Friday, August 12, 2011

Ask a Homeschool Hippie: How do I decide what method of homeschooling to use?

Dear Homeschool Hippies,

We have decided to try homeschooling. There are so many choices out there and my head is spinning. How do I decide?


Dear Overwhelmed,

I've been there and you are right, it can be overwhelming. Here are a few ideas:
  • Ask a few homeschooling friends for advice. What have they tried and liked? Why did they like it?
  • Check the laws in your state or country and determine what the minimum requirements for your child's education must be (your friends may know this too, take advantage of their experiences).
  • Decide if you want to create the school yourself or if you want a "school in a box" experience for your first year. I consider a "school in a box" program to be a great set of training wheels for people who are trying to wean off of public school without their kids getting "behind" (we'll talk about that another day).
  • Don't lock yourself into a method. If you start one method and it doesn't work, switch. You are learning too and it will be okay if you have to test drive a few different styles.
  • Maybe your method will be no method. Hey, nothing wrong with that plan, embrace it!
  • If your child is learning something wonderful every day then you don't need to stress. Just keep swimming and don't compare your kid to anyone else's kid. We're all on different paths anyhow.
  • When I get overwhelmed I use the "knee jerk reaction" method. I have someone ask me what I want to do and then I don't think I just blurt and whatever I say is what I do. Works great for big life decisions, less for dinner choices.
  • Once you pick, don't doubt yourself. Put on a pretty set of blinders and just move forward. Remember you can change what you are doing later, but if you keep going back and forth you won't make any progress. 
You can do this. Don't feel overwhelmed because you are very capable and you are going to do amazing! We're rooting for you!

With hope,
(Mountain Hippie)

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