Saturday, November 13, 2010

Getting Started Homeschooling - Part One - Deciding if it's Right for Your Family

Through my church or this blog, I get lot of calls and emails from moms who are either thinking about or have already made the decision to homeschool. The majority of the calls/emails begin basically the same: "Where do I go from here?" I am beginning a series of posts I can reference that will hopefully be a resource for moms starting out on this journey...or even moms who have already jumped in and are learning as they go.

If you have already decided homeschooling is for you, feel free to skip this post. The second in this series (Deciding Your Philosophy) will be published soon and that one may be more helpful for you.

Last I want to say, borrowing from Lisa Whelchel's So You Are Thinking About Homeschooling, I am not anti-traditional school (be it public or private). I am just pro-homeschool...for our family. This is a very personal decision and I am not one who feels homeschooling is right for every family in all seasons of life. I want to be dogmatic about the things that Scripture is dogmatic about and give freedom in the areas where we have liberty. I think homeschooling is certainly an area of liberty in the Christian life. Deuteronomy 6: 4-9 details the parents' responsibility to teach their children God's truths:
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Nowhere in the above passage does it specifically detail HOW we are to make this a reality for our family; homeschooling is one way that this passage can be applied. In my opinion, you can be obedient to the command of this Scripture and have your children in public or private school, too. Furthermore, there are also many reasons not to homeschool that a family need to consider before beginning, too. I think that for any family though, it is a worthy investment of time to thoughtfully consider all educational options for their children before beginning.

And now onto the reason for this are thinking about homeschooling and you ended up here. First, I would love to humbly point you to two posts I have written. The first details our journey into homeschooling (Why We Homeschool - Part One) and the second gives the specific reasons our family has chosen this path (Why We Homeschool - Part Two). I also have thoroughly enjoyed Dr. Greg Sherman's article titled, "Ten Good Reasons to Homeschool."

If you would like to learn even more about the specifics of homeschooling here are two books that can provide much more information. The first is,
So You're Thinking About Homeschooling: Fifteen Families Show How You Can Do It. This was the book a friend put in my hand when I told her I was pretty sure we would give homeschooling a try. Whelchel gives a snapshot of fifteen families who all homeschool for different reasons and in different ways. It is a quick read and I was so encouraged after reading it years ago. I think you will be, too.
The second book is called The Homeschooling Option: How to Decide When It's Right for Your Family by Lisa Rivero. This book goes into greater detail about the specifics of homeschooling. One of my favorite chapters is Chapter 7, "Parent Coffee Break: Frequently Asked Questions". I think both of these books together are an excellent one-two punch for someone wanting to earnestly learn more about what homeschooling really is and if it might be a fit for their family.

This is certainly not an exhaustive study on this topic. If you google "why we homeschool" or "reasons to homeschool" you will find pages and pages and pages of information. I have tried to find just a few of the resources I personally have enjoyed or that others I trust have used with success. Use this as your stepping stone and research more if you need additional information. And many blessings on your journey. My hope and prayer is that you are able to come to a decision that you feel a great peace about and one you feel will bless your entire family, whether that is homeschooling or not.



Carrie said...

So funny, Jennefer! I have a similar blog post brewing in Live Writer! I just haven't had a chance to finish it yet! ;)

Jennefer said...

I'd love to know if you feel like I left anything out! I have been wanting to write this series for several months now, I just haven't made the time to make it happen. I hope it truly blesses families who are trying to make these decisions.

Blessings on your post, too. Can't wait to read it.

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