Well we’re about to start week 3 of homeschool and all is going well. Having done 6 months last year has definitely given me some confidence that we’re on the right track and learning is happening. This year because we are using a curriculum from the US and we are enjoying having daily lesson plans written up for us. I just had to swap the history and geography for australian books and swapped out the spelling book as I’m not a fan of spalding method and neither is my little girl. So far so good and she is enjoying the work and having a day for art, craft and cooking. The work is done over 4 days and one day is set aside for activities like art, craft, pe and more which is also great if you have a busy day during the week.
I still get asked lots of questions about homeschool and why we do it and I’ve put some resources below that might help you if you are looking into it. I think when you are first looking into homeschooling it can be confusing and starting out with a homeschool provider can be a good option. However I would say if you have someone with learning difficulties or who is really struggling at school or refusing to go to school that selecting your own books and going at a more relaxed pace is a great way to ease them into homeschool without the pressure of someone else marking work or having lots of workbooks to complete each day. And if you have someone who needs to be extended then I would say the same thing. It was great to be using english and maths resources a grade ahead last year and challenge the homeschoolers at our house. I’m glad we started with a mixture of texts and workbooks that I picked out and also allowed them to choose the art and activities that we wanted to do.
Socialisation? Still gets asked of me. We are surrounded by people in our house and we are out and about most days. Our homeschool girl has just started 2 hours of cheerleading each week and will have competitions and camps this year. She swims on saturday with other children, goes to birthday parties, does the preschool and school drop off, sees her friends and spends time with family and neighbours too. We are always around people and I really don’t see it as a problem. We have some family members keen to see her return to school but we are enjoying seeing her happy and more relaxed without the demands of school and want to continue.
One more thing I’ve noticed is that people have an all in approach. They either pull everyone out of school to homeschool or they don’t do it at all. You’d be surprised how many families are homeschooling 1 or a couple of their children and have some in school. Some children love school and some don’t. I don’t mind having some in school and some at school and because my older ones are quite independent and keep track of their own homework and getting ready for school it’s just part of life getting them off to school. Don’t think you have to do everyone at home to make it work. I think we had a great start because I only had 2 of mine homeschooling last year rather than everyone at once.
And just one more thing I think mums worry about is having someone/or everyone around them 24/7. At first it can be a change – instead of having some quiet time to go to the shops or do things without the whole crew you suddenly have more children with you……..everywhere you go. And I think we all need some time off. So yes at first it was an adjustment, especially when the kids would get in the car and try to change my radio station but actually I enjoy the company and extra pair of hands. They are so much more co-operative and help with the chores because they are home all the time and see what needs to be done. We don’t get the after school attitude or fights that you get when someone comes home from school in a mood and I find we have a more relaxed day. It’s also great for siblings. My daughter loves to scan the groceries for me especially doing the fruit and veggies and selecting the ones and learns a lot about life in general that you don’t always get when you are at school 5 days a week. If we have coffee out with someone we choose somewhere she can play and she usually makes my other kids jealous telling them about her delicious morning tea or what she did that day. And when she reads, does craft, makes a cake or plays with her brother I get some quiet time or get a few things done.
This is the best group I’ve found on FB for questions and every day there are loads of new questions and posts. It’s run by Beverley Paine and her website and her books are full of information to get you started and keep you going.
Another great aussie homeschool website and there are lots of books and downloadables that you can buy. We used this website for our science book and it’s great to have aussie websites that can help you with planning and encouragement.
Provides a complete curriculum in Australia (not religious) and you print off all the materials. Would be a great way to start homeschooling and I’m looking into this for one of my children.
This is if you want the option of having the student’s work set and marked by someone else. This is a Christian package and would be a good option if you don’t want to do the setting and marking of work and want a more set approach for the work.
This group offer distance education from year 3-10 and also includes residential camps during the year. I like this option as the children get older and might want a more structured approach and the opportunity to go on camps.
This is a complete homeschool package with all of your materials sent to you.
An australian Christian homeschool provider that provides you with everything and a workbook approach.
This is my favourite bookshop and I also buy books for my little girl as they have great books for all levels and abilities. The website makes it easy to find all the books to look at for a grade and subject so you can compare. We also got a couple of great workbooks from singapore and I found they had a lot more examples to work through and I wouldn’t have known about them if I hadn’t known about the site.
This is an american Catholic homeschool provider, we use some of their books and started using them last year. I especially like their maths and handwriting books. I know families who use all of their books as a complete curriculum but I prefer to find a few different books and texts rather than just using workbooks. But the maths is very comprehensive. Their pre-k books and colouring books are also excellent and I recommend having a look around their online bookstore.
Another american Catholic homeschool provider and I like this one, it’s a classical program and has a lot of reading and uses a variety of texts. I like that it didn’t have a workbook approach that some distance and homeschool providers tend to have and the daily lesson plans make life very easy. You can buy the required books from ebay and amazon and it worked out less than A$500 a year including buying the curriculum in paper format from the US.
I don’t know much about this one but just that it’s one that Catholic families use.
Hope that helps! If you have any questions just ask…………..I still have my L plates on but am really enjoying it and hope to bring another one home soon………..