provided our children with papers and writing utensils of all kinds. I have basically been very informal about it. Always making sure that the children from the moment they can grasp a spoon that they are given ample opportunities to explore with writing. Yes, I do start them out very early. It is a very natural approach to teaching the love of writing to my children, even if at the beginning the writing utensils spends most of its life drowned in drool. At first, this is a messy task but eventually my children learn that putting marker, pen, chalk, crayon, or colored pencil to paper, chalk board, dry erase board, notebook, or construction paper means we write letters and then words which together turn into sentences which eventually will make paragraphs with wonderful stories. Equally important is matching these words with pictures, beautiful colorful ones and even simple pencil drawn ones. We are constantly writing and my children don’t even notice that I am sneaking in some very important future writing skills in to them from early on.
A couple of years ago, in my local newspaper, there was a nice article about a homeschooling family with five children. They quoted the home schooled children and the author spoke statistics…when I saw it laying on my kitchen table, I thought wow how exciting and went on, with much enthusiasm, to read the article. Later on I checked my e-mail and saw lots of messages from local home schoolers who were outraged by the comments being left on-line regarding the article. I skimmed through those messages (a bunch had already been blocked by the paper) and noticed the one prevailing topic: socialization. Generalizations about any group of people is common among humans. So this was not a shocker. But when I read comments from other who have never walked in the shoes of a homeschooling family it made me think that they believe that we keep our kids in a closet (without windows) and don’t allow them to go out and be “socialized”.
If you have been following our series, I first wrote about the 10 Steps to Start Catholic Homeschooling and then on Goal Setting in the Catholic Homeschool, now we are going to discuss the different homeschooling methods available to you. So you’ve decided to Homeschool, you looked up the laws in your state, you contacted the local organization and even want to join a homeschool co-op. Now what? Well, now you need to decide what method you will use in your homeschool. First, I would like you to learn a little bit about yourself as a teacher and a former student.
Here is an easy way to set goals for your homeschool. Though a “dry topic,” goal setting is very important for every family thinking about homeschooling or home educating already. Knowing them in your head just is not enough, you need to organize them and write them down.
Recently, in a Catholic Homeschool group on Facebook, a mom commented about her doubts regarding homeschooling. My dear friend and blogger over at Totus Tuus Family, Allison, replied one of the sweetest and most perfect replies, she said,
“”If God leads you to it, He will lead you through it. I had MANY of those same doubts. I read lots of homeschool and Catholic homeschool books looking for those who had conquered the obstacles I perceived and that combined with prayer fortified me. Am I perfect at it? No, no one is…no education is perfect. Let God work on your fears, it sounds like He IS working on your heart.”
Are you going to a homeschool conference? I FINALLY am going to the National Catholic Conference in Virginia and I’m so excited!
So I organized my conference weekend and created this little survival kit for myself and, of course, I’m sharing it with my friends. I created three important pages:
- notebook—to take notes or jot things down, one with pockets or staple your print outs within the notebook
- Print out of Conference schedule
- Print outs of this kit especially the Curriculum Research & Notes
- A bag to carry items.
- Rolling tote in case you plan on buying books
- Clothing– dress nice but comfy (especially shoes), don’t forget a sweater just in case the conference rooms are cold
- Mommy First Aide Kit: band aides, chap stick, lotion, hand sanitizer, eye-drops, pain reliever & mints. Also a bottle of water, dried fruits/nuts, and a protein bar (most placed don’t allow outside food)
- Budget: if you plan on buying, have a budget in mind to avoid overspending. (Use the Curriculum Research sheet).