This past fall my husband and I made the decision to homeschool our children. We did a lot of research on it and we talked about it for almost a year before making the decision. Many factors went into why we decided to teach our children at home and it was not made lightly. I was not homeschooled as a child nor was my husband, so the decision required significantly more discussion and was not quite the “no brainer” as I saw it was for others. We talked to people who did and are currently homeschooling, read into how it works in our state (the laws and requirements) and compared the benefits and negatives for our children. The benefits out weighed the negatives for us, so we decided to finally bring it up to our children and ask how they would feel.
It required some changes for them. I have been a house wife for only 2 years, so prior to this the kids went to daycare after school, but even then, I pretty much did most of the house work. That was a job I felt was mine and so I made the food, did the cleaning, laundry and everything else inside the home (my husband fixes the cars, works on the house and everything outside). These job assignments have always worked for us, this does not mean that If I get behind on laundry he doesn’t help me or if the garden needs weeding I let it go until he can do it, but as a general guide line, these have been our jobs within our families. It works for us. But with me now taking on the primary function as teacher, this meant my kids needed to take on some of the work that I did in the house. We talked about them doing more chores than they were doing, and both were very willing to take on more work in order to have school at home.
This has been quite a journey thus far and a lot of work, but it has also given us the opportunity to work more one on one with the kids. I also have the benefit of seeing them all the time and enjoy the opportunity to experience the joy when they learn and find new and exciting things.
To give you some background on how it works for us, because we live in Wisconsin, the homeschool laws are very reasonable and have 2 basic requirements:
Provide 875 hours of instruction each academic year.
Provide an educational plan for learning basic subjects (also known as classes based on fundamental instruction in reading, language arts, mathematics, social studies, science and health). You can add any other subjects into your curriculum, but these are required.
Other than the above, everything else is up to you. So I suggest really getting an idea of where your kids are and how they learn. If you start from day one homeschooling (which, I wish I would have been able to do), I would think this would be a lot easier to get to. Once you have that down, you can begin research on curriculum and deciding what type you want for your child(ren). Honestly, the amount of options were a bit over whelming at first. But after a lot of work, I found one that I like to use, along with creating and finding worksheets to add on to the basics taught in the book. It has been quite a journey thus far, but after a slow start has become a lot of fun and I really enjoy the time with my kids.
I decided to start this “Diary” to be able to share my ups, downs and things I have learned, as I am learning. I hope it will be helpful to other people trying to homeschool and if anyone else has great insight to what they are doing, please share.