Homeschooling with Heart group on Facebook has a discussion group on:
New to Homeschooling? Considering Homeschooling?
My answers were getting so long, I decided to move it over to my blog & give them my blog address.
So these questions are from Heather in Alabama (I'm editing her response, to make the questions clear):
1. I guess my concerns are: am I making the right decisions, am I planning what my kids need to learn?
ANSWER: Everyone has what they call gaps in learning. What a person learns at public school in Missouri, will not be the same thing that someone will learn in a public school in California, and certainly not the same thing someone will learn in another country! Besides that, there will be gaps in learning in private schools, and yes, in homeschools, too! The thing to remember is to teach our children how to learn and to make learning fun! We don't want to kill their love of learning as many traditional schools have done (to members of my own family). If you're wanting to sort of keep on track, make sure you're teaching them what they should know for each grade, you can check out different websites or books; I use: Home Learning Year by Year: How to Design a Homeschool Curriculum from Preschool Through High School by Rebecca Rupp. I also want to say to the "am I making the right decisions?": from what you said, you are a believer in Jesus Christ, keep Him in focus and you will make the right decisions! Find peace in the Lord, He will guide you.
2. Do you have a planner that you use to schedule things for your kids?
ANSWER: I think planners are very important for a mother's sanity and for homeschool records. Check out HSLDA to find out the laws in your state on homeschooling and what records you need to keep. I recently wrote a blog on my favorite homeschool planner, to read it, click HERE.
3. What do I do if I can't help my kids out on a question, say math, I am not good at it, what do I do then? I want to learn with them and I know that I will but I don't want to just get the answer out of the book.
ANSWER: One of my favorite things about homeschooling is learning with my children! If you don't know the answer, tell them that you don't know! Then, show them how to find the answer (that is one of the best things my Mom ever taught me!). They will admire you for your honesty, and be excited that Mom is learning, too.
4. Are my kids going to like homeschool? I have one that I know will love it and I have one that is one that likes to be with his friends a lot, so I don't know how that is going to work.
ANSWER: For the child who likes to be with friends a lot, you can join a homeschool support group, Co-op, or give them time to be in sports, art or theater classes, volunteer work, things outside the home, or just make sure he still gets time to play with friends after school. I personally, would also watch the relationships my child has with friends. I want God to be my children's priority, where friends are concerned (God as their best friend), then family, then other friends.
Holly from Kentucky asked these questions (again edited):
1. My biggest concern is every day happening . . . how do you handle two different aged children (and maybe more)?
ANSWER: You can teach more than one child of different ages at the same time...teachers did it back in the days of the one room school house! History is a great subject to do together, but I also do Science, Language Arts, Art, PE, Foreign Language, etc. together. Reading, Spelling, and Math really need to be done on their level...though you may have one child who is behind in a subject and another who is advanced...they could wind up on the same level. The great thing about homeschooling is that you can work on their level and change things if they're not working! I would highly recommend checking out a book, or workshop at a homeschool conference, on your child's learning style! Also check out Charlotte Mason and Classical Methods! I tell about my favorite Charlotte Mason sites and book in my Mini-conference Workshop Handout, you can find it by clicking HERE.
2. How do you balance being - a child of God, a wife, a mother, a church member (and ministries), a daughter (of recently divorced parents after 32 yrs of marriage), the laundry lady, the cleaning lady, etc?
ANSWER: I want you to know that you can balance it all, but maybe not all the time! When you're at the house more, the easier it is to make a mess. That is also a good reason to be teaching the children Life Skills! There are some great books & blogs out there that can really help you. You have a head start because you are preparing while your oldest ones are still so young. Books that really helped me with organizing & balancing: To Love, Honor and Vacuum by Shelia Wray Gregorie & Homeschooling at the Speed of Life by Marilyn Rockett. Over at http://www.heartofthematteronline.com/, they have been doing a Homeschool Organizing Carnival. They are some great ladies & gentlemen, with lots of insight & fun on the journey of homeschooling. You might want to check out How to be a Great Wife Even Though You Homeschool by Todd Wilson of Familyman Ministries (his book Lies Homeschooling Mom's Believe was a real blessing to me). I'm going to pick it up at our Homeschool Conference this month. Also, in balancing everything, you may need to prioritize. I realized this year, that I was doing far too many things, spreading myself thin. Next year will be different! This season of life, in chosing to homeschool, your ministry is your children and their education. This may mean that other things are no longer a priority.
Best wishes ladies! Enjoy the journey!