Thursday, April 19, 2012

Beginning Your Journey

Homeschooling can be an exciting and adventurous journey between you and your children, but it can also be stressful and scary if you don't know where to start, how to plan, and how to effectively run your school. You have to remember that you are just like any other teacher. There are lesson plans, unit studies, field trips, all the things a normal teacher must deal with, but you also have the chore of deciding how you're going to teach, what subjects you're going to teach, what curriculum you're going to use, what hours you are going to teach, as well as how you're going to organize your home and create your classroom.
Before you start stressing over curriculum and organizing your home and buying every textbook you can get your hands on, take the time to sit back, imagine the kind of school you want to create. What subjects will you teach? Will you have electives (subjects your children want to learn about, on top of their general education?) Will you homeschool in the mornings, afternoons, or evenings? How long will you teach each day? The majority of the states do have guidelines when it comes to hours per day and days per year, so be sure to check with your states homeschool laws. What area of your home are you going to use for your classroom? Do you have a bedroom or office you are going to use or do you plan on using the kitchen table or maybe even just your living room couch. The great thing about homeschooling is that you really can teach anywhere! If it's pretty and you want to teach outside in the grass, you can. If you want to pack a picnic and spend the day teaching at the park, you can. This is your classroom, you are free to create it however you want.
I suggest having a pen and paper handy as you're envisioning your school. If not you're going to have a million ideas floating around and you may forget an idea later on. Write down every idea you have. Even if you have a specific color tablecloth you want to put down to differentiate between the homeschool table and the dining room table, write it down. If you envision using chalkboards, write them down. No idea is too outlandish when it comes to brainstorming. The biggest thing to remember is, this is your classroom. This is where you will prepare your children for a lifetime of learning. You create the kind of classroom you feel would most benefit you and your child. And remember, nothing is temporary. If you choose one idea and get tired of it in a month, you can always change things out. If you move to a new home, you just pick your school things up, move them to a new house, and then create your ultimate classroom in that home.
The most important thing to remember is, have fun!

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