One Small Step for Mankind, One GIANT Leap for this Momma!
The first time my son asked me to homeschool was in the third grade. Honestly, I thought he had lost his ever loving mind! I lacked all the resources as a homeschool parent, mainly patience. You should have SEEN us try to do homework together. One of us (me) almost died!
No one died that day, but it was a close call. But the homeschool conversation was to rear its pesky little head yet again. The second time it happened, he was in the fifth grade, and by then I knew higher math was on the horizon and something that I was less than equipped to teach. Math is NOT my jam! All of it freaked me out. It all seemed so impossible to do. I lacked the confidence and knowledge. But, I had no idea the vast number of resources that were available to the modern homeschool family.
We finally took the giant leap and started homeschooling in the ninth grade. Obviously, it took me a long time to jump on the bandwagon. And then when we did, we chose what is considered to be the most crucial time for education.
I mean, THIS is when it MATTERS for the future people!
Seriously, who does that?
Me, that’s who.
Resources at Your Service
The internet is FULL of resources and curriculum. Google it; I dare you! Anything you can imagine is at your fingertips. If you want textbooks, you got ‘em! Are you looking to unschool? There’s that too! Prefer Project-based, Online programs or hybrid Learning? Check, check, and CHECK!
Some families like to stick with the good ‘ol pen and paper method. They use traditional textbooks and testing methods. For some families, it works best to maintain structured learning. Using this type of curriculum often arrives with planned schedules and instruction manuals for parents. Taking this approach requires the most parental involvement.
It can be overwhelming for new families looking for traditional curriculum. The resources are endless, and it can seem like an impossible mountain of information to climb that first time you google it. Lucky for us, some rocking veterans already thought ahead and made a roadmap for the rest of us newbies. (Aw, aren’t they just the best!) They have categorized over 3000 resources, complete with who is common core aligned, and who is not. I love this site because it helps parents narrow down the choices based on their family’s needs and desires for their home education.
The definition for unschooling is like trying to nail jello to a tree for me, but in a nutshell, it is free of traditional textbooks or learning methods. Most of the families that I know who unschool choose child driven interests and everyday life experiences. The world is their classroom. It is the homeschool choice with the most freedom and the least amount of structure.
There is no one way to unschool. Since my knowledge is insufficient when it comes to the basics, I will leave it up to the people who practice it to explain more clearly. Check out some unschooling basics here.
Project-Based, Virtual, or Hybrid Learning
This type of method offers students a chance to experience education in a tangible way instead of just memorizing facts from a book. Families can foster a project-based learning environment at home. However, innovative schools have popped up in recent years providing this invaluable resource for homeschoolers. These alternative learning environments (aka ALE) offer project-based learning at onsite campuses. Many of them focus on the STEM subjects and provide college and career readiness, and Industrial certification programs.
Find out if a non-traditional school is the right fit. Then, check your state for programs that enroll homeschoolers.
Virtual/Online classes are the second most flexible method for families wanting a bit of structure, but still free to manage their life how they see fit. Students can do online classes anywhere, and at a time that is convenient for them.
Since many of these programs are self-driven, parents have a more hands-off approach and allow their students to develop independent learning skills while having access to passionate, dedicated teachers.
Hybrid Learning is a combination of onsite (campus), project-based, and a virtual education. It is the best of all worlds for some homeschoolers.
We Have CHOICES!
We can choose to keep education within the confines of our homes with textbooks or online resources, or we can decide to utilize invaluable innovative ALE’s to meet our academic and future career goals. With all the resources we have at our fingertips today, we truly do have the ability to choose the method that works for each kid and family.
Homeschool resources have come a long way and continue to grow as technology and needs for social change. Parents are ready and may choose from any number of methods to educate children. We are as equipped, if not more, to teach our children.
YOU CAN DO THIS THING!