It has been my absolute pleasure and honor to be homeschooling my two youngest children who are 10 and 13 years old.
Although I've been around my children all their lives, it has been so wonderful to witness who they are on another level, as young people.
My son Michael is so inherently intelligent that it boggles my mind, and my daughter Robyn is so inherently filled with life and excitement that her eyes seem to literally sparkle and dance when she gets something that she did not understand previously.
Now, this journey is not without it's challenges!
Both of my children can get on my nerves when they decide that it's giggle and joke time, after I've had a long day and want nothing more than to finish the day's lessons with lighting speed.
It's at this point that the Momma nobody wants to know, comes out. Lol
However, from what I have come to know and experience so far it's all worth it!
I first decided to homeschool because my son Michael was coming home from school(two years ago) with his head down and not smiling, way more often than any mother can bare.
I had enough of going to work wondering if my son was ok,and feeling helpless to do anything to lift his spirits. This year I decided that although I was fearful of the unknowns, I could not allow fear to outweigh what I know is right and what is within my power to do, in order for my son to have a more inspired year.
The first thing I had to do, was make the decision that I was absolutely going to homeschool and the rest(i.e., the appropriate questions to ask, and actions to take) has been falling into place.
I live in New Jersey so I can only speak about New Jersey when referencing certain things, but everything else, is my own personal experience and perspective.
I want to take this time to thank my mother Gwendolyn Meusburger, who encouraged me from the very beginning that homeschooling can be done. She would tell me "People do it all the time" and what a great idea she thought is was.
I also would like to thank Mrs. Barbara McCarthy who is a retired school teacher, who also encouraged me and pointed out to me that I am already teaching my children in a brilliant way, so homeschooling would not be outside of my ability, and would simply take some investigation. She has also offered to assist me and the children if we should need any help on our journey.
Because my son will only be homeschooled for the 2016/2017 school year because he wants to go to a specific technical highschool next year, I called the technical school to find out what the ramifications would be for Michael being homeschooled for 1 year, and entering the techical school next year.
In essence the response was that there will be no problem with Michael taking a year off from public school based on the fact that the school accepts homeschooled children who have never stepped foot inside a public school system.
This was incredible news, and fueled both Michael and myself to move forward without having to worry that he would be effected. Orientation into the technical school is this coming October so we are excited!
Next, I needed to write a letter to the Board of Education, per the instruction of the Board of Ed. secretary. The letter was to simply state my children's names, current grade level and my intention that they are being homeschooled for the 2016/2017 school year.
The letter was so short that I embellished it just a little in order to feel like I had actually written a full letter! Lol
I took the letter to the school and was offered well-wishes by the Board of Ed. secretary, and told that I would receive a confirmation letter.
The confirmation letter also included the website link to the 2016/2017 school curriculum.
The curriculum has each grade level separated out and includes all of the subjects that are being taught in the 2016/2017 school year.
As a homeschooling mom I have the option to teach directly from the curriculum or I can add and subtract subject-matter to meet my children's needs and interests.
I was fortunate to come across a blog where the writer cautioned anyone who desires to homeschool, to pay attention when seeking advice from other homeschoolers.
The reason for this is as a homeschooler, you want to make sure you don't readily accept the ideas and opinions of someone else as the only truth there is.
I have already experienced times where I believed that certain things are going to go a certain way, i.e., timing, lesson plans, work assignments, etc.,only to quickly realize that it's not going to work out. In cases like this I have learned to be flexible and to relax.
I also greatly appreciate understanding that the vibration and attitude you put out as a teacher determines the vibration and attitude your children receive when you come together to learn.
It was recommended that I decide early whether homeschooling is going to be easy or hard. I know that because I decided it was not going to be hard, it has been way easier and less stressful than I originally imagined.
Again, homeschooling is not without it's challenges, however me and my children have been able to move through those challenges more easily.
What are some of the challenges?
Learning the lessons prior to teaching can sometimes be more complex than anticipated
Getting the children to "turn off" brother and sister interraction because we are "in school" or during our work time.
Unanticipated noise in the house during certain work times
Most of the challenges I noticed, were prior to starting to homeschool re: questions the children had about process(how is our day going to go) and understanding that homeschooling does not mean you cannot see your friends. In fact, it seems they have been seeing their friends more often than before!
Extracurricular activities. I have been having a hard time finding any collaborative activities(reading, field trips, etc.,) that the children can do with other local homeschoolers, in my area.
Although these are some of my current challenges, I am working on ways, and will gladly accept suggestions, to address these areas.
I believe I have covered most of what I wanted to get out to anyone who is interested or has been considereing homeschooling, and you live in the New Jersey area.
Just a recap of some of the lessons I've learned:
I had to make the decision.
Write a letter to the Board of Education.
I decided to teach directly from the curriculum and add and subtract subject-matter to meet my children's needs and interests.
Don't readily accept the ideas and opinions of someone else as the only truth there is.
Learn to be flexible and to relax.
The vibration and attitude you put out as a teacher determines the vibration and attitude your children receive.
Decide early whether homeschooling is going to be easy or hard.
Resources that have been extremely helpful on my journey:
Pinterest - Although I'm providing this specific link to get you started, you can look up everything imaginable(worksheets, ideas on how to organize your space, age appropriate assignments, and so much more!)
Youtube - Again, I am providing this specific link to get you started. If you need assistance on a specific assignment, need further understanding on certain subject matter, need ideas on creatively teaching a subject, etc., the sky is the limit with Youtube.
I am awaiting the permission of one of the homeschooling Facebook Groups that I belong to, in order to add them as a resource as well.
Your comments and questions are welcome.
Wishing you and your children much success on your homeschooling journey!
Lisa is a mother of 4 children - Talya, Xavier, Michael and Robyn and is married to Mr. Rob Scott. Lisa is an author, contributing blogger as seen in Huffington Post, has her own podcast channel, is the creator and facilitator of a weekly mastermind called Create Your Life with professional women from the East and West Coast, and is the owner of Lisa R Scott, LLC.
Lisa is Metaphysical Spiritual Counselor and “Imagination Hacker” who works with men and women who are ready to “step into their own,” are ready to move beyond their past experiences and programs, and are willing to unlearn to relearn what has been taught in this game we call Reality. Lisa understands what it means to be on your journey of personal expansion and transformation, and knows specifically how important it is to have access to a safe and supportive space. Lisa knows through her own experience which she shares with her clients, that by understanding who you are foundationally and scientifically, and by paying attention to your thoughts and the effect your thoughts have on you vibrationally, mystery and dogma disappear allowing you to do your own inner work more freely.
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