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3 Times You Shouldn’t Use a Boxed Curriculum

As a homeschool mom, you have to make the curriculum choice for your family. There are a few situations when you probably shouldn’t use a boxed curriculum

I remember my very first year homeschooling; I ordered one of those big boxes of curriculum from one publisher. Everything came in one box, and my shopping was done in one swoop. I was thrilled!

Fast forward a few weeks and we were miserable. Why? That particular boxed curriculum wasn’t working for us anymore…

Boxed curriculums are great, and they work for many families, including ours! But, sometimes they don’t work. And as a homeschool mom, you have to make the curriculum choice for your family. There are a few situations when you probably shouldn’t use a boxed curriculum.

You fly by the seat of your pants

If you’re a homeschool mom who doesn’t do well with structure, then boxed curriculum may NOT be right for you. Boxed curriculums are structured, and organized, and that type of curriculum may not work with every personality type.

You don’t like feeling “boxed” in

If you like choice and flexibility, then a boxed curriculum may make you feel “boxed” in. A boxed curriculum lasts you a whole year. Once you have started the year, you pretty much have to continue on the schedule to finish the year on time. This means that if you want to try something else, or follow a rabbit trail that interests you, you may not have time.

You get bored easily

Some homeschool families like to change things up often. If this is your family, then a boxed curriculum may not work for you. The boxed curriculums I have used tend to use the same pattern each day or week. The basic structure of the curriculum is the same throughout the year. If you think you would get bored with this familiarity then you probably shouldn’t use a boxed curriculum.

One good thing about any curriculum is that once you try it, if you don’t like it, you can move on to something else! The same is true with a boxed curriculum.  If you still feel like you want to try a boxed curriculum then by all means go for it! Boxed curriculums work for many families, and even if you fit in one of these categories it *may* still work for you. But, you have been warned :).

Misty Bailey is a work at home homeschool mom.  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.

photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net/stockimages

Dear New Homeschool Mom,

Dear new homeschool mom, it’s your first year homeschooling! Chances are you are feeling one of two ways, either overwhelmed or ecstatic!

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

Why 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 Pros and Cons of Homeschool Co-ops

Homeschool Co-ops can be a great thing or they can be overwhelming. Let's take a look at the 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.

Pros 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 encourages friendships to be built.
  • A 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.

Cons 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.
  • A 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?

I have never really thought about how far homeschooling has come. But, it has! Years ago homeschooling families did not have the resources or the freedoms that we have today.

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 state’s 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 for 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 were really the only help that they had.

Now, days we have a plethora of options. The internet opened up the 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.