FAQ’s about homeschooling:
Q: Why do you homeschool?
A: I’m planning to write a whole long post for anyone who is sincerely interested in the long-version. But to keep it simple, I read an article shared by a family member when my oldest child was 1 or 2. It opened my mind to the possibility of homeschooling, which I had pretty much been opposed to before, and after years of research, I just knew it was something I wanted to try. When my oldest was diagnosed with severe, life-threatening food allergies, that pretty much sealed the deal for me at least for his Kindergarten year. I ended up loving it WAY more than I thought I would, and after that, we just kept going and never looked back!
Q: How do I start homeschooling?
A: If you have a child/children already in public school: every state and school district within the state has rules for un-enrolling your child(ren) from public school. You can check HSLDA for your state’s guidelines as well as calling your school district to see what they require.
If you don’t have children in school: You just start! Read together, learn together, play together. Spend time figuring out how your child seems to catch on to new concepts and then search for a curriculum based on that learning style. Learn more about learning styles here. Also, check out this post for how to get started and this post for my tips for new homeschoolers!
Q: How long do you spend on “school” each day?
A: We typically spend about 45 minutes on core subjects (math, language arts, handwriting) for my 1st grader and 1 hour-ish on these core subjects for my 3rd grader. They also do at least 20 minutes of reading each day. We spend 30 minutes-1 hour each day doing our family subject (science, art, history)
Q: What does your typical day look like?
A: Check out this post for a typical day for us at the beginning of this school year! (Note: our littlest changed nap schedules so we follow a slightly different flow now, and I will be sharing that soon!)s
Q: How do you know what to teach?
A: If you buy a curriculum at your child’s age/grade level, typically that will cover what your child needs to learn that “school-year”. You can also check out this book* for a rough idea on what your child may learn in each grade.
Q: Where can I find curriculum?
A: I love looking through Cathy Duffy Reviews. She gives a great overview of a lot of different curriculums and you can kind of get an idea of if it will work for your child or not. Then you can research the ones you are interested in and try them out!
Q: How do you teach multiple children at different ages?
A: Yes! How DO you teach multiple children at different ages?! If anyone has a magic formula for this, please let me know! In all reality, it’s all about juggling and finding a rhythm that works for you. This is our 5th year homeschooling and we have always had an infant and/or toddler around for homeschooling. It’s super challenging, and I am constantly trying out new routines to see what works.
I’m working on a post with tips for this, but here’s a couple ideas. Use nap times of younger children if you have those! Then you just have to bounce back and forth between child and child. Teach one while the other is doing an independent work portion, then switch and teach the other while the first is doing an independent work portion. As your kids get older, more and more of the work becomes independent which is just AWESOME! If my 3rd grader would pay attention, he could totally do all his work himself. But, I still sit with him for at least Language Arts to make sure he is staying on task.
Pretty much, it’s all about juggling, my friend! It sounds crazy, but you will fall into a rhythm! I promise!
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