I know the whole half dozen of you (if that many!) who might read this may have some homeschooling experience in your lives, so I am appealing to you to point me in the right direction. Your top three favorite tips, a few linky online resources, favorite curriculum, perhaps? There is just too much out there, and I don't need my head swimming while I try to narrow things down on my own with no reason to choose one thing over the other.
Here are a few of my thoughts right now:
Charter school advantages:
- They give me the curriculum and help me make a lesson plan for each child
- Resource teachers and tutors available, as needed, FREE
- The keep track of grading, testing, official report cards, makes it easier to possibly transition later if/when needs arise
- Some extra curricular activities, classes, labs offered, some free, some at a discount
- Easier transition from quasi-involved parent to primary educator at home
- Public school curriculum, with public school textbooks
- Some schedule/lesson plan requirements that are non-negotiable throughout the year
- Still have to take state tests
- Generally not as freeing/flexible as doing it yourself, but maybe I need the structure to get me started, but maybe I will resent it just because I like to complain....not sure yet
The charter school office opens this Monday, then I will know more details about this particular school. Until then I am on the fence about it.
What I want out of homeschooling:
- Better quality family time that includes Erik, who will probably have mid-week days off and odd shift work hours the whole of our children's schooling years.
- Solid Catholic faith based knowledge relating to the world in which we live.
- Better understanding of history, esp. related to our faith and the saints
- Keeping them home keeps them more innocent, longer. It's a fact.
- I want to impart to my children the things that are truly important in life, and learn to better appreciate those things myself.
- Flexibility. If we want to go visit our family or take a trip overnight in the middle of the week when Erik is home, it shouldn't be a problem. Our time should be our time.
So, can I get what I want out of homeschooling from the charter school, I don't yet know. But if I choose to do it on my own, which I really want to, I don't know where to start. Where do I go to keep it simple, cheap, and cover all my bases? Where do you get your stuff? What curriculum do you use? Is there anything online based?
Please, just hold my hand, tell me it's going to be ok, and point me in the right direction for success. I know it's a highly traveled road these days, and there are lots of different ways to do it, just give me something good to start with.
P.S. I have used St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in the past, for half a school year, for one child. While it is fantastic material and curriculum, and I might use some of their books this year, it's not quite what I think I am looking for right now. Lots of work. Unless you think I should look at it again. Do you think I should? I'm desperate people, can you smell it?