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Saturday, July 13, 2013

How We Started



OK, so I had no idea what I was doing when I thought “homeschooling is the best way to go!”  I felt led in that direction in so many ways, but I had no idea where to start.  So, I did what any other American does when they don’t know something…went to bing.com and typed in “homeschool in (insert state here).”  I came up with our state coalition website, which helped me in lots of ways.  I could read the actual law, along with an explanation of the law.  There was a list of homeschool groups in the state, along with tons of other information.  I read through the entire site.  I had some information overload.  So I had to read it again over the next few weeks, and I still refer back to it. 

I also went to HSLDA.org, and did some research there.  I will say that was not as helpful as my state coalition website.  I emailed both HSLDA and my local representative listed at my state coalition website since we have a bit of a unique situation (ie a “blended” family).  HSLDA was not helpful without me paying for a membership.  Since I was not positive we would be homeschooling at that point, I was not ready to pay for a membership just to ask a question, especially since the answer to that question could possibly hinder us from homeschooling (if I would not be able to teach both children).  My local representative was more than helpful.  Before she responded to me, she emailed lawyers and other veteran homeschoolers to get a thorough answer.  Her answer was just what we had hoped and it was backed up by her informative colleagues!  

Once I had the law ‘stuff’ figured out, I was ready to dive in.  But math, writing, reading, history, science, art, music, PE…where does one even start?!  I am going into this with big kids, kids that have been in school for years, how do I compete with that?  How do I decide what they need to learn and how to teach it to them?!  What if I miss something?  What if I can’t make them understand something?  I started really questioning myself; I am going to be 100% responsible for their educations!  But I didn’t give up.  I just kept reading.  I read blogs and websites, checked books out of the library.  

Finally, I found donnayoung.org.  All of her forms and lists are overwhelming at first.  But I found the “how to plan” part of her page and read it all.  Then I found the “goals planner” sheets, printed a few off and started filling it in (in pencil)!  I sat with my husband since his input is important (especially in the area of history where I have no skills whatsoever) and we listed what we think they should learn, and I jotted some notes of how they would learn it.

I felt a calm come over me.  I had somewhere to start, I had something done.  I still had a lot of work to do, but I had started…and I still wasn’t positive we would be homeschooling…but I had a start.

Next, I will go into some of our resources!  I’m becoming a pro at free and inexpensive resources ;)

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