Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Difficult First Year of Homeschooling

Whether your kids have attended school somewhere else, or you’re starting to homeschool in the preschool or kindergarten years, adjusting to a homeschooling lifestyle does take some time. It’s often said that the first year of homeschooling is the most difficult.

It helps if your kids are happy about being homeschooled, and often the younger they are, they more accepting they are about homeschooling. If you’re pulling the kids out of public school because of a substandard school district, you might meet some resistance from them over missing their friends. It depends on the kids and on your individual situation.

Finding the perfect curriculum for your family may take some time too. Quite often, what a family starts homeschooling with has changed by the end of that first year. The process of trial and error means that what you thought would work well for your kids somehow didn’t live up to your expectations. Luckily, there are so many different forms of curricula out there, with a little patience you’re sure to find the right fit.

It’s also important to note that homeschooling affects the whole family because it really isn’t just a choice of schools, but a way of life. Give yourself plenty of time to adjust and keep reminding yourself that the hard part is in the beginning and it will certainly get easier.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Attending a Homeschool Convention

If you belong to a homeschooling support group, either in your local area or online, you’ve probably heard about at least one homeschool conference or convention. They’re fairly popular events, and for good reason. Usually a registration fee is involved, but once you gain admittance to the event, you’ll be able to hear guest speakers on a variety of homeschooling topics, and participate in workshops to help you become a better teacher.

The speakers at many conventions include authors of popular books on homeschooling, professionals in the field of education, and homeschooling parents who’ve enjoyed a great measure of success and are willing to share their secrets. Just listening to some of these speakers can be a very uplifting and motivational experience, and just what a struggling homeschool family needs to jumpstart their learning again.

In addition, many conferences include vendors who set up booths to sell their wares. It’s a wonderful way to spend an afternoon, walking among the vendors and being able to see their curricula and other products in person before buying. So often, we shop online or base our buying decisions on the recommendations of others, and it’s great to test-drive some of the products in person at a homeschool conference before buying.

Check with fellow homeschoolers, or with your local or state homeschooling association for find out about conferences near you, and when they’re held.