CLOSED [Giveaway] Create the school you want: Homeschooling

UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed.

Don't pursue the school you want. Create it. | San Antonio Charter Moms

Last night’s fortune cookie said, “Don’t pursue happiness—create it.”

How timely. My friends and I are stressing out about charter school lotteries, as discussed in yesterday’s post. We are making backup plans and talking about our options in the San Antonio Charter Moms Facebook discussion group. (Join us!) At some point, however, it’s time to stop searching for the right school and just create your own. I started homeschooling my son, F.T., last summer, and our backup plan is to continue homeschooling.

I’ve written about our transition to homeschooling. This guest post, A Lesson for New Homeschool Parents, ran in Red, White & Grew last summer when we were just starting out. With one month of experience, I wrote “Homeschooling my gifted/2e son for one month so far”. (Both of those posts were for Gifted Homeschoolers Forum blog hops.) In “School Choice Advocate Responds to ‘Go Public’ Campaign”, a guest post at The Rivard Report, I stood up for my decision to choose homeschooling over the local public district school.

Now that we have about six months of homeschooling experience, I’m going to take a moment to reflect and share some advice with prospective homeschooling parents. Also, Pamela Price of Red White & Grew has given me a signed copy of her book, How to Work and Homeschool, to give away. To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment: What is your greatest hope or fear about homeschooling? (Enter by January 29, 2014; I will choose the winner randomly.)

Homeschooling moms and dads often hear statements like this:

Oh! I could never homeschool my son/daughter/kids. We would drive each other crazy.

So, what’s the difference between homeschooling parents and other parents?

Here’s a quiz: Let’s say your family goes out to eat for dinner, not at the usual finger-food-and-sandbox place, but someplace more trendy and upscale. It turns into the worst case scenario. (Use your imagination.) What do you do when you get home?

  1. Put the kids to bed, go to your happy place (e.g., read a book, drink a glass of wine, sit in a bubble bath), and try to forget it ever happened; or
  2. Sit your kids down and tell them that you are disappointed that they (fill in the blank) at the nice restaurant, they should know that was a bad choice, and you expect them to do better next time—then do option #1.

If you would choose to do option #1 only, then perhaps homeschooling is not a good choice for you. I imagine that you and your kids really would drive each other crazy. I hope that someone in your children’s lives is in a position to tell them when they do not meet expectations; I think that’s a necessary part of growing up and learning to be a responsible adult.

If you have the stones to do option #2, then you can figure out how to do homeschooling. You will need to find solutions for these challenges: choosing curriculum, building friendships, and maintaining work-life balance.

Curriculum

There is a spectrum of curriculum choices, from pricey (but convenient) pre-packaged courses, to à-la-carte options, to unschooling; from faith-based to secular. I took a homeschooling workshop (more on that below) that helped me learn about curriculum options. For math, we chose Singapore Math—same as Great Hearts, our first choice charter school. For reading, we use what I like to call the Good Will Hunting curriculum . . . although, I admit, we have racked up more than $1.50 in late charges at the public library. For science, history, and art, we like to do field trips, which is also part of building . . .

Friendships

We have memberships at a bunch of museums (many on the Broadway Reach, as discussed in this earlier post), and a rotation of favorite parks and libraries. We meet up with our friends and go to art classes, science classes, gallery tours, story times, mini camps, etc. Some would call this “socialization.” I don’t like that term; we just like to spend time with our friends. If you decide to homeschool, and start telling people about it, you will find friends to hang out with. You may have friends and co-workers who are homeschooling already, unbeknownst to you.

Work-life balance

Yes, you can work and homeschool. It takes creativity and flexibility. Family support helps. You will have to do triage: some things will simply not get done but the world will continue to rotate on its axis.

The authority on working while homeschooling is Pamela Price, author of How to Work and Homeschool. Last summer, I participated in one of her online workshops (as mentioned in this earlier post); she may offer the workshops again this spring. In addition to curriculum options, the workshop also covered scheduling and record keeping. The book has its own Facebook page and a Facebook discussion group where readers share advice and support. Pamela also offers consulting services through PopExpert.

[Giveaway] "How to Work and Homeschool" by Pamela Price | San Antonio Charter Moms

Would you like to win a free, signed copy of How to Work and Homeschool? To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment below: What is your greatest hope or fear about homeschooling? Enter no later than January 29, 2014, and then I will randomly choose a winner. Good luck!

sachartermoms

Parent-activist and education blogger in San Antonio, Texas, USA. Helping parents make informed school choices and explore cultural activities.

21 Comments

  1. I was shopping for potential curriculum and chatting with a homeschool mom just as this post came through. My biggest worry is failing the kids. I know they will do great, but will I? I feel in my heart that I’ve got this. Then I imagine the challenges of 3 at home, 1 with complex special needs. Whew can I do it!? I hope so! I see the school papers and think to myself, the years he has been in school I could have made much more of an impact one on one. To add to the entire mix, I have one that will need a curriculum for dyslexia as well. This is where I hope to make the most strides though. I got this, right 🙂 ?

  2. My greatest fear about homeschooling is that we won’t be able to afford childcare since my husband and I both when full time. I also feel sick to my stomach just thinking about trying to schedule time for homeschool but really think it is best for our family.

  3. My ultimate fear would be the fear of failing my children. Specifically by being disorganized and finding that at the end of the year my children have fallen below public school standards. I am also stressed about the likelihood of having to work from home to help with our company while trying to teach three lilies ones. I am concerned that at the end of the day I will be a ball of stress screaming at my kids. That is not how I want our lives to be. On the up side I am really hoping to travel and do some great hands on learning through field trips based on unit studies.

  4. My biggest hope for homeschooling is for our family to get closer and have fellowship and fun together. My fear is my son losing a love for learning.

  5. Just starting out, my biggest fear is that my teaching style and my childrens’ learning styles will conflict. I know there is a lot of trial and error and its a continuous process but Im a little bit scared of the work that is ahead of us just to figure out how we structure it all.

  6. My greatest hope with homeschooing is that my girls will grow up to be best friends. I no longer fear that my girls’ education will suffer–what’s better than lessons tailored to each child’s interests, strengths, and weaknesses? Homeschooling is hard, but SO worth it. <3

  7. I have a fear of failing my children. I’d like to keep my part time job and don’t see how I could motivate myself to actually teach my child at home. But part of me thinks that I need to teach at home. I want him to get his learning directly from his father and I. I go back and forth on it daily!

  8. My daughter just started a small Christian middle school, I thought this would be the best placement since I didn’t think I could work and homeschool as a single parent. I really want to homeschool her, the school is just not a good match for your learning style, and pressure to preform is so unrealistic. My daughter’s spirit and joy of learning is being crushed and it is so hard to know what to do. I am a special education preschool teacher, so she was able to attend the elementary school where I work, which for a public school worked for us. But now in middle school, when values are beginning to develop I really don’t want to send her to the big public middle school. I adopted my daughter when she was three and have suspected AAD/learning disabitlies but she did fine at the elementary level but now in middle school with so many teachers, increase in homework… She is really struggling and it is breaking my heart. I really want to figure out how to homeschool, while I work and within by budget(hire someone to be with her during the day). Right now seeking out resources.

  9. My biggest fear is that we can’t fit in enough enrichment activities or friend meetups. Having to work full time during the week, with a husband who has a phobia of driving and social anxiety, means that I’ll have to find ways to do a lot of this on the weekend. I’m hoping my son gets old enough that he starts asking for these activities and then my husband will be more inclined to coordinate them.

  10. My greatest dear is that I won’t be good enough and able to handle it all. I was just laid off and we’re not sure how we’re even going to keep food on the table so now my fears are a bit amplified.

  11. My greatest fear is that I won’t be able to adapt, schedule and juggle my work and boys educational needs. My hope is that my boys continue to find joy in learning while developing critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, independence, confidence and compassion in an environment that honors, respects and nurtures their individual selves.

  12. My biggest hope is that my girls develop problem-solving skills and confidence to take the lead, rather than follow the crowd. I can already see they have a great love of learning and that makes me happy!

  13. I just started homeschooling my son this school year, and my biggest fear, I think, is, what if I’m not teaching him enough? What if he doesn’t learn enough from my capabilities in teaching? I have been reassured several times that he is learning..but that would be the fear that sits in the back of my head!

  14. i homeschool and am a single mother. i sure could use all the help I can get! 🙂

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