Homeschooling: How to start
I admit: I've had my biases and prejudices against homeschooling, but I've come to see that my attitude has more to do with my lack of knowledge than any real, rational data. Just about every homeschooler I've met, locally or on the Internet, regardless of religious or political background, has incredible things to say about the resources, community, and the learning process. Homeschooling isn't for everyone, but for both parents and kids with the right temperament, it can be an amazing journey together.
Here's how Tom got started homeschooling his kids:
After 4 years in a great daycare we decided to take our son Ben out and start the process of schooling. He was in a half day PreK for a month and then we moved out of district. Seeing as I was already doing the stay at home tango with our 1 year old I decided to take on home schooling Ben.
Googling on Home Schooling resources was a bit frightening, I seemed to be in the minority in wanting a secular education for the kids. Then I found http://secularhomeschool.net/ which led to http://www.learningpage.com/.
Pay Dirt! Worksheets, lesson plans, full story books, coloring pages and projects covering PreK To Grade 3...all for the click and printing. We are working thru the Space-themed module which includes letter skills, math, reading and the constructing of a space mural for the wall. Ben is chewing thru the Pre and K level work and has started Grade 1 level stuff last week.
Add this to other resources like Project Gutenburg, Story Nory and Wikipedia and we now have a nice little classroom set up in the house. [Be careful with Wikipedia -- a good place to start, but not necessarily the definitive source of accurate information. -- Ed.]
For field days we hit the amazingly well-stocked and staffed Multnomah County Library, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry as well as a local coffee shop for some social time.
A few months ago the idea of taking on the education end of things full time seemed daunting at best and nightmare inducing at worst...now it is a little less of a fright and more a delight.
I'd love to hear the Parenthacker perspective on homeschooling -- care to share?