• New to Homeschooling?

    The homeschooling sites are filled with new homeschoolers right now. Many (myself included) wait until Winter Break to pull their kids from school and start the transition to homeschooling! Though each familyís reasons for homeschooling may differ, all can agree that the new year is a great time to start the homeschooling adventure.

    What kind of homeschooler do you want to be? What type of schedule will you keep? Will you follow the traditional school schedule? Some homeschoolers will even have some children in school while others are homeschooled.Do you want to homeschool year-round? If this works for you, fantastic. Many homeschoolers do 9 weeks on and 1 week off, with the exception of 2 weeks at Christmas and 2 weeks in the Spring and a month off in Summer. Itís great to use these times for family vacations, trips to Grandmaís or just vegging out! Are you more of an unschooler? If you are, go with the flow, learn what your child is interested in at the moment.

    You also do not have to decide this right now or at all. Our homeschool style changed a lot over the first year or two. At first, I was all gung-ho and had a written out lesson plan book with printed daily schedules, and in the long run it made me nuts. I found a happy medium by planning our year in the Summer, printing out one schedule, and then posting it. I usually run with it for the whole semester or year, depending on what worked for us. As we went on, I became a much more relaxed homeschooling Mom.

    Curriculum is another decision. Again, you need to do what works for you and your kids. I work from home and knew I did not have time to create curriculum, nor did I really want to. I needed something convenient and ready to go.. When we pulled my oldest son from public school, we took 2 weeks to find a curriculum.. He sort of unschooled during this time, while Mom figured out what to do. I stumbled upon Time4Learning and it was a lifesaver. It was all-in-one, online(perfect for my computer loving son), and had animated lessons that were fun and held his attention. Little did we know we would fall in love with it as a family and end up using it through 12th grade! This is not to say I have anything against book curriculum. If that works for you, go for it. Curriculum planning and assembling is just not my thing.

    It really is important to set realistic goals, but expect change.. Our original plan/goal was to pull my oldest son, and homeschool him the rest of 6th grade. We planned to get him caught up to grade level and put him back in public school for 7th grade and beyond. Within a month of starting our homeschooling journey he was a changed kid. He was happy. He was learning in leaps and bounds. He was willing to do school. By the time we finished our school year in June, he did not want to return to public school, and we, as parents, had already decided to continue homeschooling.

    What goals do your kids have? Is there something specific they want to learn? Getting them involved really helps the whole homeschooling process. We used an online curriculum every year, but we added in fun things that each of my boys wanted to learn. One year we included video game design and Latin. They loved learning what they wanted, and at the end of the year they gained a new skill.

    Just remember, youíve got this! At Secular Homeschool we are here for you, and will gladly jump in and answer your questions in ourforum. We have some great curriculum reviews, if you are not sure which curriculum is right for you. And, If you are looking for groups in your area, we have a fantastic list of homeschool groups by State available.

    Happy Homeschooling!
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SecularHomeschool.com was created to provide information, resources, and a place to share and connect with secular homeschoolers across the world. Secularhomeschool.com aims to be your one-stop shop for all things homeschool! We will be highlighting information about wonderful secular homeschool resources, and keeping you up to date with what is going on in the world of secular homeschooling. But that is only the beginning. SHS is your playground. A place to share the things that are important to you. A place to create and join groups that share your interests. A place to give and get advice. There are no limits to what you can do at Secular Homeschool, so join today and help build the community you have always wanted.

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