sports teams (in many states), and field trips that involve more than just our family!

For more information regarding how far homeschooling has come check out these resources:

Look How Far Homeschooling Has Come

Homeschooling Goes Mainstream

Homeschooling

A Brief History of Homeschooling

History of Homeschooling in the US and Georgia

Author Bio: Misty Bailey and her husband have been married for over a decade and have three beautiful children. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued, homeschooling and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey.

 

 

 

3 Unexpected Advantages of Homeschooling

Unexpected advantages to homeschooling

 

There are many advantages of homeschooling. Our kids perform better academically, we get to have a say in their education, and our families tend to be closer. But, these are all somewhat expected advantages of homeschooling.

When I began homeschooling I knew there were advantages, but there were a few that I was not expecting!

More Sleep for our Kids

A recent study found that teens are starting school too early to get a good night’s sleep. Sleep deprivation can cause depression, weight gain, and brain fog. Many teens are expected to start their school day when their brains are not even fully awake.

Homeschoolers are able to start school when they are ready; they are not rushed in the morning, and are able to get a good night’s rest. This unexpected advantage of homeschooling means that our kids are more ready to face their academic challenges than their public school counterparts.

Increased Responsibility

Homeschooled children tend to be able to work more independently, and are more responsible for their own education.  They tend to have more chores, allowing them to have better life skills.  This increased responsibility makes it more possible to stand on their own two feet as an adult.

Homeschooled children tend to be more responsible and more apt to think independently. Homeschoolers who have attended college claim that they feel more mature than their dorm mates because they know how to think for themselves and are less likely to cave to peer pressure.

Lack of Socialization

Yes, that is right, lack of socialization is an unexpected advantage to homeschooling. What does this mean?

Our children are less likely to succumb to peer pressure in schools because they are not in those “groups”. They are less likely to deal with bullying, violence, and other negative aspects of public school socialization.  They are not grouped by age and gender and expected to just “get along” with kids only their own age.

Public school socialization is not really socialization. In fact, recent studies have found that, ““The socialization of home-educated students was often better than that of their schooled peers.”

Why? Because they are able to live a normal life, in the “real” world with people of all ages. They are not in a school building for the majority of the week, confined to a desk, in a room with 20 other children that happen to have been born within the same year.

There are many unexpected advantages of homeschooling, these are just a few! What have you found to be the most unexpected advantage of homeschooling?

Author Bio: Misty Bailey and her husband have been married for over a decade and have three beautiful children. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued, homeschooling and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey.