How do we even know where to start homeschooling? I am about to panic!
Back in February of 2013, my husband, Dan and I were at the cusp of making the decision that would change our lives… The decision to homeschool. After lots of prayers for guidance and meeting so many people who homeschool, it had become the topic of our conversations. Once we made the decision more questions came! Where do we begin? What do we need to do to let the state know we are homeschooling? Are there any support groups? What about standardized tests? What are Co-Op groups? How will my parents take this? Am I able to handle teaching my own kids? I am sure most of the homeschooling parents have asked themselves these questions. It is a big decision and should not be taken lightly!
At this time of finalizing our decision, I heard about a local homeschool group who was having a Homeschooling 101 meeting with Q & A afterwards. Dan and I lined up a babysitter and went to it and we were so glad we did! All the questions we had, and then some, were answered. It made the transition to homeschool a much easier journey then we expected!
We ended up joining the homeschool group!
As I have mentioned in other blogs, we ended up pulling our girls out of public school in March of 2013. The Friday before spring break was their last day of school. We thought it was a good time to pull them out seeing as they were about to go through the pain which is called FCATs. The FCATs are the standardized tests that Florida puts there students through every spring. Throughout the year, the schools teach what is going to be on the test and makes it very stressful for the students. Seeing as we had enough of the Florida school system, we were not going to give the state the pleasure of putting our kids through it!
The Monday after spring break was our first day of homeschool. We celebrated our first day of homeschooling by taking a cake decoration class through our new homeschool group, the Tampa Bay HEAT! We decided to join this group because of all that they offer and because they were the ones who really helped us become homeschoolers. Some of you are saying, well that is not schooling. Yes, you are right in that it is not reading, writing, or arithmetic, but it is art, something public schools continue to cut. I wanted to start our homeschool journey with something that our kids love, art!
Breath, it’s okay!
We are now in the middle of fall semester and I am starting to be able to breath again! I will tell you, I have changed my curriculum already and am not really doing the curriculum that I started off doing. But, that is okay! Before we began I was told that I would change my curriculum a few times during the first year… no joke! You have to find a path that fits you, the teacher, and your kids, the students. Now that I have changed my curriculum, I feel more relaxed because I can understand what I am suppose to be teaching better! Ahhhhhhh (a sigh of relief )!
Love Our Homeschool Group!
Since March, we have done all sorts of classes, activities and sports with the Tampa Bay HEAT! We have gone on field trips, done classes and I coached volleyball for the 4-6 graders (so our girls got to play too), play flag football and more! If you are about to begin homeschooling; first look at your state’s regulations for homeschooling and know what is required to run your homeschool! Then, I would suggest talking with people you know who homeschool. Once you have decided to homeschool, look for a homeschooling group that is close by! Homeschool groups are not essential but it makes you feel connected with other families that homeschool! If there is not a homeschool group by you, maybe start one up. Start with playdates or mom’s nights outs. From there the possibilities are endless!
Wishing you the best in your homeschooling journey!
Thanks for taking time to read about our journey into homeschooling. Please feel free to share my blog with your friends and family! Also, I would love to learn from you and how you homeschool. Please leave a comment below. Have a Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving!