I just read this blog post. It was great! http://www.reallifeathome.com/advice-for-new-homeschoolers-just-taking-their-kids-out-of-public-school/
I thought I would add to it, what I think. Last week, a woman told me that she has a daughter who hates to read. I finally found out her daughter is homeschooled now, but has been only since school let out, in June. It was only mid-July at the time. There is something homeschoolers learn right at first–I learned the same things at the beginning, the first month of homeschooling. What are these first things learned when starting? They are the disappointments of the public and charter school system. She learned that her daughter hated to read. I learned that my kids had only been given free reading time 5 minutes per day, and usually had only gotten to go to recess, right after lunch. I learned that my kids had been learning every day, things like, cleaning up my mess is not my job. It is the janitor’s job.
After the first month of homeschool, you have learned a ton, but it is only a drop in the bucket compared to all that you will learn. The second month, you may do as I did and read up on all the styles and methods out there, because you have met some other homeschool moms and you have no idea what they are talking about when they use acronyms or names if people to tell you how they home educate their kids. After learning all you can, you decide what you want to do and tell other moms. You meet moms who do not like your decision and want you to do as they do.
Your third month, if it is like mine, you begin to feel that your system, to get kids to follow your schedule and chosen method, is not working. You either seek advice, read more, try a new system or give up.
Your fourth month, if you are like me, you begin to see that going longer than the 3 months which are the summer, is a good idea. Things are finally starting to work. You also begin to see the differences begween your kids and the neighbor kids. Those neighbor kids never get to go out and play in their own yard, during the day. You feel for them.
After about six months, if you are like me, you will begin to see a really big difference in your family harmony and in your kids. Although it has not become perfect, the behavior of your kid will likely be much better.
After a year, if you are like me, you will begin to change. You will have an epiphany and will begin to see that a lot of things that those crazy, weird unschoolers do, work. You will begin to have a new respect for unschooling families and will start to watch them, ask them questions, and read books about them. If you are like me, you will also begin to see that you are not just in this to catch your kids up. If in one year you were able to get them this far, then you would be able to accomplish even more with them, in two years! You also see how many more mom friends you have, than you had when you were friends with the other PTA moms. It is incredible how many great relationships you have now, after only a year! You will have to keep this going. You have to keep homeschooling until your kids graduate from high school.
After the second year, if you are like me, you become a bit of a conceited jerk. I sincerely hope this does not happen with you, but it did with me. I began thinking that my way to homeschool was most certainly the best way, and everyone else who homeschooled with a different method, was just pig-headed, stubborn and/or just foolish. I got a bit too preachy.
Hopefully after two and a half years, I am not coming off that way quite as often. I do have my way and I like it. I have learned, however, that to judge others on their style, thinking their choices are wrong, is very ill-conceived. They have a different family dynamic. Their kids and the parents, also, have different personalities than my kids. They and their kids have different needs. They and their kids have different learning and teaching styles. It is all o.k. It is fine that they do it differently. In fact, as an eclectic homeschool mom, I may even learn something great from them. I may learn quite a few great things from them! This new attitude of the acceptance of the methods of others, has helped me a lot in homeschooling. It helps me with friendships. It helps me with homeschooling. It helps me to become a better human being!
I tell you with utmost sincerity that I am so excited for the things I will learn before three years of homeschooling. I am excited for the behavioral changes I will make, which will change my life! I am so pumped up about a new year coming on! I know my kids will learn and become, too. I am so happy about it.