Tuesday, February 8, 2011

10 Days of Getting Started: What's Your Vision?

Now that you have decided to homeschool, it's time to find out WHY! Everyone has a reason for homeschooling. What's yours? Knowing the reason you want to homeschool will help you to define your vision for homeschooling.

Perhaps you have always thought of homeschooling and it's finally time to begin formally. Maybe your kids are having academic issues at school and you feel this is the best way to handle them. It could be that you want to homeschool so that you can really follow God's admonition in Deuteronomy 6- that we should teach our children all day long (paraphrase mine). Or perhaps your family travels often and you want to be able to follow that free spirit with your children's schooling. Whatever the reason, there is some motivation behind your decision and that will influence the kind of school you want to do!

While I don't know entirely what motivates others to homeschool nor do I know everyone's vision, I can tell you about mine! I mentioned yesterday that we pulled our son from public school when he was half way through first grade. On occasion I do talk about why we started homeschooling, so some of you probably already know our story. After a year and a half of advocating constantly for our son, it became obvious that they really could not engage him at a level that would challenge him regularly. This was a stark realization for me as a pro public education person (I am a former public educator after all!)- that one size could not fit all. Where once we had a bright, enthusiastic, curious presser of every envelope type of boy, we now had a child who no longer took interest in new things and new learning experiences. His time in the classroom really kicked all that out of him in short order.

So, our vision was born out of the ONE goal we had for our son at that time. We wanted to restore our 6 year old's love of learning. That's it. We really did not think beyond that vision for a while. We adjusted as we added children to the more formal side of our homeschooling. At the end of that first semester we had to decide whether we'd send our second born on to school or keep her home and ultimately we decided to go "full monty"! We'd homeschool them all.

Those early days were some of our sweetest homeschooling days! We read a lot, did some math and we did the first, very early version of our Daily Quest. Our son was in heaven! He could work at his own pace. His reading fluency improved and with it his desire to plow through any book he could get his hands on. He no longer had to wait on others in the classroom and we allowed him to pursue his interests. Within a few weeks our enthusiastic learner returned!

And it was then that I knew that a classroom experience for my children was not worth the cost- just for the sake of convention.

We've been homeschooling now for six years exactly! And really, to be honest, I'm certain that original intent for our first official homeschooler is what fuels our passion and vision today. I want to create extraordinary experiences for my kids and to create life-long learners. I like authentic experiences for my children, so we aren't text book users! All of these attributes contribute to the type of curriculum we use, or don't use, along with just knowing my kids as learners.

So, I can't name your vision. But...I can encourage you to identify the reason or reasons you want to homeschool and to develop a vision which arises out of your desire to teach your children at home. Keep that vision in front of you in the days ahead. Slow and steady wins this race because you are embarking on a journey not a sprint. Your vision is going to be a great reminder of why you have chosen this path. And there will be days when you wonder why you've chosen it or you'll feel so far off you'll wonder what happened to it!

Tomorrow I'll be sharing about knowing yourself and knowing your kids. These things, combined with your vision, will help you decide how to homeschool and/or what curriculum to choose.

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Be sure to visit these brilliant women in this 10 days adventure between February 7th-18th! We love these ladies and we know you do too.

10 days of socialization for mom | The Homeschool Chick
10 days of classical education | Milk & Cookies
10 days of large families | Chocolate on My Cranium
10 days of special needs | Special Needs Homeschooling
10 days of struggling learners | Homeschooling the Chaotic Family
10 days of homeschooling girls | Homegrown Mom
10 days of homeschool enrichment | Confessions of a Homeschooler
10 days of building a spiritual legacy | Mommy Missions
10 days of frugal homeschooling |The Happy Housewife
10 days of Charlotte Mason | Our Journey Westward
10 days of unschooling | Homeschooling Belle
10 days of organization | Confessions of an Organized Homeschool Mom
10 days of getting started | Blog, She Wrote
10 days of homeschooling boys | The Tie That Binds Us
10 days of homeschooling Montessori |  Fruit in Season
10 days of preschool |  Delightful Learning

3 comments:

Angie said...

Out of all topics in the "10 days" collaborationg, "getting started" is the one I'm most interested in! I am a mom of 5 with two currently in elem. school and we are seriously considering homeschooling next year. My reasons are the same, I want my kids to love learning!

I am so excited about homeschooling, but getting started is kind of overwhelming. I'm looking forward to all of your advice!

EM said...

Thanks for this post. I have a hard time articulating my reasons, except that my time as a substitute teacher in public schools has made me want to teach my own kids. There are so many reasons for this desire and I often question myself when "non homeschoolers" look at me like I'm crazy when I mention the idea. Am I being selfish, am I trying to over protect my kids? Will I be able to cover everything they need to know? Will I be holding them back from college opportunities? I think the answers are all no, but your posts are helping me to find some articulation for my desire to teach my kids. Thanks for your advice.

Heather said...

EM and Angie!

I hope these posts are helpful to you. Hopefully, there will be something to answer some questions you have along the way!

Thanks for reading!

Heather