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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Most asked Homeschool Questions: How to Start homeschooling and Socialization

 Heather from OMSH wrote a post at The Pioneer Woman entitled The TWO BIGGIES:  Patience and Socialization.  In the blog post, she discussed the to questions she is asked the most as a homeschoolers.  She asked other homeschoolers to share their own most asked questions.  Mine are:

1.  How do you start homeschooling
2. What about socialization (It's asked so much I had to repeat it.)

Here are my responses.

How do you start homeschooling?

Step1:  Read. Get your hands on everything you can find about homeschooling.  Read blogs.  Read books on homeschooling, unschooling, relaxed homeschooling, classical homeschooling, Charlotte Mason homeschooling and anything else you can find.  Also read about learning styles, and education as a whole. Spend a good 3-6 months
immersed in learning about homeschooling and education. At this point, will begin to come to some conclusions about your own educational philosophies and will begin to map out what you feel will work best for your child. 

Step 2:  Familiarize yourself with the homeschooling laws in your state. This information can be easily found at the HSLDA.org and at your local state's homeschool organization websites.

Step 3.  Join a local homeschool co-op and get to know a few other homeschoolers.  They will help you discover the special programs and perks in your community for homeschoolers.

Step 4:  Choose and purchase your curriculum.

Step 5: Start homeschooling.

Of course, its not always that simple and clean and hardly in this linear order, but you get the gist. Sometimes the decision to homeschooling is made and the need to start is immediate.  In these cases, I suggest an easy to follow, and simple curriculum to use until research is done and philosophy and long term curriculum decisions are made.

What about socialization?

People who ask about socialization will not take the fact that it is a non-issue for an answer... so you either have to ignore the question like it never happened, or dig in for a lengthy explanation.  My mood effects which way I choose to answer.

When I answer, I explain that socialization is the act of a person being trained to the culture around him by those around him.  In a school environment, while there are teachers present, students mostly learn how to behave from other students.  This is way a perfectly sweet girl can enter middle school to become a "mean girl" in a matter of months in order to just survive the culture.  Homeschooling, alters this dynamic because parents get to set the environment and culture that the children are raised in and they get to choose the children their kids spend time with, weeding out any that cause the child to behave in an undesirable way, or at least being able to witness negative socialization as it happens so it can be redirected and learned from.

WalletPop Contributor

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