Tuesday, April 20, 2010

DOs and DON'Ts for a successful homeschool experience #1

The following DOs and DON'Ts for a successful homeschool experience are being presented in a series to allow for digestion and discussion. After homeschooling/unschooling my own children for over 22 years I've discovered what worked and what didn't work for us was universal. Feel free to add your comments and concerns or ask questions.

#1 DO circle the wagons to keep the naysayers at bay. Surround yourself with like minded people who are supportive of your decision to homeschool. Stay away from the skeptic relatives and friends who will constantly undermine your every move and throw obstacles in your way. If they aren't willing to support you and your children then cut your ties and tell them 'no thanks' when they offer advice or try to make you feel like you're a lousy parent.

#1 DON'T recreate the school in your home. This is a huge mistake. It may be fun at first and what you are most comfortable with but you'll soon realize you don't need to spend all that money for desks, bulletin boards, learning stations, text books, lesson plan books or expensive curricula. Your children may even rebel against all that and before you know it you'll all be in tears trying to force feed 'schooling' on them. Create an atmosphere that's relaxed, nurturing and safe but has lots of resources your child can use at a moment's notice. Grading, testing and attendance truly doesn't matter either when you're homeschooling.


Mrs. C said...

YAYYYY on point #1. You are so right. Not that I can't listen to constructive criticism, but um... once my mind is made up, it's time for all y'all relatives to shut up, mmmmkay?

Hey, have you been to Spunky's today? Yowzers, are they having a discussion on "unschooling" there.


Cindy Wade said...

John Taylor Gatto wrote the following in his book Dumbing Us Down:

"First, we need a ferocious national debate that doesn't quit, day after day, year after year, the kind of continuous debate that journalism finds boring. We need to scream and argue about this school thing until it is fixed or broken beyond repair, one or the other. If we can fix it, fine; if we cannot, then the success of home-schooling shows a different road that has great promise. Pouring the money we now pour into schooling back into family education might cure two ailments with one medicine, repairing families as it repairs children.

Genuine reform is possible but it shouldn't cost anything. More money and more people pumped into this sick institution will only make it sicker."

I took this quote to heart many years ago. I love it when people hash things out. It clears the air and opens eyes. Usually two things will happen...the person arguing will either develop a backbone or wimp away. Homeschooling is finding its backbone!