This is a biggie, so listen up and learn from my mistake! Do not, I repeat, do not choose a program or anything "how-to" without first considering your family situation. Homeschooling needs to fit in with your family.
Why do I say this? Because I have taken on programs that didn't suit my family and, as a result, I became overwhelmed and felt like a failure. I saw these amazing programs that other mums were doing and thought they looked much better than the stuff I was doing. But, these mums could do those programs because they had stopped having babies and I had not. Their children were getting older and I always had a toddler at my feet - I still do to this day!
You see, it's all very good to have super-dooper programs, but it's actually not that super-dooper if you don't get around to doing them, or if they demand so much of your time that you feel like giving up. I chose what I thought were super-dooper programs.
The problem was that my idea of "how" to homeschool did not match up with reality! Each family situation is unique and it can only bend so much in order to accommodate homeschooling.
STEP ONE: Evaluate your family situation. What challenges and strengths do you think your family might have? Do you have a husband who works away? Do you have littlies? Do you have a chronic illness in the family, or a child with special needs? Are you homeschooling multiple children?
STEP TWO: Make a list of your family's schooling needs. How much time do you have on your hands to facilitate learning? How much "school" support do you need? Do you have a senior student who needs certain things in order to follow their chosen path? Are you homeschooling just one child and need lots of opportunities for social interactions with other homeschoolers?
Part of the key to happy homeschooling is for you to be able to manage your family commitments and your homeschooling ones. You'll have many other things you need to do other than homeschool, and it’s so important that you feel that you are coping with all the demands you have on yourself. Remember to keep your expectations in check with reality!
Click on the links below to read the previous blogs in this How To Start Homeschooling series:
How to Start Homeschooling
The Why Determines the How