In the beginning … Getting started with homeschooling.
Here’s a little secret about our homeschool journey. It was very hard getting started. Even though my hubby had passed on to me what he saw our home education accomplishing and I could see the end goal, the first step to take that first day, or each day that first year, or for several years, somehow seemed to elude me completely. I think many homeschool parents, me included, have the mistaken idea that they’re not doing enough. The full weight of preparing our children for the world they will enter as adults rests on us, and it’s the sort of thing that can keep you up at night.
Here’s how this looks: you decide you’re going to homeschool and are eager to be getting started. Those close to you are aghast because they only know the educational institutions they survived. Many watch from a distance and wait for you to fail. Some, are supportive. And then there are those who have ventured before you, and their children have survived and learned. These are the ones who dump (surely I mean donate in kindness?) their old curriculum on you. And you, feeling inadequate to the task, take it all, as much as people will give you.
I had about 5 or 6 different phonics curricula and I didn’t know where to start. For me, all the options froze me into inaction. Thankfully, my husband is wise. He said, “Pick one, and start somewhere.” I pulled a book off the shelf and, as they say, that was all she wrote. I continue to use that same book to this day, and donated (or do I mean dumped?) the rest when we moved.
Even with a 13-year-old son who we have always homeschooled, I find myself in this same place on occasion as I venture into uncharted territory for our household. His siblings will have the benefit of a mom who has “been there, done that”, but he, with me, is pioneering. He calls himself my lab-rat.
You have no idea how long it took me to begin a regular PE slot in our week. That only began this last year. How hard is PE really? Yet it had me frozen into inaction. Sometimes we need to see someone else do something before we know it is doable. I enlisted a friend (an exercise know-it-all) to lead our PE. Although he has yet to ever join us, it gave me the push to start somewhere, and I continue to learn and seek new ways to exercise my children’s bodies as well as their minds.
So, when you, too, are stumped as to where to begin, pick something and START SOMEWHERE.