So, how to homeschool? There are about a million different ways! Just some of them are: on your own by creating your own "private school" (you have to fill out an affidavit and turn it in to your district), charter schools, umbrella schools, with a tutor. And there are about a million different methods: Classical, Textbook, Charlotte Mason, Unit Study, Carschooling, Eclectic, Un-schooling, etc, etc, etc... How do you possibly choose???
I started by reading some books & blogs, listening to info on CDs, and by talking to people. Lots of people. =) Several friends were kind enough to loan me some books/CDs that helped them. I also found them to be very helpful. Some of them are:
"For the Love of Learning" by Jenny Sockey
"A Charlotte Mason Education" by Catherine Levison
"Real Learning: Education in the Heart of the Home" by Elizabeth Foss
"Charlotte Mason Companion" by Karen Andreola
"Home Schooling Methods: Seasoned Advice on Learning Styles" by Paul & Gena Suarez
"The Well-Trained Mind" by Jesse Wise and Susan Wise-Bauer
Also, a CD by the group that does Christian Classical Education (don't have them name but will try to get it asap!)
At the beginning of the summer, I started reading and researching more about homeschooling. I read the above books (okay, only part of "The Well-Trained Mind"--a mom of 5 only has so much time!). I should note that I'm a Christian, some of the books are by Catholic authors, and it really didn't matter to me! Even if you are neither a Christian nor a Catholic, you could be helped very much by these books. They helped me in so many ways, but really just gave me a sense of direction and a feeling of "calm" about homeschooling, and solidified the feeling that I was on the right track for our family.
I very much appreciated "Home Schooling Methods..." because it broke down the different methods of homeschooling in very simple, easy-to-understand terms. I got this book at the exact moment I needed it. I was getting closer to my deadline and couldn't decide between the millions of options out there! I like so many methods, all for different reasons. And I suppose I may change things along the way, as I see what works for this child and what works for that child.
But for now, because I've had the gift of free books, I've chosen the "eclectic method," which basically just mean I'm using a mixture of methods. Some textbooks, some living books, some Charlotte Mason. I've also chosen to go through a charter school for several reasons: #1...money, people! It is still considered "public" school, so you get federal money to go toward your child's education, just as your local schools get funding. You can use this toward curriculum or extra curricular activites, such as sports or music. Also, I like the idea of meeting with an E.S. (education specialist), which I'm required to do every 20 days. It's nice to make sure I'm "on the right page," at least during our first year of this journey. I just met mine today, by the way, and she is awesome! So every 20 days, I get to take my kids and have a meeting with another mom (who happens to be a teacher) at Starbucks! Bummer! =)
Okay, I think I've bored you enough for one day... =) Have a great one!
**Several people recommended that I give out a booklist of books they've found helpful too. I'll definitely do that sometime soon!**