Your Family's Incredible Lifestyle Begins HERE – With Homeschooling
Sunday April 5th 2020

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Welcome to Your First Year of Homeschooling

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Welcome to Your First Year of Homeschooling

homeschoolingI’m always happy to hear from people new to homeschooling, so I’m ecstatic right now because new homeschoolers are popping out of the woodwork – welcome to this wonderful community! There’s no doubt in my mind that the community is healthy and thriving and growing, a testament to the joy and benefits of the family lifestyle. This is definitely the time of year when many families make the decision to either remove children from school or never send them in the first place.

The following information comes from the introduction to The First Year of Homeschooling Your Child: Your Complete Guide to Getting Off to the Right Start, which I wrote with the help of experienced homeschoolers in 2001. While, as it should, it introduces you to the book that I hope you’ll consider reading (a link to it appears on this blog’s page “Linda’s Books”), it also lets you know you are not alone in your new journey, and that’s what I want to give you in today’s post.

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Are your palms sweating? Are you shaking in your boots? Welcome to your first year of homeschooling!

Relax. Here it’s understood that you’re at least a little – or perhaps a lot – apprehensive about your ability to enjoy and succeed in homeschooling. Your apprehension puts you in good company. Although the number of homeschooling families continues to swell, I daresay only a small minority of families begins with certainty, and even fewer are completely confident of success. Like most folks new to the idea of teaching your own, you’re probably asking some form of the question, “Will homeschooling work for my family?”

Just as a doctor can’t recommend a single prescription for what ails all of his patients, no one can widely prescribe an educational option for all children. The answer to the question, then, depends largely on you. More specifically, whether or not homeschooling will work for your family is subject, to a great degree, to your willingness to be flexible. Flexibility is built in to the homeschooling process, so it’s only a matter of how well you bend and shape homeschooling until it fits your family. But it also requires that you limber up and increase the flexibility of your thinking about education itself so that you may comfortably unify everyday life and learning.

The first year of homeschooling has often been described as feeling like a leap off a cliff. If you, too, feel this way right now, consider this book the friendly push you might be needing to discover that you, like so many other homeschoolers, have wings.

Who Is Help You In Homeschooling?

When presented with the challenge to put together a book specializing in information most useful and important to the brand new homeschooling family, I turned to the “experts” in the field – scores of families practicing homeschooling in myriad ways who could look back on their own first years to share with you what they learned. I was gratified and humbled by their willingness to share, their candor in doing so, and their deep insight into and devotion to the homeschooling lifestyle.

Their information and advice felt like a warm arm around the shoulders, the same hug your favorite aunt gives you while explaining that your baby won’t be teethingn forever and your next good night’s sleep is just around the corner.

What is the essence of their message to you?

  • Yes, we made our share of mistakes.

  • Yes, some days are hard – not all homeschooling children run off to help with chores, whistling while they work.

  • Yes, there were many things we would prefer to have known before starting, but things turned out okay.

  • Yes, we’re just like you, and it was possible to build a lifestyle we preferred because of homeschooling.

  • Yes, as well put by respondent Allison Dodrill, “The rewards, so far, are astounding.”

Anyone so moved was invited via e-mail to respond to one or all topics addressed in this book. This narrowed the field, in that the majority of responses came from those connected to national, state, or local homeschooling support via computer. An impressive number of responses, however, arrived via snail mail. Thanks to this shotgun approach, we’ve tapped into the experience of a wonderfully eclectic group of homeschoolers. While their differences are noted, it’s their similarities that will lead you to the best homeschooling has to offer.

The Homeschooling Notion

In talking to countless parents considering or new to homeschooling, I noted that a most pervasive underlying cause of trepidation became clear. When education takes place in the confines of a particular building (an institutional one, at that), options and choices are few; there’ not much to thank about. Along comes the notion of homeschooling, and suddently education leaves the confines of an institutional concept and bursts into the “big wide world.” A parent has a whole lot more to ponder when the educational options and choices mushroom to such immense proportions.

This is where Your First Year of Homeschooling begins.


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Reader Feedback

4 Responses to “Welcome to Your First Year of Homeschooling”

  1. Yes, welcome everyone! I hope that you find other homeschoolers to welcome you and help you start your journey. Some friends of mine (who helped me start on my journey) are putting on a homeschool bootcamp for new homeschooling families who can travel to Santa Cruz Cty, California. If you're interested, go to http://sites.google.com/site/homeschoolbootcamp/h… .

  2. grandma_linda says:

    Thanks for sharing, Suki…great idea, and I'm sure all will have a wonderful, learning-filled time!

  3. kathy balman says:

    Thanks for another great read. I have a goal for July of reading at least 1 homeschooling and 1 parenting book. Definitely going to check out yours.

  4. Linda says:

    That's a terrific goal, Kathy! You're starting to make me feel like a slacker here. [g] I really hope you enjoy the book – let me know if time allows. Happy reading!

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