Posted in #write28days, Homeschooling, writing

#write28days Challenge – Day 3

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Today is day 3 of my #write28days challenge. I am enjoying sharing tips, resources and other information from our homeschooling journey. Sometimes it is hard to know where to get started. And often it is just as difficult to know when to move on from a resource because something is not working. Over the years, we have tried and succeeded or tried and failed with resources that I have heard others rave about many times.  So today I want to talk about getting started in homeschooling.  Then tomorrow I will look at how to know when to move on to a different way of homeschooling, a different resource, or just changing how you use a resource.

My best advice for getting started is just to jump in and begin. In this day of technology, there are so many opportunities to preview materials online or even complete resources available online for free. It does not have to cost a lot to homeschool. Just because something is unbelievably expensive, does not mean it will work any better than free or less expensive options.

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If you happen to be blessed to have friends who homeschool, see if you can get together to look at their materials. Check with your local library. Some offer homeschool materials that you can borrow.

But just pick something and begin. Taking that first step of starting often is the hardest.

Another frequent problem is knowing when the material is not working for your child versus knowing when your child just does not want to work at all. You know your child best, so take a step back and look at the situation from knowledgable eyes. If you find yourself constantly jumping from resource to resource to resource, something else might be going on rather than the material not working. Examine what else is going on with your child, family and outside influences at the time.

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For example, one of our sons tends to enjoy being lazy. So if he does not feel like doing work, he will complain about the resource. He will attempt to convince me he is not capable of doing the work. However, I take the time to sit down with him while he attempts to work on the material I am able to see it is not an issue with the resource but the issue is with him.

On the other hand, if I sit down with him and I am able to see the resource is not explaining what our son needs to do, or if it not explaining things properly before expecting him to do the work, then I will look through the rest of the resource to see if it is only that lesson that is poorly written for my child, or if I anticipate having more problems in the future.

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All three of our sons absolutely loved a particular science resource, It worked well for all three of them. Our daughter loved and excelled with the elementary books, but then she reached the Junior High/Middle School books and it was a horrible experience for us both. So in that instance, I quickly made the decision to move on to another resource.

When you spend a lot of money on materials, it promotes difficulty, disappointment and other negative emotions about moving on to something else. Even when you do diligent research prior to buying something, things come up. Maybe life throws you a curveball that necessitates a change in the direction of your homeschool.

If you want to read other posts in this series, click here.

#write28days

Posted in #write28days, Homeschool Conventions, Homeschooling, writing

#Write28Days Day 2 – Homeschool Conventions

 

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Welcome to day 2 of my #Write28Days Series on Homeschooling Helps, Hints and Resources.  Today I want to give one of my favorite things that could go under all three categories.  My selection for today is Homeschooling Conventions.  These events have become one of the most valuable, anticipated and useful items for our homeschooling journey.

The first year we homeschooled we started in September with no real idea of what we were doing.  I knew becoming part of local homeschool organizations was important.  So we joined North Carolina Home Educators (NCHE).  After talking with a number of ladies who homeschooled locally in our county, we decided to attend the NCHE convention in May.  Attending for our first time, I really did not know what to expect.  However, I can say I was glad our friends provided a lot of helpful advice.  Their greatest piece of advice was to not buy on the first day.  Instead, we took detailed notes at each booth we went to and also brought back catalogs and other paperwork to review.  Then each night, my husband and I would review our finds and discuss our thoughts.

The other part that was really helpful was attending the various sessions, especially the keynote speakers.  When we first began our homeschooling journey, my husband was not necessarily overly enthusiastic about the idea.  However, hearing Christopher Klicka speak at one of the Keynote speeches provided my husband with our “why” we were homeschooling.  From that time forward, we both realized we were doing it to bring glory to God.

So if you are a homeschooling parent who has never attended a homeschool convention, take the time, effort and energy and go explore the possibilities.  You get to see and touch curriculum first hand.  You get to speak with others at the booths who are knowledgable about the various products.  Moreover, you get the opportunity to hear inspirational, knowledgable and motivating speakers talk about being in the homeschooling trenches.

Some of our family’s favorite conventions include:  NCHE, CHAP (the Pennsylvania Homeschool organization’s convention), Great Homeschool Conventions, the South Carolina convention and Teach Them Diligently.  So check out your area and find a convention to attend.

I would love to hear from you about your experience.  If you would like to read my other posts in this series, click here.