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How to Homeschool Part 3

Once you've determined your state's requirements, my advice is to consider the different methods of teaching in the home. There are a lot of experts with lots of advice and lots of publications and curricula out there. Thankfully, there are also many veteran homeschoolers with a passion for helping new families.

Do a search for your area to see if there are any Homeschool Expos or informational meetings. Close to me, there is a group that shares an informational meeting once a month for new homeschooling families. It is the same speech each time and they share samples of curriculum for families to browse. Expos usually have speakers describing their favorite methods and there is generally a vendor hall with publishers galore.

Some Christian bookstores have a nice homeschool section. Mardel has books on the shelves for you to open up and see if they'll be a good fit. Used bookstores are great options for this, as well. Online bookstores sometimes provide digital previews. CBD has an incredible homeschool selection, as does Rainbow Resources. If possible, I really recommend viewing a book in person before ordering.

The books you are drawn to will be a good indicator of what teaching style you will be most comfortable with. The books your children are drawn to will be a good indicator of what learning style they are most drawn toward.

You need to figure out what direction you're heading. With so many styles and publications available, this can be overwhelming. Keep in mind that you can change your mind at any time. The book doesn't really matter all that much. Setting a tone for learning matters. Developing a love of learning is the real goal. The rest will follow.

If you are feeling overwhelmed, you will probably find it easiest to begin with formal boxed sets, which having everything you need all taken care of for you, material gathered and planned out for the year. I recommend this to families that have just taken a child out of public school. That has its own level of stress. There also seems to be a process of mental detox and a boxed set helps take some pressure off of the parent. It's also a good option for families feeling unsure of themselves and gives a good confidence boost.

I probably should use a boxed set, due to my lack of organization or personal discipline, but....I'm a rebel. I bristle when told I *should* do something. That's a sin issue God is dealing with me on, and I won't bother you with that therapy session.

Boxed sets can be expensive, but there is some great stuff out there and it is quality material that you'll keep and treasure and be able to reuse with younger siblings. There are 3 that I recommend:

Living Books Curriculum 
This takes a Charlotte Mason approach, which we'll get into later. Beautiful books. Literature based learning. There are lots of free helps on this site and Sheila is very happy to answer any questions you might have. Here is an old review that I did for that curriculum.

Excellent books! Another literature approach. Excellent stuff. Here is another old review

My Father's World
Another great set of books. No review of that one, but I've had many friends use it and I've sat in on several of their seminars. It falls in nicely with the Classical method, which we'll get into later.

I've reviewed other sets, but these are the ones that I felt confident recommending. They are all excellent and you can't go wrong with them.

1 comment:

  1. We just finished our second year with My Father's World, and I've been very happy with them. Looking forward to Rome to the Reformation next year!


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